Saturday, July 28, 2012


 I'm moving my blog to Wordpress. You can find me at

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Letter to my Body

Thank you, Body, for growing up healthy and strong. You got tall a bit early and that caused me a little grief but also helped mold my character.

There were times I didn't approve of you. I didn't like how big your feet were and how difficult it was to find jeans. I didn't like the timbre of your voice or the quality of your skin.

I've never managed to control you gracefully but perhaps, like me, you don't like being controlled.

I've come to accept your flaws. The skin still frustrates me, but then, no body's perfect.

Thank you for carrying the children. For nourishing them with your own resources. For protecting them while they formed. I will not berate you for any saggy, line-marked mementos of those days.
We needed a little help, but together we managed to deliver them safely into this world. Thank you for your amazing strength in that endeavor.
Thank you for continuing to nourish them and sharing your antibodies with them. Again, I will not berate you for the mementos.

You've let me down a few times over the years, but who's to say those instances weren't caused by my own choices. I've let you down far more often.

You've served me faithfully and well. I can't speak so highly of my own part. Forgive my negligence and abuse.

We've been through everything together, my constant companion. We have more adventures in store. Though we'll never be what we once were, nothing says we can't be something better.

Thank you. I love you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

No Quick Fix

Once, several years ago, I fell into a clinical depression. It lasted two miserable years.
After it went away when I would start feeling a little down and bluesy I would panic. No, no, no, no, no. I don't want to go back there. 
But it's like I heard God say, "Just hold on to me and we'll ride it out."

We live in a quick fix world. 
Hungry? Stick some popcorn in the microwave.
Tired? Drink some coffee.
Headache? Take a pill.
Bored? Get on Facebook.

There's an answer, a formula, a quick fix for everything.
Or so we think.

Truth is, most quick fixes don't fix anything. 
Eating a snack may not satisfy the nutritional needs that underlie your hunger.
Coffee isn't going to help you the way a good nights sleep will.
Taking a pill doesn't address the reason why you get headaches in the first place.

Most real fixes require time. And we don't like to wait.
One time I was reading about when Abraham had some angels come and visit. He offered them lunch and the meal began with him asking a servant to go out and kill the best calf.
That was no fast food. These days we barely even want to wait around for water to boil.

A while back I was having a really bad mood. I was irritable, mean, sensitive, sad, and borderline insane. It was awful.
I'd read that one way to change a bad attitude is to focus on gratitude.
I'd just had my birthday so I decided to write out forty-six things I was thankful for. 
It didn't work.
My mood was the same, if not worse.
The thing is, sometimes there is no magic formula--no quick fix. Sometimes we just have to be where we are and invite God into it. It will take time, but He promises to ride it out with us. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Got Something to Talk About

Evangeline tagged me for this meme and as I haven't done a meme in a while and I haven't posted anything at all in a while, I decided to go for it.
It's just eleven questions. 

1. Book or movie and why?  

I just happen to be part of a book club that discusses a book and then watches the movie that was made from the book. Before this, I'd believed that the book was always better than the movie, but it turns out that it's about 50/50. Some movies are actually better. An example would be Jurassic Park. Although some would disagree with that. I felt like the movie condensed the story to what was important and added a character arc that was missing in the book.

Some books and movies are equally good, like The Princess Bride. And some books are clearly better than the movie, like The Big Sleep. The book actually makes sense and is wonderfully written. While I enjoy the movie, I never understood what was going on until I'd read the book.

2. Real book or e-book?

Both. I love my Kindle and read a lot of books on it. But sometimes I want to buy a book in it's paperly form. I do prefer the Kindle for library books when possible. They automatically disappear when the loan is over--no more late fees!

3. Funniest thing you've done in the last 5 years? 

Oh gosh. I don't think I've been very funny in the last five years. My friend Robbie and I spent a forty minute car ride talking country to each other. That was pretty funny.

4. How would your best friend describe you?

I have no idea! One of my best friends told me I'm very accepting. One told me I was wise. I'm pretty sure that silly or goofy would be on the list. 

5. Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch? 

I get pretty involved. Especially in movies.

6. Favorite kind of car and why?

I've always liked Jaguars. Because they're pretty and classy. 

7. Would your choice of party be a catered meal or barbecue out back? 

I like both. Sometimes I'm in a fancy sit-down-meal mood but other times I'd rather do the cook out. Either way, I want someone else to do the cooking, the serving,  and the cleaning. 

8. What's your favorite season and why?

Fall! I love the way the air feels. I love the way sound travels. I love the smells of dried leaves, spices, and pumpkins. I love the slant of the light. I love the first fire in the fireplace. I love cider. I love apples. I love Thanksgiving. I love the expectation of winter. I love everything about fall.

 9. What specific lesson have you learned - Spiritual, educational, occupational? 

I've learned that we are all more alike than different.

10. Besides writing, what's your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time? 

Paint. Read. Watch movies. Watch Star Trek. Watch Dr. Who. Facebook. 

11. What's one place you can be found at least one time every week?


I'm supposed to tag eleven people, but I'm not going to. If you do it on your blog, let me know!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Important

Often right before someone dies he utters the things that are most important to him. When a mom leaves her teens alone in the house, she repeats all the things she most wants them to remember.

What was important to Jesus? What did he want to be sure his disciples really understood before he left? During the last night with his disciples, Jesus tells us what's on his heart. From John 13-17:

~ Love one another. He says this three times.

~ Ask in my name, and I will do it. Six times.

~ Abide in me. Four times.

I think we tend to get off track. We expend so much energy doing things. Yes, he did give us the Great Commission as final words, too. But I see many of us putting so much energy into things that don't really fit any of these commands.

I think it's easy to forget what's important.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday
Today we think of the Triumphal Entry. But I wonder...was Jesus feeling triumphant?

In Luke's account in chapter nineteen, he tells us Jesus wept as He approached the city. Not a gentle, silent weeping. This was sobbing out loud. This was not a pretty cry. Jesus had a broken heart.

He knew that soon this city He loved would be shambles. Not one stone left on another because they had rejected the Corner Stone. He says the destruction would come because "you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

God was with them and they missed Him.

A pastor at our church said that one time he was asked to visualize himself at the Palm Sunday occurrences. To imagine what role he would play. He realized the bitter truth was that he would be off somewhere distracted by his own things and miss all of it.

I think that's true for so many of us.

This morning my prayer is that I will never miss God. When He shows up, I pray for eyes to see and a heart to recognize Him. When we miss Him, it breaks His heart.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

22 Things

I'm doing the 22 Things Challenge. I learned about it from my friend Crystal. The idea is to list 22 small things I can do to change my life for the better. Not great big things that I'll never do, but little realistic things.

1. Take an art class.
2. Work on my book every single day. Even if only for a few minutes.
3. Eat a veggie and fruit every day.
4. Do stretches every day.
5. Take my vitamins every day.
6. Read the Bible every day.
7. Take workshops to help me with ministry.
8. Drink at least one more glass of water per day.
9. Eat less than I think I want.
10. Get massages.
11. Laugh more.
12. Practice listening.
13. Read every day.
14. Take at least one hour a day away from the computer, TV, etc.
15. Play non-electronic games once a week.
16. Write a letter once a week.
17. Visit my parents once a month.
18. Take a night away to be alone with God once per quarter.
19. Listen to music every day.
20. Cook more.
21. Family dinner at the table at least once per week.
22. Blog at least once per week.

Even though those are small things, they seem a bit daunting all in one place like that. Still here they are, for the world to see. Some of them I'm already working on. The plan is to occasionally blog about my progress. Anyone want to join me and make your own list?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In Defense of Princesses

There's a lot of princess bashing going on these days. "They make girls look helpless. They aren't strong enough."
About the only one who gets any respect these days is Belle and that's because she's the hero of her story.

But I'm a big fan of princesses. I love Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty.
Yes. The helpless ones. The weak ones. The damsels in distress.

I love a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue.

Here's why:
None of us can save ourselves. We are all helpless.
But the message of the age is "You are strong. You don't need anyone else. Fight your own battles. You are your own hero."

That message is wrong. That message will get you all messed up when it comes to God.

I was trapped in a living death. I was enslaved. I was bound up by a dragon. I was a damsel in distress, completely unable to attain the kingdom on my own. I needed a prince to come and save me.
Jesus did.

I will forever be grateful to my hero.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How I Ruined my Blog

There used to be people who read my blog. We had a lot of fun. I posted on random topics, some serious, some silly. I was very relaxed and conversational and I posted daily for the most part.

Then I got on Facebook and a lot of things that I would have blogged about I just put out in micro form on Facebook.

Then, I started reading blogs by people in the publishing business. People who know how things should be done.

They said that blogs should have a focus. All the posts should be on one general topic.
They said that posts shouldn't be more than 500 words.
They said I should be very careful about my headlines in order to attract traffic.
They said I was supposed to "offer" my reader something. Whatever that means.
They said I should be this and be that and there were so many things I needed to do to get this thing right.

So, I pretty much stopped posting. And when I did post, I felt very stilted. I didn't feel relaxed and conversational anymore. I was trying to be professional.

I've learned that when I try to be professional, I lose myself. And I wasn't having fun anymore.

I can't do this thing the right way. When it comes to blogging, I either have to do it the wrong way, or not at all.

So, I'm planning to be back with more frequent posts. They'll be on all kinds of random topics, because that's how I am. I'll be more conversational because I'm writing for you, the three of you who read this, not "they." And if I don't generate as much traffic as I could, well, I don't know. I guess that's just the way it is.

I'll still be on Facebook, but if I come up with something that I could blog about, I will. I can be two places at the same time.

So, let's have fun! I hope you're still with me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why I do Lent

Last year I gave up a lot of stuff for Lent. And I complained a lot.

But I also heard from God. A lot.

Hearing from God is the point of Lent for me. Not that I don't hear from him throughout the year, but we have a lot of buzz and jangling in our spiritual ears. Somehow--and this is one of those mysterious spiritual things--going without food clears the spiritual hearing.

In the past I tried giving up Facebook for Lent. Nice idea. But it didn't open those lines of spiritual communication.

Some people think that giving up something is supposed to help us relate to the suffering of Christ. Maybe. Maybe that works for some people and that's great. It doesn't work for me because I can't see that giving up chocolate or meat or even all food comes close to the sacrifice that God of the Universe made when he stepped into human skin and took on the sin of the world.

So, I don't even look at my sacrifice that way. I don't even look at is as a sacrifice. I look at it as a tool. Somehow, giving up something that my physical, fleshy body loves and craves helps me see and hear God.

It's pretty simple really. And of course, this could be done any time during the year. I don't have to wait until Lent. And sometimes, I don't.

But the timing of Lent is such that as I open my ears to God and seek His face with more intention, I'm also reminded of how desperately I need a Savior. Not just when I was nine years old. Not only to get me into Heaven. But I need a Savior every single day. Every day I need Him in order to not be who I would be without Him.

Then as Holy Week arrives, I see my savior coming through the gates amidst palm branches waving and I am relieved and thrilled to shout Hosanna~~Come save now!

(I don't want to imply that this is a formula. Christianity is not formulaic. It may well turn out that this year I give up some things and God is honored and that's it. There is no guarantee that I will have some wonderful heavenly conversation just because I go without some of my favorite foods. Still, I do it for God's glory.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wow. I Actually Like my Kindle!

I didn't think I would like an e-reader.
I love books! I love the feel of them. The smell of them. The flipping of the pages. The cover art. I find true joy in books.

But still... people kept talking about their Kindles and Nooks and I felt a little left out. A little behind the times. So I decided to get one. I figured if I didn't like it, my husband could use it for the books he reads for work.

I love it!

Here's why:

I read several books at a time. With the Kindle, they are all right there in one place. No piles of books. No searching the house to find what I want to read. All I have to do is touch the screen a couple of times and I've switched from one book to another.

Kindle automatically saves my place. When I open up a book, it opens directly to where I left off.

I can get library books without risk of a fine because when the time runs out, the book simply vanishes from my Kindle.

I can get a lot of free books. So far everything I have on my Kindle was free.

It fits in my purse better than a book.

It's easier to hold than a book.

I still love books. I always will.  I can't imagine ever being without real books. But I also really love this reader.

I love books. Love the feel, smell, and look of them. But it turns out what I really love is the words.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Some days I feel quite villainous. Like Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Or Almira Gulch from The Wizard of Oz.

The other day my husband and I were grocery shopping and he said, "You're in this lady's way."
I said, "I don't care." And I didn't even care if she knew that I didn't care.

Sometimes I feel like I could kick puppies and steal candy from small children. Pop a kid's balloon like Gru in Despicable Me. Say what I think without giving a flip what anyone else thinks like Ouiser in Steel Magnolias.

Some days, the most frequent words out of my lips are "I don't care." Because I don't.

I kinda enjoy my villainous feelings when I have them. That's because villains like that kind of thing. I could wring my hands and mwahahahaha with glee. Sometimes I want to throw in the towel and embrace the side of me that would crush everyone who irritated me. Destroy them with a glare or a precisely aimed barb. I could do it!

I gave my life to Jesus when I was nine years old. I can't say there was a grand transformation or anything like that. My life didn't take a huge and drastic turn. I didn't leave a life of debauchery to follow Christ.

But I can say that without His presence in my life I would be a fairly nasty person. Maybe not as awful as I think, but I do have a yucky, selfish part that likes to rise up from time to time. A part that would be pretty ugly without the fruit of Kindess gracefully grown by the Holy Spirit. It get's bad enough as it is.

But thank God that He reins me in. He reigns. I have fully given myself over to Him and He knows that no matter what my flesh may desire, my heart desires Him.

Still, I have my bad days. The only thing I can advise if you catch me on one of those days: stay out of my way!

Monday, February 6, 2012

We Will Remember

Yesterday in church we sang a song. "We will remember the works of your hands."

You know, Deuteronomy is nothing more than Moses telling the Israelites their own story. It's him telling them everything they went through in the book of Exodus. Right before his death, he remembered. And he reminded.
"You are going into a wonderful and dangerous place. Let's remember what God has done so far."

Once, while getting a massage, I decided to use the time to remember. I reminisced with God. "Remember the time you..." "Remember when..."

Another time a friend and I were talking. I said, "You know. I've had a very easy life. I haven't really suffered much at all."
Then I thought of some things that were difficult and mentioned them.
She said, "Wow. It sounds to me like you've been through a lot." And I was surprised by her statement. I guess I have, but it's not what I remember. God has always been there. I remember.

We know people who have been through a lot and we know it because it's what they remember. They would say, "I've had a terrible life." I know there are things people have endured that can't be forgotten. I'm not saying there should be no painful memories. But does God's faithfulness outshine the pain?

What do you remember?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Why is Painting More Fun than Writing?

I have a friend who is a writer. She's good at what she does.
She took up knitting. And for a while it seemed that she had traded being a writer for being a knitter. But now, she's back to the writing and the knitting is a fun little side thing.

Another writer friend, who is good at what she does, took up crochet. She made a bunch of hats instead of writing. But now, she's back to the writing and the crocheting is a fun little side thing.

Me? I've taken up painting. Art. I love it. I'll paint something and show it to the world on FB. "Look what I made!" Like a kindergartener. "I made this!" And they can like it or hate it and I don't really care a lot because I had so much fun creating it.

When I'm trying to fall asleep I'll think about what I want to paint the next day. I can't wait. I'm so excited.

I've never felt that way about writing. And you know what? Something I realized, or was finally willing to admit: I'm good at writing. And yet, it terrifies me.

Why? What's the difference? Both writing and painting involve putting bits of myself onto the paper. Both of them expose me for criticism or rejection.

Is it because when I paint something, that's it? It's painted. I don't have to think about submitting it to someone who may reject it. And even if they do accept it, they then have to pass it on to someone else who may reject it, as is the case with writing.

No, I don't think that's it. Because I could choose to go the Indy publishing route and eliminate those factors. But that doesn't feel any more comfortable to me.

Why does writing scare me, but visual art doesn't?

I want to have the same passion and fun with my writing as I do with my painting. It seems to me that they shouldn't be that different.

What do you think? And if you are a writer, have you find yourself sidetracked by other creative pursuits?