Saturday, May 29, 2010


i was a plain, introverted little girl, content to be left alone to read
black beauty or little women.

imagine my surprise when my gorgeous mother applied the tiniest
bit of mascara to my pale, puny lashes before the annual church
choir banquet!

it was the most amazing experience to see my pitiful caterpillar
self transform into a choir queen.  i actually did win that title at the
banquet.  what kind of church has a choir queen?

as wonderful as it was to be a butterfly for the moment, i had to wash
off all my beauty before i went to bed.  back to being a caterpillar.  
well, at least i still had black beauty.

his song to sing has a moving video about beauty.

hans and i decided that we wouldn't speak of our little girls' pretty
faces, because we wanted them to be confident in who God made
them to be not in how He made them appear.  we worried that if we 
extolled the outside, they might neglect their inside.

"your beauty should not come from the outward adornment . . . 
instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of
a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."
1 peter 3:3,4

however, even with our good intentions, when the girls hit high 
school and discovered what ignorant, annoying people we were,
we threw out our principles and shouted desperately, "we think
you're beautiful!"


revised from november 2, 2009 for sabbath rest.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"a rose by any other name . . .

. . . would smell as sweet."

welcome to 'friday pretties'
where are all the blogs are
pretty and all the visitors
are prettier.  if you sashay
on over to joyce's you
will even see the prettiest.

"i am the rose of sharon."        song of solomon 2:1

"and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose."    isaiah 35:1


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

overwhelmed and unhappy?

last night i spent time praying for some sweet young moms who
are exhausted and emotionally wrung out.  fatigue is such a thief
of our contentment and ability to handle even the smallest chores.

almost every challenge can be dealt with better after a good
night's sleep.  my epitaph will read, "man, could she nap!"

if athletes and astronauts need their rest to perform their best, how
much more should moms? what's the big deal about bouncing a
ball or flying around in space?   we have these dear little ones who
deserve our clearest thinking and most loving care.

"it is vain to rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread
of anxious toil; for He gives His beloved sleep."
psalm 127:2

"but how am going to sleep if the baby is up all night, and i
have a toddler awake most of the day?"

desperate times call for desperate measures.  we have to sleep
whenever they do and finish our chores when they are awake.
on weekends, let our precious husbands get up with the baby.

tell them you will reward them for every extra hour's sleep.  :)


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the fox and the hound

once upon a time there was a little westie, named jackson.  he was loved
by his humans but a bit bored with them.  they fed him and walked him,
but he longed to chase something with a tail.

so one day, he sneaked out of the fence and found his kindred spirit.

they frolicked in the meadow, and jackson had the time of his life, but
he never felt completely safe with his new playmate.

even though his special friend really liked him, he also seemed to want
to eat him.

"the Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all He has made."
psalm 145:9


Sunday, May 23, 2010

so long, louboutin!

hallelujah!!!  the only good sign of the shaky economy is that
8 inch stilettos are OUT and 1.5 inch 'kittens' are IN.

not that i ever wore the incredibly leg lengthening louboutins,
but i was tempted for a second and thought about asking for a
pair for last year's anniversary.   until i tried on some.

it brought back memories of having my blood drawn.   the
rubber band around my arm and needle in my vein was not
nearly as uncomfortable as squeezing my feet into the torturous

stiletto:  classic italian switchblade with an automatic trigger.
uh huh.  and both made by men, reminiscent of chinese foot

having made the painless decision not to wear them, i was surely
diminished by  the other girls who  did.   i was frumpy  by any
standard in my puny pumps, but the playing field has now been

leg by leg . . . or shoe by shoe.

"vanity, vanity, all is vanity!" ecclesiastes 1:1


Friday, May 21, 2010

there's something niggling around in my brain.  it's so empty in
there, it's more like a rattling, really.

a couple of months ago, i wrote about warning kids of the dangers
in hanging with the cool kids, and someone commented that the
cool factor is in blog land, too.  at first i thought she was kidding,
i mean, doesn't a cool blog kind of sound like an oxymoron?

there are some, though, that are sort of inaccessible to the rest of
us.  i visit them, because, well, they're just so darn cool, but rarely
leave a comment, as that would sort of be like ellie mae clampett
leaving her calling card for karen walker.

in my mind these women are all dressed in stella mccartney, listening
to paul mccartney, and gossiping about heather mccartney.  how
surprising when one of them posted a photo of herself!

i was expecting audrey hepburn, but instead the poor old thing
looked a lot like . . . me.

now i'm no great shakes to look at, as evidenced by the fun
dolphin photo.  well, that is actually the 'after' photo.  the
dolphins threw a fit when they saw how gorgeous we were.

they were all "take off that make up, slick back your hair, stuff
your wet suits to make you look chubby, and squint your eyes!"
so insecure.

the point is, it's more fun to be ourselves and try not to judge,
"for in the same way you judge others, you will be judged."
matthew 7:2

i'm feeling bad about the stuff i said about the dolphins.   they
were really super nice.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

a miracle in robin's egg blue

i am joining in joyce's friday pretties.  hop over there on friday
to visit  lots of fun and pretty blogs.

"so don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
matthew 10:31

sometimes, when we least expect it, we get to experience
miracles.  we're just plowing through our day, picking up
the kids, parking the car, . . . peeking into a robin's nest.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


it was tough on hans for our little ones to transition into big ones.
i missed their sweet kisses and long snuggles, but he pined for
everything young about them.

one of his mantras was that he could outlast them in any game
or hug.  he really did supply every single request for one more
toss onto the bed or another game of h-o-r-s-e.  he was their
hero, but i was just their mom.

therein lay the devastation for him.  when the kids turned 11 or
12, he also became just their dad.  it never occurred to me what
a demotion that was, not having ever enjoyed super hero status

can you imagine being the funniest comedian or the strongest
man in the world and then becoming clark kent . . . for the rest
of your life?

to help ease the adjustment, he occasionally kidnaps our best
friend's little boys, but, horror of all horrors, they are growing
up, too!  last month he told them that he wanted to take them to
the 'charles russell' show at our local museum.

he was gratified by their enthusiastic response, and on the way
began to tell the boys some minute details about charlie russell's
colorful, cowboy painting career.

"wait a minute!  i thought you were taking us to a wrestling

does anyone have a five year old boy he could rent?


"as the heavens are high and the earth is deep, so the hearts
of kings are unsearchable."  proverbs 25:3

Monday, May 17, 2010

simply fit

for everyone out there trying to shed a few pounds or convert a 
few pounds to muscle, my friend has started a blog on nutrition 
and exercise.  sounds awful, huh?

but, it's not!  she makes it so fun and gives some really great tips 
about things i don't want to research.  she's also super nice and 
accessible, so if you have any questions, just ask away!

when i started working out with her, i looked just like myself, 
but now i look like jennifer aniston.  :)

it's sort of annoying.  i can't even go to the grocery story any
more.  autographs, paparazzi . . .

just click here:  simply fit!

"beloved, i pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in
good health, just as your soul prospers."  3 john 1:2


sticky situations

i have been reading a fascinating book, called the tipping point.
it would have been such help to me when i was raising my children,
because one of the premises is that little ones pay attention to what
they understand not just things that excite them.

ph.d's studied pre-schoolers while they were watching "sesame street"
to monitor when they became distracted.   they assumed that the kids
would look away if the show couldn't keep their attention, or if an
outside stimulus beguiled them.

what they discovered, instead, was that the children attended to what
they could understand, but looked away when something didn't make
sense to them.

think of all the things we say to our children:  "keep your eyes peeled,
don't count your chickens before they hatch, what goes around-comes
around."  it's no wonder they aren't paying attention to us!

they can't understand us.  "give me understanding, that i may keep
Your law . . . "  psalm 119:34


Saturday, May 15, 2010

a cuss word saved my daughter's life

before i tell my scandalous story, i have to give vickie at sandflat farms
all the credit for my disclaimers.  she penned a 'tail' about a vicious vole
that still makes me chuckle.

please be advised that you will encounter some graphic language in my
tale today, so please have the kiddies move away from the computer.  if
you are squeamish, sunday schoolish, or school marmish, you might
want to go with them.

we had just finished a delicious feast of mexican enchiladas, all eight
children were safely seat belted into my stretch suburban, and i was
checking one more time in the rear view mirror before backing out of
the parking lot.

laughter and happy chatter filled the car, as i caught a glimpse of four
year old hailey in the very back row.  she was choking on one of the
after dinner mints.

"ok, everybody out!"  i couldn't have possibly reached her without
crushing the four little bodies in the middle row of seats.

no one even heard me.  they just kept giggling and squealing, and i
felt panic rising in my throat.

"i mean it, get out!"  again, no response.

by now, i was out and opening the back seat door.

"get out of the damn car!!!"   seven pairs of little jaws dropped open
and legs scampered out just in time for me to pull hailey over the
seat and perform the heimlich maneuver on her.

out popped the mint, and before i could say, "thank you, Lord,"
five little voices said, "mom, you said a bad word!"  i'm sure they
were enjoying cheerful visions of soap in my mouth.

here's the moral of the story:  because my children had never heard
me use coarse language,  the shock of that cuss word saved my baby
girl's life.


"let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that
which is good to the use of edifying . . ."   (or saving lives :)
ephesians 4:29

Thursday, May 13, 2010

together we save

i remember the early days of our marriage, when we were poor
as little church mice but just as happy.  we celebrated the end of
each week by splitting a fried clam dinner at howard johnson's
in white plains, vermont.   woo hoo!

our dear friends, the only other married couple at dartmouth,
were even poorer than we were.  it used to break my heart to
go to the grocery store with her, because she had to be so very
careful with her nickels and dimes.  one time she just burst into
tears as we pulled out of the parking lot.

i have noticed some sweet young brides in blog land who
could use a little boost, too, so here is the magic solution to
help you pinch those pennies.

just click on the link above for the"togetherwesave" blogsite, and
you will be amazed at all the savings this precious and industrious
young woman has made available to us.  if you follow her site,
you will be informed 3-4 times daily of happy ways to stretch your

"her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."
proverbs 31:11


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

an inkling from thistle cove farm

well, i just can't believe that i won something and not just
anything, but the most lovely of all things.  a book!   my
family has accused me of loving books more than people,
which is a terrible indictment and NOT true, well maybe
a wee bit true.

anyway, sweet sandra of thistle cove farm just sent me the

inklings by jeschke, and i am so excited to dive into

if you haven't visited sandra's lovely farm, you are in for a
treat.  it is worth it for the exquisite view that greets you, but 
the real treat is the many wonderful things you will learn.  
she's a sheepherding, horse ranching, business woman, who 
is devoted to plain, simple, and elegant living.

her rich quotes and inspiring messages are a delight for the
soul, and her beautiful photos a feast for the eyes.  

thank you, sandra, for my new treasure.  your blog has been
a treasure chest!


"every good thing and every perfect gift is from above."
james 1:17

Monday, May 10, 2010


have you ever received one of those back handed compliments
like this?

"lea, you're hair looks so pretty . . ."

then, before you can say, "why, thank you very much!"

"i mean, it's not nearly as frizzy as usual !"

yep.  yesterday.

the way i see it, there are a few responses to what i call having
been "scarletted."

the first is the "respond in kind" reply and has many variations
of this:

"well, fiddle dee dee!  scarlett, i thought you were about to give
a sincere compliment for a change.  silly old me." this one is very

another tried and true reply is the "gomer pyle":

"for shame, for shame, for shame!  didn't your mama never tell
you?  'if you cain't say somethin' nice, don't say nuthin' at all!' "
this one might be fun for some, but most people don't like to be
'for shamed.'

the one i recommend though, is the one all of our mothers taught
us, taking the high road:

"oh . . ." it's important to leave a pregnant pause, because you
want scarlett to know you perceived the slight.  after all, you're
not stupid.  then follow that with:

"well, i always think your hair looks pretty."


ps. "in doing this you will heap burning coals on his (her) head."
proverbs 25:22


my water broke almost a month early with our firstborn.   my labor
was remarkably unremarkable and before we knew it, we heard our
first baby's cry.

when the nurse placed him in my arms, i said some inconsequential
mommy thing, like, "hey there, sweet boy . . ." and he immediately
grew very still and turned to me.

that he knew me was the defining moment of my life.

it seemed horribly unfair of the nurse to whisk him away again to
clean him up and do some unpleasant things to me.  i kept looking
expectantly to the door each time someone came in.  doctor, doctor,
nurse, nurse, and then my dad, who was also a doctor.

he, at least, would tell them to hurry up and give me back my baby.
but instead he was painfully somber and said, "honey, something is
wrong with the baby, and they have taken him up to the NICU."
my dad, in fact, was the first to notice our baby's shallow, panting
breathing pattern.

that was the second defining moment of my life.

what followed were terrifying talks with neo-natal doctors who told
us that our baby had a life threatening infection and they offered little
hope they could save him.  they would, however, perform surgery
and let us know how he progressed.

hans and i clung to each other and the Lord like never before and felt
Him say, "just trust Me."   we truly did not have the faith to claim a
healing or the strength to do more than lean on Him.  we named him
isaac, as we felt that we were "abraham" trusting the Lord to provide.

today isaac is 26 years old, 6'7'' tall, incredibly handsome, charming,
and kind.  he won't be able to know how much we love him, until he
has his first son.

the only thing i worry about is whether he, as a lawyer, will sue me
someday for writing this.


"sons are a heritage of the Lord."  psalm 127:3

Saturday, May 8, 2010

i just read sonja's tribute to her mother and realized that i could
never write one that inspiring, but that doesn't mean i won't try!

my mom was by far the prettiest and youngest of all the mothers
of my classmates .  hans says that when he was a little boy, he used
to hang out around the choir room just to see her walk by.

just for perspective and lest you think he had an older, washed out
mother,  his was a movie star! (peggy dow)

though my mom was lovely, her real beauty radiated from within
her kind and giving heart.  i have watched her bake countless pies,
cobblers, and homemade cinnamon rolls for sick friends and spend
endless hours consoling them.

she was the chaperone for the 5,000 choir trips i took, attended any
concert in which i sang, and made my beautiful dresses for each
event.   she also created all my formal gowns and prom dresses.  i'm
surprised she didn't make my wedding dress!

but her greatest feat was in cherishing her own mother in law.  some
of you may have tough ones, but they couldn't be more difficult than
the one my mom had.  when grandma moved to our town,  all the
aunts from other cities sent their condolences.

my mother purposed in her heart to love her, and therefore, had her
to our house for dinner at least once a week, took her to the store, to
many doctors' appointments, and hair salons.

the most loving gift she gave, though, was a birthday party each year,
at which my grandmother would give a recitation of scripture or a poem
she had written.  my own future mother in law attended many of these
lovely parties.

at the end of my grandmother's life, she and my mother had the most
wonderful loving relationship that i will always cherish.

happy mother's day, mom!


"therefore, i urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your
bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God."  romans 12:1

Thursday, May 6, 2010

pretty little chick

every friday, joyce at pretty things has a party for everyone to share
their favorite pretty things.  i never participate in these fun parties,
because i don't now how to take pictures. :(

however, my daughter, sunday lane, the first little chick to hop back
into the nest, was sharing some of her pictures with me.  so, in honor
of her return and in light of the fact that she is by far the prettiest thing
at my house right now, here's a pretty chick:

become her fan on facebok: sundaylane :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

is there 'pepto bismol' for writer's flux?

i've read many bloggers' chagrin over writer's block and am sure i
will encounter that dreaded condition, but so far i seem to suffer
from the opposite malady.

it's difficult to know what to call it, maybe the writer's flux.  there
are so many trivial, insignificant thoughts popping around my brain
that i have a difficult time landing on an appropriate one.

another strange symptom is the good intention to wax eloquent on a
poignant, meaningful subject, but instead watch in befuddlement as i
boldly type something completely different.  it is horrifying to imagine
that i have so little control over what i write.

for instance, this morning i purposed to climb onto my soapbox and cry
out against Christians who are reputed to be the worst tippers, causing
every waiter to dread the stingy sunday lunch crowd.  shame on us!

but, no, here i am rambling about the mysteries of my unpredictable
prose and making myself a little sick to my stomach, one more symptom
of writer's flux.

it is also a great illustration of the famous quote, "it is almost impossible
to exaggerate the unimportance of almost everything." (19th century
cleric, whose name is apparently unimportant)

thankfully, unlike my drivel, "all scripture is God-breathed and useful
for teaching, correcting, and training in righteousness." 2 timothy 3:16
i guess you could call it 'pepto bismol' for the trivialities of life.


Monday, May 3, 2010

shelby kate

twenty four years ago i gave birth to the prettiest little raven haired
angel.  for three days i played baby doll with her in the hospital,
dressing her in a different adorable smocked gown several times
a day.  i just couldn't believe she was mine.

since then she has amazed us with her sweet spirit and capacity to
accomplish everything from medicine to embroidery.  she has the
confidence to correct doctors  but the compassion to serve unwed

i wrote about her strong will six months ago, but i didn't mention what
a lovely young lady she has become.

shelby has the most tender heart.  that heart has cared for countless
babies and helped many young mommies deliver their babies.  she even
took my 18 year old baby into her home for this school year.

those two have the sweetest of relationships, and it has been a wonder
to behold them both benefit from this special year together.

but, shelby's husband dan really deserves the medal of honor.   as they
were leaving the first day to embark on the odyssey, shelby said, "dan,
have you seen my cell phone?"  only seconds before hailey said, "dan,
do you know where my keys are?"  poor guy.

he is a prince, and he has wisely chosen a woman "worth far more than
rubies."  proverbs 31: 10

happy birthday, sweet girl.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"parents, do NOT let your kids go to sunday school!"

remember the book, everything i know i learned in kindergarten?  if i
wrote a book, it would be called, all my orneriness was committed in
church.  pretty sure it would be a best seller.

kids are going to be ornery, and if you spend night and day at church, that's
where you're going to err.  at least, that's my excuse.

now i had a sidekick, or i was the sidekick, but she is a highly respected
minister, so i can't reveal her secret identity.  she is adored by all her
flocks for her insightful preaching and caring heart.  she will pray for you
at the drop of a hat.  she even did that in high school!

but that's not where we were ornery.  no, pretty much only in church.

at church camp, we unscrewed all the sugar lids, put a napkin over the
top, and gently turned them upside down.  then we carefully balanced
the lids on the actual bottom.  when an unsuspecting counselor wanted
a little sugar in his coffee . . . voila!

when we were supposed to be singing sweetly in choir, we were really
sneaking all over the church.  and by all over, i mean every square inch
from the basement to the 16th floor prayer room.  if we were caught
there, we had a great excuse . . . praying, of course.

we had to be good in sunday school, though, because the teacher was
my future mother in law.  we still had a secret way of communicating
that pretty much made fun of every single person in the class, just not
my mother in law to be.

i've managed to misuse the word 'pretty' three times, and i think that
was a freudian slip, because my friend is really pretty!

anyway,  the moral of the story is, "parents, do NOT let your kids go to
sunday school!"  :)


"hear my voice when i call, o Lord;  be merciful to me . . ."
psalm 27:7