Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dribble, Shoot, Score

I signed the boys up for their first sports experience--basketball.  They are in a 7-8 year-old division and practice starts this Saturday.  Unfortunately, they don't have a coach.  The response to the program was greater than expected, and there are more players than there are coaches to coach them.

The head of the Recreation Department has sent out pleading e-mails begging for volunteers.  

As of today, there still wasn't a coach.

Guess what I get to do for the next two months.

That's right...Me.....I get to be a basketball coach. I know practically nothing about basketball.  I know what a free throw and a three-pointer is.  I know that you're supposed to dribble the ball and shoot it at the basket.

That's about it.

I am not completely an idiot when it comes to sports.  I played volleyball in high school.  My brother played football and wrestled. I've attended many sporting events, so I get the general idea. I just don't know if that's good enough to qualify me to be in charge of something.  

Now, I have about a week and a half to learn all the rules of basketball and figure out how to teach 4 kids, 2 of which are mine, the basics of basketball.

Pray for me!  I could use a miracle or two.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Run, Fatgirl, Run

This past May I received a treadmill for Mother's Day.  I wanted it, so it wasn't some horrible, back-handed way for DH to tell me I needed to lose weight.  Although, last night he rented a video entitled, Run, Fatboy, Run, because he said it reminded him of me.  mmmkay.  Thanks for that, Dear One.

Actually, the reason he said such a dangerous thing, after he prefaced it with the obligatory, "Don't take this the wrong way...", was because I've decided to run this 5K, in Tampa, at the end of February. I'll give DH the benefit of the doubt and assume he was referring to the running part of the title and not the "fat" part. Hopefully, he values his life enough to never declare such a thing to me.

Anyway.....now I'm in training for a 5K.  I've managed to work myself up to a respectable 2.4 mile jog with no walking/stopping.  I only need to add .7 miles more to make the distance for a 5K.  I have 9 weeks, so I think I should be able to do it, even if I'm only running 13/14 minute miles.  According to my age category, which is a lot higher now that I am officially 35, the average time to finish is 38 minutes.  I'll have to get a lot faster to make that.

Endurance, I can do...speed is not really my strength. 

 I guess it gives me something to aim for.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Funny is....

Watching a 38 year old man trying to rock out with his kids' Dance Dance Revolution Wii game.

Hilarious.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is more beloved by me than Christmas Day, even though tomorrow is my birthday. The anticipation, the preparation, the feeling of excitement; they all combine to put me in a mellow mood of general well-being.  It's quiet and stress-free.

When I was growing up, my holidays were always split between my divorced parents. Christmas Eve was spent with my father and his extended family.  There would be mountains of food, many cousins my own age, and the contrast of a warm fireplace against the backdrop of a black night illuminated by crunchy snow and icicles.  My brother and I would be returned to my mom late at night, simultaneously sleepy and hyped up on sugar with tons of presents piled in the back of the car.

The next day we would wake up, open our presents with my mom and then head over to her family's house.  Christmas Day was an all-day event with more food, games, running around the farm and the Cliff's notes version of a family fight and reconciliation.  Every year there would be some drama, but it always seemed to get wrapped up before the day was over, usually over a game of Pictionary.

Both gatherings had at least 30-40 people at them. It was chaotic, loud and a lot of fun.


There won't be 30 people here today.  I have a turkey brining in the disinfected sink.  I have a pumpkin pie going into the oven.  Later the kids and DH are going to make a fancy punch for the punch bowl.  There will be no lunch, just spinach dip, french bread, shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, and cookies.  

We have more food then we can eat.  We'll stuff ourselves and then play board games.

Later we'll attend a Christmas Eve service and then bring our sleepy children home, bundle them into bed and relax by the light of our Christmas tree.

Anticipation. The quiet moment before the day begins. The silence before the baby's cry.

May we enjoy the day wherever we are found.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Field Trip


Last week I had the privilege of chaperoning the Intuitive Monkey and his class to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.  

The tour was sort of boring and over the heads of the 20 first graders who comprised the tour guide's captive audience.  The tour guide spent 10 minutes talking about the cost of a suite for 5 years, and contract details when it comes to the upcoming Super Bowl.  The kids just wanted to run on the football field, but weren't allowed to. Bummer.

We did get to enter the stadium through the Bucs entrance.  Here we are making our triumphant entry.


The kids traipsed up and down the stairs, sitting in the fold down seats, pretending they were watching a game.

Their favorite part was exploring the Buccaneers' pirate ship. Monkey was about to be keelhauled for being a lily-livered landlubber.
Everything went well even though the tour guide tried to fake us out by taking us to a generic locker room and proclaiming it was the actual Bucs locker room....without any actual equipment, name tags, personal touches, or lockable lockers.

Sure Mr. Tour Guide...we believe you.  Next thing you'll be telling us that you had the Monster Exterminator out to clean up the place before the Super Bowl.

White lies not withstanding, the kids ran through the locker room and stood in amazement at the shower room that could hold them all...and not one kid turned a shower knob on.  That's nearly miraculous.

A fun day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monster Exterminators

please hold off on throwing the rotten tomatoes at me...

The Christmas season always brings some moments of conflict for my children. We have never promoted Santa in our holiday celebrations, partly in an effort to keep the holiday focused on the birth of Jesus, and partly because we never felt comfortable in feeding them the elaborate story of Santa, complete with fake gift tags, reindeer hoof marks, and cookies and milk.

I know...we're mean, awful parents destroying our children's childhood moments.

throw tomatoes now.

The conflict comes at school when our children encounter other children who whole-heartedly believe the myth promoted by parents, teachers, and just about every grown-up they encounter. We've had to remind our children that it's OK if other people like to pretend there is a Santa. We've also had to instruct them not to argue with the other kids in their classes about the non-existence of the chubby one. They understand and usually keep mum about it.

Santa is harmless enough.  It's a once a year ruse meant to make the holiday special to young children. I understand the desire to indulge and by no means think poorly of other people who plunge headlong into the story.

The question becomes, for me, at what level does fantasy go from harmless to counter-productive in raising our children?

In our area there is a business, very much like this one, specializing in selling monster sprays, guaranteed to eliminate any scary bogeymen under the bed, hiding in the closet, or lurking behind doors.  You buy the product, go monster-hunting with your child and spray the monster repellent everywhere that your child is fearful.  

This is an old parenting trick that people have decided is a money-maker.  You gotta love the entrepreneurial spirit--fake products for fake problems with people willing to pay for it.

As if buying monster sprays seems a little strange, though maybe understandable if you're trying to calm a very young child, the local business goes to much further lengths to relieve a child's fears.  Parents can hire an actual "monster exterminator" to come to the house.  He brings exterminating equipment, complete with pesticide tank and sprayer.  He'll interview the child, go from to room to room spraying everywhere the child tells him to.  He'll leave an invoice and guarantee of monster protection.

While detailing this new business on the 6:00 news, a mom smiled sweetly as her earnest child recounted his scary stories to the exterminator, nodding approvingly through the entire process. Her child seemed to be about 7 or 8 years old, in the same age group as my children

So sweet....right?  Hire an actor to come to your house and help you fool your child in an effort to make them feel better.

I found it a little disturbing on several different levels.  

By the age of 7 or 8 children are pretty smart.  They like fantasy and imaginary stories, but they're not dumb. They are more than capable of piecing together their parents' foibles and figuring out some basic things about human nature. Hiring a "monster exterminator" is an easy way to lose credibility in their eyes.  Surely, the next day their children will be telling their friends about their experience and getting some strange looks and outright denials of the existence of "monster exterminators".  

Monster extermination becomes a deception that will be hard to maintain without extensive corroboration from neighbors, grandparents, and other adults in the child's life. When it comes to Santa, such a framework exists.  The majority of the American public plays along and reviles those who crush a child's belief in him.  When it comes to the monster exterminator, no such framework exists. A child will soon find out the truth.

Discovering that Santa isn't real can be a disappointment to a child, but usually they aren't upset about it; they are getting gifts, after all.  Normally, kids are very pleased with themselves, and their detective skills, when they find out their parents have been playing the role of  Santa. While realizing their parents haven't been truthful, they recognize it as good fun and not malicious deceit.

On the other hand, a child who is troubled enough to need a monster exterminator has an invested interest in making sure his problem is solved. His peace of mind is relying on the "fix" from the exterminator. Uncovering the truth about the exterminator, and the trick his parents took part in, would have the potential to bring back the fears with which he was already struggling, and would add a helping of mistrust of his parents, and adults in general, to the mix. If grown-ups will go to such lengths to make believe about something so important to him, how can they be trusted?

As the story wrapped up, I laughed to myself as I thought about the whole enterprise.  I wondered how different we are as adults. Thinking of the many superstitions people hold, the popularity of psychics, people rearranging their houses according the principle of feng shui, the popularity of books like The Secret....a never-ending list of  products and practices aimed at solving human fears and worries with fake solutions.  

Our capability for well-meaning self-deception is high.

There's something to be said about paying money for relief from our fears.  The link between money and religion has always existed.  Perhaps, because the things that we value and intrinsically desire are worth much more to us than our material goods.  Peace of mind is more valuable than gold or diamonds. We are willing to sacrifice for the contentedness of the soul.

The monster exterminator is simply a childlike manifestation of the adult witch doctor or curandera.

Our capability for well-meaning self-deception is high.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Devil in the Details

Dear Costco,

I have been a member at your super, giant-size store for at least 6 years now.  I pay my $50 membership fee every year. I dine in your food court. I am nice to the sample ladies and only ever take one sample...even if it's something really yummy. I return my shopping cart to the designated area when I am finished shopping.

I have been kind and thoughtful to you all these years.  

You can imagine my surprise at your passive aggressive attempt to push me to the limits of sanity.  

First, you replace your normal milk containers with mutant-shaped containers that leak every time you pour from them.
  
Need a tablespoon?  It spills.  Need a cup of milk to drink?  It spills.  Need to pour milk into the little kitty's bowl? It spills.  It leaks.  It dribbles.  It drips.  It slops.  It splashes.  

Every. Single. Time.

For months I stopped buying milk from you, so annoyed with your "new", "storage-friendly" containers that I was willing to pay an extra $0.50 at a normal grocery store.....you know...the ones that don't sell 5 pounds of bacon as one unit.

Now, as if making the task of pouring milk sheer hell wasn't enough, you openly mock me on the container.
 

TILT AND POUR SLOWLY--it says.

Gee, I never thought of that.  It never even entered my cerebral cortex to try that.  Tilt.....and pour....slooowwwly.  Hmm

How did I manage to make it all these years without my milk containers instructing me in the proper physics of milk, surface tension, and gravity as they all work together to bring me a tall glass of milk?

Thank you for pointing out the error of your customers.  Now, instead of simply thinking you came up with a crappy design, we can rest assured that the fault lies squarely with us and our inferior milk-pouring skills.

Yours Truly,

Terri

Christmas 2.008


This year's Christmas tree:


Here...have a cookie.  They're from my grandma's recipe and they are the most fantabulous sugar cookies ever made.  Honest.




typos, comma explosions, and comma droughts

yeah..they're everywhere in my blog posts lately. What can I say....I'm careless and lazy, lately.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Love Song for Gamers




It all makes sense when you've played MarioKart, or watched your children play MarioKart for hours on end.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Blast from the Past

In an attempt to eradicate a pile of boxes that has been sitting in the middle of our bedroom floor, some of which have been there for at least 5 months, I plunged into sorting things out. One of the boxes was from my dad's house and contained old photos and mementos.  I had glanced through them initially after bringing them dome, but hadn't gone through them in detail. While doing so, I came across a great treasure; a letter from our sainted Uncle Leo, relating some of the family history. 

My maiden name is a very Irish name.  My great, great grandparents  both emigrated to the US at about the same time, around 1881-1882. My great, great grandfather came from Ireland, while my great, great grandmother and her family came from England.  

My grandfather, John S. McC-- had bright red hair and icy blue eyes, the stereotypical Irishmen, with a fiery temper to boot. He was a tragic figure.  His mother had died within a month of his birth during the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.  His father remarried shortly after her death.  Thus begins the story of the abusive stepmother and never-ending tragedy that shaped my grandfather's life. Many of the twists and turns his path took would make for an interesting novel, or sweeping movie, but that's for another time.

In the midst of my grandfather's story, and consequently my father's story, was the figure of the almost mythical Uncle Leo. Uncle Leo was the savior of my grandfather and his family on multiple occasions. Uncle Leo took my grandfather in when his own parents were ready to ship him off to a home for boys. Uncle Leo provided a place to live each time one of my grandfather's schemes fell through.  Uncle Leo was a place of refuge when my father decided to leave California--the most recent place my grandfather had dragged his family--hop on a bus, and head back to the Midwest, leaving behind nothing but a note, amounting to "see you later", for my grandparents. Uncle Leo helped out my mother when my parents divorced. Uncle Leo was a devout Catholic. Uncle Leo took care of his mother, the matriarch of the family, until she passed away at 95.  

The stories go on and on. 

I had an image in my mind of a long-suffering, mama's boy (meant in the best possible way) who was more saint than human, possibly quite virtuous but also boring. Not having any memory of him, because I was so young at the time, I had only stories by which to know him.

Reading his letter to some distant cousin of mine researching the family tree was a revelation. Uncle Leo was funny and colorful.  While recounting the family history, he would add little asides, or comments about the supposed truthfulness of the stories or his interpretation of the meaning of the family legacy.

On the superiority of the Hall-McC-- genes and the impending downfall of western civilization  at the hands of hippies and those without short haircuts:
Because of his efficiency and the industry with which he pursued his trade, he worked a long life(retired at 70) and provided a fairly large family with a good home, good living conditions, and good education, which it is doubtful he could have equaled in any other country.  If you want to verify that, take along look at his progeny. All the way through you will not find one hare-brained, long-haired hippie. [in reference to the Hall line]
Any 16 year old boy who left Ireland due to oppression(religious) and came to "free" America where in the short span of 20 years(1882-1902) did all of the above sure as hell must have been "efficient" and "industrious" while keeping his hair cut short. [in reference to the McC-- line]
On the "weird ideas" of having relatives, presumably male, attend the birth of a baby.
If your educated prof. thinks his or any other relatives presence in the delivery room, through the aura of love they might project from their nervous, fidgeting bodies would enhance the chances of survival for the infant being delivered, he is less than a half-wit.
On the truthfulness of my great, great, great grandmother McC--'s claim to be a daughter of the Colman mustard family in England, with a knighted father no less.
(This I heard but found a little hard to swallow. Who knows?)
He describes why a little later on.
By the way on the back of the lot where Tommie has his shop, Great Grandmother McC-- had a chicken coop.  One Sunday morning when I was three years old I went down to see her and she went out to the chicken coop with a grrrrrreeeaaatt biiiiggg butcher knife--chased the hens around until she caught one, brought it up to the back door and gripping its body between her knees, proceeded to saw off its head and dropped the squirming bloody necked body in a bucket to kick out its last moments. She had it for Sunday dinner. Hot diggity; what a gal!

You know, it just might be that that is the reason that I never could quite swallow that story about her being a well-bred gentlewoman--daughter of old Knight of the Garter--Colman.
On the family line and his place in it.
In 1895, May 13 they had their 1st son--John
---1897, June 13  -----------------2nd --Frances
---1899, Mar. 18------------------3rd--Stupid [Leo labeling himself...not sure why]
---1900, Oct. 20------------------4th--Thomas
This must be getting monotonous.  No daughters????
On his apparent inability to keep a job.
From 1916 to 1929, [he would have been 17-30 years old] when I left McKeesport, all through the roaring twenties I changed jobs so many times that it is hard to keep things in perspective.  Your dad can probably tell you more lucidly about those years than I.
My image of the man has changed quite a bit.  

Instead of wondering when this "pious" man was going to officially be beatified, I wonder what exactly he was doing in the roaring twenties during his prime. 

I wish I had more documents like this revealing the personalities in my family tree, rather than just letting me know someone's birth and death dates.

Fascinating stuff.

Christmas Adventure....blog draft

Yesterday we braved the 68 degree weather frigid cold and marched into the Lowes parking lot wilderness to strap a Christmas tree to our car's roof cut down a tree and drag it home through the blustery wind.

Things went smoothly until we encountered a mean woman who tried to steal our tree a vicious grizzly bear, hungry for human flesh. We let her have the tree that was really ours threw several rocks at the grizzly, smacking it square in the eye and sending it running off defeated and in blinding pain.

That'll teach that woman that we're nice people who let other people walk all over us that grizzly bear that we are a fierce, courageous tribe. 

Friday, December 05, 2008

Music and Musician's Personalities

While getting ready this morning, I was listening to pandora.com again. I've had fun creating new stations and letting them play in the background. I experiment and wrack my brain to remember songs or artisits that I love, and then I plug them in to see what else gets grouped with them.

I'm very predictable. 

Most of my stations consist of singer/songwriters with an acoustic rock/folk sound. In CCM I usualy wind up with Sara Groves, Rich Mullins, Jennifer Knapp. In secular music I gravitate towards Bonnie Rait, Natalie Merchant, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Jason Mraz, Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer.  (and Michael Buble....though I hate to admit it. Makes me feel like a schoolgirl.)

As John Mayer sang heartbreaking lyrics in the background, I wondered how someone whose personality I find so annoying could be so talented and make music that I love.  I have to overcome my disenchantment with his sometimes vulgar attitude in order to appreciate his music.

We assume we know musicians through their music, especially in the singer/songwriter category.  They frame intimate feeling, dripping words full of meaning into our ready ears. They express the emotions welling up inside of us that never found phrasing on our own lips. They tap the well of universality, pouring us a drink and inviting us to partake with them.

It's a heady illusion....and such a disappointment when they act like people we hardly know.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Intersecting Thoughts

I've been reading through the book of Matthew over the course of the last few weeks. Because I haven't picked up my Bible in many months, I decided to start with the gospels, the core of the Christian faith. I've read them many times along with all the other books in the Bible. Some stories I could quote in my sleep, others I re-read with a little surprise, thinking,"Oh. I forgot about that."

The Assistant Village Idiot has an interesting post titled Understanding Jewish Thought, wondering how it may influence our reading of Jesus. It's a good read.  I commented, and only later realized that my comment seems more confident and final than I really meant for it too.  I could add more, but I tend to ramble when I'm thinking things through as I type comments, so I restrained myself from going on and on. 

While reading this morning, I was near the end of Matthew and the Passion.   I was struck once again by the wording that Jesus uses when he explains things to his disciples.  Many times, after getting the point of what he's saying, I find myself wondering why exactly he said things that way.

Today's example occurs when Jesus is being arrested and Peter strikes the high priest's servant, cutting off his ear.

Matthew 25:52-56

52"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?"

 55At that time Jesus said to the crowd, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Most people would read that and go on about how God fulfills his word, or how this is proof that Jesus is the Messiah. I read it and think,"Is this an example of God conforming himself to the expectations of humans?"

Jesus consciously avoids doing things that would contradict previous prophecies, which implies  the possibility existed that he could have done things differently. Did he submit to the prophecies because that is what God declared, or because of the expectation that God's people had?  As an adult deals with children and uses the examples they are familiar with, did God condescend to enter the story that his children had narrated according to their human understanding of Him?

Some would say that makes God subordinate to the human will. I would conjecture that it makes him a cooperative creator, using whatever means necessary to communicate.

A further example of this cooperation:

While in a debate with the Pharisees, Jesus discusses marriage and divorce.

Matthew 19: 3-9

3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

 4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'[a] 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'[b]6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

 7"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

 8Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

So....Moses incorporated regulations allowing for divorce into The Law, what Jews considered the very Word of God, yet Jesus says this wasn't really from God, but from Moses as a concession to human conditions.  

a little head-spinning...no?

These are only a few examples.

As another intersecting thought, Greg Boyd has a post about unfulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament (HT: Randy from the BHT). Greg Boyd is an open theist, who advances the theory that God allows humans to exercise free will and works within the circumstances that arise from humans exercising free choice, rather than dictating history and actions to humanity.

These tangential thoughts bring to me an image of God condescending and submitting Himself to humans throughout Scripture, and in our lives.  He pursues us, many times on our own terms, in ways that we understand, and through methods we'll accept.

amazing.

thoughts?



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Entitled..who me?

If everyone has a disorder, than can it really be called a "disorder"? According to this article, 1 in 5 college-age students have personality disorders.  That's 20% of the population's young people.   The percentage goes up to 50% if substance abuse is considered:

Counting substance abuse, the study found that nearly half of young people surveyed have some sort of psychiatric condition, including students and non-students.


Is this a result of over-diagnosis, or are young people more prone to these disorders than past generations?

If half of a group has a "psychiatric condition" how do we delineate what normative behavior is?

I often wonder how much of our labeling of mental issues is based on an assumption that being happy and contented with one's life is a normal state of being.  Is it possible that we are so disappointed with life's tragedies that we plunge into an emotional abyss every so often, and yet somehow think it's abnormal to feel that way?

At times, it appears as if our society is uncomfortable with the suffering and depressed.  We like to cheer each other up.  We hope for tragedy to pass us by, or at least pass through quickly if it must come our way.  We worry when people we know mourn, or don't bounce back immediately from circumstances.

Perhaps, we don't recognize that a portion of the disorders, psychiatric conditions, and depressive episodes which are diagnosed are, in some sense, "normal".  

Are our expectations too high when it comes to "normal" moods and mental health?


Spiritually Dry

I haven't posted about our family's church search in quite some time.

We had made the decision to leave Mega-Mart Evangelical Church in January of this year. One month later I received my breast cancer diagnosis. Things got a little hectic as our family kicked into survival mode.

We visited several churches at first, but eventually decided to stick with a small United Methodist church once my diagnosis and treatment options became more complicated. Circumstances weren't optimal for carefully finding a church home.

At first, this seemed like a wise choice. We settled into this small church and enjoyed not having to think about the whole thing for a while. Our kids acclimated and seemed content. DH and I, on the other hand, struggled with attending. The actual content on Sunday mornings left a lot to be desired. The preaching was "bible lite"; not much substance and a few worn-out cliches.

That sounds really harsh, and maybe it is. The pastor is a nice enough person. It's not a lack of sincerity that undercuts his teaching.

Still, the superficiality of the messages seemed to run through the entire church. We tried several times to integrate into a Sunday School class with depressing results. The people were very nice, but no one had leadership of the class. The entire hour would be spent chit-chatting or debating about whose turn it was to lead that morning. No one was prepared. No one wanted to be prepared.

That happens from time to time in any church. Here, it happened on multiple Sundays. The class was floundering. 

The most excruciating moment for me came during a particular Sunday morning service.  The pastor was sick and the worship leader/music director was giving the message.  I squirmed in horror while he related an old urban legend, which he received as an e-mail, as proof of God's control and care of the universe--The missing day/hour of earth time.  

What could be worse than promoting a completely fictitious story from the pulpit?(ok, atheists/agnostics, I don't want any jokes about how that happens every Sunday.)

sigh.

As we have wrestled with what we are looking for in a church, I have been having my own spiritual upheavals.  Much of my thinking about what the purpose of a church is, and what one should expect from church, has changed. I find myself leaning more and more towards a sacramental view of communion and baptism, and away from the purely symbolic view that my Baptist/non-denominational background has taught me.

This is not particularly new to me.  I have always thought that more emphasis should be placed on these two rites, than what is traditionally done in evangelical circles. I just didn't know what to do with my thoughts about it, or even realize that some of my beliefs were affirmed in more liturgical churches.

Not proudly, I will admit that I always viewed liturgical churches as dry, dead, and probably liberal. They were probably barely even Christian.

Someone should have slapped me with a cold fish.

Liturgy can be dry.  It can be boring.  It can be rote.

When approached with faith, it can be extremely meaningful and worshipful.  

Now I have two sides of myself in constant debate.  My non-denominational, evangelical ways have been so ingrained in me, that even as I reject a portion of them, it is painful.  My leaning toward a sacramental, liturgical view of things is requiring a major paradigm shift.  I am left somewhere in the middle trying to discern which path to take.  

It's uncomfortable and a little breath-taking all at the same time.