Friday, September 29, 2006

signs of the times

top clues that my kids are getting older:
1. after school today there were 6 teenage boys filling my house; playing video games, cleaning out the kitchen cupboard and jumping on the trampoline

2. I overheard my daughter from downstairs screaming and banging on the bedroom door of her older sister, "Turn down your music...I'm ON THE PHONE!"

3. I have two kids leaning over my shoulder right now forcing me off the computer....

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Last night at 11:30
i was headed for bed
when i took off my jewelry
i was surprised to find
a hoop earring
in my left ear
and a diamond stud
in my right

i saw about 50 people yesterday
no one said a word

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

back in the book of Matthew

I took a little break from the book of Matthew, but got back today where I left off... Matthew 18.

what a loaded chapter! I think for the longest time, I've really overlooked the first part about children and just assumed that as long as I wasn't a child-abuser or pedophile than I didn't need to spend too much time there.

I was wrong. By now, this does not surprise me.

I don't know for sure yet how verses 1-9 apply to me, but I have a strong feeling that it will somehow be connected to these words about the passage from Eugene Kennedy ...

"A child, above all, is unselfconscious, incapable of artifice, and capable, then, of grasping the attitudes and motivations of others with a clarity that is astounding.
The Kingdom belongs to the people who aren't trying to look good or impress anybody, including themselves... God smiles on those people who are not aware of themselves and are not full of plots about how to seize the world's attention. The first citizens of the Kingdom Jesus preaches are the lovers who give themselves without studied awareness to their spouses, children, students, and friends.
These wonderful people reveal God freshly in every generous and unplanned impulse of their hearts....The Kingdom belongs to those, as artless as children, who love others simply and directly, without thinking about anything but them."

Have you ever spent time trying to remember back -- waaayyy back-- before the accumulation of wounds and sins (committed by yourself and others) piled up like too many layers of paint over your self??

I have. And this is what I recall.

I was a child who took delight in loving other people. I saw nothing foolish in giving myself to people for the basic reason of seeing them smile...making them happy. I was happy and I loved the things around me -- my bedroom, my toys, my Grandma's macaroni salad at family picnics -- so why shouldn't everyone else share in that joy, too??

I know boundaries have to be learned. That God didn't intend for us to grow up with no discernment and protection. But I'm thinking about my little girl-heart. That heart of giving for the joy of giving and loving for the joy of loving and smiling for the joy of smiling...that is what I picture now when I'm thinking about Jesus' words.

I believe Jesus can take me back to that heart-place again -- the place where I know I am not alone and unprotected, but loved and cared for. I think that heart place feels like the unknown child sitting on Jesus' knee in verse 2. The teacher Jesus sought out the best visual possible to illustrate his point.

He has my attention.
Now on to my favorite topic of conflict, joy, joy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

blogging and church...

OK -- so I attended a Breakout on Blogging at the!

Basically, four staff people from Granger Community Church gave the how-to's and why-to's of blogging. I was surprised at how few people in the room not only did not have a blog, but did not read blogs. I mean I know it is a relatively new way to communicate, but it surprised me that I was already addicted to something so cutting edge! : )

A couple of tidbits...

personal guidelines from Kem Meyer, Director of Communications:
*don't apologize for late blogging (did you hear that burningalive?!?)
*don't overlink (there's only three in this post so I doing OK?)
*it is possible to go too far in vulnerability

....from Tony Morgan, Pastor of Administrative Services:
*avoid 'showing too much skin' (the vulnerability thing again because blogs are personal, but not private)
*post daily in order to build an audience (but I guess, don't apologize if you don't?!?)
*avoid blog "flirting" - revealing too much, too often (not sure of the difference between this and number 1...maybe I was confused, but I do remember that this is where he brought his wife up on the stage and they engaged in a full-body embrace to demonstrate the point!)
*reveal idiosyncrasies (ex. Tony apparently has a hotel soap fetish that he likes to discuss)
*build people up to encourage...Don't use the blog to attack
*build a personal brand in order to build an audience
*keep audiences -- both primary and secondary -- in mind when pushing hot buttons (apparently Tony recently used his blog to comment on how unoriginal he feels Christian worship music has become...)

anyway...I also learned a whole bunch of techno-geek stuff about RSS feeds and different blog services and how to study how often and what time of day people visit my blog (Google Analytics...) right now I could probably just ask you guys -- burningalive, healingrain, jhaas and anonymous...when do you visit and how often? : )

So -- cool stuff -- who knows where blogging will lead us next?!? Maybe I'll convince Brian to start posting -- finally!

Have a great day--

ps. I forgot to say that I went to this breakout with Michelle and we had a lot of fun giggling over everything together (btw...I WISH I could link her name to something, but she does not yet have a blog, although I keep pestering her to do so!) OH! I also sat in front of Nancy Beach, one of my personal church heroes...I passed her a note in class...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

been on the road again...

It's been exactly a year ago this month that I left my corporate sales training job to come home and see my kids and husband and friends more than half the month. And, other than a comparatively short trip to Delaware this summer, it has been a year since I have spent so many hours zooming along the highway in uncomfortable vehicles -- enjoying the scenery of cornfields, truck stops and yucky public restrooms!

Using the privilege of being married to the Executive Administrator at UCCC to its best advantage, I tagged along with Brian and several of the new staff to the Innovative Church Conference in Granger, Indiana. Now, this was by far NOT my first-ever church conference, but it was my first time to Granger Community Church. Honestly, my goal in going was not to learn more about this church, but to spend some quality time with the new staff and my husband and get a chance to eat out a couple of times!

Goal accomplished.

The 12 hour ride to the conference and the 10 hour ride back (we made our bladders behave and saved 2 hours on the way home!), I was given the gift of listening to each person's Story...the history of them -- the good, bad and the ugly. I feel like a bigger person now. My view of God is larger and my hope for our community has grown after hearing the creative and merciful ways He rescued each person and is painting out the purpose for their lives. Beautiful.

Now, no conference will ever duplicate the "first time". I told my friend Michelle that the first Willow Creek Arts conference I attended I was basically reduced to a puddle on the floor because I couldn't stop crying. In the very first session of that first conference -- in fact the very first song of the very first session of that first conference I began to bawl because I was watching kids singing and dancing their hearts out on stage and there was JOY on their faces. They represented my biggest dream as a child...the one that just sort of faded away with all the disappointments and mundane-ness of life.

So...even though I can never duplicate that first experience, the most valuable take-away from every church conference I have attended since has been the refreshment and enlargement of my PERSPECTIVE.

This is a key learning for me. Otherwise, it is possible to attend one too many church conferences. One can become disillusioned and discouraged and just plain, old 'dissed' by all the noise and energy and well-known speakers and unknown faces and -- the fabulous video mixing boards -- of these mega-churches. BUT -- if I can accomplish these two goals, I'll keep coming back again and again - - STORY & PERSPECTIVE.

more later....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the death of alone and unprotected

...alone and unprotected....

this is the message of my wounds from my very earliest memories .... the name given me by the foul and slithering enemies that schemed against me in my exuberant youth...

...this is the message that God has been transforming into 'loved and cared for' as I continue to bore into the core of Him and I continue to let Him make the rules in my relationships with other people...

...alone and unprotected wakes me up in the dark stillness of night with sadness and fear and scary pictures in my head....

...loved and cared for is what pulls off the covers of me and moves me from my breathless sleep to cry heart tears of pain and anger and hurt to my Abba... between the darkness of dreams and the light of his voice, i invite Him into those curled up corners of my soul... to bring His gentle truth caresses ...the ones that whisper secrets to me about who He is and who I am....

....loved and cared for, i uncurl and stretch out and breathe fully again.... good dream is that alone and unprotected will become courageous and dangerous to the enemy and his forces and his lies (and all those traitors who have joined his side)....

....loved and cared for is rejected by my skulking flesh who would prefer to be entitled to a state of victimhood....

....loved and cared for is accused and mocked by my enemy who wishes to take me to a place of self-pity and self-protection which is the doorway to despair and death...

...alone and unprotected is my enemy and is only truth about the name he has chosen for is not the real me...

....loved and cared for is my eternal name .... it is stamped on my forehead and on his hands and in his eyes and, i'm sure, magic-markered on my heavenly nametag...

ps. if i'm reading Psalm 95 even closely to correctly, then my strong Abba also promises to put all of my enemies back into their place and to bring justice where abuse has been given his time and in his way and in his mercy (merciful Daddy, please go kick their butts!!)

Friday, September 08, 2006

the curse of self-absorption

an entry from my journal on August 3: (and a fulfillment of my promise of a Lewis poem to burningalive!)

I can not sleep this morning so I’m sitting in front of a fan at my computer (4:30am being the only time I can get the computer from the children these days!) I have just started reading through some old journals and found this poem and quote I recorded from C.S. Lewis’ book, Surprised by Joy.
I think the connection to our conversations yesterday is fairly obvious….

"All this is flashy rhetoric about loving you.
I never had a selfless thought since I was born.
I am mercenary and self-seeking through and through;
I want God, you, all friends merely to serve my turn.
Peace, reassurance, pleasure are the goals I seek,
I cannot crawl one inch outside my proper skin;
I talk of love – a scholar’s parrot may talk Greek –
But, self-imprisoned, always end where I begin."

"The overwhelming majority of time I spend thinking abut myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself, and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the needy. Six billion people live in this world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me."

"…I imagined life outside of narcissism. I wondered how beautiful it might be to think of others as more important than myself. I wondered at how peaceful it might be not to be pestered by that childish voice that wants for pleasure and attention. I wondered what it would be like not to live in a house of mirrors everywhere I go reminded of myself."

"I don’t like being reminded about how self-absorbed I was. I wanted to be over this, done with this. I didn’t want to live in a broken world or a broken me. I wasn’t trying to weasel out of anything, I just wasn’t in the mood to be on earth that night. (I get like that sometimes when it rains, or when I see certain sad movies.)"

Thursday, September 07, 2006

quote for the day

OK -- just priming the pump here....
this is one of my favorite quotes from the summer...I got it from as my quote of the day on August 31...

"I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right.
But my damn friends...They're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!"
-- Warren Gamaliel Harding

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

so much pressure to blog!

alright, I underestimated the amount of time I'd have this first day of school to blog -- what with the cookies to bake for the kids' homecoming (i'm not lying...i really do make cookies at least once a year!) and the quiet house to enjoy and the DESPERATELY NEEDED time with God to spend -- ummm...don't be mad, but I still don't have much to say.

Here's what I do have...
a collage of photos to celebrate the 'denoument' (don't even know if I'm using that word in the correct grammatic form -- ask Dan Allendar) of summer:

tubing and boating on Cayuga Lake

lots and lots and lots (did I say 'lots'?) of flood clean up...

a little bit of hiking (here we're at Buttermilk Falls)

a gorgeous and relaxing beach vacation in Delaware...

time with family around the campfire...

a new recipe that is delicious (have you ever had yellow tomatoes?
neither had I!)

...tea parties and slumber parties...


hours and hours and hours (did I say hours?) of vocal recording...

...and saying goodbye to good friends...

...and now back to school (our first year with a highschooler...yikes!)
So, dear blogging friends, it's been a long, full and -- at times -- somewhat cruel summer (think Banarama!) I am so ready for Fall and I'll be back soon.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...