Living grammatically in a grammatically incorrect world

Oh Fergie.
You really are dancing on my last nerve.
"I'm not gonna miss you like a child misses THEIR blanket..."
I won't break the song down and beat up on it. Pop music is purely for entertainment, and I don't have stellar expectations of insightful lyrics. I unashamedly enjoy pop music for its pure fun and sing-along stylings.
But come on!!

a child = ONE child
how can one child miss THEIR blanket? children can miss their blankets...or a child can miss his or her blanket.

I have lots of grammar pet peeves, and I will not claim to be 100% correct every time I set pen to paper or fingers to keys. But there are some mistakes that become pervasive in society, and the perpetrators will ultimately bring a society to ruin.

I hear, "My friend is amazing. They really know how to cook pancakes."
one friend = THEY?? Does this person have multiple personalities?
Person, introduce yourself to the words he and she as well as his/hers.
" My friend is amazing. He really knows how to cook pancakes."

And whilst (!) I'm ranting, may I please suggest that we avoid shunning the word me.
Me is a valid word when used in the objective case. "The what, Shelley? I don't remember no grammar stuff." Don't make it the subject of your sentence, and you'll usually be just fine. But DON'T exchange me or I with myself.
"That class is going to be stimulating for myself." FOR ME!
"Myself and Judy are going downtown tonight." JUDY AND I!
"I never thought using bad grammar would reflect so badly on myself or my friends." ON ME OR MY FRIENDS! OR MY FRIENDS AND ME!
"I thought I'd buy a brand new boat for my wife and myself." MY WIFE AND ME! or ME AND MY WIFE!

Perhaps the rules have changed, or I am living in a grammar-cave...but people are using MYSELF in odd ways lately.

I feel much better now. I'm serious about the societal erosion through poor grammar examples. Children of tomorrow are far more likely to speak Fergie's words than they are to speak properly. There may come a time when we truly don't understand one another because slang and structure have been flung out the proverbial window.

My final rant...since now my juices are flowing...when comparing something to another something...use the subjective case. "Huh?"

"Those kids are all taller than me." incorrect.
"Those kids are all than I." (add the verb silently..."than I am.")
"She is louder than him." incorrect
"She is louder than he." (add the verb again..."than he is." ...and it makes perfect sense)

Yes, I know there are more terrible things than bad grammar going on with society. I realize I'm a nerd. Just indulge the nerdiness, and listen for these three things. Your eardrums will fairly deafen with the sound of ignorance.

Graceless in Grammar-land...and ready for sweet dreams...


Running, running, and running, running

I'm wearing my imaginary tennis shoes this week. Just running from place to place, meeting to class to home to eat to sleep. Even my dreams have been like work. Just this week, I dreamed that Jerod and I decided to organize and put on a Renaissance Festival (!). Jerod suggested that the thing that would really make it fantastic was a pewtersmith. So, in my dream, I was on the phone with the pewtersmith people talking about their craft and wares. I probably would have had the whole thing put together had Jerod not woken me up to tell me that Barley had tinkled on the rug in the night. Did you get all that? That was a long, convoluted sentence and thought. So, even in my sleepy-time, I'm coordinating something. I'm not sure how to stop the coordinating. I am constantly thinking of time, dividing my time, devoting my time, and how much more time I wish I had to accomplish this or that.

I enjoy being active, and I tend to book myself to the edges. It's a life pattern. I have figured out since I've been married that I can't fit quite as much into a day and still be a nice person or an effective wife. So, when I got married, I discovered real margins in my life. Actual undedicated time to do whatever needed doing or doing nothing at all.

I guess it's in my DNA to juggle forty-two things at a time. But I still need to make sure that sometimes there is just no juggling at all. Sometimes I just need to be. Think. Write. Create. Connect. Taking control of the margins and just resting in them...but that will need to wait 'til the weekend.

On other matters...let's PRAY FOR RAIN! Seriously, Jesus needs to squeeze some juice from the clouds, and soon!! We keep losing plant life, and I'm getting really sad about it. Every time I turn on the faucet and shower head, I'm thinking about how much water is flowing through it, and how fast I can turn it off or down. Not a bad thing at all to be more mindful of our resources...

Jerod and I are diving head-first into cyber classes. He began an online class about BLOGGING (!) and I start an online class on creating websites in two weeks. He is setting up a blog for his science classes as an interactive tool for research, instruction, etc. How cool that we can relate to folks, converse, and learn online! I'm excited about the new endeavor. In other class news, I'm enjoying my graphic design classes...feeling like I'll never learn everything that needs to be learned, but it's fun to have a creative outlet. I cannot drink in the information fast enough! Hmmm...enough of the multi-tasking...I think it's time to go to sleep. I wonder what I'll coordinate in my dreams tonight?


Afraid of The Amazing Grace

As I sat through service Sunday, I was moved by the tender spirit I felt. The song “Hosanna, Hosanna…to the Lamb that was slain…” just put me right over the edge. I won’t deny it, I am an “easy cry,” but there was something almost palpable behind my tears last week. I felt my salvation in a way that I haven’t really before. I thought about how I could say I was strong, and rich, and able to see because of what Jesus has done and continues to do for me. I’ve never had a problem with the faith side of things…I believe God is who he says he is, and does what he says he’ll do. It’s the grace that freaks me right out. "What do you mean I can do nothing to deserve it?" I really like the notion of working for what I get.

I carried in my heart the stories from service the week before…Pedro, Laura, and Jason…all unlikely choices for the kingdom of God...a radical communist, a Wiccan priestess, and a teenage drug dealer. How wide is God’s grace! And I thought of myself, probably a very likely candidate for the kingdom by all accounts. Then I realized with my heart that I am just as unworthy and as needy as any of the lost out there. I know that answer as the “Sunday School answer,” but I had not experienced the pure grace of God in such a way in a long, long time. It was spilling down my cheeks with abandon!

We were looking at the story of the Prodigal Son, who insults and disgraces his father, leaves home, falls flat on his face...then comes sheepishly back, hoping for a servant's job in his father's estate. The Father welcomes the son home with open arms, offering him a fine coat and a big party.

As the service progressed, I was swimming in the goodness of the Lord, who leaps off the porch to welcome home sons and daughters who have no right to approach Him. And I thought of myself, someone who has never wandered off His land, but still greets Him many times with a limp, uninterested hug in response to His vigorous, loving one.

I have lived my life against the sharp edges of rules, measuring myself and sometimes cutting myself on them and then being pleased when I could follow them. Pleased with my own ability to “follow the Lord” outwardly. But I have always hesitated to take the free fall into the cloudy cushion of grace…because there is so much less definition there. How does one live out each day in light of grace? I am slowly realizing and trying to fight off the truth that following the Lord has nearly nothing to do with rules and appearances and checklists.

I am so black-and-white that grace scares me. It is unnavigable without God…and yet I can see clearly that it is the only way to live a life free from constant judgment and full of compassion and love for others. But I have to take that free fall, knowing that God will catch me and teach me. He will give me a moment-by-moment map that will rarely give sure answers, but more often give better questions and the knowing that comes from faith. So, while some are able to wallow in grace, I am a little afraid of where grace will lead. And feeling like I’m driving something other than a car or walking with something other than my own legs. And God just nods, “Yes, Shelley, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to feel like.”

Philip Yancey writes: “Aware of our inbuilt resistance to grace, Jesus talked about it often. He described a world suffused with God's grace: where the sun shines and rain falls on people good and bad; where birds gather seeds gratis, neither plowing nor harvesting to earn them; where untended wildflowers burst into life on the hillsides. Like a visitor from a foreign country who notices what the natives overlook, Jesus saw grace everywhere. Yet he never analyzed or defined grace, and he almost never used the word. Instead, he communicated grace through stories we know as parables—which I will take the liberty of transposing into a modern setting.” (he goes on with a series of modern-day stories about grace…)

‘…The gospel is not at all what we would come up with on our own. I, for one, would expect to honor the virtuous over the profligate. I would expect to have to clean up my act before even applying for an audience with a Holy God. But Jesus told of God ignoring a fancy religious teacher and turning instead to an ordinary sinner who pleads, "God, have mercy." Throughout the Bible, in fact, God shows a marked preference for "real" people over "good" people. In Jesus' own words, "there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
From “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” 1997

What is so amazing about grace? It's free. It's available...and it can be a way of life. Now if I could just make a list of how to do go about all this...