Saturday, November 24, 2012


Updates which may bore people who aren't my mom --

Gary has been teaching a class at the Waukesha campus of Concordia--Wisconsin.  Enjoyable.  But a LOT of work when he has to read all the texts for the first time, prep for class, and grade papers and quizzes and online discussion.

We had Katie's family and Philip here for dinner on Thursday.  It was a nice day.  Rachel and Matt's plans ended up being changed for them, so they ended up not being here for half of Friday as expected.  We'll have to plan for another time. 

I think next year I'll plan to make the turkey ahead of time as I did this year.  It's wonderful to come home from church, cook the vegetables and the mashed potatoes, reheat the turkey, and sit down to eat.  No carving.  No bones to deal with.  No stock to make.  No messy, greasy pans to wash.  Easy breezy!

We had a friendly argument at work on Monday as to whether the Christmas music should start up on the day after Thanksgiving.  My vote was to wait at least two weeks after Thanksgiving, but couldn't we pleeeeease wait at least until December?  But no, the Christmas music has begun.  And it's not even the good stuff that played last year, when two or three times each hour I heard "Son of the Father, now in flesh appearing; oh, come let us adore Him" and "veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail the incarnate deity" with a grateful heart.  No, this year it's about sleighing and fireplaces and shopping and stuff like that.  And I'm already perturbed about it, and it's still a full month until Christmas.  And I work full-time next week.

Last night I was reading the first chapter of the first Fred book to Alia.  All of a sudden, she just fell over and smashed her head against the table.  We got the ice pack for her.  She cried from the hard bump.  But what was more of a concern was why she crashed that way.  Eventually she mentioned to Katie that everything got black right before she hit her head.  They ended up in the ER because there was no explicable reason for a 4-yr-old to faint out of nowhere.  Follow-up appointments are scheduled for Monday.

Zoe is just barely beginning to talk.  She also has a new "thing" at church: she grabs my finger after chapel and drags me up to the altar rail and wants me to show her the candles and the lamb on the altar and wants to talk about the crucifix.  Happiness!

Maggie is going to drag me to the neighbor's barn now.  So I have to quit typing. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

So Many Dishes to Wash!

I think I washed dishes eight times on Tuesday before I asked one of the kids to help.

Wednesday looked to be another day full of dishes.  I knew I was going to be washing and drying bowls and knives and beaters and pots immediately after they were used so that they could be pressed into service for yet another cooking project.  Dishes dishes dishes!

So what's the problem here, really?

1.  I have food enough to dirty all these dishes and pans and spoons and mixing bowls.

2.  I have indoor plumbing and a seemingly endless supply of hot water to clean these dishes.

3.  I have dear people to feast with me tomorrow.  I'm not cooking for only one or two people.   There will be a big enough crowd around my table that I have plenty of kitchen work to consume two days in preparation.

So, what's the downside?  Sounds like a fabulous position to be in!

So bring on the hand cream!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Are These Prayers About, Anyway?

We pray that evil be thwarted; we pray for an end to abortion and other murders; we pray that people are safe; we pray that people do not betray others. 


A big part of it is for the sake of life.  Those babies should live and not die.  The victims of violent crime should have been safe.  Those who are betrayed should have continued to enjoy fellowship with the loved one.

But that's not all.

We pray also for the sake of the one who's inflicting the harm.  Remember in Harry Potter, how it "ripped the soul" to make a horcrux?  Remember how horrifying it was when it became apparent that Tom Riddle had made more than one?  Oh, what it would do to his soul!  Think about it -- it would "rip the soul" to murder or betray.  When we pray against abortion, it's not just for the sake of the babies; it's also for the sake of the abortionist and that he not destroy himself through his violent job.  When we pray for peace in the world and for safety in our communities, it's not just for the sake of the law-abiding citizens; it's also so that the criminals not continue to warp themselves through their lovelessness and destruction.

"But deliver us from evil."


Monday, November 19, 2012

"See His Desire on His Enemies"

For He has delivered me out of all trouble; 
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.  (Psalm 54)

The same sort of line shows up in Psalms 59, 92, and 112.  And I guess I'd always read it as, "Yup, you're so gonna get it!"

Now, I freely admit that I do not know Hebrew, and I'm basing this observation entirely on English translations.  But what if it's not about our enemies finally getting the punishment we think they deserve?

When they were nailing Jesus to the cross, He desired their forgiveness.  He prayed for His enemies.  "God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2).

Hmmm.  In the Good Friday reading from Isaiah we hear that the Christ will "see the labor of His soul and be satisfied."  Saving us is satisfying to Him.

That makes "My eye has seen its desire upon my enemies" take on an entirely different hue.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thanks for What?

Last year, Pastor Bender spoke on Issues Etc about thankfulness, why we are thankful (or not), how the gifts God provides can become idols, and what we're thankful for when we don't have the things we seem to need. This discussion of the Fourth Petition of the Lord's Prayer makes for lovely listening as we approach Thanksgiving.

Kelp and Hot Flashes

One of my daughters (a lonnnng way off from menopause) mentioned that she sometimes uses refined salt because of the iodine content.  When she was exclusively on unrefined salt, she began having hot flashes.  She discovered that one symptom of iodine deficiency can be hot flashes.

Quite a few years ago, we bought a bottle of kelp supplements -- essentially seaweed in capsule form and thus full of iodine.  This summer I began taking a few capsules each week for the mere reason of thinking there was nutrition there that ought not go to waste.  But after hearing about my daughter's experience, it clicked: it's the kelp that has been keeping my hot flashes at bay.  Not the supplements aimed at menopause-type symptoms. 

So now I'm more careful to remember my kelp, and I'm having no problem with hot flashes anymore.  The downside of this is that --this year-- I'm needing sweaters and socks as the cool weather sets in.  Well ... better than growing me a goiter!