Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Thursday, August 28, 2008

More than it seems

It's not often I blog about any subject that can remain entirely serious, but today I feel something comin' on. Perhaps I should go check my temperature?

In the course of the last 2 years, I've read many articles on the subject of hospitality. Quite a few of them found at LAF. (see sidebar link) While interesting and yes, at times inspiring, these calls to Christian feminine hospitality left a bad taste in my mouth. The feeling that hospitality must be practiced as an "all or nothing" proposition is one that comes up frequently if you look around enough, especially on women's message boards.
When I hear "hospitality" all I can think of is a group of ladies wearing itchy lace dresses, crowded into a stuffy old parlor room, and sipping hot tea when it's around 85 degrees out. Mmmm southern hospitality. Lol What occurred to me yesterday is that hospitality (and I'm thinking it's time to go Google a darn thesaurus) can be very different from that image.
Some of you know that I live in the ghetto. Say it with me now. Ghet-to. Very good. Now if you've never experienced the ghetto, I recommend a trip to your local housing authority. They can direct you to your nearest ghetto and perhaps give you a quick tour. When you live in a ghetto like I do, you're probably not inclined to entertaining, like I'm not. But here's the thing. God often blesses us when we take the time to step out of our comfy little niches and do something to bless others. Not saying it's easy! But it can be well worth it.
Just a few weeks ago, Mr. P. and I had a few friends over for dinner. Most couples our age probably do this often, but we do this...ah...never. The great thing about that night is that all of us were pretty ghetto, but like I always tell my kids, we may not have a lot, but what we do have we can share. Certainly, we were blessed that night with companionship beyond measure.
Earlier this week, my aunt stopped by for a spell after her doctor's appointment but before she went home. Aunt D was quite sick with allergy-related bronchitis, and although she's typically the type to motor through everything, we tricked her into relaxing a bit. Coffee, kids and a gift of handmade soaps (no I didn't make 'em) worked like a charm. I didn't realize how much opening our home meant until she called a few days later let me know she appreciated having a place to recoup her energy before heading home.
And then yesterday, I gave a neighbor a cup of creamer for her coffee and some cookies for her son. It was our kids' first day of school and us mamas need that morning cuppa!
It's funny to me how each of these moments, small and large, blessed my heart while blessing someone else. And isn't that the point of being "hospitable"? Even in the ghetto, you can open your home and your life to friends, family and even those you hardly know. I've read that when it comes to Christian hospitality, the idea is sharing Christ's love along with your home and your time. So even if it's as humble as a plastic tumbler of half and half, it's more than it seems.

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ah muse, thy name is CMF!

In noticing many of us have gotten lax about regularly updating our blogs, a CMFer issued a friendly reminder to post. Shame on us, eh? Shame On You

Since my mind has been consumed by thoughts of fair food and brownies this last week, I asked for any random suggestions for a topic. Oh, this should be fun!
Thursday is back to school day here for my kids. Oh thank God! I'm ready to rip my hair out after the last few days. Honestly, I love my kids, but one can only take so much of a 5 year old doing that "I've got my eyes on you" thing from Meet the Parents. Or when the same kiddo screams at the top of his lungs how you're personally ruining his life because he's not allowed to stay up past 8pm. Oh, Lord, save me from his teenage years! Rolling Eyes Thank you Melanie for reminding me that relief is but a few days away!

Lately, we've been blasting through bread. Seriously. I guess in a family of fatsos (well except for MonkeyMan...still have no idea how that kid got skinny) it shouldn't shock me that we're all freaks for carbs, but it does. This month, it's been close to a loaf a day. Yowsa! How does that happen? I mean, I know that once Mr. P. pops in some bread to toast (see there Meri? toast! LOL), everyone crawls outta the gutters. I will include myself amongst the gutter-crawling, toast-fiends. After all, my first thought when I smell that golden scent (how I can attribute a color to smell makes me all the more snazzy) is often "I wonder if I can get Mr. P. to make me a slice?"

These last few weeks have been not so easy and joyous in our home. Mr. P. and I have had more than a few fights, admittedly most likely stemming from my PMDD. (there I said it, Mr. P.) One of our ongoing arguments is about our fertility. Some of my readers may know that I suffered a miscarriage earlier this year. As much as I am loathe to admit it, it's affected me more than I ever could've initially conceived. (bad pun, I know I know)
While I find myself at down moments dreaming of the baby I might one day have, God willing, I do wonder about certain baby products on the market these days. Since it's been 5 years since my last newborn, things have come quite a long way in certain areas. Many products I look at and think, "Wow, I wish they had that out when my kids were small!" But some? Oy. Take those baby boogie suction thingys for instance. (ha! Am I good or what?) Back when my boys were born, the hospital sent me home with one. I thought to myself, "What on earth is this thing for? Hopefully nothing to do with the circumcision care!" I never did get the hang of sucking out my baby's brains, ermmm, boogers with those things. So, poor Tank got the ol' Q-tip routine. He still does to this day.

Oh, and LJ, I refer you to the post "Public Service Announcement" for your toothpaste request. You'll find it familiar I think. Belly Laugh

Til next squeak,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday Meme

Wow, almost missed this another week running! It's time for a Monday Meme, courtesy of Cat.
1) If you could have any number of siblings, how many would you have, and of what gender? Hmmm. Honestly, I'm not close to my brother, and can't imagine having a sibling relationship that is close. I guess in a sugar-and-honey-coated kinda dream world, I'd have a huge loving family like what you see with the Duggars. But, reality is my brother and I rarely speak more than 3 words a year, even though he lives with Mom.
2) When was the time in your life when you felt the most repressed? Just in the last few months. I was trying to be who I thought I should because of my faith, and who I thought God would want me to be. Now, I'm back to my senses and feeling much better.
3) What's the best thing to do right after sex? Roll over and go to sleep. In actuality, I go potty first. Wait, I mean in the potty. Not in the bed.
4) Which phobias do you have? Totally freaked out by feet. ~shudders~
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
Basket, which leads to my shoe basket, which is falling apart, which leads to ideas to remedy that problem, which leads to thoughts of my living room closet, which leads to thoughts of my organizational deficiencies, which leads to my lack of housekeeping skills, which leads to the fight Mr. P. and I had earlier, which leads to my currently raging PMS, which leads to thoughts of oncoming AF, which leads to sadness over not being pregnant this month.
Damn you, wicker basket! Tongue Out

Til next squeak,

Blog rolls are nummerz...especially the kind with cream in the middle.

I decided to add one of those nifty little blog roll features in my side bar.
If you're a frequent visitor, and would like to see your blog listed, just leave a comment with your URL, and I'll check it out!
Thumbs Up

In the meantime, go read up on these other fine bloggers. You'll enjoy it, I promise.

Til next squeak,

Friday, August 15, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Crest for Kids is not so great for hemorrhoids, actually. And when you've got a ton of little white tubes of creams sitting on your bathroom sink, it's time to organize. And if you are yelling at your kids while squirting and applying any of said creams, it's best to either stop yelling at the kids, or stop squirting and applying. You know why? Because something's gotta give. And apparently today, it's my now bubble-minty fresh bottom.
That is all.

Til next squeak,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'll take religious hypocrisy for $500, Alex!

So, we went to church last night. Why oh why oh why? Seriously, sometimes I wonder why I go against my gut instincts and do some things. It almost always comes back to bite me.
Anyway, all of us, and I do mean all of us, loaded on up and headed on down for the Wednesday night services. It was only at the last minute that we realized it would be a guest speaker and not the regular pastor.
Oh Jeez
It ended up being this man, Cam Colombo. He was apparently there to do a multi-part series on gifts of the Spirit and healing. Now, let me say up front that both Mr. P. and I are not big believers in faith healing. Speaking purely for myself here, I won't say it's impossible, for nothing is impossible with Christ, but I think it's not probable in the setting of a "healer" pushing on people's foreheads in a church to have them become "slain in the Spirit". Again, just my personal take.
So, back to the service. Mom and my aunt were with us and Mom wanted to stay because she was hoping to learn about the gifts of the Spirit. In her own words, "I really don't know much about that junk.". I was prepared to explain some of the "finer points" of the various ways one could look at the gifts of the Spirit to her once the service was over. I was not prepared to find myself somewhat flabbergasted halfway through, nor to have my husband walk out.
I should probably confess right here before I go on that because of the worship team's insistence on playing background music, I didn't hear much of what this man had to say. Maybe he clarified his point after, I'm not sure. Regardless, it's pretty high on my not-cool-o-meter to hear stuff like this in church:
An example he used to illustrate a point was one of finding an acceptable marriage partner. Speaking to the men, he asked them if they would take a "filthy" wife. As he continued, it was clear he meant a woman of, shall we say, loose morals. Then he asked of the women, would we have taken "a man from the streets" as our husband. And as you can imagine, his hoped for response was a resounding NO!
Except for Mr. P. and I. We just looked at each other. Granted, we kinda laughed it off at first, but the more we thought of, the more offended we were.
You see, Mr. P. and I had started our relationship as a 1 night stand. And frankly, though I was "a filthy woman" and he "a man from the streets", we knew within just a few weeks that we loved each other very much. Almost 9 years later, here we still sit, committed to one another.
As Pastor Colombo continued, Mr. P. and I stewed in our own juices a bit longer. Shortly after, Mr. P. went outside, and not long after, I got the kids and we left. Maybe that was wrong, maybe that was rude, but that's how it went down.
Last night, I just couldn't help but ponder that whole analogy of his. I've heard stuff like that before from Christians likening a pure marriage to what Christ will find acceptable. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I often wonder what Bible they are reading. In mine, the overwhelming theme is one of Redemption. Redemption came to this world, hung on a cross and sacrificed all for each one of us. There are no strings attached, no ifs, ands, or buts. Redemption is available for all, regardless, and dare I say especially for those who seem filthy and stuck in all the world's bad places. I don't know, maybe it's just that I am still a very young Christian, but it saddens me that many forget that there are those of us who weren't raised in the church, who came to Christ in our adult years after many mistakes, but who I believe God still values as His children. I know oftentimes the church at large does not. It becomes apparent in the attitudes displayed when Christians believe they are speaking among their own. It's a different ball of wax than when ministering to the world, eh?
Alrighty, time to hop off my soapbox of religious hypocrisy. My man from the streets needs his filthy wife to wake him up for work. Winky 2

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A quick apology

As I look at the clock and calendar, I realize that my posting has been pretty lazy over here, and for that I apologize.
You see, I've been going through a spiritual crisis of sorts. I kinda feel like God has unscrewed my head, shook out my brains and replaced them with cherry Jell-o. And I don't particularly like cherry flavored Jell-o.
So, while I'm stumbling through this time of heavenly hypocrisy (at least that's how it feels to me), you Dear Reader, will have to bear with more sporadic posts, and when they do come, posts with a more Christian bent to them.
Again, I apologize in advance. Any complaints may be directed to the Man Upstairs. Bow Down

Til next squeak,

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So I am Monkey Face...

...because I'm married to Johnny Test. Not Sure

Til next squeak,

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fat girl on a diet

Well, I'm not really on a diet. But I did join a gym last month. And let me tell you, there's nothing funnier than a 330 pound woman on a treadmill. Hmmm. Well, maybe these guys are funnier on a treadmill...

Til next squeak,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monday Meme

Another week, another donut. It's Monday, and somehow I feel like the week is already over! Man, having the blahs sucks.

Anyway, Cat has cooked up some more yummy meme goodness. Here we go!
1) What one thing in your life best represents freedom to you? Mr. P. Honestly. He pulled me out of my nasty home life when I was a teenager, and that was true freedom.
2) What musical piece makes you feel contemplative? Surrender by Barlow Girl. Lyrically, it really speaks of where I am now, where I have been in the last year, and where I'm afraid of going in the future.

3) What is your biggest pet peeve? Mr. P. not picking up after himself. Makes me wanna gouge my eyes out so I don't have to look at it. Seriously though, it just overwhelms me. What I mean is that since I have myself and the kids to pick up after, having to do things like close up the bread and make sure any perishables are put away after he makes a sandwich just kinda break this camel's back. Mentally speaking.
4) Would the world be better off if it was run by a global government? Ermmm maybe? At least we'd be one step closer to Jesus coming back. LOL.
5) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.

Well, I just joined LA Fitness last month, so it makes me think of that. And that I really need to go waddle on the treadmill tomorrow. So that means I should go shower soon. Hmmm, maybe that's TMI.

Til next squeak,

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