The Tumble Outta Eden

Genesis 3: The Fall of Man

So, reading about the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, this is what I was thinking about and focusing on.

In vs. 16, Eve is given the consequences of eating the fruit.  Specifically, God says that He will “greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Continue reading

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Loki

Today at the church we’ve been attending for a few weeks, the service was dedicated to the Blessing of the Pets.  People brought their animals in, and there were speakers who all told stories of how they got their dogs and cats, and what their animals meant to them.

In honor of that, I want to do a post for each of my kitties.  First, Loki, our big, fat cat.

We decided to get a cat in 2003.  Really, we wanted to have a baby, but we were young (I was only 22), and we were still poor college kids in school full time.  Having a baby didn’t seem very practical.

So we went to the pound to look at cats.  There were a section for kittens that had four or five adorable cats.  I zeroed in on a little gray one in the back.  It looked like the sweetest little thing, was incredibly soft, and just seemed like magic.  When we headed back up to the front to ask if we could hold her, a feisty little orange ball of fur reached his paws out and batted at us.

When we got to the front, we asked to hold the orange one instead.  He seemed like he really wanted us, and he was cute and tiny and we wound up adopting him.  We named him Loki, after the Viking god of mischief… it turns out that the name was pretty appropriate.

I have since nicknamed him ‘The Beast’, as well as some choice swear words.  Loki turned out to be a pretty aggressive cat.  Over the years, we have figured out the things that make Loki mad.  They include (but aren’t limited to): bare legs, toes, Democrats, prayer, missionaries, people, kindness, other races, and being on a diet.

Things that he loves include: Kullervo, cardboard, tampons, and biting.

He’s really an awful cat, and we just love him.

Now, the entire time that we’ve had him, Loki has wished he could be outside.  We’ve lived in quite a number of places, and if he could, Loki would run outside of all of them and hide outside.  I suspect that he looks back on the first few weeks of his life, living on the rough, tough streets of Tallahassee, Florida, and thinks that if we hadn’t held him back, he could have been a jungle predator.

Nowadays, he spends most of the day outside of our Chicago apartment, stalking the neighborhood.  He’s much happier for it, although I warn my neighbors that he can be mean and to please stay away.  Everyone tells me that he’s just the sweetest thing though, and that they don’t believe me that he could ever be mean.

I love The Beast with all my heart, and for all the ways that he drives me crazy, he was our first pet, our first long-term investment in our future (you know, besides the wedding and stuff).

Five Minutes

After a day filled with
whining,
potty breaks,
potty victory celebrations,
slightly sick kids,
yelling,
fighting,
debating over ‘one more bite’,
stuck inside because of the rain…
I have five minutes.

Five minutes to sit back and close my eyes.

Five minutes to imagine my next knitting project (I’m currently between, which is always a tough spot to be in).

Five minutes to sit on the couch and read a few pages of Wicked, the book I’m currently reading.

Five minutes where I can take a mental vacation to New York City, and I swear I can smell the hot dogs cooking at the street vendor as I walk down the street, surrounded by people, all going about their business, all looking like they are in vastly different businesses, but all in the city that I love.

Five minutes to drink–and enjoy–some chocolate milk and say a prayer of gratitude for Nesquik and for sometimes not having to share.

Five minutes to listen to my husband bathing the children and hear them all giggling in delight.

Five minutes just for me, where I can enjoy what I have, what I am, what I have created, and what I will create.

Thank you, God, for five minutes.

Sunday Oliverism

Driving to church this morning, I was talking to Oliver about church-y stuff. I asked him if he talks about Jesus in his class at church (he said no). I asked if he knows who Jesus is (he said no). Then we had the following conversation:

Me: Oliver, do you know who God is?
Oliver: Yes.
Me: What can you tell me about God?
Oliver: (bashful) I don’t know.
Me: Well, God is like Mommy and Daddy because He loves you very, very much. But He’s different from Mommy and Daddy because you can’t see or touch him.
Oliver: Oh. I think Daddy is God.
Me: No, he’s not.
Oliver: Yes, he is.
Me: Why is Daddy God?
Oliver: He just is.
Me: Is Mommy God?
Oliver: Nope.
Me: Why isn’t Mommy God?
Oliver: (laughing like I’ve just said something ridiculous) Because Mommy is a lady!
Me: Why can’t God be a lady?
Oliver: That would be silly.
Me: I don’t think that God is a boy or a girl, Oliver.
Oliver: Yes. god is a boy. Daddy is God.

I think we’re going to have to have more discussions about this…

Annoyed at “An Invitation”

Conner received a response from the LDS records department following his resignation letter. It said the standard, “We don’t deal with this in Utah, but your bishop will get back to you” stuff that we expected. It also talked about the seriousness of the decision he was making, and they encouraged him to read the enclosed pamphlet and come back to the Church. Nothing unusual or unexpected there.

However, the pamphlet annoys me. It is titled “An Invitation” and has a photo of the statue of Jesus that you find at Visitor’s Centers across the country (world?). What gets under my skin about the invitation is that it exhorts Conner to please not be offended. “If any have been offended, we are sorry.” It encourages him to come back to the Church even if he is sinning. “To you who for any reason find yourselves outside the embrace of the Church, we say come back… and partake of the happiness you once knew.”

It’s no wonder that people assume that the only reason that one leaves the church is because he is offended or committing sin. It is no wonder that accusations of adultery, fraud, etc have been hurled at people close to me. (People don’t dare say that to me–I think it is presumed that I am “offended”.) The Church assumes that Conner either offended or committing serious sin!

And inviting him to partake of the happiness he once knew? Because he is no longer happy? I suppose it may be difficult to believe it, but while there has been difficulty in our lives since leaving the Church–knowing that family members are hurting as a result, having more choices (and thus more difficult decisions to make), coming to understand how we feel about Jesus and God and religion without the restrictions of what “we” believe being placed on us… that is all difficult. But we are happy.

I no longer consider myself a Mormon (although I did not remove my name from the registry and have no plans to do so). However, I did not stop attending church because of any of the following reasons:

  1. Conner made me–I dare someone who knows me well to try to “make” me do anything.  Try it.  Seriously.
  2. I was offended–I wasn’t.  I think Mormons are great people, and many of my favorite people are LDS.
  3. I was committing sin–I wasn’t.  Nothing serious, anyway.  I left with a valid temple recommend, thankyouverymuch–and not because I had lied or cheated or just not given it back.
  4. I wanted to be committing sin–There is no sin that is cool enough or awesome enough or anything to make me abandon my beliefs.  Now, I do occasionally drink alcohol, and coffee is on my daily must-haves, but this all transpired pre- and post-church (and, due to spiritual experiences I have had, I believe that this is with God’s blessing–the coffee, anyway).
  5. I had just never had a real testimony–I knew when I joined the Church that I was doing what God wanted.  I stand by that.  I also believe that God had a hand in me being where I am today.
  6. Satan answers my prayers–I guess if that’s how people need to deal with the cognitive dissonance of me, that’s their business, but I don’t believe that God and Satan sound the same.  And if Satan told me to leave the church, Satan also told me to join it.

There.  I’ve spoken my piece and counted to six.

And, also, anyone get the reference?  🙂