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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
Finding the sacred in everyday life
Getting a better laundry sorter — and a better handle on what my kids are teaching me
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About this blog
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. ...
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Simply Faithful
Marketta Gregory never meant to be a columnist. \x34I trained to be a newspaper reporter -- one who tried to her best to be objective. I covered religion for a few years and felt like it was the best job a curious woman like me could ever have. Every day I got to listen as people told me about the things that were most important to them, the things that were sacred. But the newspaper industry was changing and few papers could afford to have an army of speciality reporters. So, I moved to cover the suburbs where, as luck would have it, they have plenty of religion, too. Eventually, children came into the picture. One by birth and another two months later by foster care/adoption. I struggled to chase breaking news and be home at a decent hour, so I made the move to what we journalists call the dark side: I took a job in public relations. (Don't worry. I work for a great non-profit, so it's not dark at all.) When I gave my notice at the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Chronicle, the executive editor asked me to consider writing a column on a freelance basis. She didn't want the newspaper to lose touch with its religious sources, and she still wanted consistent faith coverage. I was terrified. It took me about 10 months to get back to her with a solid plan and some sample columns. And so it began, this journey of opening up my heart to strangers.\x34
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Oct. 14, 2012 12:01 a.m.

Photo courtesy of Lori Ostling



I really didn’t mean to cause a scene or to serve as a bad role model for my son. I was just tearing apart my laundry sorter – the kind with cheap metal bars and nylon bags for holding clothes – and doing it with a little gusto when I was “found out.”

For three years I’d been rolling that sucker around the laundry room, stopping once or twice each trip to re-insert one of the metal bars that always seemed to work its way out of the corner joint. That fateful night, I had to stop four times to fix the crazy thing – and I hadn’t even rolled it a few feet.

And I had had it.

I started pulling apart the metal bars and dropping them one by one on the cement floor. I was not being careful or quiet, and I called my laundry sorter a name I’m ashamed of.

Apparently this caused quite a racket because my husband came running down the stairs to check on me, and our oldest son was close on his heels. I growled at Jessie to go back upstairs because I wasn’t sure I was done calling my laundry sorter names.( I allowed my husband to stay because he served four years in the Navy, and I was confident he had heard far worse while out at sea.)

Photo courtesy of Joyce Schurr



Then, once all the pieces were on the floor and my husband and I had a good laugh at my expense, I called Jessie back to the basement to explain myself and to apologize. It’s a spiritual pattern that I’ve found myself repeating a lot in the last five years since Jessie came to live with us.

When we first started the adoption process, I thought God was allowing me to help Jessie. I didn’t know how much Jessie would help me.  I had all these great lessons that I wanted to teach him and characteristics that I wanted to model for him. What I found is that I’m terribly flawed – and that if you live with me, I can’t always hide my impatience or even my slowness to forgive.

I’ve tried for years to serve God, and he finally handed me a mirror with mousy brown hair and lanky arms. It’s not always a flattering picture, but it’s accurate and it keeps me honest.

Photo courtesy of Lori Ostling



Writer’s note: In my defense I was pregnant when I threw my little fit… and my husband did go out and buy a sturdier laundry sorter that has never come apart!

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