26 May 2008


They announced their engagement today. We are all (the church people) thrilled to death for them.

Congrats, G and D!

Blank Book

I've got a love affair with blank books. I browse the shelves in the bookstore, imagining myself writing in each and every one of them. There's the travel journal (I can catalogue all the road trips we take!), the prayer journal (write prayer requests and answers!), the journal with the artistic, nature-inspired cover (I can write about the way that shaft of light just hit the roadside daisies today as they whipped around in the pre-thuderstorm wind!).

Inevitably, they end up sitting on my bookshelves at home, each with one or two entries in the first few pages. All the fantasies about journaling every day go crashing down to the ground.

So I made up a rule: no buying a new journal unless 1) the old journal has ten or fewer blank pages left, 2) the very perfect journal turns up on the bookstore shelves or the grocery store shelves or the used bookstore shelves, and 3) we can afford it.

That third one has been tough these days. (A tank of gas is like forty dollars! Like, zoiks, man!) I try to discipline myself to buy a seventy-five-cent composition notebook and just decorate the cover with magazine photos (artfully cropped and collaged, of course), but it's hard. Because I want. I want it!*

Ok, so I got a little sidetracked. But I'm needing a new blank book for sermon notes. I realized today that I'll probably only make it through one more Sunday till I need a new one. So there...I have a week (give or take a few days) to decide if I'm going to be good and just settle for a composition notebook--or if I'm going to look around for a nice, cool, pretty, reasonably-priced blank book that I will tote to church every Sunday for the next few months. (If I'm going to have it with me that often, I have to feel as if I'm going to like it for at least that long.)


*I heard a little child in the store saying that very thing. I hear it all the time. Little children react to stimuli exactly how we all react; they are the only ones that don't know how to filter their reactions to the so carefully constructed stimuli that make them feel like they want. Think of that next time you are in a store, feeling like you absolutely must buy that ____ in order to make you truly happy.

19 May 2008

I Have a Confession...

I see a lot of people I know where I work. (That's not the confession.)

Saturday at work, I saw a former professor's wife and her twin daughters. My husband coached the girls in cross-country and in track.

I hid behind the girls' bikini rack so they wouldn't see me. I just didn't want to talk to them, didn't want to explain why a teacher is working at this store, didn't want to go through the false cheer.

I saw them leaving, too, and hid again.

I'm embarrassed that I hid and embarrassed about all the reasons (and potential reasons) that I hid. Twice.

16 May 2008


is a very hard trait to employ.

Especially when it has to do with forgiveness.

The Only One

LogoThere is
person with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

15 May 2008

Shower Cleaner

I just used a 2:1 mix of baking soda:borax to scrub down my shower.

The verdict?

No terrible fumes that require me to set up a fan to blow air through the bathroom!
Just about the same amount of elbow grease needed to get rid of hard-water stains.
Much less expensive than commercial cleaning products.

I'll keep using it. But I have to be CERTAIN to CLEARLY mark my little recycled sour cream container as "Tub Scrub" because borax is pretty toxic when ingested, according to wikipedia. I'm going to lock it securely when we need to baby proof*; even though it's so white and clean-looking, it's not a food (duh, right?) and shouldn't be used around food. That's good to remember.


*No, this is not an announcement of bun in my oven. I'm not expecting.

09 May 2008

Irony of the Day (Yesterday, 8 May 2008)

Every. Single. One. of these shirts was on the floor in a heap or hanging askew from the hangers yesterday. Every single one. Some of the hangers were still hanging from the rack, some were mixed in the pile of shirts, and some were scattered on the floor.

None of the other clothes in the area were that trashed.

Sunday Meals

Monica posted about another layer her family adds to the specialness of the Lord's Day, and it inspired me to share what we do on Sundays.

Our church has a potluck every Sunday. Yes, every Sunday.

I really like it. I like the obvious reason of only preparing one casserole (maybe two) and sometimes one dessert to share with the whole church family, instead of an entire meal for just the two of us. I also like more subtle reasons: the chitchat and catchup with the folks in the kitchen as we prepare the food to go on the tables; the visiting over meals that we all get to do; the comments and compliments I get to share with other cooks in my congregation; the way we all crowd into the fellowship hall. We get in each other's way, we bump into each other, the little kids are underfoot...but we are all there, sharing this time together, learning at least a few of the minutiae and details of each other's personalities. (For example, one gentleman has Parkinson's but wants to contribute anyway, so he brings a box of cookies each week. There's always someone who puts his little donation into a nice dish so that they're just as special as any of the homemade desserts. Another example: the pastor's wife happens to have a real 'leadership' personality, and she organizes events that need organized.)

Don't think that it's all sunshine and roses, though. Like any family dynamic, this routine of Sunday potluck also brings out some weaknesses. There are patterns and routines we have when we all get together that I don't like, but nonetheless--we're a family, and the Big Sunday Potluck has potential either to make people feel included or to make them feel overlooked. My experience is that it's inclusive and fun.

07 May 2008

Drips and Drabs: Wednesday, May 7

It's been a while since I've posted! Let me give you a few glimpses into how things are right now:
  • Work is harder than I thought it would be. The physical part isn't hard, other than being up so late (I don't leave till 11pm...and Ian has to come pick me up!). It's the emotional part and the spiritual part that's hard. Working for a massive corporation that treats its employees (and customers) like cogs in a machine rather than the Imago Dei is hard. However, God's grace is present, and it's new every morning!
  • Regarding God's grace: the Children of Israel wandered around Egypt for 40 years, but their clothes and their shoes did not wear out because of God's grace. In the same way, God's grace won't wear out no matter how many years I walk around before I arrive in the Promised Land.
  • I meditate a lot on Psalm 37 ('Fret not yourself because of evildoers') because it's written in response to a life where the wicked prosper. The first few verses feature seven commands of what to do in response to the evildoers and their unjust prosperity. Pop over on that hyperlink and read it for yourselves.
  • I've also been studying Psalm 139 ('You have searched me and you know me'). I was needing some self-esteem help because I was relying on my own and others' assessment of me to feel happy about myself, when instead I need to rely on the Lord's assessment of me to feel happy about myself! It occurred to me that this is a Messianic Psalm. It prophesies Christ's death in the same way the story of Jonah does, and since it teaches us about the Messiah, it teaches that Christ was an actual human person in his physical body.
  • A young woman in our church is getting married on Saturday. Just about everyone in the church is helping one way or another, and I'm looking forward to another wedding...what a great lesson about the depth of the Lord's love for us, his bride.
  • Ian's track season keeps plugging along...now he is helping the high school track team with their big season-ending meets. They hosted a big meet yesterday afternoon and will host the second part of that meet this afternoon...18 schools!...and I really wish I could go.
I think that's all. Keep in touch.

01 May 2008

Grocery Bag Recycling

Some time ago I resolved not to take any more bags home from the Mega Grocery Mart. Well, today, circumstances finally conspired to let me follow through with that resolution!

A) The bags were in the trunk instead of on top of the dryer.
B) I remembered the bags were in the trunk.
C) I brought the bags into the store.

So there I was, in the checkout line, asking the cashier to put the groceries right in my cart instead of into bags and then into the cart. Thankfully, the Mega Grocery Mart is very slow at this time of the morning (I was in the grocery line by 9:15), so the cashier wasn't distracted by thousands of customers milling around and hundreds of customers in her line.

Still, I had to remind her a couple times...the first couple items were put into a bag. I've cashiered, so I know you operate on routine and habit most of the time. However, when the PIN pad asked me if the cashier had been friendly today, I clicked "no." She wasn't friendly, especially when I interrupted her routine and habit.

We have to change our thinking: these bags aren't disposable! They can be used over and over and over. Just because we've grown up thinking that they are disposable doesn't mean that we are slaves to that thinking. We can retrain ourselves to think according to facts...right?

In any case, I came home with the same amount of bags I left home with. I'd say that's a success. And the Mega Grocery Mart cashiers are just going to have to get used to letting me bag my own groceries.