Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Children in Church

Most of the time, I think of Church as an adult activity. It requires concentration, observance of certain conventions, understanding of rituals, and a great deal of metaphoric interpretation.

On the other hand, many families attend together with even the youngest members in attendance. One philosophy maintains children should be introduced as infants and should be guided to practice the rituals and observances early and receive adequate instruction to make it understood.

To gain better attendance  from adults, most people believe in the early introduction philosophy. We love to see them all dressed up for Church with their joyous, smiling faces, and their sweet voices. Sometime their is a down side to all the commotion that attends children in Church. Adults may not be interested in the energetic activity especially when they are meditating or praying or concentrating on a difficult Biblical passage or theological concept.

Indeed, many older adults may view the cacophony as disruptive to the service and disrespectful to God and the purpose of the gathering. 

Of course I find myself in that group that comes from an older and more restrained practice. I imagine that those who value order and 
discipline view running children as unacceptable in Church. Most of the conversations I hear, settle the argument in favor of tolerance of the status quo, but they may be losing potential members who aren't so broad minded on the subject.


Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year's Eve

Celebrate the New Year!

It's New Year's Eve and I'm home alone. Does this mean I'm lonely? No, certainly not! It just means I'm able to do as I please. I can write in the blog, or read, catch up on the news, study my Sunday school lesson, or make paper butterflies for Jennifer. Which would you choose?

I've been 80 for almost a month now and I'm getting used to it. It's not really so different from 79.  I am learning to enjoy sleeping late and I'm also getting used to realizing that it's never going to be 1986 again.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions anymore. I just try to focus on a few things I want to do before we do this again. I'm old, so I've already done most of the things that matter. But in 2017 I would like to write in my blogs with better style and purpose. I would like to feel like I are doing a better job of it this year. I do write a lot of blogs, so it could be very difficult to get to all of them ever week with new and compelling topics. I may be I'll have to do more research, have some new experiences, and accomplish some new tasks. Check in now and them to see how I'm doing. See you next year!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Birthday!

I really enjoyed my Birthday. O.K. so I'm 80. Now what do I do? I can still write, even if nobody reads it. I can still read, even if it's not the newest thing on the New York Times list. I can still love people, even if they don't live close or come to visit. I do still go to Church, even if sometimes it kinda bland.

Being 80 is a new chance at making my mark on the world. O.K. so It's not a big important mark. But if I haven't made a big mark yet, the time's not up.

I am encouraged by George Valliant. There are still stages in life I have not explored and heights I haven't scaled. 

I'm 80 and all indications are that I might live longer yet. Have a good time and cheer up. It ain't over til it over. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Anticipating Christmas

Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is on the horizon. It's time to send cards, make lists, review recipes and get ready for the Big Day. In my experience Thanksgiving includes the weekend and culminates on Sunday. When my kids were small we celebrated for four days. Sunday was nearly as big a day and Thursday. We cooked, visited, ate and celebrated to the end. We had a lot to be thankful for.

Giving thanks is a good foundation for Christmas. Maybe I should say a good introduction. Laying a groundwork of thanks is appropriate. 

We are thankful for the appearance of the Savior. The message of the angels promises rich connection to God and His Son. We are blessed to share in this celebration of his birth. We do need to be careful about the level of our celebration. Drunken foolishness is often viewed as celebration, but when we are dealing with issues and realities created in heavenly places, it behooves us to be more circumspect and critical of common practice. Are the things we see in our society really the behaviors we want to present before God as worthy of the gift and grace He bestowed on us?

I realize Christmas has taken on a life of it's own. It has new traditions and myths not associated with the Lord's birth. Many of them are centered in generosity, mercy, hope, and joy, which doesn't do violence to the Biblical ideal. There is a lot of emphasis on gifts and what and how to buy for friends and family. One big risk to the meaning of Christmas comes from the distraction of gift giving and receiving. How much you spend is not necessarily a good gauge of how important the person is to you or the nature of your relationship. Trying to spend the same amount for all your children is a path to hopeless frustration.

I think I'll probably revisit this subject before the big day. You can address it in your blog, too.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

How About Embroidery?

Last year about this time I remembered that I know how to crochet. It inspired me to Make some hot pads for a few people for Christmas. O.K. here I am at Christmas again, facing the same dilemma: What can I do for those people I would like to give something for Christmas? It would be bad to give the same thing again. 

Then I visited a friend's home today and saw a whole wall of beautiful, embroidered, framed art that inspired me.  I don't think I could finish anything in time for Christmas, but I could make some nice things for next year. First, I want to make some for myself.  I don't have much on my walls, and this is what I would like to do.

I can imagine things I would like to make that would remind me of people and events that mark rites of passage. I would spend some time creating special settings for them. Sometimes the things I want to dwell on in an art form are poems I love, or dates that are important. 

One thing that troubles me is my lack of expertise in embroidery. It would be a learning experience. Maybe that's good. It would mean I have to master a new skill. It would fill my time and prevent the boredom I find in much of the TV I watch. I think I'll look into it more and see what comes of it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Mother Didn't Tell Me About Getting Old

My Mother died when she was 38 and I was ten, so I didn't get much information from her about old age or the frustrations of it. Now I am forming my own opinions about old age. I still think I'm getting better as I get older. My body is in a state of decline, but my mind and senses are strong. My children aren't so sure. Mostly they just tolerate me.

Now I am getting better at being alone. I don't feel lonely. Sometimes I hear a sound in the other room and am reminded that there is no one there. I keep the TV volume low so I don't disturb anyone. I'm the only one here, so I must be successful. Sometimes I forget where I am. I often doze when watching TV, then I come to my senses and don't know which way the bedroom is. I recall the house I used to live it and imagine that I am there. It makes for some very exciting journeys to other places.

The noise in the other room could be one of my children or my husband. Suddenly I know it's a day dream. I really am alone, but I don't feel alone most of the time. I'm not quite sure whether to say it's a dream or an hallucination, or maybe just a memory.

I try to create patterns and routines to structure my day. There are no constraints on me now to observe other peoples's needs. I get to make a day have more or less hours to suit my mood. I can sleep late or rise early without being a bother to anyone else. I like getting old. There are many advantages and many options I haven't mentioned yet. If you are getting old, claim the joys and make the most of the benefits. It's a blast!   

Friday, July 15, 2016

Life--Ready for the Game

On Monday morning when I got
life was waiting at the door,
standing there, demanding there
that I come out that day.
But the games of life are hard to play.
It was plain to see the pain would be
too much for me to bear.
And so I thought I'd run away.
Life would follow me,swallow me
I had to find a place to hide.
Just be real still and stay right here, but
then I chanced to see that Life was here with me
inside of me.
I could not get away.