sick day

12:45 PM – Piglet is asleep. in her crib. during the day.  for more than 30 minutes.  and this is her third nap.  and she woke up this morning AFTER 6:00 AM.  This is a big deal around here because usually she’s not big on sleep during the day, but it’s not really a good thing.  She’s sick today.  She’s had a little cold for a week, and today she had a pretty high fever.  We are going to the doctor in an hour. 

I am a little frustrated because since she started daycare, I’ve stayed home with her four days because she caught something at school.  And she’s only been going a month.  I wonder if other parents are acting responsibly and keeping their kids home when they’re sick…I’m doubting it, since that’s where Piglet picks up all of her germs.  I know it’s a big incovenience to keep your kid at home when you have a job and only so many days off, but it’s not fair to the other families.  I know she’s bound to get sick, and she needs to build up her immune system, but twice in one month? 

But at least I have a flexible job and can do a lot of work from home.

I had to stop typing because Piglet woke up.  Now it’s 6:15 PM.  The verdict – her first ear infection.  She is on her fourth outfit; I am on my third.  Aparently high fever and ear infections make some kids throw up as well.  lovely.  She is just so pitiful, so tired, so uncomfortable.  But daddy’s here now, and we are with grammy at her house to watch the USC game.  So things are looking up.  Hopefully she will feel better tomorrow.

Live like no one else

Yesterday, we had free tickets to go to the Dave Ramsey “Total Money Makeover Live Event”…so we went – because I like free stuff.  Now, we are fortunate – we have basically done all of the baby steps in his plan.  We don’t have debt (except the house and now med school loans – and we aren’t taking out nearly as much as most); we have a good bit in our IRA/403b accounts; we have 3-6 months of expenses in savings.  And ministers aren’t exactly raking in the big bucks.  But we’re smart and practical.  We made it through college and seminary without debt at all – which is rare these days. 

But I went to the event because some church folks had talked about doing his “Financial Peace University” course at church.  This is an important issue that churches need to address, but after going to the event, I’m just not sure if this is the program we want to use.  It felt a little to me like the prosperity gospel – aka Joel Osteen.  (sidenote – one of the church members brought me an article on him today entitled, “God wants you to be rich now” because of a recent conversation on this very topic – ha).  Is that really what we are called to be – rich?  Dave Ramsey had a good beginning – being frugal, getting out of debt, saving money, and in the end he did talk about giving, but it seemed like an afterthought.  His slogan is “Live like no one else so later you can live like no one else”  meaning, if you are smart with your money now and make sacrifcices, then one day you can have all of the nice things – the nice cars, lobster, the big house, nice clothes – and still be debt free.  But why is that the goal?  He claims a Christian message and quotes a good bit of scripture, but to me faithful living is not working to become rich so you can have nice things, but working to be rich so you can be a blessing to others.  Ghandi said, “there is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”  That makes perfect sense, and goes right along with the biblical notions of Jubilee and redistribution.  I would love to see a cage match debate between Dave Ramsey and Shane Claiborne…I would even pay money for that.

Personally, the way I look at it, I am living on the generosity of others – my paycheck comes from the offering of the congregation.  To me, that’s a pretty big responsibility and I can’t justify frivilous spending.  Of course, we are particularly frugal right now with my love in school.  again.  We don’t have cable.  We don’t have nice cars.  We don’t have a big nice house in a nice neighborhood.  We don’t have fancy things – we have old second/third/fourth hand furniture and the things we got as wedding and baby gifts.  Don’t get me wrong – I am so thankful for what we have and know that others are not as fortunate.  I’m not complaining.  I’m just stating the facts.  And I think about my love being a fancy pants doctor one day…and I have an internal battle with myself.  On one hand, I want to have nice things – at least couches that aren’t blue and pink and stained and nasty.  I want a nicer house in a nicer neighborhood.  I want a pedicure.  I want TBS and TNT and USA and Lifetime and MTV.  But then I think about the Church Unbound conference we went to in the beginning of July…and the thought of simple living.  It’s not about how much you make, but how you spend it.  My love could be bringing in lots of money one day, but what could we really do with that?  It would be nice to splurge a little, but I feel called to be faithful.  To really “live like no one else”.  To give my money away joyfully and abundantly – to redistribute the wealth – to share the well.  I could go on forever…I won’t here, but the internal debate continues…

For those of you who come to read about light, funny things Piglet does, sorry – but here’s a little update – she’s WALKING.  crazy.  And she’s plays peekaboo really well.  She will hold a towel over her face (without any prompting) and wait until you say, “Where’s Piglet?”  Then she pulls it down and laughs hysterically as you say, “There she is”  And repeat…repeat…repeat….so much fun, I could play all day.

bustin a sag

For 3 of 5 mornings this week, the radio people have been talking about guys wearing their pants too low and showing off their undergarments.  I’ve learned a lot of “history.”  Such as, supposedly, this sagging your pants fashion statement began in prison as inmates were indicating whether or not they were available.  And now, supposedly, this is an indication of gang involvement.  The later indication is aparently cause for concern for the county council so one man has set out on a mission to get rid of gangs once and for all…by making it illegal to wear your pants below the equator…good plan.

First of all, with all of the other problems in the county, why are they spending time and tax dollars on THIS issue?  Aparently, he even brought a mannequin to illustrate the problem.  seriously.  Now, I have to agree that bustin’ a sag (so I’ve learned it’s called) looks absolutely ridiculous, but is it really the government’s place to outlaw it?  The schools can set and enforce dress codes, and parents should have some say in what their children are wearing – but not the government.

And I understand the intent – to help control gangs, but really, this is the best you’ve got?!  I’m pretty sure that the people in the gangs will come up with another way to show their allegiance, if they even abided by the law.  Which I doubt since they don’t follow other laws.  The radio people said that this was basically an excuse for searches of people who look like they’re in a gang – “you there, yes, you, the one whose underwear I can see, you must be up to no good because you don’t know how to dress yourself…so I must search you for guns and drugs…and it’s legal because you are breaking the law just standing there with your bustin a sag self”  Really?

So if they are going to outlaw sagging pants, can they also outlaw Dixie pride clothing?  Because if you are wearing a confederate flag on your shirt, your truck, your phone, your shoes, AND your coat, then you must be racist, and therefore prone to be in the KKK and commit hate crimes.

And they should probably outlaw high boots, short skirts, and skimpy tops – because if you are wearing those then you MUST be a prostitute out looking for your next trick.  Surely you couldn’t be a college girl on your way to a fraternity/sorority mixer – because that never happens.

life in the Bible belt

I was watching the news last night and saw this story about a new SC license plate – we always make the national news for the best things, don’t we? 

WE ARE THE FIRST STATE TO AUTHORIZE A CHRISTIAN LICENSE PLATE

While, I am becoming a wee bit liberal in my old age, this doesn’t bother me one bit, and I don’t see why people have a problem with it.  We already have the plate that says “In God We Trust”.  Frankly, I’m more offended by the Clemson license plates I see.  I mean, if you can buy a plate to express your interest in a college, a pro sports team, Nascar, boy scouts, etc, then why not your faith?   It’s not like you are required to have one…and no one objects to the religious bumber stickers and license plate frames.  It’s just one more way to express yourself.

I do, however, think that if they are going to have a Christian plate, they should also have plates for other religions if they are requested – because it certainly wouldn’t be right not to.

The only problem I see is that it’s pretty darn ugly, and I won’t be buying one.  I will stick with my Presbyterian Church decal, thanks.

Sunday – the world’s day

There used to be a time when Sundays were sacred.  Nothing else happened in town but church – nothing else was open – it was a day to worship, to rest, to be with your family – sabbath.  Even on Wednesday nights, most shops would close early so everyone could make it to services or dinners or Bible study. 

But now, the world has all seven days a week.  The church has to compete with sports and school and band competitions and work, and the church usually loses because we offer grace, and the world kicks you off the team if you miss a game.  We still love you and say, “I’m so glad you are here” when you return the next Sunday.  The two high schools in our town even hold graduation on a Sunday.  One holds commencement in the morning, while the othter has the afternoon.  So one group of folk HAS to miss church to graduate.  Are you kidding me?! 

And now why I’m really pissed – My love will start medical school this fall and the white coat ceremony is Sunday morning 10-1.  I have been looking forward to this ceremony since he started this journey towards becoming a doctor three years ago.  I was picturing all of our families there, taking pictures with his snazzy coat.  Everyone beaming with pride and full of excitement for this next step in the journey.  It is a big deal!

But now I can’t even go.  Ordinarily, I might be able to miss a Sunday, but this summer, I am flying solo as pastor and am already scheduled to preach that day.  But regardless, it’s the principal.  Why does it have to be on Sunday morning when there is a whole afternoon with nothing scheduled?  I’m seriously in tears – so sad that I can’t be there and so angry that I’m put in this situation.