All posts tagged: #grace

New Girl

[featured on Perissos 6/3/16] I think I finally found a new church. I’ve been searching for a long time. I need a place where people accept me unconditionally, even when I make huge mistakes and have bad ideas. And thank God I found it. Right in front me. Right here on Hulu. It’s the TV show New Girl. One night my husband turned on a show with some woman in little girl/old lady dresses talking dramatically to three/four really immature guys. They all lived in a big loft together. I rolled my eyes. “Nope. This show looks lame.” He said, “I really think you would like it, but okay.” He turned it off. A couple months went by. The only things left in the queue were some documentaries we’re never going to watch. So my husband suggested New Girl again, and I relented. I laughed so hard. My husband smiled knowingly. We watched all five seasons. It is the story of the “adorkable” school teacher, Jess, and her three or four male roommates. Nick is the …

I Stopped Praying for My Kids

Some people pray like a troubadour. Beaming about all the great things the Lover of their Soul has done. Their love is mutual and glorious. It’s dramatic and flowery, stomach flips and sighs. I’ve prayed like that, when my chubby baby smiled up me, and when I caught my husband looking at me from across the room. Some people pray like a tenant, leaving post-its on the landlord’s door. They roll their eyes whenever something breaks, knowing that whenever the scruffy, absent ex-con gets to it, it’ll be too late. They wait for him to come over smelling like cigarettes with a roll of duct tape, but normally end up fixing it themselves. Which is what the landlord was hoping for anyway. I’ve prayed like that, when my friend’s cancer didn’t get healed, and when my friend’s divorce was finalized. Some people pray like a child, asking for big things with big innocent eyes. They ask from the safe place on their daddy’s shoulders. Daddy is always patient and trustworthy. He can fix anything, and he …

Welcome Alameda MOPS!

Hello New Friends! I was honored to be with you this morning at Bay Farm Church. I was deeply touched by the way you gather together to hear, encourage, and celebrate each other. I hope my stories were not burdensome to you. I pray that little seeds of hope and compassion were planted in your hearts. And please remember, you are already doing compassion every day. Here are a few highlights and reminders: Moms, you are already Compassion Experts (read more here). If my messy family can practice Compassion, yours can too (read more here). You might think you have Nothing, but God can make it Something (read more here).  If you don’t believe that I actually dressed up as a Chicken and did the Chicken Dance at the bus stop  because I love my daughter and the children of Haiti, here’s the evidence: My Chicken Dance at G’s bus stop: Aimee at the Bus Stop Video Haiti Partner’s video back to us: Beautiful video from Haiti Partners Children’s Academy All of us dancing together in Haiti: Chicken Dance All Together …

A Kiss or An Ambush

I’m not sure when I started feeling sorry for Judas. Surely not as a child, when we’d boo and hiss at his betrayal in the colorful Bible storybooks. He hurt sweet Jesus, who always smiled and healed sick people. Judas was definitely the bad guy. Not in high school, when my personal relationship with Jesus entailed memorizing bible verses, confessing my sins, and listing my concerns about other people’s sins. I would have been able to help Jesus see where Judas was headed. In college, at the height of my legalism and perfectionism, I felt impatient about Judas. I didn’t want to discuss free will, God’s sovereignty, or any nuances. He was a selfish double agent, going after wealth and his own version of justice. It was unfortunate he hung himself, but it made sense. During that time I did a seven-week intensive study program in Greece, Israel, Egypt, and Italy on the archeology, history, topography, geography, and artistry of the Bible. Even though we sang sweet worship songs on the island of Patmos, shores …

You Gotta Be You (Halloween)

I am known for being a Truth Teller. I give it to you straight. I cannot hide my emotions or tolerate too much crap. I’m not good at pretending. So Halloween is not really my scene. This has always been the case. According to family legend, I was a strong-willed child. This story is one of my favorites: “When you were four you said you wanted to be Princess for Halloween. Your Mom didn’t buy you a plastic costume at K-Mart, she was going to make one for you. She stayed up all night to sew you a beautiful princess costume. It was shiny lavender with gold rick rack. You woke up the next morning on Halloween and hated it. You stomped and said, ‘I don’t want to be a Pretty Princess! I want to be Aimee Paulson!’” Here I am, fourth from the left, hanging out at Montessori that day. Screw you, Halloween. I’m Aimee Paulson. I played along in the future. I remember only two costumes. In 4th grade I was a gypsy – lots of blue …

Bullies

I was bullied mercilessly as a kid. It started in 3rd grade, when I suddenly didn’t understand the fast multiplication in blue pen on the overhead projector. I got moved from smart math to regular math. My bully taunted, “Ha! You thought you were smart and you’re NOT! You are STUPID.” I walked through the halls with my head down. On the bus my bully would point and laugh when I moved my book bag over for a neighbor to sit down and she’d walk past ignoring me. “You have NO FRIENDS! You are LAME!” she shouted. I would sink in my seat, cross my arms, and try not to cry. We moved away after 6th grade. My new school in California was totally different. I was offered drugs on the bus and jr highers were having sex under the trailers instead of going to class. It didn’t take long for a bully to find me. “You don’t smoke POT?! You’re such a goody goody. NERD! LOSER!” I don’t think a boy talked to me once and my …

What I Did Over Summer Vacation

Moving to Georgia has been hard. We pulled up to Sweet River, our new home, grateful and curious. The kids ran around laughing. The truck came, our house filled up with boxes, and I got to work. I stacked plates, organized books, admired long-lost treasures, and commissioned my husband to spend his weekends hanging pictures. It took a long time. I pushed. I got really tired. One night my husband was talking about where to host the Fantasy Football Draft. I tuned out. He asked me some question and I put down my drink, slammed my palm on the couch, and huffed, “It’s not happening, hon! You can’t do Fantasy Football in Illinois! We live here now. Come on! It’s over! It’s dead. Let it go.” It was quiet after that. Chris followed me into the kitchen and I started vigorously scrubbing some dishes. He asked, “Are you ok?” And I huffed, “No. I’m not! I’m exhausted! [scrubbing] But this is what we signed up for. Just gotta get through it.” He said, “That doesn’t really sound like a plan, babe.” …

Grace and Effort on MLK Weekend

Last week I cheerily encouraged all of us to move forward with our Asking, Listening, and Researching for the Family Compassion Focus we’ve chosen.  I admitted my family needed a January Checkpoint, too, because we hadn’t started either.  And then I shared my sunny, hopeful plan for a cozy family time of learning, something like Little House on the Prairie, but with the internet. Wow.  That did not happen.  You guys, it didn’t happen at all. On Friday my kids didn’t have school.  I don’t remember a lot of that day except for many loud children running around constantly asking for snacks and more screen time.  I struggled to show Compassion to the people I call my own.  It would have been ridiculous to suggest that my kids use the laptop for researching Haiti instead of playing another hour of Plants vs. Zombies. On Saturday I had a mini nervous breakdown from the nonstop noise, entropy, and expectations ricocheting all over my house.  So much Effort required.  So little Grace to be found.  There was a lot of misdirected anger …

January Checkpoint

Hello Everyone! We’re midway through January already.  Have you been researching, listening, and asking questions?  Are you moving forward with your Family Compassion Focus? So far this month my family has dealt with sickness, snow days, traveling Dad, first swim meet, and general elementary school drama, but >we have not done anything< to intentionally learn more about the people we have chosen to love and serve this year. It’s never too late.  Grace abounds. We have a four day weekend coming up in honor of World Changer Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Here’s my plan to help my family get started in a fun way: 1.  Review the recommendations and tools for researching found in the Now What post from 1/15.  They are just tips.  Modify it to best fit your family. 2.  Write down a list of all the tips I received on facebook.  My request for ideas about Haiti yielded more than 30 comments.  It’s so encouraging to know so much good is already happening there. 3.  Write out 3 research tasks for the …