Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's day

Today I'm extra aware of how blessed we are to live in a free country, with leaders who have limited terms and finite power. For the guaranteed rights this nation is founded on. And for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us!

Saturday, February 19, 2011


It's Friday!!!
And if that weren't reason enough to be grateful, the moon is hanging like a ripe grapefruit in the sky!
And furthermore, I ordered a brick-oven pizza from this fabulous little place without mushrooms. But, woe among woes, the one they baked had mushrooms. So, they made a new one and, joy among joys, they offered me the mushroom-infested one free in addition to my untainted pizza! I can decontaminate a free pizza.
And it's Friday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I heart Gillette

I had a conversation today about the tradition of shaving legs.
Don't ask.
I am totally pro-shaving...but in winter, lets just say my routine is less stringent. Why? Because I know it can only get bad to a point and then level off. While hair on our heads can grow as long as protein and patience allows, body hair stops at a preordained length.
Go ahead and gag a little as you imagine the ramifications if this weren't true. We'd all be walking Cousin Its. Or it could go the other way, and our little heads and faces would get cold with a thin coat of fuzz.
I love that God, who imagined galaxies and flowers and love, is in the details. Even the hairy ones (um, totally lame, I know, but it was right there.) And Praise his name forever that he is!
Thank you, God, that I live in the era of the disposable razor and that it does the job. Thank you that you thought of things like the fact that long hair is best worn on the head, so I don't have to buy stock in pruning shears. I'm sure there's a better reason for it, but I'm just glad because it looks better. All my love!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Psalm 139

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Sure the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for the darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
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.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand--
when I awake, I am still with you.

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD,
and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

There's a plot afoot

Today we got seven inches of snow. (That is a rough guess. I haven't actually gone outside to check the actual depth.) Here in Little Rock we're calling it The Big Snow.
Due to this weather event, I had a day off of work. Maybe two.
And that meant I spent today with a good book, a few DVDs, facebook, and...drumroll....
a new plot!
That's right. My next novel is still in it's infancy but it is finally more than a twinkle in my eye.
And that to me is a great thrill. I love how when you tug on a ribbon of thought, sometimes the whole spool uncoils and you find your mind's eye witnessing your characters taking leaps and risks and facing challenges you didn't even know were in their path.
It's a beautiful thing. Makes me just stop and shake my head at how crazy creative God is. He is managing billions of intertwined plots at the same time and never drops one or forgets the theme: His glory.
Lovely! I can't wait to get to the other side and see it with eternal eyes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Have my fig and eat it too

If you've never had a turkish fig, you are probably normal.
But, I went a little nuts in the bulk food department at Kroger and came home with six little baggies of different dried fruits.
Turkish figs would never win an award for their looks. In fact, it was kind of a growth moment when I forced myself to overcome my apprehension and eat one.
But I was glad I did.
Turns out the Turks grow a mean fig.
So, I'm grateful for the Turks, their fig trees, impulses that lead to good things, and the fact that even the ugliest dried out fruits can yield sweetness.
I will not dig into the metaphors that abound, I will just enjoy my fig.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mixin' it up, winter style

This morning in Little Rock we got a dose of wintry mix. If someone passed a note that said, "Do you like Wintry Mix? Check yes or no," I would check no with a fat black crayon.
Until this morning.
I was on my way to a meeting when--just to give my eyeballs a break from taillight staring--I looked up. And saw the trees. I love trees in general, and naked trees in winter are so stark they take my breath away.
These were great big things, older than me, with a broad span of thin black fingers stretched up toward the sky and out toward each other. And a thin layer of bright white snow draped each limb, bough, and twig. What had already been a fine network of life against a whitewashed sky became absolutely delicate. The edgy contrast of black and white cleaving to each other as they twine through the sky with apparent weightlessness captivated me. So much so that it would have very nearly been worth a fender-bender if I could keep my gaze upturned.
Very Nearly.
So, Wintry Mix, I'm still not voting you for prom queen, but even the least popular form of precipitation has it's loveliness. While I don't think "snow on the naked branches" has a shot at overtaking "silver lining around every cloud" as far as common expressions go, it was, for me a good reminder to seek the bright amidst the gray.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I was listening to the Christian station today while I was driving and this song came on. I don't know who sings it, but the lead, er, screamer, was belting out unintelligible lyrics in that strained-voice sound that kind of makes my throat hurt to listen to.
I mean, he was doing a grade-A job of it, that's just not my style. I don't like screaming.
And right off the bat, my mind went to the Jesus as the Prince of Peace. Should a Christian have that much to yell about?
But David did. Kind David did all kinds of stuff that blew through the limits of the traditional. The story of the return of the Ark of the Covenant in 2 Sam. 6 comes to mind. The king did a happy dance through the middle of town in his "ephod" (which I think was ancient Jewish skivvies), and then passed out raisins.
And God loved it.
He called this dude a man after God's own heart.
So, then I got the mental image of a rock concert in Heaven. Some guy who has a passion for yell-singing on stage lettin' er rip. And Jesus? He's not sitting in the back with a patronizing grin, He's not even backstage doing the head bob. No, He's crowd surfing. Diving into the midst of His people, laughing, hollering, revelling.
Man, I can't wait to get there.
Thanks, God, that you are creative enough to inspire such a rich variety of praise. You are glorified through art, nature, work, sacrifice, pain, laughter. You are glorified in the richest harmonies, the country hymn, and yes, even the ear-splitting heavy metal praise song. I love how much you love. How broad and joyful you are. I just love getting to know you.
All my heart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just one more chapter

I did an unwise thing.
I stayed up until 4 last night to read. I would say I regret it, but Jenny B. Jones's new book, Save the Date, was so good that I can't. It was a fabulous read.
Of course, that means today I'm operating on about 2.5 hours of sleep.
Not even close to ideal.
So, I'm thankful that God is my strength and in His grace has spared me the severe crankiness and sluggish mental functions that my behavior deserves.
And that I work from home. So if at some point this afternoon I slump over my laptop and get my face drool-glued to my notes, I won't make a spectacle of myself.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Flavor attack!

Shout out to everyone who likes to grocery shop.
Of all the taking-care-of-business chores on my list, stocking the kitchen is my favorite. And of all the places I go do to do this, I always consider it a treat to go to Fresh Market.
The place is set up like a Disney version of a French marketplace, complete with classical music, overpriced chocolate, and lots of bulk items.
Among these are cashews. And if that weren't good enough, wasabi cashews. Whoever came up with that combo, bravo. You took one of the best nuts and kicked it up a level.
Wasabi is the kung fu warrior of spiciness. It looks all laid back, that cheerful green, as innocuous as a blade of grass. And for about half a second it tastes pretty innocent.
Then, BAM.
With a tonal shrieks it pounces on your tastebuds and doesn't stop hacking until it's shimmied clear up your nasal passages.
It's even fun to say.
Makes ya smile, huh?
I think the Japanese get credit for the thrilling spice. So, arigato. Not just for introducing this fierce flavor to the world, but also for giving it such a splendid name.