Archive | October, 2010

Death: Averted, part one.

30 Oct

The trip home was fantastic. The Sufjan Stevens concert was awe inspiring, my family enjoyed getting to meet Eli, I loved being able to devour my mommy’s delicious cooking spend time with my mother, we were even enlisted to help in the concession stand for a youth event my family’s church was putting on. Mom and dad asked Eli and I if we would be willing to drive my brother Logan to Dallas for an acting class he’s attending.

“Sure!” says I. “Not a problem!” says I. “We love road trips!” says I. Everything was fine and dandy, the weather was cool and dark and rainy, and we spent several blissful hours perusing a giant bookstore with coffee in hand and inhaling delicious pizzas for lunch.

On the 2-hour drive back to my parent’s place from Dallas, in a tiny little dot on the map called Rice, we noticed that the sky looked a little bit like green cottage cheese. I checked the weather on my phone and, TADA! There is a tornado warning! 3G cut out, so I couldn’t view the radar. Like all good southern girls in crisis, I called my daddy.
Ring, ring.
“Yes ma’am.” my daddy answered.
“Uhhh, dad, there’s a tornado warning and I can’t see the radar. We don’t see any funnels, but we’re in the warning area. . .can you check the weather?”
Now, my father is a brave soul. A brave, old-school Texas soul. And any Texans reading this know what I mean. Weather is not something that ever bothers him. So when he called me back and said “Uhhhhh. . .where are you? Can you pull over? I mean. . .uh. . .yeah. Pull over at that gas station off the highway. . .now. Just. . .sit there till I call you back, okay?”, guess what we did?

Yeah. We pulled over. Only problem, the gas station was shutting everything down and turning people away because they had received reports of straight line winds of over 100 mph, and the entire storefront was shiny new, pristine glass. So, Eli, my brother Logan and I trekked back into. . .

My mom's car Blanca

. . .and I called my dad back.
“Soooo. . .the gas station’s shut down. But there’s a church behind it we can go to.”
There was silence, and with much trepidation in his voice my daddy asked, “Well. . .” (deep breath) “What kind of church is it?” That, ladies and gentlemen, is my favorite part of this story. But moving along. The church (Southern Baptist) ended up being locked (damned Protestants), but we DID hide out in a Post Office.

"Kassie, do you REALLY have to take pictures right now??" Eli asked me. Yes, Eli. The answer is always yes.

Advertisements

7 Quick Takes Vol. 5

29 Oct

Ā 

Thank you Jennifer at Conversion Diary for hosting 7 Quick Takes! Visit her for more much more awesome (and eloquent) 7 Quick Takes than mine. šŸ˜€

I took a lot of pictures during my visit home last week. I thought I’d share some of them with y’all. There are too many to fit into 7 Quick Takes, so expect some picture heavy posts throughout the week – including one with tornado pictures and details of how Eli and I almost died. . .twice!

Please visit A Priest’s Wife and read her recent posts on China and Christmas. Food for thought as we prepare for Advent – and as you get ready to AWWWWW over my precious little siblings. I’m biased, yes. Get over it – or get your own blog.

1. Caitlin

2. Camryn
3. Aeren

4. Trent

5. All the Littles!

6. Whitney and Logan. . .
. . .were super busy putting a production on with their youth group (that was really spectacular, I must add), so they didn’t get to join us for the photoshoot. But they are equally awesome.

7. See, we exist!
This was before our near death experience(s). We were only eating Chipotle.

On Tarzan and Conversion

28 Oct

I do not hug trees. I do not drink out of aluminum water bottles. I did buy some adorable reusable grocery bags at Forever 21, but half the time I forget to bring them along. Due to overexposure to Investigation Discovery and living in a city with one of the highest violent sexual crime rates per capita in the nation, when I’m alone I drive everywhere, even if the location is only a mile or so away. I’m not actively trying to slaughter the earth – but frankly, I’m just too busy/lazy/rebellious to do anything super active to SAVE the earth (more on this later).Ā  All this to say, I am not usually a fan of environmentalist agenda that is entrenched so deeply in much of family entertainment these days. I am hyper-critical, I fully confess, and if I’m not careful I can find an evil conspiracy behind the most innocent of things (ugly disclosure time, you guys!). I am actively trying to combat this kind of negativity, though.

So the other day, when my young charges chose Tarzan as their daily movie choice, while I was elated that I did not have to watch Thomas the Tank Engine for the seventy-billionth day in a row, I was getting ready for a pompous, arrogant, IntellectaDouche criticism of the One World Peace Lovin’ Damn Frickin’ Hippie diatribe I was sure to find in this film that, in my far more ignorant, unenlightened childhood I counted among my favorites. Ahem. Unfortunately, I forgot that I’ve been praying to find God in every…single…thing like my daddy can. Forrealsz, he can get a divine revelation over a McDonalds Happy Meal. So, my expected 90 minutes of wild critical abandon was cut short by, you know, Almighty God?

If you haven’t seen the movie (and you really should – the writing is great, and the soundtrack is squee-inspiring), the basic premise follows the classic Tarzan story – Tarzan’s parents are killed by a cheetah, Tarzan is raised by gorillas, or apes, or something like that, and then the mandatory Disney romance transpires between Tarzan and the explorer Jane. So much of it reminded me of the conversion process that I just sat on the couch crying, with a snotty-nosed little boy asleep in my lap and a near-200-lb St. Bernard slobbering at my feet. Like Baby Tarzan, left to die in that tree house, our beliefs, our expectations, have been murdered. Our entire spiritual culture is gone – we know we have to find something different, but we don’t know what. We have to find shelter, but we don’t know where. I am so unbelievably blessed to have a family that loves me dearly, and for the most part either supports my decision to convert, or is getting over it – I did not lose my family in the conversion process. But I know of so many other converts who HAVE, and for them, they have to find an entirely new emotional home.

When you’re in that bleak chasm of I-can’t-keep-doing-what-I’ve-been-doing-but-I-don’t-know-if-I-can-really-make-this-leap, it is a genuine crisis. You’re terrified of what might happen if you stay, but you’re equally terrified by what might happen if you go. It’s not that God has abandoned us, it’s that we’re still too busy rationalizing and emotionalizing things within ourselves that we’re not willing to reach up and grab the hand that’s trying to pull us out of the abyss. And for far too many of us, the enemy is all too willing to seize that moment and whispers the lies that maybe, just maybe, ALL of this is a farce…maybe staying where we are is okay…maybe God will understand…maybe he’ll make an exception for us, this one time…maybe converting will spark a Beauty and the Beast style “Kill the beast!” villagers uprising and we’ll be martyred before we’re even able to be received into the church and made a Saint.

But when we’re faced with the beauty, and the peace, and the blazing, raging, earth-shatteringly silent roar of truth, we know.

We know what we have to do.

We know we have to obey God.

We know we have to follow this strange, new, thing that is so unlike everything we’ve known, and accept whatever comes next.

We have no choice. We’ve been burned by the flame of truth, and if we try to run there will be an ugly, blistering wound left behind that will kill us slowly.

Is it easy? Do we get everything right immediately? Do we have an instant metamorphosis into a beautiful CathoButterfly? No. We have fights. We have opposition in our new spiritual home. . .we have to fight battles just like we had to fight before. But it’s different this time. We have an entire community of Saints and Believers that have gone before us that are fighting and praying with us. We’ll fall down. We’ll screw up. But in the end? We win. Against doubt, against fear, against pain, and brokenness, and suffering, and starting over, we win. Not through our own strength, because we have none. But through the sweet, precious power of Christ, we win. We’re home, and nothing can ever, ever drag us out.

 

Also, the little elephant in the movie? Totally adorable.

7 Quick Takes Vol. 4

15 Oct
  1. Lucy, I’m home!
    I took a 2-week vacay from blogging and, for the most part, twitter and Facebook. My employer family’s lives hit the top of the Uber Chaotic scale, which means my life hit it right along with them. That and I’ve been adjusting (quite wonderfully!)Ā to Eli being home for GOOD. But, I’ve got a lot planned for the blog that I’m really excited about (and hinted at in my last 7 Quick Takes).Ā So, welcome back gang, thanks for sticking around!
  2. It’s a wonderful life.
    I committed the sin of gluttony on breadsticks and pesto at lunch today, went out to Starbucks with Eli after, and am lazing around at my place while Eli’s at work – then we’re going to Borders and the mall and eating dinner at his place this evening. I like not being long distance.
  3. Sufjan Stevens in 5 days!
    Eli bought us tickets to see Sufjan in Dallas on Wednesday – I’m beyond excited. I have to go thrifting for an appropriately hipster outfit today or tomorrow.
  4. My priest reads The Atlantic and Douglas Adams.
    I love being Catholic. Truly, I do.
  5. I get to see my family next week!
    I’m visiting home next week to see my awesome family and to introduce Eli to the crazy-but-beautiful chaos that is the Rutherford homestead. Read: Pray for us.
  6. Word is out.
    My family’s church has found out that I’m converting. Which means #5 could be interesting. Read: Pray for me some more, please.
  7. Shhhhh. . .
    I can’t tell you what number 7 is but since I write this stream-of-consciousness and it’s what came to me, I have to put it down anyway. It’s a surprise. And it’s a good surprise. And it’s consuming a lot of my thoughts right now. You’ll find out soon enough. Worry not.

    Visit ConversionDiary.com for more 7 Quick Takes – and maybe add your own!

My Momma’s So. . .

1 Oct

SeeingĀ AerenĀ sitting on the edge of a bed brushing her hair and learning to drink from a cup when four days ago she didn’t do any of these things, and Trent, longing to have a foot so he can wear both of his new shoes, knowing what their futures most likely would have been like, is so much more important in the scheme of things than a new car, bigger house, each child having their own bedroom, retirement or college funds, or any material thing that will not last beyond the grave. . .We’re investing in the future of children who are going to have not only a new foot and outlook on life, but a future and a hope. When we saw the faces of each of our children before we adopted them, it wasn’t a matter of “Can we afford to adopt this child?” it was “We can’t afford NOT to adopt them.” THIS is what life is all about.
Kimberly Rutherford

My momma’s so AWESOME that she’s mothered 9, homeschooled 7, adopted 4 babies from China, helped plant a church with my daddy, been a wonderful wife, and supported me through moving away from my family, starting a journey of faith that led me to Catholicism, and helped me through a broken engagement, frustrations with life and love and everything in between. She’s a fellow Dr. Who fanatic, and stays up into the very wee hours of the morning watching BBC miniseries, Royal Pains, and forensics shows with me when I visit home.

You should visit her blog, 22 Chopsticks. Tell her that Catholic heathen she raised sent you.

7 Quick Takes Vol. 3

1 Oct

Is it seriously Friday already? Visit Jennifer Fulwiler at ConversionDiary.com for more awesome Quick Takes!

1. Thank you!
Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to comment and email me about this blog – I’ve enjoyed getting to know a lot of you, and look forward to getting to know you better!

2. I’m waiting for my confirmation dress to arrive.
I won my confirmation dress on eBay (yes, I am one of those people), and am eagerly awaiting its arrival in the mail. The hard part will be forcing myself NOT to wear it before Eli and I are received into the church. I WILL BE STRONG. I WILL BE STRONG. I WILL BE STRONG.

3. Real life babysitter’s club?
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again – I love being a nanny. I know how difficult it is to get a good placement, and I know how expensive it can be for parents to get the assistance they need. I’ve been playing around with the idea of starting a Catholic placement agency for nannies sometime in the future…any thoughts from moms? If it were possible to have an affordable, Catholic nanny in your home (either live-in or live-out), would this be something you were interested in? Would you be more interested in assistance with housework, homeschooling, basic child care, cooking?

4. I visited a Maronite Rite Catholic church this week.
The Divine Liturgy was hauntingly beautiful. It was such an honor to be able to worship with some of my Eastern brothers and sisters – even if my veil positively reeks of incense now.

ļ»æ5. My sister turned 17.
Her story could have been a tragedy, but God crafted it into something beautiful. Maybe I’ll get her to share it sometime. It is an honor, and a privilege (and sometimes a pain in the a**) to be her older sister, and I love her dearly.

6. I tried to make it without saying this but. . .
Eli is COMING HOME IN 3 DAYS!!!

7. Be on the lookout for. . .
The final post on courtship/dating (may I never read another source on either again), my family’s adoption story (maybe a guest post from my mommy!), Waiting Child Wednesday.