Dance with me

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Good Thoughts that should Prompt Action

Tonight at church was our last set of classes about Practicing the Presence of God. These were classes about Spiritual Formation....spiritual formation in prayer, in the Word, in relationships, in practicing the Sabbath, and one other class that I can't remember. I went to the class on relationships. It has been a good class. Jaime Goff taught the first class about practicing the presence of God in our sexuality. She did a great job. The next class was taught by Deon Botha and he talked about all the things that we are polluting our worlds with...he started out with the illustration of a beautiful pond...peaceful, pristine, sunfilled, trees reaching out over the water....and yet, you can see a pipe that is dripping some foul stuff into this pond...what is the foul stuff leaking into your world?
Tonight Jackie Halstead talked about the big picture in relationships...our work, our families, our church...good, practical stuff. The one thing that I know will stick with me forever is...there are three roles you can choose to take when you are part of a couple. You can be the critical parent, the adult, or the child. When one partner is being the critical parent, then that makes the other person the child. These roles flip sometimes but if we choose to concentrate on ourselves and what we need to do to improve our relationship, then we are choosing to be the adult and it makes it harder for the other person to play the other roles. It would be great if both partners were the adult. The relationship would be much healthier.
Any thoughts?

Monday, May 29, 2006

Silly Cat

Like Ann said, I wish that I could post pictures because all of you would be on the floor laughing at our kitty today. We took her to be groomed because she had become so matted that we couldn't fix it. They called me on my cell phone from the groomer's to ask about how to deal with her matting issues but I didn't catch the call. I called them back when I got the message. They told me that they had to completely shave our kitty. Our kitty is a Persian with an immense amount of fur. She is shaved as close as you could shave her except her head and part of her legs and her tail. She is embarrassed but we can't help laughing at her. She is very tiny without her fur. Like I said, wish that I could post a picture.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

And she said, "It was Good."

Okay, most of the craziness has subsided but that is not to say that it has been calm. We had a great weekend with our family. Graduation was smooth...coliseum was crowded and the crowd was noisy, Eryn's prayer was thoughtful and honest, Kayla's speech was very good, Pure Gold sounded sweet, the students were happy to be done, we took some crazy family pictures, Jeremy clicked his heels together before receiving his, fun, fun.
Ava is adorable...she coos and smiles, likes to be held a certain way and doesn't like having a stuffy nose. Okay, we were also happy to have Corey and Brittney here with us. Good to watch them parenting.
Drew and Ashley showed me all their Spring Break trip pictures...White Sands, Grand Canyon, some random canyons, snow, silly pictures, beautiful pictures of amazing skies and friends having a good time.
Mary Kate looked very dignified in her cap and gown. Very important.
Jeanette, Stacie, Darek, Lera, Janaye and Martha added to our fun weekend. We played two long games of Apples to much fun to play with all of them. Darek's humor makes the game worthwhile. Sunday we initiated Steve, Chrissy and Mitch Holt to Apples to Apples. I think that they will play again.
We ate lots of food. I need to be better organized with meals. Those are not my and organization...but we still had good food and time around the table.
Lera and A.J.'s engagement pictures gave us great entertainment. Some were beautiful and touching. Some were hilariously funny. Stacie is so talented. She knows just what to capture.
So glad that we all piled into our house and spent some time with each other. Important time.

Friday, May 26, 2006


This weekend gets crazier by the minute. Remember my stupid ticket purchase...well, now Corey and Brittney are stuck in Charlotte with flight delays which will make them miss their flight to Abilene. Tim is going to drive to Dallas to pick them up. Also Drew lost the keys to his car and had to call a locksmith to come and make him a new key. Drew and Ashley are on their way and Corey, Brittney and Ava are still in Charlotte. Okay, while I was typing plans have, Corey is renting a car in Dallas and driving here. This is crazy but it will all be worth it in the end. This weekend is going to be awesome. Getting started will be a little slow but oh well.

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I have just spent an eternity on the phone on hold...first with Travelocity and then with American Airlines. I booked Corey and Brittney's flights online with Travelocity. I sent the flight information to Corey and didn't think about it again. Corey checked his flight info tonight and then called me. I had booked the flights for last what was I going to do?!!! The only choice I had was to book another flight for them. They wouldn't just change it to another flight because the date had passed. I felt terrible but I really want Corey, Brittney and baby Ava to be, I paid for another flight for them. I will call American Airlines tomorrow to try to get at least some of the money back from the unused tickets.
Next time I book flights online I will have someone verify the dates for me....just like at work when you give certain ask someone to check behind you just to be sure that it is all correct. I will do that from now on when booking flights online.
I felt so ridiculous explaining it to the airline representative. Oh well, kind of all fixed now...except the money part of it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Anne Lamott and Some Secrets

In this chapter of the book Anne is talking about starting a Sunday School at her church..

"The teachers were all hard-core left-wing types, and that worked for me. One secret of life is that the reason life works at all is that not everyone in your tribe is nuts on the same day. Another secret is that laughter is carbonated holiness."

I love how she describes laughter...carbonated holiness. Holiness with bubbles. Lighter, floating, tickles your nose, makes foam that overflows it container....

I also love how she talks about herself so honestly....

"The aunties have put on weight since our last trip to the tropics, the aunties being the jiggly areas of my legs and butt that show when I put on a swimsuit. I had fallen in love with them five or six years ago, the darling aunties, shyly yet bravely walking exposed along the beaches of Huatulco, Mexico. Used to having them hidden in the dark of long pants and capris and the indoors, I suddenly understood that they had carried me through my days without complaint, strong and able, their only desire to accompany me, on beaches, in shorts, and to swim in tropical water. I vowed to include them from then on, to be as kind and grateful as possible.
But that had been nearly fifteen pounds earlier.
Now they wanted to come with me to the Caribbean........
....I put on some shorts and announced to the aunties that we were going for a brisk walk on the ship's promenade. They are so in love with me, as if I were a gentleman caller. Half the time I am hard on them, viewing them with contempt, covering them in blue jeans when it is hot, threatening to do something drastic one of these days-I'll make them start jogging, that's what I'll do! Or I'll get them some lymphatic seaweed wraps, bandage them like mummies in Saran Wrap, and then parboil them for an hour. Sometimes I catch myself being mean to them, and my heart softens, and I apologize, hang my head, and put lotion on them, as if laying on hands. And after periods when I have acted most ashamed of them, I adorn them with children's tattoo bandages, with butterflies and wolves."

Do you name body parts? Okay, if you do and you comment about it...keep it clean.

Plan B

I am reading Anne Lamott's Plan B right now. I love her. Would love to meet her and sit and down and talk. I think that we would be friends. I think if I wrote a book it would have to be Plan Z. I love how honest she is. I will post some of my favorite quotes from her later today.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


It feels like summer is here. Not just by the temperature but also how it feels...a little more relaxed, the air smells different, and school is almost over. Lucy does not look forward to summer. She thinks that it is boring. I like it and love some things about it but I also like routine. I feel like since we moved to Abilene there hasn't been enough routine. Tim has worked different jobs and I have worked more. It just hasn't felt settled yet. I think that this next year will be more settled but will also be another time of transition for us since Mary Kate will be gone to college. Lucy will be all alone with her parents...she may find us boring after awhile.

Last night we watched an Oprah special on TV. We were just flipping through the channels and came upon it. So moving. She planned a weekend to honor those legendary African American women who had influenced her life and paved the way for so many behind them. She invited these women and the younger women who had been influenced by them to her home for a weekend. She had someone write poetry about them. They had a huge ball. And on Sunday they worshipped together. Spontaneous worship filled with the Spirit. These women were overwhelmed with the acknowledgment of their accomplishments and the words from the younger women about how they had looked up to them and wanted to be like them. We so often don't take the time to honor those who have been huge influences on our lives. We usually wait until they die and then we all tell each other what we think about them. Often those we are looking up to have sacrificed and taken many blows so that we can do and be who we are.

I got a call this morning from Japan...Teresa. So good to hear her voice and know that she is happy and well and not locked up in the police station being questioned. Read her blog to find out the rest of that story.

Getting ready for many people to be in our house this weekend. Mary Kate's graduation. We will have at least 14 people in our house. I love it when the house is full. This will be the biggest family gathering we have had since Anne's funeral (Tim's mom). We are excited to see everyone...Corey, Brittney, Ava (don't tell anyone but we are the most excited about seeing her), Drew, Ashley, Jeanette, Martha, Lera, Janaye, Stacie, and Darek. Jeanette asked if they should get a hotel room and I said no....I love it when we are all in the same house....sleeping all over the place...eating breakfast together....taking walks....making food together...playing games...watching movies....getting ready for important events...and talking and talking and talking....I love it!!! Bring it on!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mark and Beth

Last night our small group said goodbye to Mark and Beth Hadley. I have only known them a short time but I have grown to love them. I shouldn't say that I have grown to love them because as soon as my daughter, Lucy, started talking about Mark and she loved him, then I loved him. Lucy went on the Promise Trip with the Middle Schoolers when we had only been in Abilene a couple of months and Mark went on the trip. Mark was her favorite person on the trip and made a huge impact on her.
Mark and Beth served us communion last night...sweet and favorite way to do communion. They spoke to each of us personally and acknowledged who we each were and what kind of impact we each had on them. They both had such insightful things to say to Tim and to me. Mark did say that we were like Abraham and Sarah...I hope that doesn't mean that we are old. I loved watching them serve Carlee and Jolee...Jolee and Carlee's sweet little eyes fixed on them as they spoke words of love and encouragement to them.
Mark, I love your passion for Jesus. It is contagious. Beth, I love your joy. It is also contagious. (I can't wait to see your house because your description of it was so enthusiastic and joy-filled that I know it must be wonderful)

Being with Carlee and Jolee last night made small group seem so much like home. It made all of us miss Kerri all over again. Her girls are so full of life. Jolee entertained us all evening and stepped right back in where she left off with us. She sat on top of the beanbag and rubbed Brad's freshly shorn head. So funny and so cute.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Letting Go

Someone said that to be a mother is to forever have your heart walking around outside your body....yes, they get it. My older kids who have been away from home for awhile tell me that I am good at letting go. If they could have lived inside my body during those transition times for them, they would have known that I am not good at letting go. My children are a part of me. They will forever be a part of me. Yes, I want them to grow up and go places and change the world but I also will miss them terribly.
Today has been Senior Sunday at Highland and it was tough on me. I know we have only been here for two years but I have grown to love some of these kids and it was hard to think that their time in high school is over...I'm not done with them...I was just getting started. My own daughter is one of those seniors and she doesn't like to be the center of attention. She doesn't like to walk up in front of people. Most people don't understand that because they love to be the center of attention but she hates it. Mike Cope said the perfect things to them...they are walking letters of recommendation for the Highland church and for their families. It was a comfortable morning with family and I think the seniors felt honored and loved. Mornings like this are important.

Friday, May 19, 2006


I am still up and around but feeling a little weak. This virus was a biggie. Pushed me down longer than most. I hope none of you out there get this one.

I have been meaning to blog about scenes I have witnessed from the jail. I live near the jail and drive by it often. I see little snippets of scenes from their lives as I drive by in my comfortable air-conditioned car....families waiting outside to see someone inside...sometimes with a baby in a stroller or infant seat...sometimes an older couple sitting huddled on a concrete bench looking very uncomfortable and out of place...many are smoking as they wait. I also see those who are just released...hugging their families and babies...unrestrained affection for their parents....and a look of relief. There are those that are just released that make me the saddest...those walking away from jail alone...papers in a big envelope and just the clothes on their backs. No one has picked them up, there is probably no home to go home to or it is far away and they look so completely lost. Yes, they are probably happy to be released but so unsure about what the future holds that it kind of takes away the joy of being released. When I see them walking along the side of the road, my heart goes out to them. I know that somewhere there is someone who is related to them who at the very least loved them at some point during their life...mother, father, sister, brother, children, girlfriend or wife...but somewhere along the line something went terribly wrong.
I love that so many at our church are involved with ministry in the jails and prisons. Jesus would have gone to the jail...they are the least of us and he would have loved them and valued them.


I am upright and showered and dressed at this moment. Big accomplishment. I hate being sick.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I have been sick since last night...viral, I believe and miserable.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More Learning from Work

I have been a labor and delivery nurse for almost 6 years now and I am still learning. There is still medical knowledge to be had. The finesse of working with a staff of medical professionals always can use some refining. But mostly I learn from my patients. Just recently I had a family that I can't stop talking about. They were young and didn't have much money but they were obviously in love. This was their fourth child and they seemed just as thrilled as they must have been when they had their first. Their children were adorable and well-behaved with just enough spunk to make them so fun. Both sets of grandparents were warm and caring and loved these grandchildren. I could see in them that they had passed down to their children the love of family...that having children was a joy and gift that was meant to enthrall you.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I have been learning many things at work lately. Mostly that I am different than the people I work with. You might say...I know, I know, you are a Christian and your coworkers aren't...well, no...I would say that most of the people I work with are Christians. I have opened my mouth lately and have found myself lined up with those who aren't Christians that I work with. I loved Brokeback Mountain and think that it is an important movie. My coworkers do not. I would not consider myself a spanker when it comes to disciplining children (that is not to say that I didn't spank my children...sometimes...but usually in anger or they were in danger but I always regretted it and wished that I had chosen a different way to correct them). My coworkers are spankers. I love the Dixie Chicks new song. My coworkers hate it. I vote prochoice. My coworkers vote prolife. I think that kids should be held responsible for their actions (a local issue right now-Wylie-if you live here). My coworkers think that the school should be more lenient.
You would think from this post that I don't like my coworkers. I do like them and I like them more every day that I work with them. We don't agree on many things but we work together well. We all agree that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and everyone deserves a healthy delivery in a nurturing environment. We work well as a team and we all have strengths and weaknesses.
I love my coworkers.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

My mom

Since I told you my grandmother's story yesterday, you now know part of my mother's story. She grew up the daughter of sharecroppers and I can't remember what order she was in her family. There were 9 children and I can't keep their ages straight. She was somewhere in the middle...not the oldest and not the baby. She loved to read as a child and still does. She would sit up late at night in front of the dying fire so that she would have some light to read by. She shared a room with at least two sisters...well, not just a room but a bed. She doesn't complain about this childhood. In fact, when my mom and her sisters get together they laugh and talk about their times growing up. They would stay around the table after dinner and talk for hours. When I was little I would crawl under the table so I could listen to their stories. I am sure that I know some stories that the other grandchildren don't know because I would crawl under there and soak it all in. I am glad I know those family stories. My mom and her siblings love each other intensely. Some of them had bouts with alcoholism, broken relationships, abuse from a spouse and children who have ended up in jail but they love each other and hold each other up...even when they don't particularly agree with the choices being made by that person at the time. They disagree about theology but that doesn't keep them from each other.
My mother was a loving and kind mother. She was always there for me and my brothers. I know that we weren't always easy but she stayed with us through it all. My dad was an alcoholic and he was not an easy dad(to put it mildly). My mom is an amazing cook...turnip greens, mashed potatoes, coconut cake, pork chops (on the grill or fried- the best), She was a nurse who went back to nursing school when I was a junior in high school. She worked nights for the whole of her nursing career because she has hearing issues. She has lost more than 50% of her hearing in both of her ears. She lost her hearing as a little girl and the teacher in the one-room schoolhouse that she went to thought she was stupid because she didn't talk clearly. One day this same teacher put a math problem on the board that even the older students couldn't do and my mom raised her hand to answer the question. Her teacher allowed her to give it a try and she got it right and the teacher's opinion completely flipped about her at that moment. My mother is bright and yet humble and always tells everybody how smart they are and never gives herself credit for her own brilliance.
My mom tells me I am beautiful, talented, a great Mom, a good wife, an amazing nurse, a creative artist, an incredible home decorator...and if you know me at all, you know that isn't true but it is so good to hear someone say those things about you every now and then.
My memories of my mom are: in the kitchen, at her sewing machine, at the kitchen table with her Bible, or the dining room table with my dad playing Scrabble, doing crossword puzzles, eating an apple while watching TV in the evening, jogging and walking while we rode our bikes, gardening, teaching 1st grade Sunday school and Wednesday nights and VBS, laughing with her sisters, writing letters, playing with babies, singing her heart out, hanging clothes on the line...I could go on all day....

Happy Mother's Day to my sweet mom!!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Some quotes to start off your mother's day

Before you were conceived I wanted you,
Before you were born I loved you,
Before you were here an hour I would die for you,
This is the miracle of life.
Maureen Hawkins

Oh what a power is motherhood.

I do not love him because he is good,
but because he is my.....child.
Rabindranath Tagore

We find a delight in the
beauty and happiness
of children that makes the heart too big
for the body.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Miss Nellie

Tomorrow I will write about my mom but today I want to write about my grandmother. My grandmother's mother came from a very loving family with a good source of income. They owned a store. Her mother married a kind man who loved her very much. They loved their daughter, Nellie, and there lives were good until Nellie's dad became very sick and died. Nellie's mother remarried and wasn't as lucky the second time around. Her stepfather tried to rape her and Nellie's grandparents found out and gave her mom a ultimatum. She either had to lose the stepdad or her daughter had to come and live with them. Nellie's mother chose the awful stepfather over her. She went to live with her grandparents who adored her. Education was very important to her grandparents and so my grandma went to school way past the age that most kids in her town went to school. Most of the kids went to work early and their parents couldn't afford for them to continue in school when they could be bringing in money.
My grandmother loved to learn her whole life. You could walk into her house at anytime of the day and it was possible to find her hunched over her Bible and searching something out. My grandmother's town was the first place I ever heard the term Campbellite. A lady in a store said that I was a Campbellite...I was about 7 or 8 and I had no idea what she was talking about. My grandmother lived in Northwest Alabama and her family were among some of the first Campbellites in the area. The church I remember visiting as a child with my grandma was Thornhill Church of Christ...a tiny white wooden church with an outhouse and a cemetery. In the cemetery are many relatives including my great-great grandfather who was a Colonel in the Civil War. He fought for the Union. My grandmother rests in that cemetery now under a big beautiful tree. My grandmother's family gave the land the church and cemetery are on. This little church has spirit or maybe the Spirit. I was always startled as a child with their singing. They sing loud and hard and tap their feet on that old wooden floor while fanning themselves with funeral parlor fans. The men sing the lead and the women sing alto and tenor and some of the men sing, they are lively.
My grandmother raised 9 children. They were sharecroppers who picked cotton. I read the book Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and it is about that part of Alabama and the sharecroppers who lived there in the early 1930s and 40s. That was the time of my mother's childhood. I asked my mom why the people in the photographs look so sad and dirty and hardly had any clothes. The pictures of her childhood don't look nearly as poverty-stricken and I wondered why there was such a difference. She said it was because her mother was an amazing manager. She knew how to save money and how to make healthy meals and how to stretch everything so that all her children had what they needed. She made beautiful dresses out of flour sacks.
When my grandmother died I went down to Alabama for the funeral. I was standing in line at the Piggly-Wiggly and two women were in line behind me. They were talking about my grandma. One asked...Did you hear that Miss Nellie died? The other woman, she did so much for our family. The other woman then said...Yeah, she always brought us food when I was little and made us clothes when we didn't have any. Not only did she take care of her family with her meager income but she also fed and clothed many people around her.
She was also the one they called when someone was sick. She was considered a healer in her community and also helped many babies make their way into this world.
I loved my grandmother but she also scared me. She had that weird Alabama accent and she was strong. When she would hug me, it was tight and she would pat my back hard. But always when we left I would tear up and I was sad to be leaving her. I saw a woman with a mind of her own and a deep relationship with her God. I hope in some ways that I am like her. I do look like her and my mother and I am glad to carry something of her into the future.

Tell me about your grandma.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I just noticed that my dear Pixie tested a comment on this blog and I realized how I had neglected to tell you about her. Here I was talking about Mary Kate and I never told you who we named her after. I call her Pixie and so do many other people..well, her East Coast friends call her Pixie. Her West Coast friends call her Mary and her mother and her mother's friends called her Mary Ann. She is tiny and the name Pixie fits her perfectly. She is also quiet and very smart....I don't mean ordinary smart but she has more in her head than I could ever imagine holding in my head. But these are not the reasons that I named my first daughter after her. I first met her at Camp WaMaVa when I was 11 years old. I was sitting on the road over the creek and was sort of distressed about a conflict with a staff member. Now, if you knew me as an 11-year-old, you would know that usually I avoided conflict and if conflict happened it was very distressing to me. I had enough conflict at home and conflict anywhere else would just overwhelm me. Pixie was married and her husband was the director at camp. She sat down on the edge of the road with me and we talked through what I was distressed about. That was the first of many long talks. I immediately felt comfortable with her. As the years passed, we became like sisters. We walked with each other through our dark places and came out in the light together on the other side. She has done things for me that I don't think anyone else has ever done for me. We don't get to see each other much anymore but we talk on the phone when we can and I know that anytime of the day or night I could call on her and she would be there for me. Friends like her are rare and I am privileged to call her my friend. I love that Mary Kate is named after her.

Mary Kate

I feel bad that I haven't blogged for a few days but life has been crazy busy. I spent Wednesday finishing Mary Kate's graduation announcements. They are done and so cute. I have to seal all the envelopes today and send them off. I went into work yesterday at 5am, which meant I had to get up at 4am. I worked until 5:30pm and came home. I felt weirdly tired but there were still some things I had to do. But I also watched ER because I have been watching ER for I don't know how many years and I have even hung in there with them through the terrible seasons. Last night was like an old was fast paced and thoughtful and brought out much emotion in me....Gallant dies in Iraq and a little boy kills his father so that he won't kill his little brother. There is much talk about war and killing and when it is justified and why are we working so hard to save the kids of this generation if our government is just going to send them to war and then they will die there. Like I said, powerful and thought-provoking and the acting was amazing. That's my old ER. Then I stayed up after that to book a flight for Corey and Brittney and baby Ava so that they will be here for Mary Kate's graduation but the site wouldn't do what I wanted it to do and finally we called the customer service line. They were helpful and fixed the situation but I had to sit on hold for eternity. But the important part is that I get to see Ava in two weeks. Yay!
Today is Mary Kate's 18th birthday. I know that I have blogged about her alot lately but life is kind of revolving around her right now and it should be...this is her time. She continually amazes me. I told you before how she is particular about who she chooses to be friends with and that was evident last weekend when she went to a sleepover. It was a first annual lunchtable sleepover. These are the girls who she befriended when we first moved to Abilene. They are not the popular girls and they don't have money and it appears not much status at school but Mary Kate enjoys their company and she loves that they are different and comfortable with themselves. I had only met these girls that morning when I picked her up...well, one of them I have met several times but the rest not at all. They are funny and beautiful and smart and just themselves and I know why Mary Kate likes them.
I can't believe my little girl is growing up. I can remember the elementary school years....long, thick braids with ribbons on the end, a smile that would melt your heart, elegance and sweetness all wrapped up in one little girl, a maturity that came through as quiet confidence, a shyness that kept her from participating sometimes even when she wanted to, other little girl friends who were sweet and giggly and smart like her, days at the pool...I could on forever but I won't because if she reads this, she will be embarrassed.
This is to all those little girls from those school days who brightened my life by being Mary Kate's friends....Rachel Cunningham (best buddies who loved to dress alike), Kelly Chesnick ( so smart, she kept all the details of life straight for us), Megan Cooper (such a precious, wise spirit about her), Caitlin Cummings (tiny package with so much energy and spunk), Kelly Vereb (didn't go to the same elementary but joined in for Brownie fun and later played on tennis team with Mary Kate), and later...Andrea Barnes (amazingly beautiful and so mature), and Katelynn Bartenstein (confident and fun...could always make Mary Kate laugh).
Mary Kate, I wish for you many more friends like the ones you have chosen. I know that college will bring many opportunities for friendship. I know that you will choose wisely. I am glad that you are my friend.

For those of you who know Mary describe her...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Curlers in Your Hair

Today while waiting at the light at S. 11th an older woman turned left in front of me and she had a head full of blue sponge rollers. It took me to another place. Mike has blogged recently about old invitation songs and where that takes our thoughts and memories...well, rollers take my thoughts and memories back to my childhood. Every Wednesday and Saturday my mom would wash her hair and put it up in curlers. Not sponge rollers but the kind that were black and prickly and you needed bobby pins to hold them in. Yes, we were three time a weekers and the hair rolling schedule fit the church schedule. My mom never minded running errands with curlers in her hair and I didn't even think it was weird until I got older. Thinking about mom and her hair-rolling habits made me also think about grocery shopping with my mom. We went on the same day every week and always took my Aunt June with us (she didn't drive). We went to three different grocery stores. They shopped for certain things at each store. The three stores were less than a mile, that wasn't too hard to do. They were looking for the best deals. My mom would keep a running tally of how much she was spending on a paper bag as we walked through the store. No junk food was bought and almost everything was made from scratch. She was famous around the neighborhood for her cooking. For years, at the Giant Food Store the same man put our groceries in the car. His name was Willy and he was always smiling and my mom always tipped him. She was disappointed if he wasn't there...they would tease each other and I think that it would make my mom's day. When I got older and I had to stay home from school because I was sick but I wasn't so sick that I had to stay home, I would go grocery shopping with her and my Aunt and Willy would tease me about being out of school...he would say that I better lay down in the back seat and hide behind those grocery bags or the police would see me and take me back to school.
Growing up in my house wasn't a piece of cake but there were many good things happening.
My mom would take us to the dentist and sometimes run errands before we had two cars...she would pull us in a little red wagon. I now realize as an adult that was way too far to be pulling a wagon full of kids and the stuff you bought on your errands. She never complained. In fact, she made us feel like it was an adventure and that she was having a good time.
Sunday I will write more about my mom. Already you can see that she is amazing but there is lots more.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mister Rogers

I know that I just quoted Mister Rogers recently but I have been thinking about children and how they are treated and how terrible their lives can be...and who else to talk about this with than Mister Rogers.
So, a quote from him:
"Please think of children first. If you ever have anything to do with their entertainment, their food, their toys, their custody, their day or night care, their health care, their education- listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first."

How many children's lives would be different if all the adults in their lives thought of their needs first? Not just making sure they had something to eat and clean clothes and a place to sleep...but really thought about their needs...if they knew that too much TV wasn't good for them and that not everything on TV was appropriate for them... What if they read stories to them and sang to them? What if they told them stories about their time growing up and taught them to make up funny stories or poems themselves? What if they held them in their laps and told them how much they love them? What if the parents shared their faith with their children? What if they were helped to develop their gifts...not just athletic gifts..but gifts of listening, singing, drawing, painting, dancing, telling funny stories, making silly faces, talking with the elderly, being patient, get the picture. It breaks my heart when I see children being mistreated and I wish there was some way to just fix all the situations where they are being abused, ignored, or made to feel like they aren't worthy.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Caedmon's Call and Bebo Norman

Tonight we went to First Baptist Church for a concert called A Night of Compassion supporting Compassion International. I have loved Caedmon's Call for so long and have newly fallen in love with Bebo Norman. I could've listened to them all night. I will have to keep a watch on when they will be somewhere doing a concert again...or maybe I will just buy all the stuff they have out that I don't own yet.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Your Safe Place

I live in West Texas and there are lots of thunderstorms...well, when we get rain there are lots of thunderstorms. I worked 12 hours today and all day in my patient's room they kept talking about the storms that were on their way. They talked all day about hail and high winds and the possibility of flooding. Later in the day the talk became more serious..there were tornadoes involved. The newscaster kept saying for everyone to go their safe place. He said it like everyone should know where their safe place was. Do you know where your safe place is? I had to think about it. Here are the places that I came up with...I tried to go back far but I started realizing that some of those places that used to be safe to me, weren't so safe anymore. So I will name them without divulging which ones aren't safe to me anymore.
My mother's lap, my husband, Camp WaMaVa, my best friend, the sanctuary at Highland, the prayer room at Highland with my Spiritual Formation group, the sixth grade girls class, walks with Diane, my car.
These are all very different places and yet they all seem to evoke in me some of the same feelings of safety.
Do have a safe place? Is there someone who warns you to run to that place when danger is lurking?
The words of the weatherman have made my mind start turning.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sweet Baby Sounds

Yesterday I had the sweetest message on my voicemail that I have ever received. It started with my son's voice, Corey, saying,"Talk to Grammy." And then there were sweet baby sounds. Ava was talking to me for the first time. And then Corey said, "Tell her goodbye." That was it. Perfect.

Last night was our last night with our sixth grade girls class. Diane asked me to join her and Candy in teaching this class. I said yes but didn't realize how much they would mean to me. They are now a part of my heart and teaching them has been spiritually forming for me. You could feel the power of prayer when they prayed. These 11 and 12 year old girls are carrying heavy burdens and they are doing it with grace and strength. So many memories of this past much laughter, so many tears, so many prayers, so many knowing looks, God's word read aloud, stories illustrated, hopes shared and sorrows carried for each other. They have shaped my theology and I am glad to call them my friends.

We have been looking for a quote for Mary Kate's graduation announcements. We are making them because we wanted them to be unique. Here is the quote we have chosen:
Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else. I've felt that many times. My hope for all of us is that "the miles we go before we sleep" will be filled with all the feelings that come from deep caring- delight, sadness, joy, wisdom- and that in all the endings of our life, we will be able to see the new beginning.
Mister Rogers

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I just finished listening to a sermon from a church here in Abilene and I felt some old anger rising within me. I have fought for gender justice within my own denomination and it makes me angry and sad that there are people out there or just down the street who are promoting stereotypes of men and women. This sermon states that men and women are different. That they are shaped differently and that they enjoy different things. In the eyes of this man...women like dresses and weddings and shopping and know their children better than their husbands and are always running late...and men like blood and gore and guns and don't want to talk and they need the remote in their hands to watch TV. This minister is afraid of men losing their manhood and doesn't want them to be sissies. He actually used the word sissy. He pleads with the audience to give up a translation that he doesn't agree with...offers to buy it from them and give them a translation that he thinks is suitable.
I will admit my own immaturity while listening...almost from the very beginning I was annoyed with his choice of words and phrasing and starting muttering under my breath...whatever.
I felt like he twisted some basic theology to make his points and that angered me.
What happened to the images of God as a hen gathering her chicks or as a nursing mother? Does that make God a sissy?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Texas Ranch House

Have any of you been watching Texas Ranch House? Okay, I already told you that we are a nerdy family and here is one of those nerdy things that we love. We really don't like reality TV but we do like Public Television Reality TV. We watched Colonial House and Frontier House and now we are loving Texas Ranch House. They put real families in situations that try to mimic another era. They are given roles to play and clothes fitting for that period and are only allowed to use what would have been available during that period. I don't remember the time period that they have to stay but it seems like 3 months. We loved Colonial House and found the families in Frontier House were way too whiney. So far, Texas Ranch House has been okay but I still think they need some help choosing their families to participate. I think it would be so much fun to be one of the families. Who would you want to be on the ranch: a cowboy? ranch owner? rancher's wife? foreman? cowboy cook? girl of all work? Native American? Buffalo soldier? Who would you like to be? Or better yet, what era would you like to spend 3 months in?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Who are you?

Hey, all of you out there who aren't letting me know who you are....come out in the light. You can still read all you want but you are making me curious....if you are lurking and would like to out's your chance.

Just Rambling

I am still on the diet but had regained some around Easter...frustrating!!! l can do really well on ordinary weekdays but the weekends and special events throw me off. I am back to the loss of 14 lbs. but haven't done very well the past two days. I will have to start being good again tomorrow. Once off track, I have a hard time getting back on. At this point I know that I need to keep losing for my own wellbeing. I am not really concerned about the looks part but I am concerned about my health. I want to live a long time and there are still so many things that I want to do and experience. I think that as a society we make women concerned about their looks but aren't as concerned about their health.

Do you ever have those days when you just don't feel as good about yourself as you usually do? Do you wake up that way or does it hit because something happens to make you doubt yourself and your abilities? I was talking today with a friend about this...we both felt like we had days like that but weren't sure what caused it....Satan, hormones, current situations...any ideas?

We have had some good news today but I am not allowed to share it yet. As soon as I can share it, I will. We have been praying about this for a long time and now it has happened. Yay!

I have been addressing graduation announcements for Mary Kate and I am going to have to make some phone calls because too many people have moved. We have phone numbers but no addresses. Crazy!!