Category Archives: Livin the Daily

Life, Together

I have had a lot of life together lately.  My boys and I vacated up to the grand’rents for a change of scenery/untapped energy sources to connect with.  The boys played; I read (like a book a day – Life Together, Shaped by the Story, Life with God, etc.  Like cramming for finals before seminary:  my brain kinda hurt); we all chatted about life and the daily and church and bearing the Light of Christ and baptism and the beauty of local blueberries and how long will it take Granddaddy to separate all the jumbled Lego pieces from my brother’s childhood into their proper kits?  You know:  good stuff.

We came home.  Jason’s parents came to town:  talking, family showers, missional gatherings, good food.

Northwest Yearly Meeting came, along with Wretched Heat which “encouraged” us to participate in YM moreso than usual:  hmmm, sit at home with no a/c and the stir-crazy boys, or deposit boys in programmed childcare and enjoy the conversations and stories of adults in an air conditioned environment?  The answer was clear.  I even managed the inter-generational ice cream social with two boys up past their bedtimes without the aid of the husband who was serving his time on the softball field (in 90+ temps – we’ll just call it “dedication”).

Then:  off to the beach to enjoy time with Jason’s family before dispersal back to our corners of the world.  Tomorrow:  VBS.  Next week:  Grad Camp.

That’s a lot of together.

In the midst of that activity, I still find my mind clinging to the thoughts and ponderings and rubix cube cunundrum that my brain is processing of “how do we do Life Together?”  I know Bonhoeffer is known for writing his timeless Christian classics, but this book seriously shifted some paradigms in my noggin, and I’m not sure what to do with it.  Questions of rhythms of life with a family, emptying oneself, confession – individual and corporate, the compounding elements of ministry (interesting:  Bonhoeffer says one must master certain ministries – holding ones tongue, meekness, etc. – before engaging in the ministry of delivering a word; otherwise, it will be too tainted by our desires for outcomes of this Word rather than being empty enough to be a vessel of Truth).

I really want to just sit with this stuff; but I can’t.  And I probably shouldn’t:  it’s best “field-tested”.  If only I can shove the grocery lists out of the foreground of my mind …. or maybe I should see if I missed that ministry of managing consumption chapter.  🙂

Now Say It Backwards

“What did you say?”  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidous.  It’s something to say when you don’t know what to say.”

……….

Last Sunday I worshiped with the faith community at Jacob’s Well.  Visiting other faith communities is an interesting experience:  will I stand out?  Will I feel comfortable?  Will I stand aside and analyze, or will I enter in?  Will I know how to enter in?

Jacob’s Well is known as an emerging church.  For me, it felt like worship at camp, which is where I’ve had some of the most powerful experiences of corporate worship.  I was able to enter in, minus the distraction of a squirming child behind me who did *not* want to go to Sunday School (totally understandable:  he’d done a bit of “new” over the past days).  And I found myself wanting to know more of the community stories.  The worship team is in a time of transition, and so they sang more songs than usual, songs that were written by the worship team.  Songs that seemed to be more meaningful or owned as they came out of community experiences.

…………..

I enjoy looking at the Calendar of Events for different faith communities:  how do they spend their time outside of corporate worship.  I would so be at this event:

Napkin Making Tea Party

Hey ladies, join us for tea time and help us sew cloth napkins for the church. Please join us in the 3rd floor Commons on Saturday, May 16 from 10am – noon.

For those new to sewing, we’ll begin with a sewing demo and you’ll immediately get to put your new
skills into practice. If you have a sewing machine, please bring it! We’ll provide materials, some sewing machines, and tea time treats. It will be a stitch!

Something that benefits the church (reusable products).  Something that benefits the women:  being taught or teaching a valuable skill.  Something that connects one to another:  enjoying, working, creating.

…………

I read a book last week about Appreciative Inquiry.  A quote really stood out to me, something along the lines of  “it makes as much sense logically to be positive about a situation as to be negative.”  My melancholy mind said, “Unh unh.  How can I get better if I’m positive?”  But by spending time focusing on the negative, doesn’t that just draw me more into it?  Speaking to the hope, that seems to be more the heart of Christ.  It’s not to ignore or discount the negative.  As someone in the book said, “We’re a ‘glass is half full’ kind of community, and we focus on making it more full.”

…………..

Traveling with a two year old on an airplane is just not fun.  But eventually the airplane has to land, and we get to get off.  And preschoolers *can* reach a limit of eating chicken nuggets.  These things speak hope into my day.  🙂

Just the Facts, Ma'am

Blog silence.  Pretty buy cialis 5mg typical on this little WordPress blogaroo.  Other blogs seem so prolific:  so much to say, so much to say, so much to say, so much to say (okay, so I’m listening to DMB right now:  make my hubby proud).  When I started blogging, I found myself attracted to two types of posts:  informational and formational.  Informational:  giving terms and naming concepts to my experience of wandering post-college.  Formational:  sharing stories of their own orientation, disorientation, and surprising reorientation in which I could relate or find myself in their journey.

But lately?  So.Much.Information.  Answers:  so many answers.  Or critiques.  Or slams.  Or “I’m in the Emergent/Missional/Converging/Reformata/Baby-Wearing/Attachment Parenting/Babywise/Dave Ramsey/Fox News/CNBC/Obama Hopeful/Obama Critical” bandcamp.  As more and more people connect or input on the internet, the more polarized I see it becoming.  And I get sad.

I don’t feel I have answers:  just my journey.  And lately I’ve been hesitent of sharing that story because of the way people treat me:  “Keep your head up!”, “Boy, it must be tough!”, “You’ll get through this!”  Perhaps that’s the eternal plight of a melancholy who allows folks into the inner sanctum:  I didn’t think I made it sound “that bad” – it’s just the way I see things.  Folks from a different generation would probably say that censoring my thoughts or being more selective in the means of how I share would be prudent.  And it probably would:  but goodness, I don’t think my wiring has anything labeled “prudent” in there – believe me, I’ve looked.

This past weekend I got to participate in a gathering called Kaleo:  both energizing and discouraging.  Energizing in that I realized how much I adore being in situations like that:  with people eager to listen and contribute and discern the presence of God for the betterment of the world and the adoration of Christ.  Discouraging in that the next day while I was having a really rough time of parenting (Jason went snowboarding at the last minute with a friend), I wondered what could possibly be the purpose of going out to a conference, getting excited, and then coming home to fold laundry and put away dishes and deal with fairly crabby children with little to no thanks.

This is where I should input some sort of take away:  “But I realized that Christ was really inconvenienced when he came to earth.  Whatever I do to the least of these, I do unto him.  I realized I should find joy in all circumstances.  I found peace in realizing that these days will pass, and I need to keep my eyes on the future.”

Excuse me while I try to stop rolling my eyes and making my “thooey” face.  I didn’t realize those things.  I realized I needed to dance.  To Really Bad Pop Music.  So I did:  Ipod blasting while the boys were confined to their rooms, I rocked out to boy bands and Brit pop and a little Ms. Spears.  It didn’t provide answers, but it tired out The Furies, and now my butt hurts (getting so old).

Something that stood out to me at Kaleo, or perhaps it was the Recalibrating Church conference, was the idea of takeaways.  Somebody somewhere said that in Olden Church the priests did not exposit on the Scriptures:  no takeaways.  They allowed their congregants to enter into the story, to participate, to be formed and transformed by the Spirit through the Word.

Sometimes I wish I had answers or take-aways.  Maybe that would make my blogging more directed, prolific, marketable.  But then I’d probably skim it just like I do so many other sites.  Our society seems to be moving beyond “just the facts, ma’am” — but to what?  And how do we meet them there?

Maybe the answer, or rather the experience, is simply in the dance.  Which won’t always be bad pop music:  I’ve also been known to blast Mr. Sinatra as well as Mr. Diamond.  🙂

The Post-Modern Quaker Mother’s Dilemna

My book group has chosen to read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemna for next month’s selection.  As with many of the choices, someone asks, “Have you read it?” My response:  “Yeah . . . well . . . I started it, and then [insert some excuse which I find very valid in my head, but sounds a bit weak when is verbalized].”  This time the excuse was my profound sense of melancholy that descended over me within engaging the first few chapters.  That, and I had just given birth, so there might have been some hormonal issues.  And sleep issues.  But I digress.

My remembrance of what I felt at the time was Doom.  Doom, because there were no good answers.  Doom, because no matter what I did, as the Manager of Consumption in my household, I would be making some wrong, or hurtful, choice.  Doom, because I come from a long line of people with blood sugar issues, and my children MUST be fed Frequently (as with the Mama:  I’ve been told that discussions will be continued only once I’ve eaten some string cheese), and I didn’t think it would be feasible to say, “Well, kids, we’re abstaining from food until I can find local, organic, healthy, low-carbon-footprint food sources.  Oh, and affordable.  And don’t take up all of my time, because those important activities in my day must be maintained:  Facebook can’t just surf itself, you know.”

My friend Jenn finished the book (I can’t tell you how many times we read the same books, but she finishes where I poop out).  She said that it got more hopeful towards the end, that the author didn’t necessarily find “the right answer”, but at least he had some options for moving in a healthier yet doable direction.  And he still seemed a bit confused, which is always nice not to be the only one.

Today I found another picture of what may be a healthier, doable direction.  A woman wrote an article about the Boise Vineyard Church, which I’ve already been interested in, but this just seals the deal.  They have a Garden o’ Feed’in at their location in Garden City.  Sounds like an ideal spot, right?  A garden in Garden City:  so picturesque.  Except if you’ve been to this area, you know it’s like the armpit of the Treasure Valley.  The history of the church location involves being on a site that had contaimated water (GREAT story – pastor gets a word to sprinkle salt in the water and pray like one of the OT prophets – next thing you know, clean water).   Hello:  story of redemption!  Gives me chills.

Looking at the author’s website I came across a link to God’s Gardens in Boise:  “Proclaiming the love of Christ through benevolence, stewardship and community.”  Ah, joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.  These pictures give me something to move towards, something to look forward for, something to share with and promote in my community, something that gives me an option other than spending all my time rolling my homemade tortillas (that’s for you, Jenn :)) or all my money buying a four-pound free-range organic grass-fed fryer chicken.  My dilemna is still present, but at perhaps it’s forcing me to move towards a healthier, doable option.

[HT:  Evangelical Ecologist]

Is Motherhood on the 3G Network?

When my husband and I last upgraded our phones, he was very excited to see a certain icon:  3G.

“What’s that?”

“For third generation.  It’s the latest network.”

“So we can hear better?”

“Ideally, yes.  Of course, they don’t have phone towers with the right technology everywhere yet.”

“So, I can only hear well some of the time and in certain areas.”

“Yeah. . . . But isn’t it cool?”

I love being married to a tech head.

My friend Carla (well, she’s a friend of a friend, but I’d prefer to adopt her as one of my own) has written a post titled “Is Motherhood a calling?” that’s created space for some quality conversation.  My friend Kim has extended her thoughts over at her own space.  I’ve recently been wondering about my role in my childrens’ lives lately.  It started from seeing a posting for a job that a) I would love to do and 2) I could actually do really well.  Those two things don’t often collide for me.  I’ve since let it past:  I couldn’t figure out how I would “do it all”.  Which I wouldn’t:  the time committment to both tasks (in the home and out of the home) are too great at this juncture in my life.  And, the job will always be there:  my kids, not so much.

But thinking of the job did make me realize how much of my identity is tied up in my current work, and how would my identity change with this adoption of new activities?  How do I balance the conservative voices I hear in my life that talk about the functions of gender roles as they see it biblically (and honestly, I see some wisdom in their words) with the more liberal voices that desire to break away from those rolls completely due to the abuse that has stemmed from them?  My friend Robin has more than once reminded me that early Quaker women would hear a calling from the Spirit and up and leave their families to spread the Good News about the Light of Christ within us.

Sometimes it feels like motherhood is a cell phone within changing networks:  if you’re in the right place and the right time, it’s all so clear; othertimes, you’re hollering at anybody within range:  “Can you hear me now?”

Joiner – But in My Own Way (of course)

I’ve rarely made New Year’s resolutions:  it seems like a giant way to set myself up for failure.  “Hello, self esteem, another way that you didn’t measure up”.

Or so said my former self until I had the realization:  I don’t have to make a bunch of resolutions:  I could just do one.  And there are no NYr rules (that I know of:  if there are, I don’t want to know:  keep that door firmly shut:  la la la, I can’t hear you) that state I have to do a BIG resolution.  It could be small.  Insignificant.

So I started flossing.  Yes, that was a NYr:  and I actually followed through.

The next year it was drinking enough water.  And as you can ask my husband, who trips over water bottles (reusable, BPA-free) scattered throughout the house and the car, I tend to keep decently hydrated.

When I lived in Boise, I decided my NYr would be to read my Bible in one year following the handy dandy guides in the back.  It was a Bible I got “free” while attending YouthQuake (you know, the “free” stuff that comes with a hefty conference fee).  It was an amazing experience.  Boise was a ‘desert’ time for me, a time where God met me (kicking and screaming, or rather twitching due to my unknown blood sugar issues) to spend some quality one-on-one time together through God’s Word.  It hurt, but it hurt so good.

A few years later when I started doing “things to help keep depression a pacified, happy camper” coping mechanisms, one of the suggestions was to read a Proverb every day because it stimulates the frontal lobe, and when the frontal lobe is happy, everyone is happy.  I got bored after a while (there’s only so many Proverbs, and only so many times I like to read about how it’s better to sleep on a roof in the rain than in a house with a cranky woman), so now I read some part of the Bible at breakfast time, whatever interests me.  I just finished reading the Narrated Bible version of the Gospels (which you, as some of my pastors who I won’t directly name but might reference later on, might think is a verbal version of the Bible, but really it’s just chronological).  Now I’m moving onto Judges, because my dad believes (after much study, and of course, a little Godly insight) that we’re in a time period similar to that of Judges (I’ll go into that someday later), so I figure it might be good to familiarize myself with the patterns of that book.

My friend/fellow blogger/pastor/fellow Newberg-Boise-Newberg mover Gregg posted about reading the Bible in a year.  He’s opting to subscribe to an RSS feed through Google Reader.  Sweet:  I’m glad that works for him!  I, however, am a skimmer, and would read simply for consumption rather than transformation.  Must get all feeds read!  What’s that about edification?

What’s been helpful for me is to subscribe to a podcast called The Daily Audio Bible.   The host reads through the Bible in a year – Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs selections each day.  He closes with prayer, thoughts, and prayer requests from the DAB community (which I rarely listen to, but am glad there’s space for such a thing).  I also listen to PrayStation Portable (interesting, not having grown up in a liturgical setting) as well as Pray As You Go.  In the morning I listen as I get up, get ready, and open up the house (feeding all the creatures – two and four-legged, blinds, mental list for the day, etc.).

So there’s my liturgy of sorts.  A little different than monks and nuns probably intended, but would you expect any different from Quaker Sister Mary Aj?

Query 9: It’s “what bwings us togevvah today”

My mind is almost always writing:  shopping lists, to do lists, things to do with the hubby/kids lists, etc.  Behind all of that there is another writer, the one who keeps pondering “What would it look like to live a truly intentional life?” and “Don’t forget to share that funny story about Judah with the folks” and “Ooh, this would be a fun post to make out of the flickr pictures” and “What is this whole spiritual life thing all about, anyway?”   These thought processes generally make it onto my blog, sometimes coherant, many times simply bullet points so I at least get them out before they’re forgotten.

But for now, I’m drawing a complete blank.  The “feeling anxious/must write/make the knot go away” sensation is present, but the words.aren’t.coming.  So, in an attempt to try and get some thoughts out, to stir some dialogue, to prompt some considerations, I’m turning to an old Quaker standby:  the Queries.  Which I’ve never really used before, so hey:  now’s as good of a time as any to start.

What are the queries?  Our YM website states:  “The Queries are thoughtful questions that remind people of the spiritual and moral values Friends seek to uphold. They help individuals and the church to consider the true source of spiritual strength, to nurture loving relationships, and to maintain a strong Christian witness to society. The Queries should be read frequently, as a whole or in part, in meetings for worship and business and other gatherings of Friends, and in private devotions. Always there should be time for reflection. Reading the Queries is a tradition of Friends.” True dat.

Because I’m feeling not-so-linear, I thought, “Hey, I won’t start with Query 1.  That’s so obvious.  I’ll start with the query that matches today’s date.”  Stink.  It’s a doozy.

Query 9
Do you conduct yourself in a manner that supports and preserves the sanctity and permanence of marriage? Do you who are married yield to each other in decisions and build up each other as individuals, always cherishing your common bond?

Oy.  “Mawe-widge, that bwessed awangement, that dweam wiffin a dweam”

The other day I heard a couple say it took a good ten years before they felt like they were on a good track for their marriage, getting rid of the junk that happened before they got married, establishing a good foundation.  Ah, relief:  I’ve still got time.  🙂

I’ve been listening to an interesting series from Mars Hill called The Peasant Princess – it’s Mark Driscoll’s take on the Biblical principles of marriage.  It’s been . . . funny . . . challenging . . . practical . . . helpful . . ., but the best part has been listening to it with my husband.  On Friday nights when we’re at home, trying to not to go bed by 8:30 even though we’re pooped (party animals that we are), we’ve listened to a few of the podcasts while playing Tetris Worlds on the Wii.  Afterwards we’ve talked about the things he’s discussed – if we agree, disagree, want to try, never ever will try – and answer some questions he poses.  Times like that are these sacred little spaces for just us – no kids, no job, no “gotta get done” lists.  And we can think about the future, things we’d like to do, rather than just living in the panic of the present moment.

I’ve also listened to a series from Revive Our Hearts talking about the woman’s role as described in Titus 2.  This has been much more of an internal struggle for me as the speakers come from a fairly conservative background, and I live in a fairly liberal environment.  Part of me resonates with their interpretation, part of me recoils:  and I can’t tell if it’s my own thoughts or the influences of others around me that I’m responding with.

I think a lot of my anxt has to do with the whole “yielding” aspect.  I don’t yield well:  ask my parents (husband, camp counselors I didn’t get along with, children, etc.).

“Yielding” to decisions and “building” each other up seems to be a bit conflicting:  I see different road/construction signs in my head.  I know yielding requires action, but it’s different actions than building;  how do the two go together?

And so, in the midst of the holiday bustle, I want to remember to keep my eyes on the important things, the things that can so easily be forgotten, the things that I say, “Buck up and be happy that I’m bustling around like a crazed person:  I’m doing it for you!”:  my husband, my immediate family, my wider family.  Preseverve:  yield:  build.

More OT Thoughts

I know:  I’m a geek.  I guess God’s momentarily given me the gift of OT geekdom because this is seriously so interesting!  Much more than it was in my middle school or college Bible classes.  Or maybe it’s that I have a lack of competing interests in my daily life currently (although listening to The Music Machine *never* gets old.  Nope.  Especially the song about patience.  I could listen to that FOREVER:  rock on, Herbert!).

If these geneologies are accurate and literal, did you know that Adam lived beyond Methuselah’s birth, and Methuselah was still living when Shem (Noah’s son) was born?  And Shem died only around 25 years before Abram?  That is *crazy*!!  My husband has some lengthy historical connections in his family (I think his cousin’s grandfather or great grandfather was in the civil war?  Jason’s not here, and I’m not so good with dates to figure out how crazy I sound). But seriously.

And boy howdy do nasty traits get passed down the family line!  Reading about the three Noah boys and their decedents (especially Ham’s son who was cursed) , well, that’s just a whole lot of ugly that seems to be passed, magnified, and glorified. Part of me wonders if Noah knew what he was doing:  why would he want to pass such a legacy to his grandson?  Words.  Matter.

If my family history was written down, I wonder what we would be able to see was inherited:  it’s easy to notice when you’re not living in the midst of it.   Also, what does that look like in my local gathering?  In my denomination?  Where are blessings and cursings evident?  I wonder if God would reveal areas where we continually have hangups or repeatedly run into walls, give us the knowledge why, and instruct us how to repsond to His desire for our healing and redemption.

At Yearly Meeting I heard a story from a faith gathering on the east coast.  Their city’s history involved the slave trade and that the slaves cursed their city upon their arrival.  This city is known for it’s crime, hate acts, and has some of the highest divorce stats in the country.  However, God’s been bringing together people to confess and repent of sins while rejecting these curses, and amazing redemption is taking place, from areas of high crime reporting no acts of violence to churches being asked to be present in the public school districts to help with education and reconciliation.

I wonder what it looks like to loose those chains in my community, in my life.  And I wonder if steps are being taken towards redemption, what they look like, and if we will be able to respond to the deep deep call.  It’s easy to say, “Enh:  this is just the way we are.  This is our history.”  But is it?

Covenental Wheelings and Dealings

This weekend I found myself wanting to make deals with God.  I had a fairly nasty bout with a bug of the stomach nature, who also made itself at home in my small children – not the kind of hospitality we desire to practice in this house, and I found myself negotiating:

  • “Okay, God, if you can make my gut solidify, I’ll do [enter such and such].”
  • “How about if you make my intestines not sound like a bowling alley then I won’t do [enter such and such].”
  • “What if I do [such and such] and don’t do [such and such], please oh please can I ingest something other than whole wheat ritz and powerade?”

And then there was the oh-so-self-sacraficial

  • “If you please would heal my child, a noble request, I’ll stop asking/badgering for my own well being.”

Desperate times call for desperate measures, especially when your toddler has been awake, puking, and making an “enh enh enh” noise for 10 hours straight.

God is a covenantal God, I reasoned:  why can’t we covenant about nausea and gastrointentional distress?  God made covenants with the Israelites:  “if you will worship me alone, I will be your God and you will be my people.”  Which in my head means that I should be able to whip out the Covenant Card, notice that a covenental relationship bars me from discomfort – emotional, physical, spiritual – especially if I meet up my end of the bargain.

But it doesn’t, really.  And I never can truly hold up my end of the bargain of my own strength. In the midst of a self-pity-party I was listening to last week’s sermon from Imago Dei.  At some point the pastor mentioned how *all* *things* come from Christ, including our faith.  That we are not strong enough to sustain faith, but Christ is, and is interceding for us, and we partner with Christ in that effort – it’s not solely of our own will.

The Israelites never lived up to their end of the covenant, and I don’t know that they were meant to.  It’s almost more that God put out this impossible goal so they could realize the impossible nature of it, and then to for God to provide the means of it – Himself.  Christ is more than equipped and ready and in process of making us God’s people.  But that means we don’t get a say in how that looks:  doesn’t mean we get a Covenental Card disclaimer of discomfort.

Interesting things to think about, and a little distracting from the gurgles.

Garage Sale of the Mind

Lately I’ve not been going into my garage.  One might think:  “well, that could mean that Aj’s garage is fairly empty – nothing to get.”  Another might postulate:  “Or Aj isn’t doing anything that requires her going into her garage – she doesn’t need anything in there.”  When in reality the reason I’m not going into my garage is because currently that is the room in my house that is paying homage to the American motto:  “gross excess is only half enough.”  There is so.much.stuff.  Normally, I love to organize, but here I don’t know where to start.  Do I move the bags of river rock that need to go in the side flower bed?  But then I should just put the rock into the bed.  But then I need to weed first.  And put down landscaper’s fabric.  Which is also in the garage, lying on the floor next to a pile of rags that were used to clean up a toddler’s experiment of “what should I do while Ma is putting away pounds of flour from Bob’s Red MIll?  Well, I’ve been meaning to see if beer bottles bounce on the garage floor?”

Baby steps to four o’clock.

Judah came in while I was standing in the midst of the muck, just staring.  “Mama, whatcha doing?”  “Noticing.”  “No-seeing?”  “Well, yeah, pretty much.”  Assessing.  Gathering.  Grouping.  Figuring out the small area I can tackle which will lead to more room to spread out, organize, weed, move on.

Same with my blog life.  I haven’t been contributing to the Grand Online Life not because I have nothing to share, nothing relevant, but because there’s just so.much.stuff.  And so I stand in the middle and stare.

Some of the things I notice in the midst:

  • I’ve been more disatisfied/frustrated/disoriented since the fast.  Is it that I/we missed the mark?  Or that it’s taking longer to hit the mark (whatever that is) than I feel it should?  Or I’m feeling the tension of change?
  • I’ve been pondering how the story of Joseph lines up with the journey our youth will embark on and how I/we adults will be involved.  How do we live lives that joyfully and expectantly wait on God?
  • This life:  this suburban, chain-storing shopping, activity-driven, event-oriented, disconnected, consuming life – is this it?  If not, what is?  And how do I/we get there?
  • Prayer and healing/growing food and plants/mentoring – these seem to be weaving themselves together, but I don’t know how/why.
  • How does one live in the tension of being called to be part of a community yet feeling called to move out from that community?

And so things might seem cluttered around here and unrelated, but I believe that plodding through (sometimes acting, sometimes just noticing, or maybe no-seeing) will lead to a surprising reorientation.  Or at least a couple trips to Goodwill.  🙂