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more than a wife. . . an exausted woman

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Wednesday, September 03, 2003


BTW... I now have a new blog courtesy of Gina's good man Ryan Hale. Here is the url: http://bethkeck.com/.

From here on out , I will be posting on that site instead. Also, if you get a chance, and you link to me, maybe you can update.

Thanks.



OK... so here's the other story... regarding beauty... that I promised 2 post's back...

A few years ago, I was on the beach in Cancuun, Mexico. I had my daughter there, and some of my nieces and nephews. There were a few older women (above age 50) with us... some friends, some family, who joined us, for lunch. I remember the scene as if it were yesterday. I looked up under the umbrellas, and there they all were.... In their tennis dress type bathing suits... large round glasses, and tightly chopped short hair. They were engrossed in deep conversation and looked disturbed about something. I noticed that they kept looking at this other older (perhaps 65) woman. I wandered up to where they were all sitting to get something to drink and heard them discussing this woman. They said that they wouldn't dream of being seen in that type of suit (bikini) with all those wrinkles, saddle-bags and cellulite... Imagine.. a woman HER AGE playing frisbee and letting it all hang out .!!!

Well... I got so upset that I found myself blurting out "WHat I see is a beautiful woman who is enjoying herself. ..Do you think years from now her grandchildren are going to think once about her physical imperfections? NO...They aren't thinking about them now, either. They are having a blast playing frisbee. " And I stomped off to join the game.

Now, there could have been a more tactful way to get my point across...of course...But something snapped in me, and I made a promise to myself then and there. I refuse to pass that kind of heritage on to my daughters..to young women in general. The obsession with our imperfections (of which we all have our share) is vanity. No two ways about it. It is not modesty either, although in certain circles it gets touted as such. And it's awful companion, criticism, gets fair play in these circles as well, as those who were 'offended' bad mouth the 'offender' full throttle.

As an aside, these women I was travelling with did NOT play with their grandchildren during that trip, but gave plenty of instructions on how to be polite, and safe, and do everything better than it was beng done...BIG problem- reserved for another post in the future I am sure )

We WERE in Mexico, but the woman was French... not a likely mix for modesty, by Conservative American Church culture standards. But this is where a bit of Cultural Anthropology could have been helpful. I once heard Peter Flemming (I believe brother to one of the Equador Martyrs - martyred with Jim Elliot) talk about going to a remote part of Africa where the people didn't even wear clothes... only to see the men put bark on their backs and vines aroud their necks on Sunday. When he inquired as to what they were doing they said it was neccessary because the proir missionary in charge told them that it was 'disrespectful' to worship God without a coat and tie on... ...

How many rules about modesty and beauty and what God requires are we faced with that are screwed up? More than we can cover I am sure... Shout out...educate me.. if you have to , but please think about it...


Monday, September 01, 2003


I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who came out to be with us this past weekend. It was great getting to know you all a bit better... Eric and I feel priveledged to have had that time with you, learning together from Dallas Willard's storehouse, getting fat on Debbie Hunter's fine cooking, and taking in all the beauty that we were surrounded by at Mark and Jeanette's place. It was a feast in every way!

For those of you who could not be there, check Eric's notes and the many links you'll see there...

During the weekend the girls and I discussed this blog below, and I loved hearing all the different opinions and ideas that came forth in person. I think the shout outs were interesting as well... I learn so much when you disagree, so keep it ALL coming. I'll have to tell you that story I promised next time as there are a bunch of kids dropping by right now...and it is a holiday....

d


Tuesday, August 26, 2003


Here comes a rant... has very little to do with our vacation, but I found myself thinking these things many times over during that time, so, perhaps I'm following through, as promised...

I knew an old man and his wife who had been missionaries for many years in a conservative denomination. I asked him if he had 'pearls' that he would share about life, and the enjoyment of it...He surprised me with his comment. "There are three things that you should never scrimp on, no matter how poor you are at moment...they are good food, good wine, and fine lingerie...".

I agree... good food makes you feel good, good wine makes everyone else look good, and good lingerie makes even an old t-shirt and jeans (notice I am not saying sweats) look pretty...Which brings me to my rant...

Since we were created female .... (clearly I am speaking to the ladies...) why do so many women dress like men? Is it any harder to throw on a fun little skirt and a pretty cap sleeve T than a pair of knee length twills with bottom-broadening pockets and your husband's X-L T shirt? And what is with the hair-do's (AKA hair-dont's)...is pretty hair a lot of work? What about the bathing suits (not to mention the bathing suits covered by that same X-L T-shirt)... ) Are we going out for some fun in the sun or are we part of the witness protection program?...

I'm just agahst...

And here's the other side of the pendulum...

Do I have to dress like a living tribute to Laura Ingles Wilder to be considered Godly? Do I have to steer clear of the jewelry isle? Do I need to buy loose jeans that button around my rib cage in order not to stumble the ones who loaned me the rib in the first place....

It reminds me of an actual real life story... I was at a Bible Study pot-luck a couple years back. I was out playing with my daughter and her friends on the swings. I figured I'd go in and help the "ladies" set up for the dessert, and when I walked in the kitchen the chatter subsided...it was a little awkward and a little obvious.. so one of the benefactoress'es blurted out.."We were just talking about you..." (raised eyebrow from me...)..."Yeah...we were just saying how we feel sorry for you..." (Why is that?, I say)..."Yeah...we feel sorry for you because that daughter of yours...she is so pretty...she's gonna give you a run for your money when she is older". "So let me get this straight", I say..."You feel sorry for me because my daughter is pretty?"... "Yeah"... she said, " the boys are gonna be knocking your doors down...We feel sorry for you"...to which they all joined in with a hearty "Amen"...

When the laughter died down I made a joke about Eric being on the other side of those doors with a loaded rifle.. . But then tried to turn the convesation into one that bore some truth . I said it was our hope that we were all raising our daughters with good values and self respect...And that those girls that were "fortunate enough" to be born unattractive would be supportive and kind to the Snow Whites , Cinderellas, and Esthers in their worlds. ..THEN, maybe we would begin to see some changes around here...

I rememeber when I said this it stunned a couple of them... But it also fixed in my memory a picture that I wont forget...is it familiar to you? There were these women...daughters of a beautiful and creative Lord.. and every one of them were donning acid wash jean cut-off shorts (rolled up to the knee..and its 2000 AD now) and oversized Tshirts with Disney characters or floral scenes... They all had the same un-cared-for looking feet, and they were laughing to themselves that they felt sorry for ME....

When it was finally over I left the place being glad that I had not brought any of my neighbors (especially the ones that have 'pretty' daughters!)... I saw it as all wierd and backwards...but mainstream and acceptable...(to them)

I think that we do ourselves and our daughters, and ultimately GOD a huge dis-service when we down play our femininity. And I think that the definition of femininity has lost itself in religiousity and fear and jealousy. I have another story, but I want to see your definition of femininity and beauty and
godliness first... So by all means ... Shout Out!


Friday, August 22, 2003


Hellooooooo...
I have way too much to write to actually post now...we just got back from a month's vacation, and I really missed you guys (AKA Bloggers, Shouter - Outers etc.)

I got to access the blogs a few times ... mostly to read...my access was thru Web TV...('nufff said!!!)
I fully loved reading your blogs, though and felt like I was connected somewhat...

Thank you to Kevin Rains for calling Eric and me to tell us of Jennifer Palmer's passing. Having never met her, but having read Mark's blogs all along, we truely grieve over this loss. We experienced one facet of the partnership that we are priveledged to be a part of with all of you. Weeping with those that weep happens in Cyberspace as well...one of those tried and true principles of the thing called church...just tweeked for our time...

It is good to come home... I am so grateful to be back ...although I have mountains of mail and laundry to deal with not to mention a fridge full of petrie dishes... we got wonderful welcome from all we have seen...But I miss the folks back east...it's bound to be a crazy week ... Thanks for checking in...


Friday, August 01, 2003


on the road and not near a computor too much, hopefully i will get a chance to blog in the next week


Tuesday, July 15, 2003


Today I am grateful to be alive. I realize that I have more going for me than I did when I was twenty (and a bit more arrogant)...Although I have more wrinkles, a few grey hairs and some pretty good evidence that I have had the priviledge of bearing 4 children in my later years, I see that I am a more comfortable person, with myself and with others....I care less about impressing people, and am more serious about knowing them. I understand less of God than I thought I did, but that gives me greater confidence in Him.
I have learned that my parents did an outstanding job providing for me spiritually and physically. I stand amazed at the opportunities I have had to see the many places and cultures that differ from mine. I feel priveleged as well as humbled to have the most incredible group of friends who have peppered my world and helped to make life a wild ride...

In addition to the tributes I have made to my husband on this blog, I can honestly state that they don't even convey a fraction the credit he deserves. I am so grateful to have him as my life partner... Life has been exilerating...I look forward to the future...

We're going on a date soon. So I gotta go.

Thanks for dropping by, and enjoy your world!


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Tuesday, July 08, 2003


Had a scarey trip back from the mountains. Minutes before (and just a couple minutes after) heading down some steep , sharply winding canyon roads alongside a raging white water river, the back left wheel disconnected from the motorhome we were driving...I am still shakey at the thought of what could have happened to our family...but it didn't, and I just feel extremely fortunate and grateful to be alive...

Had a great exchange with Richard Foster last night . What a privilege to see and hear him communicate the desire of his heart, and the way God has shaped him through the years....

In regards to being disciplined, or response-able, I love a quote he cited...of Jean-Pierre DeCaussade's book, The Sacrament of the Present Moment:

"The only condition necessary for this state of self-surrender is the present moment in which the soul, light as a feather, fluid as water, innocent as a child, responds to every moment of grace like a floating balloon."

I feel more like a lead balloon....but I am hopeful for change...

I also loved what he said about his guidelines for dealing with others...
Encouragement - always
Advice - not often
Rebuke- once in a great while, and only when absolutely neccessary
Condemnation - never

I cannot say that is my pattern, but when I heard it I realized the truth in it. I also realized the truth in what he had said just prior...that to be disciiplined is to be able to do what needs to be done at the appropriate time...and that becoming disciplined is a life long procedure....

Clearly I have my work cut out for me....and thats one more reason to be grateful for being delivered from the ever present danger this past weekend ...

EVERY day is a GIFT...I want to live it like that...


Saturday, June 28, 2003


l love where we live.... I used to only love it during the three cooler seasons...but I am beginning to love it in summer. Eric's favorite season here is the summer...the kyacking being insanely good (not too far from us)...the everpresent geo-thermically laced camp grounds, the lower cost of living coupled with the higher quality of life....I agree with the inherant good of all the above mentioned...but I tell you nothing paralyzes me like the heat...I have to figure that that is largely related to the fact that we have been either with child or with newborn for the past three years that we have lived here, and since at one point the babies were too young for sunscreeen, and at other points we just couldn't bear the oppressive high temperatures bouncing the heat off the pavement that seemed to be everywhere we needed to go....I felt trapped back then...perhaps would have felt trapped just by the way things were in our lives back then....things have changed...henceforth, my outlook has changed...or is it the other way around?...Debatable...
Eric and I were talking recently, and if you read my post re: Jeff's death below, you might understand why the coma illustration is so poignient to me lately. It really has been a whirlwind for the last decade+ and I feel, just recently with my youngest on her way out of diapers that I am waking up from a very long sleep....I credit that largely to the maturity of my children, but I also believe that the parts of a mother's personality that lay low when her children are tiny has to come alive/awake again...a process rather than a single event must take place...I affectionately refer to it hereon as the 'post-coma' stage of life.
I say 'process' because I believe to try and wake someone from that state before they are ready is as dangerous as waking a sleepwalker while they are sleepwalking on a thirdstory catwalk, or high bridge ....they may just fall to their death if you wake them...but they may make it home safely if the observers can just hope and pray and provide a safety net just in case...
I feel like my husband did those things for me...he offered me the time out, the time off, and the supprt to try the things that used to lite me up before all these (outstanding) babies were on the scene.
I've observed many woman who never wake up again...I have referrred to them in other posts...they just take on the vision of others (husbands in particular) , and end up living someone else's dream...not their own God given ones, and stay in the'coma'...Some stay because of the fear involved in the recouperative process of picking up the torch again, and the cost of changing time honored patterns/traditions...Some stay asleep because it is too painful to face the 'lost' years, and trust God to restore them...Some stay asleep because they don't know any better...and they havent had their men-folk pushing them out of the nest...
Hear me ladies..I am not suggesting that you all go and get jobs or run away with the next circus that comes to town...But I am saying take the time to pursue those passions and loves that you had before the blessings of children, home, and family were yours...When you do, everybody wins.......Remember ..."if Momma aint happy, ain't nobody happy..."
And gentlemen..of course you dont push too hard, but you provide your wives with the opprtuity to go out by making sure that you feed your children and help them to have a great time so the moms don't feel guilty leaving them...yeah..take 'em to McDonalds for 1/2 price happy meals if you have to , or whatever, but make it fun and something they look forward to...your kids will love it, and your wives will thank you...
In the post-coma situations I have observed where the men were an active part of the 'physical therepy', I see woman happy to be alive again...yeah...some of us swing a little far on the pendulum for a while, but we come back more alive and more real...and that is what drew you to us in the first place if you remember...
I do love where I live more lately...but that might be because I am actually LIVING here more lately...


Thank you, Eric...love of my life...




Friday, June 20, 2003


My friend Jeff died last night....he left a wife and three young boys...I spoke to him recently about dying...about worship, about life...We used to play in a band together, having fun and leading people into worship. He told me recently that he realized that he had never understood worship until becoming sick...

Years back, I was scheduled to do a CD (with Jeff as the Bass Guitarist). I had just been offered full financial backing, tour schedule and all the trimmings, and it was like a dream come true. When Jeff called to set up scheduling, I had just found out I was pregnant with my son....( a truely miraculous event) .. But when I told Jeff that I was pregnant there was dead air...It was a very strange encounter. He had kids already, and loved them dearly, but he indicated that this news was less than welcome. I was hurt by this , but I also knew the truth in it. Who wants to go to a concert where the woman is full blown pregnant, and there was talk of 40 shows in one year...Not to mention my history of high risk pregnancy and miscarriage...But my pregnancy with my son had started out on a very unusual note already (we had been told we would never have children again..by TWO specialists in NYC, and a miriad of crazy but true (we were to find out) dreams and visions from friends and strangers concerning him and his birth...)...I told Jeff that I felt that this was a gift from God, and that it was too significant to deny. So how was I to do a CD about the stuff of life and resent it when I was in the thick of it??? He acknowledged this, but pretty much we agreed to disagree.

Well, the board decided to go ahead and continue in the recording since they didn't know what else to do...my doctor had already told me that the pregnancy was not looking too trustworthy , and I had some restricitions and horrible medicine to take. But off we went...

I proceeded to to head out east and lay down some tracks, but , due to the high level of hormones in the medicine and a natural predisposition to vomiting all throughout a pregnancy, I got so sick in the first few days of recording that I can actually hear the extra drool in my mouth on some of the vocal tracks. (in fact just listening to the rough cut still makes me naseaus..) I remember Jeff getting pretty bummed out about all this. Naturally. I was a bit verclempt myself...but I was carrying an irreplaceable gift in my belly...and that seemed to sustain a sense of hope in me despite the obvious impending delay of any musical ambition.

At the risk of rambling (which I suppose I have already done, but I am going somewhere...I assure you), a lttle history behind the dissappointment Jeff and I were experiencing on diffferent levels....I had been offered an incredible deal right before Eric and I got married by a producer I had admired my whole music consious life (Larry Norman) and that fell through for us when he (LN) had a massive heart attack and had to lay low for an indefintely long spell of time. I should mention that I found out a week after this happened to Larry that I was unexpectantly pregnant with my first baby ( after only being married 4.5 weeks, moving to California, having no other job and a husband in school full time ), and I truley believe that had I become pregnant without that having happened to Larry, and having our musical ambitions put on hold, I would have seriously resented this amazing gift of life that God had allowed me to be a part in... My precious daughter...I knew instinctively as it was all unfolding that this was going to be something good, although I didn't know how it was going to work out...but I did grieve the death of a dream.

So for both Jeff and myself this seemed to be a repeat scenerio...different producer...but still.. a potentially cushie situation...and he was disappointed, and a little ticked off. I say all this knowing he is no longer here to defend himself, but read on, because I will defend him...

We talked a bit about it then, and a bit after I left the East coast, and then the project was put on hold shortly before I was put on bed rest for three months with my pregnancy. I had to let go...realize that if worship was what I was supposed to do, then I was supposed to pratice it through disappointment, lack of noteriety, and even grotesque camoflaging of the good intended for each of us.

My good friend, Bill Burgess, told me during that trouble , "If nothing else, it (Hard times - waiting in general) will certainly give more grit to your music"....which was the best insightful advice I had had in years regarding worship...Where Im heading with this is that I didn't understand much about worship until I had nobody clapping for me, we were dirt poor, everything we owned was breaking,...we were alone, misrepresented, stolen from, disappointed, sick, grieving, and miserable...THAT is when the REAL worship began...

My other friend, John B, once told me that he wanted nothing more than to be able to say at the end of his life that he had been faithful to his wife, and that he'd raised his kids to love God and their fellow man....this said after watching a large number of his like-wise 'successful' peers in the "Christian Music" industry fall from high places...

So recently, when Jeff and I spoke, we talked about worship..He had just come out of a coma (from the effects of stomach cancer he didn't even know he had until he couldn't breathe one day...at that point he was given a month or two to live, and went comatose after some emergency surgery meant to improve the quality of his life)

The prayers for his healing were answered in a strange and obscure way.

During the time of his coma he remembers battling with an incredibly beautiful woman who was telling him to "Just give up", that she already "had his soul"..Not to waste his energy- because she had "already won"...and strange stuff like that...he said he knew he had to keep fighting,but at times she nearly convinced him. He told me that at one point when they thought he was dying for sure, he hit a 'roof' where he saw a bunch of monks writing on scroll's and he aruged to the 'being' beside him that there had to be more than this to the glory of God..that he knew he wasn't dead yet, because there was more to the glory of God than what he was seeing, then he woke up, I guess, shortly after.

He went into remission after coming out from the coma. During that time he got to reconcile with the people that he had been estranged from for years. His father began to believe in God, and Jeff got a second chance to truely bless his children....Something that was not expected, and certainly waged war against. Jeff told me that he understood worship differently now, and that everyday life, and the faithful living of it became a worshipful experience for him...there was no longer the desparation to 'do an album', but the need to truley worship ...to stand in awe of God, to realize that your every breath is in His hands, and to live that way. That is healing in some way...although so contrary to the way we expect it....or would want it.

I see , again, that life here is so backwards...but I think death has a way of giving perspective...Worship is a mystery...life is confusing...but God is still God...and my perception of what is 'good' is flawed....



Tuesday, June 17, 2003


Hey...I am very pleased to announce that I have found a hairdresser here in my home town that I really like....He remindes me of my brother , he is not gay (although Eric has always suggested that be a pre-requisite, since all Women I go to seem to chop off more than I ask them to and invariably try to give me 'bangs"), got all my jokes, and didn't try to sell me anything... (PS, my brother is not gay...I just re-read that and I realize that I am unclear at this hour....)Then Jeanette and I went out for dinner, and were laughing so hard it felt like someone had slipped mickies in our Pelligrino...I think I'm just tired, but I am wired as well...dilema...and when Jeanette announced "Hey, I know what this is...We're 'Slap Happy"..I was in stitches... .couldn't contain myself..it felt so good to laugh so hard over nothing that would have been funny at any other time, PLUS know that I finally have a hairdresser I like NEAR-BY..nice way to spend the evening...So much to be thankful for...so trivial and yet important enough...


Tuesday, June 10, 2003


Ok all you women out there , it's time to get vocal (and not just those of you who agree with me)...Do you have some older Godly women who are helping you along the way? Does it seem to anyone else that there very few woman that you would like to be a lot like when you are older yourself?

As a mother of young children I am constantly made aware how few women there are who are home during the day (especially in summer when more kids are in my house than are mine, just cuz I like an adult present), but I am troubled because there are so few older women at home that I can resource. I do have a handful of more mature women that I have beeen fortunate enough to know along the way, who have spoken into my life in ways that have influenced me greatly. Im getting to know some now (hello Donna and Debbie) and I am so grateful...

One of the difficulties I see in this pilgrimage we are on is the lack of older women involved. I dont think that my examples have to be living near me, or even alive anymore(some of their words are ringing in my ears, beyond their graves) ...But I'm lonely for their presence, admonishments, examples of vibrant life in Christ...it's been an ache in me for years...

My dear friend Janet Piorek had the chutzpah to tell me that now I am becoming one of the older woman...so....

All that being true...I still ache for the knowledge and resource on a regular basis....And despite my tendency to challenge so many things, I listen carefully...

What do you think?


Tuesday, June 03, 2003


It was one of those days...I had to find a legal document that is over 10 years old and we have moved MANY times...and I have three kids under the age of 5, and a dog (yippee), and I guess it just turned out to be a road rage moment, but I wasn't driving...
When I went back into the kitchen I discovered my youngest had been "cooking" with coffee grounds and oil...the damage spread over three counter tops and the floor... not to mention the two oranges she had "eaten" after "peeling" them with a butter knife so all their juice went anywhere but in her mouth...Then my 3 year old had been 'building' with an old cardboard box...no big deal...except that she had cut many many shreds of cardboard (with a steak knife) and they were strewn all over the living room floor...My oldest had done nothing wrong, but I am still grieving the loss of his BEAUTIFUL curly hair that some lady replaced with a glam-rock mullet last night when no one was looking, and I think Eric just assumed it would look normal when it was allowed to air dry..(we are not a mullet family, even though some of us sport unusual sideburns from time to time)...it looks like he cut it himself..I was going to take him in to get it fixed, but I HAD to go to the grocery store for neccessities, and after the morning I had, and the trip with all three to the store, we had to come home and let the 2 year old get a nap...I was able to do all the dishes., counters, and wash the kitchen floor when she did fall asleep, so that was positive, and heaven knows they all needed it...I am also thankful that I was able to find the document...saved us some money...and that the two middle children were playing nicely together rather than arguing while I did this stuff...So when Eric came home and ousted me for my night off, it was more than welcomed...

Please know I am go grateful to have children...I love them all more than I could ever articulate...which is perhaps partly why I am feeling extremely guilty that I am over here taking the night off when my sweet boy's hair is in desperate need of repair...except that he doesn't care one bit...so why do I? BECAUSE I AM HIS MOTHER! And no matter how crazy I feel and know I need to get some time away, I still feel guity leaving...why is that?


Wednesday, May 28, 2003


Sometimes it's easier to be loving to folks who have been the 'victims' of addiction or been tainted in some way that is clearly sin-related...but what about those folks who are difficult to love because they have led a sanctimoniously innocent life? Am I supposed to have mercy, compassion and grace on them as well? OF COURSE I AM...but that is MUCH harder!!!

I just sent my neice home...she'd been with us for a few weeks. Living at our house was pure culture shock for her, I am sure. We don't homeschool, we don't GO TO church, we dance, we occasionally raise our voices, we eat sugar, we like living on this earth, we wear jewelry....and , dare I say it, makeup (only the women folk) ...We wear bathing suits that look like we are going swimming instead of to a winter retreat.... we represent so much that is questionable in her mind that I was beginning to wonder if coming to see us was a actually a covert operation /ministry trip / recognizance mission....I am actually concerned that her Mom (my sister) will tell on me to my parents...then it will really hit the fan....

I learned, and re-learned a few things during her stay here. I was reminded that there is nothing more damaging to relationship than critisim and judgement (I am not referring to words aptly spoken to correct a wrong with love). That all people need to hear that they can achieve their goals, and that their desires are part of their God given personalities and not something to be ignored ,overlooked or scorned. I was reminded that superioirty is usually a byproduct of fear and insecurity. I remembered that Play is a vital part of childhood, and adulthood. I was impressed at what an awesome man I am married to...who frequently pushes the envelope in living life to the fullest...not making excuses...I was thankful that God had allowed us to live in and amongst some great friends, and that we have great people all around the world that keep us accountable, as well as accessable. I am astounded that God had so much to say to me by having her here.... So I am grateful that she came...even though it was a challenge at times... for each of us...


Sunday, May 18, 2003


Ok, so I'll fill you in on what spawned my post below. My sister sent a CD to my 10 year old daughter that she thought my daughter would love ('cuz all her (high school and college aged) children think it's outstanding). Its a CD by the band 'The Apologetics'...and it's basically a christian Wierd Al Yankawich type grouping...The difference is that I think I actually like wierd Al compared to these guys...everything being relative...Most of the songs that they 'corrected' were not even current (most from the early eighties), save one - their parody of Eminem's "Please Stand Up"...It made me so frustrated that I wanted to run straight to Barnes and Noble and buy EVERY ONE of Eminem's albums just to redeem myself from being forcefully redeemed...

Add to the bad recipe, straining voices and a hyperdeveloped sense of self-aggrandizing moral superiority and you get the picture...I feel sick just thinking about it. Reading most of your post's I figure a fair lot of us are on the same page, although many of you aren't nearly as acerbic as I in your comments...

Either Way, I may just be throwing down the gauntlet when I tell you that one of the most significant worship songs I have listened to this year is Avril LaVigne's 'I'm With You"...I hope the Apologetic's will have the decency to keep away from that one...)....No more ruining perfectly good music in the name of Christianity....

PS...I never liked Eminem before that 'Christian' CD 'made me do it'....





Wednesday, May 14, 2003


I haven't been on here for ages....and I missed it...and I REALLY miss the shout outs ... Thank you to all who drop me a line...

I was reading an article the other day on "The Disconnected Society" ( that we live in) ...I felt that the author made a funny point regarding e-lectronic communication. She felt that it made us less connected because we rely too much on the written word rather than physical contact. It seemed so stupid to me...she must never have interviewed people (such as myself) that actually thrive on the freedoms provided by the internet and have more time to physically connect with the people that mean the most to me BECAUSE I have this evil computer.... But none of this really matters...so I guess Im just e-blabbing...

I have some questions....(and I have some opinions, as well)....? Do you people listen to Christian Music? Can you dance to it? Do you think you are allowed to? Would you play it at your dinner parties? (Bar-B-Ques)... Would you be proud to play it for your boss, collegues, and/ or employees? Does it do for you waht U-2 (insert you band of choice ) used to? Tell me...Im all eyes...


Tuesday, May 06, 2003


I just had a great evening out with the girls...For those of you that read Eric's blog, you'll know that Tuesdays are my night out to do as I wish...It was crazy...

First we went to the LIzzie MacGuire Movie, then to the dollar store, and then to Macaroni Grill...Did I forget to mention that the girls this time were my ten year old daughter and my fifteen year old niece? (I know, I know, Trudi Matthews..you were about go edit my name right off your blog) The movie was so fun because it was right up my daughter's alley... and being with her was spectacular...(It sounds funny maybe, because these nights are mine to 'get away', but I feel like I got so much closer to my daughter tonight...) And spectacular is the right word...I just fell in love with her more today. That was especially important, since we have hit a few rough patches recently.

The dollar store...(need I say?) is depressing and exilerating all at the same time. I could have picked up a few saught after dishtowels (see April 13th entry), however....

Then Macaroni Grill...You may or may not like the one in your town...But mine is outstanding every time. The service is primo, the atmosphere is cozy, the food is perfect, and if it's not they replace it complimentarily without me having to mention my family connections...I actually have loads of happy memories from that place, and it seemed thematic that we would go from a movie set in Italy to an Italian Restaurant in Boise.....you follow....so when We got to talking to our cool waitress only to discover that she was brought up on the very same lake that I was (on the other side of the country), well you can be sure the night was a success for the girls and me.

I'll tell you why though... on a deeper level, why it was significant for me...I had the distinct impression last night laying awake that God was telling me that my niece was out here more for us to be good to her than for her intention of being my nanny for a month... I felt Him reach into me and pull out compassion where I may have otherwise reflexed into frustration, and that being real with her, when I would rather have tried to impress her, was the right thing beyond being right logically.... I feel giddy with anticipation, because I am allowed the priviledge of creating some awesome memories with her, and being generous to her and doing some of the things that my Aunt did for me...

I am also delighted that I got to have a great evening with my daughter... and that she and I got to cuddle in the movie, as well as understand the same jokes as adults....such a cool transition time... wish I could freeze frame it...

All this happened because my great-beyond-words husband has selflessly given up those Tuesday nights so I can recharge...Well, I guess it's gonna be a good night for more than just us girls...


Thursday, May 01, 2003


I seem to forget how much I have to be thankful for ...God forgive me...

Last week I didn't blog, but I meant to many times...I kept hearing the song "Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus"...over and over in my mind... that coupled with the reading of Palmer 's blog is doing something to me that is new and a little scary.

It is an odd, (but I believe a God-spawned) thing how we can connect with people that we have met once, or never met at all, and feel so much a part of their story, their grief, fears and joys...get their jokes,, smell their coffee breath...feel woven together...Need to go deeper...

This Virtual Churchtual is proof again to me that God transends technology, but loves to tinker with it for the good of his people..

So I control "c" ed the song...hoping some of you might be reminded of something inexplicably rich and powerful...

"Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus".

(Robert Lowrey)


What can wash away my sin? nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again? nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(Chorus)
Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

For my pardon this I see, nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing, this my plea, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(Repeat Chorus)

Nothing can for sin atone, nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(Repeat Chorus)

This is all my hope and peace, nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness, nothing but the blood of Jesus;

(Repeat Chorus)


Please continue to remember Jennifer Palmer and her family today....


Thursday, April 24, 2003


Please remember Jennifer Palmer today....


Monday, April 21, 2003


There are days when doing the dishes seems like an insurmountable task...and today is one of them...I did manage to getthe kids to school, dressed in clean clothes, although the face paint from yesterday was still lingering .... I did get us all to the gym and the grocery store, have a few little friends over, and make all the balanced meals we need. I ushered my daughter and husband off to Soccer practice, and now I am craving sweets like nobodies business......(making it ours?)so I felt it best to turn away from the kitchen and absorb myself into the screen ahead of me...a little suspended group therapy, anyone?

I was struck by what a nice group of folks we get together with, when Saturday we got together for an early easter celebration...EVERYBODY served each other...it was great to see.. there were more servants than overseers, and it was just sweet....I also observed that so many kids knew the story..they don't do formal church much, but it's in them, and that makes me feel like we're on the right track...I liked the way the pre-teens hung together and took care of the youngers...it just worked well...It was reassuring...

Easter day here was beautiful, and than we spent more time with some dear friends (family by squatting rights), and although I was homesick (am every holiday-just the way it is) it was a nice day. We even got to bring home a lamb bone for the missional dog...

UNFORTUNATELY the lamb is a little too rich for his system, and I (and the carpet) have been vividly reminded of the downside of Dog ownership..Still, however, it will be hard to persuade me that keeping him isn't a good thing to do...since I think I love him...(and i KNOW he loves me)...


Thursday, April 17, 2003


I'd just like to tell you that (if you have read Eric's blog) the dog we are taking care of is an exceptional creature, and if the folks that had him before we found him don't come calling I would be extremely surprised...He is not the pest that Eric humorously described, but an obedient, child friendly, easy going beauty...I'm smitten, but trying not to be, because He is, at this point, a welcomed addition to our chaos...we'll see...

PS...Eric's socks are still dry, and the dog IS 'potty-trained'!


Sunday, April 13, 2003


OK... I thought (or maybe it was a hope???) that chain letters were out of style! I got one...I feel seriously bothered...

Why does anyone want to put their friends and family on the spot like that? This particular letter is promising me 35 dishtowels if I don't break the chain...As if I don't have enough laundry already that I would want some more...Oh, but let's not forget the added incentive of finding out where the dishtowels come from and if any of the 35 actually match!!! All this is supposed to inspire me enough that I would go violate my conscience and pass on "the blessing" to some other eagerly awaiting ( implication housewife) tortured soul who surely is finding her life out of balance for only having the bare minimum of dishtowels... Heaven forbid I should think this was like the old fashioned chain letters that warned of seven years of bad luck if one should fail to pass this on to the above mentioned folks in dishtowel purgatory...this chain letter is UNIQUE in that it is ''just too great a deal to pass up!"

Enter Sin Nature...

I pictured myself Xeroxing a cut and pasted version of the same letter with a few minor chages...such as "Used Dishtowel", or "Poison Ivy" or "Dirty Diaper"...or evern more covertly sending 6 to the person who sent them to me with fake addressess from my hometown ....because I don't want to deal with the inescapable wounding that I will inflict when I tell her I don't wan't to participate ( Long run, I'm sure I'd get another on in the future...I'm not worthy) Then I digressed even furthur imagining I that I'd send a dishtowel on to person # 2 who'd sent me the letter, with a cute little note attatched from the mock "sender" saying how glad "she" was to be able to be included in this since "she" had been stuck in the SARS quarentine after her recent trip to the Orient...oh and maybe "she" hadn't had a chance to wash it yet but it had come in handy when "she'd" had a coughing fit on the way to the post office...

Clearly, I do not appreciate these things...I'm not sure if anyone above the age of 10 really does... It's a bothersome situation for me, since I will either hurt somebodies feelings or disappoint a miriad of women in a dishtowel deficit...

Which reminds me...I havent had nearly as many visitors since I changed my blogskin...

But back to the original subject...I don't see why people do this to each other...not merely chain letters, of course, but in less benign ways as well. I'm bothered that such things circulate with christian phrases, and nicely frosted with a healthy dose of manipulation...I feel the same rage and dissapointment that I first heard addressed by Keith Green in the 70's...(The Selling of the Gospel)...and that same icky feeling I get when people try to get others to do stuff with the phrase "Well, just pray about it..." with a clear agenda attatched (usually financially driven)...

I guess I've gone all global again...all spawned by a simple little chain letter...I suppose now I should call my mother and respectfully refuse to particpate...


Tuesday, April 08, 2003


I feel so fortunate. Im quite certain we have the worlds greatest neighbors. Our kids have friends all around them, and it is such help when we can all toss the kids around from house to house and know they are in good hands. What a gift!
I was reflecting today on when we first moved into this nieghborhood...our house was an eyesore when we bought it. It needed a lot of work, and there were a few raised eyebrows when folks realized that there was suddenly "a family living in there"...We moved into the house in the middle of the winter, so all the weeds and non-existant lawn were at least dead so we had time to work on the inside first...But eventually the Spring rolled around, and Eric was outside putting in all the masonry and stone..so we were outside watching him etc...Eric made a conscious effort to wave to every person that drove or walked by, and the next thing you know, we had people dropping by to talk, and help, and drop off stuff (left over gravel or sod, etc). It was a great lesson in community. We told our kids that the house was like story
Stone Soup, and the lesson really stuck with them (I'm talking of the folk tale where the fellow cooks his stone soup in the middle of town, and the curiousity brings out the best in his surrounding community..not the Fria Littledale version of the manipulitive panhandler who tricks an old woman into feeding him and cleaning up the aftermath)..they watched people give of themselves to make our home a beautiful one. We experienced more about community in those months from our neighbors than with others that we were with frequently, worshipping God, but not knowing their names...we knew some, and there were quite a few good people there...
the problem was NOT because the people that we churched with were poor communictors, rather the house situation we were in was not contrived. We were in the neighborhood, kids schooling together, walking our dogs on the same paths, going to the same places, and eating meals together...a natural community...not a hobby or habit that pulled us out from among them. It's been a gift, all along.
Im just amazed at the goodness of God displayed in this simple, generous way to our family...What about you?


Saturday, April 05, 2003


I just typed out an entire post on "Misery loves Company", but I decided to delete it...It would have been counter productive....


Wednesday, March 26, 2003


There's been so much to write about, and our other computer had a virus, and this one wasn't recognized by our carrier...blah bah blah...I read alot of other folks blogs...just couldn't post from home...realized an already realized truth...blogging can take up some major time slots...it's little wonder that moms have fewer posts than their spouses....and that the majority of represented families on this thing are represented by the husbands...I salute the men for keeping in touch, but I also hope that you encourage (not bug) your wives to read and write a few of their own thoughts down...and perhaps help out with kids, meals, and dishes while they do...
Props to my husband that he does that for me...

I've been thinking alot about critisism...I have had the opportunity to both observe and be an object of critisism a bit more than usual in the last few weeks. (Nothing catastrophic, mind you)...Its funny because I was honestly pondering it just a few weeks back reading some of Kafka's stuff...thinking about the personality types which are most critical of others...of their life circumstances, and such. I had a few "ah-hah" experiences, as I watched some of the reactions to basic, honest mistakes or oversights...I observed the frequent attitudes of superiorty and 'all-knowingness" of those being critical.

It left me to wonder about a few things...does the one who is being critical have the desire to truely bring the person they are being critical of to a better state? And secondly, who really can say what the better state is? I had to ask myself which is more to be scorned, the person who made a, perhaps careless, error , or the one who pounced on the error like a starving vulture?

One of the things I really believe is in personal conflicts there is ,almost without exception, more that one side to every story...so I 'm quite certain that in each situation I observed or was a player in, there was more to it than I was seeing. Trying to introduce this into my thinking makes me approach life from a less critical angle, myself. But also I have to put it into context with a bit of the book that I have posted on my fridge for frequent reference...

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for the building up of others according to thier needs, that it may benefit those who listen" Eph.4:29

I think it is interesting that the author is saying "according to THEIR needs"... that deserves a closer look. I also have to wonder "who" is listening...Then I only have to read the whole book to see, once again, that I come up way short in most of the criteria laid out before me...Thank God for the cross...

Anyways, it's what I have been thinking about...and I think it is changing me...I hope.

Those of you "who listen" take me to task....


Wednesday, March 19, 2003


I am so grateful...the kids are better, the weather is beautiful...people are out in it and being together...Theres a sense of optimism familiar in Spring..

Seems like a dichotomy...that we're counting down the hours...Only God knows what lies ahead...I remind myself that this is not new territory for Him, although it is for so many of us...

I remember saying to a friend after the attacks in September, that I had a strange sense of hopefulness that was hovering over me despite my anxiety and anger...She argued with me about how unrealistic it was to have that sense...that she had sons she was thinking about...I think of my kids as well...how this has, is, and will be affecting them...But I still feel hopeful..Am I alone?


Saturday, March 15, 2003


Check out Malcom's blog for some great news! Ooops...guess you'll have to wait!


Friday, March 14, 2003


I liked reading Liz and Alan's blogs today...they've got their fingers on the pulse of a majority of people that I've heard from....

My friend and I used to discuss how tired we were...(are)...She told me something that I have never forgotten, and it validates so many of my convictions about community...

Her Grandmother had told her years ago, that despite not having all the modern convieniences (dishwasher, running water, etc) there was far less stress and depression because the women banded together...They hung out a a diferent home each day, in their rural farming community...The kids would all play together, and the Moms would divey up the evening meal....one women would prepare the main course, one the side dishes, one a dessert, etc...you get the picture...Then when afternoon came, they all took home the meals, set the kids for a nap, and had a lovely dinner ready when the men got in from the fields....I am not suggesting something that exact, but it brings up a point....

These women were not isolated....They had each other to complain to, to challenge, to help raise the children (Kibbutz ring a bell?), to get advice, support, share stories, (Blogger ring a bell?) etc etc etc...

So much about our culture today intrinsically sets us up towards isolation! I am reminded of the ancient Indian cultures that taught their men and women very gender specific tasks...in order to keep marriages together...the women needed the men to hunt and fight, and the men needed the women to cook and tan leather and nurse babies...together...

Lest I be accused of typing out of both sides of my blog, let me say emphatically that my post regarding the education of girls and women in the church was NOT to suggest that women should or should not work outside the home...I've seen both types beautifully accomplished as well as fail miserably....What irks me is that women are not encouraged to pursue a worthwhile education job-training in order to prepare for the unforeseen events in life...(see the blog below...) and then find themselves ill-fitted for life that is less than ideal at times.....again, a two-fold responsiblity to be borne by the community around them (a good thing, sometimes, and sometimes not)...In this day and age I don't think that giving our daughters a great education will make them leave their husbands. I actually think that NOT providing them with one is actually more likely to set them up for failure.

Is this another invitaition to be salt and light? I believe it is...

There seems to be more than one opinion about my opinions, so again, I welcome all the shout outs!



Tuesday, March 11, 2003


When the kids are sick, life gets more difficult...most of the time...

Although there are times when it's a relief to slow down a little..Like now, for example.

In doing so I am trying to use that time to re-evaluate the things that busy us.

I also find that when things get like this, and I'm in the house for longer stretches than I would prefer, that I go on an eliiminate and concentrate mode... Happy Meal Toys, BEWARE!

I'll post later...unless, of course, I decide the computer is clutter...


Thursday, March 06, 2003


I should really be in bed now, but I'm jonesing to blog...I got a phone message and e-mail that said maybe I was a little hard on the ladies...It's up to you to decide where the Onus lies....I guess it's not worth explaining that I do respect and admire what Mary Kay and others set out to do, and that being content is the key and not the blah blah blah etc....but most of you are wise enough to know that so I wont....But I will blog again later when I can think up something more generically offensive....
Keep those SHOUT OUTs coming...


Tuesday, March 04, 2003


A friend of mine called last night from California...we always have the greatest discussions...you know the kind of friend I mean...She calls, I hear her voice...we both start laughing...IT's the best...Well, it's always funny, but we also end up debating the higher issues in life, God, church, marriage, children, education, work, ecology, economy, Avon, etc...

Well, I'm going to let you in on a grudge I've been holding on to for years...I want to see things change. (my grudge holding, you ask, or the situation that spurs on the grudge?..you decide..)

Why in the church at large do we not put priority on preparing our women for life..(.long term singlehood, death of a spouse, divorce, economic hardship, etc, ) by educating them, and educating them well? Why does it still seem to be a running theme that women can get by on their husbands coat tails, or on the merits of being christian, or by being a member of some pryamid business plan meant to liberate "women at home" ? I am NOT saying that none of the above are viable, and I, in fact often ride on my husbands coat tails.. I am a christian, and on rare occaision DO go to somebodies Tupperware-pamperedchef-candle-tossing-parties...what I am wondering is why, in Christian circles, do we not inspire our girls, women, wives and mothers to do MORE than that?! Why do we send them to Bible College right out of high school, and tell them it's wonderful to get their degrees in some unmarketable fields, and all stand by applauding the virtue in it? Have you stopped to look at MOST of the women who have gone down that route? Do you see them as being Salt and Light to the world around them? (Doubtful you've not yet not rolodexed in your brains to some Pauline epistle, but I am challenging you to look into Priscilla,
Phoebe, Lydia, Ruth, and Deborah, and Esther, and, yes, even Rahab!!! )

Obviously, there are exceptions to my grudge, but I would say from observation, alot of travelling, and a large circle of friends, most mainstream churched women in America are more prone to settling rather than rising. Perhaps this is a large portion of why there is so much divorce, depression, obeisity, and suicide in the church as well...You tell me .

Before you go and get mad at me, which is fine, think about it....Then, by all means...shout out


Monday, March 03, 2003


Wow...I've been dreaming in 'Cirque de Soliel' for two nights straight..I used to dream this way, but now I have a linguistic point of reference. It's really something even that we had time to dream, but it (CdS ) reached me, apparently.

We had an outstanding weekend. Here we've been married for 11+ years, and this was our first overnight trip together sans the children. We missed them, and talked about them, but had no trouble finding fun without their assistance. I anticipated being worried and preoccupied during the trip. However, I was often struck with the thought that GOD was having great pleasure in pleasing us and the trip was blissful, fun and perfect in every way. It was a departure in more ways than one.

I want to blog more...Eric said he's going to take the kids later on so I'll have that chance, but right now, I have to catch up on some cozy time with them.


Thursday, February 27, 2003


i don't have time to post but wanted to welcome Melody Gilmore to the blogsphere


Monday, February 24, 2003


Eric is seriously sick! He was in bed all day yesterday, except for his trip to the Doctor's...He really wants to get better (see Eric's blog for details). I want him to get better so he can go...but I want him to stay better also. If youre praying for us...it would be great for his total healing...and we'd be grateful.

Otherwise, we've been having a GREAT time with his folks..They are extrordinary people! (And they don't even blog!)


Thursday, February 20, 2003


It's 10:30pm and Eric will be arriving with his parents in a minute or two....They are coming in from the East Coast to stay with us for a week...They are great in laws, great grandparents, so it's something we all look forward to. They have never stayed longer than 5 days, because they both work...but it's always a fun filled, bone breaking, skimobiling, watch me Grandma, take me there Grampa, food-that-we-don't-usually-eat packed, time for all. We could not be more fortunate!....We are VERY grateful for them!

I expect I'll blog, but I also expected to get to the Gym today...

Ah well...'Hope Springs Eternal!'


Wednesday, February 19, 2003


It's 10:45pm...I just got home from the grocery store...it's so nice to go to the GS alone...I have dragged all the kids along at times, but that seems to benefit NOBODY...so I prefer to go solo.. I go to this funky place (great gourmet/organic bulk section, huge produce section, bag your own groceries and still save about a third over the local upscale market in town here) that is so worth the extra time investment..it just makes sense...

Having said all that, I have noticed that a large percentage of the people that shop at night are weirder than your average day shoppers...Why the heck is that?

It's been a crazy day...finally got two kids back in school, and maybe i just might be able to go th the gym again tomorrow...(please please please)...I really feel crazy when I dont stay active...Im not a fanatic, but anyone can observe that our bodies were designed to be active and strong and full of life, and lately mine is lacking proof that I truely endorse all those things....But heres something that deserves a closer look:.

I read in Runner's World that a study done by the University of Michigan, I believe, stated Women prone towards depression, who excercised 5x a week for 30+ minutes, raised the seratonin levels in their brains to the same level/degree that the average pesrcription dose of Zoloft does....

Maybe it's easier to pop that pill, but I'm good and ready to get back to the Y. THe Zoloft perscription doesn't include two hours of "free" daycare per child per day like the Y does, and that in itself is enough to bump up my seratonin levels!

Keep Mark and Jeanette's family in in your prayers, and Winn and Donna's as well.




Tuesday, February 18, 2003


OK...so to tell you a little bit about the wedding this past weekend...it was a very beautiful celebration. Eric officiated, and it was especially sweet, because he's been a member of that family (by squatting rights) for 20+ years. There was a ton of history, and people that we were seeing again...and (me) meeting for the first time. It was kind of like what I expect heaven to be like....these people fully love each other, and as Eric has mentioned, he has learned most of his sense of community from these guys....that they make no distinction between the every day and the sacred....and that they are generous and good and kind....truely kind...

It's a strange phenomenon....there is more money floating around that part of Idaho than you could shake a stick at....but the attitude that usually accompanies excessive wealth was not present...This wasn't just cuz it was a wedding...we've lived there, among them...it's just the way things are in that crowd...

All that is a backdrop for what im about to tell you....

While i was away this previous weekend (with Jeanette) I was working on the song for the wedding (of course I asked Jeanette before we even went if that would be really frustrating to hear me singing when she was wrestling with the possibility of never singing again, and graciously she told me to go ahead). I had a copy of the vows they were intending to read, and a bit of their marriage counselling work in front of me, so that I could write it all in somehow...and while I was writing the song, I felt the Spirit of God hovering very thick over this work...and I started to wrestle (theologically) with Him...I felt these words just flowing into song, and I could actually hear/see myself singing sponteaneously at their wedding....But this stufff generally happens to me at Church...during 'concerts', and in CHRISTIAN functions...settings where I imagine God to be quite comfortable...or is He????

So there I am wrestling.....I could feel it...a hot electricity...pre-seizure feeling...and that combined with the words and this distinct knowing that God was wanting to bless this union...the baby in her womb (7 months old)...alll very wierd and conflicting but remarkably clear and beautiful at the same time....I kept getting these thoughts about Rahab, and what God has been showing me about that story that was never taught to me in Bible College....It was heavy!

Well, Jeanette walked into my room after I had written the song, and told me she could feel God's presence too, but I hadn't said anything to her about what I was feeling at that point. I tried to put into words what I was wrestling with...but it was so clear that there was no need to wrestle..that God was going to bless this union, and it wouldn't matter if it fell into former guidelines or not....I say former because I actually remember being taught that there were ways to tell if God was blessing things/in things...THe people had to be walking in the will of God, probably not be pregnant out of wedlock, etc...

So I put the song away...it was done....except for an open spot...where I would write a verse later or something....

THe night of the rehersal, I walked into the place, saw all the people, and thought I might re-do a little bit...or add a last verse...and I sat in the car with the guitar, and I felt that I was to leave it alone...so I did....I played it again the next day a few times....stilll nothing.....

So there I was up in front of everybody at the wedding...a basically Hindu-bhuddist-Wicca-PostChristian conglomerate, and sang the song...and then I came to the part I left open, and just started to sing to God, and press in....I felt drunk...I understood a little of Paul's stuff in Rome...I grew....I learned something....What I have been learning over the course of years now....GOD does not only bless Christian people....nor does He always bless in order to convert. Sometime He blesses because it is his nature to bless....

Now, I am fully aware that this wedding and God's blessing wasn't revolving around ME...but I'm telling you from this angle because I learned through it...I am amazed that God is so artful in his ability to work all these things together, and that every once in a while we have the distinct priviledge of seeing"through the glass darkly", and it is putting me in awe...again...

This may be something you already know...and I actually thought that I knew it too, because we practice it every day...but It came clearer this weekend...and it fits into a lesson I'm learning about God's love of His creation, and His love for me...

Somehow seeing that stuff clearer made me not have the knee-jerk response of fear that usually falls on the heels of a great moments for me...usually when things go well I start getting nervous that we are going to get taken out somehow...I mentioned that when I starterd blogging, and my friend, Bryan' McClees's response...that this comes from a basic misunderstanding of God's love for me. We lost that blog, but I haven't lost the curiousity over why that happens in my brain...I'd like to get past it....I think I'm on my way...Hope so....Any pointers?


On a serious note..Mark and Jeanette's whole family is sick (especially their 3 year old - high fever influenza)...could you lift them up please...they've been through it...

Also Winn and Donna...they don't have the flu, but they're going through the ringer in other ways...

I guess it's been a hard week for a lot of folks...

Let us know how you are...


Monday, February 17, 2003


Believe it or not ladies (and gentlemen)... I actually WAS talking about chocolate! (Feb13 post) This IS a dangerous crowd!


Friday, February 14, 2003


I am greatly encouraged to know there are other women out there who love their husbands with the same intensity that I love mine...It makes me feel less guilty...and alone...


I used to do a bit more singing some years back. At one point I was in Michigan singing at some Christian Single's Coffeehouse, and I felt like singing a song I had written for a friend that had recently gotten married (after being single for way too long). During intermission a woman in her 40's made a scene right beside me (directed towards me) about how she hated it when married women sang to singles about being married. She said she felt like it was as meanspirited as a pregnant woman, great with child , singing about the joys of being pregnant inside a fertility clinic. I just listened to her, as the host of the coffee house intervened, and expressed my regret for any pain the song may have caused her...but I remember back to that time when I encounter people (many of my good friends) who belong to "The Hard Marriage Club", (as one dear friend refers to it, being a member in high standing).

For a while, I kind of shut up about how in love I was (and am) with my husband. BUT NO MORE!!!! I think that being salt and light to this generation INCLUDES praising our mates and the gift they are to us...the joy of marriage, and yes, Liz, to brag a little about the sex! I have been blessed with an outstanding man who really is my perfect match, and most of the time, the better half in this marriage.

OF COURSE There have been a few rough spots along the way, but we are better off for having faced them, and for having determined to make it work when it would have been a relief (for a moment) to leave.

SO for all you who check out this blog...or just like to look at the blonde chick and dream, when you are done here, go check out Eric's blog...he's a wise and amazing man (with or without his sideburns), and I am honored to have him as my lover, my guardian, my coach, my confidant, my sounding board, my maid, my personal trainer, my job security, my supplier of all things chocolate, my wine taster, my blog john, my bragging rights....my (many more gifts summed up in the overly used underly appreciated word) HUSBAND!


PS This has nothing to do with Valentines Day, but if any of you "feel lucky"as a result of reading it, of course , SHOUT OUT!


Thursday, February 13, 2003


I just thought I'd post a little something extra tonight...

A thought to ponder with Valentine's Day on the way....


Did you ever stop and think how much better chocolate is when you let it melt slowly in your mouth rather than stuff it in an chew like a rabbid dog?


What a crazy day...actually couple of days...the little kids have been sick, and I brought them into the Doctor...one has an acute sinus infection, one has an acute ear infection, and one has conjunctivitus...We haven't been to the Y all week, which is making me a little crazy, because that is my 'church away from church'...but that's probably where they picked up the demon germs to begin with, and since it's February already, we have done pretty well as far as keeping healthy....so who's complaining...well ...I GUESS I AM! I feel like I'm gonna go nuts....and I feel like a jerk because I just had this delicious mini vacation...but as my wise friend says (or whispers, lately) the hard part is that after the break you re-realize just how much hard work there actually is...and it takes some getting used to again...which is difficult in itself.....But Kudos to my great husband who DID NOT leave a huge pile of laundry OR dishes for me to do, and the house was actually in great shape, and there was still food (and milk) in the fridge etc..etc..etc...Now if I could just erase from memory the woman who, during our lovely vacation, asked Jeanette if I was her mother....


Monday, February 10, 2003


I am back...feeling a bit rejeuvinated...and I've got the new blogskin to prove it. (Thanks to my ever-amorous husband who picked this one because he thinks it looks like me.....big points for him, you can be sure....!) The only downside is that it's from the international collection, so that it says POR beth at the bottom...and we have to figure out how to change that for all the obvious reasons.


I had a bizillion thoughts that I wanted to blog while away, but I can hardly remember any of them right now...Just wanted to say hello to all before too much time goes by. But I will share this one thought I had whilst getting a very nice massage on my mini vacation....


As I was experiencing all the wonderful things around me, the nice smells, the easing of aches, and the sweet voice of this older woman telling me to relax, and let all life's stresses escape with each breath, I got this interesting thought....Could it actually be that Joseph was absolved all his possible (and well warrented, in Jewish culture especially) bitterness because he didn't remain with his quarrelling brothers and over indulgent father, and went (by indirect route, of course) to the palaces in Egypt where this kind of indulgence (as I was the recipient of at that moment)_ was an everyday occurence? It made me wonder....


trying out a new outfit


Sunday, February 09, 2003


beth wanted me to post for her shes at a hotel and can't get the modem to work.
she wanted me to welcome our pal donna winn's prettier half into the blogsphere, she will have a great deal to say, and speaks with tremendous expierience from being a wife, mother, and follower of jesus for almost all her life, way to go donna.


Thursday, February 06, 2003


Got this in my e-mail this morning...I don't usually forward email, though i may often quote a thing or two, but this goes along with some thoughts I have been having on efforts to bless...passing it on...

Subject: From a friend ... help fight breast cancer
We need those of you who are great at forwarding on info with your e-mail
network. Please read this and pass it on. Peace and good health.
It would be wonderful if 2003 were the year a cure for breast cancer was found!
This is one note I'll gladly pass on. The notion that we could raise
$35millionby buying a book of stamps is powerful!

As you may be aware, the US Postal Service recently released its new
"Fund the Cure" stamp to help fund breast cancer research. The stamp was
designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland. It is important that we take a
stand against this disease that kills and maims so many of our mothers,
sisters, friends. Instead of the normal $.37 for a stamp, this one costs
$.45. The additional $.08 will go to breast cancer research. A "normal" book costs $7.40,
this is $9.00. It takes a minute at the Post Office and means so much. If all stamps are sold,
it will raise an additional $35,000,000 for this vital research. Just as important as the money is our
support. What a statement it would make if the stamp outsold the
lottery this week. What a statement it would make that we care. I urge you to do two
things

TODAY:
1. Go out and purchase some of these stamps.
(Beth interjects, order online for the Cure Stamp....or call 1-800-782-6724...anything to save a needless trip)
2) Urge your friends to do the same.

Many of us know women and their families whose lives are turned upside-down by breast cancer.
It takes so little to do so much in this drive. We can
all afford the $1.60. Please help & pass it on .

I am passing it on...but an with addendum.

1) REALIZE every day is a gift
2) PRAY to see how we can make this a better world around us
3) BLESS any and all people who are already doing the stuff .
4) DO something too (that does include taking good care of your spouse, and your kids and yourself) to bless your community, country, world.


Wednesday, February 05, 2003


testing out some new skin...my husband has been trying out all sorts of b.s. (blog skins i should say) for the past little while...couldn't quite go for the 4 pin up girls (too blonde), but I like the chick with the hammer. The 40's version of reality T.V....

My son's party was so fun. I fully enjoyed it once Eric got home to help prepare and carry it out with me. Some of the moms there were commenting on how great he is with the kids, and how they have never seen such a helpful husband, etc...It's true...he's my hero.

In the daily Torah reading from yesterday was a quote from Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, quoting Shammai in Pirkei Avot 1:15 "Receive all people cheerfully". I didn't read the quote until today, but I was struck at it's coincidence...They were a great bunch of kids...there to have fun, and they did...it was a blast. Two hours prior to their arrival, I was anything but cheerful...I think I even started stuttering again as I discovered my 2 (3) year old had eaten a good 1/5 of the bottom layer of a potentially enormous cake while I was cleaning up the bathrooms....that part of the cake went in the trash, and the remainder was an adequately sized cake for 18 little guys, and I didn't have to lament over having too many leftovers, and been faced with the dilema over wasting food...and eating it myself, if you know what I mean...
I should be in bed now....I but I wanted to keep the peeping bloggers titilated...which actually sounds kind of intriguing at this hour...gotta go.


Monday, February 03, 2003


It's my son's birthday party tomorrow. I think I will be responsible for singlehandedly launching 18 kids into juvinile type II diabetes by 6:00pm....and considering my earlier post re: wasting food (although "food" is a non-relative term here) it is no wonder that I was experieincing a considerably high level of 'buyer's remorse' all the way home from the grocery store. Oh, it's a birthday party, not a way of life...I've gotta take it easy....
We've been way lazy regarding the birthdays around here...my '2 year old' has been 3 for 5 months, but she doesn't know it yet, because she was waiting for her party to happen. The actual day of her birthday we were all sick, and then there was one thing after the other...other friend's parties, litle mini trips, friends in from out of town, etc...Some delay actually intentional for her good, that postponed the party. And now shes almost 3.5...I bought junk for her party while I was out tonight too, because my 1 year old is turning 2 in 3 weeks and the 3 year old pointed out that it was funny that she and her sister were going to be 2 at the same time!
Our kids are well loved, and secure in spite of all that craziness re: birthdays. Isn't it amazing?
Gotta go read with my kids...does any one else read their 10 year old to sleep? I'm not looking for affirmation, just curious. It's one of my favorite things to do.


Sunday, February 02, 2003


I had this snip-it of a dream this morning. I was walking through the (church) building. The floors were all the original wood, redone and gleeming. I walked into Mark's office and there were two desks in there. He had also put some beautiful mahogony wainscotting all around the the lower 3/5 of the walls. I heard some people whispering off to one side of me about the remodel, and how it was too extravagant, and Jeanette was off to the side of the whisperers but in my line of vision ( I was not seeing who was whispering, and I remember not even wanting to bother with who they were). Jeanette was obviously starting to feel uncomfortable about the beauty and the money invested due to what she was hearing said, and was looking like she was feeling guilty over this deliberate intention towards her by her husband. At this point I said to Jeanette, "No...this is all good. It's so you can have an equal part in the decision making around here." The statement silenced the whispering for a moment, but I remember the voice/bodies travelling out the front door to continue their discussion else where, while Jeanette and I went back into the office to look at the desks. What I pointed out to Jeanette when we looked back in through the office doorway was that the desks were identical, and placed beside each other . I said"Notice how he didn't place a token vanity type desk with spindley legs there..these desks are the same..same level....same angle, everything". Then I woke up.

I had a few distinct impressions about this dream.
1) That it was futuristic...the floors were a dead giveaway, plus the obvious post remodel discussion etc.
2) That the whisperers should not be argued with.
3) That the truth needed to be stated to Jeanette, because the whisperers were pretty "guilt" provoking
4) The whispering would continue elsewhere
5) THat Mark and Jeanette occupied the same office, and he'd shown great intention in his action to prove that
6) THat the vanity - type desk with spindley legs represents the tradtional role (token ministry) that's been given to some in the past, but Mark's intention was deliberately symbolic, and loving.
7) That Jeantee would be more likely to walk in the office if supported by othersthat know the truth and impact of her place in the office.
Those are my impressions. Tell me yours.


Saturday, February 01, 2003


PS to Saturday pancake post..just looked and saw all the errors...but I gotta do the dishes. . .


Why does it bug me so much when kid's waste food? I find myself getting all mad inside and then I want to scream..."you can never come to my house again" (these are my kid's friends..not my own children)..."because you dumped a cup of real maple syrup on those pancakes after I asked you if you like the stuff or were used to Log Cabin.." I stood there over the pancake griddle where I hade made to order blueberry, raspberry, and chocolate chip - banana pancakes grinding my teeth and became contemplative (notice the root "contempt").

When we have meals here, with just our family, if the kid's don't like a portion of the meal they don't have to eat it. They have learned by trial and error not to take more than they can eat, and not to take stuff they don't like...I'm a good cook, and we eat well. However, it seems like there is always one person who isn't 100% satisfied since we have a broad range of ages and tastes. I am not the proverbial short order cook, but occaisionally I pretend to be.

So there I am, standing there flipping mad, and I remember back to my father doing the same thing when we'd have sleep over guests and pancake breakfasts. He would give the recitation of how maple syrup was like 'liquid gold' and would always allow us to pay homage to the god of pancakes by ceremonially licking the plates. I remember that no one wanted to cross him about it...but the sweet man never actually voiced his disapproval for those that wasted the stuff...

Now know this...I adore my father. He was, and is, a gentle, soft spoken man. So I want it understood that I am not blaming him for this food related disphoria...I was just noticing the similarity in the situation and I was challenged to think that a dollar worth of liquid gold is not worth half as much as the comfort of my children's guests, and that I would prefer the kids hang out here than anywhere else. I don't want to let them get away with murder, and I won't be letting them smoke pot in my basement, but I want them to feel loved here, and treated with spoken and unspoken respect and dignity.

In the Daily Torah readings that post to my e-mail each day I read the following: "He who shows mercy where he should show contempt will eventually show contempt where he should show mercy. "

I don't want my mercy or my contempt misdirected...the couple bucks of calories is NOT worth that.
Interesting side note...I just turned around towards my 20 month old at the kitchen table to see that as I was blogging she nursed the syrup bottle dry. All hail!


Friday, January 31, 2003


Does anyone know why Eric's posts are showing up in his menu bar, but not showing up after he publishes and posts them? allelon him, he's getting compulsive.


Thursday, January 30, 2003


I'm also a friend. And right now my friend Jeanette is suffering. If you have ever heard Jeanette sing, than you will get a glimpse into the anger I feel right now. It seems that these problems that she has been having with her voice this last year have the doctors thinking her repeated illnesses may have done some permanant damage...that she may not hold pitch again...Now she has to whisper. The girl has 6 kids...and she's supposed to whisper for an undetermined length of time...Does that not seem like a cheap shot? IT does to me...a brilliant, slimey, calculated cheap shot. Im posting because I'm hoping you will pray for my friend. I used to think it was dumb to request prayers for people's uncle's neighbor's grocer's, dog's veterinarian's teacher's daughters because I didn't know them...but I was humiliated this year when I tried it for a friend of mine...got my gathering to pray for this guy that they didn't know who had incurable cancer and was given a week to live...I went to my Catholic neighbors church for a healing Mass, and the deacon and his wife prayed for my friend and his wife with great compassion and knowledge about things they shouldn't have known about. My friend called me recently..(3 months later...) from his home..doing well... remembering an interesting dream he'd had when he was unconscious about some monks and stuff...I'm hoping you'll take me up on the random challenge of it all...I want to see just how miraculous and abstract God can be...I want to hear Jeanette sing again, with that same goosebump producing erieness that makes you listen just a little harder to what God is saying ...Let it be...


It's the hour my mother affectionately terms 'the witching hour'...when all the kids start to get cranky, and I am supposed to be making dinner, but I decided to blog instead...
I took the three younger kids out to the Wild West Cafe for brunch...met some Moms I've never met before, made a mess, cleaned up the mess, made another mess, cleaned that up just to discover that my youngest made a mess that I couldn't clean in public. So we left a bit prematurely for the older two, but that outing combined with the rain made them content to hang inside for a few hours while I caught up on the laundry, dishes, bills, and other stuff that will no doubt need to be done again tomorrow.
This year more than any other I am aware of just how much work there is to be done when you don't work. I understand and have compassion for more types of people than I ever did before...I have a desire to encourage anything that helps to keep mothers healthy and families intact, I value my freetime, feel blessed that I am busy, am less of a perfectionist, and treasure the good friends that we have.
I look forward to the future...but I just may end up coloring my hair anyways....


Wednesday, January 29, 2003


I did it...finally went for that complete physical that we all dread...managed to put it off for almost two years...finally just decided that it was time...way past time ...got it done.
You know what prompted me? I had pain...some crazy pain in some obscure place that made me wonder...and I had some sneaking suspicion that since Eric and I are finally moving forward towards what we have dreamed of doing for the last 12 years that I was going to get struck down on the onset...miss all the fun....Where do those fears come from?
My friend, Brian McLees, tells me that comes from a simple misunderstanding of God's love for me. I think he's right. I'm ready to reinvestigate that subject.


Tuesday, January 28, 2003


i'll try for more a little later. . .