Monday, March 20, 2017

Dear Persnicketta,

Dearest Persnicketta,  I picked up these two books at Grace Books International yesterday.  As you have seen, our marriage and our family life has changed quite a bit, with more change to come.  My role as the wife of Mr. M has changed.  I now have new and unexpected responsibilities, and Mr. M and I no longer have the same freedom and room for spontaneity we have had for 20 years.  It hasn't been an easy adjustment, and we are still adjusting and learning.  I am still learning to adjust to my new role as wife with my new responsibilities.  That is the reason behind my purchase.  I need to be encouraged by the examples of other wives-Godly wives.  The first chapter was all about Katherine von Bora, Martin Luther's wife.  I can't imagine trying to live a life built on the Word of God when the Bible wasn't even available to most people!  She really had no other wives to look to for advice or example in living in a Bible-based marriage, because no one had a Bible!  I know Mr. M isn't a reformer, or even a pastor, but reading about the lives of these Godly wives-lives so different from mine-is still encouraging.  I am reminded that the trial I am in is no freak, run-for-the-hills thing that hasn't happened to anyone else.  (1 Cor. 10:13, 1 Peter 4:12.)

Thursday, March 09, 2017


I have always loved to spell . . . and read. I suspect the two may be related. I was reading about a spelling bee yesterday, and I recalled with sadness the 3rd grade spelling bee I lost. I remember confidently standing in the auditorium and misspelling aquarium. I will never forget that word. On my worst days when I feel really low, I think to myself, "Well, at least you know how to spell 'aquarium.'" And on days when I fear I may be losing my mental acuity, I spell "aquarium" to myself and rest assured in my still-functioning brain. ("The little gray cells", as Poirot would say.) Today as I write about spelling, I am waiting for a new book. It is the biography of the bandit, Tiburcio Vasquez. I love Vasquez Rocks, and I always take out-of-town guests there. Tiburcio hid in the rocks that were later named for him. Spelling and reading the biography of a bandit seem like two very different and unrelated subjects, but I've heard, on somewhat shaky authority, that bandits were widely known for their outstanding spelling.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Mythical Typical Church Lady

Many of us will be familiar with Dana Carey's portrayal of the Church Lady character from Saturday Nite Live.  Even if you've never seen it or heard of it, I think we all are familiar with the idea of a typical church lady.  She is boring, hum-drum, and she is anything but fun . . . thing is, this is a mythological creature, a fabrication of society.  If you believe this myth, you need to talk to and get to know some "typical church ladies."  I've never met one in my 25 years of church attendance.  I talk to a lot of ladies at church, and I've met ladies who've grown up in the circus, ladies who go to space camp, world travelers, reggae singers, and more.  Do yourself a favor and really get to know the typical-looking people at your church; you'll be surprised.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Today, We Walk!

Here is Renee, ambivalently looking longingly out the window at the beautiful day, both glad for me that my book has arrived, yet also earnestly hoping that I don't get so caught up in reading that I neglect to take her out for a walk. If she could read, though, she'd know that this book is encouraging Christians (like me) to get out of their houses and get to know their neighbors by taking their cute little dogs out for walks.
Also, on a different note, would anyone be interested in a Superbowl-style Shepherd's Conference viewing party, complete with chips and guacamole?

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Plan

To be honest, I feel somewhat in a funk right now.  I feel stuck in a situation I can't control, and I am close to being overwhelmed with these out-of-control circumstances.  In reading this book, though, and in praying and reflecting on God's control over all things, I have come to see that while I have no control over some things in my life, I do have control over other things-like being nice.  I can choose to be friendly to my neighbors when I go for a walk around the 'hood.  I can choose to invite some neighbors over and make a nice meal so that we can all enjoy a nice evening together.  As I go through hard times with circumstances I can't control, I've found it very helpful to find something I can control, and invest my time and effort in that.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Our Big Sunday.

 My mind was full of visions of plates, and I couldn't think about anything else. Suddenly, a vision of Ikea came into my head, along with the thought. "I wonder if those crazy Swedes sell good plates?" I simultaneously remembered that our closest Ikea was moving into a new building that would make it THE HUGEST IKEA IN THE UNIVERSE . . . or at least in this country. So Mr. M and I planned to go after church Sunday. (Those crazy Swedes sure know their way around a meatball and ligonberries.) We met a Brazilian girl at church and invited her to lunch . . . and to go shopping for plates. She didn't know she'd be stuck with us for the entire day. We drove to Ikea, which had just opened two days earlier, and cars were lined up for several blocks just waiting to get in the parking lot. We found parking on the street and walked. We headed straight for the restaurant, which seats 600, and waited in a zig-zag line like the lines at Disneyland. We ate our food and browsed our way through the mile-long showroom. We finally came to the marketplace, where I found some Swedish plates made in Thailand. We bought the plates and limped back to the car. I had blisters on my feet. But I got plates, and we got to spend good time with our new friend from Brazil, and we ended the day at church, listening to a sermon on Ruth.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Home Plate Hospitality

It's hard to believe that I took this picture just a few hours ago, under a bright, cloudy sky with no hint of rain, and now as I write this, there is a super-strong storm out, with thunderous thunderclaps and streaks of lightening and flooding streets.
Anyway, I went to the store looking for another set of these plates . . . the ones we bought twenty years ago.  The store doesn't carry them anymore.  (I was as shocked as you are.)  I think we have all heard some version of the motivational advice, "Dress for the position you want, not for the position you have."  (Along the same lines is the advice that if you want to work out at the gym, dress like you're going to work out at the gym, and it's more likely that you will.)  I want to be more hospitable-which is quite a feat, since I haven't cooked since 2009-, so I thought getting some extra plates would be a good first step.
I would continue my search today, but, you know, it's raining out and those of us who live in California are afraid of the rain.  Plus, I don't have time because Mr. M and I are having several college students over for pizza and home-made cast iron skillet cookies.