Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dirk the Blue--and White--Impoola

Poor Dirk the Blue Impala has been cruising around with bird poo on his hood and windshield frame for too long. It's embarrassing for us both. I try to park where no one will see me get out of the car, and I don't make eye contact at stoplights.
If you know me, you're not totally surprised. When it comes to my car, I'm not exactly Nancy Neatness.  There may or may not be a number of empty water bottles rubbing shoulders on the floor of the back seat.
And since the car wash on the corner stopped running a few weeks ago, there's no telling how long Dirk would have been marred by white blobs.
But then....drumroll....I drove through a four-minute downpour today! Not long enough to eat up my time, but long enough to de-poo Dirk.
I am not going to draw any soul-parallels today, though I'm sure sin is the bird poo of our lives and of course Jesus is the Living Water (okay, just one). I'm just glad for a cleaner car!

Thank you, Jesus, for rain, and for Dirk. And for washing the poo off my soul.  All my love.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And the winner is....

If you take exit 4 off of 430 and head North on Fair Park, you'll find yourself at the Little Rock Zoo. I did just that this Sunday with my sister and niece who were in visiting for the weekend.  We're no San Diego, but we've got our share of lions, tiger and bears.
It's been years since I've been to a zoo to watch God's creatures in pseudo-natural habitats doing animalish  things like eating carrot bits or napping in the shade, and I'd forgotten how entertaining it can be. We explored the zoo for about five hours, then picked our favorite sights.
My niece, who I call Peanut, liked the train the best and the giraffes second best.
I liked the Malaysian bear that was seriously contemplating the logistics of jumping the safety-ditch that separated him from an eight year-old boy. In the end he decided not to chance it and took his two-inch claws to the shade. And I also liked the giraffes.
Among the runners-up for best animal were the young chimp who swung around collecting food, the gorilla who sat and stared out the gate, the woolly bear who looked like he might hyperventilate, a bald eagle who held a man by the arm (the man said he was doing the holding, but we all know who was in charge), the inexplicably cute groundhogs, and a ginormous tortoise that may or may not have been dead...I'm just saying, no creature should be that still for that long.
Some of the animals that didn't make it past the first elimination round were the otters who hid from view, all snakes for obvious reasons, the birds who stood on two legs, lazy alligators, the donkey--yes, we have a donkey in our zoo, but its in the kids' section (yes, our zoo has a kids' section)--orangutans, and very small turtles, even though they were visibly alive.
It was a fun day and a good reminder what a splendidly creative God we have. And as funky as the wildlife on this planet is, I bet we ain't seen nothin' yet. Imagine what Heaven will be like?  Okay, I'm going to get brain-burn trying to stretch that far, but I'm so grateful that God is genius, inventive, original, and endless. May I never stop being surprised by what He can make.
Mad props to you, God, for the animal kingdom, even the parts we haven't discovered yet. You are so vast and so glorious. Thanks for Julia and Peanut and a reminder of who you are.  All my love.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Little Things.

Tonight I'm grateful that I'm not a crane operator. And for green curry, white wine, Jellybean and the Buckster, and Hulu, for bringing me the Bachelorette--a quality dramedy and a reminder that even the beautiful people are ragingly insecure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I am currently taking a course on the written test for Certified Crane Operators. Thrilling, no?  On top of that, it is in Kansas. Being from Arkansas, I'm not in much position to judge other states...except maybe Alabama. But still, if I'm going to travel, I'd like it to be to Seattle, Chicago, New York, or Hawaii. But it's not.

And yet, today was a wonderful day, because got to see a dear friend today who moved away from Little Rock last fall. Ann is one of those people who just makes you smile and be happy. I have missed her a lot but hanging out reminded me how great she is. And also, that we are still friends, even if our zip codes vary quite a bit.

This year has not been a "oh-my-gosh-everything-is-going-my-way-so-I'm-going-to-break-out-in-song" kind of year. It has been pretty hard. But every month from February until now I've gotten to see loved ones in far away places. This is not normal. I don't usually travel that much on weekend trips.  Yet, God knew that in the midst of the trials we were facing, I'd need to be reminded. My world is bigger than the here and now. My friends span farther than my current town. My love stretches beyond state lines and even borders, and so does the love coming to me. And God? He's doing something big. And if I listen closely enough, he'll tell me what my part in all of it is. Oh yeah, and that the God of the Universe knew I'd need some extra TLC and arrange for two weddings, a shower, three birthdays, and even crane training to go down during this season.

Jesus, thank you for Ann and for CCO training in Overland Park, KS. Thank you for this season and for being with me even when I couldn't see, feel, or hear you. Thank you for Charles and Natalie and Courtney and Autumn and Grace, and for the joyful weekends you've given me along the Eastern Seaboard.  You are so generous, so faithful, so loving, so good.

All my love.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


So, I don't sit around thinking big thoughts.  Mostly I think about silly things like what I'll make for dinner, that cute guy I met at a wedding, how the dirty laundry seems to reproduce in my hamper, how cute my cats are when they lay on their backs, and what TV shows will be on Hulu today.

But, sometimes, I catch a big thought.  I am trying more and more to spend all day with God instead of just the morning. I'm trying to ask him about dinner, tell him about the cute guy, invite him to do laundry with me, and thank him for my funny pets. Oh, and of course here what he has to say too...ahem.

I'm not good at it.

Recently, though, I've had a big thought that is so vast it's simple, and so challenging that it stills me.

God is good.

Yes and amen.

But...what if he wasn't?  History, and even the modern era, are slathered in cultures that believe in gods who are not good. They are fickle, or selfish, or distant, or just plain hard. Gods who demand children as sacrifice. Gods who use people for their own gain. Who are jealous of mortals and hurt them. Who are deceitful and war even among themselves. Gods who use man for their own gain. Whose very worship requires the  exploitation of women.

What if God was like that? As a lover of truth, I'd have to acknowledge God. A god like that wouldn't allow the freedom to choose, anyway. I'd live in valid fear for myself. I'd probably curl around my own soul to protect it, and try to hide in mediocrity. There would be no joy in knowing a Creator. There would be no hope in the dark moments for a brighter future. My greatest dreams would revolve around trying to avoid the scorching wrath of an inconsistent being and stealing whatever moments of rest I could.

Oh, I'm so glad that God is good.

Yes and amen.

He is not mean, he is not harsh, he is not apathetic. He is a God who does the best for His people. While the world is still plagued with hurt and harm borne on the sour breath of evil and enacted by fallen men, even the very worst that Hell and man can do is not too bad for God. He can bring good and glory out of the worst things.  Not by force, but by freedom. By his gentle love, insane wisdom, almighty, uh, mightiness, and pervading grace.

 God does not do things to us. He does things FOR us. He doesn't want attention, he seeks affection. And he does so by pouring it all over us.

Recently he nudged me to ask him for something. Not world peace, not even a good season for the Hogs. This was something that matters only to me. It was not a "honorable" prayer, and it wasn't necessary. But he nudged me to pray for something I can't do for myself that would just make me happy. So I did.
And he answered.
Just for me.

How cool is that?  The God of the Universe wanted me to be happy.

I love you, Lord, for you are good. So good and so grand that mere adjectives cannot capture your YOUness, but you hear my heart beating in wonder.  All my love and gratitude. All my heart.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


 It's one of those days when I'm having a hard time choosing something to talk about because I am struck by the many things I have to be grateful for.  So, I'm going to let a Psalm say it for me.

Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song; 
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name; 
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; 
    he is to be feared above all gods. 
For all the gods of the nations are idols, 
    but the Lord made the heavens. 
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lordall you families of nations, 
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    bring an offering and come into his courts. 
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness; 
    tremble before him, all the earth. 
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns. 
    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
    he will judge the peoples with equity.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; 
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. 
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
    he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness 
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Everything

For letting me wear stretchy pants and a striped shirt almost every day of the second grade.
For dressing up like the Easter Bunny and hiding eggs.
For notes in lunch sacks.
For attending dance recitals, piano recitals, tennis matches, horse shows, plays.
For saving art work.
For more stuffed animals to love, even when there were  twenty-some on my bed already.
For work ethic and clean socks.
For the chance to see DC, Maine, Hawaii, Jamaica, Victoria, and Disney when you could have had a couples' weekend.
For a love for coffee. Oh, for a love of coffee.
For the occasional banana sundae breakfasts at Goody's.
For five horses, two dogs, two cats, and seventeen hamsters. At the same time.
For my wonky sense of humor.
For ladies' reading club.
For an appreciation of bagels and lox.
For a drive to succeed.
For early morning devotions before the news.
For encouraging me to be an engineer, and write on the side.
For unfettered access to your kitchen all those years.
For a world-class savvy shopper example.
For commenting on my blog.
For sticking with your foundations, values, and commitments even when it wasn't easy.

For thirty years of being Mumsy, thank you.

Happy Mother's Day!  I love you!

Monday, May 7, 2012


In what is shaping up to be a high bug-count summer, I'm grateful that my cats have finally discovered the joys of killing the nasty things so I don't have to.

Other lessons my cats seem to have learned include:

Real love is licking the back of your brother's neck.

If your owner is out of town and the litter box smells, use the hamper. If the hamper is full, use a corner. If the corner gets full, go right in the  middle of the floor so someone will notice, and clean out the corner, litterbox and hamper. Or, just to be spiteful.

Don't play hard to get. BE hard to get.

It's not wrong if no one sees you do it.

The only fun trick is seeing how small a bag you can fit into.

If you want something, fuss. If that doesn't work fuss louder.

Catnip is !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you get swatted for climbing on the counter, you just have to be consistent and keep climbing up until your owner learns they are not to swat you.

Bury your crap well.

Happiness is  a sunlit spot on the carpet and a good belly rub.

Toilet water just tastes better.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lark Rise to Candleford

I'm in episode three of a marathon of Lark Rise to Candleford, a lovely literary BBC show about a Victorian era English hamlet.
The show is chock full of quirky, engaging characters, small-town drama, and British accents.
So. Fun.
I readily admit that it is not subject matter that would appeal to just anyone. Which is why I'm so glad I don't have to share the remote to anyone!
Thank you, Jesus, for the BBC, for Amazon Prime, and that I live in an era where women can vote, heating is central, toilets are indoors, and baths are taken daily.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


My grandpa keeps a garden and harvests everything from blueberries to corn to salad greens, and the best asparagus you've ever tasted.
I've never been one who likes asparagus.  I mean, if you douse it in enough hollandaise, I will lick the sauce off.
Just kidding. I think about doing that, but I'll actually eat the green stuff too. I just do it really fast and after I've enjoyed the creamy topping.
When my grandpa offered me some fresh garden-grown asparagus, I considered it an act of great love and graciousness to accept. But instead of limp stringy ropes of bitter vegetation, I bit into these crisp, almost buttery spears with the most bright flavor. 
They were so good that I thought seriously about becoming a gardener for at least three seconds.
Here I'd judged all asparaguss--asparagi?--everywhere as nasty bitter veggies when in reality, it wasn't the asparagus that was bad. It may have been prepared poorly, or maybe not cut high enough to avoid the white stump, which I learned from gramps is always nasty and bitter. It may have been old. 
Or maybe it was good, but I was so convinced it was bad that I didn't even notice.
Due to circumstances lately, I've seen assumptions made too often. About personalities, about motivations, about intent.  I've seen people carrying hurts that either didn't exist in the first place, or were the size of a grape and yet filled their vision because they were looking at it so closely. I've been that person before. I've fixated on the worst possible outcome and then discovered I had broken my own heart for nothing.
People are not like asparagus. We are rarely green, we grow more slowly, and dogs don't usually nip off our heads.
But situations can be like eating veggies, and while I'm not glad for the tendency to assume, I'm glad that it can be overcome. And that more often then not, the veggie/person uncovered is so enjoyable it makes me glad I took another try.

Thank you, God, for Charles and his garden, for asparagus and garlic salt. Thank you for a fresh look at a vegetable, and for not judging me once and tossing me aside, even when I truly am limp and stringy. All my love.