Learning to pray again

I wrote earlier that I joined a church choir after years in semipro vocal groups because I wanted to explore my faith more. I didn’t realize that I would get an opportunity from a completely different direction.

My dad had a minor heart attack (now there’s an oxymoron) last Sunday. He spent the past few days in the hospital while they first verified that it was, in fact, a heart attack and not a stomach condition; then tried unsuccessfully to clear the build-up in the minor arteries where the attack took place. He’s home now and relatively comfortable, thank God, but I think we were all pretty scared for a few days.

And I’ve been seriously praying again. Not bargaining, as I prayed when I was younger (you know: “God, if you’ll only get me through this test I promise I’ll be good”). Not raging, as I might have done in my angry teens and early 20s. Just talking to God about how I’m feeling, my hopes and fears for my dad and my mom, and asking for strength.

The blogosphere has helped too, between AKMA and Real Live Preacher. But the biggest help has been being with other people every day who don’t shy away from talking about faith and about their challenges and fears and joys and dreams. Hey, who says Presbyterians are the frozen chosen?

What’s been up

It’s been a busy week. I think it’s a good sign on a number of fronts that work has been a blur of productivity as I work on a very important deliverable. I’ve actually been eager to get out of bed in the morning, and that hasn’t been true for a long time.

On the house front, we’re finally upgrading our stove to a gas model. Tough decision between two Maytags, this model and the Gemini. The cheaper one has five burners, unusual on a standard 30 inch range, but the Gemini’s safer control knobs (mounted on the top, away from potential little hands), higher BTUs, and of course dual ovens make us think seriously about spending the extra couple hundred bucks.

It also appears we’ve finally resolved the tree dilemma which has nagged us since before closing the deal on this house. Rather than outright removing the big trees in front, we’re going to limb them up about ten feet and remove some of the smaller pines that have grown up in between them. Should greatly improve light and air circulation in the front of the house. And reduce the pine needle problem: one of the trees sheds so many needles that they can’t all fall to the ground. They just build up on the lower branches like dandruff. Fire hazard, anyone? I’ll try to post some before and after pictures once the arborists are done next week.