Monday, July 31, 2006

What It's Not About

Tomorrow my son will board a plane for Thailand. Mac. My baby, now almost seventeen.
When I tell people about Mac’s trip they respond in one of two ways, “That is so cool!” or “I could never let my child do that!”
When God told Mac and Mac told me he was going to Thailand I said, “That is so cool! You can’t go.”
That was several months ago. Since then Mac has raised more than $2,000 to pay for the trip and attended weekly meetings praying and planning for the chance to share his Jesus.
Since then I’ve watched CNN and decided he can’t go anywhere. I’ve also turned off CNN because it was getting louder than God.
Just about a week ago my sweet friend Becky (Java Sista) got a call that her daughter who is part of the team had broken her collar bone on a youth trip. Becky made the sane mom decision, no trip.
Not everyone agreed with Becky’s decision, including said daughter and my son. Ultimately God downright overrode her and Miss Broken Clavical is going to Thailand.
I agreed though. In fact, I started dreaming of ways to break Mac’s collar bone. Or his femur. Or both. Whatever it would take to ground him.
In fact, I was jealous of Becky for having an injured kid. Seriously.
Saturday I was praying about God possibly injuring Mac or giving me the permission to forbid the trip or at least make me want him to go. The answers were as follows, “No. No. No.”
And this was the final answer,
“He is not yours. He is mine.”
I opened my mouth to argue but God got ahead of me and reminded me of the day I found out I was pregnant (surprise!) after getting in a car accident. That was the day I asked God to touch my unborn baby, keep him or her safe. Let me carry and deliver a healthy baby that I will raise to serve You.
He brought to my memory the day the Mr., a one year old Jay and I stood on the altar and gave Mac (then known as Macky) back to God. The day we pledged to raise him to be a servant of Christ. The day we acknowledged that this gift was not ours, but a temporary privilege. We prayed together that day with our pastor and our congregation over Macky’s life. My grandfathers were still alive and they prayed from their pews. With no hesitation I told God that this child was His.
Then I remembered the times I have spent on my knees at 2:00 in the morning praying for my boys. Sitting in the dark at their bedsides asking God to fill their lives and use them for His glory.
I remembered that my fondest hope, my greatest aspiration, and the only thing I measure my worth as a mother against is that my boys serve Christ with sincere passion.
And they do.
He is not mine, this sweet servant of God who is going across the world to share his Savior.
I don’t have the right to demand peace or guarantees. I gave it all up before he was born. Now it’s not about me teaching Mac to love Jesus. It’s about Mac loving Jesus and teaching the world.
I know you’ll be praying for Mac’s trip and for all the details stateside and overseas. I am counting on it. But I need to tell you what it’s not about. Because this is serious.
It is not about agreeing with mission trips. It is not about what you would do if you were me. It is not about whether the team can really accomplish anything.
It is not about you being worried. It is not about me being worried.
It is about Mac and God.
Please do not speak anything but praise and glory to God when you speak of my son’s trip.
Do not update me on world events that will terrify me and send my spirit in the wrong direction.
If you’re scared, go talk to God because; no offense; I’ve got enough on my mind holding hell back from my son.
I’m not trying to be mean. I’m a soldier and I’m at war. Fight by my side or step to the side. But stay out of my way.
Between now and when Mac returns home on August 17; I am on a mission trip too. I’d like you to join me, but if you can’t it’s ok. Just don’t make it harder.
If you are a Christ follower and He has given you a word to comment with to respond today; I can’t wait to hear.
If Christ isn’t giving you something to say about this, please keep other thoughts to yourself for today.
I won’t be this serious for the entire seventeen days, but today I’m not playing.
In one day my son is going to Thailand where I can’t reach him and he can’t call me.
It is not about me or you or CNN.
It is about Mac & God.

Mark 8:35
35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Starting tomorrow I'll end each post with a Thailand prayer request for the day courtesy of Mac's Aunt Amy.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

July 30, 2006

Mark 16:15
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thailand Prayer Requests

1. Safe travel.
2. No injuries/illness.
3. Peace for the team and the families at home.
4. Unity for the team.
5. Wisdom.
6. Good leadership.
7. Physical strength.
8. Safe food & water.
9. Safe return.
10. Jesus loud & hell scared.

My youngest Mac and Blogger Becky's (aka Java Sista) daughter are leaving for Thailand on Tuesday for two weeks. Please keep them in your prayers. Thanking you in advance.

Friday, July 28, 2006


Let’s talk about hands.
I am quite self-conscience about my hands. I don’t like ‘em.
I would like to have long tapered fingers and pretty oval nails that gently curve at the tips.
Instead I have largish man hands (Seinfeld Alert!). Stubby ugly fingers.
I have pretty good luck at growing my nails. I actually refused to keep my nails trimmed back in the days of piano lessons because I was even more unhappy with my hands when I didn’t have a pretty manicure. My teacher warned me that I wouldn’t be able to play as well, it was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
I went to nursing school where they insist on no polish and short nails. Ugh, one of my worst fears. But nursing school instructors are not as reasonable as piano teachers so I trimmed my nails and went sans polish. It made me crazier than you know.
By the time those two years in school had passed I had grown to kind of like not having to do my nails a few times a week. It was a little bit liberating to go natural, no worries about broken nails.
And sure enough, it was easier to do a variety of tasks with my new working-girl nurse hands.
Today I rarely grow out my nails and wear polish. It’s just an inconvenience. It’s easier to do my job this way and a lot less maintenance.
Of course, now my hands are presenting even bigger issues to my self-image. My hands are aging. They are dry and not as smooth as they used to be. My cuticles are a mess from constant hand washing in hospital soap.
I don’t think of my hands as all that large any more. My son put his hand up to mine and mine fit in his palm. It’s a matter of perspective I guess.
I used to hate my hands because of how they looked. Now I like my hands because of what they do.
They change dressings and give medication and pat the backs of crying people.
They smooth back hair and take physicians’ orders and write reports.
My hands type blogs and e mails.
My fingers run through my boys’ too long hair and cup their faces when I kiss them good night.
I look at my hand wrapped in my husband’s and it looks very pretty.
My hands can hold yours when you’re worried or afraid. My hands can write you a note when you’re sad. They can take your picture to capture our lives together.
My hands are older and my nails are not manicured.
But my hands have found something to do besides trying to look beautiful.
My hands fit just so at the back of my husband’s neck when he holds me and announce my love with my weddng band.
Without my permission they reach up to heaven when I worship.
My hands have grown up.
And they have become...beautiful.

Psalm 24:3-5 (New International Version)
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. 5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Still In First Grade

Sometimes I feel like after being a Christian for 34 years (or 130 years as my life groupies insist); I’m still in spiritual first grade.
They have been short-staffed at work all summer so everyone has been pitching in to pick up shifts. When I got my new position, my schedule changed. I used to work every other weekend and have days off mid-week. Now I work Monday through Friday, which I am so thankful for.
Well, they needed nurses to work on a Saturday. I don’t really want to work on weekends if I don’t have to, obviously. But I felt a certain responsibility to help out. And I’ll be honest, it was over-time plus extra for something called “bonus”; so I wasn’t exactly a martyr in the whole thing. I signed up for Saturday and offered to work Sunday until 10:30 so I could make it to church.
Friday afternoon my boss came onto the unit and said that through some error, they had staffed one too many nurses on Saturday. Would I take off Saturday and work Sunday? No, church is my priority. I won’t miss church.
I told her she could just remove me from Saturday’s schedule though. Then she has this great idea. There are two psychiatric units in our hospital. She’ll leave all the nurses on the schedule in case there is a call-off on either unit. Then on Saturday morning, staffing will call if they don’t need me.
In other words, plan to work, get up and get ready for work, then we’ll call at the last minute if we don’t want you.
I had a little bit of a hard time with this new plan. Because it felt like no plan. Am I working or not? Do I want to work or not? I had gotten my brain wrapped around the idea of that extra money. Then again, my whole family is off Saturday and there is no shortage of household management things to get done. I couldn’t even decide which I really wanted to happen!
This is all kind of like how I can tend to argue with myself about life in general. The only good answer is to do right and then let God settle it all out. Like the Saturday schedule, lots of things are neither good nor bad. The question is one of surrender more than decision.
God, you work it out. I’ll do whatever I need to do.
So Saturday morning I got up at 5:00 a.m., showered and was about to blow dry my hair when the phone rang.
“Hi Sara. This is staffing. We don’t need you to work today.”
So I didn’t sleep in, but I did get my day off.
I won’t make the extra $$$; but I assume I won’t miss it because God made the decision.
No right choice. No wrong choice. No Sara agenda.
Just God, working out my days.
First grade Christianity.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Am Today

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Dear Person,
Allow me to introduce myself. I am your new day. I am 24 hours long. I contain 1,440 minutes and 8,640 seconds.
Although it is common to confuse us, I am not my sibling yesterday. I have no influence on yesterday.
I come pre-equipped with standard options should you choose to use them. I recommend immediately initiating mercy, hope, prayer and requesting forgiveness from my creator, God.
I have been customized to your particular situation and needs by my creator as well. Many of my specific components result from your use of yesterday and so, yesterday does indeed influence me. It is true that I may contain some unpleasantness as a result of yesterday. If so, it is recommended that you use the prayer option to maximize the hope option.
I also offer unwise choices, although I wish I didn’t. This is a result of free will, installed in you by your creator, who is also God. Should you so choose, I will bend to your free will even if it is not good for us.
Speaking of free will, my younger sibling tomorrow will be arriving at twelve midnight. Although yesterday does not yield to my will, tomorrow does. I am obligated to inform you that whatever I contain will cast a shadow on tomorrow.
In the event that yesterday contained pain, guilt or shame; I am authorized to direct you to the Creator for a coupon for redemption, good at any minute that I contain. All sin and regret will be immediately reversed upon redemption and I will begin new despite of the time on the clock. Tomorrow is most greatly influenced by redemption as is the future, otherwise known as eternity.
Yesterday is erased by redemption.
Should you have already used your redemption option, it is renewable every second. Forgiveness is available to you every new day and each day is best optimized by initiating forgiveness at regular intervals i.e. requesting forgiveness from our Creator as well as offering it to others.
Should you have any further questions, please direct all inquiries to the Father or His Word. Additional training is available at no charge to you at any Bible-based house of worship or through fellowship with Believers.
Should you have any complaints with my performance such as sadness, hopelessness or a generalized feeling of confusion; please proceed immediately to worship of our Creator. Worship is also the preferred response to my arrival and departure for maximum enjoyment of my twenty four hours.
Thank you in advance for allowing me to be your day. You may now rejoice and be glad.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

My Own Personal Lois

2 Timothy 1:5 (New International Version)
5I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

My grandma’s name was not Lois nor was my mother Eunice. (Note to self, start calling mom Eunice).
Anyway, my Grandma’s name is Eleanor and she’s on my mind and so, on my blog. My grandma has never been perfect and has frequently driven me to distraction with her various theories and generous criticisms. She has always been very opinionated (I’m glad I’m not like that); a bit on the vain side (also glad I dodged THAT bullet) and fascinated by God (wish I had more of that, I’m learning Grandma).
I’ve thought a lot of things about my grandma over the years, many of which were not nice and probably won’t show up in a Hallmark card because she never respected boundaries. If she doesn’t like your hair, you’ll know. If she thinks you’re lying, she’ll tell you; and she usually does think you’re lying. I’ve spent a good amount of time biting my tongue and more time letting it loose.
But there’s another side to my grandma. She taught me a lot that it just now occurs to me to give her credit for. She set the standard for nurturing. She was always infinitely patient with me as a child and no less so with my kids. She loved her babies, for three generations and counting. I seem to have her in the past tense and that bothers me, because she is still present.
Present, but changed. She’s almost eighty four years old and she’s different now. And not necessarily different in a good way. She continues to tell me my hair looks like a wig but now she’s a little less sharp. You can see the tension in her eyes as she searches for a word. She feels weak to me now. And it ticks me off. I couldn’t stand her strength, and now I can't stand her weakness even more.
I don’t know why I’m writing this. I guess I don’t want to wait to tell the world that my grandma is great and irritating and smart and over-bearing and I love her, I really really love her.
She started some trends many years ago. She kept at the forefront of fashion. She decorated her home magnificently. She collected antiques and baked and cooked like Martha Stewart before there was a Martha.
She pursued God with a passion that started in her marrow. She started a generational blessing, a tradition. Faith.
So now that I see the waning years upon her I realize that she won’t always be there to find that Old Testament scripture I can’t locate or to tell me the secrets of stuffed cabbage. I wonder if someday I’ll long to hear that my hair looks like a wig and I have dark circles under my eyes. I better get ready to pick up that baton. I want to keep it going. I want to be different from my grandma in a lot of ways. But I want to be like her in the important ways. I want to pass on the faith of Eleanor.

Dear God,
You know I’ve been often impatient and downright furious with my grandma. You know I wish I was a better grand daughter and you know the obstacles that stand in my way. You know the secrets of life and love that no man can know. You know the time past and the time yet to come. Lord, thank you for my grandma. Thank you for the faith you set into motion for me the day she found you. Bless my grandma, keep her and give her peace as she walks through her final years on earth. Draw her nearer to you than ever before and fill her mind with Psalms and worship. Expose your love to her as never before. And make me braver and stronger so that I can be just a little bit for her of what she has always been for me. Thank you God, for grandmas and faith and hair that apparently looks like a wig. Amen.

Monday, July 24, 2006

My Life As A Kitchen

I’ll be forty next year. I know, that’s supposed to be a traumatic experience but considering the trauma of my twenties, I’m looking forward to it.
I once heard Oprah (speaker of all wisdom and truth) say this about life...(paraphrased) In your twenties you’re just clueless and trying to figure it out. In your thirties you’ve figured a lot out and now you’re trying to apply it. In your forties, you’ve got the knowledge and the skills and the experience and you’re ready to be.
I have never forgotten that. I heard it in my twenties and I was quite relieved that I was right on track with being clueless. I think it even spilled over into my thirties, so I might be in my fifties before I’m ready to just be.
So no, I don’t want to go back in time.
With the support and lobbying of my blogger community; the Mr. installed a dishwasher in my kitchen this weekend. As I’m writing this, it’s Sunday morning and daboyz are still asleep. The Mr. has already left for church. I just rinsed out my coffee cup and put it in the dishwasher. No more dirty dishes in the sink. No more drainer on the counter piled with clean dishes no one has bothered to put away.
I should add that last weekend the Mr. finished installing our new oak cabinets in the kitchen with new counter tops and floor. Our new grande size stainless steel fridge matches my sweet stainless steel dishwasher. Next is a matching stove.
This morning I put that dirty coffee cup into the dishwasher, loaded my coffee maker for the morning and was amazed.
I’ve come a long way baby.
With the help of my grandparents, we moved into this house just before the birth of our oldest in 1988. No money, no clue, no motivation, and generally overwhelmed at life and being grown-ups. Ahh, the twenties.
The house was built post World War II and had not been updated since its construction. Minimum cabinets, old and painted yellow. And being twenty one, I failed to see the charm of it. Oh, I was thankful for a home to bring my new baby to and certainly indebted to my family for enabling us to have it.
My grandpa replaced the old cabinets with ones he made. Stained exactly a color I would not have chosen, with counter tops I would not have chosen. He figured he knew best and it was his dime. True on both counts. His motivation was always love, with a side order of control. Love being the main course.
We installed the cheapest flooring we could find. Again, based on price and not preference. It was newer than what we originally had and I was grateful. The new cabinets my grandpa installed did not allow enough room for a dishwasher. Didn’t matter. I was so grateful to have a home I didn’t think twice about such extravagance..
Over the years we have painted those dark cabinets a lighter color or two. Lived with the dark counter tops. A few generations of cheap flooring went in here and there.
In the last several months, the Mr. added about eight feet of cabinets and counter top in our dining room, which was largish with much wasted space. Wow! I could put everything away and even had a little space left over!
Then he put in new cabinets over the stove, more storage. Newer. Again, wow.
New hardwood-look flooring. Not the cheapest, my choice.
Butcher block work table next to my stove with shelves for cookbooks.
And now, new sink, cabinets and dishwasher.
My life as represented by the evolution of my kitchen.
Sound silly?
Probably is.
It’s just, as I stood there this morning, pushing open the fabulous lemon curtains my mom made me (because she understood exactly what I meant when I said I wanted them to look like Lucy’s Connecticut house), it did mean more than just work space and convenience.
In the twenties, I was vulnerable to my own limitations and anyone who was kind and generous enough to bail me out. And believe me, the bail-outs were constant.
I didn’t choose in my twenties, I just accepted.
This isn’t the house, the body or the life I would’ve predicted from back there. Some of my aspirations were much grander, some much smaller. Mostly I was just surviving.
This morning as I turned around in circles looking at this new kitchen I saw twenty years of learning, failing and grace written on the walls. I walk across not just oak-colored flooring but I walk on mercy and generosity.
I am surrounded with opportunities I blew, and those I learned to grab on to.
Life is easier here, a year short of forty.
Oh, it isn’t that life itself gets easier literally. It’s that I am better at living.
God has taught me to constructively criticize myself so that I learn from my mistakes.
He has taught me to ask forgiveness so I can put them behind me.
He has loved me despite myself so I can believe I am worth something more than I once thought.
God sent people to do the work of my life for me when I was too naive, stubborn and stupid to do it for myself.
He never stopped moving me forward to something better. Higher ground. Abundant life.
My kitchen. New & improved.
Just like me.
And it’s only gonna get better.

Romans 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

P.S. My poor MR., he worked all weekend getting that dishwasher installed and now the shower quit! Not that it's life and death, but couldya pray for him? Thanks! Oh, and he forbids me to post pics of the kitchen until the trimwork is done. Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

July 23, 2006

Psalm 84
1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Oh The Places We'll Go!

1. For sportswear; Wal-Mart.
2. For casualwear; Kohl's.
3. For dress-up; Penney's.
4. For shoes; Mervyn's until they closed. Now all is lost.
5. For cosmetics; Walgreen's.
6. For skin-care; Mary Kay, except for foundation which sucks.
7. For salad bars; Ruby Tuesday's.
8. For coffee; Starbuck's.
9. For incidentals; Target. For definition of incidentals, see "general crap & stuff".
10.For soul-food; Metrosouth Church.

Friday, July 21, 2006


This Autumn something pretty special is going to happen. On October 25, the Mr. and I will be celebrating our twentieth wedding anniversary. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
The question at hand now though is this, how exactly are we going to celebrate? Besides that! Sheesh!
We started off talking about "going away" for a long weekend and that's where things got ugly. We couldn't decide on a location, length of stay or anything else. I should say we couldn't agree. By the time we were well into this discussion I had decided that it wasn't the destination that was the problem, it was my traveling companion!
The Mr. and I aren't exactly wired the same. In fact, I'm quite certain we're a complete mismatch.
So here were my dream vacations: Laura Ingalls Wilder's homestead; Loch Ness; Dealey Plaza; England; the Mutter Museum; a night at the Dearborn Inn with a day at the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village; "out in the country somewheres".
The Mr: Chicago; Dallas(at least it fits the Dealy Plaza plan); Vegas; "some big city where we can have a nice dinner"
Can you say stalemate?
Now I'll admit that a major part of this problem is that I'm not a good traveler. I don't particularly care about vacations except the cottage every July. I'd happily go out to dinner and then just come home.
The Mr. feels that twenty years demands some kind of landmark celebration.
So while this post isn't particularly spiritual, although making it this far in this relationship speaks of miracles, I'm needing some ideas here.
We only have about three months left. I'm tellin' ya, if we don't get some direction here, it might be a moot point! I have already called the Mr. an "incompetent, selfish, nervous, lying traveler."
Any ideas?

Proverbs 12:4
A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Have you ever been away from the city at night time? Have you noticed how clear the sky is compared to that in urban areas?
Last year the Mr. and I went out to dinner in Ann Arbor and then headed further west to spend the night away. Driving down that quiet highway at 9:30 at night, the autumn sky was clear and sparkling. What was amazing to me was that at home, where pollution hangs a veil between me and the universe; I don’t realize that what I’m looking at is smog, not starlight.
I needed to be reminded of what the sky really looks like to remember that I live under a clouded sky, even when I can’t see the clouds.
My own heart can be like that. Pollution wraps itself around my life from internal and external sources.
When I stop trying to break bad habits, give up on improving my short-comings or start tolerating my flaws; I sometimes forget they are there. I stop thinking about the bright and sparkling reality that might be hiding behind the pollution.
And then there is the stuff of life that settles into my mind and spirit, adding another layer of grime. Worries about the world. Unpleasant people. Job stress (a new one for me). Too much to do, too little time, not enough energy.
You can fill in the blanks on what pollutes the you that sparkles just behind the smog.
I don’t think there is any way to stop the pollution. I think it’s the reality of this side of heaven. The existence of it doesn’t worry me.
What worries me is when I get so accustomed to being polluted that I don’t think about it anymore.
It’s like taking down the pictures in my living room to paint and realizing, “Hey! That’s what color the walls are supposed to be!”
It’s like cleaning your jewelry and being pleasantly surprised at how sparkly it is after you’ve removed the hair spray and hand lotion that dulled it’s shine.
It’s like renewal of the heart and mind that only Christ can give us. And it needs to be daily, hourly, moment by moment.
Because the dirt and grime and hair spray sure do build up fast. And I am too quickly accustomed to looking at life through smudged window panes.
I want to see the clear sparkling creation I was made for.
I want to be that creation.

2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's a Good Thing

Philippians 4:8 (New International Version) 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This is the verse I used to argue with God.
As I was vacuuming God got all up in my grill and accused me of being angry. I very calmly and unangrily told him that I wasn’t angry at all. He obviously had the wrong person. I am chock full of sunshine and cotton candy. No anger here.
“You are angry.”
No so! See above scripture! I am thinking only of good things! I am a spiritual Martha Stewart! Good things! Only good things!
OK I’ll bite. What am I angry about?
“All the stuff you don’t understand. All the stuff you can’t control. All the stuff you have no choice but to turn over to me.”
Hmm. Well, maybe. Angry huh?
Maybe I’m just burdened. Isn’t that what Christians get? Burdened.
“Nope. Angry.”

Sure enough. I was angry. Did you know that anger and depression are pretty much two peas in a dysfunctional pod? It has been said that depression is anger turned in.
So yeah, turns out I was a little ticked. God teaches me lessons in bizarre ways, probably being that I’m a freak and thick-headed to boot. So later that day he taught me the rest of it. I was watching Biography on Lifetime. The subject, Melissa Gilbert (shout out to LHOTP!) was talking about having had her son two months premature and that one day she was going off the deep end trying to find something she could do to guarantee that he’d survive. And someone said to her, “There is nothing you can do about this but just be in it. You have no other power and no other responsibility.” I don’t know if that seems profound to you, but it hit me right between the eyes.
I am what I think of as an under-performing over-achiever. I know I could do pretty much everything a lot better than I do and I rarely go to bed pleased with my performance of the prior day.
When I was in nursing school, I almost lost it (literally) when I didn’t get the grades I wanted. Mostly because I was working as hard as I knew how to work and still not getting the results I wanted. It made me angry that I just wasn’t that smart. My best efforts had limitations.
I hate limitations.
I now realize that I have a pretty rotten coping mechanism when my limitations rear up in my face. I shut down. I push those issues that are beyond my control way to the periphery where I can hardly see them. It’s not complete denial but it’s a close runner up. Because of my Christianity, I hold myself obligated to pray for the stuff that I don’t want to think about. So I do approach those topics in that manner. But I do my level best to keep them off my radar when I’m not praying about them.
And honestly, my prayers are fly-bys more than intercessions.
It’s a pride issue too. I am thinking on only good things! I am Scripture Girl! I don’t worry about it!
Poppy cock. That’s right, poppy cock.
Thinking on the good things is not denying the bad things by default.
It’s coping with them in a healthy way.
So I thought it was pretty spiritual of me to not think of "bad things"; only the good things.
Oh, and a fly-by prayer at least once a day!
I found out that’s not what that verse means.

Philippians 4:8 (New International Version) 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

My way has been wrong. I have been thinking in terms of destruction and denial.
The right way is to confront life head on, feel the pain, the sorrow and the fear of it. Admit that I have no control over it. Be honest with God about what that does to me. Be honest about what God wants me to do. And use all of that to inspire enough prayer on my part that no matter the outcome, I can know that God is in control of it. There’s a beautiful side note to that, He’ll do whatever has to be done with me to make me able to survive the unsurvivable.
Take any potentially shameful, fearful subject you can think of. Something unlovely, wrong and impure.
Now wrap it in grace, mercy, power, forgiveness, wisdom, prayer, supplication, sacrifice, honesty, integrity. Wrap it in Christ.
So here’s the question, is the loveliness of Christ good enough to cover the ugliness of that thing I’m avoiding?
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about it.
Tell me, what is there that is excellent or praiseworthy that is not God himself?
There’s the coping mechanism we need. Not denial. Not being the neighborhood Pollyanna. It’s plain old balance.
Recognize the bad, focus on the good.
Deal with the shame, meditate on the grace.
Survive the pain by giving it to the Healer.
Denial is just a lie you tell yourself.
It’s not really the what we’re thinking about; it’s the who.
And when you're thinking about Jesus, it's a good thing.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Be Prepared

Psalm 23:5
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Isaiah 40:3
A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the LORD ; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.
Jeremiah 46:3
"Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle!
Mark 14:8
She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.
John 14:2,3
In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

I like to be prepared. I don’t always pull it off but it is always my goal.
My son has Celiac Disease so I have little choice about being prepared where his diet is concerned. Gluten-free food is not always readily available and I don’t want him to miss out on not only eating healthfully, but just being able to enjoy himself with everyone else. I keep a pantry in my kitchen stocked with all gluten-free stuff so he knows where to grab something safe without label-reading, and so I’m always prepared to feed him. Snacks, baking supplies, cake mixes, dinner’s all there all the time. When we went up north I left it to him to pack up his own supplies. Guess what? Not a blessed thing packed.
So we had to take the trip to the next major city (about thirty minutes away) to find a super Wal-Mart to try to improvise a gluten-free diet for Jay. Not easy. I do much of his shopping in a small specialty store, none of those up north. We pulled it off, I read through recipe books for gluten-free stuff and stuff I could modify. He didn’t starve.
But we were not prepared, and it was not good.
I’m a person who keeps two of everything on hand. Two tubes of mascara, two boxes of laundry detergent, two sons.
I launder and iron at least a week’s worth of work clothes ahead of time. Then I do a quick scan to choose the jewelry to wear with it.
I make the appointment for my next hair appointment when I’m paying for my current visit.
When Mac was going on a cruise I made him bring out his swim trunks and try them on two months ahead of time so I could confirm that A. He could find them and B. They would fit.
I’m just saying, I like to be prepared.
Prepared>a state of readiness, especially for war.
Sometimes it’s just my obsessive-compulsive self that gets caught up in being prepared but not usually. Usually it’s just good common sense, taking responsibility for things that I’m accountable for. Not letting things slip past me that will affect my ability to do what needs doing, make me late or interfere with me doing my best.
“I wasn’t prepared.” is not an acceptable excuse in any situation I can think of.
What’s interesting is how hard I work to stay prepared for my daily life, things both large and small; and yet how poorly prepared my spirit often is.
I know what it takes to run a prepared-for life. I keep my stock of supplies, mark my calendar, make my lists and do the work.
What does it take to be spiritually prepared, in a state of readiness, especially for war?
Because be assured, we’re at war (and not just with terrorists).
Spiritual preparedness requires knowing who’s in charge and being absolutely committed to his authority. Are you a Christ-follower?
Communication with the leader to know what to do, how to make decisions and where I am supposed to be stationed. How much time every day is devoted to prayer?
Stocking my heart and mind with scriptures (and not from a calendar or a fridge magnet). So let me just say it, what are you currently studying in the Bible? What passages or principles are you studied up enough regarding to teach them to someone else?
Belief in the system of being spiritually prepared should show in my life. Does your daily life reflect scriptural principles?
Evidence that the leader is trusted and worthy of following. Do you take time to just praise and worship God? How?
Learning how to be better prepared, stocking up on the wisdom and knowledge that others have to offer, humbling self to learn a new lesson, challenge an old assumption, gain higher ground. Do you seek out other believers for study time, seek spiritual mentors and join corporate worship as well as fellowship?
Getting self out of the center. Do you serve others in a way that is meaningful to Christ? How?

And by you, I mean me and us.
Because I haven’t yet attained preparation of the heart and spirit with the same dedication that I prepare my pantries and calendar.
Silly really. Because I understand that life needs to be organized when it’s so short. But I am decidedly eternally disorganized.

Someday you and I and all of us are going to stand in front of God.
“I wasn’t prepared” will definitely be the wrong answer.

1 Peter 1:13
[ Be Holy ] Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Let Us Pray

There are few aspects of life as sweet as knowing that the people of God are praying for you. I can’t remember a time in my life when there weren’t Christ-followers surrounding me with prayer. How blessed I am.
There are many ways that prayer manifests itself. Simple talking to God prayer. Worshiping Him because you realize for just a moment who He really is prayer. Praise that springs out of a spirit that understands its purpose prayer. Exposing a broken heart with just a mustard seed of hope that it might be mended prayer. Desperate cries to be bailed out of a self-inflicted nightmare prayer. Surrendering a decision prayer. Giving up a burden prayer. Asking for salvation prayer. Receiving daily forgiveness prayer.
The prayers for others add a whole different spectrum.
Can you even list the ways we can pray for each other? Healing, salvation, guidance, comfort, wisdom, peace, prosperity, success, favor....
Daboyz, since they were born, have been immersed in prayer. It has been their greatest blessing just like it has been mine. As they have grown older they have come to realize what a resource in their lives prayer is. In fact, they are down right addicted to being prayed for. They even have a top ten list of the people to be alerted immediately in the case of prayer requests. Only it isn’t limited to ten.
As a parent, prayer has been my greatest strength. And it as also been the root of all of my other strengths as well as the safety net for my weaknesses. I remember several years ago when one of daboyz was about to face something stressful. My final word to him as he walked out the door was, “I’ll be praying for you all day.”
Even after all these years the results took my breath away. Not the result of my prayers; the result of that statement.
My son’s face relaxed, he smiled a genuinely peaceful smile and off he went. “Thanks Mom.”
He understood the blessing of prayer.
I want never to forget, even for a moment, that prayer is the lifeline that tethers me to God.
I have no pride when it comes to asking for prayer for myself or my loved ones. I’ll call, e mail and post a blog about what I need from God.
I also consider it a great honor when someone else shares their needs so I can take them to the Throne as well.
I have decided that every day I will take a moment as I’m doing my daily blog-hopping to pray for each blogger and for any needs I know they are facing. It’ll just be a matter of seconds but I think it’s a great way to remember all of my blog family every day. Because we all need our lives touched by God every day.
So if you have a need, please feel free to post it or send it to me via e mail. Or you can even comment that old church standard...”Unspoken request.” That means someone needs something from God that’s private. But God knows about it.
In a too-fast life, let’s not let old-fashioned prayer slip away.
Get addicted to being prayed for.
Will you agree with me to pause and pray for us all?
Ephesians 3:16-21
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

We Are All Armenian

“It is estimated that one and a half million Armenians perished between 1915 and 1923. There were an estimated two million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire on the eve of W.W.I. Well over a million were deported in 1915. Hundreds of thousands were butchered outright. Many others died of starvation, exhaustion, and epidemics which ravaged the concentration camps. Among the Armenians living along the periphery of the Ottoman Empire many at first escaped the fate of their countrymen in the central provinces of Turkey. Tens of thousands in the east fled to the Russian border to lead a precarious existence as refugees. The majority of the Armenians in Constantinople, the capital city, were spared deportation. In 1918, however, the Young Turk regime took the war into the Caucasus, where approximately 1,800,000 Armenians lived under Russian dominion. Ottoman forces advancing through East Armenia and Azerbaijan here too engaged in systematic massacres. The expulsions and massacres carried by the Nationalist Turks between 1920 and 1922 added tens of thousands of more victims. By 1923 the entire landmass of Asia Minor and historic West Armenia had been expunged of its Armenian population. The destruction of the Armenian communities in this part of the world was total.”

Every July, for as long as I can remember, my Grandma Trent has celebrated my mom’s (her daughter-in-law’s) birthday with shish kabob, flat bread, pilaf and salad.
My Grandma Trent’s maiden name was Mezigian. She is Armenian.
Almost a century ago, my great grandfather fled Armenian with his one surviving brother after the massacre of his entire family. They were young men, almost boys, when they ran for their lives and finally found their way here, to America. Settling in Delray they established lives, raised families, and told the stories. Stories of the Old Country, of Armenia. Stories of the people, the mother and father and siblings that didn’t make it out. Stories of tradition and love and hardship.
Stories to remind themselves and their children that they, and we, are Armenian.
Four generations later, we are still Armenian.
Why do we do it? Why do we still gather over the old fashioned and traditional foods? Why do we still call ourselves Armenian when it’s only now a small percentage of our ethnicity?
Why do we choose my mom’s birthday, she who is not Armenian, to raise the banner of our history?
We do it to honor and to celebrate. We do it to be grateful and to recognize the price paid for the feast in front of us. There isn’t much we can do anymore, with so many of the previous generation gone. We can’t thank them for their courage. But we can take one meal every year to make the price they paid worth it.
And to remember, we are Armenian.
There were twelve of us for dinner today. Exactly half of us can claim some part of our blood is still Armenian. The rest were in-laws and friends.
But that’s ok. Because we not only honor those gone from this earth and those we never met, we honor God and thank Him for this great bounty.
For the determination of one young man used by God to start a new life. We don’t want to forget where we came from and where we could’ve been but for the mercy of Christ and the hand of God.
Today we once again ate shish kabob, pilaf, flat bread and salad. We celebrated my mom’s birthday and realized that it could’ve all been so much different.
Today in-laws and friends and blue-eyed blonds remembered and celebrated and recognized our great bounty.
Today, we were all Armenian.
And we are all blessed.
And we are all grateful.

Jeremiah 39:18
I will save you; you will not fall by the sword but will escape with your life, because you trust in me, declares the LORD.' "

Sunday, July 16, 2006

July 16, 2006

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

10 Cottage Things

1. Eating too much.
2. Reading a lot.
3. Porch sitting.
5. Campfires.
6. Unfolding history.
7. No phones.
8. No make up.
9. Dogs eat English Muffin toast for breakfast.

BONUS #11!! Happy birthday Mom!

Friday, July 14, 2006

He Works Hard For It Honey

So we're about to wrap up 'round here with the kitchen remodel. At least I think so, the Mr. has run to ACO or something. Gonna go out to dinner as we have no kitchen now. Tomorrow plumbing and electric commence.
Meanwhile, here are some pics of the work in progress and the wounds I sustained whilst helping. And the drain.
I promise things will be turning in a more spiritual direction now! Well, pretty soon at least.
We're eating at On The Border!! Hooray!

Meaningless Crap to Avoid Housework

GASOHOL [gasohol] a gasoline extender made from a mixture of gasoline (90%) and ethanol (10%; often obtained by fermenting agricultural crops or crop wastes) or gasoline (97%) and methanol , or wood alcohol (3%). Gasohol has higher octane, or antiknock, properties than gasoline and burns more slowly, coolly, and completely, resulting in reduced emissions of some pollutants, but it also vaporizes more readily, potentially aggravating ozone pollution in warm weather. Ethanol-based gasohol is expensive and energy intensive to produce, and can damage rubber seals and diaphragms and certain finishes if the ethanol is present in higher concentrations. Since 1998, however, many American automobiles have been equipped to enable them to run on E85, a mixture of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. Methanol-based gasohol is also expensive to produce and is toxic and corrosive, and its emissions produce cancer-causing formaldehyde. See also automobile .
Author not available, GASOHOL., The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright
According to Jay, this is what the Mr. becomes after Mexican food (pronounced gas-hole)

Have returned to Kohl's and purchased funny t-shirts for daboyz and earrings for myself.

Last night Mac asked the MR. the origins of his middle name. Jay said it reflected where he was conceived. "You know, Alan, as in on Allen Road."

Red Scrub Pants Alert!!!! Turns out the Mr. (I never could've seen this coming) had washed my scrub pants whilst I slept and folded them neatly and then put them in the kitchen. It's always the last place you look for hospital attire.

Speaking of the kitchen, let's not.

Scrub Pants & Other Wanderers

So having spent a few days sharing the deep dark angst of my angst-ridden deep dark soul, I decided to move on to issues of universal importance.

1. Has anyone seen my red scrub pants? I last wore them to work on July 4 (of this year). We left on vacation July 5. I came home yesterday and the top I wore was in the laundry, but not so the pants. Whoever came over and stole my pants please return them. I have included a picture of the top I usually wear with them. (Of course, on the 4th I had worn a patriotical shirt, not the one pictured.)
2. I went to Kohl's yesterday and you must go immediately and buy sterling silver jewelry. It's many percentages off, the specifics of which I cannot remember. But I got a ring that was originally $30 for $6.85. If you don't care for sterling silver jewelry, buy me some as I like it very much.
3. The Mr. has the new cabinets and countertops and such to finish our kitchen. Just thought you'd like to know. Feel free to check back as I may just post pics of the work in progress. Now you have a reason to live.
4. Nobody likes the restaurant On The Border, but I do.
5. My mom's birthday is on Saturday. If you want to know how old she is, e mail me privately and I'll tell you. Look for pics of her par-tay on Monday as we're having yet another food fest on Sunday. For her birthday, she wants you to buy me sterling silver jewelry.
6. I am sick of my hair. I need to get my roots done and must wait until next pay day and the style has become very Toni Tenille. I guess I'll have to start calling the Mr. Captain.
7. My dog is old and has things hanging from her undercarriage that the Mr. refuses to pay to have removed so he is now dressing her in t-shirts and ace bandages to keep it all tucked up neatly out of sight. All the up north dogs made fun of her for wearing a belt and no pants.
8. To No One In Particular and Everyone In General; if you are going to expose the rest of us to your feet, get a pedicure for crying out loud. I'm not saying you have to go to Spa De La Coif Eau Petit Eiffel Cousteau, but invest in a pumice stone and a foot soak would ya? Sheesh.

That's all I have for the moment. Updates to follow. Lucky for all of you I'm back to work on Monday so my blogging will resume as per usual with less angst and more of whatever my usual rambling contains.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Portrait of a Man Taken Down By Bloggers

First of all, thank you to all of you who never fail to step in and pray for me (& love me) just when I need it most. Feeling better.
Secondly, and clearly most important of all...guess where I just was? Go on, guess. Well?
OK, I'll tell you. The Mr. and I were just at Lowe's and guess what we were picking out?
Come on...

A Cement Heart and A Loss For Words

Can you pray without words? On vacation I found myself at a loss for words. This is a strange event for me to be sure. Usually I’m overstocked on words.
I have a confession to make. I didn’t want to pray and when I tried anyway, I felt like no one was listening. I felt alone and disconnected.
I didn’t seem to be able to “pray through” as we used to call it. In case you don’t know what that means, it refers to praying when you feel like no one’s listening and nothing is happening. Just keep praying. Pray through that cement-heart feeling until you get what you want from God. I’m a big believer in praying through. If I only prayed when I felt like it, I wouldn’t pray much. It’s praying when you can’t feel God hearing you but your faith tells you that He’s there anyway.
Often that cement-heart feeling is the prologue to something great just around the bend in your life. It’s the enemy trying to knock us off course by disarming you of your biggest weapon, communication with the Commander of your soul.
So I was having a hard time praying through and I felt worn out with the trying. Carrying a cement heart around long enough is tiring. My heart was heavy and yes, it was a little bit hard. I’ll explain that later because I did finally pray through and figure it out.
Just wondering, have you ever just gotten sick and tired of praying to a God you think may be on a coffee break? Do you ever just throw up your hands and say, “Forget this.”? Maybe it’s just me.
But that’s what I did. And I grabbed my camera and just took pictures of everything that seemed interesting. I stopped searching for God. That is probably a bad thing to admit, but true nonetheless. Forget it. I’m on vacation, I have a cement heart. I’m going to just take some pictures and pretend.
Because if you don’t pray through; you have to pretend. Pretend you’re ok. Pretend you are prayed through and peaceful. Pretend there’s nothing on your cement heart. Pretend the stuff that other people might worry about is not worrisome to you. Pretend that you have exceptional coping skills and it’s all good.
Pretend you don’t have a cement heart.
So I took pictures of everything and pretended. Turns out, you can pray without words.
Let me insert a warning here and tell you that it’s possible to fool yourself into thinking that you are in some kind of existential relationship with God that doesn’t require formal prayer. That’s crap. You and I need prayer. You can’t have a relationship with anyone based on acknowledging they exist and you respect them but never talking to them. There is no relationship without the vulnerability of truth that comes from talking. So if you are in one of those relationships with God, one of those “we understand each other” things, please don’t use this post as proof that it’s good. That’s not what I’m saying.
Back to prayer without words.
I gave up on the words being frustrated with my cement heart and moved into heart prayer. I took a deep breath and told God that I was out of words and that I needed to rest my cement heart. He said that was ok, He’d stay on the line.
And I prayed without words, and He answered the same way.
Oh, as for the cement heart? Better. Some of the outer edges have been chiseled away. The praying? Also better. Like exercise, I have to get back at it and keep it up to stay in the flow.
The lesson? Like my girl Margie keeps saying, just be still. Be quiet. Be soothed.
And know.

Jeremiah 29:12
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Hey Guys,
We’re headed up north for the much anticipated July week at the cottage. Be home in about a week so I’ll see you when we get back. In the meantime, I love you guys. Whether you are spending this week at home, working or going on your own vacation; find a place to rest in Christ. It’s not about the location, it’s about the relationship.

Psalm 16:9
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I Am Free

“THIS IS MY COUNTRY, LAND THAT I LOVE!” those in my immediate circle are now hearing me sing this inside their heads in my Ethel Merman voice. I am both sorry and amused at your pain.
Nonetheless, this is one rockin’ nation and I love it. I love that I live in this Land of the Free and I love that the freedom I’m living in was not invented at the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Of the soul, the mind, the heart and land that I love...I am free!

I Am Free - Newsboys
Through you the blind will see. Through you the mute will sing
Through you the dead will rise. Through you our hearts will praise
Through you the darkness flees. Through you my heart screams I am free
I am free

Chorus: (2x’s)
I am free to run(I am free to run)
I am free to dance(I am free to dance)
I am free to live for you(I am free to live for you)
I am free(I am free)
Yes, I am free(I am free)

Through you the blind will see. Through you the mute will sing
Through you the dead will rise. Through you our hearts will praise
Through you the darkness flees. Through you my heart screams I am free
I am free. Are you free? I am free!.

So for all who have lived and died for my freedom, I thank you and honor you.
And for The One who started the Revolution, I live for you.

2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tip of the Fireworks to Ya!

Nope, not posting from Up North. Thought I'd pull up a few archives by "popular" demand. Actually, Kathy sent me an e mail that reminded me of this particular event.

I have talked quite a lot about my four, The. Mr., Daboyz and me. My immediate family.
Today I feel I have no choice but to say a word or two that might explain how I got here.
Three words actually ; my extended family.
The cast of characters is as follows...Parents Hal & Pat and sister Amy. Amy’s husband Rob. Paternal grandmother Diana. Dad’s sister, Kathy (Kathy is only four years older than myself, no other sibs). Kathy’s daughter Brooke, age 6. This is the “Trent Side” and the gang I will focus on today.
We are an intact family. We are together for holidays and family functions and whether we want to be around each other or not. We help ourselves to food from one another’s pantries and have keys to one another’s homes in case no one is there and we want a snack or need to take an emergency shower.
We are a family of strong personalities. Every one of us. I know in most families there is a matriarch or a central figurehead. We are all figureheads. We are all strong-willed and have a bit more “personality” than we should have.
We gather together and dive head first into good times and create memories that are altogether unique and ridiculous. One such even happened just this past weekend.
“The Fireworks”.
Kathy, “Hey everybody! Anyone want to go to the fireworks at the Metropark on Saturday?”
(Kathy is the main fireworks/street festival/local carnival queen)
Me, “I hate the fireworks.”
Kathy, “Too bad, you’re goin’.” Ahh, the fine art of family communication. Rule number one, putting others first.
Me, “Fine. But I’m going to hate it.”
Daboyz, “We’re not going, too many freaks at those things!”
Me, “I know!”
The Mr., “What kind of snacks are we taking?”
Amy, “We can meet at my house and load up blankets and chairs and snacks and all ride together!”
Amy is the hostess with the mostest so we take great advantage of her and use her home like a community center for the underprivileged, a.k.a. the rest of us.
Me to Amy at work, “Let’s not make this a drawn-out affair. I’ll be to your house around 8:00.”
Amy, “That’ll be good actually because I have a baby shower on Saturday afternoon and...”
Me, “Whatever. I hate the fireworks.” Rule number two of family communication, it’s always a pleasure just to be together.
So Saturday the Mr. and I headed out to Amy’s house to meet the others. My parents are up north at their cottage but things would’ve pretty much gone the same way with them here.
We arrive, sans Daboyz, at Amy’s and Kathy is naturally already there as she is a fireworks roadie. Goes to every one within a 50 mile radius every year. Has been know to climb a service ladder to the roof of the Taylor Sheridan Center for a better vantage point.
Me, as we’re pulling up, “Ok, listen up Mr. I hate the fireworks. The metropark is just up the street so, “
Mr., “Should we go get a cooler?”
Me, “Listen up!, We’re going to suggest staying here and watching from the back yard. Ya got me?”
Mr., “Will we be able to see? I have Twizzlers in my pocket.”
Me, “I don’t care if you can see or not! You can just listen to them if you can’t see them! You back me up on this or else!”
Mr., “Ok.”, Third rule of family communication, listen carefully for the concerns of your loved ones.
So we arrive and wait a few beats before I slide it in, “How about we stay here and watch them from the yard? Wouldn’t that be nice?”
Amy, to Brooke, “What do you think sweetie?” Fourth rule of family communication, everyone’s opinion matters.
Brooke, “It’s not up to me. That is up to the adults.”
Kathy, “That’s right! We are working on RESPECT!”
Me, “Find out what it means to me.” Fifth rule of family communication, hijack statements and turn them into song lyrics for no apparent reason.
Amy, “We want to know what Brooke thinks.”
Kathy, “No we don’t.” Sixth rule of family communication, we love our children and their opinions matter too.
Rob, “The fireworks are going to scare the dogs.” Seventh rule of family communications, it’s fun to insert statements about animals at any given point, especially their emotional well-being.
Amy, “Rob could go get marshmallows to roast if we stay here!”
Kathy, “I’m in!”
Me, “I can’t eat anything.”
Dean, “I love Sh’mores!”
Me, “What are you, a Yiddish camper?” Eighth rule of family communication, mock often.

And so it was decided that we would stay at Amy and Rob’s to watch the fireworks from the back yard.
We waited around until 10:00 having sent Rob out for Sh’more supplies and a little matzo ball soup, it was like buttah.
Then we headed out back where Amy complained that Jay and I (Jay having shown up hearing about the change of venue); always hog the patio swing. So we laid down on it.
Rob got the fire going, the dogs wondered around endangering their various appendages. Sh’mores were made and the show began...
The darkened summer sky lit up slightly to the south and beyond the VERY TALL ROOF TOPS.
Obstructed view seats.
Amy and Rob have a set of steps from their bedroom that we like to call “the bleachers”. We decided we might see better from the bleachers so we moved the motley bunch of fire workers down to the bleacher seats.
Then we realized that we all had to line up against the far northern edge of the bleachers, stand up and lean to the left to see the show.
So we’re leaning and watching and Kathy says,
“I can only see the tips!”
Yes, fireworks do have tips.
Naturally Kathy, being the fireworks afficionado would be the one to point this out.
So we all stood on the bleachers in a line leaning left for half an hour watching the fireworks.
At one point we could see only a faint glow which Jay explained was the aura.
I told Brooke that fireworks were like an iceberg, there’s 90% more where you can’t see it.
Actually, that’s kind of like our family too.
We all kind of lean in goofy directions and often our plans become ridiculous hijinks.
Sometimes you have to kind of squint and look really hard to see the tips of how much we love one another. But we know that even when there’s only an aura of that love visible, 90% more lies beneath. And the stuff you can’t see is rock solid.
We are loud and silly and eccentric and opinionated.
We will tell one another if we think they’re stupid or lying.
If my make up looks bad, someone will point it out and if our roots need touching up, that’s fair game.
We will tell each other we don’t want to get together, then show up anyway and complain. And still enjoy it.
We’ll change each other’s plans and eat each other’s Twizzlers.
We’ll go through life clinging to each other and leaning which ever way we have to to see the show, as long as we’re watching it together.
Even if you can only see the tips, it’s a great show.
I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

Psalm 68:3
But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

Original post date: 7/3/06

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Sunday, July 2, 2006

1 Timothy 2:1-3
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Shameless Plug

OK All you bloggers who say you love me..

Metro in the Park
A Celebration of Faith. Freedom. Country
Sunday July 2, 2006
11am at Huroc Park in Flat Rock by the bridge.
Plan to arrive early for parking and to register
your children in our fun zone!
‘Freedom is the natural condition of the human race, in which the Almighty intended men to live. Those who fight the purpose of the Almighty will not succeed.’
President Abraham Lincoln, February 23, 1861
Make your Independence Day meaningful for you and your family by joining Metro South Church in a celebration of God and Country. We’ll look back to remember what it was that gave us our freedom and what it will take to keep it!Day’s Events Include:~ A ‘Daddy Date KIDS’ Fishing Tournament’ from 8-10:30am.
Ø For Daddies or Grand Daddies and their kids or grandkids.Ø Begins at 8am. We’ll end before the service in the park begins so you can register your kids into the METROKIDS FUN ZONE!
Ø Meet down on the Bridge at Huroc Park.
Ø Donuts, Juice & Coffee provided.
Ø We have some extra fishing equipment but you MUST contact John Carter to arrange for this.
Ø John will be there to serve you. He will help your fishing experience to go smoothly so you can have fun with your kids!
Ø Contact John Carter at: or 313-386-9469
~ Kids’ Fun Zone
Ø Giant Inflatables & Games beginning at 10:45am.
Ø We are asking that you PICK UP your child immediately after the service. Enjoy lunch with them and then come back to the KIDS’ FUN ZONE to play. After the service the KIDS’S FUN ZONE is open for YOU to play WITH your kids. We will NOT be providing Child Care in any way after the service.
Ø Arrive early to register for child care during the service. The Fun Zone will be available after the service too! So plan to stay to play with your kids!
~ Hot Dog, Chips & Soda Lunch following the service.
Ø (*We are asking for $1 donation per person for those who eat lunch.
Everything is FREE (except for the lunch deal…which is next to free!)
Child Care provided during the Service ONLY.
~ A small U.S. Flag to stake into the ground! Let’s show our colors!

~ Lawn Chairs or blankets. We will have ONLY LIMITED SEATING. We will be doing this outdoors of course but with NO LARGE TENT this year.

~ Sun Screen and Bug Spray

~ ONE DOLLAR per person for lunch!

~ A friend. This event is perfect to reach out to those you care about.


Directions to Huroc Park, Flat Rock Michigan: Huroc Park is located along the Huron River in Down Town (the older part) Flat Rock. Take Telegraph Road towards Gibraltar or Huron St then TAKE ANY OF THOSE SIDE STREETS WEST and you will run right into the park and the river. You can park anywhere along the river front or in any number of city parking lots.

ARRIVE EARLY FOR PARKING. Walk across the bridge and you will see us in the park!

So who's in?