Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dear SBC: I appreciate you too.

This section from the Daily Progress was pinned to my office door when I returned from clergy group this morning: 

What an encouragement.  Thank you.  Your many kindnesses to me are a gift.  I am grateful. 

I appreciate and love you too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Mom

When I was a girl I wanted to sign my name as elegantly as my mom. There's something special about her cursive P.  Mom's John Hancock was Pat D. McKown.  I asked what the "D" stood for and she straight up told me "Dinosaur." This tall tail tale was served with a fabricated side story.  I guess I knew she was teasing, but I loved her imagination too much to doubt it.  This makes me smile:  I think I like adventures because of her.

Pat McKown is a force.  She worked her way through college and earned a Master's Degree from Kent State University.  Pre-retirement Mom was an audiologist and health department administrator.  I liked going to her office because she had a huge sound booth (say "hot dog") and interesting toys.  Mom had a Barbie in a wheelchair which was thoughtful since she had little ones with wheels of their own.

Mom can make curtains or quilts behind her back, but she's also a sports enthusiast.  She loves the St. Louis Cardinals and has her own bowling bag and shoes.  Pat McKown can fix things too.  I missed out on that gene.  

Mom grew up Catholic and is Baptist now, but she still likes to watch Mass on Christmas Eve and see the pope bless God's littlest ones. One of my favorite road trips with Mom was to the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky (Thomas Merton lived there).  Even though we both got motion sick on the special train ride it was a fun day.

Mom has a great sense of humor too.  Two of my favorite examples:  1. She once put Ashley Gill's mom, Christy in a headlock 2. When looking at houses in Arlington she said:  "Sorry we don't have three million dollars.  We spent all our money on Propels...that stuff ain't cheap."

Mom is a wonderful listener and she has a tender heart for the plight of others.  She is conscientious and wants to do the right thing.  Mom is extravagant in her love and gives grace to all.  I am a blessed daughter.  

Happy Birthday Mom!

One of my favorite pictures of my mom

Monday, March 11, 2013

Forgiveness and Flipping Canoes

I'm working on a list of "Things out of my comfort zone I WILL accomplish in 2013."  Here's a start:
  1. Post a list of "Things out of my comfort zone I WILL accomplish in 2013" on my blog
  2. Ride a tandem bike (SCARY)
  3. Canoe and/or float (SCARY)
  4. Refinish my dining room table (not so much scary as seemingly impossible)
  5. Plant a vegetable and/or herb garden (no green thumbs and presence of snakes)
I've been thinking about #3 because folks are itching for spring so they can canoe on the mighty James River.  Tubing and canoeing are THE thing to do in Scottsville.  Though I would much rather read a book on the bank and live vicariously through free spirits, I WILL canoe and/or float at least once this summer.

Long, long ago...when big hair was semi-popular...I went canoeing.  I was competing in a relay race and the final leg was trip across the lake.  You might not know this about me, but I do enjoy the winning.  It was neck and neck so I went all out: To gain extra speed I leaned to the side and paddled the waters with my arms.  Sweet move KM.  You see where this ship is sailing (pun!) right?  I flipped the the dead of win a relay race.  Not only did we lose; I soaked Daniel Ingram and myself to the bone.  In the words of onlookers I looked "like a drowned rat."  Canoeing is scary. 

It's easy breezy doing things that are second-nature, but retrying things at which we've failed?  Not so much.  If I have failed at something BIG TIME it's hard for me to try again.  Canoe-flipping is funny, but most of my failures aren't actually comical.  Failing at forgiveness and mercy are not quite as fun.

Retrying something at which we have failed is difficult.  There is fear of hardship.  There is fear of displeasing others.  There is fear of seeming like we don't have it all together. Fear, fear, fear. 

Sometimes we focus on shooing fear away, when really what we need to do is be the boss of it.  In my second Mark Twain reference of the week:  "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear."  So grab fear by the horns and try forgiveness again.  Step into the canoe with a crazy smile on your face. 

I'm hoping by saying this list out loud I can get out of my boring ol' comfort zone and be one with rapids and vegetables and biking.    

What about you?  What scary things will YOU accomplish in 2013?