Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Lately I've been very aware of how frequently I have the TV on in the background, so I'm making a conscious effort to do so less often. I've also given in too much to the distractions of my ipod and the computer. I didn't expose Caleb to much music in his younger months and I've been turning the TV off in favor of listening to music instead. We've discovered in the past month or two that he really, really loves music and constantly asks for "more more kissee" (his way of saying music).

Yesterday, as Caleb and I sat together on the sofa while he ate his snack, it became quite evident to me that the TV has spent far too much time turned on, and Caleb has noticed it. He munched on his apple slices, staring thoughtfully at the dark inanimate screen, and began the following conversation:

"More more moomie?" (movie)
"No, no movie."
"More more seatball?" (football)
"No, no football."
"More more Bah?"
"No, no Bella."
"More more birds?"
"No, no birds."

[Note: Bella and birds are both apps on my ipod that he particularly enjoys. Bella is an interactive children's video and birds is Angry Birds.]

Shortly after, he predictably asked for "kissee" so I obliged. Our xbox connects wirelessly to our computer so we turn that on to access our music library and play it through the stereo downstairs. Caleb's connection to electronic visuals is so strong that he thinks music comes through the picture he sees on the TV, or the itunes window on the computer monitor. When we turn the TV off (sound goes through the receiver instead) or minimize the itunes window, he asks for music again because he thinks it goes away along with the picture. We're working on teaching him that music is the sound he hears, and it's still there even when the picture goes away.

I've decided to challenge myself to limit the use of electronics throughout the day. It's easy to use Caleb as an excuse to have the TV on or play games on my ipod, because he likes those things. But what he likes and what is best for him are not always one and the same.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sewing Straight Lines

A few weeks ago I was making burp cloths for a friend. I often have trouble sewing perfectly straight lines. Even with that presser foot firmly on the fabric to keep it going straight, it somehow manages to stray here and there. In the midst of my frustration, I had a spiritual epiphany.

We are a human sewing project.

We struggle against the mechanism that's in place to guide us (the Holy Spirit). Sometimes we calmly and quietly stay in line as we're stitched together and made complete. Other times we fight the plan of what we're designed to be. Even with pins in place to prepare us, we try to go our own way.

There are two ways to look at this. The first is that we are flawed, imperfect, perhaps even outright ugly. We succumb to the pull of forces that would have us rebel against our purpose. Even if cosmetically we seem right, our internal strength and integrity might be questionable.

The way I prefer to see it is that these flaws are proof that we are handcrafted. We might make it difficult for our Creator to shape us - as demonstrated by our broken threads and jagged lines - but in the end, we are lovingly put together by a dedicated, unyielding Maker who sees past these flaws; He sees the final product. He loves us, He's proud of us, and He puts us to use despite our imperfections. Or, perhaps, because of them.

I don't want to be a difficult fabric to work with. I want to do exactly what my Creator asks of me. This won't always be the case because, like the fabric we use ourselves, sometimes we simply have a mind of our own. But that doesn't mean I can't strive to be cooperative and grateful to be worked on by the hands of such a skilled Craftsman.