7 Quick Takes: Why I’m Helping At VBS Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s week 1 of VBS at the Spanish-speaking mission attached to my congregation. We had a team from multiple churches in the diocese doing it this week as a mission trip, and I volunteered to help them in the kitchen. I’m not volunteering tomorrow (Daniel is off of school), so I thought I’d talk about WHY I’m helping this week.

Also, if you’d like to help refugees and give me some help in reaching my Camp NaNoWriMo word goals, my fundraiser for RAICES is here.

— 1 —

Because I have nothing better to do. My demon child has started ESY and I have four hours to myself. Why not go spend time on my sore feet in a steamy kitchen?

— 2 —

Because my First Aid skills needed a thorough retest. Apparently, I do know what to do if some idiot tosses 180F water on themselves… especially when *I* am that idiot. (The answer: strip every affected piece of clothing off and douse in cold water, except for my shirt because I didn’t want to be standing in the kitchen in my bra.)

— 3 —

Because I have fiendish plans for global domination by teaching everyone on earth the “Penguin Song”. Actually… I kind of do! (Not to mention, everyone loved it and it will now probably be sung at diocesan youth gatherings.)

— 4 —

Because the steam from the industrial dishwasher is a great facial. My skin is better this week, even if I’ve had to work without my glasses on to keep myself from being bat blind for several hours.

— 5 —

Because I get fed. I was going to be snarky about this one, but I’ve enjoyed having other people make me breakfast. It’s nice not having to make my own bacon… and I never make bacon for myself!

— 6 —

Because we had an amazing team putting on VBS this week. Last year, some of this group came in to do the food while next week’s team was doing the program. This year, it’s youth and adults from four different churches combining for the first week, and the bigger church coming and doing it next week. The combined group has been SO. MUCH. FUN! They all get into doing the Penguin Song with me, we brainstormed verses for “Boom-Chicka-Boom” today, and they have been super flexible with making things work for the kids.

— 7 —

Because these are the coolest kids in the world. I wish I could share pictures of the kids from this week because they are so precious. They are so happy to see me, they enjoy having fun, they say “please” and “thank you”, and some of them patiently taught me my colors and numbers in Spanish two years ago while playing UNO. It really saddens me that these are the kids who would be in the horrible conditions on the southern border, and they are one of the reasons I’m being so utterly vocal about the issue.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

How to Help Immigrants on the Southern Border

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Unless you live in your own little bubble, you’ve heard about the concentration camp situation at the southern border of the USA. I’m sure there are people who would say that I’m being a drama queen… and those people need to read this. The actions taking place in denying these kids basic hygiene, clothes, and their families is unconscionable. If you want to pull a FOX News and say that “these aren’t our kids”, I pray God has mercy on your soul because you are in violation of Matthew 25:34-45.

Please share this liberally. All I ask is that you credit me with a link as “Jen of Meditatio” as I don’t use my last name online.

Anyway, before I start listing groups off, I want to remind people that I will gladly kill you off creatively in my Camp NaNoWriMo piece this month in exchange for a donation to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). Details are here.

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7 Quick Takes: Sumer Is Icumen In Edition

7 Quick Takes

**WARNING** I’m going to get political and say this unapologetically: if you support the evil of taking kids away from their parents and housing them in concentration camp conditions, read this and if you still think there’s nothing wrong with what’s going on and you claim to be a Christian, I pray that God has mercy on you because you are a horrible human being.

My deepest thanks to my friend Sarah for speaking out about all of this on Facebook. I’ve been sharing everything she has posted and some of those things are in this post.

— 1 —

An explanation of the title. I learned this round in high school, and it is a favorite of mine.

Also, people might actually read what I’m about to say if I don’t put that I’m getting political in the title.

— 2 —

Concentration Camp Take #1. How the actual [expletive] do our elected officials not think this is wrong? These statements could very easily have been taken from the concentration camps run by the Nazis.

— 3 —

Concentration Camp Take #2. Do you think that I’m just playing politics? Here is an essay that accurately reflects my religious beliefs on the subject. Bible verses are included.

— 4 —

Concentration Camp Take #3. For those who claim that they would support asylees entering the USA if they were doing it the right way, you might want to read this instead of letting the idiots at Fox News give you bad information.

— 5 —

Concentration Camp Take #4.

The real way Anne Frank died.

— 6 —

Concentration Camp Take #5. Want to help? Here is a place you can donate money to help fight these atrocities legally. Here is another blog post with a list of ways to help.

I will have a post up on Monday morning with a list of all of these things plus addresses for elected officials.

— 7 —

Get killed off for charity! I’m taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this July and will gladly kill you off in a creative way in exchange for a donation to Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). My fundraising page is here. (If you want to donate without dying in my novel, that’s fine too!)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Reasons I’m Tired Tonight Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel isn’t sleeping well. We think it’s him feeling hungry and not knowing how to process that. Because Daniel. I’ve been trying to enforce EXTRA drinking of milk to keep him full and I’ve upped his feed.

— 2 —

PTK induction. I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa (international 2-year college honor society) tonight. I was invited to join in Fall 2017, but I’ve been a little busy. My mom was watching Daniel and Dad surprised me by showing up.

Dad and me at the induction

— 3 —

Portfolio. My portfolio for my Final Project class is due tomorrow. I have almost everything printed out and done, but Sage was being catty yesterday and I need to redo and print out a report for it. I blame the LA Dodgers.

— 4 —

Puke. I hadn’t been gone for five minutes tonight when Mom called to let me know that Daniel puked (of course) and asked if she should give him tomorrow’s meds as he presumably puked up tonight’s. I was on the road to school, so I said “yes”. Well, I’m not totally sure now and am keeping an eye on him. At least he’s sleeping?

— 5 —

Donald Trump is still in office. His mere existence tires me.

— 6 —

Pentecost. I’m writing the prayers for Pentecost and I need to translate them into Spanish… or at least send them to my translation staff, one of whom came into tutoring last week and scolded me for not having them done yet. (God bless my “translation staff” of students!)

— 7 —

Forged in Fire. I’ve been watching “Forged in Fire” reruns while I’ve done homework lately… and this sometimes has me up too late. Oops!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: May 27, 2019

For Today… May 27, 2019

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. Daniel and I might head to the park later while we’re doing errands.

I am thinking… about job-hunting.

I am thankful… for the men and woman who have sacrificed their lives while serving this country.

One of my favorite things… quiet. Unfortunately, Daniel is home today and in a cranky mood, so he is yelling right now. (Autism is fun.)

I am wearing… black fitted tee from Old Navy and capris from Kohl’s

I am creating… forms and documents for my Document Production class.

I am watching… reruns of Forged in Fire. Thank goodness for On Demand!

I am hoping… Daniel settles down. He had a crappy night last night where he was unable to get to sleep easily, and he’s a pill today as a result. The rest of us are feeling similar and trying to stay out of the way of each other.

I am learning… where my trouble spots are in putting together business reports. It’s frustrating because the things I’m missing are opinion things in the mind of the computer program.

In my kitchen… hot dogs last night. I don’t know if Dad wants to do anything special tonight for Memorial Day.

In the school room… Daniel has a few weeks of school to go. We’re going to work on reading this summer during his daytime feeds.

Post Script… this is a very sweet story.

Shared Quote… “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” — Neil Gaiman, Coraline

A moment from my day… Thinking of Grandpa today.

My grandfather's memorial marker

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

Saying Grace (Repost)

I wrote this in June 2003 but I refer people to it enough that I thought it deserved to be re-posted.

In small group tonight, we were talking about prayer and witnessing before diving into the Book of Revelation. One of the contexts given was saying grace in a public place like a restaurant and it reminded me of this…

Since I embraced Christ at age 14, I’ve been fairly intentional about praying before I eat. I was subtle about it at first and got bolder as time went on. By the time I left for college at age 18, I was praying before meals regularly. I wasn’t obnoxious about it — I’d just bow my head for a few moments — but I was very conscious to do so. At first, this really puzzled the motley crew of non-Christian influences with whom I hung out in college and the joke became that I was “waiting for the Lactaid to kick in” if I was eating with Das Group. People knew to just hold off on conversating with me for however long my head was bowed and I didn’t make a huge deal out of it.

I was really focused on being inconspicuous at first because I thought I was shoving my faith in peoples’ faces but everyone was really OK with it and some people actually told me during some of the deeper one-on-one conversations we had that they really thought that it was cool. Others would bow their heads with me if we were all going out to eat and my friend Amy actually asked if we could say grace when we ate together in our apartment during our senior year. Granted, it was a silent prayer but it was a time to give credit to the One who made it possible to have the food on our plates. I’ve gotten lax about my quiet times lately and even praying before I fall asleep (I tend to fall asleep *while* praying a lot of the time) but I’m still very vigilant about saying grace. This puzzles me because I’m doing the little prayers instead of the big ones; but by the same token, I’m also acknowledging my gratefulness to the Lord for what I have and that I would not have it without Him.

Another thing that came of saying grace was that it taught my friends about how much my faith meant in my life. In November 1999, my life was in pieces (literally) and I came into the dining hall one morning in tears. I was eating alone and my friend Amy came and sat down with me and asked me what was wrong, which made me cry harder. She then said the most magical words I’ve ever heard, “Jen, do you want to pray about this?” The reason they were so magical was that Amy was a non-believer (at the time) and it was like “SHE UNDERSTANDS!!!” She offered her hand and I took it and we prayed silently for probably a good 10 minutes. I still get weepy thinking about it because I don’t know if Amy will ever understand how much it meant to me that she sat there and prayed with me. All I know is that she understood that prayer was important in my life at the time and she wanted to help me in a way that was meaningful to me. Other of my friends would ask me to pray with them (also non-believers at the time though some have come to Christ since our graduation) and though I’d be judicious in my wording, it was still an affirmation of my faith and in a way saying that they understood the power prayer could have. Saying grace was a way I could witness to people about my faith and it was an expression of my dependence on God for everything.

I heard a lot about being intentional and praying VERY audibly in restaurants as a way of witnessing. (By “VERY audibly”, I’m talking a voice level 3-4 times above normal.) I think that instead of praying so loudly that others DEFINITELY hear us (cf. Luke 18:9-14), we should pray as we normally do and let people notice us. Believe me… they WILL and I’ve gotten comments on it even when I’ve prayed silently to myself at $tarbuck$ (literally waiting for the Lactaid to kick in). I remember the impact it made on me as a newly-minted Christian to see two people praying over their bear claws at $tarbuck$ and I think that it can have similar impacts on other people.

My $0.02 for what it is worth.

7 Quick Takes: Only 6 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel update. We saw the psychiatrist at the Autism Center again today and he is keeping Daniel on the dose of meds that we titrated up to last week. I didn’t quite realize until we were talking to him that Daniel’s behavior is actually good on this new dose. Now if we can keep him from waking up at 4:30 a.m. and bouncing off the walls…

— 2 —

Interesting… The psychiatrist commented that he has seen more than a few kids with Daniel’s genetic abnormality that is responsible for his autism and they tend to have similar behavior, food issues, etc. In other words, THIS IS NOT BECAUSE WE VACCINATED HIM.

(Seriously… there are STILL people who harp on this despite studies coming out daily showing that VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.)

— 3 —

Hematology. I saw my lovely hematologist on Friday afternoon and he referred me for more bloodwork. My red cells are funky, my clotting factors are OK, my folate is too high, and some of the other factors are off. I’ve tried googling this stuff and I’m not finding anything conclusive, so I’m going to have to wait until Tuesday when I see my hematologist again to find out what’s up. It might be that they’ll have me do repeat tests every so often to see if/when I’m heading toward anemia. We’re also going to see if a hysterectomy helps with it at all because it seems like my body is losing red blood cells faster than it can make them.

— 4 —

Rachel Held Evans. If you want to understand why I and many other Christians (Protestants and Catholics alike) are mourning her, read this hashtag.

— 5 —

School update. I’m required to do a mock employment interview for my Final Project class and I went to interview with the head of the BASAM program at school… who happens to be a former Fortune 500 VP who worked all over southeast Asia. It was interesting and also really good practice for what to say and how to answer questions that I might be asked. She asked if I would connect to her on LinkedIn in case one of her local friends has a job that might fit me. Score!

— 6 —

Game of Thrones. I’m betting on Daenerys winning the throne. Because girls and dragons! Not that I’ve ever seen more than a few minutes of the show…

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.