Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Does G-d Have an English Accent?

Me: Argh!
G-d: Yes dear?
M: Well, I thought that writing this blog, writing these conversations with You is the right thing to do.
G: And now you doubt that because...
M: Because my crappy old laptop, which has so generously been fixed, twice, won't hold a damn charge and keeps turning off.  The charging cord is broken.
G: I see.  So if something is difficult or frustrating, then it is no longer My will.  Is that correct?
M: Well, yeah.  If You wanted me to write this, wouldn't You give me a leg up or something?
G: If you want your children to eat, do you spoon feed them, no matter their age?
M: Are you saying that You're challenging me on purpose?
G: I don't think you heard me right.  I simply let life progress naturally.
M: Right.  And when You flooded the earth, that was natural.  And when You spoke to Abraham, Isaak, Jacob, that was natural.  When You carved out the ten commandments and handed them to Moshe, that was natural.  When You-
G: A different time.  A different way.  You cannot keep comparing me to the way others knew me.  You must know Me as I am today.
M: But I thought You were an Eternal G-d.
G: Yes.
M: And yet You change.  Like in a thousand years.
G: No.  But you do.
M: Me?
G: No.  Humanity.
M: Oh. You know, this isn't really the conversation I had planned on us having.
G: Do you do that often? Plan conversations?
M: All the time.  Most phone calls.  Discussions with my husband.  Visits with friends...
G: And how does that work out for you?  Do they follow your script?
M: No.  And it's frustrating as hell when they don't.  Which is a good reason to have my own blog.  I get to write the conversation.  And yet, this isn't the one I was hoping to have.
G: And what conversation were you hoping to have?
M: The one where I talk about the difference in belief in You as a social religion that benefits (or harms) humanity vs. You actually existing and manifesting Your will.
G: And what were My lines?
M: Well, that's the problem.  I was kind of hoping they would get written as I wrote them, You know?
G: No, tell me.
M: Well, I kind of plan what I want to blog about.  But then other stuff starts coming out and I get to learn about myself and the way my mind works, and the way my heart works and I feel good when it's finished.  Surprised usually.  So, I was going to start that conversation and then let the rest get written as I wrote it.  Does that make sense?
G: Well let's just write it out then, shall we?
M: I can't.  I'm not in that zone anymore.
G: Well, then, what should we write about?
M: Well for starters, we could talk about why Your voice is coming out with an English accent.
G: Is it? Perhaps listening to Peter Rabbit read by Emma Thompson over and over in the car has something to do with that.
M: Yeah.  Or that episode of Downton Abbey I watched last night.
G: Is it good? I hear it's quite addictive.
M: See?  There it is.  Quite.  That sentence only makes sense when You have an English accent.
G: Well, perhaps it's like a font you can change.  Why not change it?
M: To what?
G: What would you like G-d to sound like?
M: That's not a question I've ever thought of.  And I'm kind of stumped.  I'm definitely not going the Alanis Morissette route.  And the whole Morgan Freeman thing is way over done.  In fact, I don't think I want You to sound like anyone famous.
G: So, what would you like me to sound like?
M: ...
G: This is hard for you.
M: Yeah.  It is.  Why?
G: Because you want me to be more concrete.  You want me to be an absolute.  Not something that changes according to your will.
M: Because if I have that much control over how I imagine G-d, doesn't that undermine His Absoluteness?  Because doesn't that just prove that I'm alone and everything that happens to me is simply a natural consequence of my choices, small and large? That there is no Divine Will guiding my life, leading me?  Because I could truly be in control of my life and make all the wrong decisions?
G: So for you it's either/or.  Either you are in charge of your life, or I am.  Either you are making choices that ultimately decide your fate, or I am guiding you where you need to be.  Is that right?
M: Isn't it?
G: Well, what if they're both true.  How good are you at holding paradoxes?
M: I used to think I was good, but I'm not sure I'm going to like this one.  But try me.
G: Well, what if everything you did had a natural outcome.  Or consequence, as you put it.  Which to Me implies that you hold many doubts about your own wisdom.  But I digress.  What if I let the world follow it's natural progression and it still followed a design.  What if My will is inherently designed in the fabric of this world and no outcome, though the outcomes are varied, can digress from the overall design?  Imagine you are playing music and your child comes in and starts banging away at the keys with you.  What if all the keys were tuned so that no matter what note they hit, or even if they hit them all at once, it still harmonized with your original tune?  Can you imagine that?
M: Then I would have to say that You are the worst song writer ever.  How could You write the holocaust, the crusades, the inquisition, Justin Beiber, CAFOs, GMO's, and cancer, among many other things, into Your song?
G: But you misunderstand me.  That is the child who hits all the notes.  And yes, they all harmonize and play together, but that does not mean that it sounds pleasant to hear them played that way.
M: So, You make the instrument, which only contains certain sounds, but we write the songs with our choices, and that's our soundtrack?  Your instrument, our song?
G: Simplified.  But yes.
M: I still don't understand how it can be our choices and Your will.
G: Then you can join the rest of the human race.  Why do you think I created Faith?
M: My sister-in-law?
G: No.  Belief in Me and My ways.  Without understanding or proof.
M: Well then I'm back to the question, what's more important, that You exist, or that I believe that You exist?
G: Isn't it getting a bit late?
M: Aren't You getting a bit of an English accent again?
G: Goodnight Tovah.
M: And a goodnight to Thee.

1. My kids are asleep
2. Fire in the fireplace
3. My awesome in-laws
4. Discovering Alec Baldwin's NPR show
5. Early enough to still get a shower without going to bed at midnight
6. Got to see some Pitt friends today and it was so nice!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Texting With G-d Just Got Real

Me: In this moment I don't know who I hate more: You or me.
G-d: Bad day?
M: Aren't I committing some terrible sin by saying that I hate You?  Aren't I going to be punished?
G: Who said hating Me is wrong? I am more concerned that you hate yourself right now.
M: Well You should hate me too after seeing how awful I handled bedtime tonight.
G: I saw.  It wasn't one of your finest moments.
M: G-d, my throat hurts from yelling at my children.  That is wrong.  That is bad.  I am bad.
G: That's a lot of judgement I just heard.
M: Well aren't You judging me?  Aren't You always judging us all?  Weighing the scales of our deeds and all that?
G: It's true that I see everything.  But that means that I see EVERYTHING.  I saw you get up over and over to take of your baby, night after night.  I saw your adrenaline glands almost empty and your oxytocin levels drop.  I saw that despite all that you took your kids to the library so they could see the puppet show.  I saw how badly you just wanted to stay in bed.  But you didn't.  You took them.  And then when your friend showed up and you wanted to stay and talk, I saw you load your children in the car because they said they were hungry and you knew they needed their naps.  I saw you feed them lunch and give them seconds before you could have firsts, simply because they asked for more.  And then, when lunch was all gone, I saw you eat pb&j on a rice cake, because they finished everything else.  I saw you help your son with his homework when all you wanted to do was collapse in bed for a nap.  I saw you make a healthy, nutritious and delicious dinner, when you could have warmed up some pasta.  I saw you put on a rated G movie for your kids when there are 10 movies that you have been waiting months to see, but aren't as appropriate.  I saw you tuck them all in bed and sing with them.  And then I watched as they got out of bed over and over, when you were just trying to clean up the kitchen so you could get started on making Shabbos.  I saw them resist sleep for three hours, while you tried everything from pleading, to bribing to threatening, and only then to yelling.  I saw you watch your entire evening's productivity go down the the drain, and your work load for tomorrow grow.  I watched as, when it was all over, and you were so distraught, and yet still angry, you sat down and held your son's head as he fell asleep because you knew he needed your touch.  You knew there was a hole in him that would've stayed a wound if he couldn't have that touch.  And through all you anger, exhaustion and resentment, you reached out and held him.  I saw everything.
M: I'm sorry.  I don't know what to say.  I'm scared of forgiving myself and loving myself the way You love me.
G: Why is that?
M: I don't know.  Maybe if I'm worthy of all that love, maybe I'll need to live my life differently.
G: How so?
M: I don't know.  It seems such a high place to fall from.
G: But how soft is the catch when you fall into loving arms...
M: But what happens when I forgive me, but others don't?
G: Yes, what does happen then?
M: I don't know.  I'll be self righteous... Or alienated.  Or wrong.
G: Being wrong is scary for you, isn't it?
M: Being wrong is like falling off a cliff.
G: But when forgiveness is what you fall into...
M: Not everyone will forgive me for being wrong.
G: No, but I will.  And you can forgive yourself.
M: And then I'm on that high horse again.
G: Do you really think that loving yourself and forgiving yourself puts you above everyone?  I imagine that you might start to forgive others their faults and perhaps love them in their entirety.  That's not very snobbish.  Or very flaky.  It's grounded and real.
M: So, if I love myself after being crazy bitch mom from hell, then maybe I will love my kids even when they are annoying little brats?  And if they know they are loved even though they are acting out, then maybe they will love and accept others who aren't perfect?  And then imperfection will be accepted and perhaps even made into unique strengths and no longer will we all act like sheep and do as society tells us but we will love each other and ourselves and make this world a better place?
G: Um, yeah.  Only with a few more steps between A and Z.  But We'll get there.  Now how about doing a few of those dishes so that tomorrow you don't act like that, how did you put it so eloquently? Oh yeah, that crazy bitch mom from hell, when you're rushing to get ready for Shabbos.
M: Okay.  Good plan.  Um, G-d?
G: Yes Tovah?
M: Thanks.
G: You're welcome.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

If I Were Texting With G-d, It Would Probably Look Like This...

After being awakened by my little man, 17 months old, several times last, I resumed my nightly conversation with G-d.  Since the sale of my house fell through, right before I go to bed, I spend fifteen minutes speaking to G-d.  Expressing gratitude, asking for things, or just telling G-d about my day.  But after waking up over and over last night to take care of the babe, who was stuffy and cranky, I resumed my conversation.  But since I was delirious with lack of sleep, I played out G-d's end of the conversation too.  It went something like this:
Me: Seriously? Again? What The Heck, G-d?
G: Yes?
M: Do You hate me or something? Why won't You let me sleep?
G: I'm not keeping you from sleeping, your baby is.
M: Yeah, but You're G-d.  And nothing happens that You don't will into being.  So how 'bout willing some sleep into my life?
G: And how would you like me to do that?
M: I don't know.  Go to my son and put him back to sleep for me.  And then keep him asleep for the rest of the night.
G: You want me to intervene with nature?
M: Uh, yeah.  You used to do it all the time.  Remember? Splitting the Red Sea, Clouds of Glory, oil lasting for eight days.  Even two hundred years ago You had these Rebbes who could see the future and fly in their carriages.  So, how about a little miracle being sent my way?
G: You don't live in a time of revealed miracles.  You live in a time of Faith.
M: Well, I'm sorry to tell Ya, but I'm kinda running low on the stuff.  Have you turned on the news lately?  You're not exactly batting a thousand down here.  Murder of innocents, endless wars, Sponge Bob Square Pants.  It's kind of hard to believe this is Your world.
G: So who's world is it?
M: Right now, I'd say the world belongs to corporations, chaos and science.
G: I see.  So what would you have Me do?
M: How about some awesome miracles?
G: And therefore take away all free will?
M: A lotta good it's done us so far.
G: Well, it has brought together millions of moments of chance that all led up to you being the mother of those three little ones you love so much.
M: ...
G: Nu?
M: Okay, so yeah, whatever, they are the most amazing children ever.  But they drive me freakin crazy!  It's not all hugs and arts and crafts.  It's fighting, and exhaustion beyond belief, and heartache, and pain, and so much exposed ugliness.  I thought I was a good person until I saw how mean and ugly I can get when pushed by them.
G: So you don't want them because they show you all sides of yourself?
M: No.  I didn't say that.  Don't twist my words.
G: So what are you saying?
M: I'm saying that we're told that You never give us more than we can handle.  But I'm calling BS on that.
G: You do know that you're talking to G-d, right?
M: Yeah, but if You're going to let me get woken up in the middle of the night, You better be prepared for some bad language.
G: Fair enough.
M: Back to what I was saying.  You gave me too much.  I seriously can't handle this shit.  And I'm not going to get into the big stuff like the Sandy shooting or the evil in this world.  That's way too much.  But just the details of my life.  I am doing what I thought I was supposed to do.  Being bold.  Following my dreams.  Pioneering this damn Jewish farm thing.  And you can't even sell my house in Pittsburgh? You are leaving me in the middle of nowhere, in the heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter, without my husband.  And don't get me started on how much work our marriage needs.  Like all marriages.  But we only have the weekends to do it!  And yes, my children are amazing.  And yes, I think they are better, more awesome and more amazing than every other child out there.  But that doesn't mean that they aren't the biggest freakin handful of challenges ever! I mean, come on.  THIS IS TOO FREAKIN MUCH!
G: Go on...
M: What? No! This isn't a freakin therapy session.  I'm not talking to a therapist who's only job is to help me discover more about myself.  I'm talking to G-d! YOU can fix this shit!
G: Again with the language.
M: Sorry.
G: It's ok.  I'm used to it.  You wouldn't believe how many texts start with OMFG.
M: Wait, are You trying to be funny?
G: Would you like a G-d with a sense of humor?
M: Not if it's at my expense.
G: You know, your baby is still crying.
M: Yeah, aren't You going to do something about it?
G: Nope.
M: Aaahhhh WTF? What's the point of even talking to You?
G: Good question.  What are you getting out of all this?
M: I don't know.  Maybe just the feeling that I'm not alone?
G: Are you asking Me, or telling Me?
M: Oh man, now You really sound like a therapist.
G: Yes, but My rates are much lower.
M: Oh, You were trying to be funny again, weren't You?
G: About your baby...
M: Oh fine.  Whatever.  Don't help.  But don't ask me to be a nice and patient mom tomorrow.
G: Did I not create coffee?
M: This conversation is SO over.
G: Goodnight Tovah.
M: Yeah.  Night G-d... I'm still mad at You.
G: Okay.

Monday, December 17, 2012

What Now?

It's happened.  The worse thing we can imagine.  The places we hold as safe havens, almost temples of purity, have been defiled in the worse possible way.  And we are left scared.  And scarred.  I am not trying to diminish the pain felt by those directly effected.  Their grief is something that I cannot comprehend.  I don't think anyone who hasn't lost a child can even begin to imagine the pain of those who have.  So this is for all the parents who are grieving, not for their own loss, but for others.  
The hardest part for me to comprehend is that this is happening all over the world.  In Syria people are being murdered by the thousands by their own government.  In Africa, mothers are watching their children starve to death.  In Colombia, kidnapping children is a lucrative business.  
But only now, since the shooting, have I been effected by any of it in a real way.  Only now has my heart been penetrated.  Only now do I hold my children close and squeeze them way past their comfort zones.  Only now am I letting my three year fall asleep in my arms, instead of letting her cry, simply because I can.
I think this tragedy hit me so much harder because now it's not something bad that happens 'out there.'  Now it is something that happen here.  Even in our safe havens, our elementary schools. 
"So where is G-d?" a friend asks me.  Me, who is an observant Jew.  Me, who supposedly has faith.  Well here's my dark secret: At times like these I doubt His existence.  Actually, I doubt G-d's existence often.  How could this world possibly contain so much evil?  How could parents be allowed to bury their children?  How could money be worshipped above life?  How could war still be the answer we are turning to?  How could this be The Grand Design?
It just doesn't make any sense.  
So why do I continue to be an observant Jew?  Because believing that there is a Grand Plan brings me comfort.  When I lay in bed at night and worry about my children, I oft imagine the Light of G-d surrounding them in their sleep.  I pray to Him to hold them when I can't.  To embrace them in a Love all encompassing of their faults and gifts.  
Because if I am to believe that I am all they have, I will never be able to breathe again.  Because I go to bed at night, handing my troubles over to SomeOne else.  They are too heavy for me to hold all the time.  Because the worst thing that can happen from living a life of faith, is being called naive.  And I'm ok with that.  I would rather that, than feel alone in a senseless world.  
As long as religion is never placed above life, as long as I treat humans with as much respect as I give my Torah books, I am not hurting anyone.  I am simply enhancing my own life.  That is my faith.  It is not a firm and undeniable belief in G-d.  It is a Choice to bring Something Above into my life.  Faith is not a personality trait for me.  It is not inherent in my being.  It is simply my Choice.
And since I don't understand why this happened or why it is happening all over the world, everyday, I will do with it what I try to do with all things in my life: turn it into a channel for good.  The only way to ever rid this world of evil is to use the very act as a source of light.  Here is my way:
It is too hard to constantly hold the grief in my heart.  It is too hard to constantly remember not to take my children for granted.  It is too hard to suddenly stop all the routine arguments and fights, nagging and yelling. So instead,  on my cell phone I have set an alarm.  It goes off once a day, everyday, and it says "Sandy." At that moment I take a minute to stop what I am doing and remind myself how much I love my children and how lucky I am to have them safe, healthy and alive.  I give them an extra hug and remind them they are a gift to me.  
There are so many tragedies the media reports on, so many it is overwhelming.  And I feel deeply about it for about a week.  Then I move on.  Well, the victims don't just move on when the news does.  So this time I will honor the victims by not taking my life for granted.  Everyday, once a day, I will not take my children for granted.  It is my way of paying homage to all the parents who would give anything just to have their children safe and alive again.  Let's not let the collective attention span of our society let us forget.  Let's show evil that we are using it's horrible deeds as a channel to bring Love, Light and Good into this world.  Imagine how much change could be brought into this world...Lasting change, if every parent used this tragedy as an opportunity give their children more love.  
Not just for a week or a month.  But for life.  

1. My almost seven year old son
2. My three year old daughter
3. My 17 month old son
4. The ability to hold them when they cry
5. The fact that they don't know of evil yet
6. The ability to hold the bad world away so that they can stay innocent a little while longer

Friday, December 14, 2012

In Response to Today's Tragedy

I don't have words of comfort or faith.  I have no explanations or ways to understand how something like this could happen.  What I do have is this:
How many times do we tell our children they are spoiled.  How lucky they are to have food, shelter, clothing.  How lucky they are to live in a place with clean water, education and hospitals.  We tell them this, believing it will somehow help them see beyond their wants and desires.  But how often do we say it to ourselves?  I'm saying it right now.  Tovah, you've been spoiled.  Never have I imagined having to say goodbye to my children.  Never has anyone ever had to tell me their days are numbered.  Or that when I shoved them off to school this morning, it would be the last time I saw them.
How many times have I complained about having to change another diaper?  Cook another meal?  Break up another quarrel?  How many times I have moaned about picking up after them?  How many times have I yelled at them to 'Just stay in bed already!'
But today I say that I would rather clean a thousand bums, listen to hundreds of quarrels, wash thousands of dishes and pick up endless toys and clothes, than EVER have to say goodbye.  Today I am reminding myself that I am spoiled.  And I am so thankful that I have been so spoiled my whole motherhood.  Not everyone has been.
Today I will not take my children for granted.  Today I will smother them with kisses and squeeze them with more hugs than they could possibly want.  I will smile more and yell less.  I am sorry it has taken such a tragedy for me to awaken to this.  And if I have anything to offer the parents who suffered the unthinkable today, it is that I will try to honor them by not taking it for granted anymore.
My heart and prayers go out to all parents who have ever known the word 'goodbye.'

Today my GoodList is simple:

My beautiful Children

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Usually I sit down to write a blog because I have something I want to say.  Tonight... well, tonight I have time.  Such a rare commodity in my life that I am almost paralyzed by its presence.  My laundry is done.  My dishes are done.  My room is clean.  The kids toy room got organized and cleaned today.  I mean, I even have lunch and dinner ready for tomorrow.  Seriously folks, I got time.  It's so surreal.  Now of course there are a million other things that can be done... Start plotting spring's garden so I can order my seeds.  Work on Matovu Farm's website.  Read a book.  Watch a movie.  Take a looooong shower.  But none of those appeal to me right.  Except for the shower which I plan on getting to after this blog.  But for now I want to just be with me.  And by that, I mean share with you.  Because that is usually how I learn the most about myself.  So I thought that if I sit down to write without any particular point or subject in mind, I might just surprise myself by what comes out.
I imagine confetti and balloons appearing out of nowhere.  I think I imagine a lot of things that just never will happen.  I think I have watched way too many TV shows and movies and have a completely distorted view on what reality is and how it works.  For instance, when an extremely messy room needs to be organized and cleaned, it does not happen in clips with upbeat music in the background, finishing triumphantly back in real time with sweaty brows and smiling faces.  No, it happens in bits.  With kids interrupting.  And a lot of overwhelming anxiety of how it's ever going to get done.  And when it's finally over, it doesn't look amazing and polished, just a lot better.  And there's still some more drawers that you know you ignored.  And you just anticlimactically move on to dinner or whatever is needed next.
Or take love.  That one is definitely different.  And after watching so many movies, I too often find myself fantasizing my own death so I can finally see how much I mean to those who love me, because in real life, love is never expressed as often or as deeply as it should be.
Or mealtime.  Mealtime on TV is the focus.  In my house, way more time is spent on preparing the meal, serving the meal, and mostly cleaning up after the meal, than the time spent on actually eating it.
Or how about friends.  In Screen Land friends are always there when you need.  They don't try to change you.  They really accept you for all of your quirks and bad habits and annoying tendencies.  And they talk so damn honestly to each other.  They say things like, 'Stop being a bitch' or 'your wardrobe stinks as bad as your breath' or 'I hate you for ruining my life' and then they walk out of the room only to still be best friends an hour later.  Do you have any friends like that?  Friends you feel you don't ever need to impress or change for at all?  Friends you never have to make any explanations to?  Friends whom you never have to say goodbye to on the phone because there is absolutely no awkwardness in just hanging up?  I think I have one.  One.  Not six best friends.  Not a social network of these friends.  One.  And I feel extraordinary lucky that I do.  And I see her once every few years and we talk on the phone.
Am I the only one who feels incredibly let down by the lack of similarity between my life and Screen Land?  I thought that the sweet little happy moments of my kids telling me 'I love you' would help me through the exacerbating moments of poop and chores and all the rest.  Nope.  I turn into bitch mom from hell when I am overwhelmed and over tired and the kids are being brats.  I forget all those perfect little moments.  They disappear from my view completely and I am shocked at what a horrible mother I sound like (am?) when I start yelling.  I put them to sleep tenderly, with their favorite songs and kisses.  I am TV mom extraordinaire!  But when they get out of bed for the umpteenth time to 'tell me something' or to argue about whether or not the nightlight stays on, or to switch to a different colored blanket... I yell.  I threaten.  I growl.  And they go to bed with my voice yelling in their ears instead of singing them sweet lullabies.  I hate it.  That doesn't happen night after night in any family dramedy.
And then there are all the moments that seem like they ought to be witnessed by an appreciative audience who have been rooting for me the whole time.  Those quiet moments where it looks as though I am totally content with a wonderful moment and don't need to share it with anyone...  Like when I talk to the spider in my kitchen every morning whom I've made peace with.  Or after I totally keep it together while my son is having a meltdown about his school work.  And slowly I talk him through it.  And I do it so well.  And he gets back on track.  And I walk away to finish doing the dishes.  Theme music fades in.  Slow, subtle smile spreads on my face.  Audience takes a collective sigh at the challenge that our heroine has overcome.
Only there's no audience.  There's just me.  Me knowing that there will be a thousand more moments like that.  Where I triumph.  And no one knows.  And no one appreciates.  And I wish personal satisfaction was enough.  But more than often I wish for the unseen audience.
So here's where I want to go with this.  I think I have that audience.  G-d.  And I think G-d plays a theme song for me.  (I think it's probably an indie pop-ish song with a beautiful, but very un-produced, voice like Beth Orten.)  And adds background laughter to my more witty moments.  And I think G-d appreciates my little moments of triumph.  And if I can reach out and connect on my end, I think I will know this more deeply.  So G-d, tonight I will be on channel 13.  Please tune in as I sit in bed and speak aloud to You for fifteen minutes, as is now my custom.  And feel free to send any thoughts and/or comments to my network.

1. My amazing neighbor and all her help getting my toy room cleaned!
2. My amazing family who are providing me with frozen meals and cleaning help!
3. Time
4. Leftover lunch from Make Your Own Pizza Monday

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pizza Night

Well, this won't be the most well written or best spelled blog I've ever written. I'm sitting on the toilet (seat cover down) while my little ones take a bath. But I really wanted to reach out and connect. Since my kids seem to go into total panic mode every time I pick up the phone, I think this is the only option available to me.
So here's the latest in my life: Our house was almost sold and then the buyers pulled out and I'm devastated. I cannot comprehend how on earth I am going to keep up this single mother lifestyle. I have a great, I mean life-saving, neighbor, but she's my only friend for now. No community. I'm isolated, over-stretched, over-tired and just about ready to give up. But that seems so... So wrong. I haven't even started yet. All I've been doing here is surviving. Believe me, that is no small task! But I haven't yet begun to build my dream; a community of Torah observant Jews who love the land and want a better life for their children. I want to grow my own food and raise animals and teach my children how good it feels to work outside all day and go to bed exhausted. I want to make my own soap and sweaters and cheese and keep hives and make honey and beeswax candles and, and, and... Oh G-d there's so much more.
And yet I really don't see how I can keep going like this.
I've made a resolution. Everyday, for a minimum of fifteen minutes, I am going to talk to G-d, and listen. I want to let G-d know exactly how mad I am that things are not going according to my plan, and then listen for what G-d's plan may be for me. It's not easy. I'm a much better talker than listener.
But in the meantime, I wanted to share some things that I am learning. There are ways to make life just a little easier. And they are small, but important. Routine. I am soooo awful at following through with any routine I give myself, but when I do, my kids are happier and so am I. I've now started Make Your Own Pizza Night. And it's so much easier than it sounds. On Friday, when I make challah, I make extra dough and leave it in a large zip lock in the fridge. Monday afternoon I take out the dough, let it warm to room temperature and voila! They roll it out, put on jarred sauce and shredded cheese and I have three very happy, involved kids who can look forward to it every week!
Like I said. Little things.

1. Pizza Night
2. Thursday night is movie night
3. The Chanukah lights
4. My family who have shown me soooo much compassion. I love you guys