3 posts in 1: lethargy, the halo brace, and the church

The rhythm of my life has always been halting and sputtering, as opposed to the hum of a well-oiled engine of efficiency. No matter how much I desire it, I am finding it hard to will it into existence.

I guess there is a sort of rhythm that unfolds: I'm 'on' one day, and 'off' the next. I cleaned two bedrooms yesterday, and spent the rest of the day in bed.

We've waited two weeks for a very mild stomach virus to clear through everyone. My immune system is triggered by sickness, and causes all my joints to ache. At night, my ankles throb and nerves jangle until I can fall asleep.

J is doing well in his halo brace. He had his one month check-up this morning, and the nurse practitioner said I'm doing a fabulous job with his pin care. He was somber throughout the short visit, because he was pulled outside of his home. I told her that he has become a hermit. At home, he is cheerful and normal, but until this thing comes off, I think we'll be dealing with the social anxiety. He hates being seen this way. Overall, we are weathering it all well, and I can't imagine what goes through his little mind about it all.

He will get a CT scan in another month to see how well his bones and ligaments are healing. I was running on adrenaline for several weeks post-hospital, and all of it has run out. Life has slowed to a crawl, and I've bowed out of every outside commitment, yet I still can't keep up around here. I think it will be better when the weather cools down. Most of our house is in the upper 80's because of our faulty a/c.

I've restocked on school supplies, put together new portfolio binders for the kids, and organized color-coded index cards/boxes for each kid's daily tasks to be written and stored in. I really need to get my older kids a little more self-directed and disciplined. I painted two chalkboards on old masonite scraps (2ft by 4ft) for working out math problems and teaching drawing techniques. I'm trying out grid paper to help them write their letters smaller and space them more legibly. This crappy photo tells a story by itself of what we've been reading and doing.

So, I've been going to a methodist church for the last several months; I practice with the youth praise band. I started a study on Wesleyan theology with the sunday school class. (I'm very interested in the study of doctrine so I thought I'd drop in.)  There are many things I like about going to this church in particular.
  •  The UMC doesn't make a habit of using doctrine to cause strife
  •  there is no pressure to be of one political persuasion over another
  •  there is no unbalanced obsession with a homosexual person's private life
  • They're very active in serving the local community in outreach
  • They believe that the Holy Spirit is still at work and the gifts have not ceased
But this book makes me squirm in some ways, because I've taken the doctrine of the sovereignty of God for granted. I refuse to align myself under any one person's theology - whether it be Calvin or Wesley or Rick Warren or Rob Bell. I have not figured out all of the deep mysteries of God and salvation. I am probably not a 5 point Calvinist. But variations of  free will/Arminian/Word of Faith teaching really screwed up my view of God for many years, and learning about reformed theology healed a lot of that. I know there are many others that have had the opposite experience. But I heard the words "We should do what makes God happy" in our discussion, and that really depresses me - bringing up the imagery of the praying, fasting, social works, personal holiness hamster wheel.

I know there is no formula to ensure that my kids will grow up to love God, and walk in His salvation. But right now I feel like I stand a better chance of discipling them in a way that won't leave them bitter and resentful than the institutional church. I have a long way to go in my trust issues with churches, and no amount of "this is why you need a church" sermons or blog posts have helped with that.

Okay, this post was exhausting. It took me over 4 hours to get done. I had to help Mac in the garage twice, try to get wii discs to play using toothpaste (unsuccessfully) and fix peanut butter sandwiches - thus starting and stopping several times. I'm going to take a nap.


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