Dance with me

Thursday, September 28, 2006

White and Nerdy

I just watched the new music video by Weird Al Yankovic. It is a song called White and Nerdy. Funny. I need to get better at this computer stuff...then I could give you the link. After the move I will work on my computer skills. Maybe I need lessons.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Is It Impossible?

During our time in Colorado Sally kept asking us if there were times that we dreamed and then pushed those dreams aside because you thought it wasn't possible. Do the words in your head go like this...I couldn't possibly write a book that anyone would read. No one but my family and friends will like this song that I wrote. Why would someone want to look at these photographs I took? No one is going to back me up when I raise my children differently than the culture around me.

How many of us have said those words to ourselves? Probably most of us.

I think the words to this song are so appropriate.

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten
Can't read my mind
I'm undefined
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Ending unplanned
Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you cannot find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it

Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else can
Speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten
I break tradition
Sometimes my tries
Are outside the lines

We've been conditioned
To not make mistakes
But I can't live that way'

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words that you cannot find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can feel it for you

What are you holding back?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Kite Runner

I just finished reading a book...The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Insightful and full of images that will haunt me for a very long time.

Some excerpts:

"Sometimes, Soraya sleeping next to me, I lay in bed and listened to the screen door swinging open and shut with the breeze, to the crickets chirping in the yard. And I could almost feel the emptiness in Soraya's womb, like it was a living, breathing thing. It had seeped into our marriage, that emptiness, into our laughs, and our lovemaking. And late at night, in the darkness of our room, I'd feel it rising from Soraya and settling between us. Sleeping between us. Like a newborn child."

"For you, a thousand times over."

"There is a way to be good again."

"I want my old life back."

"I slipped the picture back where I had found it. Then I realized something: That last thought had brought no sting with it. Closing Sohrab's door, I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Painting and Packing

Saturday Ken and Jeanette came to visit. Well, they didn't just come to visit. They came to help us paint and pack. I know that doesn't sound very fun to many of you but it was fun. Jeanette and I were a great team. We painted the master bedroom pumpkin. We did it all in one afternoon. We talked and taped and talked and covered nail holes and talked and painted.

Tim and Ken packed boxes at our house...books, books and more books. It really does look like we are moving to our new house now.

I am so grateful to them for getting us started. We are moving next much to do.

Colorado and Grieving

Colorado was beautiful. I loved the color on the Aspen leaves. I loved laughter with amazing women. I loved a hot tub full of crazy women. I loved Nora's story being read to us in the hot tub and then posted on the dartboard. I loved the Camp Robber jay who seemed to be telling us something important. I loved the breast pump and the remedy for all female ailments including a prolapsed uterus and sagging hips and loins. I loved the tiny chapel. I loved singing along with the dulcimer and Kathleen. I loved Sally's authenticity. I love, love, loved reconnecting with sweet friend who shared life with me in Maryland. Adie looks great and looks happy. She is growing into a deeper and deeper relationship with Jesus. I am glad that she is my friend.

I had a incredible moment of clarity during my time in Colorado. Precious Kathleen talked about how she is good at grief. We had each made a list of what we were good at. Kathleen said she is good at grief. She said that she is a griever. I have spent a great deal of time as a bereavement nurse. I talk with families when they come in to deliver babies that have already died. I hold their hands as they deliver. I clean up their babies. I wrap the baby in a blanket. I encourage the family to hold the baby. I cry with them. I dress the babies in clothes that were meant for their homecoming. I cut a lock of hair for a keepsake for the parents. I take pictures of the baby. I wrap the baby for the morgue. I place the baby on the shelf in the morgue.
I realized that what I do for families who lose their babies is what God could be calling me to do for the church with their traditions. I need to encourage them to hold the traditions and take a good look at them...what about that tradition resembles them, what is wrong with the tradition that caused its death, take a picture and tell it goodbye gently. It is okay to cry. It is okay to hang on to them but eventually you have to let go.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I will post tomorrow about the overwhelming positive things that have happened over the last three days but first let me whine a little bit...
On my way to Denver, I arrived before my luggage. I was staying two hours away in Breckenridge and my suitcase didn't pop up and go around the huge carousel. That has happened way too many times lately. Now whenever I am waiting for luggage at an airport I pray that my suitcase will show up. I never worried I do. They did bring me my suitcase while we were out to dinner the first night. I was grateful that they were so quick to get it to me.
On the way home my flight out of Denver was a little slow in leaving and then a little slow getting to the gate and then I had to wait for everyone to get out of the plane. I was sitting on row 23. The Skylink was not working properly and we were instructed on the plane to walk to our gate if it was within a reasonable distance. I did walk/run to my gate. I was sweaty and out of breath when I got to the gate. Just as I stepped off the tile and on to the carpet they closed the glass door that leads to the plane. They told me that the flight was closed and they couldn't let me on. The plane was sitting right there and they had just closed the door. That was the last flight to Abilene. She told me should get me on the flight that leaves at noon the next day. No thank you. I was so angry.
I had to rent a car to get home. Not many of those rental companies go to Abilene and out of those only one would rent me a car to go one way to Abilene.
I was truly close to tears several times...the moment I realized they really weren't going to allow me on the plane; waiting in the dark, deserted area of the airport for the rental car shuttle; walking from rental company to rental company and being told that they didn't have any cars that they were willing to send to Abilene at this time.
I am home. Yay!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I just finished reading Mockingbird by Charles Shields about Harper Lee (or Nelle Lee) the author of To Kill A Mockingbird. It gave me some insight into the writer's life. Not sure I would want to live it. I now want to rent To Kill A Mockingbird and Capote. Truman was her friend but he was a troubled friend who betrayed her. They needed each other but Truman's baggage got in the way. Need to reread To Kill A Mockingbird.

Our air conditioning on one side of the house is not working again. It is very hot...I think hotter inside than out.

Our new house is adorable and we picked out some paint colors last night....pumpkin, Hello Dolly pink, Sky blue...just the beginning.

I leave on Monday for Colorado Conversations with Sally Morgenthaler. Ten women and Sally (well, Sally is a woman also) in a beautiful bed and breakfast in Breckenridge, Colorado for deep discussion and lots of music and laughter. Can't wait. My good friend, Adie, has also been invited and we are going to room together. Looking forward to some cooler weather also.

Friday, September 15, 2006

New House

Today we close on our new house. Well, it is not really new. It was built in 1938 and it has character...hardwood floors, a pedestal sink in the bathroom, built-ins... We are very excited about living in this cute house. After we close we are going to spend a couple of weeks making it our house. We are putting up a wall. We are painting. We are fixing the master bathroom shower so that Tim can stand up in it. We are changing the leopard print carpet to something more neutral. There are other things that we will do to this house as time goes by but these are the immediate changes. I am going to have fun gardening at this house. I am anxious to put pumpkins on the front porch. I will make curtains. Come visit us. Not as much room as our old house but everyone is just as welcome and we have plenty of floor space and plenty of air mattresses. There is always room for more at our house.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Eternal Threads

Last night during class our girls made bracelets to send to girls in India. Linda Egle came to talk to the girls about these girls in India. Linda has started a business called Eternal Threads. She employs women in India to make totes and purses. I have one of these bags and I love it. It is big and durable and also cute. India is not a good place to live if you are a girl. Most likely you will not be educated and if your family is especially poor, you could be sold into slavery or possibly prostitution. When you buy one of these bags you triple a family's income and educate a girl for a long period of time. I will be buying more. Linda showed us a video last night and it was so good to see these girls' faces. They now have about 120 girls that they are sending to school. I love these bags and I love supporting this effort to educate girls. You can check it out at

Monday, September 11, 2006


Today is 9/11 and it could be just another day....just September 11, 2006 but it can never just be an ordinary day again.
I lived in the D.C. area the day that it happened. It was scary. I was booking tickets on the internet to go to the Zoe conference in Nashville and called my husband to make sure that the time worked for him. He then asked me if I had turned on the TV yet today. I said no. And he said...well, you better turn it on. I felt so foolish when I realized what I was doing while all of this was going on. I hated being alone while this was going on. We lived 15 minutes outside of D.C. and I was starting to feel panicky. My children were at school. Traffic was starting to become terrible. It was backed up for miles. Metro was shut down. Everyone was trying to get home. I went to pick up my kids from school. I needed them beside me. I didn't want more things to happen and have them at school. They needed to be beside me. I needed to see my best friend. I needed to hug her and see her children too. My husband couldn't leave school because he was a counselor and the kids there needed him.
I felt that fear for awhile. I felt it when the military planes flew over and shook our house. I felt it when my kids left for school in the morning. It took several months to feel calm again.
The next fall we had a sniper to deal with and it even came closer to home than the 9/11 tragedy. A 13 year old boy was shot at the school 4 blocks from our house and right next door to the church where my husband was the youth minister. Now I felt completely exposed. The boy was shot right by the path I walked several times a week.
When they caught the sniper and the teenage boy that was with him, they showed the car. I had seen the car in our neighborhood and hadn't realized how close I was to death.
Again, it shook me up. It took away some security that I had taken for granted.
We are all vulnerable but God is bigger.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Holy Spirit

Last night after going to the musical "Abilene 1906" and dinner at Rosa's at 10:30, Tim and I went by to see how Jack Maxwell's sculpture was coming along. Today is the official dedication and we knew that the sculpture was arriving by truck and that people would be there working on it. We didn't know that about 100 people thought the same thing. There were big spotlights and a crane holding up the trying to fit the pieces into the right places...others ready to weld and others waiting to finish the stone work when the big sculpture was in place.
We got out of our car and started to walk over. I looked and caught sight of the wings of the angels in the light. I was overwhelmed with the Spirit. This was definitely the work of the Spirit. This is a sculpture of Jacob's dream...with the angels climbing the ladder to heaven. It is 32 feet high. The area surrounding this 32 foot high sculpture is stone. The stones are placed at all different angles....some have words on them. There will a pool with running water. The pool is large enough to baptize someone.
I can't wait until this space isn't so crowded. I want to spend time there. I want to lie down on the stones and look at the stars and hear the water and see those angel wings in the moonlight.

Sacred space.

Are there any sacred places in your life?

Sacred space can become sacred by an event, sometimes a tragedy. Ground Zero is sacred space. The sight where Kennedy was shot in Dallas. The hotel balcony where Martin Luther King, Jr. lost his life. The hill on the side of I-20 where we lost Brody. Sometimes that sight is sacred because of joy. The bend in the creek where there is a deep pool of cool water where my father-in-law's family was baptized. The spot where your husband proposed. The place where you suddenly saw Jesus as real and not negotiable.
I have some sacred spaces in my life. Camp WaMaVa. All of Camp WaMaVa...even though the theology taught there now is very different from still is the place where I saw Jesus and a way to live that was compelling and that there was no turning around. The sanctuary at Highland is sacred space. The country church in Alabama that nurtured my mother's faith.

This space at ACU fits into another category. Just like a cathedral is built to awe and enthrall, this structure is meant to pull us up into God's lap and whisper sweet things in our ears. Jacob's Dream has been a work of the Spirit since Jack first starting thinking about it.
Recently a huge, lit sidewalk has been built around ACU and it has been one of the best projects that the school has undertaken. It has given students, faculty, staff, and neighbors a way to exercise in a safe place. I see older couples walking, holding hands. I see people running and biking. I see so much conversation. That sidewalk is making life better here and now. It is drawing people together.
Jacob's Dream is drawing us upward...towards the heavens. To stop and feel God's presence. To feel the wind from his angels' wings. To raise up praise to the heavens. To whisper prayers. To talk quietly with each other about the Father. To see beauty in the gifts of those around us. And to wonder at creation. The stars. The moon. The clouds. The sunrises. The sunsets. To contemplate what water means to us.
Jacob's Dream will form us closer to the image of God. I will spend time here. I need God's presence. I want to feel it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sun and Moon

My job is very is draining emotionally, physically, and mentally. I love the birth process but I hate the stress at my job. Another nurse and I decided last night while charting at 9:30pm (we had been at work since 6:45am) that this job was taking years off our lives. Not a good thought. Time to reevaluate what I want from my job...I need to weigh the pros and cons.
As I was driving to work yesterday I could see the sun rising on one side of me and the moon setting on the other. I was in awe. I wanted to stop on the highway on the top of a hill (well, this is Abilene and the hill wasn't really very big) and just keep watching as the sun rose and the moon set. The moon was close to full and huge hanging near the horizon. It had a few clouds settled around it but it was in just the right place to add subtle color to the clouds...pale yellows, baby blues, and just a touch of pastel orange. Very subdued and elegant. The sun was rising with a little more drama....reds, fuschia, orange, yellow, and some deep blues. The day was promising good things. There were good things in my day but also some intolerable moments.
Driving out of the hospital parking lot last night at 10:00 I could see the moon, huge and hanging over Kirby Lake. At first glance it was the big gorgeous moon in the sky that caught my attention, but as I turned the corner under the bridge I could see that moon had lit about half the lake....the only word to describe it....luminous. I gasped as I saw it. I was frustrated with my job and yet God was saying....Look, look....see how amazing the world is...see what I have promised...I have promised light and hope and the chance to start over day after day.
Okay, one more day.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Lately I have begun to realize that I really miss singing. I know that we sing at church and I can sing in the car and sometimes at home but I miss singing on a regular basis with other people who love to sing. I love hashing out the music...working through it all until it sounds right...sometimes changing part of it to fit the group that you are singing with. I love the emotion that comes from all those parts coming together and I love how it pulls deeper into the Spirit. The only place in my whole life that I feel awesomely and completely in my element is during worship. I know that I have many talents that I can use and that they benefit others but worship is my most favorite thing in the whole world. We were made for worship and that is where my heart feels the most at home.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Who Gets It?

Do you remember climbing into someone's lap who felt safe? Did that lap feel warm and welcoming? Did big strong arms engulf you or slender dainty ones? What did you do in that lap? Curl up and suck your thumb? Rest your head on their chest? Listen to their heart or their pocket watch? Run your fingers through their hair or did they run their fingers through yours? Did they rest their chin on top of your sweet head? I know they thought it was sweet. What did they smell like? Tobacco? Fresh air? Perfume? Soap? Sweat? Something wonderful that they were cooking?

I had all these thoughts run through my head Sunday night at small group when Ethan climbed into Calvin's lap just as we were beginning to take Communion together. Calvin handed him a piece of the body of Christ and he leaned his head back on Calvin and started to eat. Satisfied. Happy. Safe. I think that is the whole idea about communion. Lean back in me. Eat. Feel my presence. Sense those around you that love you. You are a part of my family. Be content.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Today Corey is 24 years old. He is my son. He is a father. He is a partner in life to Brittney. He is patient. He is kind. He is funny. He is laid back. He has very curly hair. He is a hard worker. He never meets a stranger. He always knows how to break a tense moment. He is extremely independent.
As a little boy....he was charming. He was a hard worker. He sucked his index finger and middle finger on his right hand but he did it upside down. He always loved cars and could make car sounds at a very early age. He could win over adults in an instant. He loved to ride his bike. He loved to roller blade. He loved soccer. He liked to explore the woods. He never wanted to stop playing and when he did stop, he was asleep. He was always generous with his affection.
What I wish for Corey....marriage that lasts, children who love Jesus, enough success to make life comfortable, friends to laugh with and friends to be there for the hard times, health, a journey with Jesus that he owns for himself, fun, adventure and trials that mold him into the man he is meant to be.
I loved that little curly-haired boy and I love that big curly-haired man I see today. He has brought joy and light into our lives. I wish him many more.

Book Tag

Judy Thomas has tagged me and it has been fun to think of my answers for these questions. I love books!!!

1. One book that changed my life: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck
Okay, it is hard to just say one: The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

2. One book you have read more than once: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Right now I am reading Mockingbird by Charles Shields about Harper Lee

3. One book you would want on a desert island: The Bible and songbook with all my favorite songs

4. One book that made you laugh: We Thought You Would Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro

5. One book that made you cry: So B. It

6. One book you wish you had written: a book of the Bible....just want to know how it felt to write those words...did the
words just come to them or were they overcome with the Spirit? Did they feel warm or comforted or impassioned or

7. One book you wish had never been written: Fascinating Womanhood... I think that was the book that my mother had that they used for ladies Bible class...I wish that women wouldn't have been exposed to the crazy stuff that was said in that book.

8. One book you are currently reading: Small Wonders by Barbara Kingsolver.

9. One book you have been wanting to read: Anna Karenina by Tolstoy

10. Booktag five other people: Ann, Sue, Katie and Tracy.

Judy's added questions:

11. One book you would like to see made into a movie: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

12. One children's book you always recommend: Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey

13. One young adult book you always recommend: So B. It ....don't remember the author
The Silent Boy by Lois Lowry

Friday, September 01, 2006

Agassi and Baghdatis

Two gentlemen played a game of tennis last night. It was a game fiercely fought but graciously fought. I love watching sports when it is like last night. I don't even know what time it was over but I couldn't pull myself away from it. Baghdatis was injured and could hardly walk but kept complaining, no whining...just kept pushing forward. It was hard to play Agassi on American soil. The crowd was so behind Agassi that Baghdatis had to cheer for himself. Agassi won that match but I believe Baghdatis won over the American public. When it was over he hurried to the net to congratulate Agassi and spoke to him sincerely. I believe that what he was said was something similar to what he said to the crowd later...that Agassi is more than a legend and that he has given so much to the game of tennis. He played hard but lost graciously. It was good to see the loser and the winner smiling when it was all over. I know it was late but I hope that lots of kids were watching.