Monthly Archives: April 2009


After the rumble of thunder shook the house, my 3 y.o., Isabelle, came to me to inform me “it is funduhwas outside.” I said, “Funduhwas?” She answered, “Yes, vewy funduhwus.”
Did you see the episode of MASH where Colonel Blake’s wall is missing and Frank Burns has that priceless, hysterical expression of “what the heck is going on? Where’s the wall?” Well, my 2 y.o. had that same expression today as we walked by the window and he noticed the rain for the first time as a 2 year old. I was holding him as we walked by and he grunted “Monk?” Monk is milk and is what he asks for when he wants a drink, even water. I answered, “Water.”

He said, “Wowow.” He stared and stared. SO, we went outside. I had Ben run to get the camera, this was too fun. We stuck our hands out in it then stood out in it. He giggled and blinked up into the rain until the thunder hit. He clung to me and pointed to the door pleading, “Side? Side?
Ease” which is baby-ease for “inside, please.” And I almost missed out on enjoying the rain.

What isn’t shared is lost,




That’s the word that describes a day like today. Of course, during the morning rush to be ready to host our home church, I gave my traditional threats to never host again. But things came together, our church family arrived, a meal was shared, and the weather was hand-delivered from Heaven. Being able to, once again, be outside for our worship time was such a blessing! I wish I could describe the serenity that comes with home church. All of our members are still sinners, mind you, but having been over-committed and too busy for livin’ in my previous life in “regular” church, “doing” church as described in the New Testament has been such a sanctuary. Sanctuary is the very reason we started fellowshipping with this group; we were struggling with how involved with youth and children’s activities we should be. We’re already homeschooling and peer dependency/pressure was one reason we chose that route. Watching our young ladies struggle with there self-image, attitudes toward their siblings and

parents, and basic respect and maturity caused us to prayerfully consider the possibility that all those books and homeschool convention speakers were right about the negative effects of youth group. (A brief trip down memory lane helped as well). Michael Pearl wrote and excellent article on Sanctuary that convicted us and led us to home church. In the article, he talked about how the church today is more of a mission field than a sanctuary and families need sanctuary; it’s how we’re wired and what God intended the church to be. The church was never meant to be an evangelistic tool, believe it or not. WE are the evangelists and the church is for, eh hem, the church. It’s for building each other up, teaching, singing praises to our Creator. But what about seekers? That’s what hospitality is for. But people are too busy doing church crud, school band and athletics, etc. to be hospitable. Nuff said.
I believe it pleases God when his church gathers as a family reunion and spends the day together. You get to know people when you spend that much time together, and they get to know you. There’s no faking it – problems can’t hide, sorrows will be shared, as will the joys. There’s no denying that God works through institutional church and that the Holy Spirit moves amongst His people wherever they are called to be. I just know that more and more folks are feeling the weight of doctrines and activities and division and activities and pressure and traditions and activities, and, and, and just want to be with God’s people. Winds are changing – this may be a part of it.

I posted on Facebook that I’m sure they played Ultimate
Frisbee in Corinth. A friend said,”They probably called it
Ultimatum di Fresbee.”

Natalie and friend in
our “balcony seats.”




Judah is all snips and snails. This time, he has a toad. He played with it for hours. Try getting away with that in children’s church.

What’s not shared is lost,


People confuse us all the time…

I’m speaking of Angelina Jolie and myself….of course. As I checked out at Wally World, I saw the cover story – “Angelina is pregnant…again!” I just know that friends of mine who go through the check-out lane have to stop a minute and remember which name goes with which face. After all, they’ve said it many a time, “Michelle is pregnant…again!” Alas, this time it is not I that bears glad tidings but that rich, homely chic. One can only hope that her and Brad have read “To Train Up a Child.”

Anyhoo, it has been VERY peculiar, not being pregnant or having a tiny one in my arms by now. Very strange. Some “friends” have likened me to a barn cat due to my predictability – every 2 years, a baby. I use to get the rude questions, “Don’t you know what causes that, yet?” “Aren’t you worried they won’t get the attention they need?” Some are just curious; “Are you done?” “How many are you going to have?” “What does your husband do?” “How old were you when you had your first?” The past year I’ve been getting, “Do you have any news for us?” “Are you expecting, yet?” A friend told me the other day that eventually, one does stop having babies without any external intervention. It really does stop. Most folks decide what size family best suits them, and that’s fine, we’ve just fallen in love with let God do what suits Him and have been abundantly blessed!
If we had done things “my way” (up until I was married, I wanted 2 and no more), we would have never met jolly Jillian with her incredible singing voice, cheerful disposition, peacemaking abilities and the ability to love anyone unconditionally.
Or adventurous, tree-climbing Natalie, another great singer who loves to learn (on


 her own) about and how to do out-of-the-norm things like scuba diving, pirates & ships, and how to play bass. (She also enjoys memorizing useless facts like New Jersey is the biggest exporter of eggplant. That one won us a Papa John’s pizza so it’s no longer useless.)
AND, if we had stopped at 2, we would never have had boys! I could go into describing each of my children but will save it for the book (JK) as this would get very lengthy. You get the idea, though, especially if you know our family. If you know my children, you shudder to think of the world without them! They are incredible people!

And so, that is why I don’t feel at all excited at the possibility that I may be “done,” as it were. I would love to have more. One of
 our answers to “how many are you going to have?” is “We’re collecting the whole set.” It just doesn’t feel like we have the whole set.
What’s not shared is lost,

My Life in Third Day Music

This went around Facebook and I usually don’t waste time on these things but I couldn’t resist participating using my FAV-OR-ITE band!

Using only song titles from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions.

Artist/group/band: Third Day
1 Are you male or female: This is Who I Am
2 Describe yourself: Mama & I Believe
3 How do you feel about yourself: I Got a Feeling
4 Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: You Make Me Mad
5 Describe your current boy/girl situation: ‘Til the Day I Die
6 Describe your current location: Took My Place
7 Describe where you want to be: Mountain of God
8 Your best friend is: You Are So Good To Me
9 Your favorite color is: Take It All (Green, as in the current administration’s plan for stimulus)
10 You know that: Love Heals Your Heart
11 What’s the weather like: The Sun is Shining or When the Rain Comes or Sky Falls Down or Consuming Fire (We’re in Indiana, this could all happen tomorrow)
12 If your life was a television show what would it be called?: Alien
13 What is life to you?: Revelation
14 What is the best advice you have to give: Cry Out to Jesus
15 If you could change your name what would you change it to: Rockstar or Billy Brown
Third Day Rocks. Nuff said.

Don’t Take Them For Granted

Craig and I met with friends one night last week and enjoyed some intense fellowship as we shared some pretty hearty laughs but also divulged deep hurt and loss that led to tears at one point. We’re not close friends with these folks but it’s impossible to not feel drawn closer to someone when you, and they, have become vulnerable enough to cry in front of each other and reveal a part of your heart that has been wounded by loss. Our friends’ loss is more recent – about 2 years ago, a young lady who may as well have been their daughter was tragically killed in a car accident (riding in a vehicle one mile to pick up drinks for a party. One mile. No, no alcohol was involved.) Their son and this girl had been friends since they were born fighting and playing like brother and sister into their teen years.

  My heart breaks for this young man as I experienced this pain 22 years ago when my brother died at the age of 16.

After we went home from the visit with our friends, I went to bed thinking about the heartrending loss of their young friend and as I drifted off to sleep, it hit me. All of my adult life I have longed for THAT friend. That kindred spirit that loves my kids as my own and I love theirs. That friend that I would take special trips with, buy gifts for, hang out with, argue with and not fear loss of their friendship, and call at least every 3 days. Some of you enjoy this kind of friendship. Thank God and don’t take them for granted. What hit me was that I haven’t been longing for a friend that I have yet to meet; I long for the friend I had and will never have again, my brother, Scott. Every time I’ve had a baby (reminder – 11 times), I have felt SO very sad that Scott wasn’t there to see his newest niece or nephew. Then I revisit those emotions I struggled with when Scott died like: “He was so young!” “We’ve only been close friends for a couple of years; why couldn’t you have waited, Lord?” Then there are new hurts: “Our kids would have been best friends.” “He would have been SO much fun to spend time with.” “Scott might have kept Todd, our younger brother, from becoming estranged from his family.” “Scott would’ve homeschooled, too.”

When you lose someone, many people offer, or try to offer, encouragement by telling you “time heals all wounds.” I know this won’t be a huge newsflash for those of you who have lost someone close to them, but wounds like that don’t really heal. That’s how it should be. If you don’t hurt and long to see them again, then you weren’t really close. The scars remind you how deep the love is and the loss is. You learn to “deal” with this kind of loss but the hurt doesn’t go away. In fact, as I noted in the previous paragraph, new dimensions are added to the pain that can cause the ache to go even deeper. New “what ifs” make their appearance and there’s not a thing you can do about it. I give it to God and trust that He knows what to do with it but sometimes, I go through bouts of that helplessness. Then you find pictures, as I did today, and you lose them all over again…and again…and again. BUT, I have hope. I don’t know how anyone make’s it through without Christ. To lose my brother is bad enough but to not have the hope that I WILL see him again, I don’t know that I could function. I love him more than when he was here and I believe that’s because I am looking forward to seeing him again! Wow.

Loss also helps us tie heartstrings with others when they experience loss and it’s looking to the needs of others that keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Our new-found friends’ suffering is still fresh and Craig and I have discussed our intent to reach out and encourage them. In the meantime, hug your friends. Tell your spouse you love them. Smile at and hug your children. I know it’s cliché but it’s so very true – you don’t know how much longer you have them.

“Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
1 Thessalonians 4:12-18

  Scott would have loved this:  Minister at a funeral service, “Friends, let us say goodbye to our beloved, departed friend. Let us remember that here lies only the shell – the nut has gone!”
Be blessed and hugs in Him!

Scott loved purple. His fave places to shop were the GAP and the Merry-Go-Round. This is the shirt and tie he was buried in.


What’s not shared is lost,


My Calendar Is Nuts

Last week was nuts. This week is nuts. I am nuts. We are all nuts. It’s not that we fill every minute of our calendar. It’s that when we put something on the calendar, we see how many other items can fit in that slot. It doesn’t necessarily happen because we intend to. It’s that I’m the kind of personality that knows we’ll “figure it out when we get there.” And we always do…out of necessity. Last Wednesday, we had 2 sessions of dentist appointments, 4 girls in the morning, 4 boys in the afternoon, and Corinne, Natalie AND I went to the Richmond Tea party AND Lenae had ballet AND did make up for the Beauty and the Beast dress rehearsal AND did face painting for the Sunrise Center booth at the Home Expo. AND…we lived to tell about it. This week is looking pretty hairy as well but never a dull moment! Lenae and Jillian are doing props for Boxcar Children, Corinne is going to a Caregivers workshop w/ friends on Thursday then spending the night and helping with stripping wallpaper on Friday. Lenae is face painting at a Head Start carnival on Friday, working at Sunrise, zooming to the theatre to do Beauty & the Beast make-up with Jillian. I have a Thomas the Tank Engine cake and a Beauty and the Beast cast party cake to make this weekend, a few of us usher Saturday, and Lenae and Jillian do make-up again. Oh, and we host church on Sunday so we’ll be getting ready for that as well. And, once again, I keep saying we’ll start those 4-H projects next week. I think I started saying that in January.

Top 10 Things You Hate to Hear on an Airplane

1.This is your captain speaking. I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but if the child out on the starboard wing belongs to anyone, would you please alert the flight attendant?

2.I’m sorry sir but you have one more child than you have tickets for.

3.Boy, Dad, you sure made a loud noise in the bathroom…and what is that smell?

4.Dad, wasn’t there an engine attached to the wing when we took off?

5.Psst, Dad, this big fat lady next to me is squishing me.

6.I know I just went, but I gotta go again.

7.How much longer?

8.How much longer?

9.How much longer?

10. Honey, you take care of the kids and wake me when the plane lands.

and a bonus:

“This is your captain speaking. I have some bad news. We have lost all navigational & communication devices and and we have no idea where we are. We are almost out of fuel and the engines are failing one by one.But I have good news…we are making excellent time.”

Free Haircuts

One day, a barber decides, as a service to the community, to give free haircuts to all his customers for the entire week.


First thing in the morning, a florist goes to the barber for a haircut. After the cut he asked about his bill and the barber replied, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The florist was pleased and left the shop.

When the barber goes to open his shop the next morning there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.


Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The cop is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open up there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.


Later that day, a college professor comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The professor is very happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber opens his shop, there is a ‘thank you’ card and a dozen different books, such as ‘How to Improve Your Business’ and ‘Becoming More Successful.


Then, a Congressman comes in for a haircut, and when he goes to pay his bill the barber again replies, ‘I cannot accept money from you. I’m doing community service this week.’ The Congressman is very happy and leaves the shop.


The next morning when the barber goes to open up, there are a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.