Monday, November 22, 2010

Why Do You Believe What You Believe?

I was born into a Catholic family; water poured on my tiny, infant forehead in a Sunday baptism ceremony.

I entered first grade at the downtown Catholic school and had my First Holy Communion at the church next door. Outfitted in a white dress, belted at the waist and poofed out below with a crinoline slip; along with white Mary Jane patent leather shoes, lace trimmed ankle socks, and a lace veil, I received the Sacrament with other little girls and boys. I was beginning my life as a Christian.

But then the divorced happened. Dad remained a Catholic; Mom, ultimately, did not. She had custody of my brother and me. We moved to Michigan where our church going routine went awry. Fifth grade was my last year of Catholic school.

However, the seed was planted. I believed in God.

Later in life, I began to believe because of faith rather than what I’d been taught.

* * * *

I woke up one morning, stressed; worried about being able to accomplish the long list of things to do. My first thought: ask God to help me throughout the day.

And then I wondered – What do people do when in need of mental or physical relief? How do people handle a tough time, like a life or death situation involving themselves or loved ones? Where do they find comfort?

And, who do people thank when it all works out?

As a Christian, I have a “thank you Jesus moment,” like the lady on the commercial who won the millions in the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes…well, not e-x-a-c-t-l-y like her.

When blog surfing, and just reading in general, I find info on many celebrations – some that are religious, like Diwali. I Googled it and learned that it is a major holiday celebrated by Hindus.

With all the holidays celebrated around the world, I am reminded of the many different beliefs, and unfortunately, all the conflict surrounding it, which I believe will always exist. Religious wars have been fought since history has been recorded.

Nowadays, people criticize each other with words like: gullible, cult, naïve, stupid, heathen, violent, thief, weird, lost, etc.

I’ve seen bumper stickers with the word “coexist” (written with religious symbols), which is what we have to do, but I see nothing wrong with healthy and respectful debate. Educate yourselves and defend your beliefs, because sometimes in the process, you may help someone, or, you may discover something you’ve been missing that someone else has. When you have peace in your heart, you’ve probably hit the mark.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

At Least I Didn't Leave the Iron On

Ten year old youngest daughter whispered, “He took it better than I thought he would.” Then she acted out what she expected him to do when he opened the garage door and stepped into the kitchen to see buckets and wet stains on the ceiling.

“GOSH!” she grunted with a contorted face and body movements indicating extreme frustration. “That’s what I thought Daddy would do.” Then she laughed.


It is the best plan. Husband and two oldest daughters leave early for a college football game and youngest daughter has nowhere be (no driving for me today!); a perfect day to catch up on cleaning.

My dear mother just left a week earlier after a three day visit and a hundred suggestions for me on how to make things around the house look a little better. Sooo…I hop to it.

First task – laundry; I have one load going. I’ll do the whites next. But first, I need to soak the cloth that mom used to dust to get the furniture polish out of it.

I close the drain in my master bath sink, turn on the water, put the cloth in, pour in a little bleach…

I blackout.

I’m now running around the house with Layla-the-dog on a leash.

“Oh, I think I’ll give her some more exercise and walk to the corner and back.”

Back home, as I open the kitchen door, Layla and I are met with a very excited ten year old who was on her way to search for us.

“Mommy, there’s water coming out of the ceiling!”

I dash up the stairs, thinking…my washer…how could it be overflowing? It’s still new!”

At the top of the stairs, I glance in the laundry room. Normal.

Still racing in my 4-minute mile pace, I head towards the sound of running water and quickly turn off the faucet. I take two seconds to assess the situation. Do I clean the kitchen or bathroom first?

The kitchen.

Down the stairs to the garage, get buckets, put under streams (by now) coming from the recessed lighting and a flat speaker cover.

Run back upstairs with useless mop. Throw down towels instead.

Repeat this pattern a couple more times.

Door bell rings. It’s a relative. Gotta let’im in.

I add socializing to the fiasco.

I can’t remember when I put on the tank top and shorts, but as I one-leg it up to a two foot-plus high counter stool to check inside the cabinets for hiding water, the thirty-one year old relative notices. My age comes up in our conversation and he exclaims, “Wow, you’re in amazing shape!”

Nice that I lost those few pounds recently; hope to keep it off through the holidays. Ha! Fat chance…no pun intended.

I digress.

My great plan for the day is ruined, and as ugly as the situation is, I refuse to “lose it.” Yes, internally, I moan a little about having so much responsibility and the need to multi-task, and a few other good excuses - but I let it go; just clean up, and let it go.

It helps that my children think it’s very funny. My middle daughter says, “This is when I’d like the teacher to ask us to write a paper about what we did over the weekend. ‘My mother flooded the bathroom and it came down through the kitchen ceiling.’”

All three girls laugh.

Husband/Daddy retreats to the couch and a TV football game – his substitution for a drink.

Hey…at least I didn’t leave the iron on and burn down the house.

What was your blunder? Have you let it go, or do you still feel quilt?