How Can It Be 20 Years?

I will never forget my mother’s weeping at the images on our television. Pictures of fireman carrying children, bodies bloodied and broken. A massive gaping hole in a building and rubble everywhere. The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City will always be the defining schism between my sheltered, peaceful childhood and the harsh ugliness of “the real world”. My innocence was lost on this day.

As a teenager, I did not fully grasp the magnitude of the event, nor understand how any human could intentionally inflict such horror on others, including babies. Unfortunately, the 20 years since have introduced to my consciousness the vast and seemingly boundless capacity people possess to destroy each other. It seems unfathomable that two decades have passed since this life altering tragedy. Twenty years. Continue reading

Caught up in Contagious Joy

I began a new book this week that, given the first chapter, I know is going to be phenomenal. Just a quick post to share a brilliant quote from it.

Exuberance – The Passion for Life
by Kay Redfield Jamison

“We have given sorrow many words, but a passion for life few.

Yet it is the infectious energies of exuberance that proclaim and disperse much of what is marvelous in life. Exuberance carries us places we would not otherwise go — across the savannah, to the moon, into imagination — and if we ourselves are not so exuberant we will, caught up in the contagious joy of those who are, be inclined collectively to go yonder. By its pleasures, exuberance lures us from our common places and quieter moods; and — after the victory, the harvest, the discovery of a new idea or an unfamiliar place — it gives ascendant reason to venture forth all over again. Delight is its own reward, adventure its own pleasure.”

Doesn’t that set fire to your soul and send a shiver of anticipation down your spine? This is what I want out of life. What I strive for. To bring exuberance and passion to the everyday mundane moments of life. Go out and have a day filled with irrepressible exuberance!

Recent Reads

“Recent Reads” is new feature on Dissonant Symphony. You can expect to see a post like this once or twice a month detailing our current page turners. I’ll include a short description of each book and every title will be a link to purchase it. However, I highly recommend utilizing your local library whenever possible. We spend copious amounts of time reading. I’d be dead broke and living in a box made out of books if I purchased all the literature we consume. I generally assuage my conscience with the idea that if I “fail” at all other aspects of homeschooling, but have passed along a voracious love of the written word, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Continue reading

Science Observation: Bird’s Nest Day 17

With a heavy heart, I broke the news to my kids this morning. Our baby bird from yesterday still hasn’t moved and doesn’t appear to be alive. The other two eggs are still unhatched. This may turn out to be a more somber science lesson than I anticipated at the beginning. I guess of all days, Good Friday is an appropriate time to talk about life and death.

That @#*$&! Tooth Fairy

They say the only sure things in life are death and taxes. Agree to disagree. The list should include the inevitability that, should you decide to do anything “special” to commemorate the visiting of the tooth fairy, teeth will then ALWAYS come out at the absolute worst possible times. The worst! Now, the tooth fairy has been on my radar for over twenty-five years. I actually saved a few silver dollars from the bounty of my own childhood lost teeth, to pass down to my kids. Yes. I’m that much of an over planner. It’s a sickness. Needless to say, I had already decided exactly how the tooth fairy thing was going to happen. It included an adorable receipt commemorating the day. The whole experience was going to be fantastic. Continue reading

A Quiet Life, A Full Life

We recently picked up a book from the library entitled “Dear Mr. Washington
by Lynn Cullen. It is a humorous look at the story behind Gilbert Stewart’s famous portrait of the first President. This one.

The book follows Stuart’s children as they attempt to follow George Washington’s Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior on Company and Conversation while the President sits for his portrait. These rules (110 of them) were copied down by Washington by the time he was 16. Continue reading

Devotional – Married to Life

1 Corinthians 7:34 …An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.

So. True. How often do I find myself going twelve different directions in a vain attempt to get it all done? I want my house to be clean, I need to workout, Madison wants to play polly-pockets, Donovan wants to point out every “fruck” (truck) in a 30 yard radius of his body, dinner needs to be made, the laundry is now so wrinkled it really should be thrown back in the dryer, I should probably at least run a brush thru my hair so Zack recognizes me when he gets home and try to save some energy for actually being a wife…and on, and on, and on. Where does my devotion to the Lord fit in? Continue reading

Devotional – Predicting Responses

Mark 11:31-33 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 32 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’ …” (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.) 33 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

It’s interesting to me how often a group of very educated people can’t come up with a simple answer to a basic question. Election day was yesterday and whatever side of the aisle you fall on, we can all probably agree that politicians in general use way too many words to ultimately not say very much of substance. Trying to please everyone, quite often leads to what I like to call mamby-pamby speech. Basically, not taking a hard stand on anything for fear that it will turn people off. Continue reading

Spiritually Speaking, Are You Obese?

I love my mom. I think it is fantastic that I want to talk to her on a daily basis. What’s even better, is that I always come away with some amazing insight from our chats. I recently have really enjoyed talking to my mom about God. She is the most spiritually mature person I know. She’d probably laugh at me if she read that, but it is totally true. My mother has had an hour or more quiet time every day since I was very young. I cannot remember a time that I didn’t wake up to Mom’s Bible, journal and her concordance strewn near the big chair in the living room. She loves hanging out with God. During one of our recent conversations, my mother said something that showed such discernment, I was blown away. First, a bit of background on our talk. Continue reading