Friday, November 22, 2013

beauty obsessed

dear emily,

when i was your age, i went days without moisturizer much less makeup.
NOT because i was overwhelmed with keeping up with five children, but
because i had a makeup addiction.   the acknowledgement of my disorder
led me to fast beauty products for a season.

my poor husband never said a word except, "i like you better without it."
he also said, "i like you better with some meat on your bones."  what
a gift.   him, not the extra 'meat'.

i realize now that my beauty obsession had its roots in a comment from my
father when i was young.  i have a gorgeous mother and not the kind of
beauty that requires eyeliner or even lipstick.   she rises from her sleep with
a pink flush on her perfect cheekbones.   i was proud when she walked the
halls of my highschool, because she was prettier than the cheerleaders.

when my dad said, "you will never be as beautiful as your mother," i thought,
"well, duh."  i don't think he meant to be cruel but was complimenting her, as
i was outgrowing my awkward, cygnet years.   he didn't realize how hurtful
the remark was to his seventeen year old daughter.

how kind of the Lord to give me a husband who loves my heart.  "beauty, oh
beauty, where is thy sting?"

now, let me just say that i have a loving relationship with my father, and i
still like makeup.  every barn needs a nice coat of paint.   this is a fun beauty
blog written by a young friend.


"it came about when he came near to egypt, that he said to sarah his wife,
'see now, i know that you are a beautiful woman . . . '"  genesis 12:11

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Preaching to the choir"

Dear Emily,

Many people have a presumption about choir members, thinking we
are all goody-goodies.   nope.   I have a funny story to disprove it.

Caution:  leave this blog now if you can't take a little pg-13.   Some
of our choir members are in highschool and college, and they are
delightfully talented and refreshingly guileless.

In between services, some of us were standing in line in the ladies'
room, when one of our young choir members said, "I have a secret
admirer at school."

That got my attention.   "How do you know?"

"He leaves notes on my car."

Now, I was totally intrigued.  "What do they say?"

"The last one said, 'You have a great ass.'"

When I saw the horrified expression on the face of the woman NOT
in the choir,  I said, "I'm pretty sure, you can't say that in a choir


"When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, 'Here is a
true Israelite, in whom there is no guile.'"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

tag, you're it!

dear emily,

it's been fun reconnecting with old highschool and college friends on
facebook.    no matter how much time has passed, we have an instant
rebonding that boggles my brain and delights my heart.  

it is not delightful, however, when people 'tag' me in photos.   my page
is smothered with odious pictures that i did NOT choose or want.    it
reminds me of my least favorite childhood game, 'tag.'   i would die a
thousand deaths once tagged, because i was never fast enough to tag
anyone else.   in my case, once tagged forever 'it.'

right now i have a photo, front and center, of my jiggly, fat arms.    i
haven't removed it, because i didn't want to hurt the person's feelings
who tagged me.   wow.   i just reread that and realize that i may need
counseling.    wait, just a sec . . .  ok,  i just untagged myself and feel
so much better.

now, there are still unflattering pics of my aging face but i'm resigned
to that.   when friends from my distant past first visit my facebook page,
they all say the same thing.

"look at your sweet face."  sweet is the new 'old.'


"but people do not pour new wine into old wineskins . . . " mark 2:22

Friday, November 1, 2013

still the one

dear emily,

i spied hans driving to work as i finished my walk.
this is unusual, because  he usually leaves before i
even wake up.   i know, no "here's your scrambled
eggs and bacon, honey."

my justification?   i would rather he remember me
from the night before than the morning after.

anyway, he motioned me to his car.

"they're playing our song."

we have a song?   i leaned in to hear shania twain's
twangy, "still the one i run to, the only one i belong
to . . ."

for dang certain,

ps.   "love must be sincere.  hate what is evil; cling
to what is good."   romans 12:9

Friday, September 20, 2013

how will we know?

dear emily,

how will we know if we have raised our children well?    there are many
litmus tests, but i like the kindness test the best.

  • how do they treat the dog when no one is looking?
  • who do they prefer, the high and mighty or the underdog? (sensing a dog theme here)
  • are they generous to those in need?
  • what do i feel when they leave,  relief or sadness?

sadness, always sadness.   

our oldest son and his precious wife have been living with us for nine months
while they have been remodeling a home.   tonight they spend the first night 
in their own house, and i'm feeling just like i did when he  left for college.
but that unhappy feeling is laced with gratitude and hope.   i hope they visit 
often, and i'm grateful that, because they were such thoughtful houseguests,  
i don't feel one bit relieved that they're leaving.

well, i guess i could say that i'm relieved he grew up so kind.


"be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in 
Christ God forgave you."  ephesians 4:32

Friday, September 13, 2013

men are from . . . way farther away than mars

dear emily,

hans and i were driving home from a father's dinner at my brother's new
house.   i had on shorts and he (my husband, not my brother) had his hand
on my leg ( i know, TMI.)   he would lift his hand and then put it down. . .
lift it, replace it, etc.

i couldn't help but think about every night, when he does the same thing.  
just as i'm drifting off into a sweet dream, he lifts his hand, then replaces
it, and BOOM!  i'm wide awake.   the fourth time, he gets my elbow.

so, as we're driving along, i said, "would you like to know the secret to

that got his attention.

"if you would hold your hand still, it could stay a lot longer on my leg."

" . . . but it stops feeling like skin if i don't move it."

i give up,

"again i say unto you, if any two of you agree on earth as TOUCHING
anything they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father in
heaven."  matthew 18:19

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

green jimmy choos

dear emily,

hans and i celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary the night of our
lovely niece's rehearsal dinner.    the coinciding events made each
one even more special, but my feet enjoyed themselves the most.

a week ago, hailey and i were taking a circle through sak's shoe dept. 
we consider this a museum expedition, gawking at beautifully crafted
works of art.  at the back of the department i saw a vision of loveliness
that took my breath away . . . green suede jimmy choo pumps.

hailey noticed my elation and began listing the outfits in my closet that
they could happily accompany.    but, the extravagance paired with the
idea that being so memorably green, i couldn't wear them often, dissuaded
me from even trying them on.   i imagined a certain person whispering to
a certain other person,  "i saw lea in her old green shoes again."

a week later there were several of us huddling around our kitchen table
computers, postponing the fancying up for the rehearsal dinner when hans
marched in.    he wore a triumphant expression, carrying a saks bag, and
'i just knew it held a jimmy choo' (dr. seuss shout out.)

as i was dreamily gazing at my gorgeous foot, shelby said, "samara will
LOVE dressing up in those."   :)


"every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
james 1:17

Sunday, July 28, 2013

just do it

dear emily,

i don't often post videos, because i don't think people really have time
for them.   they hop over here, because it's usually short and sweet . . .
or sour.

this is worth the time, i think.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

not a farmer

dear emily,

my dad grew up on a farm outside a tiny town in the panhandle of
oklahoma.    farming remained in his blood well after college and
medical school.    he was, in fact, the quintessential country doctor,
even though he always practiced medicine in the city.

he longed for the country and so bought 1,200 acres near our city.
to my horror, we became ranchers.   every weekend and for three
or four weeks each summer (our summer vacation,) we worked
cattle, rode horses, and hauled hay.   my dad relished the hard work
in the sunshine, as if doctoring 80 hours a week wasn't work.

as a teenager, the city held my heart.   i liked tanning at swimming
pools, shopping at clothing stores, and drinking diet dr. pepper with
vanilla at sonic.   my sympathy always fell with lisa douglas from
'green acres.'   why, oh why, did oliver make her leave the city?

while pulling stuck hay from the sharp blades of dad's tractor on a
105 degree day, imagining a rattle snake with every reach, noting
that dad was about five feet above all rattlers, i would sing,

"new york is where i'd rather stay . . . i get allergic smelling hay."


"ruth said to naomi,  'i would like to go and glean grain in the field
of anyone who will allow me . . . "  ruth 2:2

Monday, July 15, 2013

that time i ran away from home . . . as the mom

dear emily,

i'm not sure if shelby has told you this one, but six weeks before her wedding
i ran away from home.

all five kids were home the entire summer we planned her perfect day.    there
was constant activity, a little anxiety, and clamour . . . from me not shelby.
she was an angel.

it being my first wedding and all, i set the bar pretty high for myself, read
every book on wedding etiquette,  and still managed to make a gazillion
mistakes.    after lecturing telling my family to be sure to tip the delivery
man, i tipped an old family friend's daughter.   she was horrified.

my sister in law, in her deep southern accent,  said, "lea, while shelby is
writing all her thank you notes, you're writing all your apology notes."

the lady who ordered our invitations kept sending the lists back with "you
can NOT address a formal invitation with 'ma and pa kettle.'"

the door bell rang 100 times a day.   there were fittings and shootings.   i
shot the caterer, church photographer (not ace) , and wedding planner . . .
then i packed an over night back and left for the nearest hotel (it was either
that or the psych ward.)    my family received this text:   "i will be home
tomorrow,  maybe.   don't call or text me.   feel free to shoot anybody you


ps.  "but jonah ran away from the Lord and headed to tarshish."  jonah 1:3

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

side effects

dear emily,

we were chuckling about a drug commercial during the NBA playoffs
with a horrifying list of side effects:  cancer, severe stomach bleeding,
death.   my son mumbled, "does anyone even remember what drug is
being advertised?"

even if we could, i was not likely to take it.   what ailment could be worse
than severe stomach bleeding or death?  allergies, itchy scalp, aching pinky

our generation has become accustomed to taking drugs for everything, and
there's no telling what we have done to ourselves.   my recent addition is
calcium plus 1200 units of vitamin D.   my parents worked outside for
their vitamin D, which is just one reason they are called the greatest

we'll probably be called the wimpiest generation,

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

my superpower

dear emily,

i have a new superpower,  but you may be wondering, "what are her
old superpowers?"  uh huh.

my new superpower is invisibility.   can you possibly imagine how
convenient this might be?   i could slip right in front of any line in whole
foods, AMC theaters, or the bank.    heck, i could rob the bank, and no
one would see me.

i'm as see-through as the very air i breathe . . . unless i'm under water.

it has been a gradual disappearance, so it only dawned on me recently
that i have become invisible.    a small disclaimer, though:   i am not
invisible to everyone.  for some reason, children can still see me.   they,
of course, have their own superpowers..

my secret?   skip the lipstick and tuh dah!   invisible.

oh the power,

"so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.   for
what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  1 cor. 4:18

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

blessing and sorrow

dear emily,

my friend patricia and i were discussing the random nature of blessing,
wealth specifically.   this is an uncomfortable subject for me, because
i like to pretend money is like the leaves of a tree, available to whom
ever reaches their hand to pluck it.   that, of course, is fiction.

one can't really think about blessing without a nod to its sister, sorrow.
remember when 'much afraid' (hind's feet on high places) is bound to
her new friends, 'sorrow' and 'suffering?'   shudder.   they were truly
friends and protectors, though.

why do some have a bucket of blessing, and others a hayfield of sorrow?
heck, if i know, but this i do know:     how we respond to either is the
spoonful of sugar.

there are innumerable non-fiction stories about men of great fortune
who dithered it all away . . . along with wives and children.    there
are also accounts of women who endured great suffering and through
it blessed many.

oswald wrote today that if we yield through the fires of sorrow to the
Man of sorrows, "God will make us nourishment for other people."

feast on me, baby!


"He was . . . a Man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering."  is. 53:3

Saturday, June 15, 2013

spinach pesto turkey sandwich

dear emily,

i have really been trying to replace bad fats and sugars with good fat
and VEGETABLES.   aaargh.   i just can't make myself eat enough
of those nutrient rich foods, so i've had to be creative.   for instance,
instead of slathering mayo and mustard on my sandwich today, i made
a spinach pesto with coconut oil.

think that sounds gross?  well, you're wrong.   it was delicious and full
of good fat and green veggies.   "i'm dreaming of a" whole grain pasta
and vine ripened tomatoes drizzled with this yummy pesto.

while i wrote those two puny paragraphs, my husband just ate half of
my sandwich.   here's the super easy recipe:

an entire package of baby spinach
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup parmesan
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 T. honey
ground pepper
1/4 c. coconut oil
tiny dribble of olive oil as a token to normal pesto

squoosh it into your food processor and season to taste.

you're gonna' love it,

"the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof."  psalm 24:1

Monday, June 10, 2013


dear emily,

several weeks ago, a good friend and i were hiking around turkey
mountain.   in our neck of the woods, you don't really hike UP
anything, because everything is so flat.   we rounded one bend and
stepped over a grass snake.   i felt obligated to scream like a school
girl, since i did go to school once.

my friend said, "don't worry about it, it was just a grass snake."  i
thought, "is there really such a thing as 'just'  a ANY snake?"

i lost all the endorphins i had gathered from the hike and put the last
of my energy into scanning back and forth along the trail like a drone
searching for terrorist snakes.

sure enough, we ran into another harmless grass snake.

"he is more afraid of us than we are of him." (friend)

"really?   well, why is he staring us down like he wants to make the
first strike?"  now, a spoiled princess, i begged to turn around and
go home.   "that was a bad grASS snake."


"now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field."
genesis 3:1

Sunday, May 26, 2013

struck down but not forsaken

dear emily,

a week ago our state faced the military grade assault of an F-5 tornado.   the
loss of life, possessions of life, and way of life can not be measured.   those
who endured the battle will count their days as BT and AT, before and after

our children have a friend who is a firefighter and first responder.  he didn't
come home for five days and will most likely suffer from the same post
traumatic stress as our finest marines.

the question, "why?" has been fired at the heavens like puny artillery.

i don't deny anyone the right to "why?" and have felt it bubbling up in my
own heart, as well.   the response i keep hearing is, "why not?"

so stark, harsh, and cruel, that.

this earth is a hostile place, doling out earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes,
diseases, war, and tornadoes.  Jesus spoke about a tower that fell on 18
men, admonishing us to be greatful that it did not fall on us.

"we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;  perplexed, but not in
despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned;  struck down, but not destroyed."
2 corinthians 4: 8,9


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

make way for goslings

dear samara,

several weeks ago a gaggle of geese descended upon the 'island' by
our lagoon.   their graceful long necks and soft grey feathers were
beautiful.   i thought that surely swans could not be lovelier and was
sad when they flew away.   hans said that he wouldn't miss all the

we were strolling along the grounds last night and noticed two of the
geese had remained with a surprise.   six surprises!   can you guess?
yep, six fluffy grey goslings.   they reminded me of your baby chicks
but with longer necks, and i haven't heard any chirping.

google image

today they walked up the big hill and around all ten acres.   can you
imagine?   their little legs must have been so tired.   i followed them
down to the lagoon, while the goose (mommy) and the gander (daddy)
took turns watching me.   i wished you were with me to see how cute
the goslings were, imitating everything their mom and dad did.

i hope that if i visit them a few times each day and leave them a present
of bread crumbs, then maybe they will let me get closer.   what if the
geese return every year?   then i might call myself a grandgoose.

miss you,

"the birds of the sky nest by the waters . . . "  psalm 104:12

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

just do it.

dear emily,

i'm preaching to the choir here, because you are the 'fittest' person i
know, but you will look up someday and be 20 years older.    that's
when you will thank yourself for keeping your body in shape.

speaking of shape, my trainer (and great friend) was bemoaning how
many women our age have just let themselves evolve into a 'soft' pear
or apple shape.   fruit should only be smooshy in a pie.

it is harder to work out now, i admit.   sometimes my hip or back
aches, but that's no excuse.    there is always something i can do to
get my heart rate up and my muscles working.

someday, i want to be the grandma who throws a football to her
grandson and plays on the floor with her granddaughter.    how can i
do that if i don't strengthen my arms and legs now?

i will sit in the rocking chair with my great-grandbabies.


"therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees."   hebrews 12:12

Friday, April 19, 2013

dear emily,

one of our evangelist friends likes to tell a story about the dearest little,
old lady in his congregation.   she is his example of kindness, goodness, and

google image

he said to her, "aunt minnie, you never say an unkind thing about anyone.
why,  i bet you even have something nice to say about the devil."

she smiled fondly at the young evangelist and replied, "well, honey, he sure
does try hard."


ps.   "let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how to answer everyone."  colossians 4:6

Monday, April 15, 2013

"how can the Christ come from galilee?"

dear emily,

when did you last have your theology messed up?  you know, when it feels like
someone has roughed up your hair and smudged around your makeup, only it's
your heart?   can you imagine how the jewish people must have felt when Jesus
said, "if anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink."  what?  were they
even allowed to drink that sort of thing?

about like some republicans.   you mean Jesus isn't a conservative?

Jesus isn't confined to any of our shallow classifications, because He
supercedes them.   the huffington report recently featured an article intended
to encourage christendom.   one of the chief points emphasized that we need
to go a little easy on our Jesus talk.   Jesus seems to cause terrible offense
when we raise the subject.

i was huffed that someone would tell me when i can and can't speak the Name
above all other names.   but then, i pondered the matter.   maybe we are
guilty of saying, "Jesus" flippantly.   it is one of the quagmires of the kingdom
that while Jesus is the sweetest name we know, and we have been urged to
call Him 'friend,' He remains the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

who ever was allowed to call any other king by his first name?  "good
morning, henry."

anyway, i thought of some loose Jesus talk boundaries:  baby christians
could limit it to 'please and thank you' until they know Him better.  the rest
of us could use His name sparingly unless in reverence or cases of extreme
need, obsessive devotion, ecstatic gratitude, hopeless affection, hilarious
joy, delightful adoration . . .


Saturday, April 13, 2013

painted lady

dear emily,

my precious daughter in law and i were watching crazy utube make-up
tutorials last night.    don't do it!   they are completely addicting, kind of
like bill gothard chalk talks but without the spiritual lesson.

anyway, the next morning i thought i would try to follow the make up guy's
tips.    i was hoping for jennifer aniston, believing for judy dench, but landed
on bozo the clown.   my face was a lovely orange shade of pretend, my eyes
were as dark as the zombies my friend brenda likes, and my mouth was 'nude'
as death.

the moral of the story:  color glows best from hearty souls not painted faces.


ps.   "and Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his
finger . . . if any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw
a stone."  john 8:6,7

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

the rise and fall of the united states empire

dear emily,

when i flip through the channels and pass by a "housewife" series, i have
conflicting responses.   my first inclination is to speed up, as one crazy lady
with gigantic green manacles will be screaming at a terrifying woman in an
enormous diamond collar.   who would subject herself to watch such horror?  
there is a perfectly good sci-fi channel for that.

on the other hand, it is somewhat intriguing (from a strictly anthopological
stand point) to realize that our curiousity about their inane lives is probably
the final signal of our nation's downfall.   when the apes take over, they will
display these housewives in cages as a lesson of our demise to their young.  

not the tea party.   not obama care.   snarling housewives.


"for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.   live as
children of light."  ephesians 5:8

Thursday, April 4, 2013

you may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg

dear emily,

i had the frustrating experience of peeling a dozen eggs this week.  one
stubborn shell kept grabbing chunks of its nutritious 'white', no matter
how carefully i plied.   in agitation, i chucked it down the disposal.  that
was satisfying, until i realized i had just thrown the baby out with the bath

many of my friends had counsel for me.  "pour a little salt in the boiling
water . . . pour some baking soda in the water . . . boil for 5 minutes . . .
boil for 20 minutes . . . let cool water run between the shell and the egg
after boiling . . . only use old eggs."

if i could have run cool water between the shell and the egg, then i could
have removed the darn shell instead!    why would i want to eat an old
egg?   and, how did i get to be such an old egg without knowing how to
peel them??

in many ways i am like those pesky eggs.   i hold onto my shell with such
tenacity that my very skin and muscle seem to peel away with its removal.  
thankfully, the Lord has put patient people around me who, hopefully, will
not throw me down the disposal.


"love is patient, love is kind . . ."  I corinthians 13:1

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


dear emily,

this year i became a poetry reader after a lifetime of devouring books.

at first, i considered poems like the vegetables on my plate.    "eat your
vegetables first and get them over with."  i realized that my own words
would be richer if i read the condensed, perfectly chosen bites of great
poets.    i hoped that sweetly written phrases like, "oh good, old brown
earth" (browning) would soak into my dry, crumbly soil.

now, however, i inhale these poems, because they are as addicting as my
daughter's roasted broccoli with garlic, red pepper, and parmesan.    when
i savor a delicately seasoned refrain like, "twilight comes to the little farm,"
(carruth) it nourishes the hunger i didn't even know i had.

i pray that along with eating healthy doses of scripture,  my crusty shell
will become good, old brown earth, yielding its own crop of nourishment. 
of course, a lot of silly crops will grow there, too.    if i eat my vegetables,
i should get my dessert.


"the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field."  matthew 13:44

Saturday, March 16, 2013

false advertising

dear emily,

my friend janette reminded me of a story i shared with her about finding the
perfect wedding dress for our daughter.    a frightening ice storm stole our
power six years ago, chasing us south to dallas for a few days.   hans stayed
home to guard and tend to the house, but all five kids left with me.

while there, we decided to do a little wedding dress shopping for the bride
to be.   she is tall, willowy, and beautiful, but no one would describe her as
buxom, a fun word to say.   buxom, buxom, buxom.   sorry.

she would pull back the curtain in a vision of glory, and her sisters would
exclaim, "oh, you look SO gorgeous!" (sigh)   her brothers would say, "umm,
a little frumpy, don't ya think?"   then the sisters would hit the brothers over
the head.

every dress she tried on was more lovely than the last, making the decision
difficult.    one of the dresses was form fitting and fitted at the top with
some kind of padded form.   the groom would have dissolved into foam on
sight.   the sisters (this sounds like a convent) and i,  "oohed and ahhed",
but the brothers . . .

well the younger, rascally brother max said, "wow, that looks awesome, but
don't you think it's false advertising?"


ps. "how beautiful you are, my darling!  oh, how beautiful!" song of songs 1:15

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


dear emily,

there is significance to our dreams.   my mother dreamed that she would
someday marry a prince, but i dreamed of becoming the next julie andrews.  
we both married princes, but there is only one julie andrews.

the truth is that i'm not really much of an intentional dreamer.    the dreams
i love are the ones that come to me during the night, the ones over which i
have little control.    i have a theory that when i don't pay attention to what
the Lord is saying during the day, He speaks to me at night.   that is not an
excuse, however, to ignore Him during the day.

"for God does speak - now one way, now another - though man may not
perceive it.  in a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on
men as they slumber in their beds . . . " job 33:14,15

i pay close attention to those messages, because i think they're important.
many of them have led me away from a dangerous path and toward an
answered prayer.   some have comforted my heart that worried for a loved
one.   other dreams have simply warned, "don't eat spicy food before bed."
the trick is to decipher one from the other;  giant helpings of the bible help
with that.

recently, i heard that a great author (of course, i can't remember his name)
would write half a chapter before he went to sleep, and many nights he
would dream the next sequence in his story.

it's a great excuse to get to bed early.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

the 'empties'

dear emily,

i have the 'empties' today.   you know that feeling . . .  well it's more a lack
of feeling that makes the simplest of chores seem daunting?    don't want
breakfast, don't want to take a walk or unpack my suitcase, don't want to
read me bible or even a book (i left the 'me', because it turned up the corners
of my mouth.)

this is what children feel like when we make them eat their vegetables but
they only want oreos.    when we grow up, we have to make ourselves do
things, too.    we need light but crave darkness and stillness and oreos.   the
smallest breeze could upset my apple cart.    if there were only some clouds,
i might go outside.

"but whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen
plainly that what He has done has been done through God."  john 3:21

i don't really get the last part, but the first part is my vegetable for today.


Monday, February 25, 2013


dear emily,

teenagers . . . did everybody get a little jolt at that word?  or at least a
tiny shiver?   oh, the power of a terrifying image.   forget "the walking
dead," how much scarier would "the multiplying teenager" be?

i remember watching disrespectful, mouthy teenagers in movies when
my angels were under ten and saying, "my children will never talk like
that."  i also thought that i would never be 'that' mom.    you know, the
one who morphs from june cleaver to joan crawford.

and the oscar for the most horrifying mom on the planet goes to . . .

if i could do it all over, which i can't, i would train up those bandits just
the way i did BUT not have a conniption fit when they strayed outside
the lines.    i would mete out a just consequence and say, "you're
smarter than this, but i still love you.   now go make me a martini."


"when the Lord brought back the captives to zion . . . our mouths were
filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy."   psalm 126:1, 2


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

squirrely stuff

my dog, jack, was barking his fool head off.
"squirrel! squirrel!!  squirrel!!!"

i'm not sure if it's the same squirrel who torments
him morning, noon, and night, but i would like
to thump him.  

yesterday, the pesky varmint frittered across our
swimming pool on top of the net.  i think he was
daring jack to come get him.   had jack not been
such a wise dog, he would have bounded out, and
sunk through the net.

i'll be danged if i let a squirrel kill my dog.


ps.   "it's the little foxes who kill the vines."  song of solomon 2:15

Friday, February 1, 2013


dear emily,

i have done many foolish things but right at the top of that list is getting
eyelash extensions.   just saying it makes me feel stupid . . . but they
looked SO beautiful.   instead of waking up to look like the palm of my
hand, i glided out of bed as princess kate.

unfortunately, those silly lashes had to be repaired every TWO weeks
which took about TWO hours.    as punishment for the sin of vanity,
my real-life puny lashes all fell out.

the princess turned into a frog.

it only took TWO months for my lashes to grow back, just long enough
to teach me a lesson.    if God had wanted me to have gorgeous, long
eyelashes, He could have made me be a cow. . . which is still better
than a frog.


ps.   "vanity, vanity, all is vanity!"   ecclesiastes 1:2

Saturday, January 26, 2013


dear emily,

somehow, i misplaced our big, black family NIV bible (christmas, i guess.)    in
its place, my mother in law's big, black king james stepped up.   how in the
world did i get that, i wonder?   no matter, i love it.   the beautifully
expressive language has won my heart.

"for they call themselves of the holy city and STAY themselves upon the God of
israel."   isaiah 48:2

this 'calling' and 'staying' puts me in the mind of my westie, jack.   even
though he doesn't always come when i call,  he only feels safe when in my
home (city.)   he stays at my feet, eyes and ears tuned to me, whether i am
at the kitchen table, piano, or stove.

stay:  continue, remain, wait, endure, keep up (as in a race), stand one's
         ground, cinch (as in a girdle), root into

oh, to be a dogkeeper in the house of the Lord . . .


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

An Ode to John Fogerty

dear emily,

some day when your crew grows older and comes home for happy weeks
at a time, this is what your kitchen will enjoy.    max is on the right, hidden
beneath a baseball cap.   they saved the best part for the last.

he's my huckleberry!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

is the author's life as important as her book?

dear emily,

i accompanied my mother in law all the way down to florida's tiny key
west for a writer's seminar.    to rub shoulders with the reigning kings and
queens of the literary kingdom and not to make a total fool of myself has
been tiring.   and exhilarating.

i knew enough to be bring sunscreen, but should have also brought my
dictionary.  the authors' jargon of choice was poly-everything.   polyphonic,
polymath, polysyllabic . . . all i knew was polyester.

the key note speaker, phyllis rose, maintained that we should be careful
judging the author by her book.    some of her may be in the book, but she
might also be completely different.   it made me wonder, who is the most
important, the author or the book?

i adore jane eyre but am only grateful to charlotte bronte.    should it be the
other way around?   which came first . . . miss bronte?   or did she come
alive as she created her lovely book?

the chicken or the egg?   my brain is a little scrambled.


ps.  "but we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing
power is from God and not from us."    2 corinthians 4:7