March 31, 2010

Stick Figures

Sometimes my blog calls to me and begs me to add to it. I want to respond with an insightful rendering of the tender, poignant, and beautiful moments of my life...

...but, alas, my brain has turned to mashed-potato-like mush, making tender, poignant, and beautiful quite difficult to swing. And as for insightful? Ha.

But on days like today I really, really, really want to blog about something...anything. So down tumbles a random assortment of thoughts, like a set of pick-up sticks. Perhaps, dear reader, you can see a latent message in the mess. Here goes nothing:

  - The weather in St. Louis is just gorgeous today. Naturally, I long to be outside and enjoy it, and naturally, I cannot. Spring inspires me. The warm weather makes me think that THIS will be the year where I do something daring and different. I will shed 20 pounds and have washboard abs, suddenly become immaculately stylish, read 30 books over the summer, or become the piano player I long to be. Spring is my January 1.

 - Lately I have been craving chocolate. Lindon is afraid I will become "one of those women who always needs chocolate." His extraordinary fear of me becoming addicted to chocolate is kind of amusing.

 - The following conversation recently occurred in my house:
 Me: (watching Levi laugh at his own antics and laughing with him) Lindon, I think our baby is going to be silly.
Lindon: (a bit bewildered) there any reason to think he would NOT be silly?
Me: No, I guess not.
Lindon: Ok. I didn't think so.

When I watch Lindon relate with Levi, it occurs to me that not only will my kid be silly, he will also probably have a daredevil streak. He laughs with glee as he is (gently) tossed in the air, giggles hysterically as he is (carefully) held upside down by his ankles, and he loves to jet around the room like an airplane. Of course his father has a hand in all these adventures, but it's so fun to see the way Levi looks at me with such joy. It's as if he's saying, "Look, Mom! I'm flying!" or "Look, Mom! I'm upside down!!" In 5 years he will probably say, "Look, Mom! I climbed to the highest branch in the tree!" or "Look, Mom! I can ride my bike with no hands AND my eyes closed!" or "Look Mom! I'm on the roof with Dad!" or "Look Mom! I'm on the roof all by myself!" It teaches me to trust God, but also to trust that my kid is in the capable hands of his father.

 - Often song lyrics get stuck in my head. When this is Sugarland, it's terrible. When it's something more poetic, it's awesome. Recently there have been several lines from songs that have whirled through my brain long enough to cause me to stop and marvel at the artistry of their construction and the beauty of their truth. Sadly my head is empty of such beauty at the moment. Isn't that disappointing?

 - The word "schmaltzy" is interesting. In common usage, it means sentimental, but literally, "schmaltz" is Yiddish for "rendered fat."

 - The hyacinth and daffodils in front of my house are blooming! The leaves are returning on the hydrangea, and the azaleas show signs that they, too, will blossom this year. It's so exciting when the front of my house no longer looks like a wasteland. At least the boxwoods stay strong all year.

- I read this sentence yesterday on one of my favorite blogs:
           Anyway, while I continue to debate the merits of the new slimmer fitting, ubiquitously cuffed, repeatedly cargo-pocketed khaki pant of spring 2010, I’m counting on the classic shape of this thrifted pencil skirt to keep my neuroses at bay.

It makes me wonder what garment I need to keep my neuroses at bay. I am thinking a straight jacket.

Well, those are all my thoughts for now. If you see any deep connections or themes, please let me know!

March 18, 2010

Finally...Another Installment of Songs that Make Me Smile: Faith My Eyes

So recently my blog has struggled with a bit of an identity crisis. The Fearless Fowler began as a place for me to share aspects of my story, a creative outlet for this sometimes freelance writer. For the most part it has served that function well, and in the past two years I have used this spot to examine different themes - some big, some not so much - in my life. Then the kiddo came, and, believe it or not, at times it's hard to think of things to share that do not involve Levi. Don't get me wrong, I think he's adorable and great; it's just that I don't want my blog to be a shrine to my kid. The rest of my life has been overtaken by the drooling baby love of my life, and I gladly devote every last shred of my energy to standing on my head in order to hear his oh-so-delightful shrieks of laughter. This little corner of cyberspace is supposed to be a place for me to reflect on other aspects of my life...and incorporate my baby in moderation.

So I have recommitted myself to blogging as a creative outlet for my writing and reflecting. This post is my re-dedication ceremony.

Now that the preface is out of the way, it's on to the text that directly relates to the title of this post. Yesterday while Levi napped (there he is again...rats! Oh, but he's so cute.) I perused through our music collection and stumbled upon some music I had not heard in years. When I saw the 40 Acres album, I instantly played Derek Webb's "Faith My Eyes."

      So keep 'em coming, these lines on the road
     And keep me responsible, be it a light or heavy load.
     And keep me guessing, these blessings in disguise;
     And I'll walk with grace my feet, and faith my eyes.

This is a road-weary traveling song and one that really resonates for me. As long as I have been married I have lived far, far away from my closest family members. Our trips to visit family have always been long road trips, and leaving family to come home has always been tremendously difficult. I have often struggled with the frustration of living so far from family and wishing it didn't have to be this way.

But it is this way, and since we have no idea where the next step of our journey might take us, the odds are good we will continue to have to travel to see family for the foreseeable future. It's hard, really hard. In my moments of frustration, I think that what I would like more than anything else would be to have a comfortable life close to loved ones - a life filled with certainty, predictability, and ease.

Then I remember that I believe in a God who is way more interested in my holiness than my happiness, and he has given me a great husband who wants to be what? Yes, a pastor. So, no, Megan Claire, there will be little comfort, certainty, predictability, or ease in your future.

So keep 'em coming, these lines on the road. They do keep me responsible and force me to remember who is in control of my life (hint: it's not me). We have no idea where we will be after seminary, and that's kind of ok. It keeps me humble and dependent.

Grace for my feet, and faith for my eyes.

March 11, 2010


Some time this fall Lindon and I realized exactly what we wanted for Christmas, and with the kiddo on the way, it seemed a good time to start being frank with our families about our Christmas wishes. So we sent an email to my family letting them know what we wanted: a Nintendo Wii. This burst of candor reaped blessed consequences, and on Christmas day we opened not only a Wii, but several games to accompany it (including my favorite obsession and baby-jiggle-eliminator-during-cold-winter-months, Wii Fit).

The Wii has quickly become our favorite way to unwind, especially after our little sidekick goes to bed. Sometimes I just watch Lindon play, but often we play together. Our favorite game to play together is Super Mario Brothers Wii, lent to us from a friend. This new twist on the classic video game from my childhood is so much fun, and one of the best things is that multiple players can play the same course at the very same time (those of you well acquainted with the wonders of Super Marios Bros. Wii, quit rolling your eyes because I am so behind the times!).

But there is a problem: Lindon and I are terrible when playing together. Lindon is great on his own, and I am not too bad when playing by myself. But when we're on the same course at the same time, the result is disaster. We constantly get in each other's way and inadvertently cause all kinds of harm. One of us will accidentally push the other into lava; we jump at the same time and one falls off a cloud; one person accidentally grabs both mushrooms instead of just one; or (my personal favorite) one of us will try to rescue the other from their bubble, only to release them onto a bad guy and get them killed...again. It's pathetic. After the 15th attempt to beat a castle, we have no choice but to laugh at our dismal teamwork.

Recently life has felt like a two-person game of Mario Wii. At times it feels uncoordinated, confusing, overwhelming. No dancing turtles threaten to shrink me, and Lindon cannot pick me up and throw me like in the game, but sometimes I feel no more skilled at avoiding the chaos of life than I am at avoiding the chaos of koopas and Venus fly traps. My elaborate balancing act of managing house, job, and kiddo sometimes causes me to lose track of where I am. And when I try to help out Lindon with his equally full plate of obligations, the result is sometimes more harmful than helpful.

I hope that, as with Mario, the longer we play this game, the better we will get. Our parenting skills have grown even more than my Ninetendo skills. I still fall in the lava and get covered with spewing spit up, but at least we can still laugh and know that, with time and practice, we will continue to get better.

But if Levi ever turns into a giant Bowser who breathes fire at me, I'm done.

March 3, 2010

Hither By Thy Help

I have been trying to find a way to post this article for a long time. This is probably the best I can do. In the fall 2008 Covenant Seminary ran this reflection that I wrote shortly after moving to Saint Louis in 2006. It might be my favorite piece I have ever had published because it is so personal and, for me, so timeless. As we ponder our future and where we might be after Lindon graduates in May, this is one story I need to hear again. The faithful God who brought us to Saint Louis is the same one who will guide us to our next adventure.

Growing, growing, growing

Here are some update photos of my little man. He never fails to make us smile. It's hard to believe he will be 4 months old on Saturday.