Things I love and things I’ve learned

1. Things I love

  • Yesterday was Noelle’s birthday. Today is Emily’s. I love that they have back-to-back birthdays, although I seriously doubt that they do. It wasn’t planned that way and wasn’t even supposed to be that way. Noelle was due at the end of December and Emily was due at the end of January. Instead, they were born on January 12 and 13. Officially, they were 3 years and 9 hours apart, the times just happened to straddle midnight.
  • I love this blogpost by Mike Cope. I love Mike Cope too, and I love that God brought him into my life. He was our preacher when I was in high school and college. He was YOUNG. I didn’t realize exactly how young until much later, but he was young and deep and thoughtful. I love reading his blog now.
  • I love the slow beginning to the semester that we’ve had. It was going to be a gradual transition anyway but having the snow days really slowed things down in a spectacular way.

2. Things I’ve learned

  • I’ve learned that cutting back on caffeine and going back to work is not a good combination.
  • I’ve learned that I don’t really like pizza other than on thin crust, and that two pieces really are enough.
  • I’ve learned that when I’m patient enough, I can still edit a webpage by going into the raw code. Do I like it? No, but I can do it.
  • I’ve learned that I retain more of what I write than what I type. This is causing a return to physical journaling.
  • I’ve learned that “journaling” is not a word in the spell check program. But it is now. I just added it.
  • I’ve learned that no matter how well I sleep during the breaks, once work starts, I don’t sleep well.

One more note: I just started working through Marianne Williamson’s book, “A Course in Weight Loss.” So far, I really like it. Although I am doing the work in a pen-and-paper journal, I will be writing about it here. I hope you don’t mind hearing about my food angst.

We interrupt this busyness . . .

for a day outside of time.

Isn’t that what a snow day feels like? A day that somehow just doesn’t count on the calendar as used or lost or even as existing? It’s a magic bit of time to use however you want or need.

My snow day has included reflection time this morning, reading, much needed house work, blueberry muffin baking, picture taking, and grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup making.

If I had a dollar for everything time I’ve said, “Close the door!” then I probably wouldn’t have to go back to work.

If a photograph could capture the feeling of hope and restoration that I feel when I look out the window, I would take more pictures.

Today, however, I want to just soak it up. Let the kids trail in and out or watch too much tv and play Beatles Rock Band or Just Dance. Talk Harry Potter. Speculate about the possibility of school tomorrow.

Because whatever happens today doesn’t count. It’s a day outside of time.

A prayer for the new year

Holy Father,

God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows.

We praise You for Your unequaled greatness.

Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead.

Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more.

To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them.

To teach others to love by loving them.

Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us.

So that Love could be with us, and we could know You.

That we could share Love with others.

Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise,

in the chirping of sparrows in our backyards,

in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.

Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs,

so that we may know You better and better.

We rejoice in the world You loved into being.

Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.

We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others.

Forgive us for falling short this past year.

We leave the irreparable past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.

We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what’s ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..

I say it again, we rejoice!

In Jesus name,


Prayer from:

10 things you may not know (or: Confession is good for the soul)

1. I could easily be a recluse. I know I’m usually thought of as a people person, but I could very easily spend the rest of my life in sweatpants, watching The View.

2. Speaking of The View, I really like it. I realize I just alienated a lot of people in my life, but there are so few places in our culture where women get to speak honestly about what’s happening in every day life, that I find The View refreshing. And I really like Whoopi Goldberg. Go figure.

3. I’m resisting this whole deal-with-your-food-issues thing. What I would love is to just wake up with a smaller, healthier body in which I could run a 5K for all the causes I care about and then go dance the night away for fun.

4. The other day, I watched three hours of a show called Little Miss Perfect. It’s about moms and daughters getting the daughters ready for one particular pageant. It was like a train wreck; horrible, but completely engrossing to behold. What I learned: I am a much better mother than I give myself credit for.

5. I love my job, but still have serious resentment about having to work. The resentment is primarily aimed at our culture which makes it so d*** hard for people to live moderately and modestly. We all live at breakneck speed and yet feel like we’re barely accomplishing anything. Something is seriously wrong with a culture that will not allow people to slow down enough to actually enjoy life. We spent our breaks from work recovering. That’s not vacation; it’s detox.

6. I also resent the fact that Western Christianity has turned a message of “my yoke is easy and my burden is light,” into a list of things to do. Why did I have be 40 before I learned the value of meditation? And why are we so WORKS focused that we think it’s wrong to slow down? (see Thing #5 above)

7. I have an appointment to talk bifocals with my eye doc next week. I am getting old.

8. I didn’t tell you what I got for Christmas, did I? Oh my. Hmmm . . . it’s a really big deal. I cried. Here’s a hint:
And here’s another:

I’ll see if you can figure it out.

9. I often wish that those two British women would come clean my house for me. Better yet, I wish that Ty Pennington would just come build me a new one.

10. I tend to run late. In fact, I’m running behind schedule right this very minute and should NOT be doing this. So, I’ll sign off for now and go change out of my reclusive sweats and have lunch with mi familia! Ciao!

So how’s that readin’ thAng goin’?

I finished The Forgotten Garden last night. It was really good, but with kids at home and a dear friend having surgery, I’ve just been reading in bits and pieces. If you have a chance, read it, but it would be better if you could do it in big stretches.

Funny story — one night when I was almost finished with the book, I decided to take a bath and read in the tub so I could finish it up. I got in there and about five minutes later, the electricity went out. If you’ve never been in a bathroom, soaking in the tub when the lights go out, I don’t really recommend it if you have issues with the dark or with claustrophobia. Early in my life, I definitely had issues with the dark, but it’s one of the things that God has helped me overcome so it wasn’t that bad. I did have to choose to be calm, though. It would’ve been easy to get panicky and I would’ve been completely terrified by it in my early 20’s. Bet you didn’t know that about me, did you?

So the rest of my fiction list is still sitting there. I will probably skip everything but True Grit and postpone them until Spring Break. I started my intense re-read of Women, Food, and God this morning and will follow it with Thin Within. I’m going to use the blog for accountability on food issues. I will most likely NOT keep importing it to Facebook so if you want to read my ramblings and musings, you’ll need to go to You can follow the blow or subscribe through a reader, but I just really don’t want to delve into my lifelong food and body image issues in such a public venue like Facebook so after this post, I’m going to discontinue the import.

Now . . . I need to take a shower and get dressed so I can pick my kiddoes up from school. I haven’t been a total sloth. No one can be called a sloth who gets four loads of laundry done and vacuums two rooms and a hall, right? However, I have yet to identify the funky smell around my computer. Hopefully, it isn’t me. Taking a shower should solve that mystery.

Happy 2011, everyone!

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