I feel this morning like the little cricket below. How I seem to devote great energy into the most humble of efforts. Feeding children, kneading bread, moving laundry and belongings around the house, trying to find a full-time job. Inexplicably to me, the cricket, I somehow help God build the universe. I am happy this morning for the grace to connect with that. Lord, free me from the desire to be more significant, more noticed than You need. Accept my humble efforts. Help me to accept them too.

Song of the Builders

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God –

a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of the hillside

this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope

it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

Mary Oliver from Why I Wake Early (2004)

Faint Praise

What is “Drinkability” supposed to mean, exactly? Isn’t that setting the bar a little low for a beer?

Doesn’t “Drinkability” just mean that it’s not poisonous and it’s in a container with some sort of opening? Technically, I could pee in a can and that would have “Drinkability.” But we are talking about light beer here, so, potayto potahto.

I’ve actually tried Bud Light. A can of it was handed to me gratis by a friend. I was ready to order myself a Shiner Bock, but I didn’t want to be rude. When I took a first sip, many words came to mind. I guess “Drinkability” would be the kindest of all of them. Why not faint praise if you can offer nothing better, I guess?

Same goes for all the beers that emphasize how “cold” they are. Hello. The beer didn’t do that. Credit goes to the ice chest. But then again, if “cold” is the best thing you can say about the beer, better faint praise than none at all.

Never trust a beer you can see through, I say.

Feet of Comfort and Joy

I love my Vibram Five-Fingers shoes. Lord knows I do. But they look kind of funny and are too casual for general wearing. They’ve replaced my flip-flops, but I wish I had a pair of shoes that let me experience exquisite barefoot flexibility while maintaining proper decorum of foot for church and work.

I have pined longingly over the past year at the pictures of sold out Vivo Barefoot shoes on the Terra Plana website. And now they appear to have some in stock. Finally.

Drat the luck! A month after I lose my job, my dream shoes — the Vivo Barefoot Dharmas, black tumbled leather — finally are available.

Sigh. Some day the stars, planets, finances, employment, and Vivos in-stock inventory will align and I will finally kick it in my beloved Vivos. But maybe you could buy some now. Just leave a pair for me.

Yes, That's Us.

Apparently, they printed the story. Well, if it promotes adoption and foster parenting, then it’s worth having to stop a billion times today and say, “Yes, we were in the paper…”

Just don’t call us “good people.” We just said “Yes.” Actually a whole bunch of yesses. Anybody can say “Yes.”

Every blessing starts with a “Yes.”

Rules for the pool 2009

You’re all too old for the baby pool, you must stay in the big pool with me.
If you cannot demonstrate the ability to swim you cannot go off the diving board.
No drinking the pool water. Why? Go fish a pair of underwear out of your hamper. Think about it.
Absolutely no running. Race walking counts as running too.
You may not wear your shoes or beach towel into the water.
If somebody accidentally splashes you, no, you don’t get splashbacks. It’s the Pool. It happens.
If you splash someone on purpose, they most certainly do get splashbacks. Daddy, who is a much better shot than you, is included. So be prudent about who you splash.
If you are going to splash someone, do it right. If you ask Daddy, he’ll show you how. Swimming up to someone and kicking your legs is pathetic and ineffective.
Daddy reserves the right to join any splash war on the side of smaller children.
If you lose your grip while Daddy’s giving you a ride, call out and I’ll grab you. Do not use my ears, nose, or what’s left of my hair to stabilize yourself. This goes double for my chest and back hair.
If Daddy suddenly turns into a sea monster, you get a two (count ‘em, two) second head start. You may climb up on the side of the pool to escape the monster, but you cannot run screaming across the grounds.
If the sea monster catches you, tummy szrrrbtts are the standard penalty.
I know you want your friends to play Sea Monster too, but the Sea Monster only tummy szrrrbtts his own kids. With other people’s kids he becomes the Creepy Old Guy At The Pool and nobody wants that.
You get no more than four “Daddy, watch this!” episodes per fifteen minute period. After a full hour, you must come up with new material.
If you do a flip off of the diving board, please clear the pool for the next person before demanding accolades from your adoring fans.