Friday, December 22, 2006

Random Ramblings

So, in case you haven't noticed...I've been sort of quiet on this here blog. Not because my life has been quiet, but because I've just been sort of overwhelmed with Christmasy gift wrappings and sermon preparations, and dying patients, and self-esteem issues, and Indiana rain, and cat urinary tract infections, and in the midst of all this I've realized that I just haven't been feeling all that creative. "So," I said to myself, "Christen, why should you burden the world with your writer's block?" And I didn't. And thus, the same old post for a loooonnnnngggg time. Thus losing readers and boring the two of you left reading out of your skull (thanks for sticking with me, Mom and you, whoever you are in Clackamas, Oregon--you're a gem).

But, the thought has also occurred to me that the nature of blogging in general is to continue to post, even when the news isn't all that thrilling and to discipline myself to write, even when I don't think I have all that much to say. Thus, today's post. Ta Da!

Grayson continues to paw around in my belly like a little squirrel and I find myself closing my eyes and simply resting my hands on my formerly flatter belly and marveling at the tiny movements that his little hands and feet can make. However, he has already revealed himself as a tricky little turd because while he'll kick and punch like crazy for a full hour or more while I lie on the couch, the moment I invite his daddy over to rest his hands on my belly and finally get to feel his son, Grayson will stop. Immediately. R. believes that Grayson is pausing and listening to hear whether R. is near, and then laughs devilishly to himself at making his parents look like imbeciles.

The holidays unfold before us, before each of us and I am humbled by the gift of new life--new life of this son who I carry, and new life of the son who makes his way to each of us once again as a babe in the manger. In case I don't post again before the 25th, may the holidays fill each of you with joy and peace. Thank you for reading. Thank you for becoming part of my circle.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why the Kid Will Be an Insomniac

Conversation in the P-M household this week.

C: (Poking at her ever-expanding belly) Wake up, baby. You haven't moved in 20 minutes. (Poke, poke, poke--walks into R.'s office where he is busy working at his computer). I think the baby is dead. He's not moving. Quick, talk about something that makes your voice rise, get riled up about something, he always moves when he hears your deep voice.
R: (With a calm look on his face as he turns from the computer screen) I can't get riled up over nothing.
C: What about the Patriot Act? Loss of free speech? C'mon...that stuff can really make you mad if you let it.
R: (Gently speaking) Christen, let the kid sleep. He's just sleepy.
C: I hate sleeping babies.

I have a sense I'll regret that last statement in about six months.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Teach Your Children Well

Last night tragedy struck in our neighborhood when our next door neighbor's home was destroyed by fire. It was around 11:30 p.m. when the we heard the first sirens. Ultimately, there were five or six firetrucks out front, and we saw huddled figures in cars, where Elmo and Lucille sat with their son watching the devastation of their home. I can imagine few things more devastating than watching your possessions thrown out windows in a vain attempt to keep the fire from finding more fuel. The sound of axes crushing walls in search of the offending spark, and the acrid smell of smoke snaking into the night sky.

We did what we could as good neighbors. Offered safe haven, blankets, water, coffee. But, Elmo and Lucille needed little more than to huddle together in the womb-like warmth of their Ford, their watchful eyes squinting against the onslaught of smoke.

Miss B., our more pyro-phobic child, slept soundly through the ordeal, despite the fact that her window faced the lights of the firetrucks. But, R., Miss T. and I sat in the library watching the drama unfold as the night progressed. It seemed impossible to sleep.

After the first trucks pulled away, and Elmo and Lucille were left with only a few soot-covered firefighters rolling hoses and carrying out mattresses, R. went out to check again on whether they needed anything. They were leaving to stay in a motel, they were shocked--but fine. They thanked us.

Miss T. and I watched from the window as R. talked with them. T. said, "That's it? The firetrucks are leaving? What do Elmo and Lucille do now? They're just standing out there! And they can't go back in the house!" I explained that they would sleep elsewhere tonight. And T. said, "I know, but where are the chaplains? Don't they come in to help now?"

I could have kissed her on the lips. She understands my job. We've taught her well.

When I got home from work today, Elmo was standing in his driveway near a mangled pile of his blackened furniture and drywall. I stopped and said, "I'm so sorry, Elmo. I don't even know what to offer to do for you...just know that anything you need, we're happy to help with." Elmo shielded his face from the bright afternoon sun and said, "You know, we're blessed. My family is fine. That's all I needed."

Oh that we might all learn from Elmo's wisdom this year at Christmas. Oh, that I might ponder all of this in my own fragile heart.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Hey, hey, hey!

I am proud to introduce you to a new sure to cruise on over and check it out.

Jim the Father's debut blog. Ain't he somethin'?