Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring

It's beautiful today--83° F. Everything is bursting with colors; purple, pink, bright yellow, pale green...It feels like spring may finally have won the battle with winter. The brown branches that have looked so dead for months are sprouting buds, the ferns are poking their curly heads through the ground.
The entire world is screaming at me to get out of my mental hibernation and finally wake up. And for the first time in a long time, I feel like I might be able to shake off the darkness of winter and embrace the colors of spring within myself as well. Somewhere in the middle of my winter I forgot how spring brings life to the dead branches of my yard. And I forgot that Christ is able to bring the same spring to me. Today I am remembering.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yom HaShoah

I am Jewish. Granted, I happily eat my matza with ham and cheese. I enjoy shrimp, and I love shopping on Saturdays, and most importantly, 14 years ago, following an answer to prayer, I realized that Christ is indeed the Savior. I know that He is the promised Messiah and that through Him I can find peace. But I am still Jewish. It's part of me, it's where I came from, part of what makes me who I am today.

Tonight I was able to go to the annual Holocaust commemoration in our town. 64 years ago, a few survivors of the Nazi horrors slowly began to rebuild what was left of their lives. The war had ended and they were free, at least from the death camps and ghettos. But the innocent freedoms they had experienced pre-war were no longer available. 6 million people were murdered, just because they were Jews. 6 million men, women, and children.

My grandmother was a survivor. I am so very, very proud to have known her and learned from her. I don't think she knew how incredible she was and what an example she set for future generations. She made it through the horrors of the war ghettos and Auschwitz. She lost so much. And yet, she never lost her faith in God. I didn't get that when I was younger--how she was able to still hold on to her belief that there even was a God with all the evil and darkness she had gone through. And now, so many years after she told me her stories and demanded that I never forget, I am only beginning to grasp it. She would have had to go through the loss and darkness whether or not she believed in God. She chose to allow Him to help her through when no one else could.

The survivors of the war told their stories so the world would never forget; never repeat such incomprehensible acts. Yet, just a few generations have passed and inhumanity and cruelty is found everywhere. Sometimes it all seems so hopeless; but tonight helped me remember that each of us make a difference. We can choose to be the influence for good in a world gone mad. We can choose to let God help us as we struggle through the darkness.

Tonight was for my grandmother and for the other brave survivors who help us remember. It was for the six million who died that we must never forget. And for those of us who are living. So that we can help the world say: Never again!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Taking Issue with the Einsteins.

I bribe my kids to sit still with a show when I cut their hair, which is why the hair in front always looks a little funny - "MOVE, Mami! You're blocking the movie..." - but as it makes the cutting time bearable for all of us, I'm willing to live with lop-sided bangs.
Well, today I let the kids watch Little Einsteins while we did haircuts and I found myself turning into one of those old ladies who gripe about "this day and age." (I bet you didn't know making parents age was a side effect of this show.)
The episode was about the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, but the show completely changed the point of the story: When the first and second pigs built their houses, they were praised for "good craftsmanship," and the houses only fell down because the mean wolf blew, not because they were too lazy to build a proper house. And then the rocket built the third pigs house, not the pig himself. With items they flew around and looked for, not ones they made with their own effort of course. Now the last one, I can explain away with the need for recycling, and the Edward Grieg music was great, but the rest of the message really irked me. Is it really so wrong to teach our children that hard work is a good thing? That quality work is important? We are so busy praising everyone for participating, that it feels like the importance of actually trying to create something worthwhile is lost by the wayside. And what is up with the rocket doing the work instead of the pig? Or at least those einstein children - why aren't they working?
I am about three steps away from having a cat and muttering to myself when I ride the bus.
Oh, and haircut pictures will follow. (Huge changes, by the way...:)