Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Of Cajas, Cold Water, and Dirty Plants

May I be random today?  I mean, more random than usual? 

Yes?  Why, thank you very much.

As I mentioned before, I have been trying to find ways to connect our family more with the true meaning of this holy season of Lent.  I came across an idea on a blog that I love to check in on, A Holy Experience, and I thought that it was a great idea and I wanted to try one of our own.  Ours is a little different, of course, as each one would be.  I have an old friend who smokes a lot of cigars, so I asked him for a box and cut a hole in the top of it.  Then I took some tape and wrapped it around and around the box so that it could not be opened, and I cut some paper strips (that we have coming out our ears because they come as packaging in a product that we handle thousands of every month!) into small rectangles and put them and a pen beside the box.  My first idea was to have Jo or Elizabeth paint the box and decorate it in some way, but then I realized that if I waited until we had time to get that organized, Lent would be over and the box would just end up joining the other piles of good intentions I have lying around.  So, this is how it turned out, and it will still serve its purpose.

The idea behind the box, which we call La Caja de Lamentos (or the box of sorrow) is that when we have something heavy on our heart that needs to be surrendered to God, a sin or wrongdoing that is holding us back or weighing on our hearts, we can write it down on this paper and prayerfully put it in the box.  Then, on the Saturday after Good Friday, we will build a fire outside and open the box and dump all of our confessions into the fire, and our sins, as is said so well in A Holy Experience,

'are astoundingly no more because of Christ, who did it all.

And we’ll walk home with an empty box of repentance, giving thanks that He has written our names, not our sins, in His book of remembrance.'

  My 3 year old is very excited about this box.  She has come to me many times since I announced the purpose of the taped wooden box that smells of cigars and said, Mommy, I did something bad.  I need some paper.

Jo, if you need to repent, you need to write (draw) it out, but repenting means that you are sorry enough the change and not do it again.  The box is not here just to give you a reason to push your brother down. 

It is taking a little while longer for the rest of the family to catch on.  Perhaps a week from Saturday we will only be burning stick figures with smiley faces, spiky hair and lots of arms and multiple legs.  But Jo will definitely be cleansed of all brother pushing.

On to the next thought....

Guess what she just got done doing.

Did you guess cooking?  Nope

Did you guess washing the dishes?  Nope

Did you guess picking up random stuff from the living room and putting it back where it belongs?  Nope, not that either (although it's not a bad idea and one I encourage her and the rest of us to do often)

Did you guess take a shower?  Ding-ding-ding!  You're the winner!

There are a lot of things that people in this day and age take for granted, such as cars, heat, flushing toilets, and...

hot water.

We, at our house, however, do not take this last thing for granted at all.  

In fact, we have not taken any hot water for the last 2 days.  (and no, I did not decide to give up hot water for Lent.)

Our hot water heater goes on strike pretty regularly.  I do believe that it has decided that it is tired of putting out enough water to wash diapers, dishes and many family members daily.  It has decided that it is tired of being in the laundry room unnoticed.  And so, it has shut off and demands attention.

It has done this before.  At least 1-2 times a year.  

So, to take a 'shower' you have to heat the water on the stove and use a cup to dump said water over your head while standing in the tub.  It's not really that bad except for trying to wash your hair.  Elizabeth's hair is just too thick and mine is too long and it takes too much water.  Or, you can do like Jimmy does and run and jump around the house until you are sweating and then run in and shower with the cold water, hollering until you are numb and can't feel it anymore then darting out and running around some more to warm up again.

I chose option A.

But the tub is occupied right now by this:

This hibiscus seems to spend a lot of time in our tub.  The problem is that this tree needs to be indoors during the winter months, and so do our cats.  Can you guess what our outdoor cat likes to use this large pot of dirt for?  Yes, I know, the cat should be kicked out the door, but I'm a softy for him especially since he helped so much with the mouse problem.  And then you could argue that the plant really isn't worth keeping, but my good friend who moved to Canada left this plant with me and it is important to me to keep it alive and happy in remembrance of our enduring friendship.

But this plant had been an indoor-on-the-carpet plant before, so my friend had lined the pot with plastic, which didn't help my issue with the plant because even though there was some drainage, there wasn't enough drainage to be able to wash out all the toxins from what the cat put in there, and it was dying.

So, I hauled the plant outside this evening and re-potted it, (it was pretty gross)

but since it is cold again tonight, I had to bring it back in, water it inside, and now I must find a safe place for it. (other than the tub.  I need to go heat up some water for my 'shower')

I think that I will put my cilantro on the table for the moment (can you believe how much Jo's little seeds have grown?)

 and put the hibiscus under the grow lamp.  
It needs a little love...don't we all?

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