Some Food for Thought

I get pieces of C.S. Lewis’ writings by email every day and this is from last week. It’s pretty accurate as to the conversion experience.

You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him of whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.
–C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 12, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 12, 2014

Outside my window… dark. It was fairly warm today.

I am thinking… about my nutritionist consult tomorrow that I’ll have to reschedule because Daniel has diarrhea.

I am thankful… for being able to get away for a little bit the last couple days.

In the kitchen… chicken hotdish that I made and portioned out to be frozen.

I am wearing… brown shirt with a ruched collar and black running shorts.

I am creating… this entry and a baby blanket.

I am going… out to replace my headphones when Jon gets home from his concert.

I am wondering… what injury Daniel is going to give me this week. He gave me a minor concussion last week and he almost hit me with my lapdesk a few minutes ago.

I am reading… The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, S.J. — I’m almost done with it.

I am hoping… my stomach calms down.

I am looking forward to… my massage this Friday. (It got rescheduled from last week because my massage therapist had the flu.)

I am learning how to remove gel nail polish.

Around the house… *puts fingers in ears* I can’t hear youuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!

I am pondering… waaaaaaay too many things.

A favorite quote for today… After seeing Fr. Jim Martin, S.J. on the Colbert Report talking about income inequality, I though of the following:

??If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.?? — Stephen Colbert

One of my favorite things… quiet so I can pray.

A few plans for the rest of the week: ABA therapy for Daniel Monday to Friday, possibly Morning Prayer on Tuesday, and my massage on Friday.

A peek into my day… I still don’t have my laptop (and thus can’t upload pics) so we’ll just go with a funny Youtube video.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

7 Quick Takes: Back In the Saddle… Sort Of

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Still no laptop. HP is still holding my laptop captive and I now have two case managers working on this because HP sent me through Canada at first. The second one couldn’t find me in the system so he took ownership… and the first one called me on Tuesday to say he was working on this. Yeah… this should be fun. Thankfully, Jon has given me his laptop to use when he’s not home and late at night when he’s asleep… and when I should also theoretically be sleeping. I’ve kinda sorta figured things out but I’m still looking forward to getting my laptop back.

**UPDATE** I talked to HP and because it probably won’t get fixed for another 3 weeks and it’s been 3 weeks since I mailed it in, they’re replacing it for free.

— 2 —

Post-concussion syndrome. Daniel was having a really hard day on Saturday and was melting down quite a bit. He was on my lap and I was trying to get him to calm down when he leaned forward and threw his head and self back into me, hitting me in the face. My glasses thankfully didn’t break (thank God for flexible frames!) but I ended up with what the nurse practitioner at the clinic thought was a mild concussion as I had a headache and nausea the next day. The head pain has gone away but the nausea has still remained. Sigh…

— 3 —

Possible food allergies. I had blood taken on Tuesday to test for celiac disease. It was billed as a food allergy panel so maybe we’ll find out if I’m allergic to anything else? I’m not wanting to give up any foods to which I’m not allergic, mostly because my diet is pretty limited by other things. I’m also dealing with an eating disorder of sorts because I have so many friends doing “real food”, a pale diet, etc. and I’m admittedly dealing with the fact that I’m afraid of eating. I finally asked for a nutrition consult which will be this coming Monday so that maybe we can figure out a diet for me.

— 4 —

Orphans. Do you see these precious children?

L-R: Brett and Iris

Brett still needs a mama. Iris finally has a family committed to her and their dossier has been submitted to her country.

— 5 —

New Year’s resolution. Because I’m awesome this way, my BIG New Year’s resolution was to pray the Jesuit examen nightly. Yes, I’m a Lutheran and praying the examen. I find the Jesuits have a lot of habits that work well for me. It probably doesn’t hurt that the author of the book I’m reading on it is the official chaplain of the Colbert Report. 😉

Anyway, I’m finding the examen is freaking awesome. I wonder if the Jesuits take married Lutheran women…

— 6 —

OMG Big Bang Theory!!!!! Apparently, I missed an episode of The Big Bang Theory because I did not know that Penny had proposed to Leonard before I saw some previews for this episode yesterday. Oops! Thankfully, I was able to catch up before tonight’s episode.

— 7 —

For those who are frustrated with church things…

Fr. Jim Martin recorded this for frustrated Catholics but I think this applies across the board for Christendom. Seriously, it applies to every parish and denomination I’ve been part of in my almost 20 years as a Christian.

(And yes, I know I’m late to the party on this one.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at ConversionDiary.Com.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 5, 2014

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY January 5, 2014

Outside my window… dark. It was in the 60’s here in northern California today which I know is the polar opposite of most of the country. Stay warm, y’all! Don’t go outside unless you absolutely have to do so!

I am thinking… about my 6 year tenure in the Upper Midwest/Mountain West and the sub-zero temps I had to endure then. It was miserable when I was pregnant with Daniel and we had -20F temperatures for three solid weeks. I remember driving to work wearing gloves with mittens over them and then socks over the mittens and my hands just ached from the cold.

I am thankful… for Jon taking Daniel on a Winco/Trader Joe’s excursion today to give me some quiet time; and also for letting me take off yesterday afternoon and this afternoon to get some quiet after dealing with a seriously crabby child who did not like having boundaries enforced.

In the kitchen… dishes to do. Wheeeeee!!!!!

I am wearing… plum-colored t-shirt and my new black sweats/yoga pants.

I am creating… this blog entry!

I am going… to the doctor tomorrow to make sure I didn’t end up with a concussion yesterday when Daniel launched himself back into my face.

I am wondering… about various things related to the Jahi McMath case. It’s semi-local news for me and has occupied the headlines here for the last month. It’s definitely sad no matter how you look at it and unfortunately has become a complete media circus instead of just being a sad case of surgery complications.

I am reading… The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, S.J. — I’m one of his fan girls.

I am hoping… resuming potty-training for Daniel goes well tomorrow.

I am looking forward to… Ladies’ Night Out on Wednesday.

I am learning whether or not I have celiac disease this week.

Around the house… cleaning to do.

I am pondering… the quote below among other things.

A favorite quote for today… “Seek grace in the smallest things, and you will also find grace to accomplish, to believe in, and to hope for the greatest things.” — Bl. Peter Favre

One of my favorite things… tabbies with excellent motors.

A few plans for the rest of the week: ABA therapy Monday to Friday for Daniel, doctor’s appointment for me tomorrow, Ladies’ Night Out on Wednesday night, and my massage on Friday.

Hosted by The Simple Woman’s Daybook

Concert Report and Scrooge Sighting

Kym here again, and yes, this is after Jen has returned. I’ve been meaning to write this all week, and time has not permitted until now.

First the Scrooge(s) sighting. Dean and I were downtown Sacramento, literally across the street from the capitol building for a concert last week. It was Saturday, December 28. Now I realize it was after Christmas, but only by a few days. There was not one “holiday” light, no tree, no nothing at the capitol building. Nada. While our state government might have been trying to impress all of us with how much they are saving by not lighting Christmas lights, knowing how they are, I think it is much more likely that we are surrounded by grinches and scrooges. Jerks.

Anyway, on to the concert report. We saw Straight No Chaser. It was a fabulous show. I’ve liked them for a couple of years, and Dean was willing to go with me, and we both had a good time. The first half was not Christmas music, but all kinds of other things – some medleys, some fun stuff, and silliness throughout. The second half was all Christmas, which was delightful. The audience was laughing the whole time, both at the music and at the shenanigans happening on stage.

During the intermission I was able to get a couple of CDs and a t-shirt. My very first concert t-shirt ever! They definitely know their fanbase (fat middle aged women) because they had shirts in my size (3X) and in purple. After the show, I got one of the CD jackets signed by all the guys. It was terrific. If you get a chance to see them, I highly recommend it.

I’d had my hair and makeup done, since this was a big date night for the two of us, and I’d been gifted with a hair/makeup certificate at a local salon. So I looked good. I felt good. And this turned out to be very important because we bumped into an ex of mine. I was able to have the attitude of “see what you missed out on?” It is kind of fun to be able to gloat that way. When the ex tried to invite himself to dinner with Dean and I, I told him it was a special date night for us. And it was – but while we were at dinner, we figured out that it was an extra special date. 13 years ago last Saturday night was the first time Dean and I met IRL. We’d been emailing and talking for months, but that date was the first face time we’d had.

Oh, and the concert was at The Crest Theater, one of the first movie palaces built in Sacramento. The architecture and decor were amazing. I took some pictures, but they didn’t come out well.

Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome back Jen.

Link-Up: What to Read in 2014

I’m joining Liesl in talking about what to read this year.


Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin, S.J. The guy is the official chaplain of Colbert Nation — I trust him with my spirituality. 😉 In all seriousness, he is incredibly entertaining as a speaker and he writes in a way that is accessible to everyone, not just Catholics or Jesuits. This particular book of his makes a compelling case for having a sense of humor about one’s faith and realizing that God is chill with us laughing at ourselves and things in our spirituality.


What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey. This is a book focused on what grace is, what grace looks like, and why grace is the thing that distinguishes Christianity from every other religion in the world. Every Christian needs to read it regardless if you’re Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox.


A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. Can I just say that I want to be Rachel Held Evans when I grow up… and I’m a year older than she is? I swear that she’s my long lost twin, at least in how she writes and how she speaks about things. She has my same snarky sense of humor and she isn’t afraid to ask questions as a way to shore up her faith. This book covers a year in her life where she explores aspects of “biblical womanhood” which is a nebulous phrase thrown around frequently in evangelical circles.


The Bible. Most of my blog readers are Christian and I’m addressing this to them in addition to those who read this blog who aren’t. Read through the Gospels and learn about Jesus. Read the Psalms and see how the people of God pray and how we are called to pray in all circumstances. Read the Book of Acts and see how the faith spread through the Middle East, Greece, and Rome. Read the Book of Job and see how faith can endure through suffering and how God is present even in the midst of it.


Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint by Nadia Bolz-Weber. I’m a conservative and confessional Lutheran who is part of a denomination that doesn’t ordain woman and yet I’m recommending this book. The reason: Nadia has an annoying habit of telling things as she sees them and I think we need to listen, regardless of whether or not we agree.

Now that you have your reading list, go show Liesl some love and thank her for hosting this link-up!

Done with My Sabbatical But Still No Laptop

Jon has offered his laptop to me until mine comes back from the repair facility. My mother-in-law lent me hers while I was down there so I’ve been able to read the guest posts during my sabbatical. My deepest thanks to Kym, Mandi, and Beth Anne for doing some guest posts while I was with family. I appreciate the three of you so much!

While I was gone…

-I read some good books: Mysteries of the Middle Ages And the Beginning of the Modern World by Thomas Cahill, Death’s Parallel by Oakley Jordan, and the first chapter of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin, S.J. (the official chaplain of Colbert Nation).

-I spent some time with family and friends: December 25-28 in San Jose where I spent time with my parents, had coffee with my friend Rebecca, and took some walks with Daniel. December 28-January 2nd was spent in Claremont with my in-laws. I got to see my nephew Patrick (who at 7 months outweighs Daniel at 2 years old — he’s a chubby baby but I also have a seriously underweight child) and some of Jon’s extended family as well as get some rest while my mother-in-law took over Daniel care.

-I’ve been limited in my Facebook and Twitter time which isn’t a bad thing.

-I’ve escalated things with HP to the point where I now have my own case manager. I’m calling them daily to get updates on my laptop since nobody seems to know what’s going on. I think Kelly is right — this is customer service hell!

I uploaded all my text files onto my cloud before I sent in my laptop so I thankfully have everything necessary to participate in memes. Now, I think I’ll go hit up Target for some latches to replace the ones that Daniel has figured out. (Life with an autistic kid is not boring in the slightest.)