7 Quick Takes: Why I Would Make the Bestest Quick Takes Host (Next to Kelly or Jen Fulwiler)

7 Quick Takes

I’m needing something to distract me from the trouble I’m having in finding an educational placement for Daniel so I thought I’d take on Kelly’s question from last week and tell her (and y’all) why I would be the best Quick Takes hostess other than Kelly and Jen Fulwiler.

— 1 —

I’ve been blogging for 15 years. I started blogging in August of 2000 and have been blogging in various shapes and forms since then using Greymatter, Livejournal, Moveable Type, Blogger, b2, and finally WordPress. From 2003 to 2005, I was a moderator on the blogs4God portal which included a number of Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox blogs and also included people like Mark Shea and Amy Wellborn. I even remember Fr. Z from the days when he was an admin for the Catholic Online Forum on Compuserve.

— 2 —

I bring diversity to the Quick Takes. Unlike a lot of people who take part in them, I’m not Catholic. I’m an Episcopal revert married to a Lutheran pastor. πŸ™‚ I also send my kiddo to public school unlike a lot of the homeschooling moms on here.

— 3 —

I am, in the words of St. Paul, “all things to all people”. I’m one of the few Protestant bloggers out there who has actually read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (all of it during the Year of Faith stemming from a dare that Cari made) and I’ve also read a few papal encyclicals. I can explain Catholic teaching to Protestants and I can explain the spectrum of Protestants to Catholics given that I’m fluent in the lingo and polity of a number of Christian traditions.

— 4 —

I can blog on music… and have! I’ve done a couple Lenten blogging things where I have blogged on contemporary Christian songs I like as well as hymnody and sacred music. (They’re here, here, and here.) I also blog on whatever songs are reaching me at the moment. (Currently, it’s “Baba Yetu” from Peter Hollens and featuring Malukah.)

— 5 —

I’m an author too! OK… I’ve been published in an anthology of devotions based on the Gospel of Luke and I have a few (like 6) unpublished NaNoWriMo pieces in addition to the one I’m working on this year.

— 6 —

I also blog on raising a kiddo with special needs. My son Daniel is autistic. I can tell you all about ABA therapy, dealing with apraxia, and how freaking wonderful it is when he finally gets something that we have been working on for a while.

— 7 —

I’m awesome in my own way. I haven’t built complicated Halloween costumes for Daniel or run 35K for SMA awareness and advocacy but… I have done 6 Promise Walks (I was the survivor speaker for the San Jose one in 2014), done multiple blogathons to raise money for worthy causes, crocheted bandages for Global Heath Ministries, crocheted afghans for afghans for Afghans, written Confirmation curricula, and lived out my vocation as a pastor’s wife, Daniel’s mama, and a child of God. πŸ™‚

Not to mention, I’m fabulous at fencing with palm fronds.

On guard!

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

7 Quick Takes: Thank God It’s Almost Friday!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Because I *TOTALLY* want to start a battle on here today! Seriously, who has natural births these days? It’s, like, so primitive of people. [/snark]

BabyCenter: Why no one should ever throw shade at c-sections

Seriously, I hope y’all can have the birth experience you want and if you didn’t for whatever reason, it doesn’t make you any less of a mama. So please, for the love of all things holy, stop whining about how c-sections are so crappy and unnecessary and going off on how natural birth is *SO* much superior. My c-section was the best birth experience possible: mama lived and baby lived. End of story.

— 2 —

If you send a mom an email… Angie of The Jammie Girl had a delightful post about what happens if you send a mom an email. (It’s a parody of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.)

— 3 —

Getting Ella some wheels. There has been some crowdsourcing this week to try and get a sport wheelchair for the daughter of blogger Rebecca Frech. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas has been being buttheaded about approving an appropriate wheelchair for Ella and so some bloggers decided to do something about it. Since Rebecca gave up cursing for Lent, people created an online swear jar for the purpose of raising the $$$$ for Ella’s chair. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has since relented (after a brief Twitter campaign) and is working with Rebecca but if you’d like to help out, you can go here.

Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum put together a positively *LOVELY* video on the subject (being more than familiar with “negotiating” these things):

— 4 —

Update on the Lenten disciplines. I seriously almost cried yesterday morning because I had a late night on Tuesday night while working on taxes and had to be at Daniel’s school at 8 to meet with the school psychologist about some IEP-related things before heading to Bible study. A can of Coke would have been *REALLY* useful… but I promised Jesus not to consume any until April 5th at midnight. *grumbles* Instead, I stopped at the $tarbux inside one of the local grocery stores and got my iced vanilla lattΓ© with whole milk.

The offering up of my day on behalf of someone else has been a blessing as it’s allowing me to try and do something to benefit others even if I don’t have the time and resources to do it in person.

— 5 —

Good customer service. I had to go to Staples on Monday for a new “binder of fun” because the one I use for education was getting too full. When I was checking out, I was having to get my debit card out one-handed because my other hand was holding on to Daniel. The assistant manager took it upon herself to talk to him and try to entertain him while I was doing this. I thanked her for this and she told me that when I come in, he will always be treated like a person.

If you’re in the La Verne area, please go patronize them. πŸ™‚

— 6 —

Plans for my 35th birthday. I turn 35 years old on May 19th and I decided to do a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia instead of getting a mid-life crisis tattoo. Details (and my SUPER-SECRET last name) are here.

And yes, I am *TOTALLY* taking a page from Kelly on this one. πŸ˜‰

— 7 —

Love. As I was leaving Bible study on Wednesday, one of the women called after me that she hadn’t received her hug. Given that this woman is 94 years old and reminds me so incredibly much of my grandma, I definitely raced back to hug her. She kissed my cheek and told me that she loved me.

My day was totally made. πŸ™‚

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

An Easter Hymn

A story regarding this hymn: we were at someone’s house for Christmas 2004 and we were having a jam session with their son. During said session, we discovered that you can actually sing “Jingle Bells” to the tune used for this hymn (“Noel Nouvelet”, a 15th century French carol). We had a parishioner who HATED this particular hymn so we were only allowed to sing it ONCE at Easter and the three of us couldn’t look at each other as we sang it because we knew we’d laugh.

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

In the grave they laid Him, Love Whom we had slain,
Thinking that He??d never wake to life again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

Up He sprang at Easter, like the risen grain,
He that for three days in the grave had lain;
Up from the dead my risen Lord is seen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

When our hearts are saddened, grieving or in pain,
By Your touch You call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.
(HT: NetHymnal)

The hymn sung by choristers at Ely Cathedral:

What I’ve Learned This Lent

This would have been up sooner but I spent much of yesterday evening in the Pediatric ER at UCD Medical Center with Daniel after he suffered a febrile seizure. (Translation: he spiked a fever really quickly and it triggered a seizure.) I was telling the paramedics that it was ironic that I was in an ambulance because I’d been in one three years earlier when they were having to transfer me to Great Falls to have my emergency c-section.

So… this is what I’ve learned this Lent:

[+] My taste in worship music is not strictly Protestant. It might be that I have more Catholic readers than Protestant these days but a lot of my Catholic friends liked my favorite hymns and worship songs or had some interesting commentary on them. I shouldn’t be surprised because some of those hymns are pretty universal but some of it did surprise me in a good way.

[+] I really need to get a subscription to Sojourners magazine. I could seriously write pages of commentary on every article that appears on my Facebook wall or in my email. It’s wonderful to find like-minded people and a like-minded publication because I seem to defy all labels as to what kind of Christian I am.

[+] I get by with a little help from my friends. It’s been a Lent full of humbling myself and asking people to pray for me when I knew I was going to be dealing with some really hard things. In exchange, I’ve prayed for other friends when they’ve expressed the need for prayer. It’s been a blessing to pray for others and to receive their prayers which isn’t surprising but still an awesome thing.

[+] I am seriously a broken person. I struggle with jealousy, anger, pride, and trust issues when it comes to my relationship with God. Some of this was blogged out and other things were dealt with over Twitter or on Facebook. None of this is surprising — I wouldn’t be utterly dependent on the Cross if I had the capacity to be perfect.

[+] There is more worship music out there on YouTube than I thought. I had no idea that my favorite Communion hymn was out there or that a lot of my other favorite songs had multiple videos. Such an awesome discovery.

[+] I learned a lot about my faith and how far I’ve come. I don’t think I could have dealt with Daniel’s seizure yesterday if I hadn’t dealt with his traumatic birth and the hospital stay last year. Yes, I was sobbing when the paramedics arrived and when they were loading us into the ambulance. However, I persevered and Daniel is OK.

[+] I learned how completely awesome Tim Hawkins is. Christians need to learn how to laugh at each other and how to laugh at ourselves. Tim does a great job with that.

I’ll post something for Easter Sunday tomorrow but I wanted to do kind of a review here on Holy Saturday.

Good Friday

I love Good Friday because all the music is 16th and 17th century stuff and I love Baroque. These are my favorite Good Friday hymns. The first one is “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” which isn’t old but I love the Spanish-influenced guitar and the way Fernando Ortega does it. The second one is “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” (also known as “O Sacred Head Surrounded”) done by Fernando Ortega, chosen because I love the way he sets it. The last one is “Ah Holy Jesus” and I love the way they set it (no idea who is recording it) as well as the harmonies.

One More Hymn for Maundy Thursday

I was SERIOUSLY jazzed to find my favorite Communion hymn on YouTube.

The words:

Now we join in celebration
At the Savior’s invitation,
Dressed no more in spirit somber,
Clothed instead in joy and wonder;
For the Lord of all existence,
Putting off divine transcendence,
Stoops again in love to meet us,
With his very life to feed us.

Lord, as round this feat we gather,
Fill our hearts with holy rapture!
For this bread and cup of blessing
Are for us the sure posessing
Of your loving deed on Calv’ry,
Of your living self, our vict’ry,
Pledge of your unfailing presence,
Foretaste here of heav’nly gladness.

Lord, we share in this communion
As one fam’ly of God’s children,
Reconciled through you, our brother,
One in you with God our Father.
Give us grace to live for others,
Serving all, both friends and strangers,
Seeking justice, love, and mercy
Till you come in final glory.
–LBW 203

The music:

Maundy Thursday Music

For those wondering, I managed to get through my phone call to Social Security without swearing at them… at least over the phone. I was not having charitable thoughts. I’ll take this up the next time I do confession.

Today is Maundy Thursday (at least that’s what the Anglicans and Lutherans call it) with Maundy coming from the Latin word “mandatum”. If you read the story in John 12-14, you see Jesus commanding his apostles to wash each other’s feet, eating the bread and drinking the wine in His memory, and to love each other.

I could probably attempt to write a treatise on the Eucharist and how it’s an example of anamnesis but I don’t feel called to do that. I have the theological knowledge and the Greek knowledge but it’s late and forced recall is not a strong suit when I’m tired. Instead, I’m posting two YouTube videos.

First Youtube video: “How Beautiful” by Twila Paris with scenes from “The Passion of the Christ”. I first heard this song 10 years ago when the church I was attending based their midweek Lent sermons around it. It’s beautiful and somewhat ironic that it’s used for weddings and for Holy Week.

The second video is of the song “The Summons” which came out of the Iona community. I sang it 15 years ago and it embedded itself in my brain. The reason I include it is the repetition of “will you _______ and never be the same?” I know for me that my life has never been the same since I came to faith and if it was the same, I would wonder what was going wrong. Living out our faith changes us and I fully believe that it prevents us from ever being the same as we were before knowing Jesus.