Wednesday, October 28, 2009

6 months to life.

K and I have been talking more and more about adding to the Bockoven household. The plan has always been to wait until C's 5th birthday so that about the time he starts Kindergarten (aka doesn't require daycare anymore) there would be another Bockoven. C's 5th birthday has come and gone, so you know what that means.....

I'm gonna get skinny and healthy first.

Over the last couple of months, I've naturally been reflecting on my pregnancy, L&D and C's infancy. For the most part, it was awful. I love my son, but that 2 year time period was just plain rotten. Much of it could not have been changed, but there are parts I could have improved. By and large, my weight, physical fitness and general health could have meant a very different experience for all involved.

I've often wanted to hire a life coach/personal trainer/nutritionist/chef. However, K is a pastor and I'm a do the math. So, I chose the next best baby brother.

When Uncle P came to Champaign for I's graduation, he got me to do an entire pushup...all the way down and all the way up. That was a miracle for me. The next week I called him and told him he should go to school to be a personal trainer. I know no other person with such passion for health and fitness and love for human kind. He genuinely wants people to be healthy because it's in their best interest. He encourages with the love he personifies and makes me want to be able to do 100 pushups.

After that conversation he designed a little workout for me, using my own body weight (which should make me dang strong....geesh!). It takes 15 minutes and I can do it while watching TV. Perfection. I did it once and was sore for 2 days. Then I had to pack my house up and move to Iowa...

On Monday I decided that our life was too chaotic right now for me to be pregnant, and I'm not healthy....not even a little bit. I talked to Patrick and told him I wanted to spend the next 6 months getting healthy (he's in charge of that) and getting our new life in Iowa de-chaos-ified (I'm in charge of that) so that I can feel great about using my body to grow a baby and feel great about bringing the next Bockoven into this world.

The plan is this:
Body Weight exercises MWF, a killer swift 30 minute walk T,R mornings (we aren't talking Andante folks!!!)

I hope, desperately, with all my heart and soul that in 2 weeks I can report that my clothes are fitting better and I've been sleeping like a baby. My modus operandi is quite the opposite, so here's hopin'!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Well, boo.

When I started this blog, I thought I would fill it with witty and philosophical observations of the world and my life. I thought I would tell well-constructed stories that showcase my intelligence and insightfulness. For some reason I didn't want this to be a mom-blog. For some reason I didn't want it to be "what's going on in my life." I didn't want it to be "Dear Diary" for the world to see.

After a few entries I found myself uninspired. I have a million ideas to explain (some of them I shared in a recent-ish post). Evidently explanation wasn't enough to bring the inspiration roaring back.

I find that I have millions of questions of the world, of the universe and everyday I feel like I have less and less answers, and certainly nothing witty to say about it all. Also, last time I asked a question out loud in this medium, I got told to settle down and stop asking such questions. I've always been encouraged to be curious and inquisitive, but it certainly has led to it's fair share of "Paralysis by Analysis." So that's no fun for anyone to read and I don't want to write that which isn't any fun.

I also have been scared to share my biggest question, for fear of being called a fraud.

I'm over it.

Where is God? I'm not kidding, I'm so unsure of God's whereabouts I would be lying if I said I was certain of God's existence. The biggest trouble in all of this: this is not a crisis of faith, this is not a passing feeling. This is simply the first time I've admitted it. Hell, I'm a pastor's wife, I've earned a Master's degree from Seminary, I've worked as a youth worker in several churches, I've been a church-camp counselor, I've helped with more VBS's than I can count, I was on the Synod LYO board, I was the girl who brought her friends to church, I asked to be baptised at age 8 because I felt strongly about the sacrament. How does all of that add up to "Where is God?" Have I been faking it all these years? Holy Shit! I hope not.

I'm not sure what I've been believing in all these years. When I talk people through "Am I a Christian?" I start with the Apostle's Creed. Perhaps that is where I shall begin.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

I can't understand how anyone who has eyes and a brain can NOT believe in a creator. Biology, Chemistry and Physics explains how things in our world work, but not why. I have a long list of phenomenon that "prove" to me a creator's hand in our universe.

Where I loose the connection is God's benevolence and relational nature. Now that I read the line, I'm not sure why I've always thought benevolence is implied, but I've been taught that it is, I've taught that it is. We do not believe that God is a puppeteer and we do not believe God is a clock-maker who simply made the world, wound it up and pushed "Go!". Those ideas, to me, imply benevolence.

I have never felt a "relationship" with God. I see good things in the world and believe they are God's work, but I do not feel his presence in my own life. I cannot name one time when I have felt God guiding me or speaking to me (no stories of veering off the route home to buy some milk here). At this point I'd say I have more faith in coincidences and chance than God's guiding hand. I've never had a strong prayer life and I'm pretty sure I don't involve God in any decisions I make on a day to day basis. Pray for signs, forget it. I've tried to build a prayer practice with Lectio Divina by myself, devotions, journaling, name it, I've probably tried it...I'm sure that I "give up" each time because I feel/hear nothing...I feel like I'm just talking to my self. The theologian in me tells myself that I'm approaching it too selfishly, that I'm looking for it to be God-Down rather than me giving my self, my thoughts, worries, etc to God. Well, after 15 years, the one sided conversation doesn't do the trick anymore (I guess not that it ever has).

In my Christian life, my relationships have been with people. I have been held up in crisis by people. I have seen 1 set of footprints in the sand of another person. Sure, you say, God has acted through those people to give you a tangible sense of Himself. That's all fine and good, but people are still people and can't guide me the way God is supposed to. People are too weak for that, as well they should be. People give me conflicting answers/advice, as well they should. I want both...I want people and I want God....why is that so much to ask. Why are there people (even Lutherans) who walk around spouting "God's told me..."?? Are they lying, are they delusional, are they as lonely for God as I am but they are convincing themselves of God's voice?

I have put some big things out there for God's input and have made some big decisions on his (I now perceive to be lack of) guidance. If God demands us to cling to him, why the hell doesn't he give me anything when I'm hanging by my fingernails, why don't I ever feel at peace, why am I forced to feel like I just have to own up to my choices because I never have one damn clue what God thinks I should do?

Here I stand, I can do no other.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Body Language

My parents taught me to listen to my body, and they taught me how to listen to my body. Whenever i had a tummy ache, my complaint was followed by no less than 10 questions about the nature of the ache. "Are you upset about something, where does it hurt, are you hungry, did you eat too fast, are you going to throw up, does it hurt like this or does it hurt like that?" Since it has always been that way, I never was annoyed by the questions. Instead I learned to ask myself the same kinds of questions when I was not feeling right.

When my Ulcerative Colitis flared for the first time, I gave it a few days in case it was a flu-bug, but it became clear to me soon that it wasn't simply a bug. I insisted that the Drs. deal with me rather than subject me to another test and "see what happens." Unfortunately, I had no idea what was going on and no amount of self-questioning or even talking with my parents helped me figure it out. That came in the years following when I had kidney stone attacks and appendicitis. It's amazing how many things can go wrong all in the same region of your body! But, having had colitis and paying such close attention to the symptoms so I could head off a flare made it so that I knew the other things were NOT colitis. I believe I got better care because I can explain my pain and discomfort with alarming clarity.

So, in the midst of this move, I am surprised at what is going on in my body. In the 2 other times we have moved since grad-school, we have never had stability greeting us at our destination. When we moved to the UP and also to Champaign, I didn't have a job waiting for me. In fact, my employment has been unclear and a source of great stress a majority of the last 5, almost 6 years. When we moved to MI, I didn't like the house we had to live in and never really did like it. When we moved to IL, we rented an apartment sight-unseen and wound up moving out of it within 6 months. When we moved to MI, I was newly pregnant with Clayton and soon was experiencing all-day-sickness. When we moved to IL, we didn't have a good daycare situation lined up for Clayton.

All of that uncertainty in the past, and this move seems to be the most stressful for me, and I simply do not understand. We are both very excited about Kurt's new church and the possibility of being there for many years. We have a parsonage and I love's very nearly my dream house. Clayton started preschool this week and it all seems to be going very well. I have a job waiting for me at a fantastic CPA firm that I am very excited about. We are going to be quite a bit closer to many of our good friends we have missed so much. (Best of all) we are only 65 miles from the great Luther College, so I can go to Juletide and any other arts activity (within reason, of course). I'm even planning to get Luther plates for my car!

So, why do I feel exhausted and yet not at all sleepy? Why do I feel like I need some serious nourishment but am not hungry at all? Why do I feel over all crummy?

I have no flippin' idea!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Back at the Ranch, 17 Months Later...

My apologies to those of you who spent months checking back to see "what's up." I never thought my hiatus would be so long.

Writing is something that seems to be helpful to me, but not something I can't live without, so it gets pushed to the side. The problem with that is two-fold: I don't have an outlet for the craziness/silliness/self-proclaimed-coolness in my head and those of you who are interested in my life don't get to hear about it.

I have to admit, I've been pretty self-absorbed these months. I've chosen to not write because I've been sick of my own thoughts or I didn't want to air personal things in a public manner, as well as other things.

So, here we are. I feel like I'm in a place less full of darkness and I'm ready to write.

Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for reading my words, trite as they might be.