facebook fragments of a Mother’s Day weekend.

In case you don’t follow me on facebook or twitter, here’s a little compilation of my weekend updates:

Friday, May 11, 2012 – Trying to learn this: “The difference between being 95% prepared & 100% prepared (whatever that is) is infinitesimal. It is not perceived. But the energy expended in moving from 95% to 100% is immense, much more than that required to move from 75% to 95%.” Alan Weiss

Saturday, May 12 2012
11:24am – My husband loves me! He just used his AMEX points to buy me a new phone for Mother’s Day!!! (I’m not eligible for an upgrade till November). I hope I love it as much as I think I will! But if not, I ordered it from Walmart. They let you return anything.

4:19pm – Tackling the paper mountain that is my office. I’ve avoided working in there since I brought the 45+ pounds of paper home from my mom’s house after her death in December. Time to reclaim my work space. #somuchpaper

7:45pm – More than three hours later and I’m still going through the 45+ pounds of paper I’ve ignored since I brought it home from my mom’s after her death in December. Thousands of pieces of paper – mementos, letters, records, photos…when I started this weekend project, I didn’t even connect it with Mother’s Day. God is weird that way.

10:53pm – took over 6 hours to sort all the paper from my mom’s house. Now I’m ready to deep clean and purge my office of our own paper and clutter. Well. not NOW. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, May 13, 2012
2:34pm – So proud of PinkGirl! She did a wonderful job on “Mighty to Save” this morning during the 8am and 11am services. And an added mom bonus? She LISTENED and FOLLOWED MY ADVICE during her vocal warm up this morning!!! A Mother’s Day miracle! #ilovemydaughter

3:08pm – I ordered my new phone yesterday. I’m ready for it to be here now. #impatient

I’m going from a 2.5 x 2.5 inch Motorola Flipout to a 7 inch Dell Streak

This is a HUGE change for me. No more tucking my phone in my bra. Just saying.

PinkGirl’s text to her dad about singing special music at the 8am service this morning: “The power went out so we stopped and I messed up double so yay!” 8:29 AM
PinkGirl: “DAD!” 8:31 AM
PinkGirl: “Yo Horton!!!” 8:31 AM
Her Dad: “Bummer. You will do better at 11” 8:34 AM
PinkGirl: My dress was sooo short i was afraid i was gonna flash the congregation! :o” 8:36 AM
(Mom Note: she is so impatient. I don’t know where she gets it. and the dress was short, but not that short. There was no view of London or France at any time.)

7:06pm – I had to complete a scavenger hunt to find my Mother’s Day present. Seven clues later, it was a coupon for “a FREE two day pass to PINKGIRL WORLD! Where PinkGirl will tend to your every need and do whatever you want willingly without grumbling or complaining. Not valid on School Days.” The location of this priceless coupon? Buried in the cat’s litter box. At least she scooped it first. #ilovemydaughter

All in all, it was a good weekend. Finally got to meet a long time blog friend and her family at EPCOT Friday night while they were vacationing here. A rare Sunday morning praise team set where I think we had a perfect balance between abandoning ourselves to worship and striving for excellence and time spent with friends and family on Sunday afternoon.

God is Good. All the Time.


I’m not one to avoid conflict. I’ve found that, much too often, constant unanimous agreement results in substandard ideas and dispassionate forward motion.

Confrontation doesn’t scare me. I don’t avoid conflict because I’m afraid of the person I need to confront or the possible repercussions of the confrontation.

That said, there are some situations in which I choose NOT to confront someone when a conflict develops. I wrote a post earlier this week entitled “Dear PinkGirl, don’t copy me.” where I confessed to being a hypocrite because I was coaching and expecting my daughter to stand up to a passive-aggressive person in her life and I was hit with the realization that I wasn’t standing up to a passive-aggressive person in my own life. It was one of those rare occasions where I recognized the contradiction between my words and actions before she did.

In my particular situation, someone in authority over me doesn’t want there to be a confrontation and I’m committed to respecting their wishes. But PinkGirl didn’t know that.

This left me with some splainin’ to do to my daughter. (CLICK HERE to read how that conversation went.)

But this entire situation has me thinking I should explain why confrontation doesn’t make me uncomfortable.

It’s not because I’m strong, though I admit I’ve been called a “strong-willed woman” more than a few times. It’s not because I have a degree in communication and have a conflict resolution model memorized and ready to mentally fill in at any time, although I do (have it memorized and am ready to use it).

It’s because I’m desensitized.

When you spend decades bombarded with emotional outbursts, ultimatums, silent treatments and guilt trips, you adapt and create a new normal. It’s required.

Because if you don’t, no matter how hard or long you climb up, you will live a roller-coaster emotional life with every drop controlled by someone else. This new normal is stable and steady and no matter who’s controlling the coaster, you remain unaffected. It’s like standing on that little walkway that runs along side the coaster – the one reserved for the people who take care of it, instead of on the tracks. You can walk along side, at your own pace, with no need to move out of the way. The coaster can come barreling along, full speed and no matter what’s propelling it – guilt, the silent treatment, tears, anger – you are off to the side, watching, protected because you aren’t in its path.

Guilt trips do not move me to action because, from my experience, when someone is attempting to make me feel guilty, they are, in reality, trying to manipulate me. I’ve had enough manipulation. I. am. unmoved.

Not because I’m strong. Or smart. Or pragmatic.

Because I’m desensitized.

The silent treatment will backfire when used on me. I’m immune. It’s like a free pass to ignore the person who refuses to speak to me. If I ask someone what’s wrong and they say “nothing,” I will take them at their word, no matter how much they continue to mope and pout.

Tears do not move me to give in. Tears do not move me to change my mind, do something that goes against the core of what I believe, or lie to someone to help them rationalize the truth and/or avoid the consequences of their choices. In the past, tears have moved me to do all of these things.

Not anymore.

When someone cries in front of me, especially someone with whom I’m involved a work relationship, I see two possibilities: (1) they are upset and they need a few minutes to compose themselves. (2) they are trying manipulate me (consciously or subconsciously) and get their way by eliciting sympathy from me.

Either way, my standard response is to sincerely tell the person who is crying that I’m sorry they are upset and give them a few minutes to compose themselves. And I really am sorry that they are upset, I just don’t believe I’m responsible for making them happy by doing what they want.

(This is only when someone wants something from me, I’m not saying that I’ve never done something I need to apologize for, because I have no problem apologizing when I’m wrong. The “splainin’ I did to PinkGirl about this included an “I was wrong and I’m sorry.” again, CLICK HERE to read how that went.)

Anger does not move me. When someone displays what appears to be an uncontrollable outburst of anger, spewing acrimonious language and accusations and sometimes even profanity?

I see them as weak. Unreasonable.

To be honest, when I’m blindsided by a verbal attack from someone I respect, my initial, internal reaction is to be defensive. I’m human. I want to “right back atcha.” But it’s fleeting. It’s a flash of adrenaline and then I let it go. Because I absolutely refuse to emulate the person who taught me that uncontrolled displays of anger are a sign of weakness. A tantrum is an irrational waste of time and counter-productive to ANY goal or healthy relationship. When my children had a tantrum, I usually had one of two things to say. Picture it:

In Walmart. Somebody wants something I’ve said they can’t have. The tantrum begins. People walking by. Staring. Sympathetic looks. Disapproving, “can’t you shut that kid up” looks. Me, leaning on the cart, elbow on the handle, chin in my hands. Waiting patiently. After a few moments, during a break in the screaming while the tantrum thrower takes a breath, I ask, “Are you done yet?” or “Is this working for you? Cause it’s not really working for me.” Sometimes, after asking “Are you done yet?” the kiddo would wail, “NOOoooooo!”

Okay then. (Just to confirm – the tantrum did not move me to buy anything.)

Because I see uncontrolled outbursts of anger as a sign of weakness, I’m able to give tantrum throwers grace. I usually don’t take it personally. When someone has an explosive outburst, I figure I’m the least of their problems. If I’m dealing with a child, I’ve got some serious character building opportunities and I usually take advantage of them if I can.

If I’m dealing with an adult, I tend to feel sorry for them. Any adult who handles a problem by throwing a tantrum probably isn’t throwing one for the first time. Somewhere along the line, it’s worked for them before and they’ve developed a pattern of behavior. Just like me. It’s just that our patterns of behavior are on opposite sides of the emotional scale.

There are a few adults in my life from whom I’ve come to expect such an attack. Those attacks are easy to deflect. Since I expect them, I’m prepped and ready.

You can probably guess that I don’t respect any of these behaviors and I can’t stomach any of them in myself. I don’t use guilt as a negotiation tool. I don’t cry or mope in front of someone who has the power to change my circumstance. I don’t gossip to garner support for my cause instead of talking directly to the people who have the authority to make decisions. I don’t scream or curse at people, no matter what they do.

But, as I explained in my post earlier this week, entitled “taut [tawt] adjective: emotionally or mentally strained or tense” it’s not because I stifle the emotions that lead to these behaviors. It’s just that, on an emotional scale of 1 to 10, I normally operate at about a 1 or a 2. I’m standing on the walkway next to the emotional roller coaster.

I’m desensitized.

I’m 47. This “lowered emotional state” is deeply rooted in my personality. Not many people get this about me without feeling sorry for me. Like I’m missing something or need to be “cured.” But keep in mind, it’s not that I’m incapable of emotion, just that I usually don’t let things get to me. I don’t want to be “cured.” I’m not missing anything. I’ve just had more than my fair share of high emotion already.

I like the calmness.

CLICK HERE to see other posts I’ve written about dealing with emotional bullies, narcissists and passive-aggressive people.

identity crisis. part 1.

Eleven year old PinkGirl auditioned for Beauty and the Beast this month. Of course she wanted the part of Belle. At the four hour cast call backs the week after her first audition, she sang and read for Belle. The only other character she was asked to try was Babbette, the feather duster.

She couldn’t do the walk.

In the end, she got the part of Madam. The Wardrobe.

She hadn’t been asked to sing or read for any other character, and the role of the Wardrobe wasn’t announced until just before the role of Belle, so as she heard the other parts being assigned to her fellow cast members, the process of elimination gave her false hope. When her name was called, she was completely blindsided.

The moment they were dismissed, she bolted out the door, still in her jazz shoes. She held herself together until she was about three feet from the van. Since she had run out so fast, none of her friends heard her break down crying.

I got in the van and quickly drove to an empty spot in the parking lot.

Immediately – and I mean IMMEDIATELY – she leapt to the conclusion that she wasn’t good at the one thing she thought she was really good at. The decision made by this stranger somehow represented the real truth and everyone else who had ever told her she was good was just being nice. This was a sign that she should quit. This was proof that she wasn’t as good at singing and acting as she thought she was. This was God saying no, not only to Belle, but to theater. She was just fooling herself, wasting everyone’s time and her parent’s money.

She said all these things to herself and to me through broken tears. Then she SCREAMED them again at God. At the top of her lungs, she DEMANDED to know why He was breaking her heart. She told Him that He was making her feel WORTHLESS. When she wrapped her arms around my neck sobbing and screamed “I thought you LOVED me!” at God, it wrenched me. Exhausted from the screaming, she broke down again, sobbing, telling God she was sorry. That she loved him. That she would always love him. No matter what.

This had nothing to do with being disappointed about not getting the part of Belle.

Sure, she was sad and disappointed she didn’t get the role she was going for, but that’s happened before. She played an eel in Little Mermaid – and you know she didn’t go into the audition wanting that part. She was heartbroken when she didn’t get the part of Ti Moune in Once Upon this Island – she wanted that part so bad she became the secret, silent understudy because she wanted to be ready in case the lead couldn’t perform for any reason at all. And less than a year ago, she auditioned for Annie – the role every little actress dreams about – and the part went to her best friend.

She wasn’t just sad and disappointed about not getting a part. If only it were that simple. This was a full blown identity crisis. I looked it up:

identity crisis (noun) A period of uncertainty and confusion in which a person’s sense of identity becomes insecure, typically due to a change in their expected aims or role in society.

Here it was, two months after her 11th birthday, and she was convinced her dream of a career in theater was being taken from her. And of course, GOD was doing the taking. If she wasn’t an actress or a singer, who was she?

Sitting in the parking lot, I knew she wouldn’t be able to hear me until she had had it out with God. I didn’t stop her from screaming at Him. I didn’t reprimand her for talking to Him like that.

God can take it.

I waited. I held her. I stroked her hair. Kissed her forehead. I prayed that God would give me the words to say and that I would know the right time to say them. Suddenly, she seemed to literally run out of tears and – no surprise – she had a terrible headache. Her eyes were red and puffy and her face was pale. Her blood sugar was bottomed out and she needed to eat something. There was a Chick-Fil-A in the parking lot so I went through the drive-thru and parked again.

As we sat in the van and ate, she was quiet. Still crying, but quiet. I took a chance that she could hear me, and I decided to approach the smaller issue of Belle first, before I even tried to talk to her about her belief that it meant she wasn’t as good as she thought she was. I was hoping that if I could lessen the significance of the trigger event, the resulting blow to her self-confidence would be softened at the same time.

I told her I didn’t understand why God allowed this to happen. I said that when we face a trial, sometimes God shows us why right away, sometimes he shows us why much later and sometimes, we never get to know why.

Me: “Do you know what just happened with Aunt Wendy’s (my sister) teaching job??


Me: “You know she works at a bank 3 days a week, but about a year ago, she got hired as a college instructor to teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But the kind of teaching job she got wasn’t the kind where you just get hired and you keep the job until you leave or get fired. For this job, she got a contract to teach for one semester and then when that was finished, she got another contract to teach for another semester. You know what happened this semester?”

(negative head shake.)

Me: “She didn’t get a contract. They didn’t even call her to tell her they weren’t going to give her another contract. She was confused and hurt and upset and very worried about how they could pay their bills when she found out. Now she only has work 3 days a week. She couldn’t understand why God would allow this to happen. Then you know what happened?

(another negative head shake.)

Me: “CutiePie (my 1 year old nephew) got very, very sick. And Aunt Wendy didn’t have to leave him and go to work. She got to stay with him and take care of him most of the time he was sick. She posted a picture of him on facebook, sleeping after he was feeling better and you know what my comment was?

(another negative head shake.) “So thankful you didn’t have to teach today. God works in mysterious ways.”

(smile and tiny laugh)

I asked her if she was ready to talk about why God might have allowed this to happen in her life. Even though we can’t see the world from God’s point of view, what reasons could we think of from our limited perspective as humans?

PinkGirl: I think it’s a test.

Me: “What kind of test?”

PinkGirl, welling up again: “To see if I would love God no matter what.”

(From the moment she found out she was auditioning for Beauty and the Beast she had been praying and telling God she would love Him no matter what part she got and that whatever part that was, she would do her very best. Her dad and I prayed that prayer again with her the night before call backs and I prayed it again with her in the car on the way to call backs.)

Me: You may be right. Could it be another kind of test?

PinkGirl: “Like what?”

Me: “Could it be that God is helping you figure out if you really love theater as much as you say you do? Because, this will definitely happen again. More than once. You will want some other part and you won’t get it. And in some cases, you won’t even get a smaller role in the show you audition for. In some cases, you won’t get any role. You will probably NOT get the parts you want more often than you WILL get the parts you want.

(silent tears on her waffle fries)

Me: “PinkGirl, I don’t lie. You know I tell you the truth. You are good at this. And as good as you already are, you have the potential to get even better. I’ve told you before that I believe you can make a very good living in theater your entire life if you just don’t quit. I mean it. But you have to figure out if you can handle the disappointments that come with the joy. Do you love doing theater – no matter what?

(silent tears again)

Me: “What about your witness? GreatTheaterCompany isn’t a Christian organization. Some of the people there know you are a Christian. You invite your castmates to pray with you before shows. How can you be part of God’s story? Because HIS story is so much bigger and better than Beauty and the Beast. We need to start praying and asking God how He can use you to work all things for good.

(the tears stopped. I had her attention.)

Me: “Do you remember the story I told you about the Princess Tapestry?

PinkGirl, crying again: “Is this a dark thread?”

Me: “I think it’s pretty safe to say it is. Do you trust that God knows what he’s doing and that this dark thread will help make the tapestry beautiful? Even if you don’t get to see it until you see Him face to face?

(positive head shake with the tears again. I got another hug.)

(to be continued)

(this was written with PinkGirl’s permission)

Dear PinkGirl: don’t copy me.

There’s a certain person in my daughter’s life, who if she allows it, erodes her joy. I’ll call her TheBully. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward PinkGirl is often passive-aggressive. Every day after school, PinkGirl tells me what TheBully did that day. And every day, PinkGirl and I talk about how she might handle her interactions with TheBully. I’ve encouraged her to include TheBully in her prayers.

I’ve asked PinkGirl to consider that there might be things in TheBully’s life that we aren’t aware of that make her unhappy and her unhappiness might be why she acts the way she does. I’ve explained that some unhappy people try to make themselves feel better by making other people unhappy too. They don’t know they’re doing it and while it really doesn’t make them feel any happier, it does make them feel less alone. I’ve called to her attention that TheBully is also unkind to other people and I’ve tried to help PinkGirl understand that she shouldn’t take it personally.

But I’ve also told PinkGirl that even if all those things are true, it doesn’t give TheBully the right to act the way she does.

It’s not okay.

PinkGirl and I talk about it at length and every day, I conclude by saying that I believe it’s possible for her to stand firm and not let TheBully control her actions. Every day, I tell PinkGirl that it’s possible to tell the truth – even truth that might hurt someone’s feelings – using gracious words. PinkGirl remains steadfastly unconvinced and consistently counters that TheBully will “tell lies” about her to “everybody.” “Everybody” will be mad at her. and she will get into big trouble with the teachers.

Every day, I tell PinkGirl that’s not true. And every day, she tell’s me I don’t understand and that I’m wrong.

The freakish optimist in me gets so exasperated with her. How can my daughter be such a pessimist?

And then I get smacked in the face with a little empathy.

There’s a certain person in my life, who, if I allow her, erodes my joy. I’ll call her Narcissa. Without getting into detail, I’ll just say that her behavior toward me is often passive-aggressive. After a few years of praying about – and relentlessly lamenting to my husband about – these interactions and countless discussions with him about why God is allowing this person in my life and what I’m supposed to do and say to her with the love of Christ, I finally . . . blocked her out. Literally and figuratively.

I’ve spent the last few months flat-lined against the messages in her body language, her wounded facial expressions and the disgruntled and sarcastic mumbling. And flat-line has been working for me.


Recently, the passive aggressive behavior morphed into a face to face, non-ignorable conversation. Skilled communicator that I am, I couldn’t think of one thing to say that fell in line with God’s command to speak in love. The words of the great philosopher, Thumper the bunny, kept echoing in my mind: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

So I stood there, speechless.

A few days later, a colleague/friend, who had witnessed the encounter, brought it up. My first response was to assure her that it was okay and to explain that, by the grace of God, I was in a place that Narcissa’s behavior didn’t bother me and that my focus was on my work.

But then my friend, a fellow Christian, said, “It’s just been weighing heavy on my heart.”


I’m not in a place where I can simply block her out. And I couldn’t ignore the fact that God has used her in other situations in my life to point out things I couldn’t or wouldn’t see. As I listened to her explain how Narcissa’s behavior was affecting her, I silently prayed that God would give me the right words to say. My initial thought was to sooth her soul, to help her accept the behavior of the person who was causing her so much heartache. Not once did I consider the possibility that the issue could be resolved. When my friend mentioned speaking with Narcissa about all this, my immediate reaction was, “ohhhhh, nooooo. That would not be a good idea.”

As she persistently brought up possibilities of addressing the problem, one by one, I shot them down: Can’t do it. Never gonna happen. There’s no situation in which that would turn out well. The fall out would be too far reaching.

The next day, alone, I thought: Who was that? I’m freakishly optimistic. I believe “can’t” is a four letter word. My mantra is “Just because I haven’t thought of an answer doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I just haven’t figured it out yet.”

What kind of power does this person have over me that I would abandon such a core characteristic? What kind of power does she have over other people? What kind of power does she have?

and what kind of example am I setting for my daughter? I had to fess up.

In the car ride home from school,

I said: “So, I had an epiphany. Do you know what that is?”

PinkGirl: “no.”

Me: “It’s a realization. I realized something today. You know how every day you tell me what TheBully did and I tell you that you need to stand firm and not let her control your actions? How you need to talk to her and tell her the truth using gracious words – even if it will hurt her feelings? And how every day, you tell me that you can’t do that because she will tell everyone lies and the teachers will get you in trouble and everyone will be mad at you …

PinkGirl: “Well not my real friends.”

Me: “True. But am I getting all this right? Am I leaving anything out?

PinkGirl: “No. That’s pretty much it.”

Me: “I realized I’m doing the same thing you are. Who’s TheBully in my life?”

PinkGirl, quick as a flash: “Narcissa.”

Me: “yep. I realized that I’m expecting you to do something I’m not willing to do myself. I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry for getting so frustrated with you when you refuse to try and work out your problems with TheBully.”

So. Now I either have to start coaching PinkGirl about how to physically and emotionally distance herself from TheBully or I have to refocus my efforts on preventing Narcissa’s passive-aggressive behavior from negatively impacting my thoughts and actions.

If you read my last post, I should probably steer clear of Narcissa for a while. Because right this minute, emotions are not a factor in my decision-making and communication. I could easily, objectively and thoroughly tell Narcissa the truth and be completely unaffected by ANY reaction she has.

Unfortunately, because there are other people involved who would be negatively impacted by the repercussions of an honest conversation with Narcissa, I think my best course of action is to keep praying the prayer I’ve been praying for years: “Lord, if you won’t change my circumstances, please change my attitude.” If I want to shake the Hypocrite Certificate, I think I need to teach PinkGirl that same prayer. And how to physically and emotionally duck and weave to stay out of TheBully’s line of sight.

CLICK HERE to see other posts I’ve written about dealing with emotional bullies, narcissists and passive-aggressive people.

I’d REALLY like to say I don’t know where he gets it.

The weather is beautiful! I made FavoriteSon go out into the backyard tonight and do NOTHING.

No electronics.

No distractions.

I told him he could talk to God or just listen, I didn’t care, but for FIVE minutes, I wanted him to sit outside with the wind in his face and look out over the pond behind our backyard and do NOTHING.

He came back in 10 minutes later and said:

“That just made me realize I need to mow the backyard.”

I’d REALLY like to say I don’t know where he gets it.

decision time. a loving mother’s straight-arm? or trust in God?

Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant.”
Genesis 33:5

Every night, when my kids were infants, I would slip quietly into their room and lay my hand on their backs to make sure they were still breathing. Sometimes, when they were fussy and I was afraid my touch would wake them, I would silently position my finger in front of their nose to feel their breath.

Infants. Who am I kidding? I did it for years. I just needed the assurance that they were breathing before I could sleep.

Tell me I’m not the only parent who’s done this.

I realize that my actions had nothing to do with whether or not they took their next breath. I was just checking for my own peace of mind. Laying my hand on their back was not what prevented them from dying of SIDS or some other freakish undetected “one minute they’re breathing and another minute they’re not” disease.

The Lord, in His mercy and grace, allowed my children take each tiny breath. By His mercy and grace, he still allows them to take their next breath.

Why am I thinking about this now? My kids aren’t at risk for SIDS anymore. My daughter will be 11 years old this year. My son just turned 16.

16. Two weeks ago, my son got his driver’s license.

And there it is.

Am I ready for this change? Of course not. and YES. YES I AM!

The two weeks before he got his license were particularly challenging chauffeur weeks for me. My daughter had drama camp from 9am to noon every day and my son got a summer job with flexible hours. My husband’s travel and work schedule made me the “go-to” guy with the car keys. I was spending hours and hours each day in FavoriteSon’s car with only 20 to 30 minute breaks in between drop-offs and pick-ups. By Thursday of the 2nd week, I was DREADING the thought of sitting in a vehicle.

Thursday was also the day FavoriteSon got his driver’s license.

Friday morning, I got up and drove PinkGirl to drama camp. I arrived back home about 20 minutes before FavoriteSon had to leave for work.

Decision time. Do I ride shotgun with him, drive home, drive back to pick him up and ride shotgun while he drives home? Or do I let him make the single round trip all by himself?


If I was WITH him he would be safe. If he drove by himself, he might get into an accident.

I know. I KNOW.

What was I going to do? Make him drive to work with my left arm stretched across the driver’s seat to protect him? Because THAT’S effective. Ummm hmmm. A loving mother’s straight-arm. More effective than a seat belt.

Just like a hand on his back.

I let him go. Literally. I didn’t even watch him drive away. Yes, I was ready for the break from driving, but more importantly, I was saturated with the knowledge that my presence in the vehicle with him had nothing to do with his safety. Not anymore. Our instruction and advice over the last year helped to prepare him, as did the two driver education courses he took. He was equipped for the responsibility. The State of Florida confirmed it by giving him legal permission to drive. All. by. himself.

His father and I still have so much more to prepare him for. But this? This we’ve prepared him for. This he’s ready for. Now, just like when he was a baby, his life is in God’s powerful and loving hands.

As hard as it is for me to comprehend, God loves my son more than I do.

Making safety the priority tells our children that we think God is incapable
of doing what He said He would do for His children . . . But when we put our confidence in God’s power
rather than the safety nets we place around our children we find that even children can learn to rely on God’s overwhelming presence to protect them as well as to enable them to flourish in the world system.
Tim Kimmel
Grace-Based Parenting


I couldn’t believe it, but PinkGirl voluntarily took a nap this afternoon!

Either “I WIN!” the “whoever wears out first, LOSES” game or she’s getting sick.

Either way, THANK YOU GOD, she really needed the rest – and I needed a tiny little bit of solitude.

I let PinkGirl get in a full 90 minute sleep cycle, making me 30 minutes late picking up FavoriteSon from work.

FavoriteSon, entering his time into the calendar: “hmmm. I stopped working at 2:40, but SOMEONE didn’t pick me up until 3pm.”

Me: “I brought you chicken alfredo and a Sport Illustrated, what, do you want me to bring you slippers too?”

FavSon: “now that you mention it…”

I’m bored with driving. I want to learn to drift.

It seems it takes 20 minutes to get everywhere. And my “free” pockets of time today are logistically non-functional.

8:40am – drive PinkGirl to dance camp
9:20 – home
10:00 – drive FavSon to work
10:20 – home
11:40 – go pick up PinkGirl from dance camp
12:20 – home
2:00 – go pick up FavSon from work
2:40 – home
Hopefully, I can squeeze in a workout/rehearsal on the treadmill before making dinner and heading out to praise team rehearsal tonight at 7pm. I hope I can fit a shower in there somewhere…

I don’t know if I could cut my drive time down, but at least the 20 would be more fun if I could learn to drift in a minivan…

worms & dirt. and I’m not talkin gummy & oreo.

Leftover worms and dirt in my fridge.

REAL worms. alive and wiggling. in black, muddy, crumbly dirt that is pushing itself up and out through the air holes on the lid as the worms wiggle around, presumably trying to escape.


When I was growing up, it never occurred to me that worms might live in my refrigerator.

FirstHusband and PinkGirl bought the worms today for fishing in the river behind our house this afternoon. They had a great time and thankfully came back with nothing because they threw back the fish they caught. I’m really glad they had fun. (I’m also glad they threw back the fish they caught.) I just wish they had used all their bait instead of putting their little friends in the fridge, along with our food.


I don’t like worms in my refrigerator. Some might call me a city girl, but that label doesn’t fit. I’m FIRMLY a suburban girl.

A suburban girl with a question: How long will I have to keep worms in my refrigerator before I can throw them out? What is the life expectancy of a worm?

well, that experiment was a dismal failure…

For a few years, I’ve been logging my fitness progress on the internet. In March of this year, I decided to try setting specific fitness goals at the beginning of the month and logging them on the internet, hoping to make myself even more accountable.

I’ve got a fitness log, a side bar widget for running monthly totals, and I post my daily progress on my facebook fan page and in my twitter feed.

Last month, I didn’t set any specific goals. I thought that I could just go back to logging my progress and see how I did at the end of the month.

pit. i. ful.

Not only did I not consistently log my fitness progress, I worked out less consistently than ever.

sad. and pitiful.

clearly, I cannot be trusted.

So, I’m back to stated goals for this month. After much thought, here’s what I’m going for in the month of June:

GoalWalk 52 miles this month – an average of 2 miles per day, with one day off per week. (I’m going for air-conditioned, treadmill miles at a 6.5 incline.)

Goal300 Balance Ball Back Extensions – that’s 10 per day. (I’m bored with the 1 minute Supermans I’ve been doing.)

Goal 30 two Minute Forearm Planks average one per day. (I’ve GOT to keep these up! It took me over a YEAR to build up to two minutes, I refuse to slip backward on this.)

Goal300 BOSU pushups – that’s 10 push-ups per day.

Goal 300 Dips or Kickbacks (tricep work) – average 10 per day.

These are my minimum DAILY goals and if I miss a day, my plan is to make it up as soon as possible!

Goal2 HOURS of Yoga per week. If I miss my favorite class with Body In Unity, I have to settle for Brighthouse Exercise on Demands (FREE) on Central Florida Channel 306.

WHY am I doing this? Because just a few short years ago, I couldn’t. I’ve been given a second chance to take care of this body God has blessed me with and I’m determined to be a good steward of it. Did I mentioned I was DETERMINED?

I’m blogging my daily fitness updates in my exercise log, and posting my daily progress on my Facebook page and my Twitter account, so follow along any way you like:
1. Subscribe to the blog via email or RSS (there are widgets in the sidebar to subscribe)
2. “Like” my Facebook page to see the updates in your news feed or
3. Follow me on Twitter!

I would LOVE it if you would join me in fitness accountability by commenting either here or on the facebook page and letting me know your progress too!

Still lurking around, thinking about the possibility of making small changes in your day to get healthier? I want to encourage you to set a reasonable, sustainable fitness goal for yourself for the month of June and (here’s the key) make yourself accountable to someone! If you do it, let me know how it’s going and I’ll pray for you!

If you currently have an inactive lifestyle, consider exercising 1 minute a day. ONE minute. And (here’s that key again) make yourself accountable to someone who will support and encourage you! (If you exercise for ONE minute per day for a week, tell me and then I’ll tell you why I only challenged you to work out for ONE minute)