Same As It Ever Was

Me, contemplating a return to the Internet. (photo by Courtney Perry)

Me, contemplating a return to the Internet. (photo by Courtney Perry)

So, I took 6 weeks off of the Internet, and I feel fine. Didn’t miss it all that much. In case you’re curious, here’s what I did:

1) Finished the second draft of my manuscript, Did God Kill Jesus? and sent it off to the publisher. Haven’t heard back yet, but I’m hoping they consider it an improvement. I do. Most days over the past six week, I wrote 6-8 hours per day. More on the book tomorrow.

2) Harvested bushels of produce from our garden.

3) Canned much of that produce. Final count: 12 jars beans, 6 jars beets, 12 jars pickles, 12 jars relish, 4 jars onions, 2 jars tomatoes, 6 loaves zucchini bread. The tomatoes are still coming. And 4 heads of cabbage are (hopefully) becoming sauerkraut in the basement.

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Happy Christmas, From Mine to Yours

Parenting Lasts

We tend to remember parenting “firsts.” The birth of a child, her first steps, the first time that he rides his bike without training wheels. These days, the memory of those firsts are aided by mobile phone video, never to be forgotten.

Lasts are more difficult to remember. We don’t usually know that this will be the last diaper we change, or that this will be the last time that we have to tie our child’s shoe.

Last Sunday evening, at the end of a long weekend of activities and hockey games and cookie baking and church, my 9-year-old and I were sitting on the couch, reading and listening to Christmas music as his older brother did homework. At some point, he laid his head on my lap and fell asleep. Shortly thereafter, I, too, fell asleep. An hour later, I awoke, and he was still sound asleep. He’s too big to carry, this rough-and-tumble hockey goalie, so I roused him to a state of about half-awake and directed him to his bed, helped him in, and covered him up.

And I thought to myself, I wonder if that’s the last time that one of my children will fall asleep on my lap. If so, it’s something that I will greatly miss, but a memory that I will deeply cherish.

Some Changes Here at Theoblogy

As you can see above, I had an epic weekend of hunting in and around Huron, South Dakota with my new friend, Jorge. I also preached at Grace Episcopal Church in Huron and met many of that church’s wonderful people. And if Albert looks tired in that photo, it’s cuz he is. We arrived home at noon today, and he’s not moving.

There are few things in the world that I like more than hunting. It has become a real focus of what I want in life: time in the outdoors, with my dog and friends, and soon with my kids (once they’re old enough).

Recently, Courtney asked me if there’s anything else in my life that is like hunting — that is, something that’s all-consuming of my mental capacities, something that totally absorbs me and allows me to leave everything else behind. I thought about it and said, No, nothing else has that effect on me.

As I’ve struggled to understand myself better — and the controversies on this blog have played a role in pushing me to do that — I’ve been focusing on what I can learn about being an Enneagram 8. On the drive to and from Huron, I listened to Suzanne Stabile’s lectures, “The Aggressive Stance.” It’s only a part of the puzzle that is me, but it’s been very helpful to embrace the doing center of an Enneagram 8. I’ve talked to Suzanne about this on the phone as well, and she’s encouraged me to start thinking through how my writing sounds to those in the thinking and feeling centers, and to those in the withdrawing and reflective stances.

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