Friday, July 26, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Broken

I'm joining up with Five Minute Friday again this week.  Today the prompt is "broken".

When I read today's prompt I wasn't quite sure where to start.  So much around me is broken.  This world is broken.  I am broken.  And today is one of those days where I'm feeling my brokenness in a large way.  The headaches have been pretty intense today, the pain in my hips has made every step hurt, and the exhaustion draws my eyes shut more often than I would like.   It's just been one of those days, one of my more broken days.
But when I look at the larger world around me, my brokenness seems insignificant.  There are whole social systems that are broken, whole nations that our broken.  The educational system in many senses is broken.  The justice system is broken.  In many parts of the world even the political systems are broken.
Yet in all the brokenness of this world, there is One who was more broken than any other and because of His brokenness, there is hope for wholeness in spite of the brokenness.  That hope is pretty hard to hold onto this side of heaven though.   When there is so much brokenness, when I am confronted every day by the brokenness in me and the world around me.  It seems like there will never be wholeness again.   It's all broken.


No picture this week... I'm too tired and my headache is ramping up again.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Saturdays

During the summer my Saturdays have a predictable rhythm, and technically start Wednesday nights when I receive 6 data files from local swim team coaches. They continue on Thursdays when I sort about 200 swimmers into heats and lanes in 72 events. They pick on Friday afternoons when I make any last minute changes then print, cut and sort about 600 entry cards, (and typically only lose 2-3 of them).  They pick up speed in the wee hours of Saturday morning when we get up extra early to do barn chores and leave the farm in time to be at the hosting pool by 7:30am (sometimes it means leaving at 6:30am).  But it all becomes worthwhile at 8:30 on Saturday morning when this happens:
A pool ready for swimmers!
Swimmers being sorted (marshalled) for their races

More swimmers getting ready

And they're off!

 Coming in for a turn...


By about 1pm all 600 entries have swum, the meet is scored, and I go home and take my nap.  After nap time, I post the results online and e-mail all the coaches.  Then I get a few days off until Wednesday and we start all over again!  
It's a lot of work, but watching the swimmers succeed (a couple took 2+ seconds off their times this week!) and have fun is well worth it!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Belong

Our internet is currently being uncooperative (read: not working at all), but I do want to participate in five minute Friday, a blog party put on by Lisa-Jo.  I missed last Friday for various reasons (long story), but I’m here today.  Before the internet crashed I got the prompt and I will post my entry as soon as we have internet back.  The prompt for this week is “Belong”.

Growing up I often wondered what it would feel like to truly belong.  I became an expert on being on the outside and looking in.  Everywhere I went I was on the outskirts somewhere.  To adults it may have looked like I was on the inside, but really, I was on the outside.  I never quite fit anywhere.  There was too much about me that made me different and I didn’t know how to embrace those differences.

I still often find myself on the outside of things, never quite fitting in.  I think that’s because I’m a product of my past experiences and my unique biology.   On good days I’m okay with not fitting in perfectly and can embrace what makes me different.   On less than good days – I cry.  I get lonely.  I long for even one or two close friends, who are actually physically close, not just emotionally and mentally close.  I’ve got “peoples” on the internet, groups that I belong to, but here, on the ground…  there are few to no people who I’m actually very close to, who I can sit down and share parts of my life with.

Except for my husband.  When I am with him I truly belong.  I belong in his arms.  I belong laying beside him, snuggled up in bed.  I belong walking through the grocery store with him at my side.  He belongs with me when we go to the midwife, or the doctor, or the social worker. And I belong with him.   His arms are the one place on earth where I truly feel like I belong.


*My timer malfunctioned after 35 seconds so I’m guessing that I was about at five minutes.   Next time I’ll have to remember to look at the clock when I start my timer, just in case it misbehaves.

Monday, July 08, 2013

A day in the life...

With the Big House (Littlest Brother, Middle Brother, Oldest Brother, Mom and Papa) gone out West for a huge Scout event (CJ '13, if anyone's interested), David and I are running the farm and overseeing the entire herd.  It means the structure of our day has changed remarkably and pretty much revolves around feeding some creature or another.  Here's a sample:
7:00am - wake up, weigh alpaca babies, feed mosquitoes, feed alpacas, feed mosquitoes, feed the baby alpaca whose mama isn't making enough milk, let alpacas out to pasture if it's not currently pouring rain.
8:30am - retreat from the mosquito invasion, feed the dog, feed the fish, feed Husbandy, feed Wifey, field phone calls and pass messages along.  Check in with the Big House and update them on any major happenings.
9:00/9:30am - Wifey takes her morning nap.  Husbandy either goes to the other farm to help out with chores or does whatever it is Husbandy does.
11:30am/noon - Feed Wifey.  Feed Husbandy if he wants.  Feed baby alpaca whose mama doesn't have enough milk for her.
1:30pm - Miscellaneous household chores, ranging from fencing and pasture maintenance to grocery shopping and school work and everything in between.
4:00pm - Feed Wifey, bring alpacas in from pasture, sort them back into their correct paddocks, feed the alpacas, feed the mosquitoes, feed the baby alpaca who needs a bottle
5:00-7:00pm (timing is flexible) - make and consume dinner of some sort. (ie: Feed Husbandy, and feed Wifey)
8:00pm - feed the baby alpaca, feed the mosquitoes
9:00pm - fall into bed and repeat the next day

Now if we actually had a day that followed that schedule without added adventures, it would be wonderful!  Really, the only thing that stays constant is that I'm feeding something or other all the time!

Friday, July 05, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Beautiful

A week ago today a friend introduce me to something called "Five-Minute-Friday".  It's a blogging party put on by Lisa Jo.  Every Friday she puts out a prompt and over a hundred people spend 5 minutes - no more, no less - writing on the prompt, pure, unedited, and unfiltered. This is my first time attempting it. This week's prompt is "Beautiful".


Beautiful.  The hot summer sunset when the sky lights up purple and orange and red - like a campfire arching across the sky.  My alpaca babies as they learn to run in the wind.  Ghidora with her silky fawn fleece that sparkles and shines in the wind when she runs.  So much of what G-d has made is beautiful.  One of the most beautiful things I have encountered lately is hearing my baby's heartbeat - the quick rapid pulse of a tiny heart pumping a tiny amount of blood in my ever growing belly.  I'm learning to see that  belly as beautiful, as a reminder of the life growing in me.
Things unseen are beautiful too - forgiveness, grace, reconciliation.  It's beautiful to see people coming together after a rift has festered for years, coming together and being united again.  It's beautiful to stand in a large group of people and sing praises to G-d, to worship with abandon, with tears and arms raised, with laughing and dancing, with kneeling and praying.  It's even more beautiful when it's done with people from many nations and languages all together in one place for one purpose.
Beauty is all around us if we only open our eyes to see it.  It's in the trees and the sky and the grass and the flowers that bloom.  It's the butterfly that Littlest Brother caught in the garage the other day and released back outside to the sunshine.  It's the kittens that play in the barn.


Ghidora, just figuring out her legs