Archive for the ‘teen’ Category

One upon a time, long ago, where blue grass grew in Main Street America, and front porch swings were a safe place to watch life go by, I packed my bags, folded up my new cobalt blue comforter with Dogwood Rose colored flowers to go out in the world and, if not meet my destiny, then hunt it down like a terrior unleashed who finds the world so big that sometimes it is hard to figure which way to go.

My comforter was there through my college career, wrapped around me as I studied, worked on projects, or just needed a comfort moment.  In a college dorm room, bedding is the primary décor statement (wall décor second).  My Cobalt blue comforter with its Dogwood Rose colored flowers symbolized my boldness – no weak, thinned out blue pastel or wall flower pink – no – I was going to shape my future to my dreams – Cobalt blue spoke strength, determination, adventure.

Three years later, I stepped further into my future.  My spirit gentled.  My new comforter was Shabby Chic White with faint slashes of tea green and misty rose.  My fading Cobalt Blue comforter, now Carolina Blue found itself folded over a chair for cuddling on the couch or naps.

Until my son was born. The blue seemed to brighten with a renewed vitality. Thrown on the floor, it provided a soft place to fall. As morning wore on, sleepiness pulling both of us, we’d wrap the blue around and fall into the snuggly Kingdom of Nap.

When he turned 2, I decorated his Big Boy Room.  He picked out a Snoopy Quilt with a blue background for his Big Boy Bed.  During nap time one afternoon, when he was just 3, he dragged his blanket into my room, setting it on my bed.  “I think you should have this blanket, Mom.  It’s so much nicer.  I’ll let you have it,” he said as he slowly inched my fading into stone washed Corn Silk blue blanket over his shoulders and backed out of the room. “I’ll just take this one since you won’t be needing it now that you have my nice Snoopy blanket.”

And there began a back and forth, a sneak and take for a few years until it just stayed in his room, wrapped around him during sleep, snuggly time, movie time, and, yes, even spend the night time.  Time faded the blanket to periwinkle.  Not all the seams were there. That blanket went with him to college, all faded and full of memories. The pink had washed to a leached out white.

One day, he brought The Girl home, the girl who would be his wife.  They set a date.  Then, one Christmas, six months before the wedding, he came home with his blanket and left it behind. The faded blue blanket just lay there. . . . .

 Until one day, my 3rd son picked it up, wrapped it around himself, and wandered off with it to snuggle into sleep, watch a movie, or read, even on overnight sleepovers – terribly faded, terribly worn, terribly loved –

(I had to wrestle it away to take a picture).

More on the journey of the blue cotton blanket: Change Comes Quietly

and The Blanket Thief Strikes Again

Read Full Post »


Wife of my son, daughter of our family,

Today you become officially the #1 woman in in my son’s  life.  I wouldn’t want it any other way.  Just as your father gives you to my son today, so I give my son to you, with a glad heart and much love.

For years, I prayed that God would protect and bless the girls my boys would marry.  I prayed in faith that God would bring daughter-in-laws who had a heart for our family, our strengths and weaknesses included.

When God blesses, He blesses abundantly.  I prayed for children.  He gave me 5 sons.  I prayed for a good husband.  He sent me the best.  I prayed for my sons to be healed at various times.  They are healthy and whole.  God is faithful to His promises. He brought you, the abundant answer to prayer.

Samuel’s father, Elkanah, provides the prototype for what I consider a most wonderful husband!  It is from his relationship with Hannah that I pray my hope and faith for your marriage.

In the mighty name of Jesus I pray that my son will be the Elkanah to your Hannah.

I pray that my son favors you above all others, giving you double portions, seeking out why you cry, why you will not eat, why you are down-hearted—that he sees your genuine heart, kindness, and heart’s desires—through the hills and valleys of your life.

I pray that you value each other as Elkanah valued Hannah.  He wanted to mean more to her than 10 sons.  Sons defined the value of a woman during that time.  If she couldn’t produce sons, she had no value, no esteem in the community.  What the world says is valuable is not what is important.  Elkanah values her heart, her companionship, who she is—not her position in the community, her job, or where she comes from.  He values what’s on the inside.

I pray that each of you pour your soul out to the Lord, praying and sharing God’s word in your life with each other, that your house be full of children who bring you much joy, that your children return there to find comfort, rest and spiritual refreshment.

I pray that you put God above all the desires of your heart because then you will be blessed beyond measure.

We are so glad you’ve come!

Read Full Post »

It’s just not Halloween without this post!
oldwomaninshoeI used to think moms with just sons were pretty scary, until I became one of those moms.
When you’re a mom with 5 sons, no matter how big, those boys gotta think you can still take them down-no matter who’s around.

You gotta be able to call their bluff.

One day, one of my sons walked through the kitchen on his way to his room buck naked after showering in my shower.  At the same time, the oldest one strolled into the kitchen in his boxers.  I’d had it. I was tired of all this male non-challent nakedness. There was a girl in the house after-all, even if she was just “Mom.”

I started un-buttoning my pants.  I said, “Well, if you can do it, I can, too.”  They high-tailed it out of the kitchen. I didn’t see a naked butt for about 6 months. I must have been pretty Scary-Mommy! (BTW, I only started unbuttoning my pants.  That’s all it took)

It gets pretty scary in the house when I do my “Mad Mad Madam Mim” immitation from The Sword and The Stone or the Lady in the Portrait from Harry Potter when she can just break a glass “Just with My Voice.” The threat to do those immitations in front of their friends pretty much makes them toe the line.

Then, I get pretty SCARY MOMMY when I create visual lectures on relationships and stuff, like “You’re a Cake” and “Hubba Bubba” and “Are you Man Enough?”  And then I share them over S’Mores and Pizza when they bring  BFFS over or I get a chance to hang around their “girl” friends at soccer games or church. It’s so scary, they almost like it.

witchcatA truly SCARY MOMMY makes sure Santa stuffs stockings for the older sons with things like Payne’s Common Sense, Tocqueville’s Democracy in America or C.S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity. However, for every Scary Mommy high moment, there is an equal Scary Mommy low moment, like when I reviewed every Def Leppard song with my son who disagreed that every Def Leppard song is about sex.  We were trying to eliminate the sin-with-a-good-beat music choices.  All Scary Mommy had to do was raise an eyebrow.  My son conceded victory, but Scary Mommy was rather red-faced. Def Leppart no longer blared at the house.

I am probably SCARY MOMMY when I lose my temper, my keys, and when I drive (not quite all at the same time).

SCARY MOMMY loves enough to risk pride, respect, and affection in order to be the mom my son’s need me to be. SCARY MOMMY can be meaner, but SCARY MOMMY gives Volcano kisses that slobber all over their cheeks, bear hugs that can lift the biggest one of them all off the ground, and say, “I’m sorry. I really missed it” when I handle mommy-ness wrong.

SCARY MOMMY has a pretty scary sense of humor.  When one son, whom we call “Bear” got in the car after soccer practice all cold and shivering, I asked him,” What’s the saddest sight in the whole wide world?”

“I don’t know. Your cooking?” he answered. I almost forgot my joke.

“A hairless bear shivering with cold,” I answered.  Now readers, you need to visualize that before you can truly appreciate the SCARY MOMMY humor.

momboysbarn.jpgThe boys would really think I was SCARY MOMMY if they knew what I was like without God in my life giving me the strength, the courage, the inspiration, the never-give-up-ness to believe in their innate goodness when it’s on sabitacal, to believe they are walking in God’s plan for their lives when it seems like every plan has been thrown away, to believe they have generous hearts when they are tight-fisted with their brothers, and to love passionately and unconditionally even when they don’t want to love me back.  SCARY MOMMY drops to her knees in prayer when life is scarier than she is!

SCARY MOMMY? Bring it on! Sometimes I just plain scare myself!

See also Socialism or Capitalism: Trick or Treat or Halloween is. . .

Wishing you a day of celebrating family!

Read Full Post »

03-08-2009 04;28;20PMMy grandmother, Mary Edna, taught me  about strength. One bright sunny morning, she moved from grandmother to something closer and more powerful.

The sun was pouring through the big upstairs windows at her house. Spending the night at grandmother and grandfather’s house, drinking hot chocolate for breakfast-that was the life-except that morning, grandmother accidently put coffee in my milk instead of cocoa.

“Can I live here forever?” I asked. I asked it every time. We were upstairs straightening the beds when the phone rang, you know the 1968 phone ring. Grandmother answered, handing me the phone to talk to my mom.

“Can I live here forever?” I remember asking into the phone.

My mother said, “Yes.”

Wow! Talk about getting what you wish for! It left me speechless. I remember wandering downstairs, onto the front porch, swinging. The milkman came, leaving two bottles of milk in the milk box.

Mom, my brother, and I moved in a few weeks later. Morning hot chocolates stopped. We weren’t just grandchildren anymore. We were something. . . more.

There were times when I wondered how my grandfather could love such a woman. The older I got, the more I understood. You need strength to push through tough times. You need strength to make meager times rich. You need strength to have hope.

She could be sharp, judgmental, and an adherent to Amy Vanderbilt’s Book of Etiquette. Despite that, she made me feel beautiful on the inside. That’s what mattered most to me—that’s where I wanted to be beautiful.

I learned as I grew into a young woman the need to stand up for what I believed. If I didn’t, she could just roll right over me.

It terrified me to stand up to her. She could wield the look. Most people would just give up if she gave you the look. Deep inside, I knew I couldn’t give up. If I did, I would lose . . . .me. So I would stand up to her. . . and when there was nothing left to do, then I would just stand.

She respected that.

I learned that if I could stand up to her, I could stand up to anybody or for anything. A lot of shoe quaking is involved in the standing up to a seemingly greater than oneself. Sweaty palms, too, often followed sometimes by light-headed-ness, probably due to a lack of oxygen. Sometimes life requires moments like this, the standing-up-for-something-inside-of-ourselves moments. Moments where you can’t afford to stand down.

One day after my first son was born, we gathered in the family room, my grandmother, aunt, mom, and I. Everyone was enjoying the baby. I got up and turned the corner to the kitchen when I hit on a chair my very sensitive part of the shin, that funnybone part that when knocked just the right when in the moment of busyness has nothing funny about it, just exquisite pain.

I cursed. Then I inwardly cursed again when the family room went stone quiet. I never cursed. At least, not until I started driving, and then only when I was driving. Then I got married, and the battle increased. Then I had a baby. However, these women in my family respected how I struggled never to curse.

I had a reputation that with the split-second shin hit was about to be torn to shreds. The silence screamed condemnation. I took a deep breath, and stuck my head around the corner, ready to take the lashing. There are times where it only takes one incident to destroy one’s reputation.

Scan6_2_0039_039Everyone was looking at grandmother, the great matriarch, waiting for the verdict, the censure. My character failure would be recalled again and again. Just like the one time I opened a Christmas present early and rewrapped it. A criminal just can’t keep a secret; they have to brag. Stupid me! You’d think I had done it every Christmas.

My grandmother looked them square in the eye, and said, “My mother always said there was a time and place to curse. I believe you just found it.”

The conversation turned. Not a word was ever said about the incident again. She had secured my dignity.

I miss her every day! I used the strength she instilled in me every day. With a house full of sons to raise, they can’t ever see you sweat! Toppling into a weepy puddle is just not an option—at least not in front of them.

It is hard balancing the two, a stick that won’t be broken and a gentle hand filled with compassion. I fail often; however, I cannot afford to give up. That dog-gone strength I built from standing up to her just won’t let me.

God replaced the loss of a father with a great gift—my grandmother who taught me to be strong.

Read Full Post »

Thanksgiving – so much more than a turkey!

There is so much more to Thanksgiving than the turkey, the football – even the family gathered around the table. Thanksgiving is about recognizing the roots from which America grew. Not just the patriotic, freedom-fighting roots – though they are as inherently necessary to recognize. It is the faith seed carried over the ocean in uncomfortable, danger-laden ships, planted in soil with hungry cold hands because of a vision of living God faith uninhibited by political agenda.

“The Lord is the Help of My Life”  – William Bradford

The first Pilgrims came to American so they could worship The God of Abraham, read The Gospel of Love and  experience the second Baptism without being drowned in a wine barrel, be burned alive boarded up in your own home, or have your entrails slowly pulled out of you in the town square as government officials attempted to turn you away from practicing your faith in the way you chose. At that time, the government determined how you practiced your faith – and if you disagreed, well, the government became disagreeable.

They came to America to be able to speak God’s name in the town square in the court house, on the public streets, in the school houses – to live and voice their belief without fear of persecution.

That faith seed would grow roots that would reach into our constitution: Article 1:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

(As a matter of fact, public schools were created to teach children to read so they could read the bible)

In America, these early Plymouth settlers discovered the rationing of socialism and the plenty of capitalism through the work of their own hands – not their neighbors. They broke the glass ceiling of class restriction – like the cranberries we eat on Thanksgiving that float to the top in the harvest when water rushes through the cranberry fields, so does hard work, effort, talent – all based on individual gumption – not religion, not class, not government.

“He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream”

Today, the Thanksgiving Holiday is full of irony – a House and Senate have left Washington D.C. to celebrate a holiday founded on the success of Capitalism and faith in God, yet daily they work to strip God out of the very places Pilgrims sought to freely worship their God – the city streets, the court houses, the schools – they wanted God in every part of their lives, their community, and their government.

Some leadership have gone so far today as to remove a cross from outside a base chapel in Afghanistan .  This symbol of faith and hope sustains many of our military soldiers protecting not only us but these leaders.

Just like the flag bearers of old gave the hope, the courage to fight on in difficult situations to their the military men it represented, so too does the symbol of our faith. When these flag bearers fell, so too did the fighting soldiers’ morale, hope and survival statistics. These soldiers live in casualty-real situations, putting their life on the life for an America created and built with hands seeking God.

Yet daily, these government officials attempt to strip the foundations of Capitalism and reduce Americans to the once starving, frustrated, dying, struggling Pilgrims who started out in socialism – who died in socialism – hungry and frustrated.  Until the American Spirit at Plymouth through a capitalist contract  replaced the socialist creed to break the bonds of servitude unleashing individual potential resulting in the American Dream.

While Socialism binds the hands of flourishing enterprise, smothers the seeds of creativity from which inventions spring, and suffocates the very breath of freedom, Capitalism frees the hands of enterprise, allows individual creativity the independence to invent, and  gives freedom breath to speak without recourse.

How ironic that today our government officials celebrate an event so diametrically opposed to their actions. How ironic is it that protestors are calling for a return to the socialism that brought Plymouth settler’s to their knees.

How sad that they celebrate Thanksgiving while chopping at the root of its very creation.

These people calling themselves the 99% are missing a very important factor. A missionary man preached at our church a few weeks ago. He asked, “Do you have an in-door toilet? Do you have running water? Do you have electricity?. . . .If you do, you are in the top 10% of the world.”

Yes, the 99% are in the top 10% of the world.

The top 10% because of faith in God and capitalism.

William Bradford’s biography is sitting on my desk right now.  My sons know the history of our country, but not through classroom textbooks because the full, real history of the birth of our country not taught. Because God is not allowed in the story telling in today’s public school classroom.

Today as you thank God for His blessings, as you pull your family close, spend additional time discussing the start of our country, how we became that top 10%, what enabled us to achieve clean water, medicines that heal and prevent, homes with so much comfort, electricity and internet, a washer and dryer, an abundance of food to keep and share.

And pray for those soldiers whose crosses are being pulled down, who are fighting to keep America safe, to keep America free, to keep God in America.

Graft you, your family to the deep root of faith from which America grew.

~ Written, Thanksgiving 2010
~Revised, Thanksgiving 2011
~Revised again, Thanksgiving 2012

Other related posts:

Congress Shall Make No Law Respecting Tebowing and other such Religious Behavior

Words Make a Difference

The 10 Cannots of Freedom

To Save a City

Read Full Post »

Halloween is digging down into the costume chest and pulling out something to dress up your imagination. It is a breast plate, shield and cape, with a worn grey sword that wilts more than jabs.  It is a cowboy vest, sherriff’s badge, and a frayed cowboy hat that has seen more than its fair share of fights.  It is a bumble bee, leopard or Peter Pan.  It is a dressed up witches hat or black cat ears, black smudged nose, and painted whiskers.

It is hot chili on a frosty night, sprinkled cheese, and grilled dogs.  Worms in the pumkin patch cupcakes sloshed down with hot apple cider or hot chocolate. It is fun games that make laughter, goose bumps, and adventure.

pumpkintableIt is knocking on neighbor’s doors who brought your mama “Welcome to the neighborhod” cookies or the little red-headed girls house who has a crush on your brother.  It’s a door opening and friends spilling out of the dark dank, dreay night into the golden warmth of the Pumpkin House(which is what I called our old house because it was orange brick with black shutters). It is filling jack-o-lantern buckets with candy for your neighbor’s children who share school rooms, teachers with your children, who stop by for hot chocolate on fall afternoons.

It is laughing, teasing, savoring childhood – no presents, no pressure, no soporific lethargy. It is  fellowship, loving thy neighbor and generosity to strangers. Big and little pumpkins, Little and big. Halloween is a holiday from a too busy schedule, a moment to live joyously.

Then, after the pumpkin lights are blown out, the costumes tucked away, the candy stored out of reach, then it is time to thank God for the blessings of children, family, and fellowship, the joy of giving, laughter, and imagination, for a moment where the daily struggles dissipate in the steam of good food, respite from the world that figuratively buffetts each day.  Thank you for a moment to enjoy, refreshing myself in the gifts you have given me and the gifts given out.

Read Full Post »

As we drove through town, just the two of us, me and my third son, a junior, we talked – about new friends and old friends. The early morning coolness blew though the windows, my hair tickling my cheeks. Sans little brothers, the quiet was perfect soil to grow meaningful words. Those words grew without coaxing – one of those true moments.

“They called me Jesus,” he said, this son who has a joy-of-the-Lord spirit, talking about his friends from where we lived the last 2 years. “‘Cause I always wore sandals.”

And because he believed when they didn’t.

My older boys love sandals – even in the cold months. Chacos are their favorite, usually hand-me-down Chacos from the oldest son, Old Navy flip-flops will do in a pinch.

“Most of them were atheists. One was a Jew. I still pray for them. I pray they’ll be saved.”

Despite their unbelief – He told them about that belief anyway, in words and actions, in their presence and in prayer.

We talked a little more, our talk winding around. I’m not sure where these next words came out of in that conversation, where I was listening more than talking.

“Yeah. I fell away for a time,” and as that sunk into my heart, he said, “But I came back.”

He saw I wanted to say something, and he interrupted, “I came back, mom. We don’t need to talk about it.”

Both he and his brother fell away for a time, after Papaw died. After our minister stood Hospice Compassion Care room and prayed for a miracle, a miracle for this man who was dying with cancer, who had played tennis just 2 months ago, this man adored by 12 grandsons.

I just wanted to reach over, grab his neck and hug the stuffing out of my son. If I tried, he’d just say, “10 and 2, Mom. 10 and 2,” reminders to keep my hands on the steering wheel. He’s always reminding me ’cause I’m either talking with my hands or trying to tickle a rib in the passenger seat.

That falling away – I remember fearing when I was little falling away. How can you be 8 or 10 or 16 or 25 – and think, “Is there enough good stuff in me to be faithful to God for a life-time?” Remember how forever it took just to get to Christmas each year?

At 19, I battled faithfulness. I had prayed for someone since I was a little girl, that God would lift her out of her struggles. I had a tantrum and ignored God for awhile. But He kept whispering to me, gently calling me – and one day I heard, “I placed the opportunities. It was up to her to use them.” I saw the truth, and turned back, wondering if I could be as faithful to God as He was to me. If I could live a lifetime of faithfulness.

The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Let me be long-lived, Oh Lord, like the palm tree and the cedar in Lebanon. And like the Cedar, let me grow to my full potential, and like a cedar chest, let me keep away things that would eat at what is within me, keeping me whole and full, full of things of You.

They are planted in the house of the Lord;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
Let my faith roots be deeply buried in your house, Oh Lord. Let me bear hardships in faith, brave challenges without letting go, believe in the evidence of things not seen. Let me not just endure but thrive, grow, riotously blossom, reseed, and grow in your courts.

They still bear fruit in old age
they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the Lord is upright;
Let me show my children how to grow old, loving you Lord. Let my faith stories declare your faithfulness, your enduring love, your mighty strength. Let your Holy Spirit pull up into me, like water pulls up in a tree, replenishing the sap of my faith – and, at the right time, the healthy time, let it spill from inside out, these stories telling of your faithfullness, your love.

he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Psalm 92:12-15).
You are my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. You are not a God who abuses, not a power-hungry God who wants us to dance for your amusement like a marionette on a string, but a noble, worthy God who loves unconditionally, who is better than I can imagine, who wants us to love you because we want to. I might shake. I might fall in a heap at your feet. But you do not. And when all the pieces of me crumble on You my rock, you breathe life back into me like you did to the dry bones in the valley(Ezekial 37) – and I will stand again, strong, tall, enduring, like the Cedars of Lebanon.

If the LORD had not been my help,
   my soul would soon have lived in the land of  silence.
When I thought, “My foot slips,”
   your steadfast love, O LORD,  held me up.
When the cares of my heart are many,
   your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:17-19)

Thank you, Father. You knew I would struggle. You knew it would take me a long time to understand that your kind of Faith is indeed a lifetime faith, an enduring faith. Thank you for not only catching me when I fall, but thank you for catching my sons when they fall. Thank you for being more enduring, more faithful, more understanding than we are. Thank you for replenishing my spirit, my faith, me with YOU. Thank you for moments in the car with my son when I see an enduring faith growing in him, a heart to call your children who don’t know they can be your children to you, who knew you enough to walk back to you when his heart hurt and he didn’t understand. The more I walk this life with you Father, the more I understand love and the more I love you real, Father. Thank you for giving me time to grow your kind of love inside me!

Read Full Post »

Holy Cow!

In the shady little town we came from, groups of parents hosted prom dinners. The host family provided the main course and the other parents either brought salad or desert. After taking pictures, serving the couples, taking more pictures, the couples would then leave.  Then the parents would sit down to eat and marvel wistfully about handsome and beautiful things, graduation and dreams, and little boys and girls growing up. Seasoned with lots of laughter.

The most divine desert was deceptively simple, a Martha Stewart-looking creation causing most people to say, ‘Holy Cow” – which I can only guess is how it got its name.  It has become a favorite birthday cake in the Blue Cotton Home – and the Holy Cow cake is what my son requested for his. . . 18th Birthday this week.

Holy Cow Cake

  • Two boxes ice cream sandwiches (about 2 dozen, give or take a few)
  • Two large Cool Whips
  • Caramel Syrup
  • Chocolate Syrup
  • 9×13 casserole dish (for the size dish pictured, reduce recipe in half)

Layer ice cream sandwiches


Cover sandwiches with Cool Whip, drizzles with syrup and relayer


Holy Cow! Cake!


The 6th Love Language is Cake

Loving a teen is sometimes more a choice than a feeling. Sometimes it is just loving in hope and faith. And when all other love languages fail to pierce those barriers, then I pull out the 6th Love Language: their favorite desserts or cake. Maybe I cannot touch them or their hearts, but at least they will eat a dessert prepared with loving, hopeful hands, prayerful hands.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11: 9-13)

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11 )

Read Full Post »

Unconditional Love ≠ Door Mat

Read Full Post »

We were driving in the car, my joyful-spirited son who was not so joyful.  Change can be hard.  Being a teenager can be hard.  Having younger brothers can be hard.  Being a younger brother, too!

“Have you taken it to God?” I asked, about a struggle he was having, particularly with our move.

“Why?  God knows how I feel,” he answered simply and simply frustrated that his mother was talking to him.

  • The Answer I gave:”Because God does not just shove His way in to your life.  He waits until you ask him.”
  • The Better Answer: “Because God is not like your mother who just barges in and tries to help.  God waits for permission.  Then Helps. Perfectly.  God is not like your mama.”

Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’

 “Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness[e] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:5-13).

Read Full Post »

I think some of the greatest mom-son moments occur in the car – the front seat of the car.  When the government implemented laws that prevented my little guys from their turn in the front seat, I felt that family relationships declined. However, the other night my son and I had one of those moments – a moment where something just hung by a thread.

This particular son, the answer to a prayer, has been wrestling with God – or rather trying not to wrestle by pretending He wasn’t there. Faith can be shaken in two ways – by challenges that tear at the roots of our faith and by outside influences that try to talk you out of that faith.  For a teenager, that can be an shattering combination.  Then, just add rebellion to authority and like buttermilk and soda combined, you’ve got a mess on your hands.

‘I’m starting to believe again,” he said. “However, you guys just go overboard on this stuff.”

“Overboard?” I questioned. I said inside my head  Keep your mouth shut. Keep your mouth shut.  Emotions be gone! Just let him talk.  At least he’s talking.

“Yeah,” he said.  “You’ve got real life and you’ve got the Bible.  Not everything in the Bible applies to real life. You just can’t keep beating people over the head with the Bible and saying all your solutions are in the Bible.”

“But you can apply God’s Word to Everything,” I countered.  Calmly, trying to maneuver, say the right thing to someone I love so much – the thread could break so easily.

Man, oh man.  He’d been trying to persuade me a few weeks ago that I lived in a Polyanna world.  Bad things happened.  I didn’t have a clue about real life. He needed to tell my dad who walked out on us that one.

Raising children sometimes feels like a recipe mal-function – you set out to make a milk and ice cream shake and end up with a bottle of bourbon.  Where the bourbon came from, you don’t know – however, you know you invested in the milk and ice cream – Marble Slab ice cream, too- only the best.  How can it be possible to invest the best of your values into someone and have them regurgitate “oppposite day” values?

Maybe it’s like growing Zinnia’s.  It gets a little ugly before it gets pretty.

We were crusing down life’s highway. He kept talking, trying to persuade me.  Our exit came and I was pulling off when he said, “The Bible can’t be applied to everything in the world.  Like that sign there.”

The thread strengthened. You know, sometimes God is so good – it makes you laugh. I looked at him, laughing and said, “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and Give to God what is God’s.”

And my son who rarely smiles, broke into a smile.

Score one for Mom and the round to God!

Read Full Post »

Have you ever said, “I sure love you,” to your teenager only to be left verbally sliced and diced due to some hormonal language translation misconnection that screamed in glaring neon pulsating lights, “Insult. . . Insult. . . Insult. . . How dare you talk to me like that,” or a telepathic, silent, “Sure, whatever.”

Well, if their love language at the moment is not words, or an I-love-you-bag” of Sour Jelly Bellys, or a freshly laundered stacked pile of laundry peeking prettily out of their drawers, or a quality time moment sitting on the sidelines of a game shouting, “Shake it and Bake it, Baby” when they score or maybe just someone who spends all their time chauffeuring them to their dreams, or a nice arm pat that releases happy phenomes (I read that in an article years ago) or a sneak-up-on-you hug because that is the only way to get one in,

Then just maybe you need my secret recipe that will bring a sparkle to those teenage eyes, a flash of that smile that makes the sun shine in that mom-corner of your world.  

Some people search for the Fountain of Youth. Not me! I just search for any way to break into my sons’ hearts. This recipe is the Nuclear Weapon for teenage heart break-through : Cajun Shrimp and Rice



    • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, divided, at room temperature
    • 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice such as Uncle Ben’s
    • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 pounds large, uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
    • 1/4 tablespoon hot sauce
    • 2 cup whipping cream
    • Freshly ground black pepper


In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat 1/2 of the butter over medium-low heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and rest covered for 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic. Add the shrimp, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the shrimp is pink and cooked through. Stir in the cream and heat through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using a fork, fluff the rice and arrange on a platter. Spoon the shrimp cream sauce over the rice and serve.”

A scraped clean plate and a, “May I have some more, please,” all scream, “I love you, Mom.” Sigh!  All moms need their secret weapons.

Read Full Post »

I taught college composition for quite a few years.  Content develop is the key to success. When developing an argument, I would tell students, “You need three reasons for why you believe anything.  One does not show a pattern. Neither does two.  However, three shows you’ve given the matter sincere consideration.”

A few weeks later, a non-traditional student came in boasting, “I used your “3-reasons” for belief argument and stopped some of my friends from going to church.”

What have I unleashed, I asked myself.  Then I thought, “Oh! No!  What if he asks me?”

So I started to think of three reasons.  I fell into a trap on my first go-round, trying to be theological.  persuading someone to believe through Scripture alone does not work – especially with people who do not know God – and when I say know I mean someone who reads His words and seeks Him out in a “As-the-deer-panteth-for-water-so-my-heart-panteth-for You” kind of seek. 

It took me a week.  After all, I was a college instructor – I needed to sound wise. Then the truth just smacked me in the face. It was so simple.  The Three Reasons I believe? He held my son in the palm of His hand on the day he was born, protecting him for 16 minutes until he was born healthy and whole.  Another son couldn’t hear in one ear and He opened his ears.  Another son had stomach pain for 6 years.  Specialists and doctors kept blowing us off.  One day, I hit the floor and cried out to God.  Two days later, another mom gave me the name of a doctor who decided to scope him, found the problem, and prescribed the solution. Big miracles and little miracles – that’s why I believe. Everytime I’ve cried out, God has answered.  Maybe not in the way I thought, but He answered.

Before Christmas, we all started praying for a miracle – “an extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers; such an effect or event manifesting or considered a work of God.”

You can imagine the struggle in our household now.  The little guys – they believe in miracles, but somehow because a miracle didn’t happen last week did not shake their belief.  They are comforted that their Papaw is in heaven.

My great-niece said it all at the visitation, “Mama – you said Papaw’s in heaven.  He can’t be in heaven.  He’s right there.”

However, there’s struggling going on – probably not just with my older guys – but there’s struggling going on. 

One of my sons said today, “The minister stood there and said, ‘A miracle’s going to happen.’ Well, it didn’t. Papaw died.  I don’t know if I believe in miracles.  I prayed, but nothing happened.” His heart is broken and his faith is shaken.

Do you ever have thoughts that swirl around your mind? They swirl but do not really have a place to settle?  And you wonder if those thoughts should ever see the light of day?

And a moment comes where that thought that had been swirling, formed clearly and landed in your heart instead of your mouth?

That’s what happened when my son finished talking and said he was going to take a long bath.

I grabbed one of my thank you cards, wrote the following note, and slid it under the bathroom door. And I believe it with all my heart:

“Did you ever think that the true miracle is the lives changed through Papaw’s death.

Nobody wanted Jesus to die, but how His death changed lives!

If we consider what Papaw was to this family, I can only think that people are looking at themselves and asking, ‘Am I living how Papaw wanted.’

Why now?  Not in 10 years?  Maybe because someone needed that change now – and Papaw is the kind of man who would do that for those he loves.”

Maybe God whispered that to Papaw! I believe when the minister prayed for a miracle, God heard him.  It just wasn’t the miracle we were looking for. However, I believe it was the miracle Papaw would have wanted – after all, he was always a man who did for others first.

Read Full Post »

About 11 years ago, my son, the Fire and the Power of the Holy Spirit, survived a cord-prolapse, crash c-section.  The last thing I heard before they knocked me out was, “I don’t have a heart beat.” Coming to, I was terrified – would my son be dead or alive.  Laying on my side in intense pain, with my eyes closed, I heard my father in law talking to someone, teasing about my snoring.  Then I heard those precious sounds only a newborn makes.  I knew everything was o.k.

Today, my father in law is in a hospice facility.  He’s snoring a lot. I wish I could say something to make everything o.k. However, that’s his gift, not mine.

My sons are part of an amazing group of young men: 12 grandsons who adore their papaw. Coming up behind them is a group of great-grandchildren who are in the Candy-and-Coke Store Fan Club group.  It’s a pretty special, select group. The benefits?  Unconditional love, hugs, trips to the Candy and Coke Store, front-row fans at any activity, a front door always open, a sit-down-let’s talk about life attitude, and tremendous generosity of spirit – like a vacation a few years ago when my husband and I -very out of shape tried to play tennis with him.  Three days of grueling play left us hobbling.  We were so grateful when he cried off due to a sore muscle, but I bet he just knew we couldn’t take it any more.

The birth of my second son found papaw hand-cuffed to anything, oh, about the level of couch legs, bench legs, table legs.  After about 48 hours, he probably wished he’d never bought those hand-cuffs for the new big brother.  However, he just loved making those boys smile.

I remember one of my nephews crying when he was about 4 years old.  He’d spent the weekend at Nanny and Papaws.  He hugged so tight to Papaw when  it was time to leave, sobbing into his shoulder. He’s feeling the same way today, and he’s all grown up.

We’ve prayed for healing. Daily. My boys have seen each other healed through prayer, so they faithfully joined in. 

The other day, the littlest one asked what was wrong with Papaw.  I guess he realized this wasn’t your typical, run-of-the-mill cold or flu.  I explained cancer: “You know when you watch Star Wars and the bad guys send drones into the land they want to take over?  Well, the bad guy is cancer, and they go into parts of the body, kind of like a planet in the universe.  When they take that over, they go to other parts of the body – like other planets.”

Being the Star Wars fan, he understood.

Last week, though, I had to move into phase two.  Phase 1 – you pray for healing.  Phase 2 – when you realize God has other plans – going-home plans. Then, it’s time to help that person go to the other side – cross over into heaven.

Peter Marshall, the famous United States chaplain, made even more famous in the movie, “A Man Named Peter,” describes dying the following way: “It’s like going to sleep in your mother’s bed and waking up the next morning only to find yourself in your own bed.”

Every person who lives for Jesus spends their entire life traveling to the gates of heaven.  Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton explain it perfectly, “When I get where I’m going, there’ll be only happy tears.”

Of course, the getting there can be kind of tough. . . on everybody.  We all want one more hug, one more joke, one more political debate, one more chance to say how much he meant to us.  But then, he always knew we loved him.  Telling him would just embarrass him.  He always said, “Words mean NOTHIN’.  Your actions are shouting so loud I can’t hear your words.” I guess he and Obama could have had a debate on “Words… just Words.”

The little guys and I were talking about what Papaw’d do in heaven.  Yep, play tennis. Yep, hug those babies he didn’t get to hug down here. He’ll walk with that Papaw-spring in his step. He won’t debate politics, though. We decided that there wouldn’t be political debate in heaven. But I can see him grabbing an orange or an apple and peeling, just like I’ve seen him do a thousand times.

I remember my oldest son’s middle school basketball coach was arrested for smoking marijuana on some backwoods backroad.  He really like this coach and tried to give him an ethics break, “His mom died.  He was just coping with his grief.”

I just looked him straight in the eye and said, “I hope that when it’s my time to go to heaven, that you will celebrate my life instead of going to some backwoods backroad and drowning your sorrows in drugs.”

Crossing over is an odd time – it’s kind of like blue cheese and honey. The sweet and the pungent – but when mixed together, it’s just right.  Now is the time of great loss, but also the celebration of a life well lived and well-loved. The sweet and the pungent!

Some dear friends from when we lived here before bought the Candy and Coke Store a few years back.  They called Nanny the other day and told her, “If Papaw can’t come to the Candy and Coke Store, the Candy and Coke store will come to him.”

I bet Heaven feels like Papaw taking you to the Candy and Coke Store.

Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton did an excellent job singing about what it’s like when we get where we’re going.  It’s great to sing about our own little selves going. It’s just tough when the life of the party, the heart of the family, the world’s greatest father in law, dad, husband and Papaw head there before we get to.

I wish he wasn’t leaving the party so early!

When I Get Where I’m Going

by Melvern Rutherford Ii, George G. Iii Teren


When I get where I’m going
on the far side of the sky.
The first thing that I’m gonna do
Is spread my wings and fly.

I’m gonna land beside a lion,
and run my fingers through his mane.
Or I might find out what it’s like
To ride a drop of rain

Yeah when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
I will shed the sins and struggles,
I have carried all these years.
And I’ll leave my heart wide open,
I will love and have no fear.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Don’t cry for me down here.

I’m gonna walk with my grandaddy,
and he’ll match me step for step,
and I’ll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I’ll hug his neck.


So much pain and so much darkness,
in this world we stumble through.
All these questions, I can’t answer,
so much work to do.

But when I get where I’m going,
and I see my Maker’s face.
I’ll stand forever in the light,
of His amazing grace.
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
Yeah when I get where I’m going,
there’ll be only happy tears.
I will love and have no fear.
When I get where I’m going.
Yeah when I get where I’m going.

Read Full Post »

For You, Little Child

You who find happiness in a teddybear,

You with your innocent and curious stare.

For you. . . .

Well, that’s how my oldest son’s first Christmas poem I wrote started 23 years ago. The Thomas the Train has been packed away, along with the Knights jousting on horses with its castle walls. GI Joe’s have faded into I-don’t-know-where land while the 2nd and 3rd sons talk of joining the military. My 9 year old is in a gift-tween stage – Santa’s scratching his head over him. The junior is a gift-tween, too. I’m scratching my head, too!

However, Let me share what Santa’s bringing Joyful – I’m so excited. We saw the movie last year, “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” a 1941 movie about a farmer who sells his soul to the devil and Daniel Webster, a leading American Statesman in the early 1800s defends him to save his soul. Webster agrees to an “American judge and and American jury” but crafty Mr. Scratch calls forth a jury of the damned – historically fascinating. A great story about selling out noble ideals out of greed and fear and redemption. He has been asking me since then for the book. Well, Santa is bringing the play(never been a book or short story) and the movie.

Can a 14 year old still believe in Santa? He questioned it last year – yes, just last year. I just gave him the stare and said evenly, “As long as you believe in Santa, Santa brings you gifts.” Sadly, 13-year-olds are a bit obtuse, and I had to repeat it a few times, focusing the stare more intensely each time. I told him that if he look it up in my grandmother’s dictionary, he would find Santa, “A person who gives.” Then I repeated the code: “As long as you believe in Santa, Santa brings you gifts.” I still get gifts from Santa – my mom delivers them every year! Apparently, Santa has not learned of my change of address yet!

Santa also told me that Joyful should get a book of Daniel Webster’s speeches – HHhhhhmmmmm – more fun and more fun!

The Fire and Power of the H.S. (Holy Spirit) pointed out earlier this year in a discussion of Christmas Wish Lists: “If you just ask for 2 things you really want, then you get everything you ask for.” 

This will be my first Christmas without my firstborn, Perceiver of Truth. Something Christmasy is missing. He has written the letters to Santa for years, calling all the boys together to record their wishes, thanking for last year’s gifts.  Faithful just doesn’t have the same touch – imagine Scrooge before “the change.” Appalled sighs waft through the van when Christmas music comes on. I keep trying to shake off the “Bah Humbug’s” – but I have not given up. Perceiver of Truth is really going to miss the annual Christmas Nerf Gun Family Battle.  Santa always stuffs stockings with Nerf Guns and ammo.  You gotta be here to collect that one!

My mantle is decorated. “The Man who Came to Dinner,” “The Bishop’s Wife,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “White Christmas,” “The Polar Express,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Nativity” are lined up for a snuggle night of Hot Chocolate.

Maybe I need to whip up some of my Uncle Luther’s homemade eggnog – that should kick some spirit into me!

Tonight the little guys and I pulled out “The Jesse Tree Devotional” – an advent book another website recommended – if it was you, please leave a note and I’ll link to your site – thanks so much. We sat down, and they loved it. One read the bible passage and the other the devotional in the book.  And the questions they asked, “Did God have a mom?” or “If everyone was killed in the flood, does that mean we’re all related?”

HHHHmmmm Christ = Christmas Spirit!   Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee – Christ in Christmas makes Christmas meaningful.  Each Christmas brings change – the sound of the Christmas Bells on my Grandmother’s door, the faces of my children on Christmas morning, the types of gifts, the people around the table, and the decorations – all that changes.  Christ in Christmas does not change. That’s where Joy to the World,

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”

(traditional English Carol, pre 1823)

“God rest ye merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray;
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
From God our heavenly Father
A blessed angel came.
And unto certain shepherds
Brought tidings of the same,
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by name:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding,
In tempest, storm, and wind,
And went to Bethlehem straightway
This blessed babe to find:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
But when to Bethlehem they came,
Whereat this infant lay
They found him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling,
Unto the Lord did pray:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy.
Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface:
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy,
O tidings of comfort and joy. “

Read Full Post »


So many Christmas songs are scriptural – at a time when most Christians could not read or have access to a bible, a Christmas song imprinted the story of Jesus on the heart of its singers. How many children know where Jesus was born because of “Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem”(1868) or “We Three Kings of Orient Are”(1857)  and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”(15th century). Maybe that is why some Christmas songs uplift and the essence of the joyful spirit lingers – like Belgium Chocolates – pure, rich, true – because the spirit of praise and worship pours from our mouths in great joy. 

Many of my favorite songs stem from the majest, power, mystery, and gentleness of the birth of our Lord.  However, other favorites stem from childhood memories of home, Christmas, and the magic in a child’s belief – the intense savoring of a feeling or image in a song.

Some of My Favorite Christmas Songs are listed below:

1)”Angels We Have Heard on High,” My Christmas, Andrea Bocelli (added boon is “Adeste Fidelis” and “God Bless Us Everyone” from “A Christmas Carol”).  I first discovered Bocelli  in The Mystery of Love presented by Victoria Secrete.  I would waltz my son to sleep at night listening to his music in his little cd player. Magical! His song “Angels We Have Heard on High” allows me a glimpse of the power, majesty, and utter beauty of the music surrounding our Lord on his heavenly throne. I just stop, mesmerized and awed.  When we saw “A Christmas Carol” my crew was booking out of the theatre and I just lingered, listening to “God Bless Us Everyone.”

2) “Ding Dong Merrily on High,”(circa.1500′)s Roger Whitteaker. Bells peel in an everyman song, where everyone has the range to chime in heartily with, “Gloria, Hosanna in excelsis!.” While Bocelli is for listening, this is for joining in!

3) “Sing We Now of Christmas/O come O Come Emmanuel,” Michael W. Smith (12th century for O Come O Come Emmanuel) – For years I have bemoaned the fact that there just are not any new Christmas songs that demand to be included in my Christmas Celebrations. Were all the good ones written before I was born – and then inspiration dried up?  Michael W. Smith rescues my faith with this spectacularly Christmas spirited 21st Century remix. 

3) “Silver Bells,”(1950) Kate Smith – This is where you find out that I am old as dirt.  When I was 4 years old, I sat in my basement beside the record player, constantly moving the needle to the beginning of this song.  I am sure my mother heard it well over 100 times that day. Pre-Mall era, my mother would take me on the city bus down town to marble exterior department stores, mile high glass windows that sparkled with lights to shop – and Christmas shop – “City Sides Walks, Busy Side Walks dressed in a holiday style” sparkled in my mind – with men in red ringing bells on every street corner.

4) “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth,”(1977), Bing Crosy and David Bowie – Though I do not know what buttered rum tasks like, I think Bing Crosy’s voice must be smooth like buttered rum!  “Little Drummer Boy” just by itself is a favorite, but when you add David Bowie’s amazing voice and message of “Peace on Earth” it provides a dichotomy that adds a beautiful layer to the song’s presentation.

5) “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” The Nutcracker,” 1891- Sometimes words just are not needed – and sometimes you need something wordless! This fits the bill perfectly!

6) “Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ”, Harry Belafonte, 1956

7) Charlie Brown Christmas – This is the way to my husband’s heart!  He LOVES the music.  We used it on the wedding video I made for my son’s rehearsal dinner (it covered when he was little).  For my husband, Christmas is not Christmas without this show or music! Since he loves, I love it along with him!

8) “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians) Time Life  – Soloists, Glee Club Singers, Orchestra – A definite let’s-decorate-the-tree song – and the best way to hear The Night Before Christmas!





9) Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, Lena Horn, Time Life – Nobody sings about snow better than Bing Crosy and Lena Horn. This is one song that follows me into the snowy season of January and February.  However, my sons were appalled when I popped it in last January while it was snowing.  It’s also a great song that less than sterling singers like me can belt out anywhere (lyrics are tremendously easy!).

10) Away in a Manger(1885), Gene Autrey, Time Life – Away in the Manger – a song unto it self – celebrating Christ’s birth and my children’s bedtime lullaby! Last, but definitely not least!

Read Full Post »

Simply Saturday

The Snow Trees Have Come!

Holy Spirit Rain Down on Me

in Snowflakes

so that I might better see

your Holy presence

when my eyes are blinded

and my spirit weary

when I am too numb to feel,

may your presence linger

like snow on trees


Read Full Post »

No bows around here!  No headbands in pinks and polka dots or glittery bling.  However, there is one must-have accessory – Hats. 

Big Hats 

That they grow into 

Party Hats

 A Cool Cat in the Hat

Do You Like My Hat?

The Boy in the Hat does not Care

Hats for Snow 

And in the Cold

Ear Warming Hats

Cowboy Hats

Christmas Morning Hats




Happier in Hats than in Scarves!

Mom in a Hat (I got knitty with it!)

 Goggle Man Hat


 My Boys Love Hats


My oldest son for Christmas would love a Stetson Firenze Hat. My littlest guy and I had been tooling around the new town while his other brother was at archery practice.  We went in this dapper store and found a delightful variety of mens hats!  He was so excited.  He wanted to get his biggest brother one, and one for him, too.  I checked out the price – $49.95.  HHHmmmmm, I could swing that.  A few weeks later, my lovely DIL visited for Thanksgiving.  We measured my sons head, packed up the two little guys and went to do a little Christmas shopping. 

The trouble these two men went to to pack this hat – amazing,I thought.  What service!  “$132.00,” the sales clerk said.  My DIL and I stared blankly at him, and then at each other – assessingly. I countered, “$49.95.”  He pulled a price out from within the hate.  I swallowed – a lot of pride. “We’ll have to think about that,” I said.  My little guys were crushed.  We all felt this way:

And I bet my oldest son is having a flashback: 

Isn’t it fortunate that Hats are NOT the reason for the season?


Read Full Post »

I asked my son, Faithful, a few years back what type of scarf he wanted me to knit.  He looked through a book and chose the hardest one because he wanted me to work hard for him.  Those of you with 14 year olds, maybe not your first son, but your second, might find them challenging, fraught with difficulty for both mother and son. It’s a stage, but some 14 year olds are like emotional fireworks while others are sparklers.  Still, either way, it is a tough time. 

While I knit this scarf, I noticed that working it was just as frustrating as being with my 14-year-old at times – the humor sustained me. My love for my son kept me unwavering in my doggish attempt to finish the scarf in time for Christmas.  I must admit, he secretly loves it, though he would never admit it.  I often find it neatly folded all by itself – which he does not do with his other clothes. 

I boasted in the interim (between then and now) that I needed to write “Ode to the Sock Scarf:  how like a 14-year-old you are.”  I thought now was the perfect time to tackle that task – and after researching the Ode – I must say, it is up there with the sock scarf, though not as time-consuming (as you may be able to tell).  The first two stanzas are constructed 75% according to structure.  The last stanza is not – because motherhood is often fluent, unstructured in our attempts to meet challenges and think out of the box.

If you notice, there is a prayer mixed in – because when I knit knitty things for special people, I always pray for them.

Ode to the Sock Scarf

How Like a 14-Year-Old You Are


“A sock scarf, I want you to work hard for me”

The fourteen year old teen cleverly decided

Bravado brimming, carelessly deciding to torment his mommy

His ploy she saw but never chided the invited

“What scarf shall I craft you – I’ve made for your 4 brothers

But not yet you? –  A quality time love langauge gift  designed

To wrap a hug about my son, a colorful, warm mother

gift from a mother’s heart that loves blind

loves even 14-year-old grumpiness wrapped in nails arguing anything,

struggling, frustrating, trying to wriggle out of the cocoon and spread wings


The scarf I started, tube first, heels and toes last

The tube, so easy, so simple, like little boy 2,4, 6, and 8

36 stitches divided evenly over 3 double point needles, so quickly past

Careful not to twist stitches, knit and pearl consistent, not trusting to fate

Grafting waste for heels, a holding place, almost ready, not quite

For grown up product able to fulfill the design created for

Decrease, increase, slip, slip knit, drop a stitch, not loose, not tight, 

Count, knit, pearl, discovering a dropped stitch, heaving a great sight over this labor

Shaping this scarf of my heart, unraveling, backing out, re-knitting boldly

Constantly questioning, “Am I doing this right?”

Waste yarn pulled out, time to knit the heels, the heels so 14-years-old

My job so close to completeness – yet the hardest part


Slip stitches from one needle to another, right side facing

Knit one, pray for Godly friends;
knit two, pray for a heart that seeks Godly things;
pearl 3 his choices

Slip, Slip Stitch God planned his days before he was born

Increase his awareness of truth, decrease rebellion,

Slip Slip stitch, undo discontent
Knit two together for Faith

Pick up and knit 1 stitch between, knit, pearl, pray

2 rows at end of needle – graft stitches together

Grafting his heart to our Lord’s heart

Wrestling, frustration, repeat,
lost stitches searched

For, found and fixed, unravel, re-stitch, knit and pearl

Weaving prayers through tube, heal, and toe

Knitting in faith directions true, hoping in the end product,

Loving through the heel of 14 years old, crushed all but for faith

That God’s promises reign true, sore fingers, worn mind,

Questioning my actions, trying so hard to create

What the directions promised, the plan, wholeness and strength

Blindly working, knitting Faith, Hope and Love
I complete this Sock Scarf so like my 14-year-old

Permission granted from 14-year-old to use picture!

The Sock Scarf.  Scarves, a Knitter’s dozen. Published by XRX Books.

Read Full Post »

Simply Saturday

Promise Journal

 I am telling you the truth: those who believe in me will do what I do—yes,

they will do even greater things, because I am going to the Father.

And I will do whatever you ask for in my name,

so that the Father’s glory will be shown through the Son. 

If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it” John 14:12-14

 Wow!  Whatever I ask for in Jesus name—there has to be a catch?  Right?  Or we would all be rich as kings on the beach in the south of France—who would want the Bahamas if they could have the south of France?

  • What you ask has to line up with what God promises.  If you do not know what God promises, you do not know what’s available.  What does God promise?  Remember that song “Make Me Glad”?  “You are my shield, my strength, my portion, deliver, my shelter, strong tower, my ever present help in time of need?”
    • Prosperity
    • Healing
    • Protection
    • Strength
    • Family
    • Encouragement
    • Help
    • More

 If you do not know what God wants to do for you, how can you ask God to do it for you and have FAITH and HOPE that it will be done?  God’s words are not only an instruction manual for how He works, but they are also a love letter to His children.  Maybe you are missing out on what he has planned for you because you have not opened his “e-mails.”

Dear Father, I thank you for everything you have done for me.  I thank you for what you’re going to do for me.  I thank you that today my body will be stronger, my mind will be shaper, and that not only will I be blessed by my family, but I will be a blessing to them, too.  I pray that today I will let somebody know about the love of Jesus Christ either through words or actions.  I thank you for answer my prayer because Jesus said you would—it lines up with your promises for it is in His name I pray.

Read Full Post »

Christmas is creeping up, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  I started thinking about what I am thankful for. 

You might have heard the song, “What if Jesus comes back today,” but what if Jesus had not come yet today?

Imagine – only going to temple once a year to pray and say, “God, help me. . . . God, heal my son. . . .God, send mentor’s across his path to open his eyes to Your Truth. . .God, I am scared. . .God, can you hold me because I feel like crying right now and I don’t think anyone else can understand except you. . .God, forgive me – I really missed it today. . .

Imagine – saving it all up – all that need bundled up only to be released once a year.  Buy the spotless lamb and offer it at the temple for sacrifice – just to be able to cover your sin so God could gaze upon your need once a year, hear you, and comfort you.  

No emergency room pleas, “Dear Father, save my son.”

No twilight drops to the knees, “Dear Father, help my son be the man you created him to be”

No huddles in the closet when everything is overwhelming, “Dear Father, lift me up, hold me, comfort me”

Only yearly visits to the temple to say, “Father, help me.”

And that is only if you were a biological apple on Abraham’s family tree.

I would have been a gentile. A gentile did not even have the one-year temple visit with God.  Gentiles were unclean.  Gentiles were not in the family.

No hope! No help! No Mercy! Nothing!

Just waiting, waiting for God to send His son who would be the permanent living sacrifice to forever, once and for all cover my sin so that God would not turn away in disgust at the filth of my soul – Because of Jesus sacrifice – the sacrifice with a life-time warrently replacing the lamb whose blood apparently secured a 1 year warranty – God looks upon me, watches me, never takes His eye off me or my children

He is beside my sons on the soccer field, on the playgroun, at school, at a friend’s house , as long as they’ll have Him there

He was in the delivery room when the doctor said, “I don’t have a heartbeat,” and He held my son in the palm of His hand until he was born, health and hole with APGARs of 9

He heard my please for a faithful husband who would love  and value me, and sent my husband to me

He heard the prayes of a little girl in the back yard on a Spring day, calling out to Him, to please love her and never abandon her

He heard the prayers of a mother who son was tormented by stomach pain for 5 years and sent a laborer with the name of a doctor who took that pain away

and a mother’s prayer for her sons’ wives

prayers for children, friends, family, strangers

 for fear, for deliverance, for pain, for confusion, prayers for forgiveness

prayers in my van, at my kitchen sink, in a grocery store, the laundry room, lots of prayers in my van

asking prayers, praise prayers,

forgiving prayers,

and thanking prayers



all because

God sent His son

Thank you, God

from your daughter, adopted into the family of Abraham, because Jesus said so!



Read Full Post »

Simply Saturday

A day where you might find yourself without anything to say

And you do not need to



These are the days my sons dream about – when their mom has absolutely





Read Full Post »

Some of my sons dream of being a soccer professional or a football player. One wanted to be a garbage man. Another wanted to be a bladesmith crafting authentic reproduction swords. Military dreams, entrepreneurship dreams, maybe a drummer in a band.

My little guy, he dreams of being an artist.  He came home the other day, bummed out about his dream.  “Some kids in my class draw better than me.  Maybe I need to pick something else to be.”

This little guy has been living his dream since he could walk. He creates story art all the time.  He snags his dad to build furniture with leftover wood from home projects: wooden beds (think seven dwarf size), tables and little bench chairs.  He lamented that he had outgrown them the other day.

I bought a bag of fuzzy pom poms.  He made dozens of fuzzy people.  We had an entire fuzzy community! He gave a box of them to his cousin for his birthday.  His cousin took them everywhere.

Scissors and paper call him to come make art of them. And he does.

I have boxes of art, pictures he drew of me and dad full of I love yous.  I found art on the door to my bedroom the other day. Have you ever felt like you lived in a factor? An art factory?

I walked into the garage a couple of weeks to discover a teepee made of slates from an unused bed.

My artist felt like giving up because someone drew better.

Maybe he would grow up and open an ice cream store, he said.  Yes, an ice cream store with a wafer cone on top. It would have his favorite ice cream from The Marble Slab.  Yes, maybe that is what he would do. I boarded that ice-cream truck dream!  Who wouldn’t want to have a son who had an ice cream store!

But we also talked about the different kinds of artists: industrial artists, wood craftsmen, potters, cartoonists, architects, and so many more. Then we talked about how to increase his skill level.  This summer we bought some great books on how to draw lots of things, but they cannot help if they are not opened.

He is at an interesting stage in his life right now.  He is standing on the edge, trying to muster up the energy, the desire, the want to jump to the next level. Sometimes my boys go through a stage where they stagnate, burrow into laziness and discontent.  He has been discontent lately, feeling like he is not smart enough or talented enough. The realization dreams require work, actual effort do not mean that you are not smart enough or talented enough.  God gives giftings.  Those giftings take you only so far.  Work ethic is needed to reach the goal. He just did not want to work hard. Dreams, after all, just magically appear out of a heart’s desire, right?

Until this week, when the sleeping lion stirred from dreaming, waking up.  He’s working hard now, reading, drawing, mathematics. Success, confidence, work ethic are blooming like a warm spring after a cold, dark winter.

He brought out the scissors today along with the colored paper.

In a few years, he is going to be in c ollege, standing on the edge of the nest beside me, trying to muster up the courage to jump and fly. I felt that way with my oldest. It was time to take that next jump.  If he would not jump, I would have given a helpful push.  I did not have to push – he jumped and soared.

Right now my little guy is ready to take the next step.  He is trying to take his dreams to the next level. I can figuratively hold his hand and help him to that next level. I will savor that opportunity for a short time longer. In a few years, he will not need that hand.  He will jump and soar, all on his own. 

When he grows up, I want him to live his dreams, instilled in him by a mighty God.  However, all dreams take hard work – and that takes choice. As a mom, it is so exciting to see the gifts and the dreams with the human resource character that God placed in him unfold. What tremendous relief to know that God knows all His needs – and does not keep solutions a secret, but lets me know what my little guy needs.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139: 14-16)

Years ago, when I was 6, I wanted to be a writer.  It took hard work, determination in the face of adversity – and choice. I chose to pursue my dream. I will encourage each of my sons to pursue their dreams, too!  Is it not amazing that God created our hearts, our toes, all those little blood vessels, finger nails, even, noise hair along with our souls, and then gave us the tone or our voices, individual laughter, and sneezes. And then he placed a dream in us that would lead us to what He created us to be – not a dream to torment and bring unhappiness, but one that brings joy! My God is utterly amazing – and I never realized just how utterly amazing until I had children.

Read Full Post »

.Simply Saturday

I love fairy tales about princesses.  They go through tough times but they still behave like a princess, with gentleness, nobleness, and strength. Though a princess may appear to be abandoned and suffer at the hands of others, the princess has a hero looking for her, someone strong enough to lift her out of her ugliness and put her back where she belongs, in the position of a beloved princess.

This is not a fairy tale, though.  I am a princess – I am the daughter of The King! How amazing is that!  I did not grasp that until I was 37 years old.  Do you realize what being the daughter of The King entails? Think about it.  Walk it out during your day, in your dealings with other people.  If you are a child of God, you are a princess!

 “Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward”(Gensis 15:1)

A princess need never be afraid when her Father is the King!

 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations; Your name will be  Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.  I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you And your descendants after you for The generations to come, to Be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God”(Genesis 17:4-8).

My earthly father might have walked out on me, but I was adopted into Abraham’s family because of Jesus Christ.  That means this is my history, too! God promises to Abraham are promises to me, all because of Jesus!

 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And whoever curses you I will curse; And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you”(Genesis 12:2-3)

 I am a BLESSING!  Do you hear that – a BLESSING! – and guess what, my Father will take care of those who mess with me! He will Champion His child, his princess!

 I always wondered how Jesus could love me as much as He loved Peter, James, and John.  I would say, “Sure he does,” but that is not how I felt inside.  I wanted Jesus to love me like that, but I still wondered,”Oh, I’m not good enough or special enough for that.” When you do not have an earthly father who thinks you are special are a blessing, are worth championing, who thinks you beautiful (every girl should have a father who thinks she’s beautiful), it is difficult to imagine that God would. 

 Then one day I understood:  I am a daughter of the King.  Imagine being a daughter of the King—how people treat you, how you are provided for, how you are valued and loved.

Never let anyone take away your inheritance, your heritage, your place in the family, in the kingdom!

You are a Princess

A daughter of The King

Walk it!

Think it!

Be it!

All the way down to the tiptoes of your soul!

Dear Father, Thank you for loving me as much as you loved Peter, James, John, and Abraham.  Thank you for being my God.  Thank you for sending Jesus so I could be a daughter of the King.  It is in your son’s name that I thank you and take my rightful place as a favored child in the family of God



Read Full Post »


Come join me with my friends, my BFFS, my peeps that I left behind in The Promised Land when I moved out of state.  We created a blog, The Friendship Table, where we can still share recipes for a friendship dinner – the next closest thing to being there. Friends are such gifts from God! 

Here is my desert contribution:

Tres Leche Cake
Evaporated, condensed, and whole milk are combined in this cake for just the right amount of sweetness. Make the cake up to three days in advance and refrigerate it. It’s traditionally served chilled and topped with whipped cream but is also delicious with chopped pineapple.
Unsalted butter, room temperature, for baking dish
100_26296 large eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 can(12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. In another bowl, beat egg whites to soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold whites into yolks until almost combined. Gently fold in flour (do not overmix).
Spread batter in prepared dish. Bake until golden and pulling away from sides of dish, 20 to 25 minutes. Using a small knife, scrape skin from top of cake; discard. Cool cake 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the three milks; pour evenly over cake. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
To serve, prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream with sugar to soft peaks. Chill cake and cut into squares; serve topped with whipped cream.

Read Full Post »

When I am old, I will smoke a pipe with vanilla tobacco.  By the time I am 85 years old, smoking a pipe of vanilla tobacco will not negatively affect my health.  I will be too old to negatively influence my children, and my great grand children will remember me.  There will be, I am sure, many things I will not want to do, but I think the hardest thing will be to resist the urge to speak to my children, my grandchildren, and my great grand children in Disney Language (Disneyese).

So that when my son says, “Mom, I was thinking . . . .”

I will not answer, “A dangerous past time, I’m sure”(Beauty and the Beast).

Nor will I respond to misplaced temper with, “…and most of all…Control your temper”(Beauty andthe Beast)

When somone askes me who the older gentleman is with my 10th grandson’s wife, I will not say, “The crazy old coot is belle’s father” (Beauty and the Beast).

No matter how temping, when my great grand-sons are whining about pulling some weeds, I will not say, like Grumpy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, “A fine bunch of water lilies you turned out to be.”

Nor will I on any occasion sing to my sons, my grandsons, and my great grandsons about what kind of man they need to be:

“[men] BE A MAN
We must be swift as a coursing river
[men] BE A MAN
With all the force of a great typhoon
[men] BE A MAN
With all the strength of a raging fire
Mysterious as the dark side of the moon”(Mulan) -This one is going to be a hard one to resist!

Neither will I encourage the eating of lettuces:  romaines, butterheads, radicchio, arugula or endive by saying, “Eating greens is a special treat, It makes long ears and great big feet. But it sure is awful stuff to eat”(Bambi).

And when my 2 year old great grand-daughter jabbers to me, in a language I cannot understand, I will not say, “Look, you’re really cute, but I can’t understand what you’re saying” (Finding Nemo).

Despite their good intentions, when my children try to wake me up at 5 a.m. to take me to the beach with them, I will not sound like Madam Mim, “I  hate sunshine! I hate horrible, wholesome sunshine! I hate it! I hate it! I hate, hate, hate!” and pull the covers back over my head (The Sword and the Stone).

Nor will I ask the tiny child rummaging through my candy box, “Who are You?” Catepillar from Alice in Wonderland (because I will know all their names).

And when that tiny child eats my last favorite piece of candy, I will not shout or even whisper, “Off with their heads,”(Alice in Wonderland).

When I ask my 4 year old great grandaughter what her name is because I am so old and have so many new names to remember, when she just stares mutely, terrified of the little old lady smoking a pipe with vanilla tobacco, I will not impertintly answer,”At least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then” (Alice in Wonderland).

I will not wish strangers, “A Very Happy Unbirthday”(Alice in Wonderland), and when my son tells me the doctor has ordered me to never eat ice cream again, I will not answer, “Never say Never whatever you do”(An American Tail).

When they asked, “What’s for dinner Great Grannydoodle?” I will not answser, “Kidney of a horse, liver of a cat, filling up the sausages with this and that” (00ps–Les Miserable, but it is one of my most favorite lines).

If my sons dared to ask, just because they are in their 50s and think they are old enough, “Why did you do it, Mom” when I visit and eat all their ice cream at 2 a.m.  I will not say, “I’d like to make one thing quite clear: I never explain anything”(Mary Poppins).

When they fuss at me for having too much fun wrestling and pinning  down the grandchildren and great grandchildren or jumping on the trampoline, I will not say, “Why do you have to spoil it? We have fun! I taught you to fly and to fight”(Peter Pan).
And when one of the little ones comes in, fussing that someone is not sharing, no matter how tempting, I will not say, “All you need is trust and a little bit of pixie dust” and then sprinkle glitter or baby powder on her hair.  No, I will not do that.
Nor will I call all these children, big and small “Bilge Rats” for beating me at chess and checkers(Peter Pan).
No, I think when I am Old and Smoke a Pipe with Vanilla Tobacco, I will want to hold their tiny hands, or hug them close if they will let me (you know how children are), and I will say, “Let me pray a blessing prayer with you.” Or maybe I will tell them stories about how Jesus loved their parents, and grandparents, cousins – and how God answered prayers and loved unconditionally, faithfully.  And, maybe, I will explain about being a son or daughter of the King – and what that means in His Kingdom!
Yes, I think that is what I will do!

Read Full Post »

.Simply Saturday

The older I get, the more challenges I face raising my sons, I am continually amazed at the unconditional depth and breadth of the love God placed in me to not hold grudges, never give up, to hope in Faith, and to love when you do not feel like it, the desire to reach down to the tip-toes of your soul and pull love out because sometimes feeling love is hard. Finding it is a choice.

My little guys feel love right now. I used think love was just feeling love. I know better now. How awesome when the two collide. On the days when you just do nt feel the love does not mean it is not there. There is a God-designed nobleness in knowing love, choosing love, no condition love!

Read Full Post »

superior scribbler awardHow many times do you do something wonderful, and your children, whom you think sparkle like the moon and stars, do not appreciate your Sparkleness?  Sometimes that attitude can dull your sparkle, though it is not supposed to.  I guess that is the humanness within.

Zeemaid from In the Mommy Trenches, sent me this wonderful award that definitely shined up my inner Sparkly.

The Rules for this one are:

* Each Superior Scribbler I name today must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
* Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
* Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visitThis Post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
*Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

heartfeltShirley at A Mom After God’s Own Heart sent me The Heartfelt Blog Award.  It is such a blessing to be able to share what is in our hearts whether it is just telling a story because it makes you laugh – and telling it just once at home just is not enough! OR maybe it is a crusade against injustice or frustration at valueless marketing in our stores that encroach on your values or just needing someone to say, “I know how you feel.”  To be the Heartfelt Award is about one person’s ideas resounding in some positive, encouraging way in another’s heart.

  The Rules for the Heartfelt  Blog Award are:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.

2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.

3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.

4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.

5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award

So without further delay, here are my nine picks for the Heartfelt Award:

DaffycommentsawardAnd then the amazing RedHead Riter bestowed upoon me the My Comments Rock Awards because it is not just about taking.  A good neighbor always gives, too.  When we were making our move, I bemoaned my “Peeps” – Yes, I said Peeps.  You do realize that if you use the slang of youth, they will stop using that slang.  I am on a quest – but I digress – I bemoaned the loss of my “Peeps” – My Kroger Peeps, my Wal-mart Peeps, my coffee shop peeps at Cafe Dolche and Poets, Sweet Sallies Yum Homemade cakes and cupcakes – people I have done business with for 18 years, seen me drag my boys through the check out aisle, brought in for a cup of JoeMy sons  where I’d ask how they were and mean it.  And they’d stop and talk about their lives, too.  My sons (all 5 are in agreement on this) and my husband laughed and said it wouldn’t be long before I made friends.  They swear I knew everyone, so it never phases them when I found out information and said, “I have my sources.” However, making friends is hard work.  It means risking rejection by extending friendliness.  We do that with our comments.  We can either give cruise-through comments or really sit down and have a dialogue.  Yes, I am interested in what you have to say.  I was never to appalled in my life when my journalism teacher in college was talking about cliches, saying, “People don’t really want to know how you are.  They just ask.”  This Award, to me, symbolizes what a blogahood needs to be healthy.

Read Full Post »

Simply Saturday

God puts things in our hearts, and whispers, “Pass it on.”  Of course, sometimes He has to shout, but we pass it on. I have been so blessed by so many wonderful women who have passed on a “God” message that was spiritual water to my thirsting soul.

That message gets passed on, maybe through words, maybe through actions to my children, family, peers, acquaintences, maybe the cashier at a store.  It might not be a sermon, but maybe it’s a smile, a pat on the back, a hug, a word of encouragement,  just showing interest, making eye contact, a reaching into someone’s life that needs to be reached. The ripple effect of “Pass it on” – just think about it.

The other day, Jenn from  jpreziosi sent me something from her collage site.  A few words that I had written in Capitalism or Socialism: Trick or Treat were passed on and Jenn did something beautiful with it, maybe passing it on further, maybe encouraging a generosity of spirit. She made it more than what it was. That is what “passing it on does” – make things more than what they were.

generosity of spirit

Read Full Post »

10-25-2009 06;08;41PMTrick or Treat

Trick or Treat

Give me Something Good to Eat

Every topic provides a teachable moment about God and, often, politics. Halloween is no different.

Last year, before the election, I was driving my boys somewhere-we are always going somewhere, and we were talking, discussing the difference between presidential candidates.

I explained how our capitalistic country was born out of the failure of socialism. William Bradford, author of Plymouth Plantation led a group of people to settle in America. Their settlement charter required them to form a socialist society. All results of work would be equally shared among their group. The first year was an utter failure. Healthy young men did not work. Why? Because they knew they would get their equal share of the pie whether they worked or not, as the charter stated. Suffering resulted, and, sadly, the ones who worked hard to provide for those who did not work suffered equally. The colony revised their charter the second year into a capitalistic charter: what you made you kept to sell, barter, trade. The colony flourished. Those lazy young men worked when there was profit/rewards to be had.

“Capitalism allows you to keep what you earn and choose where to spend it; socialism “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need”(Marx), meaning that it doesn’t matter how much you work or how good you are, the government will take away your earnings to give to fill other peoples’ needs.”

10-25-2009 06;03;09PMMy sons looked at me blankly. Hmmmmm, apparently, I needed to put this into the U-14 venacular.” Passing houses with pumpkins filling door ways, black cat flags, and other ghoulish festivities, I pulled an idea out of the figurative candy basket of my brain.

I assessed my boys through the rear-view mirror.

“What’s your favorite part about Halloween,” I asked.

“Candy,” chimed the unhesitatant chorus.

“What if the Jones wouldn’t allow their children to go Trick or Treating because they didn’t believe in it? The Thompsons were just too lazy? The Smith’s too sick? What would you do when you got home and Dad said you had to give 2/3 of your candy to those families? How would you feel?”

“Not going to happen!” my then 8th grader answered bluntly.

The two younger ones looked appalled, even disgusted.

benI countered my 8th grader, “But he is your Dad, you have to do what he says. Just like the president is the president-you have to do what he says, too. Socialism is like your dad telling you you must share, whether you want to or not. Socialism is when the leader of your country decides how many other people you have to give your hard-earned halloween candy to.”

“Some people don’t believe in trick or treating, some just don’t want to, some people maybe just can’t for real reasons. Despite the reason why others do not have Halloween candy, you cannot call it giving when the government takes it away and chooses who to give your stuff to.”

My 4th grader said, “Well, if they were sick, I’d share.”

“In a Capitalist society, you go out, work hard, and determine what to do with your earnings. The moral choice is yours to make with giving. That is what makes it moral,” I answered. “There’s nobleness and goodness in giving when you make the choice to give-that is capitalism, and that’s why we’re known as the most giving country in the world. There is no moral giving without choice. There is no generosity of spirit without choice.”

Halloween is a sweet-tooth example of the capitalist system thriving in our country. I bet your children share without being told to, or barter the results of their hard work.

Socialism or Capitalism–what’s the real trick or treat?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »