Isaac spent most of the wee hours puking, which scores us a "get out of jail free" pass on a Sunday morning. At the moment he seems to be stabilized, as he's comatose in front of the Boomerang network watching Popeye cartoons.
I have finished Frank Viola's Pagan Christianity and am about halfway through his Reimagining Church. They're quite provocative and, I have to say, are stating some of the things I have been thinking for literally YEARS already.
It's also interesting that we're staring down the barrel of yet another institutional church staff position.
I was speaking to the pastor of said institutional church a couple of weeks ago and decided to casually drop the conversational bomb of mentioning my latest reading materials. I was surprised and pleased to note that he is reading exactly the same books and even had some suggestions for others along the same lines. I smell something interesting coming down the pike.
I like interesting.
The fabled "May you live in interesting times" curse has never really bothered me that much. Yes, I gripe about my "interesting" life because it's not perfect or smooth or even much fun sometimes. But it's definitely interesting. And I'd way rather have interesting than boring.
The way I get around the fear and the loathing is this -- if I really make an effort to separate my "self" from the situation and prevent it from becoming entangled and intertwined with the situation, I'm much happier. If, however, I take it personally that my bipolar daughter tells me to PISS OFF and that she HATES THIS F*CKING FAMILY, then I end up crazy or depressed or both.
She ran away yesterday afternoon and none of us noticed. She was supposed to be doing yard work to earn the money to pay us back for some serious debt she incurred (phone bill) and came in a little later with a couple of backpacks and a teddy bear. "Did you even know I was gone?" she asked me. I looked at her blankly.
"Why did you come back?" I said.
"The person I went to see wasn't home," she said. She had calmed down considerably.
I happen to know who she made the "secret runaway pact" with, and I know that the entire idea is beyond ridiculous, so I'm not particularly ruffled. There are perqs to being in-the-know with all her friends at school. Plus, the entire situation reminds me very much of the typical four-year-old who "runs away" and comes back a little later when she gets hungry or decides it's not such a great idea after all.
Besides, I "ran away" when I was her age. We all survived it then. We'll survive this now.
Doesn't mean I'm not worried. Heck, I worry a lot about where this is going and where she's going to end up... but I also have to keep reminding myself that I am not the architect of who she has turned out to be. I just have to try to help her get through adolescence intact... which I will admit to you is no easy task, but is much less onerous than believing I must somehow re-craft her personality. That I cannot do.
As for skipping church, I don't think my attitude toward it now is one of "running away." If anything, it's surprising to me how difficult the whole idea is. It's ever-so-much safer to join an institution and play the game the way I've always played it. That is even more tempting than I ever expected.
We'll see what comes down the pike. I believe with all my heart that God takes all things, even situations He doesn't approve of, and works them together for His purposes. We'll just continue to "do the next thing" (as Elisabeth Elliot always urges) and see where He takes us. I may not be terribly organized or even-tempered, but I think God can usually count on me to be willing to jump into the Unknown.
UPDATE: Isaac puked again. Sunday Funday!