Tuesday, November 29, 2011

did you feel the mountains tremble?

dear emily,

in this advent season i pray that my heart will be expectant for His
coming and prepared to stand before Him.   i worry that when i
remember Him as a baby, i forget that those who have seen Him
since His resurrection could not stand before Him.   He was a baby
who we cherish and sing songs about, but He is not now One.


"it is very remarkable that we face the thought that God is coming,
so calmly, whereas previously peoples trembled at the day of God."
(dietrich bonhoeffer)

since our earthquake a few weeks ago, i feel the trembling of after
shocks throughout the day.  it is quite unsettling, and i have begun
keeping a glass of water beside my bed to see if my imagination is
acting up or the earth shaking.   they are a new reality for me, and i
realize i have taken the past stillness of my foundation for granted.

"only when we have felt the terror of the matter, can we recognize
the incomparable kindness.   God comes into the very midst of evil
and death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. . . God cleanses
and sanctifies us, comes to us with grace and love."

the sweet little Jesus boy is deeply rooted in my heart, and i adore
Him,  but how do i rightly worship Him as King of Kings at the same
time?  it takes a miracle, and i believe in them.


Monday, November 28, 2011

saved by the carol (repost)

dear emily,

hans and the boys have teased me a lot through the years, because i
don't really understand sports.  all i have ever known is music and
literature.  imagine my delight at receiving this clandestine phone

"mom?" one of my sons was on the other line and i could barely hear

"honey, are you ok?"

"mom, i don't have much time and may have to hang up on you."

" are you in trouble?"

"how do you finish this line, 'angels we have heard...'?" whispered my son.

" 'on high'...but"

"awesome!  now how about, 'o little town of bethlehem...'?"

" 'how still we see thee lie! ' what is going on?" i was beginning to get a
little frustrated.

"sweet!  what comes after this?   'angels from the realms of glory'?"

"'wing your flight o'er all the earth'...  do you need me to call the

"oh no, i gotta hang up!  stay by the phone!"  now i had visions of
kidnappers with my precious son wrapped up in duct tape.

thankfully the phone rang again.


"oh honey, are you hurt?  where are you?"

"no worries, mom.   mr. mccoy was just walking by and i didn't want
him to see me on the phone."


"just fill in this line:  'what child is this?...' "

"'who laid to rest on mary's lap is sleeping'  will you please tell me
what is going on?"

"thanks, mom!  you're a life saver!  i told my buddies that no one
knew more Christmas songs than you!"

dial tone...

turns out his physics teacher gave the class a bonus pre-Christmas
test, that i helped them cheat their way through.  a better mom
would have made them 'fess up, but i was just so proud...

...that my superior knowledge of Chrismas carols won the game!


"in those days caesar augustus issued a decree that a census 
should be taken of the entire roman world.  this was the first
census that took place while quirinius was the governor of syria.
and everyone went to his own town to register.  so joseph, also, 
went up from the town of nazareth to bethlehem, the town of
david, because he belonged to the house and the line of david.
he went there with mary who was pledged to be married to him
and was expecting a child."  luke 2: 1-5)

Saturday, November 19, 2011


once a week i have lunch with a precious third grader in one of
our city's at risk neighborhoods.   i used to say that i was her
mentor, but it's really the other way around.

i have learned so much from her eagerness to learn and express
herself artistically.  she recently won a poster contest to protest
bullying.  her sunny disposition shone all over it with "love",
"peace," and "kindness" in big letters.   it reminded me of the
fruit of the Spirit.

bullies have been my nemesis, as i seem to attract them like bees
to honey.    people, thankfully not my husband,  just want to boss
me around.   recently i have wondered whether a bully knows he
is a bully.   is it possible that some obscure their boldness with
good intentions?

some may think they need to exert pressure on me, because i am too
wishy-washy.  if they didn't push me,  i might never accomplish
anything.   i just need someone to help me pull my head out of the
sand and 'take a stand.'

when these well meaning 'pushers' apply force to me, i either dig in
my heels or cave in.   the next time it happens, i resolve to say, "you
are pressuring me, or it feels like you are bullying me."  i think they
will be shocked, because they don't realize what they are doing.

i know i will be shocked, if i really have the courage to stand up
for myself.


"but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
galatians 5:22, 23

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


do you remember laboring through dickens' great expectations in
the ninth grade?  honestly, the title threw me off.   after all, i had
heard great things about the author and had pretty big expectations.
i was terribly disappointed.  i think  i enjoyed laboring through my
childrens' births more.

"barkis is willing," is one of my favorite lines, but few know to
what i am referring when i quote it.   i sympathized with him, as
we both had such great expectations.  i can't remember if clara ever
married him, but it would make me feel better to know that one of
us had a happy moment in the story.

google image

on the other hand, i was completely mesmerized by a tale of two
cities.   was it my low expectations or a fine book that brought
me such pleasure?  since "occupy wall street" has taken over so
many of our city parks, i have wondered if guillotines will be
added to the venue.  the guillotine was a huge character in the
tale, but i digress.

back to expectations:    if i expect my husband to "clean" the
kitchen after dinner, i will certainly be disappointed, as  there
will be a sinkful of dishes and crumbs all over the counters.  have
you noticed that "sinkful"and "sinful" are practically the same

if, however,  i do not expect my husband to clean the kitchen, i
will be happily surprised to enjoy his company pattering along
while i clean.  he will bring me dishes from the table and put them
in the sink, saving me many steps.

not expecting,

"for i have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."
philippians 4:11

Saturday, November 12, 2011

out, out, #@^%! spot!

dear emily,

you are much too young to have to deal with this minor irritation,
but i am plagued by a few pesky brown spots on my cheeks.  it
is my own fault, of course, for basking in the sun as a foolish
young sun worshipper.

i can assure you that all the commercials extolling their miraculous
potions are fictitious.  they don't work.  in the past, i have resorted
to camouflage, which doesn't really work either.  sigh.

then it dawned on me that the spots were located exactly where i
would like to have sculpted cheekbones.  so i applied brown
shading on top of the spots just under my cheekbones and voila'!

hee hee!

even though my spots are here to stay, they serve a purpose by
reminding me of the blemishes on my heart.   i try to hide those,
too, but it's far better to expose them.  "Lord,  i said a terrible
thing today . . . "


"though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as
snow."  isaiah 1:18

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

who are you, really?

when i refer to my blog friends, my kids roll their eyes and say,
"mom, those are not your real friends,"  as if they were imaginary
like the ones my daughter hailey used to have (sarah and ashley.)
i understand that they are not real to them like the friends who
come in and out of my house and have been seen by my children.

sometimes i make the mistake of trying to explain, "no, they are
real.  see this one sent me a gift."

"mom, are you saying she's your friend because she gave you a
present?"  then i just give up.  but i began to wonder, "what if
none of you are who you pretend to be?"

what if, instead of a frumpy middle aged woman, i am really an
NBA star worried about not having a basketball season?

i do not play for the lakers.


"i no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know
his master's business.  instead, i have called you friends . . . "
john 15:15