Dance with me

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Leaving again

I am leaving again tomorrow morning and I will be gone until Monday evening. Thursday and Friday we will be at Lipscomb for orientation for Mary Kate and then Saturday and Sunday we will be in Alabama for a family reunion with Tim's family.

Keep the baptism stories going while I am gone. I would love to hear more.

Trials!!! I am so frustrated at this moment! Here I have been talking about baptism and now I am being is hard to live the baptized life when you are booking airline tickets. I have been on the computer and then the phone for the past two hours. I started with Orbitz because they sent me an email with some deals on it. I went through the whole process twice and then finalized the reservations with them. I received an email immediately saying that they were confirming my rental car reservation but no airline reservation. I tried American Airlines site and they just kept telling me that I had too many browsers open at the same time. I didn't have any other browsers open...what were they thinking? So, I went to Travelocity where everything went smoothly until I put in my let me tell you that the last time I tried to use Travelocity there was a problem with my address and I had to call customer service and wait forever for them to fix it for me. They assured me last time that it was fixed permanently but guess I had the same problem. I called customer service again. I was on hold forever and then finally a service representative. Here's our conversation...

How can I help you?
I am trying to book flights with you and it says there is an error in my address.
Well, we have been experiencing technical difficulties. Hang up and try again in one hour.
No, I have had this problem before and they said they fixed it last time.
Can I put you on hold for a couple of minutes?
Will you start over in booking your flight?
I have already done that several times.
Could you just do it one last time?
I am now at the part where I put in my address. My address is now in.
Can you give me your address?
I just typed it in.
I know, but now give it to me.
Can I put you on hold for a couple of minutes?
Can I put this flight through over the phone? I will have to charge you $19.99?
Why do you have to charge me?
To do it over the phone.
But this is the same problem that I had before and it was supposed to fixed.
Can I put you on hold for a couple of minutes?
Okay, I won't charge you $19.99 but I need to charge a service fee of $5.
Can I put you on hold for a couple of minutes?
Okay I can put you on these flights but it will cost you a service fee of $15.
Whatever, I just need these flights booked.

At this point, I checked my email and Orbitz had sent an email saying that they were just waiting confirmation from the airlines and my flights would be booked.

Me: I am sorry, but I think you just need to cancel those reservations. I think my earlier attempt worked.
Him: You don't need these anymore?
Me: No, I think I already have tickets.
Him: Is there anything else I can do for you?
Me: No, that is all. Thank you.
HIm: We hope you consider Travelocity in the future for all your travel plans.

The last part of that conversation...very stilted and kind of sarcastic.


Monday, June 26, 2006

My Baptisms

I would still love to hear more of your baptism stories. I loved Candy's honesty and Sue's sweet memory.

I was first baptized by my minister, Gene Chumley, at 11 years old. I had been thinking about it for a long time and just felt compelled to "go forward" that particular Sunday night. I didn't talk with anyone beforehand. I never discussed it with my parents or a teacher or anyone else. I was scared but mostly about being in front of people. I really don't remember the date or the time of year that my baptism occurred. I do remember the feeling I had that night...lightness, freedom, clean, fresh and peaceful. I already knew Jesus but just felt like I had to do something to show that to everyone and to say this is the way I want to go.

Later, as a teenager I began to question my baptism. It was very common in the 70s to question your baptism. I was baptized again at camp. I felt like I was doing the right thing but it was weird. I didn't feel the same that second time. It felt empty and like I was just going through the motions. I don't know what that means except to say that the first one was right...I had made a choice. I was following Jesus. I knew then that is where I wanted to live and I wanted to stay there forever.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Water and Baptism

Water, water everywhere
and I complain about my thirst

Caedmon's Call

I have read somewhere...either Buechner or Willimon....that baptism means everything that water means....


Today Jeff Childers spoke about baptism and children who are from families of faith. Powerful stuff. Tell us your baptism story. I will tell mine tomorrow.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

More Gilead

Some thoughts on baptism from Gilead:

"You and Tobias are hopping around in the sprinkler. The sprinkler is a magnificent invention because it exposes raindrops to sunshine. That does occur in nature, but it is rare. When I was in seminary I used to go sometimes to watch the Baptists down at the river. It was something to see the preacher lifting the one who was being baptized up out of the water and the water pouring off the garments and the hair. It did look like a birth or a resurrection. For us the water just heightens the touch of the pastor's hand on the sweet bones of the head, sort of like making an electrical connection. I've always loved to baptize people, though I have sometimes wished there were more shimmer and splash involved in the way we go about it. Well, but you two are dancing in your iridescent little downpour, whooping and stomping as sane people ought to do when they encounter a thing so miraculous as water."

What does water mean to you? What does baptism mean to you?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Loving this Book

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I am obsessed with communion and you know the story of me giving communion to little Ethan. I have been reading Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. The beginning is confusing but the writing is beautiful and there is so much theology woven into this story. I am loving it. I think I was supposed to read this book right now. Here's part of the reason why:

"Today was the Lord's Supper, and I preached on Mark 14:22,"And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he brake it, and gave it to them, and said, Take ye: this is my body." Normally I would not preach on the Words of Institution themselves when the Sacrament is the most beautiful illumination of them there could be. But I have been thinking a great deal about the body these last weeks. Blessed and broken. I used Genesis 32:23-32 as the Old Testament text, Jacob wrestling with the Angel. I wanted to talk about the gift of physical particularity and how blessing and sacrament are mediated through it. I have been thinking lately how I have loved my physical life.
In any case, and you may remember this, when almost everyone had left and the elements were still on the table and the candles still burning, your mother brought you up the aisle to me and said, "You ought to give him some of that." You're too young, of course, but she was completely right. Body of Christ, broken for you. Blood of Christ, shed for you. Your solemn and beautiful child face lifted up to receive these mysteries at my hands. They are the most wonderful mystery, body and blood.
It was an experience I might have missed. Now I only fear I will not have time enough to fully enjoy the thought of it."

I will give more little bits of this book as I keep reading. It gives light.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Home

I keep thinking of good memories and frustrations from my week in Maryland and Virginia...

One night at Ann's we kept saying that we were going to bed but the conversation just didn't seem over. We ended up on her youngest daughter's bed talking and on the other side of the wall were Lucy and her oldest daughter. Ann and I were talking about life and trying to solve the world's problems and Lucy and her daughter were on the other side talking and laughing and probably also trying to solve the world's problems. I love that we are friends and that they are friends.

My son, Drew, loves thrift stores and flea markets. He likes to recycle the world's goods and he loves a bargain. He can be very frugal. He had $25 to spend for one weekend his freshman year in college. I talked with him at the end of the weekend and he had bought a new dress shirt and a bicycle, gone on a bike ride, went out to dinner, went to a play and had a great time. On his way to my mom's house he and his friends had stopped at a flea market and bought an old board game called Capital Punishment. Each player was given 15 citizens, 2 liberals, and 3 criminals. The goal is to keep your citizens safe and the criminals on death row or into the chair. Your liberals can put the other players' criminals back on the street. When you are down to one innocent citizen you can sacrifice a liberal to save your citizen. Of course, if you know me and my family, you will know that the political slant of this game is the opposite of ours. But the conversation around the game was pretty funny. The game was from 1983.

Right before I left for BWI, Ann's youngest daughter closed the door on her best friend's finger. She howled and we all went running to help her. Ice was found and a bandaid wrapped around her finger. We all know how bad it hurts to close your fingers in the door but I think it might be worse to be the person who closed the door. Ann's daughter felt terrible and kept telling her friend that she didn't know that her fingers were in the door. After things had settled down a little and the little girls had discussed with each other how to make it better, they came to sit with us on the porch. Ann's daughter kept touching her friend's shoulder so tenderly and telling her that she was sorry and she would never do that on purpose. I love seeing that kind of affection between friends.


I am home.

This has been a busy week away. This trip was good in many ways but also stressful in many ways. I felt like I was being pulled in too many directions. Everyone wanted to spend time with us and that is good but there are only so many hours in a week and some people deserve more time than others.

Here are some memories from this week....watching my mom take excellent care of my dad, my dad's not so grateful words to my mom, amazing food, my granddaughter's huge blue eyes, my sons and their easy-going natures, walking with my mom, catching up with old friends, funny moments with my niece, sitting by the pool for hours and just talking with my closest friend, holding that same friend's children in a big hug and letting them know that I love them immensely, traffic...traffic...traffic, getting lost in Anacostia on a summer night (if you know D.C. at all, you know that is not good), a graduation party for a very loved girl, watching Lucy with her old friends as they squeal with delight when they see each other, my mom's deck, my friend's front porch, open windows, fresh sheets dried on the clothesline, and neighbors taking care of neighbors, visiting old friends at PG Hospital and seeing their elegant new birthing rooms.

I have enjoyed your beauty pageant entries. This is a everyone wins contest. I love your creativity.

I forgot to say that I saw some of you on this trip. Ann (cg), mom (who is really Ann's mom but she is my mom in many ways), Ellyn, and Jacque I saw on video talking about her dad. I looked for you Jacque but didn't see you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I will be away for a week. Most of that time I will not be near a computer. I love the computer and the quick communication that it provides but it is also good to be away from it for awhile. Please use this time to let me know who you all are. I would love to hear your names and voices. I know they are typed words but I still feel like I hear your voices as I read your words. Tell me about yourself. Your name. Your city. We did this once on Gal328 and it was hysterical. It ended up sounding like a beauty contest. I even asked then if we were doing a bathing suit competition. Okay, since we are going the beauty pagent your talent. Describe your bathing suit. Describe your evening gown...guys, your tuxedo needs to be in detail. Also the question always asked...What would you do to change the world? Okay, we don't have a soundproof booth but you can answer anyway. Can't wait to read your responses. I will be in Maryland and Virginia...let me know if that is where you are.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Happy Father's Day

I know that officially Father's Day is next week but we will all be out of town on that day and Tim will be home all by himself. So, we celebrated today. We gave him some very usual presents...some shirts, pants, and a new wallet. And Tim was his usual self. He gets to choose where we eat on that Sunday and he chose to eat at El Chico's. He doesn't choose to eat there because it is his favorite place but because he knows that we will all like it (and they take 10% off when he you give them a church bulletin). He would rather have gone to Golden Corral or Furr's. We all hate those places and he always wants to make all of us happy...even when it is his day. That is what makes him a great dad. He is gentle and kind. He listens well. He is much more patient than I am. I know that is part of the reason why we are married. I was a single mom with a little boy who was less than a year old. He would hold Corey and talk to him. Corey would fall asleep so quickly for Tim. My friend, Pixie, said that it was either because it was a sign that he was "the one" or that he was extremely boring. Pixie loves Tim and I knew which one she believed to be true. Tim never once made Corey feel like he was less his child than our other kids and Corey wouldn't want to call anyone else Dad. He adopted Corey before we were even married for 6 months. It was important to him that Corey belong to both of us and that Corey have his name. When we went to court for the adoption, Tim held Corey and Corey kept giggling and playing with Tim and the judge said that it was obvious to him where this little boy belonged. That judge was right. I know that there have been times that Tim has felt that I haven't liked his choices with our children but those choices have been about what they were given to eat, bedtime, and clothes they were allowed to wear. The big stuff he always gets right. Our kids know that he is the easy one. You can talk Dad into things easier than you can talk Mom into them. We balance each other. I love him for many reasons but I love to watch him with our children...that is one of my favorite things.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Books to Read

I told you that I had been to Barnes and Noble. I thought that I would share my new reading list with all of you. Give me some opinions of these books if you have read them but please, please, please don't give away the endings.

Of course, I picked up three magazines also.
The English Home
La Vie Claire
Country Living
(Okay, yes, I am a romantic at heart)

Here are the books I chose and I have started reading Gilead.
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft (this is from the 1700s)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

The girls also bought some books.
Mary Kate bought:
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen plus a short story

Lucy got the sequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry...can't remember the name or the author. And the newest Lois Lowry book, the same vein as The Giver, Messenger and Gathering Blue. She is an amazing author. I can't wait to read this one.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I spent the day today shopping in Dallas with Mary Kate and Lucy and Lucy's friend. I am not a very good shopper. I quickly become tired of looking and I am easily discouraged if I can't find just what I want. But today was necessary. Both of my daughters needed shoes and clothes. We have now lived in Abilene long enough that their wardrobes are seriously diminished. Both girls are hard to fit and, we drove to Dallas for the day to try to fill in some gaps in their closets..and yes, we did spend some money at The Gap...that was a helpful stop. We bought shoes, shirts, jeans, dresses and gifts that we couldn't find in Abilene. The girls all ice skated. They had so much fun. When they started there was only 30 minutes left in the public session but they really wanted to skate. Lucy's friend had never iceskated. She did great! It was a good break from shopping. We did continue to shop a little after skating but then went to dinner and ended our day at the place we had all been looking forward to all day...Barnes and Noble. I now have some new reading material...yay!!

Oh, and one of purchases today...a sticker for my car...with a quote...
Well-behaved women rarely make history.
So perfect.

I am not a big bumper sticker person. I have Jake on my car...from the Life is Good products and now this sticker. If you come to Abilene you will spot me quickly in my little black bug.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart."
Helen Keller

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Mothers and Daughters

Yesterday I spent the day with Jackie and Eryn, Beth and Savanna, Robin and Katie and my Mary Kate. Our plan was to go to Abilene State Park and hike in the morning and picnic lunch and swim in the afternoon. Jackie wanted to go check out the Rector's new retreat center to see if she could use for her department. Tony said that we could hang out there if we wanted but we really didn't know what to expect and so thought that we would check it out and then head over to the State Park. Well, The Amazing Grace Ranch was beautiful and isolated and we just stayed there all morning. We took lots of pictures of the girls together and of the moms and moms and We hiked around the property...all the time reminding each other that there could be rattlesnakes and wildcats. We ate lunch on the amazingly cool porch and just truly took in each other's presence. We then thought we would head on over to the State Park and swim. We drove up all dressed to swim and the park ranger told us that the pool is only open on Wednesday through Saturday. Crazy. So we drove to the Abilene Swim Club to swim. We had so much fun all day....laughter (lots of it), talking, wrestling, hiking, swimming (and dunking), eating (and Beth, it is okay that you ate a donut), watching bugs and buzzards. I am so glad that we took the day to be together. Wish we had done this many times over the last year. Mary Kate, Savanna, Katie, and are thoughtful, fun, smart, beautiful, silly, hopeful, full of life and full of the Spirit. I love you girls so immensely and know that the world is not prepared for what you have to offer. You have grown up not feeling limited because you were girls but empowered because you were girls...use that empowerment to make a difference...feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give encouragement to the downtrodden, take your amazing gifts and use them to their fullest potential. My heart overflows with pride when I watch you and how you treat each other and all those around you. I am sad to let you go but also so excited to see the rest of your lives.

And remember:

"Well-behaved women rarely make history." Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Gathering around the Table this Day

I gathered around the table twice today. Jesus invited me. I felt welcomed and compelled to share his body and blood with those around me. First I gathered with my middle school girls from Breakthrough and the intern who lead with me this weekend. I wanted to hand each of them the body and blood and Christ. I wanted to look them in the eyes and tell them, "This is the body of Christ given for you." and "This is the blood of Jesus. It connects us and washes us." The girls looked me in the eye as I spoke these words. The perfect way to end the weekend.
Tonight at small group I felt the same compulsion but about our smallest member. Ethan just turned one on Thursday and we love having him at small group. For so long he has been in the middle of our circle. We have loved his baby sounds and now his squeals of delight. As soon as we started to get out everything for communion I started thinking about how I would love to serve communion to Ethan because he is so much a part of the body of Christ that meets in that circle every Sunday night. We had all been served the body of Christ and Ethan started looking around like he knew that we were eating something and he started smacking his lips. I took him a piece of the body. I held it out in my hand and said, "Ethan, this is the body of Christ given for you." He looked me in the eye and took in what I was saying, took the bread from my hand and ate it and then raised his hand straight in the air and let out a raucous squeal. What a great way to feel after taking the body of Christ. So sweet and so real.
Those were the perfect moments from my day.


I just spent the weekend with Middle schoolers from Highland. It was such a good weekend. I am exhausted and I am positive the girls I was with are exhausted also. The first night they were up until 4am and the second night I am not sure when they went to sleep. Their families are going to feel their grouchiness for the rest of today but it was worth it. We spent the weekend talking about Jericho and walls. We wrote the walls we build between us and others and between us and God on the back of fence picket. The staff assembled the wall with the pickets and then we painted it. I wish that I could show you a picture of that beautiful fence. Each group painted a section and there were flowers and handprints and a Swiss flag and a cross and just blue and green paint smeared all over (this really was pretty). They took the fence with us out to the country where we were swimming and worshipping. We smashed our fence down with sledge hammers. We broke down our walls. It was cathartic to smash that fence. So much written on the other side...walls we needed to be rid of. My girls got it and were actually relieved to write it down and then smash it down. What walls do you have up that need to be brought down?

Friday, June 02, 2006

busy day

Many things to accomplish today....Mary Kate's learner's permit (I know, she is old to be doing this but she really hasn't been interested in driving), bathing suit for Lucy, call American Airlines to see if I can get some money back from my crazy mistake, talk to friends about our mother/daughter trip and Breakthrough starts tonight. Breakthrough is a weekend retreat with our middle schoolers at church but we stay in Abilene. I am a group leader and will stay all weekend with the girls. I have a good group of girls. I am only worried about being too tired to be at my best self. It will be fun and some of the girls in my group I already have a great relationship with.
What does your busy weekend have in store for you?

"I hope you're proud of yourself for the times you've said "yes," when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else." Mister Rogers