Saturday, February 27, 2010

Lent Reflections: 24 Hours that Changed the World

Our Bible study on the last 24 hours of Christ started last week. Our study includes reading from the book and the devotional series (Thanks Brian for the devotional book!), Sunday’s sermon and Tuesday night Fuel: supper, video, and discussion. I hope to put some semblance of order to my notes here. I plan to write about each study to share and to help me organize my thoughts, which have been all over the place.

Week one: The Last Supper. I’ve been participating in communion since I was 15-16 years old and completed the confirmation in the church I grew up in. I’ve probably always known the basics and as I grew older and started enjoying The Ten Commandments I started to see the connection between Passover and the Last Supper. It has been interesting to spend the last week looking over some of the details that I probably have overlooked in the past.

Jesus and his disciples walked the 75 miles from Galilee to Jerusalem to participate in Passover. They probably didn’t have to go to Jerusalem to participate, but Jesus knew what he had to do and where he needed to be. Jesus spent Holy Week teaching in Jerusalem, pushing the Jewish leadership, probably building the tension between the leadership and himself, possibly even pushing the end result. I’m sure he also became further frustrated with the disciples and followers who after 3 years of following and learning from Jesus, they still didn’t understand.

John spent 5 chapters of his book on the Last Supper, going into great details about what Jesus said and prayed. He wrote it as a “pre-Passover” Seder. The Seder meal is one filled with ritual, stories and song. The meal can last 5 hours and is a time that Jews use to reflect on their time as slaves in Egypt and how God delivered them. I think it would be interesting to participate or host a Seder meal – participating would be much easier than hosting as there is much Hebrew in the meal. The Jewish story is part of the Christian story, something I think many of us forget. I think that by understanding where the Last Supper started, we can have a better understanding of what Communion/ Eucharist means to us today. It might also be easier for us to teach our children why this meal is so important. Our church allows all to participate in communion, which means if Maggie spends church time with us, she can participate in communion with us. To me, participating in communion is my way of being a part of the body of Christ. The Lord’s Table is for all of His children, not just those who are “worthy” by man’s standards.

Jesus chose to spend his last meal with his small group. His small group, his disciples, were very important to him. While there were most likely others at the Last Supper – women and children, perhaps other disciples, those at Jesus’ table were a part of his small group. I had never thought of how important this small group was to Jesus, and if HE needed a small group, how much more important is it that we have our small groups to support and strengthen us?

Judas was a main player in the Last Supper. He and John had the places of honor at the table. As the disciples argued about who would be given those places, why did Jesus choose Judas to sit at his left? What happened to Judas that changed him from a follower to a betrayer? Did Jesus know he would be the one when he selected him as one of his chosen 3 years earlier? Was Judas trying to force Jesus into the great warrior/political leader Judas may have wanted? Did Jesus tell Judas to betray him – was Judas chosen for the task? Was Judas just greedy? Are these questions we will ever have answered in our lifetimes?

The Seder meal always ends with a song and Jesus’ last supper was no exception. John tells us they sang Psalm 118. It begins and ends the same:

O Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his steadfast love endures forever!

Next week is the Garden of Gethsemane. I know the study is going to become more challenging as I did start to read the next chapter. It is difficult to understand, for me, why there wasn’t another way, and I don’t know if this study will bring me any closer to that understanding, but I do know it will probably raise more questions for me.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Those difficult questions

Tonight, while watching the “Ultimate Avengers” movie, the subject of dying came up. And of course, Maggie asked Daddy “what happened to those people?” Daddy told her they died. “Why did they die?” To which Daddy asked “Are you going to start asking those hard questions?” Maggie: “yes. Dad, I think we need to have a talk.”

They talked a little bit about growing older and your body getting sick and not working anymore and going to heaven to be with Jesus. Then Daddy asked if Maggie remembered Nala. Of course, she said “Yes!” He told her that Nala got old and sick and she died. And Maggie replied “And then she came back as Wiconi!” Ummm, okay.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Parent Teacher Conferences 2010

Another successful conference with Maggie's preschool teacher. She has a new teacher this year: Miss Amy was a caregiver in daycare prior to becoming the preschool teacher, so Maggie took no time at all to warm up to her. Miss Amy has recommended that Maggie try out the 3 day preschool class as she is more than academically ready. She is ahead of her peers in the 2 day class and Amy feels she will benefit from the 3 day class.

Amy told us she loves Maggie's enthusiasm, which is very apparent recently as she just LOVES everything and everything is the BEST THING EVER.

Amy went through the Kindergarten readiness checklist and showed us that Maggie is pretty much doing everything the schools expect as far as entering Kindergarten -- though she is still young and small and another year of preschool isn't going to hurt her. She did the same "test" with Maggie as was done last year and I will scan in Maggie's rainbow interpretation of herself and me and her handwriting. She is counting like she should and counted to ten for Amy (though she can count to about 23-25, still usually skipping 15). She could even give Amy 3, 5 and 8 items. She recognized capital and lower case letters, her colors and shapes.

Maggie got to feed the "preschool fish" last night and explained to us that you "can't feed them very much or they might DIE! And we don't want them to DIE! Because that would be sad."

It is very apparent that Maggie just loves preschool and I'm so happy we've been able to send her for the past 2 years. We do have her on the wait list for the Little Seeds Daycare, which is at our church. They have 5 day a week preschool and are right across the street from the Gazette. If we can move her, we wouldn't until September when the new "school year" would start. We also have the baby on the list over there. My only concern with Little Seeds is they don't have a big outdoor area, but the fact that it is closer to me and Rocky kind of outweighs that. I have missed having Maggie within walking distance. But the YWCA has been great for her and she has really learned a lot there, so if we don't get into Little Seeds I know both kids will be in wonderful hands.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bath time Maggie-isms

Maggie takes her baths alone. She loves to spend about an hour playing in the tub, so I take advantage of knowing exactly where she is to relax, watch what TV I want, play on the computer (though with giving up Facebook and my parenting site, I didn't spend as much time on the computer last night). Last night, I got in a little Wii workout, which I haven't done as much of lately. I need to as the yoga really helps my back and round ligament pain. So, as I was getting close to finished, Maggie starts calling for me. Daddy responds to her with "Maggie, what do you need?" and of course Maggie replies "I need Mommy!" So I finish up the downward facing dog pose and trudge upstairs where Maggie says "Mommy, I'm done" (helping her out of the bath is of course my job. No matter how many times I tell her it's okay for Daddy to see her naked or with her underpants on, she just doesn't want him to see her naked. Probably because he teases her with "I see a naked butt" or "I can see your underpants!")

I help her out of the tub and get her dried off when I notice her bath rug is SOAKED. As in dripping wet. Water is still running down the side of the tub a little as well. So I put her towel down to help clean up a bit and get her a new towel. And I ask her "Maggie, did you splash a lot?"

"No, Mom, but my invisible puppies and kitties and hamsters did."

I finished drying her off and said "Maggie, do you want to put your lotion on by yourself?" Of course she does. So I leave her alone in the bathroom to take her wet towels to the laundry room. As I leave I say "Maggie, when you are done with the lotion, put on your underpants and brush your teeth. I'm going to do one more thing in my work out and then I'll be up to help you."

In the middle of one final yoga stretch, Maggie hollars for me again "Mommy, come here!" "Maggie, what do you need?" "I need you to come here!" Which I assume is her usual code for just come and be by me. "In a minute!" So I finish up. I put away the Wii. I take my time getting upstairs to her bathroom. When I get there, Maggie is in covering herself modestly and is in a THICK layer of lotion. Then I notice she is standing in some water. It comes to me. "Maggie, did you pee on the floor?"

"No, Mom. But I was jumping up and down and some came out."

I'm still going to let her bath alone.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent: Fasting and Renewal

It's Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. For the next 40 days, I am fasting: from Facebook. I was spending way too much time on Facebook, so we'll see how I do!!

Lent is also a time for reflection and renewal. The church is starting a new sermon series called 24 hours that Changed the World. To stay on schedule, we celebrated Palm Sunday last weekend. Maggie enjoyed being a part of the palm parade and waved her palms happily while walking around the church. This Sunday starts the series with the Last Supper. Our small group is also going to follow along with the study. Fuel on Tuesday evenings will start with a short video that, from what I understand, will take us around Jerusalem showing us the modern sites of those last 24 hours and then discussion with our group. I hope to take some time after the sermon and discussion to write down my thoughts each week.

It's going to be an interesting 40 days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Maggie on Shrimp Stir-Fry

"Mom, I'll like shrimp when I'm bigger. I'm too short to like shrimp." To her credit, she did try the shrimp (licked it) and a bean. She enjoyed a peanut butter taco last night for her meal.

And a few other Maggie-isms to save for posterity:
  • "Mom, when your belly button pops out, then the baby will come out and you will feed it with your boo-boos."
  • "When I get big, I will like pickle sandwiches. And I will have big feet and a big butt and a hairy butt and big boo-boos."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Womb with a View

On Thursday, Feb 11, we had THE ultrasound.  Fingers, toes, heart chambers, kidneys, arms and legs were counted (and all were there).  We watched blood flow through the heart (which was just astounding and in color).  Baby was laying face down and kept his/her hands over his/her face the whole time.  Not a lot of movement, but just watching the heartbeat was good enough for me.  As Rocky would probably say, I got my way AGAIN and we did not find out the sex.  He was still on the fence and so if he doesn’t really want to know now, we are waiting.  I was also warned by the tech to not go into the hospital system and look at my record as it is there (of course, we are not supposed to be looking at our records and I don’t have access anyway).  So, if he decides at some point before the end that he must know, we can always ask.  But I think he would rather that just he know and then he can torture me for the next 4.5 months.

Image01Image02 Image04 And the view from the outside:


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Otis & Wiconi

Otis and Wiconi were watching some dogs on a walk last weekend and both jumped on the beanbag to bark.  Of course, I could not get them to repeat their actions, but I did get a couple of nice shots.  Otis really enjoys the beanbag on warm sunny days.

100_3142 100_3144


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maggie and the Baby

Maggie has started asking questions about the baby in my tummy. The other night, she asked me what was growing in my tummy, and after I told her a baby, she proceeded to put her cold feet on my tummy! So now that she's asking questions, we are talking about it in more concrete terms rather than hypothetical.

This morning, Maggie mentioned again that she would like 2 babies, a baby brother and a baby sister. We told her again that there was only one baby. She is very disappointed that there is only one. I'm not quite sure why she is fixated on having 2 babies, but it is very important to her. She even told us this morning that "We can have 2 cradles on top of each other. One will be painted with rainbows for my baby sister and the other with Transformers for my baby brother. And Mommy and I can paint them!" Perhaps we need to find her some twin baby dolls and some cribs for them that she can paint.