Monthly Archives: September 2011

Simplicity of Static

Heather of The EO presented a challenge last week.
Ok, so it’s not so much a challenge as a call to simplicity.
Staring one.single.tiny.moment in the eye and packaging it up nice & pretty.
Or maybe not so pretty.
Even if the moment isn’t beautiful,
Let the capturing of the moment be.


riding with the windows down
we are windblown and happy <full stop>

the exuberant sound of laughter is muffled by the deluge of wind
flooding my senses, leaving me feeling as if it is all a dream,
or maybe I am miles away from this moment

but i am not <full stop>

for once, for once…
i am fully here <full stop and deep breath>

i glance into my rear view mirror
and i count them
always with the counting!
always checking off each of my little ducks
tell me that you love me more <pause to sing>

they scream with all that is within them
and i don’t scream back
no shushing or reprimands
no “don’t wake the baby”s

they scream with all that is within them
and they look at each other and giggle
and smile (and it makes me smile)

they scream with all that is within them
and yet the world hears nothing <breath mark>
their voices swallowed whole by static noise
but they don’t mind
(or even seem to notice)

because they aren’t screaming for the world
they are screaming to feel free
they are screaming to get it out
they are screaming because they can
and they don’t care who hears
or if anybody hears it at all


Just Write

Bite-Size Bible

I currently teach a bible study for middle school girls.
I think what draws me to this age is that, in many ways, I never graduated out of middle school.
I still think fart jokes are funny, I regularly giggle at immature jokes and pranks,
and, even if I don’t say it out loud, I frequently think “that’s what she said” at inappropriate moments.
But it’s not just the silly stuff.
I also still struggle with many of the same feelings of inadequacy that first surfaced in middle school.

I’m not sure exactly when it happens, but somewhere along the way…we start caring about other people.
And that’s good!
But it’s also bad.
Because when we start caring about other people, we start caring about what they think.
And, heaven help us all, what our peers think isn’t always what they should be thinking!

The bible study I’m doing with these girls is called From Head to Foot by Annie Downs.
I was first introduced to Annie by the (in)courage community, where is is a regular contributor.
(Sidenote:  There is so much fabulous writing there and I have actually started using those posts as my daily devotionals.)
This book touches on the core issues that girls face.
She starts with your mind, and goes on to eyes, ears, mouth, shoulders, heart, hands, stomach, knees, and feet.
Showing how we should love what we have, protect what we have, and use what we have to become a better person.

And all the things she covers in this book are great, but yesterday we took a little detour.
I’d recently talked to some of ‘my girls’ as well as some of the high schoolers about the bible.
“The bible is boring.”
“It has nothing to do with me.”
“Half of the time, I don’t even know what those words mean.”
All week I mulled over these things that they’d said.
How can I bring this to life for them?
How can I show them that it is for now, it is for us?
And so I decided to do what I do for myself when I feel the same way.
I break it down into my own words.
I tend to be able to handle it better in bite-size pieces.

We went line-by-line and wrote out the each verse.
And then we went line-by-line and ‘translated’ it into our own words.
I was proud of these girls.

(Note that since God is love, we used those two words interchangeably.)

Love (God) is patient and kind. Love (God) is not jealous.  It is not stuck up, selfish, stubborn or bratty.
Love (God) is not happy when you do bad things, but is happy with good choices.
Love (God) can take anything, knows the right thing, thinks that you’re important.
God doesn’t give up on you.
Love never ends!

What do you to bring the bible to life?  How do you get other excited about God’s word?

**None of these links are affiliate links and this is not a sponsored post.  I just think that every female from pre-teen to “keenager” (as I recently saw senior adults called) should read this book.**

Perfection Pie

Remember those Little Debbie oatmeal creme pie thingies?
I think those are kind of disgusting, but love the concept.
Cookie-cake, icing, no-fork-required.

Enter Red Velvet Whoopie Pies.

We are having a party in a few weeks and stumbled across this little recipe.
I typically see a recipe with more than 6 (ok…4) ingredients and I’m all “Forget it!  That’s too much work!”
But these?  I promise are worth it.

But I must admit something:  It took me 3 batches to get it right.

The first time I made them, I forgot the baking soda.
(In case you aren’t a baker, baking soda is one of those ingredients you can not leave out.)

The second batch tasted fine but didn’t set right.
They were supposed to be perfectly cute little circles and ended up being kinda…flat ovals.
Apparently you can over-grease a pan.

So, since the third times a charm, I tried it again.
And now…if you want to make them, you follow these directions AND read my notes:

  • Sure the gel coloring is probably a little better for you and it makes a lot less mess, but just go with the bottled stuff.  The color was prettier and the batter set better.
  • Don’t grease the pan.  Use wax or parchment paper and gently peel them off once they cool.
  • Make twice as much icing as suggested.  It’s goooooood.  You’re gonna want more than one tablespoon per pie.
  • If 24-36 whoopie pies sound like a lot to you, don’t consider cutting the recipe in half.  You will eat them all, I promise.  And if you don’t, they freeze well.  We tried that last night and I’m happy to report that they are just as delicious as the fresh ones.
So, go forth all ye bakers and get to work.
Or at least save this recipe for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
I wonder if you could make them green?  I don’t see why not?
Think about how cute that would be!


My Little Buddy and Me

It’s amazing how quickly this…

became this…

He starts ‘school’ today.
Two mornings a week.
And I am so, so excited.
(He is, too.)

But I’ll miss my little buddy.

We ‘shore’ do have a-watt of fun to-geh-fer.


And share the best naps.

But he’s gonna have a blast.

And we will, too.

He didn’t even look back when he walked in.
I guess that’s a good thing.

What’s Left of Right?

Sunday morning there was a mom with two small children visiting our church.
I heard them before I saw them.
It actually took me a few minutes to figure out exactly where they were sitting,
but when I finally found them in the maze of serious faces I got very uncomfortable in my seat.

My mind immediately jumped back to when Carter was 2 and Lydia was a baby.
Marshall was in residency and we didn’t see him very often.
More often than not, I was alone for church (although he would occasionally slip in after rounds).
Carter usually was (and usually still is) very happy-go-lucky.
But for some reason there was a Sunday that he was clingy and wanted only me.
And then there was Lydia – at the height of separation anxiety and a long, frustrating battle with colic –
ho never let me leave her side and  rarely stopped crying.
But I was aching to get into church.
I needed it more than I could even explain to myself.
And so I placed Lydia on one hip and Carter on the other and I headed into church.
The first few minutes were okay.
We made it through the songs and the liturgy but as the sermon began, so did the tears.
At first it was her.
hen Carter.
Then me.)
All I wanted was to go to church, to sit and to listen, to have my cup filled.
And I sat there and contemplated stepping out.
I guess in some ways that would be been the most polite thing to do.
But at that moment, I was broken and defeated and I remember thinking:
Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest.
Let the little children come unto me.” 
Whoever welcomes the little children also welcomes me.” 
Verses learned a lifetime ago popping into my mind.
Although those verses were bouncing around,  
I could feel the sideways looks of society on me, on my children
nd I felt pressured to get up and make a quiet retreat.
ust about the time I decided to claim defeat, a woman slipped into my pew.
She leaned it and said, “I’ve been in your shoes. Do you want some help?”
A more angelic statement had never been uttered.
She managed to get my almost always whining and whimpering baby to  smile.
And Lydia even let the woman hold her (which was a minor miracle of its own).
And we sat there together – me, my children and this stranger – and heard the words of God.
nd my cup was filled.
(And I am happy to say that the stranger became a friend.)

And so when I was sitting there and watching this young mother struggle, I was torn.
Should I go and offer to help?  Or will I just make her feel inadequate and uncomfortable?
I certainly didn’t want to be a further cause of stress.
But I kept thinking of that day when a stranger/friend slipped into the pew beside me.
And so I quietly moved from my pew to hers.
And whispered the same words that were once whispered to me.
And the mother nodded gratefully and quietly mouthed “Thank You”.
The 3 year old and I went out into the hallway.
The mom and baby joined us shortly after that.
And we talked for a few minutes.
And I think (I hope) I did the right thing, I made the right choice.

It’s hard sometimes, though…
because there’s this expectation, this set way that we presume a worship services should be.
And there are certain unspoken rules to which we are all expected to adhere.
And I get it, I understand that.
(I really do.)
‘Big church’ is typically a time of quiet.
And you should try to be courteous to those around you.
And I am sure that it can be distracting for the preacher to have people in the congregation making noise.

But sometimes we need to forget about those rules, what is ‘proper’ or ‘right’,
and just do what we feel led to do.
Sometimes we need to stop listening to the pastor speak of God and actually listen to God directly.
And today I did.
And I almost didn’t tell this story because it sound like I’m bragging.
I’m not. (I promise.)
I’m actually not even telling you this story for you.
I’m telling this story for me.
So that one day when I may have doubts or I may question the reality of God or religion or life or any of that…
I can read this and remember:  I have felt God in my heart and  I know that God is there.
And when I’m struggling with not being enough, doing enough,
I can read this and remember the tug at my heart that I felt one Sunday morning
and I can remember that if I’ll just follow that feeling, I can do more, be more.

And, if I am being really honest with myself,
I feel that tug much more than I actually admit.
I feel that tug and I brush it off
because I’m too tired
or it’s not ‘my thing’
or I have too many responsibilities already.

And, if I’m being really honest with myself,
maybe all those things that I’m so busy doing aren’t really as important as they seem.

And maybe, if I’m being really honest with myself,
the part of this story that makes me wiggle in my seat the most is this:
I was torn between what society says is ‘right’ and what my heart tells me is ‘right’.
And that even as an adult, peer pressure almost kept me from doing what I knew I was supposed to do.


Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think.Romans 12:2a(CEV)

Spark by Spark

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark,
in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-alls.

Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach.

Check your road and the nature of your battle.
The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

-Ayn Rand