Dance with me

Sunday, April 30, 2006


As I have said before, Sundays are busy but good.
Started with class this good. We talked about communion and as you know, I just blogged about communion and have been thinking about it all the time lately. Our teacher, David Lang, asked us a question that I think we all should think about. What does the world need from us gathering around the table? I kept thinking that they need empty seats at the table. A place to pull up to and people around them who want to know their names and their stories. Food passed to them and seconds offered. And people who are grateful they are there. They want to be noticed and loved and asked to sit down with us at the table. I think that is what the world needs from us gathering at the table.
Next came lunch and our waitress was someone I needed to see and talk with. Someone who I needed put back to the forefront of my mind. Someone that I need to pray for.
This afternoon was a retirement event for Brenda Chrane. She is a woman of quiet strength who has served the Highland church as the Congregational Minister. Her job is all consuming but she is always gracious and kind. It was moving to watch her face as people honored her. She is adored. I hope she felt that today.
We ended our day with a fun party at a ranch for the high school seniors. Volleyball was played. Food was eaten. Three-leg races were run. Word games were played. Water balloon tosses were mostly lost. Balloon races were run. Musical chairs were played. Dads danced with their daughters. J danced with Josie. Stars and the moon shone in the sky.
It was busy but good.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

My last Lauren Winner post...until she speaks at Zoe

From Lauren Winner's Girl Meets God and the chapter titled Christmas:

Here is the thing about God. He is so big and so perfect that we can't really understand Him. We can't possess Him, or apprehend Him. Moses learned this when he climbed up Mount Sinai and saw that the radiance of God's face would burn him up should he gaze upon it directly. But God so wants to be in relationship with us that He makes himself small, smaller than He really is, smaller and more humble than his infinite, perfect self, so that we might be able to get to Him, a little bit.
Being born a human was not the first time God made Himself small so that we could have access to Him. First He shrunk Himself when He revealed the Torah at Mount Sinai. He shrunk Himself into tiny Hebrew words, man's finite language, so that we might get to Him that way. Then He shrunk Himself again, down to the size of a baby, down into manger finiteness.
Jane Vonnegut Yarmolinsky wrote,"The whole concept of God taking on human shape, and all the liturgy and ritual around that, had simply never made any sense to me. That was because, I realized one wonderful day, it was simple. For people with bodies, important things like love have to be embodied. That's all. God had to be embodied, or else people with bodies would never in a trillion years understand about love."
Never, in a trillion years.

How does God become real to you? I can tell you that I see God in a thousand different ways every day and yet, there are days when I feel like I am searching and can't quite find God. The ways that I see him in my everyday life: a newborn, vernix-covered baby, a new mom holding her baby for the first time, a new dad who can't see his baby because his eyes are filled with tears, in a rosebush covered in roses, the sunrise and sunset, herons, the faces and voices of my friends, in my husband's patience, when my children are confident of their abilities and are triumphant in an endeavor, in the ocean, in the autumn colors, God is palpable in the room when a family has lost their baby....I could go on and on but I think you get what I am saying. I, of all people, understand our great big God coming as a tiny baby to a vulnerable mother and questionable paternity. I love that God is unpredictable and does things that we might consider crazy.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

We just saw the most amazingly wonderful movie. It was authentic and inspiring. It was about a little girl from South Los Angeles who has a shot at the National Spelling Bee. The little actress who plays Akeelah takes you to Akeelah's world. I won't spoil the movie for you since it was just released today. It was the perfect movie for our children....we love words and use them to keep us occupied when we are waiting and not feeling very patient. We play a name a double consonant beginning to a word...tonight it was gr...and then we think of all the words that we can think of that start with those two was tough at first but then we started cranking them out. I know it sounds nerdy but we love it. So hearing all those words that we don't know was so much fun.
Last year when I was on my way to Colorado via DFW I stalled leaving my house because the National Spelling Bee had captured me. There were three finalists and one of them was a girl. I pulled my daughter, Mary Kate, into my room and we watched the final section of the competition and of course, we were cheering for the girl. She didn't win but we were impressed. I drove to DFW and parked my car in Express parking and ran to catch my plane....but when I arrived I realized that they were all delayed because of weather. So I sat down to read but couldn't focus and ended up just people-watching. And then I saw her....the Spelling Bee girl! She was flying home to California. I just had to talk with her. I walked up and said to her,"You are amazing!" She just beamed and knew exactly why I had called her amazing. I told her how she had mesmerized me and she giggled and we talked and her parents were delightful and her sister was just as excited to meet me. The girls gave me their email addresses and we exchanged emails a couple of times.
Now, again, you need to go see Akeelah and the Bee. I cried through most of it (okay, those who know me, know that I cry all the time...not necessarily sad tears...just for just about any emotion). And to top off the reasons why I loved this movie, they used a piece of poetry that has been life-changing for me.

Our deepest fear
is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear
is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness,
that frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be
brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
(Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure
around you.)

We were born to make manifest
the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fears,
our presence automatically liberates others.

by Marianne Williamson

I told my story to my class at church this summer and I used this to end. How are you shrinking?

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Over the past couple of years communion has become the bread of life for me. I crave that time around the bread and wine...the body and blood of Jesus savior and my rock. I love the time in "big" church when we gather around the table. I love it when we go forward for communion and I mostly love it when someone says those precious words to me....the body of Christ...the blood of Jesus...given for you. I love it when the person serving me looks me in the eye and says those words and it is even more precious when they hug me in the process. I love watching our family greeting each other with smiles, hugs, handshakes, kisses, pats on the back and huddling up to pray. I crave communion so intensely that I don't even mind when we take communion in the traditional Church of Christ way...people walking the aisles and passing the communion down the rows. But there are moments when I feel compelled to get up and take communion to someone and eat with them. I feel like the Spirit is moving me and I am not budging because I don't want to be disruptive or to offend anyone but I feel like I am pushing the Spirit down inside me.
My favorite place to take communion lately has been with my small group. Every time we meet we do communion. We walk across the room and take it to each other and remind each other that this is the body of Christ...sometimes we kneel in front of each other and we also remind each other of the things that connect us and the things that make each of us unique parts of the body. While we are taking communion we quietly look across the room at each other and take it all in, while Ethan makes his sweet baby noises. It is family.

Here are some words from Lauren Winner's book Girl Meets God:

At All Angel's, I teach the five-and-six-year-old Sunday school class. One day we sit in a circle on the dusty green rug and talk about the Eucharist. "Then Milind stands up and prays for a long time. He gives a long speech, doesn't he?" I ask, referring to the consecration of the bread, when the priest tells the story of the Last Supper. "What do you think is in that big goblet?"
"Apple juice," cries out one student, evidently swayed by weeks of Sunday school snacks. (She may also think the Eucharist wafer is a graham cracker.)
"I know," says a boy in a daringly pastel T-shirt. "Milind is giving everybody wine to drink." That was the correct answer, of course, but I kept calling on students.
"I think," says a pensive girl with black corkscrew curls circling her face, 'that Mister Milind is pouring God into the cup for us to drink."
That, I think, is what Jesus must have meant when He said we need to be like little children. He was talking about this very corkscrew-curled little girl, who doesn't care about transsignification or consubstantiation or substance and accidents. She just knows that the priest pours God into a communion cup.

Give me your thoughts on communion...does it feel rote or boring to you? are you craving it like I am right now? do you love to take it most with the people that you love the most? is it hard to take with people you are angry with? how does it feel to you when it is the most perfect to you? how do you meet Jesus at the table?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Favorite packages

Some of my favorite packages or gifts from friends or family have been those that have been spontaneous and not on my birthday or Christmas or Mother's Day or any other holiday or occasion. I received one of those packages yesterday. It was from one of my most intimate friends. She sent me a package from Amazon...that helps in making it one of my favorite packages. But the best part of these kind of packages are the messages sent with them. I once received a package from my friend, Steve Gilbert, and inside was Anne Lamott's book Traveling Mercies and the note said, "I sent this to you because you will get it." I did get it and loved it and have reread it a couple of times.
This package from yesterday had this note:
To my spiritual friend: Religion is for those who fear hell; spirituality is for those who have already been through it. I love you! Ann
The note, again, was the best part of the package. Not that I wasn't excited about the contents (a book-Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, and two CDs- Seal IV and Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield). I love what she sent me and I am anticipating reading and listening but don't our friends words of affirmation mean more to us than anything that they could buy for us or even make for us.
Words are powerful and I love them. I had stenciled quotes in almost all the rooms of our house in Maryland. I just love a well-turned phrase or just one that makes you think or just makes you smile.
What words have moved you lately?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Again, my mind is

Worked almost 14 hours today. I am exhausted and I had a very difficult day.

I told you that I would giving you glimpses of the writings of Lauren Winner. Tonight's excerpt comes from her newest book, Real Sex:

Sex is communal rather than private, but it is still personal rather than public. To say there are communal rights to sexual behavior is not to imagine a world where Mr. Married offers a Christianized version of locker-room chat with his buddies in the pews. It is not to imply that my married friends need to regale me with details every time they make love.
To say that sex is communal, rather, is to remind Carrie's roommates that they have not just a right but an obligation to speak to Carrie about sexual sin. It is to encourage married Christians to speak to one another- not just about sexual sin, but about all the complicated emotional and physical thickets one can find oneself in when one is having sex. It is to urge Christians to speak frankly to one another about the realities of chastity, about the thrills and tediums of married sex, about the rich meanings inherent in being sexual persons who live in bodies. It is to ask the church to serve as narrator, reminding ourselves who we are, and why we do what we do.

Some thoughts on her words? Is she stepping on some toes? Do you think that she should?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

My Wandering Mind

We just said goodbye to our dear friend, Debbie Tunick. She spent the weekend with us and it was so fun to catch up with her. I know that she is exhausted now and probably needs to rest from our weekend together but it never seems long enough when it is an good friend. We watched Debbie grow up and felt very attached to her during that process. She is now an amazing young woman with an important job and she loves Jesus. We are proud of her and it is fun to know her as an adult. Debbie, you are welcome to come back to visit anytime and stay as long as you like...we have missed you.
I commented last night on Mike's blog about Jim Morrison and his words yesterday. Jim's words were powerful and convicting. What does it mean to us once we truly get it? Do we sell our houses and downsize? Do we stop spending our money frivolously? Do we open our eyes and see what and who are around us? Do we now put our money where are hearts are or where God is pushing our hearts? Do we need to break down some boundaries that we have set? Do we continue to "do" church as we always have? What has the Spirit been whispering to you (or possibly screaming)?

A little excerpt from Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner:
from the chapter avelut/mourning

Church funerals, when they tell the truth, not only remember lovingly the lives of the departed, they also preach the gospel- they proclaim that Jesus is risen, and insist that those who died in Him shall be risen too.
What churches often do less well is grieve. We lack a ritual for the long and tiring process that is sorrow and loss. A friend of mine whose husband recently died put it like this: "For about two weeks the church was really the church-really awesomely, wonderfully the church. Everyone came to the house, baked casseroles, carried Kleenex. But then the two weeks ended, and so did the consolation calls." While you the mourner are still bawling your eyes out and slamming fists into the wall, everyone else, understandably, forgets and goes back to their normal lives and you find, after all those crowds of people, that you are left alone. You are without the church, and without a church vocabulary for what happens to the living after the dead are dead.
Mourning, maybe, is never easy, but it is better done inside a communal grammar of bereavement. Christianity has a hopeful and true vocabulary for death-and-resurrection. It is Judaism that offers the grammar for in between, for the mourning after death and before Easter.

I am on my way to a funeral for the wife of a very dear friend. I didn't know this wife very well. I have only had one long conversation with her but I love the man and loved his other, I will go and grieve with Bill and our community of faith. I believe that I am still mourning my sweet friend, Kerri, and miss her terribly and I am not ready to give that up yet...nor do I think that I should be. Read more of Lauren Winner's words about grieving...I think that the Jewish community gets it. We want people to be over it too is a long journey and a part of us will never be the same after some losses....not bad just reality.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lauren of my favorites

Over the next week I am going to put in a few entries about Lauren Winner's books. I have loved everything that she has written and I think that you will too.
Here is an excerpt about forgiveness from Girl Meets God:

My mother taught me, early on, how to write proper thank-you notes, how to set a table, and how to tell people that I'd done something wrong. It was grueling, that third lesson. I came home from kindergarten, smart in my new green rain-slicker, which I adored and wished to wear even in the loveliest weather, and presented her with a quarter. "Where'd you get that?" she asked. "Did you forget to buy your milk at lunch?"
"No," I beamed,"it came from Mrs. Smith's desk." I did not pretend embarrassment, for I had done nothing wrong. I had just found something valuable and brought it home for the family coffer.
I was a teacher's pet, even then, and Mrs. Smith had asked me, and second-pet Christina, to tidy out her desk drawer during recess. I never much liked recess, hating the outdoors and preferring to stay inside and read even then, and tidying a desk wasn't reading, but it was better than kickball. I was thrilled.
We tidied and straightened, rounded up all her stray paper clips, and cornered them into one rectangular compartment on the righthand side of her desk drawer. We banded together all the rubber bands and tucked them in the back. We lined up the pencils. We stacked stickers and capped pens. There was one quarter, just there alone, no other quarters. I scooped it into my pocket.
My mother handed me my green coat, steered me toward the car, and drove the four miles to Ira B. Jones Elementary. We walked to my classroom. "Why Lauren," exclaimed Mrs. Smith, "did you forget something?"
I squirmed. "No," my mother said,"but she has something to tell you."
I pulled the quarter out of my slicker and handed it to her. "I took this from your desk today. I'm sorry," I managed.
Mrs. Smith smiled kindly, and hugged me and thanked me for coming back and giving her the quarter. "It was probably not a very easy thing to do, to come back to school in the middle of your afternoon and give me this quarter. I am very grateful that you did. I forgive you for taking my quarter." The next week, at recess, Mrs. Smith asked me if I would like to clean out her desk drawer.
I think God is a little like Mrs. Smith. I think He forgives us the way Mrs. Smith did: only a fool, God, or a saintly kindergarten teacher would allow a known, convicted, desk-drawer quarter thief to tidy her desk not seven days after the first crime. Mrs. Smith did, though, because she believed repentance had been done. I was truly sorry, she had forgiven me, and that was all there was to it.

I love this illustration of God's forgiveness. I believe that the hardest part is forgiving ourselves. Why is that?
This story brought back a memory of my own from first grade. It was probably only the second week of school. Keep in mind that I am shy and the littlest kid in my class and I have never been to school preschool, no kindergarten...only Sunday school and even there I was so shy that I hardly spoke. I had finished my work early and so had David Hemby. The teacher told us that we could go to the back and draw on the blackboard but it really wasn't was one of those old greenboards. We were having a great time writing all over the, doodles, swirlies and just crazy scribbling...remember this was first grade. David Hemby and I were whispering to each other and having a great time...until our teacher, Mrs. Herndon, came back and she realized that what we were coloring with was not white chalk but white crayon. She was angry and made us stay after school to scrub off the board. I was mortified.
Any memories from any of you from kindergarten or first grade?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Okay, this is my fourth post today but I am so proud of myself for successfully copying the blessing and putting it on the blog. Yay!! I am a little computer challenged.

Mary Kate's blessing from mom and dad...but mostly mom

Mary Kate, I read back through your baby book before I started writing this to you. The word that kept popping out at me as I read was “gentle”. You were a gentle infant, a gentle toddler, and you continue with a gentle elegance of spirit. Your eyes have always sparked with enthusiasm and when you smile it lights up your whole face. It always has. If you can just imagine me and your dad and we are young and you smiled for the first time at us…we were overwhelmed. You had both of us and your brothers in the palm of your hand but you were never arrogant about it, only gentle with us.

I also read about your first day of kindergarten. You told me that morning that you were not going to kindergarten…that you had just decided not to go. I ignored you and then you said I guess I will go to kindergarten. You always needed everything to be on your terms…we let you think that it was.

There are so many amazing memories of watching you grow up…preschool, Brownies, swim lessons, soccer, basketball, tennis team, elementary school musicals, Write-a-books, lacrosse, Camp WaMaVa…but mostly I have loved watching you with your friends…laughing, singing with the Cooper girls, matching outfits with Rachel, wearing your whole Brownie uniforms to school…beanie included.

Our move to Texas changed our lives. One of the best things about this move is that I have had more time with you these past two years. I know if we had stayed in Maryland you wouldn’t have had as much time to be with me. I am glad for that time.

I didn’t know what to expect with a daughter. I started with two sons. I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t know what to do with a girl. Now, I don’t know what I would do without my girls. You are my daughter but you are also my friend. There is much about us that is alike…our easy tears, our taste in music, our love for our friends, we both love your dad, our love of beautiful things, our need to be nonconformists…. but what I want to be the most alike about us…is I want you to walk alongside me in the kingdom…the realm of God. I know that you are on that journey and I want to walk it with you. I know that you will take your own paths in that quest but know that my heart is always with you and you can always turn back for a helping hand. I wish for friends for you on that journey…. friends who know Jesus deeply and will take you to the throne room of God. I wish for you a place to serve. I know that you have a heart for those who are disadvantaged or disenfranchised and I want you to hear God’s voice when he is calling you to serve where you are needed. I wish for you to see beauty…in the amazing creation around you, in the incredible faces of children, in the hurting and the wounded, and in the everydayness of life. I don’t wish for you a life of ease but a life that leads you to the path of light…the path of Jesus. It is hard for a mom to say that she doesn’t wish you ease but discovery, not luxury but contentment, not just laughter but pure joy. I want you to take hold of the abundant life.

And I want to end with some words from the first chapter of Colossians:
For this reason, since the day that we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Senior Blessing

Tonight was the senior blessing. It started out as a beautiful night. We separated into little groups to bless our children. One of the seniors in our group is a precious girl with some major handicaps. Her dad's letter to her was so full of love and brought us all to tears. He talked about how the doctors said she would never walk and how now she runs and dances, and he said she would never talk and now she sings. She just beamed while he talked about her. We took communion with our children...that is always precious time. We ended it all by running to our cars in the midst of hailstorm. Crazy way to end a meaningful evening. We were holding our metal chairs over our heads to keep the hail from hitting us and yet it was lightning all around. Funny now but stupid then. I will try to post my blessing to Mary Kate.

New picture

Yesterday in the mail we received a new picture of our granddaughter, Ava. She is absolutely adorable and I wish that I could hold her right now. The picture was taken with the Easter Bunny but possibly the scariest Easter Bunny that I have ever seen...kind of like an alien....but Ava was asleep and she didn't even see him. Ava is now 6 weeks old. When I call and she is awake, I tell Corey, our son, to put the phone up to her ear and I talk to her. I want her to know my voice. It is very hard being so far away. She is our first grandchild and we feel like we aren't being able to experience what it is like....she almost doesn't seem real to us.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I am off work today. Not because I want to be and not because I am sick but because of bureacratic red tape. I am a RN and I have an active license in Maryland. Maryland is a compact state and so is Texas...that means that our licenses are reciprocal. But....they have now changed the laws to say that it is only reciprocal for the first year. If you have changed your primary state of residence, then you have to get a license in that state. So, I did all the steps they asked me to and waited for them to send me a new license. It never came and I called the state board of nursing and they said I had one more step to do. I asked if they had told me about it before and they said no. Doesn't it remind you of the Motor Vehicle Administration in almost every state? This one more step was ridiculous and I had to pay them $30 dollars so that they could verify my license in Maryland. All you have to do is type in my license number and name on the Maryland website and it will tell you all that you need to know but no, we have to go through a third party in order for them to verify. Can you tell I am a little ticked?

On a better note today or maybe a sadder note but also better... I am going to spend some time writing a blessing to my daughter, Mary Kate, who graduates from high school in just a little over a month. So hard to put into words what she means to me and what I hope for her future. She has always carried herself with quiet elegance. She is shy and beautiful and a thinker. If she loves you, she loves you intensely. She is a loyal friend but chooses those friends very carefully. I think that those she has chosen should feel honored. Social justice is always close to the forefront of her mind. Don't ever say anything prejudicial in front of her because she will not forget that you have said that for a very long time. You will have to work very hard to get back in her good graces. She is affectionate and she is my friend. I know they say that your children should not be your friends but we didn't start out that way....I was definitely the mom and she was the daughter. No one who knows her now would ever guess that she could be difficult but the first five years of her life were the hardest...just ask her preschool teachers. She wasn't mean or angry....just determined to do things her own way but she was shy even then. When she was born we were so surprised that she was a girl. I was the one who said it's a girl and then Tim and I started to cry. We had two boys and had thought that maybe this was a boy too. She stole our hearts from the moment we saw her. She still has my heart and it will be hard for me for her to go away to college. Any advice from all you moms out there?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter, resurrection and missing

Today was a good day. Flowered the cross during class. Beautiful scene. Many kneeling to put their flowers on the cross. Some with tears. Our class was very aware of our losses over the last year and a half...Kerri and Brody. The resurrection is what gives us hope with loss. Today I felt the loss of Kerri very felt sharp and real and a little too close. Communion with small group also felt sharp and real and a little too close. It is because it made me think of Kerri and how she should be there in our circle. I needed Easter today.
After reading that you may feel like it was not a good day but it was.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

2 Pound Cakes and Two Mixers

Remember my pound cake last night. Well, I took it out of the oven and turned it over. It had been baking for over an hour but it wasn't done. You know that they are supposed to have a hole in the middle...well, this hole filled with dough. So, today I went to buy a new mixer and made another pound cake. This one is much better and set it right beside the other one....the way they are supposed to turn out and the way that they aren't. So sad but my daughter, Lucy, has been loving the pound cake that is not right. It doesn't taste bad but looks terrible.
I have lost 14 pounds as of this morning! yay!
I am surprising three of my neighbors tomorrow morning for Easter. I am putting a balloon on their mailbox with a little egg box attached filled with candy. I am not signing my name but have written little cards that say on one side...Christ is risen..and the other side says....indeed.
I love Easter Sunday. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Counting and mixing

My friend helped me put a counter on my blog...very complicated and I don't think my Mac liked the process. She had to finish the procedure from her computer in Maryland. Pitiful. I know there is so much that I don't know about computers but I was following their very explicate instructions. Oh well.
I also killed my hand mixer tonight. We are having company for Easter dinner and I thought I would make a pound cake tonight because they taste better after a day or two. I hope that it comes out okay. I had to beat the egg whites by hand...crazy. If had been a pioneer woman, my family would never have had cake. Way too much work. Maybe I just wouldn't have been a very good pioneer. I don't spend very much time in the kitchen and sometimes it shows.
Talked with another old friend in Maryland today and it was good to catch up with all the kids that we had watched grow up in Bowie. It was so much fun to hear about the lacrosse team and where they are all going to college and if they are going to play lacrosse in college. We raised our children together and had so much fun the pool, at lacrosse games, at school functions and just living in the same neighborhood together for so long.
Our move has been good but we do miss our old friends. They are good friends.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Okay, since I am on the Indigo Girls roll...I will put out the words to a song that spoke to me during times of struggle with the church and women's role in the church. This song still speaks to me but I am out of the fray at this point and only occasionally feel the anger rise about this issue...oh, I often felt it before but many times had to stuff in down and be the nice girl. If you would like a clearer picture of part of that journey...go to gal328 and read the archives in the forum.
So here's an amazing song.


Through the dustbowl
Through the debt
Grandma was a suffragette
Blacklisted for her publication
Blacklisted for my generation
Go go go

Raise your hands
Raise your hands high
Don't take a seat
Don't stand aside
This time don't assume anything
Just go go go

Feed the fire
Fan the flame
I know you kids can stand the rain
I know the kids are still upsetters
'Cause rock is cool but the struggle is better
Go go go

Raise your hands
Raise your hands high
Don't take a seat
Don't stand aside
This time don't assume anything
Just go go go

Did they tell you it was set in stone
That you'd end up alone
Use your tears to psyche you out
You're too old to care
You're too young to count

Did they tell you, you would come undone
When you try to touch the sun
Undermine the underground
You're too old to care
You're too young to count

Go go go

No thoughts on homosexuality...maybe some response about women's role in the church.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here are a few pictures from my day...driving to pick up Lucy from Middle School and there is a lady riding along the sidewalk going in the opposite direction. She is obviously poor and gets her clothes for free. She is wearing long patterned pants and a patterned is striped and the other flowered. She is also wearing a maroon and burgundy knitted hat...the kind with the big ball on the top. She is riding by a furniture store with big windows and she checks herself out in the windows, adjusts her hat and a big grin spreads across her face. I wish that I could ride my bike by those windows and have the courage to just look...and she looked and then grinned. Such a delightful scene to witness.
And then...tonight at the Oasis meal...well, I should start by saying that we have young woman who plays the guitar and sings while we eat...very sweet voice...she mostly sings contemporary Christian music but sometimes will sing some good oldies. She started singing I'll Fly Away and one of our older man with some physical and mental disabilities...went up to sit right in front of her and started singing along with her. It brought tears to my eyes. He was totally engrossed in the song and how much it meant to him.
It has been a good day.


Today Mike Cope blogged about to continue that conversation read these lyrics from the Indigo Girls.

Philosophy of Loss

Welcome to why the church has died
In the heart of the exiled in the kingdom of hate
Who owns the land and keeps the commands
And marries itself to the state
Modern scribes write in Jesus Christ

Everyone is free

And the doors open wide to all straight men and women
But they are not open to me
And who is teaching our kids to be soldiers
To be marked by a plain white cross
And we kill just a little to save a lot more

The philosophy of loss
There are a few who would be true out of love
And love is hard

And don't think that our hands haven't shoveled the dirt
Over their central American graveyards
Doctors and witch hunters stripped you bare
Left you nothing for your earthly sins
Yeah but who made this noise just a bunch of boys
And the one with the most toys wins
Who is teaching kids to be gamblers
Life is a coin toss
And of course what you give up is what you gain

The philosophy of loss

Whatever has happened to anyone else
Could happen to you and to me
And the end of my youth was the possible truth
That it all happens randomly
Who is teaching kids to be leaders
And the way that it is meant to be
the philosophy of loss

Any thoughts about this song? Lots of words and lots of thoughts and it might help to have some background about the Indigo Girls but I will share that later....after you have thought about the song.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I worked a twelve hour day today. There is nothing unusual about that and today was very busy....with a stat c-section thrown in for good measure. There is nothing unusual about that either but today was different. The whole staff worked as a team. We laughed when things were tense and joked through the whole day. I am bone-tired but happy. Does that make sense?
Also, as of this morning I am now 10 pounds lighter.
My hope for you tomorrow is that you will get on the scale and be few pounds lighter and that your staff will work together with laughter and a sense of humor in the midst of the tension.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Diet....a four letter word

Hey, I also didn't tell you that I am 8 pounds lighter as of this morning. Yay!!!

Tic Tacs

I just had to share this story now because I will forget it if I don't do it now. My daughter was eating a dreamsicle in the kitchen and said...this tastes like church. We all looked at her puzzled and she said...this tastes like orange tic tacs and then we all understood what she meant. At our church in Bowie, Maryland there was one man who always handed out tic tacs to the kids. He kept them in a little clear pouch in his suit pocket and the kids would find him as soon as church was over. He let them have 5 tic tacs and they could choose the color combination they wanted. He was patient while they decided...he knew that once they gave their answer and the tic tacs were in their hands, there was no going back. The little ones always asked for orange tic tacs...the mildest ones....but they would graduate to the bolder flavors....light green, white (the kids said those were the hot ones), red, dark green, light blue. Even the teens would find him and ask for their 5 tic tacs. Such a small gesture but so many connections made with that small gesture. While in Mexico my friend and I found Extra Fuerte tic tacs and brought them back to friend is the daughter of the tic tac man. My daughter who made the comment tonight is a senior in high school but she definitely remembers the orange tic tacs.

We have been studying Hebrews in our small group. So much in Hebrews that I don't think was there the last time that I read it. A few lines from the Indigo Girls kept coming to mind during our discussion from their song Closer to Fine....the lines that kept popping up were....darkness has a hunger that's insatiable and lightness has a call that's hard to hear. We had been talking about hearing God's voice and when do we know that it is God's voice and not someone else's voice. We had just talked about this a few weeks ago with the sixth grade girls and they said some amazing things...that we hear God's prayer, in our friends' words, in scripture and in songs. They meant it and gave examples from their lives of God talking to them. I don't think I was near their depth of spirituality at that age. Recently a boy was baptized at Highland and his dad asked why he was being baptized and the boy responded that the Spirit had been calling him. I am so glad that they are hearing the voice of God.
I shared with the girls how God speaks to me in nature. When I am down or discouraged...I believe that God sends a Great Blue Heron to be seen by me. It started about 7 years ago when I was in nursing school and was frustrated and feeling like I needed to be about 3 other people to get all the things done that I needed to get done. I was getting ready to go take a test and I was not feeling prepared. I was in my bathroom and looked out and a Great Blue Heron flew right by my window. Wow! They are so huge and so graceful and it I felt like God was speaking directly to me.
How does God speak to you? Do you see birds? Okay, probably not...I know that I am weird but I know that God speaks to you somehow...share it here.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Okay, yesterday I said that it was a beautiful spring there is a dust can't see very far outside and it is hard to breathe.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Beautiful spring morning! Birds are singing and everything has that new green color...I think Crayola called it Spring Green. That is my favorite color on the trees. It also reminds me of the beginning of Disney's Sleeping Beauty...all the soft spring trees and flowers...not one of my favorite Disney movies but I loved seeing the scenery in the beginning.
I love spring but I love all the seasons...all for different reasons. Spring makes me feel new and ready to take on something new. It makes me feel alive and refreshed. It makes me feel like new beginnings are possible. I think that God loves the cycle of life that the seasons offer. It reminds us of own lives and makes us reflect...what season are we in?
I am starting something new this spring....a diet. I know, I know...that's is not a pleasant word but I have been having some health problems and this could help. I am going for 4 weeks first...just to see how it goes and then decide from there what I will do. It is overwhelming to me to think longer than that and sometimes that will make me give up but you can do anything for 4 weeks. I will let you know how things are going. I started yesterday and already feel better...I had put myself in this place that I was eating way too much and really, none of it tasted, here's to starting over.

Monday, April 03, 2006


Sparkling water, shared living space, children on scooters, sweet guitar music, dominoes, Apples to Apples, speed Scrabble (sorry, Matt, that was not your thing!), canoe races, fishing and catching to throw back, Wendell and Betty and the murder comment, new growth all around, new friends and reaquainting with others, laughter and squealing from the big swing, amazingly fun volleyball with teenagers and parents, wading across a cold river, slicing tomatoes and washing lettuce, misty mornings, sunny afternoons, a quiet cabin (no snoring...can you believe it?), children dancing, communion taken to each other and shared....Jesus makes us one repeated as we shared.