Saturday, May 28, 2011

Laughing Fits

Do you ever have them?
Moments when you just can NOT stop the laughter and it spills out no matter what grievous, sober thoughts you try to stifle it with?

My laughing fits are unique in that, if I haven't laughed in a while, it doesn't necessarily take something funny to set me off. (At least not funny to the normal person.) If I am laughter deprived, you may be holding a normal conversation with me and the next moment I am rolling on the ground laughing uncontrollably with tears rolling down my cheeks. Luckily, there are warnings to these inconvenient episodes. Bubbles of laughter the pop out of me when merely a smile is necessary. THis normally happens for a few days before a full-fledged fit occurs.

Fits occur at inopportune times, often. One, in fact, was caught on camera. It was in Ukraine last year and someone was trying to take a picture of me with my niece and a man's pet crow and chicken. (Long story.) It struck me as so odd to be holding a crow and a chicken that I started laughing.

...And laughing....


Damara is used to it and laughed with me. The little Ukranian boy is trying to maintain a smile and awkwardly thinking "Yikes get me away from the crazy American lady." The crow, too, was getting disturbed (though the chicken didn't seem to care; in fact she seemed to be pondering laying an egg on my hand Maybe the laughter reminded her of the noise from the chicken coop she grew up in and was soothing).

Why am I telling you all this on a blog that is mostly set aside for edification and interestingness?

I don't really know.

Maybe I just feel like chatting.

And maybe it's because I keep having those bubbles today. Laughter bubbles. I'm sitting alone in my room and silly little things are making me laugh. I fear for Lars and Elisabeth....

Like tremors before an earthquake, like smoke before a fire, like sputters before a volcano, I'm being warned of an impending eruption.

A laughing fit is imminent.

Friday, May 20, 2011


It's hard for me to explain how passionate I feel about the issue of America's relation with Israel, and how incredibly disgusted and appalled I am by the reception Obama gave to Netanyahu yesterday! Obama does NOT speak for all Americans and I hope that we'll stand up and be counted as friends and supporters of Israel! Why are we pouring millions of dollars into hostile Muslim countries when we have exceeded the debt ceiling in our own? Why are we siding with radical, hate-filled nations against our peaceful ally Israel?

What kind of arrogance induces America's president to demand Israel to give up their own land to pacify nations who want to wipe them off the map!? Does he know Who he's insulting?

"I will bless those who bless you (Israel), and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." -Gen. 12:3

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Maybe someone else needs to hear this too...

Read in Luke 8 today. A familiar story. Jesus and His disciples are in a boat when a HUGE storm comes up. The boat literally fills with water. His disciples--who are fishermen most of them and no doubt used to storms at sea--are terrified. Jesus is sleeping on a pillow in the back of the boat (though I'm suspicious that He was probably pretending). His disciples are trying to fight the storm out on their own and then finally, in desperation wake Him and say,
"Master, Master, we perish."

(Here I always pause and wonder what angst old King James had towards exclamation marks! This would have surely been an appropriate place to insert one. Or maybe two or three.)

Jesus wakes up, calms the storm, and rebukes them for being so faithless.

Here I pause my reading and think a little. Why did Jesus rebuke them? All they did was wake Him up and state an obvious fact-- "The boat is sinking. We're going to die." Was that worth being called "Oh ye of little faith?" It didn't seem like a bad thing they did. Jesus seemed to be a little hard on His poor frazzled disciples. After all they didn't have this story to read in their Bibles. They hadn't sung songs about Jesus calming the storm in Sunday school ever since they were little kids. They didn't know the script or the end of the story yet.
Frankly? I would have been terrified, too.

Before I charged Jesus with insensitivity, I decided to read the other accounts of this happening and see what details might have been left out of Luke's version.
Ah there it was in Mark's: When they woke Him up, they said to Him, "Master, don't you care that we're perishing?" Then He calmed the storm and said to them, "Why are ye so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

Ah. Those words: "Master, don't you care?"
I wonder if THAT was the faithlessness that Jesus was rebuking, even more than their fear of the storm. Because that was the ROOT of their fear of the storm. They wondered if He cared about their situation. They thought He was neglectful. They did not trust Him to care for them because He was letting them ride out a storm. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the root of all fear is faithlessness, and the root of all faithlessness is choosing to believe the lie that Jesus does not care about the specific situation I find myself in.

"Master, I'm lonely. Don't You care?"
"Master, the doctor just gave me the bad news. Don't You care?"
"Master, my loved one is breaking my heart. Don't You care?"
"Master, I keep on struggling with the same sin over and over. Don't You care?"
"Master, I'm still single. Don't You care?"
"Master, that person hurt me. Don't You care?"
"Master, I'm sick of goodbyes. Don't You care?"
"Master, my dreams aren't coming true. Don't You care?"
"Master, she's going to hell. Don't You care?"
"Master, I feel so far from You. Don't You care?"
"Master, I feel unfulfilled in my job/marriage/life... Don't You care?"

If you are riding out a storm, meditate on this truth today: Yes, HE CARES. He knows, and He cares. Do not sin by a faithless acceptance of the lie, "Your Master does not care."
Silence doesn't mean neglect.
Delay doesn't mean mean unconcern.
Loneliness doesn't mean abandonment.
Read Psalm 139 and choose to believe that He is in the boat with you, aware of the storm, and He cares. In choosing to believe that, choose to rejoice, oh ye of little faith!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Special Mother's Day

Normally it would be the daughter's responsibility to travel home for Mother's Day, I suppose, but we reversed it this year and Mom flew out to be with me for five wonderful days last week! We loved our time together. :) We shopped, enjoyed an Indian lunch, walked along the coast, sipped tea and munched streusel with Elisabeth at a little shop in Rockport, and played lots of Scrabble...chatting and chatting the whole time. I'm certainly a blessed to have the mom I have... VERY blessed.

This was our Mother's Day dinner.
I tried to convince her to go for MacDonald's but noooo, she had to have Massachusetts lobstah!

This is said lobster, post-pot.

A beautiful little rainbow! Mom so loves the sea that it is fun to have her out here.
She delights in each little changing mood of the sky and surf.

The midget ladies

Mother's Day Scrabble game! (Hmmm is this the beginning of a tradition?) I made her some tiramisu and we had tea in a nearby park while she creamed me in Scrabble. She's nearly impossible to beat.

I snapped this shot while she was talking with Nate, who called her from Alaska to wish her Happy Mother's Day. What a sweet smile!

This isn't a Mother's Day picture but it's a special one to me. Mom snapped Elisabeth and I a few days ago. :)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Spring of the Soul

"My Father,
All that has gone cold and lifeless in me...
Is it just Your planned stillness before new life flows?
Are the hands I've clenched in troubled prayer,
Like tight leaf-buds,
About to spread into open-handed praise,
Because Your Spirit comes again?
I believe, Father, that the joy of a new season in You
Is warming me right now..."

-David Hazard