I started this blog a few weeks after getting married in July of 2006. At the time, it was just me, BJ, our lovable Labrador, and our evil cat. Here is how I explained this blog: "This is the chronicle of us all learning how to live together." Well, now it is me, BJ, a little boy, a baby girl, and a loveable mutt, and this is still a blog about us learning to live together.
After a wonderful week in Illinois with BJ's family, me and the kids are taking it pretty easy this week. The one major outing we've had is going to get Shepherd's hair cut this afternoon. I decided to get him BJ's haircut: short and spiky. As you can see, he looks sort of adorable.
Lydia's hair is also pretty cute. She's rocking the side pony tail. It must just be a good hair day in the Gensic household!
I know that you don't like big bows, so for the past 15 months, every bow Lydia has worn has been about the size of my thumb. However, when I came home from a brief trip to Hobby Lobby this morning, this was in my shopping bag:
I'm not sure how it happened. My memory is a bit blurry on the point. It is possible that I saw it and in a fit of giggles, bought it. It is also possible that someone held a gun to my head and made me buy. In fact, I think that is what happened. Yes. BJ, someone made me buy. It isn't my fault. And the receipt blew away in the parking lot, so I can't take it back. And if Lydia doesn't wear it, it will be a waste of money, which is unethical. So, that is how your daughter ended up with a bow the size of a kitten on her head. Sorry.
Over the past year, I've been reading the Bible with several members from our church. On Monday nights, about six people join me and BJ to discuss the week's scriptures. When I first committed to this group, I was terrified of reading my Bible straight through. I am willing to admit both that I am a fairly typical modern-day liberal and that we modern-day liberals have flaws. I knew that the Old Testament would offend many of my modern-day liberal sensibilities. Also, as someone who suffers with anxiety and depression, the gospels have been difficult for me the past few years. It is very easy for me to see the harshness Jesus directs at the Pharisees as directed towards myself.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved the Old Testament. When put within a broader context, the aspects of the Old Testament that had always troubled me made more sense. I was hoping that my fear of reading the gospels would also be unfounded, but as I trudged through Matthew, Mark, and Luke, I was having a really had time connecting with much of anything. It wasn't until John that I finally had an ah-ha moment that made me fall in love with the Word of God.
I have always read the NIV, but this year, I am using the NRSV. In the NIV, the Holy Spirit in John is referred to as the Comforter. This was continually problematic for me as someone with an anxiety disorder. If I'm having a bad day where my amygdala is shooting like fireworks on the Fourth of July, how could it possibly be that I have a Comforter within me?
The NRSV doesn't use the word Comforter. Instead, the Holy Spirit in John is referred to as the Advocate. This I can grasp. There is a part of the Holy Trinity that is specifically recognizing the good in all of us in whom he dwells. This part of God can live inside of my brokenness and see how in the midst of a misfiring amygdala, I am someone who desperately wants to believe. When you are living with anxiety problems, being comforted often seems out of reach. How do you comfort someone who at the moment cannot see reason? But when those moments happen when I don't feel comforted by the seemingly elusive Holy Spirit within me, it is nice to know that that same Holy Spirit is advocating on my behalf.
BJ and I are going to try to get a new group of people to read the Bible with us next year. I know this makes me sound like an old-fogey preacher's wife, but, people, you need to read your Bibles. And preferably, the Bible should be read within a community. You never know what it might teach you to help you get through a particular moment. I've decided to commit to re-reading John multiple times this coming
year. It is only natural that different books are going to speak more
loudly to different people, and at this time in my life, John seems to
be that book.
My mom has spent the last three weeks studying hours and hours for an exam to get her insurance license. Today, she passed! So as a reward, here, Mom, are some cute pictures of your grandbabies! I know that is what she wants more than anything. Love you!
Eleven o'clock in the morning is Shepherd's art time and Lydia's lunch time. Here are some pictures that demonstrates why I shouldn't let them participate in these activities too close together.
When I got back from switching a load of laundry, Lydia was painted black, her cheese was painted blue, and Shepherd was sharing her green beans and quite possibly helping her put them in her hair. For the record, he didn't get any new pieces on the art wall with these techniques.
While sitting on the couch...
Me (pretending to sniff his feet): Whoa! Those are some stinky feet.
Shepherd: They are not stinky. They are just tasty. They are tasty and good.
While cuddling in his bed...
Me: Shepherd I just love your nose.
Shepherd: I love your nose, too. It has boogers in it. Why don't you get them out.
While using a public potty...
Shepherd: Why are you holding my hands, Mama?
Me: So that you don't fall in.
(After he finishes)
Me: Now I have to peepee in the potty.
Shepherd: Okay, Mama. I'll hold your hands so you don't fall in.