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Thursday, December 17, 2015


word of the day: duration \d-ˈrā-shən\ the time during which something continues

I realized the other day that almost all of the videos saved to my phone or computer are under a minute in duration.  

Do you know that my mom once videotaped an entire Christmas morning from start to finish? She set our camcorder on a tripod and let the magic unfold. (She also once recorded an entire patriotic light display at Mount Rushmore when I was in elementary school. We've really cherished that one forever, mom.) Jake comes from similar home videos. (I know because I have seen them all. This is not hyperbole.)

A few months ago, I was looking through the pictures on Jake's phone. He had this video saved of Lily from last spring, and it was three minutes of her jumping off the porch and laughing at herself. It was so mundane, and I loved every second of it. 
I've been thinking a lot about it since. 

It's important to me that our kids have tangible relics from their childhood. Call me old school, but I want them to flip through photo albums together and have video documentation of all the hilarious stuff they do. It pains me to think about their future memories being made up of 10 second snapchats they have to dig through my computer to find. 
So I have this camera. It's an actual camera (I'm not referring to my phone in this context). It takes really quality pictures, AND it has a live-action video feature. I have been using it, and it is changing my life (Yes, hyperbole here). No video is less than three minutes long, and they are all so boring. Five minutes of Christmas tree decorating. Three minutes of Lily, Norah, and me playing Ring around the Rosie. Two minutes of Lily dominating Jake at memory. The other day, I just followed the girls around and recorded everything they did even when they weren't really doing anything. It was wonderful.

It sounds a little silly, but it's so much less pressure. I don't have to worry about capturing a moment within a time frame short enough to be sent as a text message. It's almost like I can record a moment and be present in it at the same time. 
I suppose the holiday season reminds me of how much I value the creation and preservation of lasting memories for our kids. I'm not the only mom who feels a little paralyzed by this come Christmastime, am I? In a season teemed with tradition, how do you decide which ones to latch on to? There are so many aspects of this time of year that we could subscribe to, and for some reason, it sort of neutralizes me. So, in this strange response of over-analyzation and rebellion, I have realized that my tendency is to stray away from tradition all together and embrace something different each year.
Someday, Lily and Norah will watch all these recorded moments I'm trying to capture now. And amidst everything from the ordinary Thursday night to the excitement of the Christmas morning, I guess all I really want for them to see is that we are present in the moments in which we are together wherever we are and whatever we are doing. I want to live the Star Wars, guys. That's what really matters anyway, right?

That, and well-documented holidays. I think I need a tripod.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


word of the day: ludicrous /ˈlo͞odəkrəs/ so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous.

Here's something ludicrous. Last night, I typed this sentence into an email: "I realized that 'I'm just too busy' is ludacris."

Even now I can't even.

I literally had to go to Google and guess and check how to spell the word.

It's ludicrous. I have an English degree, for crying out loud.

Also? Un-matched socks. I could free a small army of house elves with the number of un-matched socks lying around my house. Why do children insist on taking off their socks one at a time and in different rooms of the house? I consider myself to be a particularly organized person, but socks defeat me. I surrender.

As for being too busy, I'm not. I suppose this train of thought falls under the category of “not making excuses anymore,” but it seems to me that when you become a stay-at-home mom, you can’t opt out of things anymore because you have too much to do (although I’m beginning to think that excuse might have been ludicrous in the first place).

I can’t stop thinking about what God said about His people in Isaiah 58:

For day after day they seek me out;
   they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
   and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
   and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
   ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
   and you have not noticed?’

It’s me six months ago. Eager to know God’s ways as if I was doing things right. Asking for just decisions and eager for God to come near to me. Sometimes I think maybe I was confused when God didn’t come meet me in the comfort of my home. I sought God, but I see now that I looked in the wrong places.

He goes on to say that the life He chooses for me includes loosening chains of injustice and setting the oppressed free. Sharing food with the hungry and providing the poor wanderer shelter. Clothing the naked, spending myself in behalf of the hungry, and satisfying the needs of the oppressed.

Tis the season for giving back, but I have decided that I don’t want to give back anymore. Rather, I want to live in a state of constant awareness of the needs of others. Not just at Christmas and not after my kids are older and more self-sufficient and not once Jake is done with residency and we have the means to do more.

if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
   and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
   and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
   he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
   and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
   like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
   and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
   Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

After all, don’t we find Jesus in the hungry and in the thirsty and in the homeless and in the naked and in the sick and in the imprisoned1? If I am really eager to find Him, it seems pretty clear where I should look rather than just waiting for His presence to fill the warmth of my own home.

It seems so simple to me now and yet also so magnanimous2.

It makes me feel like any excuse to live otherwise is ludicrous.

Do you suppose there will be a city-wide need for individual socks this time of year? If so, we’ve certainly got that need covered.
1 See Matthew 25
2 I typed this word and then looked up the definition: the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes.  That's something to strive for, if you ask me.