Thursday, July 23, 2009


I am mostly a fiction reader, but I have read many wonderful non-fiction books, too.
I thought I would share some of my favorites.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. The story of her family as they hid Jews from the Nazis in Holland.

A Chance to Die by Elisabeth Elliott. The biography of Amy Carmichael, missionary to India.

Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliott. A wonderful book, full of many good lessons.

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Van Auken. A beautiful love story that leads to the truest Love Story.

Our Covenant God by Kay Arthur. I am leading a study using this book. Every Christian should study Covenant. "Everything God does is based on Covenant." Kay A. says.

The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennen Manning. A simple message of God's love and grace.

Touch by Pastor Rudy Rasmus. An example of how the church should function.

What are some of your favorites?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

just wondering about stuff

So, we are supposed to obey those in authority over us, right? I try my best to follow the laws. But is it an actual sin to break the law? What about the law that says we have to wear seat belts? Is it a sin to not buckle up? Maybe the sin is in disobeying the authority over us? Of course, history has proven that there are times when obeying the authority is the greater sin. God's law always comes first.

What about rules? Is it a sin to disobey rules? Do the movie theater people have authority over me? Am I obligated to obey their rules? If I sneak a candy bar into the movie, am I sinning? Maybe it is unethical. But is it ethical for the company to put such a rule in place for the sake of their own greedy gain?

Is every unethical action also sinful? Can a person be unethical without sin?

Just wondering. What do you think?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

about my heart

I grew up with animals. That sounds weird.
What I mean is, we always had animals around--pets.
We had dogs, cats, chickens, a pony, a rabbit, a duck, maybe others.

I always has such a soft spot for them and would bawl my eyes out over animals being hurt, sick, or killed.

I've hardened. It's odd. We just watched Marley and Me and I only cried a little. I've grown very pragmatic about all that and I feel sad about it. Sad because that part of me is missing and I don't know why or where it went. It makes me feel like I'm mean.

I like animals. I enjoy them. I think they know God. I think they are amazing.
I still miss my kitty that died almost 20 years ago. I understand when people grieve them, so don't get me wrong. But the emotional aspect has changed.

On the other hand, I used to watch the news cold-heartedly. I was never moved by appeals to feed the children or news of genocide.
Now, those are the things that bring the tears. I read the headlines every day and feel my heart crumble a little more.
People in slavery. Fathers who sell their daughters to feed the rest of the family. Children accused of witchcraft. I can't imagine now how I used to be unmoved by these things that wreck me now. I can't even type it without tears.

Maybe my heart only has so much room. Maybe I only have a certain amount of love to give. Maybe for me it's an "either/or" situation. I know people who have both, a deep compassion for animals and for people.

For some reason, for me, it seems it had to be a trade off. I guess that's ok.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

have you ever?

  • Have you ever been on TV? Yes. I was in the crowd during the Today Show. My folks saw me. My tip -- wear red, people can spot you that way.

  • Have you ever sung in public? In a trio and choir in church. Never a solo!

  • Have you ever dyed your hair blond? Well, I tried. My hair is naturally darkish brown and thick. So parts of my hair were bleached to translucency, other parts were still brown, and there was a variety of shades in between. After talking to the Clairol people on the phone I made a concoction to bring it all to the same color. It was similar to that commonly found on school buses when all was said and done.

  • Have you ever eaten frogs' legs? No, but I would.

  • Have you ever received a present that you really hated? Yes. That's all I'm saying.

  • Have you ever walked into a lamppost? Yes. I was reading a tract that a Jesus Freak gave me, (it was a long time ago) and bam!

  • Have you ever cooked a meal by yourself for more than 15 people? Yes. Well... let me think. I guess not completely by myself. So, no. Mom always makes the gravy.

  • Have you ever fallen or stumbled in front of others? Of course. Several times, I'm afraid. One that comes to mind was climbing stairs to the choir loft. Another time when I tipped over backward in my chair at Pizza Hut.

  • Have you done volunteer work? Yes, at the kids schools, at church, and for a short time at the Pregnancy Center. I wanted to volunteer there longer, but felt I needed to be more involved in the kids' schools. Shortly after that we decided to homeschool.

  • Have you ever free-climbed a tree? What? Do some trees charge? Oh, or does that mean when you scoot up without any branches? No, then. No, I haven't.

  • Have you ever had a close relative who lived to over 100? Nope. Grandma died on her 95th.

  • Have you ever ridden a horse? Yes! I love it!

  • Have you ever seen a car accident? Seen it actually happen? No.

  • Have you ever driven a sports car? I think my first car qualified as a sports car, but it did have a small back seat. Other than that, no.

  • Have you ever broken a bone? Yes, my shoulder.

  • Have you ever fallen in love at first sight? No. But I've had many crushes at first sight.

  • Have you ever slept in a tent? That depends on how you define sleeping.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the boy in the striped pajamas

Last night I had some alone time. So I used it to watch some movies that my family wouldn't appreciate.
One of the was The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
I want to talk about it.
So, if you haven't seen it, and you plan to, then stop reading now because I will spoil it.


Now you can't say I didn't warn you.

Ok, first I liked the way it was filmed. Did you notice how prison- like their new house was?
I liked the way you could see the boy thinking, processing. The actor who played Bruno did a wonderful job.

Childlike wonder and innocence. Believing the best. Or wanting to, anyway. Trying to decide what to believe, your father, or your own eyes. All of this played in his acting very well.

So, skipping to the end. As soon as he made his plan to go into the camp, I saw it coming. But still I kept hoping. I kept hoping and then it hit me.
His life has no more value than any of these others. Yes, I wanted his dad to find him in time to save him, but what about all those other people?

And isn't that the point of the movie?

I was thinking things like, "But wait, he doesn't belong there!" Or, "This isn't fair. He's not part of the camp." How many of us would have breathed a big sigh of relief if dad had rescued Bruno?

It was at the point when they were told to take their clothes off that I came to my senses. Yes it is unjust, but it's unjust for all of them. Every single one of them doesn't belong there. Every one of them needs to be rescued.

I would like to have seen the aftermath. It isn't hard to imagine what happened to their marriage. Did the father get the point, though, I wonder. Did he see?

Monday, July 13, 2009

a story for you

I had a story in an online magazine a couple of months ago. For those of you who missed it, I'm putting a version of it here.

A Life on the Side
By Kay Day

A bell jingled as I walked through the door into the dim diner. An old screen door squealed behind me and shut with a bang. No body’s going to sneak up on these folks.
The Last Chance CafĂ© was the only place in town to get a meal. That’s what the guy at Gus’s Gas told me, anyway. The only other establishment, he said, was Carl’s Bad Tavern, but the only food they offered was pretzels.
I took a seat on a squeaky Naugahyde booth that used to be crimson, but now was faded in spots and patched with duct tape.
“What can I get you, hon?” A busty redhead asked. Of course she was popping gum. What is this place anyway? Stereotype land?
“I’ll take the special. Fried chicken, right?”
“Yep. With mashed taters and coleslaw. Anything to drink?
I really wanted water, but wasn’t sure I trusted it. “Coke, please.”
I shifted in the seat and looked out the window. “What in the world?” I said, jumping from my seat to get a closer look. “What is that on my car?”
“Oh, that’s just some of the buzzards. Didn’t you see them circling the restaurant when you drove in?” The waitress, Peg, according to her name tag, waved a hand in the air after setting my Coke on the table.
I could feel my eyes bugging. “No. I don’t think I would be here if I did. What kind of restaurant has buzzards circling it?”
The one on the hood reminded me of Brad. Just the thought inspired beads of sweat.
“They nest in the trees out back. The owner wanted to chop the trees down but some animal rights people won’t let him.”
“Well, calling this place the Last Chance can’t help matters any.” I said, squeaking back into my seat.
“We’re all used to them. You’re the first stranger been through here in a year, at least. We don’t need to impress no one.” She snapped her gum and scrubbed the counter.
A phone rang and a gruff voice answered from the kitchen. I could hear mumbling and Peg was flat out eaves dropping. The phone hung up with a clatter and Peg rushed through the swinging door into the kitchen. “Fred? Fred! Wait. Don’t go.” I heard a screen door bang shut and her voice grew fainter.
I looked around the empty diner. Was Fred the cook? What about my chicken?
I walked over and peered through the serving window into the kitchen. There was a pan of chicken on the stove. Fire still on. Nobody around. “Hello?”
Shoot. I was hungry, and that chicken smelled good.
I went out the front door and looked around, then walked to the back and looked up and down the alley. Nothing.
I slipped through the back screen door and picked up the tongs to check my chicken. The front bell rang; the door slammed shut. “Hi Fred. Hi Peg,” a voice said. A florid face peered into the window. “Who are you?”
“Sandy” I said. “I don’t know where Fred and Peg went. They took off that way.” I waved the tongs toward the back.
The man watched me turn the chicken. “I’ll take an order of that. Double taters, please.” Then he moved to a seat at the counter.
“No, I’m not cooking. I don’t work here.” I said.
“Looks like you’re cooking to me and doing a good job of it. “ He snapped open a newspaper. “I’d like some tea, too.”
“Well, help yourself.” I said.
He just looked at me and went back to his paper. Well, he can just be thirsty then.
The bell and the bang again. “Hey Clyde. What’s shakin?” I peeked out to see a scrawny guy in overalls. They proceeded with some banter until Clyde said, “We got us a new cook. Peg’s not here, so just tell this lady what you want.”

“I am not cooking. I’m not taking orders.” I said. “You guys get back here and fix your own food if you’re hungry. Or better yet, go find Fred and Peg.”
They chuckled. “We don’t cook, ma’am. That’s why we’re here,” Clyde said. “As for Fred, my guess is we’ve seen the last of him. Everyone knows he’s on the lam and he’s been awful jumpy lately. Ol’ Peg is probably somewhere crying in a beer.” He rearranged his rear on the round seat. “So it looks like you’re chief cook and bottle washer, whether you want to be or not.”
“Well, maybe I’ll just eat my chicken and go, then.” I said, putting it on a plate and scooping up some ‘taters’ and coleslaw.
“You wouldn’t leave us hungry, would you? We’ll make sure it’s worth your while.”
I was running low on funds. Searching for a new life wasn’t cheap. “How do I know that? And what do you mean exactly?” I narrowed my eyes at them, as if I could ever look scary.
“Shoot, ma’am,” scrawny guy said. “Clyde here owns this joint.”
Clyde nodded and grinned. “Looks like I need a new cook. Can you do it? The pay is fair and includes a place to stay. Its just one room, but its free.”
I crammed some chicken in my mouth and chewed on it a minute. I’d been on the road six months. How long did I need? This place was remote enough. I could maybe feel safe here. Maybe this was the answer I’d been praying for.
I took another bite of chicken and nodded. “Where’s my apron?” I said. “ You got yourself a new cook.”

Sunday, July 12, 2009

He knows their names

He counts the number of the stars;
He gives names to all of them. Psalm 147:4

Lift up your eyes on high
And see who has created these stars,
The One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power,
Not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26

This same God knows your name. Holds you in His hand. What an amazing thought.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

saturday 9

Yes, I'm doing a lot of memes, but at least I'm not shutting down for the summer like a lot of my friends are. So I hope you don't mind. I will do some real posts from time to time, too.

I got this one here.

1. If you have been or are married, tell us about your wedding. If you are not, tell us how would you want it to be. We got married in November, the day after Thanksgiving. I can't remember what our rationale was, but I know it wasn't the best timing. People were out of town, and guests who lived out of town weren't as likely to travel for a wedding. So we had a smaller turn out than we expected. But we're still married, so it's all good.
It was a nice ceremony. The man who set us up married us.
It was cold and when we went to the back building for the reception, it was locked. Someone eventually found a key or something.

2. What age would you encourage your children to get married? twenty-four or twenty-five sounds good. I remember my dad telling me something like that and I thought, "Yeah right!" I couldn't wait to get married! But turns out I was twenty-seven when I finally tied the knot.

3. Who got married at the last wedding that you attended? My cousin Ben got married. I really don't get invited to a lot of weddings. I guess most of the people I know are already married.

4. Do you enjoy weddings and receptions? I do. I really do. Especially the reception so I can talk with people I don't' see often.

5. Have you cried at a wedding? Oh, yes. Especially my cousin Ben's because his mama wasn't there. That was hard. She passed in 2000 from cancer.

6. Would you prefer a lavish event or a intimate ceremony? Mine was pretty simple and small. But these days, I would probably rather have a big bash, go all out, do it up right!

7. Have you ever been in some one’s wedding party? If yes, do tell. I was flower girl in my cousin QOTW's wedding and in her sister's wedding I was a bride's maid. I was a bride's maid in my friend Anna's first wedding and in my sister's first wedding. I was a bride's maid in my college roommate's wedding. I think that's it. Oh, my college roommate's brother had me do the guest book in his. That was funny, but nice. I was at their house for Spring break or something.

8. Does a wedding make you happy and sentimental or grouchy and skeptical? Not really grouchy, but happy, sentimental, and skeptical by turns.

9. Why do you think our divorce rate is so high? People think marriage is all about being happy and as soon as they realize that it's work, they give up. People don't know what commitment means anymore. Also, I think we get a lot of false ideas pumped into us about what love is supposed to be and we are disappointed when reality is so different. People in general aren't well prepared for marriage. And we have fewer and fewer examples of what a strong marriage looks like.
Not that I have any opinions about it or anything.

I would post a picture from my wedding, but the scanner is broken.

Tell me about your wedding!

Friday, July 10, 2009

friday fill-ins


1. The last thing I ate was _gluten-free blueberry toaster waffle__ and _honey__.

2. _A new shower curtain liner__ is something I recently bought.

3. When it rains, it _cools off and smells good!__

4. _My boy_ was the first person I talked to today.

5. Hugs are _sweet_.

6. _When I'm sick I need_ extra comfort.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _nothin' really, my girl is having a sleepover, but that's not that exciting for me. Maybe while they are in her room and my hubby and boy are out I can watch a movie that only I like_, tomorrow my plans include _changing lightbulbs--hubby has declared it "bulb replacement day"__ and Sunday, I want to _try a new church, but we probably won't__!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

why do I do that?

I posted a while back on saying no and this post is similar, I guess.

Since being diagnosed with Chronic Epstein Barr, I've been very attuned to my energy expenditure and stress levels. If I can keep these things under control, I lesson my chances of triggering a flair-up.

So, I'm looking at things that I do, or don't do, and thinking about:
does this take energy?
does this give energy?
why do I do it?
is this necessary?
do I enjoy it?

I've discovered that even though cleaning house takes a lot of energy, I think that having a dirty house takes even more. So it's a good trade off. Extend some energy to clean, but gain energy and decrease stress by having a clean environment. That's my theory anyway. I'm still working on putting it into action. It's still hard to dredge up that initial motivation to do the thing.

Blogging takes a bit of energy. I do it because I enjoy it.

Homeschooling takes a lot of energy. I do it because it is necessary.

Writing uses up a lot of energy, but I do it because God wants me to. Also, I think that worrying about how I should be writing and feeling guilty for not writing zaps more energy than doing the work.

I think that's true for most of these situations. Guilt and self-flagellation are very energy intensive.

So, I quit Twitter. A lot of people love it. I didn't. And so, why do it? I did it because it is the thing that you are supposed to do if you are a writer. That's not a good enough reason for me.

I am going to quit writing my Examiner articles. I have been doing it because it is a good opportunity for a writer to get her name out there. I don't enjoy it, though. I don't get any money. I don't get enough pay-off to be worth the energy it requires.

What gives me energy?
Spending fun, non-whining time with my family.
Having lunch with a friend.
Spending time with God.
Being alone.
Good church.
Praise and worship.
Reading a good book.
Hanging out with my writing buddies.
Socializing on Facebook.
Talking to a friend on the phone.
Being in the mountains.
Cool weather.
A haircut.
A day at the spa.
A maid.
A night alone at a hotel.
A trip to England...