5 Minutes of Life

What is it with men and their modern toys? We women will never get understand.
The guy kitty-corner uses his leaf blower for hours on end. He IS quite meticulous and has to blow every blade of grass off his sidewalk (into the street).

I judge the arrival of spring by the senior across the alley. Once the snow no longer flies, he uses his leaf blower religiously every Tuesday at 1 pm. Does he not remember that that is nap time? (Oh yeah, that’s the women’s department.) I’m actually surprised he does not “leaf” blow his snow.

Another neighbor does use his snow blower late at night and early in the morning (when children and adults are sleeping).

You want to know how much men love power tools? My neighbor on the corner is landscaping his yard. He rented a bobcat. BIG power tool! He has had it for over a week. He has hauled and pushed and hauled and pushed multiple hours at a time, in the early, early mornings, at 10 pm, and in the rain

I wonder about the length of time that men put into their toys:
Do they simply enjoy these toys?
Is it a feeling of power? Urghh, urghh urghh!
Or is it an excuse to shirk other responsibilities around the house? (especially the children)

(I am just having fun with the stereotype and in no way mean to offend. I do also recognize that there are exceptions to the stereotypes.)

Another story you might enjoy:


Who needs to join a health club?! I go to Vacation Bible School!

This is a new and improved kind of health club. VBS feeds your heart, body, soul and mind!

We ease in to our workout while learning God’s story and plan for us while we sit around a campfire. We learn that we are very important to God.
We play games. And everyone wins!
We VBS-ercise (exercise). And no one tells you you can’t do it or that you weigh too much. (Best yet, no scales here!)
We explore our creative side with crafts.
They even feed us healthy snacks!
We end our workout with a nap, serenaded by Miss Heidi and her gi-tar (guitar).

Best of all we make good friends. Wait, even better: We are ALL friends!

I need more Vacation Bible School. Sign me up for THIS health club!

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you awake and are not sure WHERE you are?

I slept in at least three different places in my house last night.

I started my night in my own bed—snug and comfy. Of course, right after falling asleep, I am abruptly wakened by cave boy #1.

“I’m scared. Can I sleep in your bed?”


We have a sleeping bag permanently stationed on our bedroom floor for just such cases.

Twenty minutes later I am awakened again by cave boy #1.

“I’m still scared.”

So (heavy sigh), mom pulls her own pillow and blanket to the floor next to the sleeping bag. At last the boy falls asleep.

At some point, I awake and return to my own bed.

At 5:15 in the morning, cave boy #2 wakens mom. (It’s always mom.)

“I wet my pants.”

I take cave boy #2 to the bathroom for a quick wash down–tying to keep him quiet in hopes that he will go back to sleep. Who wants to be up at 5:30 in the morning?!

He is cleaned and changed. Back to bed.

But alas, an inquiry.

“Mom, will you sleep with me?”

Cave boy #2 is still in a crib. He and I snuggle into cave boy #1’s vacated bed.

Hooray, cave boy #2 is met with slumber. And mom too.

They both sleep until 7:30 am. This is an hour later then usual.

Surprisingly, I am not feeling tired this morning.

However, one thing perplexes me: Once during the night I awoke ON the toilet! I wonder how long I slept THERE?!

This afternon I drove by a dog obedience school. The marque read:

New Dogs

I have never had a dog. Is this commonplace? Do dogs normally go through an interview process to determine acceptance in to obedience school? Is the school afraid of wasting precious time on a dog that may be a lost cause?

I am so glad that I am not a dog!

It is common for me to struggle with obedience. Too common.

But I follow the greatest master of all! God. I do not even have to try to obey. God yeilds to me. God gives to me great care no matter when, how much, how little, or how many times I exercise disobedience.

Psalm 116
 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; 
       he heard my cry for mercy.
 2 Because he turned his ear to me, 
       I will call on him as long as I live.
 3 The cords of death entangled me, 
       the anguish of the grave [a] came upon me; 
       I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.
 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD : 
       “O LORD, save me!”
 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous; 
       our God is full of compassion.
 6 The LORD protects the simplehearted; 
       when I was in great need, he saved me.
 7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, 
       for the LORD has been good to you.
 8 For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, 
       my eyes from tears, 
       my feet from stumbling,
 9 that I may walk before the LORD 
       in the land of the living.

And if that isn’t enough, God takes me, all of me–aside of my disobedience–and invites me to enter into rest and peace. And, to try (or learn) again.

Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28-30

I am not a lost cause. Amen! Alleluia!!

To Zachary, 3 1/2 years young

We nap together. You and I.
I awake before you. That’s a change.

This is nourishment.
To enjoy your presence
. . . quiet . . . still . . . safe . . . good . . .

At this moment you are . . . mine . . . all mine . . .

I take much pleasure and delight in you. I revel in you.

All of you.

You are my treasure.

Tender, irresistible lips
Truly a perfect nose
Peachy fuzz above your lips
Tiny hairs on your cheek
The rise and fall of your chest
Criss-crossed eyelashes

The hair from your head rests on your neck and rises, then falls,
as the blood surging through a main artery calls the hair to wave with it.

I want to touch you. But dare not, so as not to wake you.
I do not want this gift to end.

Finally I reach out and lie my hand upon yours.
The curve of your hand fitting snugly in the curve of mine.
You stay asleep.

For a little while, we are one as if back in my womb.
You are mine. Not even of your own. All mine.

And . . . I wish you love.

Early Sunday afternoon there was a knock upon my door. We have a “no solicitor” sign. But I am so glad that it was ignored.

Here were two high school students collecting food for a neighborhood food shelf. I know of the food shelf and I trusted these kids. Hunger is one of my top 4-5 causes. (I worked a year for the Delaware Food Bank).

My 3 /12 and 5 1/2 sons were with me at the door. I joyfully told the students that we can help.Then I explained to my sons what we were going to do and asked them to help me carry the food. At the moment, these two little boys totally understood what was happening! I told them that we would pick really yummy food–stuff that they would like to eat (not just a can or two of beans).

I told the students that they stopped at the right house–one of my causes! I thanked them profusely and encouraged them.

The students turned to leave and I to go back in the house. I found my boys in the cupboard collecting more food! I have to believe that they were doing this out of care and not simply because it was fun/funny. I will be sure to remind them of their act of kindness.

Two Footnotes:
1. My boys’ behavior was a blessing to me as we have been dealing with a lot of naughty behavior the past few weeks.
2. Our family recently read the book, Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler, by Margery Cuyler. Students learn about kindness and the teacher writes each act on a paper heart and tapes it to the wall. We are doing the same at home. Today was our first act of kindness to the community. (There should be more hearts on this wall, but they are little kids who are learning.)

Wall of Kindness

In May 2007 a bill was introduced to Congress. As do most bills, this one has a nickname: The Mother’s Act. It is still pending. (website below)

The Mother’s Act revolves around postpartum depression (PPD). The gist of the bill deals with grant money being given to states that provide education to new mothers regarding PPD. The bill summary reads:

To ensure that new mothers and their families are educated about postpartum depression, screened for symptoms, and provided with essential services, and to increase research at the National Institutes of Health on postpartum depression.

There is much controversy about the bill. Many argue over language. Many argue over the requirements of the bill. Many say that the bill is a ploy to “medicate” bored mothers in order to fill the pockets of the drug companies. Others argue about medical staff liability and misdiagnosis. (I’m not going to get in to it.)

The arguing ALL deeply saddens me. We are called to be a community. To be our “brother’s” keeper.

I strongly agree that mothers should be educated about PPD upon leaving the birthing facility (or if an at-home birth, by their care giver). They may not have heard otherwise. PPD is indeed very scary and no-one should have to battle it.

But don’t wait for the government to step up. Fill the gap.

I also think that PPD should be shared in Public Service Announcements, in teen pregnancy centers, at church, on your block, with your friends, family and any one you encounter!!

If you know someone who is pregnant (or adopting*), simply tell her to be aware of her emotions. And then offer that she can come to you first. Maybe the mother is not sure. The best medicine is an ear and a shoulder.

Love your neighbor. Wouldn’t you want the same?


Some things to know about PPD:

  • PPD can occur immediately after birth up to many months or even a year or more later.
  • The father can develop PPD.
  • *Mothers and Fathers who adopt can experience PPD.
  • There does not have to be any history (for that mother) of depression for PPD to occur.
  • I feel it is important to note, the depression can begin during pregnancy.
  • Some clinicians are using newer language for PPD. You may her it referred to as “Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders.” I think that is a good thing. You may not experience depression. You may have an anxiety “disorder” as a new mom.
  • If clinical diagnosis indicates PPD, keep calling/checking your friend/relative. As I said, your care and concern is the best medicine.
  • If you have PPD, do not be afraid or feel stigmatized to get whatever help you need to get through. You do not have to struggle alone.
  • The symptom “list” or definition of PPD is not exhaustive. PPD is different for everyone.
  • Be careful about what you read about PPD (on either side). Do your homework.
  • Be careful about what you read about the Mother’s Act (on either side). Do your homework.

Read the Bill: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s110-1375
Follow the Bill: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/110-s1375/show
Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/postpartum-depression/DS00546

Here are two sites I came across, but have not fully reviewed:

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