Archive for June, 2008

The Wonderful Katie

Posted: June 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today is the birthday of my beloved Katie.  She has been my assistant for two years and my friend for way longer.  While I’m sure being my assistant looks like a job loaded with glitz and glamor around every turn…it’s actually…um…not so much.  And she is great, great at keeping me sane, settled and in attendance at meetings I would otherwise miss because Outlook remains pretty much a mystery to me.  I appreciate her for a million reasons, here are a few of them:

  • She makes excellent faces in meetings.
  • She is clever and witty in ways that most of us can only dream of becoming someday.
  • She is overqualifed for her job, but does it with passion and skill out of love for God’s house.
  • She has walked with her high school small group so faithfully through up’s and down’s…and MORE down’s…and many would have bailed.  Because my daughter is in her group, I appreciate her steady, wise pastoring more than I can say.
  • She keeps me clued in to cool, new music and then I pretend I discovered it myself.
  • She is my only friend who also loves Parilla and it’s there that she introduced me to the Red Headed Step Child which is quite a lovely little wrap.
  • She is patient.
  • She loves the Word and knows it well.
  • She is prophetic.
  • She will be a great, great mom someday.
  • She brings coffee to the office when she knows stressful meetings are going on.  Not that there are ever stressful meetings in a church…but you know, if there were…she’d bring coffee.
  • She is a great speaker, though she’s not convinced about that fact herself just yet.  Soon.

I just love Katie, and I’m so thankful for the way she puts up with the good and bad of her job inside a high-velocity megachurch and her job with an unorganized, emotional half-boss (Jay is the other half of her boss collection).

You are wonderful, Katie, and I’m believing that 26 is going to be the very best ever.

I love you!


P.S.  My gift to you?  I didn’t put a picture in this post.  Kidding!  I’ll get you a real gift.



Posted: June 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

Blog confessional #427: I LOVE Egg McMuffins. Love ’em! Recently my friend, Debbie, told me a wonderful thing. In fact, it’s so fantastic that I don’t know how it escaped my attention all these years and I’m totally excited to pass it on to you. Ready? Here it is: she told me that you can order your eggs “folded”. This is brilliant news because I don’t like the hard-yolk thing going on in the original. I was thrilled, but it sounded too good to be true.

So, this morning I finally tried it. And I was worried that they would laugh or be all What are You Talking About? Pushing fear aside, I bravely ordered “One Egg McMuffin, folded eggs…please?” And they didn’t say anything at all except “That will be $2.49 at the second window.” Sure enough, the eggs were totally scrambled and beautifully folded between layers of cheese and bacon and English muffin.

Brilliant idea, my friends. Brilliant.

Passing the egg love on to you,


P.S. I wonder what time it is in Mexico.

Talk is cheap…or not.

Posted: June 26, 2008 in Uncategorized

And oh, my dear Timothy, guard the treasure you were given! Guard it with your life. Avoid the talk show religion and the practiced confusion of the so-called experts. People caught up in a lot of talk can miss the whole point of faith. 2 Timothy 6:20

I’ve journaled on this scripture – not once – but several times in the last few months. I also printed it out on bright white paper, cut it into a crooked rectangle, and thumbtacked it up in front of my desk in my office where I can always see it when I study. It’s a verse that really, really matters to me.

Last year, I was in a season of wondering what was next in life and work and ministry, and a lot of questions were stirring about who I am and where I fit. I mulled and measured and considered and prayed, and one day…this scripture. It might not mean the same thing to everyone, but I know exactly what it meant for me. It was a clear and concise answer to a big and complicated question. The message of the gospel cannot be bargained, bartered, bought or sold. It’s free for all and freeing TO all who make it their only hope.

I’m deeply in love with this verse because it threw itself in front of the speeding-freight-train of my confusion and stopped me from what would have been either a bloody wreck at the bottom of the cliff or a narrow miss at the target of my destiny. Either one is equally devastating in terms of end result and eternal reward.

Powerful stuff, the Word of God. Has it ever jumped in the path of peril in your life?

Thankful for guard rails,


The World for the Story

Posted: June 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

One of my kids left for Mexico today, and two leave tomorrow. Based on this information, can I share two embarrassing confessions?

  1. I didn’t want Tori to go because she leaves for college in a few weeks and I’m jealous for time with her.
  2. I didn’t want Whitney and Corey to go because they’ll be gone over the Fourth of July which is my favorite holiday and our family has never been apart on that day.

Shallow and self-centered? Absolutely. But really, truly living in my heart? Yep.

I’m not a novice at sending my kids to other countries – they’ve gone a lot. But I’ve found that no matter how old they get, I don’t get used to it. It’s not like life just goes on as usual…it’s like a piece of me is there too, and It’s frustrating to “go to Mexico” without GOING to Mexico, you know? It’s like all the worry and none of the turquoise water and fresh tortillas. My regular, ordinary thoughts get jumbled up with wondering what time it is there, and hoping Tori puts her passport back in her bag instead of leaving it on some bathroom counter (which I fear because she is exactly like me). That thought leads to a whole series of questions regarding how to replace a missing passport and/or smuggle a girl out of the country who has misplaced one. I review the things they packed, and then hope they’ll survive if their luggage ends up in Montana instead of Mexico. I hope they’re sleeping well and eating well and aren’t getting sick or lonely or frustrated at the people they would otherwise enjoy being with.

I know these sound like the obsessive ramblings of an overprotective mother…but I also know that lots of mom’s – even the very bravest – would agree with me. You want to let go of them, but it’s hard to get the thoughts of them to let go of you.

We sing a song by United that says, “I would give the world to tell Your story.” I used to love that line, until it stopped being about me. Because it’s a whole new proposition to sing: “I would give my kids to tell Your story.” It’s a big deal to release them to all that’s contained in the unknown…to give them to another place…to launch them into a dangerous destiny. It wouldn’t really be worth it, except for this truth: the story of Jesus is life-changing and world-shaking and it must be told in every corner of the earth.

Eternity insists on it.

And so I will give my kids to that purpose, knowing that Heaven will win and will not be in debt to me.

Viva la Mexico,


Attention Single Men…

Posted: June 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

…please marry Mary. I know you like bullet points, so here they are:

  1. While she was still young, God asked her for a really big favor and she said YES. That kind of woman would probably say yes when you need a favor or two as well.
  2. She received some of the biggest and coolest prophetic words in all of history and didn’t tell anyone. A woman who knows the meaning of the word ponder is a rare treasure indeed.
  3. She understood the full scope of the call of God on her son’s life and she walked it out with Him to the very end. No running, fainting, bargaining or manipulating; during those long, wretched hours on the cross – she stood where He could see her (wow, this makes me cry every time). A woman who embraces the entirety of God’s work in your life – and not just the parts that make her look or feel good – is hard to find and worth fighting for.

I know that the Mary’s of the generation are almost as hard-to-find as the Jehoshaphat’s. That’s the bad news. The good news is that, because they’re not a dime-a-dozen, they do tend to stand out.

And a note to all Mary’s and ‘Phat’s (tm: Helen) who find one another: please do the world a favor and have many, many children!



Attention Single Women…

Posted: June 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

…please marry Jehoshaphat. Thank you.

Seriously, I read his story again this morning (2 Chronicles 20) and I was struck by the things that make a man truly attractive: 1) admitting he doesn’t know what to do next 2) demonstrating humility in front of God and people 3) leading them in fairly outrageous worship 4) plundering the stinkin’ enemy. Um…can I just say: that’s pretty hot?

Where – by the way – ARE all the Jehoshaphat’s of this generation? I know a few, but not enough. There’s a Jehoshaphat shortage for sure, but if I were single I absolutely wouldn’t waste my time on anything less.

My .02 on a Saturday (I’m going to go spend the rest on coffee),


P.S. Please don’t stop reading my blog because I called a king of Judah hot. I think Eugene Peterson probably wanted to but didn’t want to deal with all the emails.

And by “Nirvana”, I of course mean “Bridgeport”, the most wonderful shopping experience in our tiny little state. I love Bridgeport and my family endured my love for it with a mostly-great attitude this past weekend. Here’s a little of the love:

Tess bought a fantastic little shirt at this very store – on sale for like $20 bucks!

Running low on pink dots? Here’s the store for you!

My son, who is also a boy, which is also known as “pre-man” – has already developed a certain, shall we say, distaste for shopping. Yes, let’s go ahead and say it. But let’s also say: how cute is my pre-man son?

And here’s the actual man-sized version:

I like him! He’s a good sport with the shopping!

Fortunately, there are things that men appreciate about shopping at the wonderful Bridgeport. No, NOT Orange-stupid-Julius. Something way better.

Gelato! It is a marvel. I love the shop that sells it at Bridgeport and they were giving out free samples on this wonderfully wonderful day. The one down in the left corner? That’s the one I picked! It’s Strawberry Lemonade and if love didn’t make the world go round, then Strawberry Lemonade gelato would totally get the job done.

Did I mention I LOVE this little shop? It’s so European that it seems it should be spelled Shoppe. Isn’t that the true test of culture?

While my family finished their creamy, dreamy desserts, I ventured into one of my favorite stores on the planet. You know how they used to tie a rope around the ankle of the priest before he went into the Holy of Holies…just in case he never came out? Well, this store isn’t technically holy…but I do feel sometimes that I will need to be drug…dragged?…out by a rope or my purse handle or something.

Oblation sells a plethora of amazing papers. Everything from thank you notes to invitations to specialty ribbons grace it’s lovely interior. Wide, wooden racks hold glossy sheets of gift wrap, but at $4 per sheet, you want to make sure the gift is really, definitely worthy. Seriously, I generally come out of this store speaking in an accent and feeling like I could totally write a novel with only a quill and ink like Jane Austen. Did Jane use a quill? I hope so because the thought of her clicking away on a blackberry is disillusioning. Please note the distasteful chain store trying to get attention in the background.

Tess loves shopping and that makes me love Tess more than I love that other kid in the picture. Kidding! I totally love him but…you know…he’s got to work harder for it. Still, I kid.

Finally, the day ends with a little piece of beverage heaven-on-earth.

It was sad to leave the almost-naked-lady statue and the fountain that has fire billowing out of the top and Z Gallerie and all the other wonders. But, alas, our day was done and so was my family.

Til next time,