Dear Granny,

What a life you led. The first in your family to get saved and then you up and brought your parents to church, all before you were even a teenager. And then, to strike out for another city...traveling from East Chicago to Minneapolis for Bible College in the 1930's! How adventurous, and maybe a little scary it must have been. What I know of the intervening years is a patchwork of mom's memories and bits of stories I remember. Married to the handsome boy with the wavy jet black hair you met at bible college. Five children, whom I'm sure kept you busy. Especially if they were anything then like they are now! A lot of bumps in the road...long hours of taking the bus to work, taking care of your family, and loving a husband who didn't understand your worth.

I loved to eat your food, to sit around your freshly-decorated kitchen (it was always changing with the latest fashions), to hear your stories about school and what-not. To see your eyes light up at the prospect of chocolate, to see you talk about your grandkids... Your traveling adventures always meant a little doll from an exotic land or a bracelet and stories of places that I would hope to see someday too. Thank you for giving my mom a sense of faith and faithfulness, despite the curve balls life threw you. Your paranoia of others made me chuckle sometimes, but also was a light on your soul of the pain you had endured that made you fearful.

But you knew God, what am I saying...YOU KNOW GOD! And there you are, in His presence today...dancing before him with fresh lungs, sturdy legs, and a light-heartedness that you were not afforded down here. So we said goodbye as you crossed over Jordan...I tried my darndest to "sing you out..." but it was hard with the eyes of my family staring at me, the stillness of the room, and my meager voice breaking through the quiet. I hope you heard me trying to muster some feeling of it being well with my soul. It is well with my soul, because I know you can catch your breath, and use it to praise Jesus. I'm a little late in my remembering you with words, but I have thought of you each day since the 4th. Here's to a life well-lived, Dorothy Mae Whitsell Stevens. Rest in eternal peace. 9/25/20 - 4/4/08



Tonight. 10 pm Eastern. ABC. Couldn't be more excited.


Random ad

Sometimes I see things that make me just scratch my head and wonder, "What the heck?" Here is one of those things. Pizza hut sent me an email advertising their "restaurant quality" pasta. Now, Pizza Hut IS a restaurant, so why wouldn't it be "restaurant quality?" That just seems redundantly redundant, doesn't it? I hope that whatever they sell would be "restaurant quality." (and just for kicks, is that quality as opposed to the really crappy food that I can make for myself at home?)
Am I missing something?


Idol Worship

So, I'm a day late and a dollar short as the saying goes. I'm usually an avid watcher of everything "American Idol," but after a long family-funeral weekend and trying to catch up on work and school, I didn't have the energy to catch the three hour plus "Idol Gives Back" marathon last week. I did hear about the finale of "Shout to the Lord," so I checked it out. I gotta say...wow. This is one of those worship ballads that never fails to move me. I don't care what those contestants believe, they were using a God-given gift to worship the Lord. Their hearts and minds may not be there yet, but I feel the Lord was glorified through this performance. Truth is truth and it is all God's truth.
Here's the video:


Wearing busyness like a badge

I was a brownie. That's a really young girl scout for those who are not in the know. I had the whole suit. At the time, they had a shirt with a cross-over tie thingie, sock tassles, and the whole gig. But my favorite part of the outfit was the sash that held the badges! A proud display that you could wear across your chest so everyone could see what skills you know and what you've earned. Well, when you put it that way...of course, as a young 7-year-old I was ready to earn every one they offered. It really didn't matter what I learned from it. The most important thing was to earn the badge and have Mom sew it on the sash!!! There was a lovely trio of badges that fit together to make a half-circle. You received one for each year in the troup. I can honestly remember the internal drive in grades 1-3 of needing to earn more badges than anyone else in my troup. My mom was definitely not pushing me...I would pore through my manual to see what I could accomplish to earn badges. And there were pins! JEWELRY! It really was the excitement of my young world to earn such things. I did virtually the same thing in children's church. We could memorize Scriptures and creeds to earn points to spend in a "store." I rocked the memorization so I could rack up on erasers, pencils, stickers, and buttons.

I forget how much I like to wear "busyness" like a badge. Something I've always done...played the martyr to my too-full schedule, practically doing an over-dramatic Victorian fainting spell when anyone asks me how things are going. What is up with that? Why do I thrive on zoom-zoom-zoom and being overworked? I think that as a producer personality, I can point to something tangible to prove my worth. Somehow, if I am making lots of commotion and generating something--schoolwork, events, etc.--then I am being a valuable citizen (in my own mind). It makes me look better to you out there.

I am busy right now. But I will not, cannot, keep giving in to the myth that busier is better. It is not. My soul isn't at rest when I have filled my plate beyond capacity. I will do whatever I can to get through these next few weeks without melting down. I will not try to wear it as a badge, because it's not a badge that the Kingdom of Heaven gives out...just the kingdom of the world. I am working on this thing of not comparing myself to others to prove my worth, but receiving my worth from the Lord. The Lord likes me still and silent and poised to hear Him. I haven't yet earned my "Be still and know" badge. I think those get handed out in nuggets of wisdom, in acts of compassion, and in moments of sincerity that come from the being still and the knowing. Ah, but earning badges seems so much easier to me.