Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Cars whip past us as we walk to school. Slow down. This is our neighborhood and our children are trying to walk to school, I think. Ever since construction started at a major intersection near our home, people have been taking a shortcut through our neighborhood to avoid the mess.

The unmarked police car comes out of nowhere, lights flashing. As if by magic, the cars slow down.

If I was driving the car that got pulled over, I’d be bummed, thinking, Why should I get a ticket? Everyone is speeding! Getting caught is never fun. And yet the boundaries are there for a reason. In this case, the boundaries protect my children.

How often do I rail against the boundaries, without ever considering why the boundary is there? Not to ruin our fun or stifle our creativity… but to protect.

Monday, April 20, 2009

isn't that the way?

My basement is one big pile today. We’re getting ready for a garage sale with friends this weekend, and using the opportunity to really clear things out. Not only baby toys, but toddler toys too. (Our toddler doesn’t need two sit-and-spins, two rocking chairs…the list goes on.)

And you can guess what the toddler is doing right now as I write this: playing in the basement.

All of the toys he hasn’t looked at for a year seem oh so exciting now that they’re in the garage sale pile.

I can relate. It’s hard to let go of the stuff of life, even when I know I don’t need it. I don’t tend to hold onto things as much as I do emotions. It’s hard to let go of those, even when they hurt me and the people around me. Anger, grudges, even sadness sometimes feel like a warm security blanket. But I know that in order to make room for emotions like joy and contentment, I need to let go of some of the other stuff.

And like the big pile of stuff sitting in my basement, I know I won’t miss it when it’s gone.

Monday, April 13, 2009

teen readers?

Anybody know any teenagers who would be willing to read the first few chapters of a young adult novel and give me their honest feedback on it?

It's about teen pregnancy, targeting young women ages 16-20. If you know anyone in that age range who likes to read, leave me a comment with your email address.

(And if you're the mom of a teenager and would like to read it, leave me a comment too. I'd love your feedback as well!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jesus and the Easter Bunny

Me: We need to get ready for our party on Sunday.

The Toddler: Party my house?

Me: Yes, we’re having a party at our house with our friends for Easter.

The Toddler: Yay! Jesus!

Me: (Thrilled that my toddler is making this connection between Jesus and Easter. Must be the deeply spiritual home he’s being raised in.) Yes! Easter is all about Jesus being alive!

The Toddler: Yes. Jesus. Alive. Church. CANDY! Easter bunny come my church bring CANDY!

Me: The Easter bunny is coming to church?

The Toddler: Yes. Bringing candy after lunch. Jesus comes too.

Allrighty then. Nothing like lunch with Jesus and the Easter Bunny. I can hardly wait.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

lost in translation

A Brit, and Aussie, and an American walk into a bar…well, not really, but it sounds clever, doesn’t it?

Actually, I just flew in to the Brit's house for the weekend to catch up with my friend who's visiting from Australia for a few weeks.

When I first met D, my Aussie friend, back when we lived in California, I realized that even though we technically speak the same language, communication is not always straightforward.

One time she left a message on my answering machine, “Hey! Do you mind bringing supper for the group tomorrow night?” I listened to the message and thought, “Well, she has some nerve…asking me to bring supper for the entire group!” (We were in a bible study group together that met at her house.)

When I called her, I asked what she had in mind—spaghetti maybe?

“Nah, just a packet of cookies or something.”

Of course. Supper. A light snack.

And so we learned to overcommunicate everything to avoid misunderstanding.

I found myself chuckling yesterday at all of the ways we clash cultures. The Brit has a teenage daughter who asked for a “ham toasty” for lunch. I expected some kind of grilled cheese sandwich, or at least, ham. Nope. It was two pieces of toast with some turkey in the middle. A ham toasty.

Last night we had the loveliest curry for dinner--er, tea--and I noticed everyone used their knifes except me. For curry over rice. How they put up with this barbaric American, i'll never know. But I'm glad they do. My life is richer for knowing them.

Now, I’m off to the coffee shop to get my morning caffeine fix. Not that I don’t enjoy a cup of instant coffee now and then, but, well, um. Right. I’ll be back.