Monday, June 27, 2011

U2 or With or Without You, Ron Rapp

Almost a week ago Bela and I went to see U2 (the 360 tour)with John and JoAnna (my sister and her hubby).

First, I want to say that the first U2 concert I ever attended was due to the fact that JoAnna didn't give up trying to get tickets. I was a sophomore in high school (1988, Joshua Tree tour) and JoAnna was in 8th grade. My parents said we could go to the concert but we weren't allowed to stay out all night waiting in line for tickets. So, the moment Ticketmaster opened on that Saturday morning I was on the phone...listening to a busy signal. For hours.

Until I finally gave up.

And then Jo, the scrawny red-headed, freckle-faced, 8th grader she was, picked up the phone and dialed...quickly then yelling: I got through!

We bought our tickets and went that November 17. Sat in the nosebleed at the Collesium, was first introduced to the scent of Mary-Jane, and cried when Larry came on the big screen. It was the thrill of our short lives.

So going with Jo again, this her second U2concert, was great.

And Bela's first.

It wasn't the greatest time I've seen them...I mean, it was quite a show and the stage was amazing. But I think my favorite time seeing them EVER was in Vancouver, BC about 10 years ago. Here's the play list from that show: Elevation Tour

It was worship that night.

Still, a couple things will always stand out about this concert for me, and they are these:

Being held by Bela through most the concert because it was kindof cold...and it was close to our second anniversary. And we love each other.

Bela saying he couldn't believe he was there. And just sharing that experience together.

Watching Jo dance by herself since our seats weren't together, but then when no one came to sit next to us, Jo and John moved down to us. And then we danced and sang together.

Having this conversation with a slighty tippy Irish woman in the bathroom:

Her: I'm sitting behind you and, have you heard of Adele?
Me: Yes.
Her: Well, you look like her.
Me: Can't say that I'd know what she looks like.
Her: Well, I saw you and thought: she's Irish.
Me: I'm not.
Her: Well, I am.
The End

But this topped it all:

We arrived early to the venue (Angel Stadium) and so had time to walk around. On one particular stroll, we rounded a corner and saw: Ron Rapp.

Ron is an old friend of our parent's. He used to come to our house every Sunday evening. We've known him a long time...just haven't seen him in awhile.

So, he came into my line of vision and I called: Ron Rapp!

And JoAnna called: With or Without You, Ron Rapp!

And Ron Rapp said: yep.

And we were smiling and standing around him, nodding our heads and he said: And you are?

He didn't recognize us.

So we told him who we were and all laughed and then ran into him a couple more times. The pictures of the concert are actually from him.

But hours and days later, Jo and I were laughing over this encounter...and especially her yelling: With or Without You, Ron Rapp!

I'm laughing as I write it right now.

So that's U2 for me.

Except this.

I really missed my baby.

And I realized how much life has changed for me since I last saw U2.

I still love them. A Lot.

They're still my band. Maybe even THE band for me.

Just cuz of history and stuff.

But that baby of mine...

She's got my heart and my mind like almost nothing ever before.

I sat at the concert and thought: I'm Sophie's mom.

And just the thought brought such beauty to me.

So, With or Without U2,

She's the baby for me.

He's the guy for me.

And she's the U2 going, with or without you Ron Rapp, sister for me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Second Wedding Anniversary: worship

At the end of a day

Spent fixing a broken car in 100 degree heat,

After hearing that yet another job wasn't going to happen,

And cleaning numerous dirty diapers, from one little girl.

Therefore, ordering cloth diapers because, well, diapers are expensive.

Then spending a few dollars at our favorite store: What a Bargain!

and sipping coffee from a 'new to us' place,

We showered, and combed, and clothed.

And while I wasn't able to paint my toes as I would have wished

I did shave my legs,

and fed my baby,

and climbed into a car with my love

to drive to Taco Tuesday and eat our share of $1.50

pork, chicken and beef encased in tortillas.

For dessert, frozen yogurt

and a walk

and a talk

about our year.

Naming the amazing amount of hard things

Praising the incredible amount of good things

and figuring out what we want to do better,

who we want to BE better.

And at the end I knew

that chipped toe-nail polish
broken cars
employment dead-ends
and dirty diapers
can only culminate in joy
when you join hands with another
and say: we are grateful.

These are our lives of worship.

Linking up again this Thursday with Imperfect Prose...

**Sophie at 3 months, taken on our second wedding anniversary.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Dedication

This a long over-due update. On April 17 we dedicated ourselves as parents before God to raising our little Sophie. It was a precious time of recognizing all that we've been given and realizing that truly, while she is our gift, she's ours for just a little while. And even now, she is His.

After the dedication we headed to a park and had a little picnic with close friends and family who have been a part of our journey and who, we hope, also dedicated themselves that day to being part of Sophie's life.

We missed those who weren't with us...who love our baby and who, we know, are committed to her. This includes our Word Made Flesh family in Galati, Bicu and Bica in Galati, Catalin, Teri, Liam and Gavin in Omaha, my sisters Jamie (in Houston) and Elisabeth (in Portland) and their families, and also our sweet friends in Seattle, Portland, Omaha, Kentucky, and Indiana (you know who you are!). Your prayers and love were manifested that day in the face of Sophie.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Calendar Miscellaney

First of all, I'm not sure that 'miscellaney' is a word and if it is, whether I spelled it correctly or not. I think it is, but I couldn't find it in the dictionary. However, I believe it works and so just roll with me on this one.

I have a calendar called: Thoughts for the Journey by a group that once existed called Journey into Freedom. They were big into social justice and serving the poor.

Daily I'm supposed to flip a page a read a quote and truly, most the time the quotes are quite inspiring.

Take for instance the one that came up on the day my daughter was born:
Our truth is an ancient one: That love endures and overcomes; that hatred destroys; that what is obtained by love is retained, but what is obtained by hatred proves a burden. ~American Friends Service Committee
What a great quote to have on the day you're born! May those words linger in my tiny girl's soul.

My life has been a bit chaotic lately and so for a couple months, the calendar was stuck on April 10:
Everything that happens to you has the potential to deepen you. ~John O'Donohue
I guess if the calendar had to stay on a day due to chaos, that's a good quote to hang on to.

And then, while trying to organize the chaos the other day, I decided to have the calendar be on the right day. I mean, it sits on my bedstand, so it would be nice to wake up each morning and flip to the day's date and start the morning with a word of wisdom.

Here is what June 8 says:
It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them. ~George Elliot

I've had a difficult time not worrying lately. Worry and stress. And while I don't want to downplay how these two friends (worry and stress) can drag a person's heart through the mud, I also want to say this:

That I think worry and stress also point to that for which we long. They are descriptors of that which we want most in life. And it is those longings, those wishes, that point to who we truly are and what we hunger after. Are those things good? Are they lovely?

And I think that what we long for and what we wish for hang around the door that leads to our calling. I wonder if things like stress and worry are the locks on that door that keep us from going after that which would make us thoroughly alive. I believe that worry and stress in a very unsatisfying way, satiate our hunger and so we forget that what the worry and stress were pointing to, are, after all, good and lovely.

I'll be back on another day to talk about my worries. For now, though, the quote for this day, June 10:

Don't let your business determine your priorities, but rather let your priorities determine your business. ~Craig Nyschens

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Going back to work

Today at 4:15 ~ dawn still dark~
I woke and fed my daughter,
then put her back to sleep.
I showered, dressed, and made myself up
so I could go
to an 8a.m. job interview.

I have to go back to work
and this new mama heart
can hardly balance the ache of leaving
my girl with the need to provide.

I watched her sleep~
this, the first morning I won't be here to greet
her tiny face when she wakes,
her smile filling my cup.

I know a mom
who rises early
to work at a dump
sorting trash
so she can feed her family.
Her harried existence
missing early morning smiles.
And yet missing the growing of her children,
does not lack the glow of sacrifice,
that fills her children's cup.

I don't pretend that my
going to work is anything
like this woman's daily
demonstration of selflessness.
But in the moments before I left,
I pumped my love into a bottle,
a cup that will feed~
and I think I knew what it meant
to exist to love.

**the above photo is used with permission and is the working mom of whom I write.

Linking up again this Thursday with Imperfect Prose...

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