Saturday, April 28, 2012

couldn't live without . . .

dear emily,

i was hemming through my day, crookedly as always, and thought of
something that i could not live without.


for lent one year i fasted books.   it was excruciating.   take my chocolate,
my desserts, my phone, but give me my books.

sometimes i have three or four books humming through my mind at the same
time.    beautiful or tragic phrases become cadences in my soul like, "sleep
was spooned into her."   other times i remind myself of elf saying interesting
words repeatedly, "francisco, franCISco, F R A N C I S CO!"

i love the silliness of amelia bedelia as much as i adore the heroism of
gentle atticus.   big books, little books, tragedies, comedies, mysteries . . .
the book i've read the most?  the Good Book.

no matter how late the doctor is for my 1:00 appointment or how long the
traffic is piled up at 51st and harvard, i have the means to escape into the
tale i keep with me at all times.   sometimes i look forward to waiting, so i
have another excuse to read.

what thing could you not live without?


"do not let this Book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it
day and night . . . "  joshua 1:8

Thursday, April 26, 2012

wow.   blogger just switched me over.
this will only take me about 100 years
to figure out.

-rip van winkle

Saturday, April 21, 2012

dear emily,

do you remember the hilarious movie, lost in america, with albert brooks and
julie hagerty?   it's about the downward spiral of a yuppie couple who sells
everything to take an adventure in an RV.   brooks is dumbfounded to realize
his wife is a compulsive gambler and has, in fact, lost all their money (the
nest egg) in a casino.  

he tells her that she is no longer allowed to even say the phrase, "nest egg."

google image

my husband adores this movie and frequently quotes the funniest lines.   he
has even coined his own for me.   last summer oklahoma endured the longest
string of unbearably hot days in the nation's history.   i only know this
through other people's accounts, because i was in colorado the entire time.

so, i am not allowed to say, "man, did we ever have a hot summer!"  i can't
even say, 'hot' or 'summer' in the same paragraph, which is a small price to
pay, really, for a summer in colorado.  

i hope this summer isn't as hot as last summer (don't tell him i said that.)


"my brothers are as undependable as streams . . . that cease to flow in the
dry season, and in the HEAT vanish from their channels."  job 6:15-17


dear emily,

i received a facebook message from a woman that my grandmother used to
mentor 40 years ago.   she reminded me from whence i came, of my godly
heritage, thereby encouraging me to step it up a little.    after i recovered
from the shame, i re'ass'essed.  (that little word is in the bible.)

it is good to stop and reflect on the state of one's condition.   mine has been
better . . . and worse.   it is harmful to compare oneself with others, though.
as i serf blogland, many seem to be putting on a very good show:   amazing
recipes, breathtaking interior designs, incredibly gifted children, bionic
husbands!   can all these women's lives really be that wonderful?

well, mine's not.   i think more of us are like lucy than bree.

if i sometimes seem flippant, it's because i am more eager to show my warts
than my lashes.  (my warts actually look better than my lashes.)    my prayer
is that when you see my frailties, you will be encouraged to think,  "if that
crazy old coot could raise a family, well then, SO can i!"

and you're doing a much better job than i did.


"let him who boasts, boast in the Lord."  1 corinthians 1:31

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

some like it hot

have you ever noticed how finely we tune the temperature of everything
we touch or eat?   our homes can easily hover around 69 degrees all
year around.   if we want to take that temperature outside, we can chill
the air with water cooled fans in the summer or heat lamps in the winter.

some of us won't drink a glass of water unless it's ice cold or swim in a
pool unless it's as warm as a bath.   my husband likes his coffee and soup
to be scalding hot . . . so hot that i can not even touch the mug or bowl.

thank goodness, that's not how he likes his wife.

i worry, though, that because we have found so many ways to keep ourselves
comfortable and insulated, we will not be prepared for trials ahead.   we are
completely dependent on our electricity, available water, heat and air,
mangos from brazil or tea from china.

our grandparents were better prepared for hardship and more capable of
taking care of themselves.   in some ways, we are like children . . . or sheep.


"all we like sheep have gone astray . . . "  isaiah 53:6

Sunday, April 15, 2012

tornadoes create strange bedfellows

dear emily,

people outside oklahoma are always surpised at our cavalier attitude toward
tornadoes.   we're as accustomed to them whirling about as the azaleas
blooming each spring.  still, they provide some interesting situations.   an
adorable young woman recently told me this tornado story.

she and her husband hired a young man to pull some weeds from  their yard
to help him raise funds for a mission trip.   unfortunately, as he was working,
a three block wide tornado tore through their town, skipping from house to
house.   the sirens sounded, and the little bride urged the young man into
their inner closet.

that is what we do in oklahoma.

after they shut themselves in, the poor girl realized that she had barricaded
herself in a closet with another man.

it could have been worse.    many people dive for the bathtubs.


"but even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed."
1 peter 3:14

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

as i walked by the huge reflective windows of a parked car, i thought,
"can i do it?"   i hate that i'm drawn to want to check my appearance, so
i set my eyes like steel away from the window and walked on by.

these are the kind of neurotic thoughts that float through my wobbly
brain.   beyond that, then i wonderered, "is it worse to look or not to
look?" . . . and then discover hours later that, yes, indeed, my hair was
sticking out all over the place like a dandelion.

google image

i read a hilarious facebook post today.   the zesty writer explained that
she slathered her face with a new sample foundation without a helpful
mirror.   later,  when she did look, her face was as white as a geisha
girl's.   not really the 'look' she was going for.

to look or not to look, that is the question.


"now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see
face to face."  1 corinthians 13:12

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

jackson at the opera

my family has a sweet, little westie named jackson, who loves to lay beside
our grand piano whenever any of us are singing.   he sleeps peacefully even
when i am vocalizing.  every now and then, he will raise an eyebrow as if to
say, "a little out of your range, don't you think?"

jackson, not under piano  :)

a few years ago, we were asked to host a famous tenor in our living room
for a concert.  i was a bit nervous about the preparations (removing all the
furniture, tuning the piano, valet parkers, etc.)  mostly i was anxious that
hans was going to be out of town.

at least i had jackson for support.   the house sparkled, the candles flickered,
and the flowers smelled lovely.   every seat was filled with expectant opera
lovers.   as the accompanist began the intro, i spied jackson curled up beneath
the piano.   in horror, i trotted up in front of all 100 guests and swooped him
up and out.

the next morning there was a blurb in the paper about the most important
guest not being in attendance.   we thought they meant hans . . . but no, they
wrote, "jackson didn't get to attend the concert."


"make a joyful noise unto the Lord."  psalm 100

Friday, April 6, 2012

resolute: admirably purposeful, determined, unwavering

dear emily,

good friday is a tough thing to say.   my heart wants to change it to
black friday or sad friday.   my mind has to remind it every year that
we are not rejoicing over our Lord's suffering but giving Him its value.

it was good that the Lamb lay His life down for us.    He was "the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (rev. 13:8)  i just can
not wrap my head around that.   from the beginning?  a sacrifice that
spans time or creation?

before He created the light, separated the waters, made the animals,
vegetation, adam, and eve, " God saw that it was good."  before
that He knew that His Son would be slain for His creation?

He was resolved to die.   i  am resolved to try and understand . . . but
when i still can't, i am resolved to be eternally grateful.

and He is risen and coming again,

Monday, April 2, 2012

the head or the neck

dear emily,

it is not fashionable these days to be submissive to one's husband.  when i
was a young bride, some of us believed that if we honored our mates, and
they loved us as Christ loves His church, we would be very happy.

i was wondering, if i ask hans to lead the way down a path, who is the boss?
him, for leading?  or me, for asking him to lead?  how much does this even
matter?  we're taking a hike through our lives together.

then, i remembered the hilarious scene from my big, fat, greek wedding in
which the mother tells her daughter (aunt nodding in affirmation), "your
father may be the head of the family, but i am the neck that turns the head."

google image

not many people say, "she has a beautiful head," but, i have heard,
"she has such a lovely neck."

not about me, of course.

if i were to give a young bride and groom advice, it would be for them
both to be mutually submissive to each other in love, honor, and trust-


"finally, live in harmony with one another;  be sympathetic, love as
brothers, be compassionate and humble.  do not repay evil with evil
or insult with insult, but with blessing."  1 peter 3:8,9