October 30, 2009

Raising kings

I have been up since 3:30 a.m., first to pacify Brave, then to nurse him when that didn't work, then to worry if we came home from the Harvest Festival last night with all of the costume props we borrowed from a friend, then to peruse the house looking for costume props, then to flip on a light in the office and nestle into the futon with my NIV, my journal, and a bowl of oatmeal because I wasn't going back to sleep on this particular morning.

And thank goodness I didn't. You know those rare and delicious occasions when you are reading through some dusty book like 2 Kings and you are hit across the heart as if by a brick? Yes. This morning I was slatted to read 2 Kings 22 in my read-through-the-text-in-a-year plan (which I started, by the way, in 2006). So I am flipping to 2 Kings, la-dee-da, taking bites of wet oatmeal, when I read the first verse: "Josiah was eight years old when he became king...His mother's name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right..."

Now just to refresh your memory, Josiah's daddy-o, Amon, was a wretched man and a wretched king, as was his father before him. So how is it that Amon's 8-year-old son, Josiah, did what was right? Jedidah, of course. HIS MOTHER! These harem kids were not raised by their dads. King Amon probably couldn't have picked Josiah out of a lineup. These kids were raised by their mothers. No wonder the mothers and their lineages are mentioned throughout the book. Mother's shape the world.

Well done, Jedidah. Well done.

And now it is 20 minutes to 7 a.m. and all the lights will soon come on and there will be the flying of dirty diapers and the pouring of juice and the day will barrel forward. But today, I will keep Jedidah and her legacy in mind.

October 29, 2009

Rupp Academy

The classroom.The students.The work. Can you tell which one is my impressionist and which one is my realist?The teacher and the class pet. By the way, I usually look much different than this on school days, but I didn't want to post a picture of me in mismatched sweats and crooked glasses, understandably.Recess.

October 24, 2009


I have been guilty of many sins, believe you me, but I have never been tempted to steal (unless you count watching pirated movies in Asia, of course). I just don't see the appeal. Granted, I have never known true hunger, nor the power of a crack-addiction, but I would bet you money the punks who stole our electric bike two nights ago were neither of these. MAYBE I can see how rolling away someone else's bike - such a naughty thing to do - would be thrilling for about ten minutes. I can hear their pubescent laughter as they make it around the first dark corner and out of sight, their prize standing between them like a muzzled pig. But then what does a thief do? You can't just stash a motorbike in your purse. And then, once you've dismembered it and sold it's parts, you just walk into your parents' kitchen, your dad reading the paper, your mom drinking her evening tea, and saunter up to your room and go to bed? Really? How does a person sleep? How is a thief not haunted by their victims' faces, first bewildered and then furious, when they step out of the coffee shop and blink at the spot where they had parked their bike just 20 minutes earlier. And you can't give something like that back in a fit of repentance three days later. You can't even find the poor bikeless foreigners who you ripped off in order to apologize. You are stuck. Stuck with your stinking guilt.

But then, isn't that why we are here? To stand on the highest place in the city and announce with great jubilation, "You are guilty no more! You can apologize to this guy (pointing at the cross) and be forgiven. Yahoo!" Though something of that exact nature would land me in jail, I can certainly announce the very same message with my actions - with my response to being ripped off. So this goes out to the guys/gals who took our very old and ready-to-be-replaced electric bike with the slipping breaks: I forgive you.

October 22, 2009


I have a superpower.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about X-men. No, I'm not kidding. I think the deeper I sink into motherhood the more mushy my brain becomes. Although, for a legion of mutants, including a blue-painted fish-lady and a leaping toad-tongued teenager, this "comic" is a surprising brain-tickler.

My first X-men experience occurred last week when I sat down with a bowl of wok popcorn to view Wolverine with my husband. People get desperate for viewing options on this side of world, where English-speaking entertainment is neither plentiful nor good. Most of the movies for sale in movie stores here are pirated. What was my first clue? Probably the silhouette of someone getting up to walk out of the theater or the giggling of a person sitting near the pirate. Argue my moral fiber if you please, but you've got to take your cinema any way it comes around here.

That said, Wolverine was a great show. We followed it up a day or two later with the first Bryan Singer X-men movie, which was equally as good. I think I'm hooked. With all of this mutant talk comes the all-important question: if you were a mutant, what would your superpower be?

I thought about that for a few days, wavering between teleportation and an indestructible skeleton, before I realized, to my horror, that I am already a mutant! I am a lactating woman. My superpower is the ability to gush milk from my boobs. Oh the terror! Someone help me! I have mutated from a normal, evenly-shaped woman with one shirt size to a beverage dispenser with three different wardrobes and something like 12 different bras (depending on the age of whichever child is nursing at the time). But with the curse of mutation comes power. Sweet power. Power, which in my case, does not stop bullets or regenerate wounds, but sustains life. From my body flows liquid that fattens little legs and grows double chins. These two gals that arrived during adolescence are finally doing what they were meant to do. The world would have you believe that boobs are meant to spill out of the top of low-cut tank-tops, but the world is wrong. Boobs are meant to feed, to bless, to keep the human race rolling on.

They call her Storm, the one who can manipulate lightning, and they call him Cyclopse, the one who shoots the power of the sun from his eyes. Just call me Eve, the one who breastfeeds.

October 18, 2009

30 years ago today

Today we celebrated 30 years of Daniel Rupp. For those of you who know my husband, you know that his birthday is truly something to celebrate. 30 years ago today, the world received a gift.

So in my efforts to make his 30th memorable, we started the day with homemade cinnamon rolls. They were a flop. They would not cook. 40 minutes past the initial baking time I finally tugged them out of the oven and tossed my hot mits to the floor in disgust. But Daniel was a champ. He complimented me on them all the way through his first three helpings, claiming that he liked his cinnamon rolls "chewy."

During the 55 minutes that we were waiting on the rolls, Daniel opened his presents. His sister sent him an Arkansas Razorbacks Snuggie. He LOVED it. The funny thing is, we had never heard of a Snuggie until a week or two ago when his sister sent us the link to the TV commercial on youtube. We thought it was a joke. We had no idea that these things were for real. What a great idea, though. Whoever came up with that one is glad they did. It is so crazy that we have been out of the country long enough to have never heard of something that is, apparently, all the craze with you all. Similarly, my mom sent me plaid for my birthday this month and told me I am supposed to wear it with pearls. Plaid with pearls, who knew?

In the afternoon, nine of Daniel's friends appeared below our window (at my arranging) to sing to him, Rapunsel-style, and take him away for an afternoon of ultimate frisbee and Brazilian BBQ. It wasn't completely Brazilian though, as it involved cow tongue and chicken heart and something about old dancing men in tiny underwear waving feathers. Meanwhile, back at home, the boys and I were baking him a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, compliments of my new High Altitude Baking cookbook.

Then we received our babysitter and took off into the night on Daniel's electric bike toting half of the cake, a bag of popcorn kernels (with which to pop my wok popcorn) and the movie In Good Company. We spent the evening with our friends, Robin and Tanja, who are from the Netherlands, and their upper-middle aged house guest (also from the Netherlands). We laughed and ate and played with Daniel's new laser pointer, shining it out of their 10th story window at buildings all around the skyline.

Daniel tells me it was one of the best, if not THE best birthday, he's ever had. Happy 30th, babe. You are the most wonderful husband, father, brother, son, friend, and person I have ever known. I love you.

October 13, 2009

What I am thinking

What is it with women? We are constantly comparing ourselves to other women. It is a completely defeating and deflating practice, but one that I find very hard to shake. Just when I think I'm doing pretty well, I go and read my friend Candace's blog, or spend the afternoon with my friend Laura, and I realize that I can't even tell you where the book of Zephaniah is found and I have no idea when I last baked rolls by hand let alone stocked my freezer with them for later and if my kids had the swine flu and I were 9 weeks pregnant I wouldn't be blogging about the ways it was ministering to me, rather I would be muttering mildly crude words under my breath and/or throwing things up at the sky.

(above-mentioned friends, please be complimented as I am not being sarcastic but am admiring you greatly)

One of three things is happening, as far as I can see. Either I am just not as good of a person, or I am too transparent (something I tend to be) or I am blind to the good being worked out in my own life and can only see the mundane and unspiritual and definitely not medal-worthy.

Maybe someday, in that Great Place to which I am headed I will see my dear friends for the flawed creatures that they were in this life. But for now, all of you are perfect and that makes me a pretty good friend to have as I will always see your best features but just don't come over for a play date when I am feeling like this or you might leave wishing you hadn't quit smoking years ago.

October 03, 2009

The Ant Farm

I Facebook. I didn't start Facebooking (is that a word?) until I moved overseas. Therefore, I don't know what its like from your end of things. From my end of things, as I posted in my "status" today, Facebooking is like watching everyone I love in an ant farm, and I am not an ant.

My dearest friend from college, Liz, is pregnant for the first time. I am watching it unfold on Facebook. Others of her friends are posting things like, "I'll bring my maternity clothes over to you this weekend," or "Sorry I missed your call the other day." I, on the other hand, talked to her on the webcam this week and it was the first time I had seen her face in almost a year and half.

I am watching my best girl back in Arkansas, Darci, as she Facebooks about her new lifestyle and posts pictures of her new look. She did that PX90 thing and turned herself into a hot mama. She grew out her hair. She got a tan. She writes me about her career options and her dreams. She is fast outgrowing the picture I have in my mind of the Arkansas country girl raising her kids in her sweats. Maybe she hasn't changed that much, but it sure seems that way from over here.

That's the thing about Facebook, it "connects" people but not really. I know what my best friend during my freshman year of high school had for dinner last night, but I haven't talked to her in 10 years.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off emotionally if I wasn't in such impersonal contact with so many people. Maybe the counterfeit is not better than nothing. Maybe it is tricking my heart. I am left feeling something without the proper context in my daily life in which to store it. The Computer Age is definitely an interesting time to live out adulthood.

p.s. Here is a picture of Darci in all her new glory. You are beautiful, Darc!