Showing posts from July, 2011


Do what you can, and can what you can't.
I'm sure you have heard this pithy phrase at one point or another.  I have said it often as an attempt to curb my tendency to be everything to everybody. Usually the reaction from others is an raised eyebrow or smirk of some sort.
"I don't know" means "I don't care",  and "I can't" means "I won't".
This little turn of phrase elicits more contrary response, especially from well-meaning friends.  Honestly, my children don't much care for it, either.  I started saying it when my oldest was struggling with her studies in the first grade.  It was my effort to stop the ever-familiar "I don't know" answer and encourage her to think things through before giving up.  The response from adults is usually pretty entertaining; just between you and me, I may be saying it just to be ornery at times, but don't tell anyone.
Both of these oft-used phrases lead me to think of what I …

Confessions of an Addict

ser'vice, noun, to render aid, help or support to those in need,
thereby expressing love at it's highest level.
I admit it, I'm addicted to service.  I actively look for ways to serve, whether it is simply being available to those in my life or signing up for volunteer events. The heart of a servant is to give yourself to others; give of your care, your time, your effort.  It always demands humility, forcing the servant to give up any scrap of pride or self-focus.  So many times, service involves discomfort of our physical selves, either through labor or mental effort that wearies to the core.  I know this and still raise my hand when presented with opportunities to serve. Why?

Because I'm addicted.

So, what is it that urges me to step up to the plate over and over?  I confess; just like the adrenalin junkie looking for the next rock face to scale or bridge to bungee from, I live for the rush that comes after managing to fulfill a need for someone by serving them.  Like…

Grateful Friday

I'm grateful for beautiful weather for Padawan's birthday!

I'm grateful that Morgan is feeling better after starting antibiotics for strep.

I'm grateful for all the wonderful times she is having at camp.

I'm grateful for our FABULOUS study on Shabbat!

I'm grateful for words of healing.

I'm grateful that Lisa and I were able to take a day to sit with a friend in crisis. It was like sitting shiva.

I'm grateful that the LORD orders all things.

I'm grateful that my dearest friends feel very comfortable in my home.

I'm grateful that my husband never questions when I serve a friend in crisis.

I'm grateful that, for all the cops that have tailed me while having expired tabs, none of them pulled me over. (Now, I want to be grateful to get the part for my car so I can get the stupid emission test, then buy tabs!)

I'm grateful that it's not 40 degrees outside.

I'm grateful for my new purse. Not only was it on sale, but I am kinda think…

Even Knowing

Even knowing the painful end, I would do it all again.
I would just savor every moment more.
It was that worth it.

Don't be sad for me, dearheart
for I'm just being human.
Embracing the full range of emotion
that comes from experience,
from living,
from loving...
from feeling too deeply.

Oh, let me be melancholy, will you?
It's alright, really.
Listen to music that aches
and look for something that is not seen;
For no one physically dies from lament
at least -
or so it might seem.

Let the music flow freely,
allow tears to match the notes.
The instruments are the voice,
the rhythm is a heartbeat.
Wrap empathetic arms around a sigh
and explore the full breadth of love;
love gained,
love lost,
and love given, even still.

I wish there was another word for this type of love,
one more definitive and clear.
The love of others,
love that defies explanation.
Love that is always good,
and true.

Love is like a coin,
oh yes, you may have heard this before.
Blessing on one side,

Two Questions and a Statement

When I was in sixth grade, I had a teacher named Mr. Wilson.  Actually, it was one of those strange classroom situations where two teachers shared the same grade for the school, and would swap students for certain subjects.  So, I had both Mrs. Walker and Mr. Wilson.  Mrs. Walker was a rather tall, thin woman whom I enjoyed a great deal.  Mr. Wilson, who happened to be rather short and stout, I liked, as well; however I was to later find out that he didn't care for me quite so much.
Why didn't Mr. Wilson care for me, you ask?  Well, apparently, I asked too many questions.  
You would think a teacher would be welcoming of questions, but not Mr. Wilson.  As the story goes, I was under his tutelage for science as part of this class-swapping business.  I very much liked science and yes, you guessed it, asked quite a few questions.  Too many questions, at least in his estimation.  He actually called a meeting with my parents to discuss my over-abundant questioning.  I was unaware o…

Star Wars Challenge: Week 25

My favorite book/series from the Expanded Universe has to be any Star Wars book written by Karen Miller.

Grateful Friday

What am I grateful for? Well...

I'm grateful I was able to get Morgan set up with the things she needs at camp.

I'm grateful to hear her talk about camp life (don't tell her, but she sounds like her mother!)

I'm grateful for time to just veg a bit.

I'm grateful for the wonderful time at the Lavender Festival with the Chaverim. I'm grateful for friendly vendors who enjoy shmoozin' with the festival-goers. I'm grateful for all the festival-goers that brought their dogs so we could all pet them!

I'm grateful for our time preparing food and feeding the homeless this last Sunday in downtown Tacoma. What a great opportunity to connect with people.

I'm grateful for time singing in the car with my bestest friends.

I'm grateful for really cool boots that are comfortable, too.  (There's just something about wearing cool boots that makes you feel like a million bucks.)

I'm grateful baking potatoes, canned tuna and sliced cheese...oh and fo…

The Dances of Love

I'm a dancer.
I always have been.

Since the time before I could place one foot in front of the other in the balancing act that is walking, I danced. My mother said so, and I believe her. That tiny toddler, gripping the side of the coffee table, swayed to the music that permeated her senses, her very being. I didn't have a choice and I didn't know why. As I grew, I danced. I danced in my yard, I danced in my room. I danced with myself and made my friends dance with me, too. I danced alone with abandon in the front room of my growing-up home with music up as loud as was safe for the speakers. I danced 'til I was breathless and dripping with sweat. I danced in high school and danced in college. I've danced on the beach and danced for an audience. I've danced in many a dance circle and in the arms of many different partners. I dream of dance and dance in my dreams. I dance when I walk, when I talk, when I write. Because, you see, I'm a dancer.

Not surprising…

Another Layer

I have pondered and postulated here several times on my ongoing ruminations concerning community. It seems that the definition is elusive somehow, regardless of how many times we discuss it's nuances.  I'm not sure it is even possible to nail down a black and white definition; it's certainly an interesting concept to contemplate.

As is the case with most of us, I'm in many different communities, all with a different set of expectations.  But it's the moving from a larger believing community to a much smaller one that is worthy of dissection to me at this juncture.  It is as if we, myself and the members of our little group, are conducting this fascinating experiment to discover what makes community work, and conversely, what causes it's failure.  In our little experiment, we all came out of the same larger community into a much smaller home fellowship - a small, intimate but open, mini-community.  In our ongoing conversations, we have made some interesting obse…

Star Wars Challenge: Week 24

A character you didn’t like in the series.

Grateful Friday

I'm grateful for our Shabbat walk - it was gloriously sunny and we met some letterboxers on our way!

I'm grateful for summer.

I'm grateful for friends who take the time to listen to me rant...again.  *grimace*

I'm grateful for words of encouragement and affirmation.

I'm grateful for our time studying Scripture.

I'm grateful to have been able to have lunch with my girl.

I'm grateful for digital photography - how in the world did I live without it?

I'm grateful for my husband's job.

I'm grateful that I got the boys a new chore chart worked out - let's hope this one works well!

I'm grateful to have a day of visiting friends today!

I'm grateful for iTunes - I love that I can have gigantic playlists that play for hours and hours without repeats!

I'm grateful for the internet.

I'm grateful for a clean kitchen.

I'm grateful for all the things that make our lives easier; washer and dryer, dishwasher, automobiles, heaters and air…

Thinking about Boundaries

Personal boundaries define you as an individual.  They are statements of what you will or won't do,  what you like and don't like; how close someone can get to you.
I consider myself a healthy person with healthy boundaries.  Like most, there are just some things I will not participate in - pretty black and white.  But when it comes to relationships, those colors tend to get a little more grey and mottled.  Sometimes it takes someone else observing and listening to alert us to a 'boundary foul'.  At times, in our effort to be kind, compassionate and available, we can be easily manipulated by those who may be in a 'survival mode' of neediness or simply have a high need to be in control of all those around them (often authority figures).  How many times I have poured myself out helping someone through challenges, trying to be a loyal, caring friend or a faithful, giving servant?  I know I am not alone in this endeavor.  In these situations, personal boundaries c…

Sent to Azazel

He shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering.  Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house.  He shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting;  and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel.  Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord, and offer it as a sin offering; but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel. (Leviticus 16:5-10 RSV)When he has finished atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat. Then Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgr…

You Look Beautiful Today!

It is my firm belief that women want to look beautiful.  They want to feel beautiful, and they want others to think they are beautiful.  It's pretty simple in my mind. 

Me, too - I want to look and feel beautiful, and I want others to think I'm beautiful...or at least easy to look at.  And I do a lot of things that other women do to ensure that I look the best I can; I investigate and find cheaper substitutes for all the latest and greatest beauty products, spend a fair amount on makeup and hair products and diligently take care of myself to stay looking as good as possible.  You, too?

What fascinates me and makes me ponder is the astounding lack of affirmation of each other of the results of our efforts.  Do you tell others they look beautiful?  Is it only for the romantically involved to verbalize pleasure at the sight of their beloved?  We freely say that the sky is beautiful, or the day is gorgeous...even in an ugly dog we find visual pleasure enough to say it outright, …

Star Wars Challenge: Week 23

Something you wished was different in the series...

Well, that's interesting.  Honestly, I never considered changing a thing, as everything needs to happen just as it does so the story moves where it's suppose to go!

'Cept the dialog of Padme and Anakin in the arena; now, that's just corny and know the dialog I'm talking about, I'm sure.  It really starts when they are having dinner at the Lake House and Anakin is telling the beautiful Senator about 'agressive negotiations'.  Later, in the Genosian arena when their lives are definitely in danger, Padme tries to lighten the moment with a snarky comment calling their dire situation 'agressive negotiations'.  For me, it falls rather flat.  Perhaps it's the delivery.

I'd definitely change that.

Grateful Friday

I'm grateful for this country and all the freedoms we enjoy.

I'm grateful for a fun time on the fourth.

I'm grateful that no one I know got hurt with fireworks.

I'm grateful for my loving son, Taylor.

I'm grateful for the Hebrew language.

I'm grateful that Kevin is safely in France having a great time.

I'm grateful for words of wisdom from those who have walked before us.

I'm soooooo grateful for summer weather!

Sunshine!!  Three days in a row?  How can that be???

I'm grateful that the beach is so close and that I get fabulous views of Mt. Rainier from my kitchen window.

I'm grateful for sleep.

I'm grateful my children are having a happy childhood.

I'm grateful for busy days and not-do-busy days.

I'm grateful for new dishes - cool!  And for fun shopping time with my bestie.

I'm grateful for laughter.

I'm grateful for a phone call from across the pond - I love you, Ann!!

I'm grateful for acceptance.

I'm grateful that …

Let the Healing Begin

Many thanks to a dear friend who shared this song by Micheal John Piorier. The words really touched my heart...maybe they will touch yours as well.

Oh yes, LORD, please let the healing begin...for all of us.

Bring to me your broken wings bring me your empty sky;
Rest your trembling heart in mine I'll sing you a lullaby.
Come and find your innocence, come find the faith of a child again. Here far below, the lies you were told... Come and let the healing begin.
Paint for me your blackest night, I'll paint you the Milky Way. Give me your faded childhood dreams, I'll give you the color of days
Come and find your innocence, come find the faith of a child again. Here far below, the lies you were told... Come and let the healing begin.
Someone you trusted but never knew twisted your joy into shame. They wounded you and walked away and somehow you've taken the blame. But the fault is not yours - you are not to blame, so don't let yourself listen to the lies. The truth is that you are my treasure…

My Buddy Paul

My Buddy??  Sheesh, how dare I be so irreverent towards the one who is featured heavily in the Apostolic Scriptures and held as the high watermark of the Christian believer?  Well, I may be a bit cheeky, I concede. However, Paul, aka Saul the Pharisee, had some pretty interesting and challenging things to say.  I can't say that I disagree with what he says, but I do struggle with the interpretation of his words at times.

Paul was indeed a Hebrew of Hebrews, Torah-observant (even after 'conversion') and given to midrash...quite a bit of it, actually.  I often wonder what his reaction would be to knowing that the thoughts, pleas and rebukes he diligently gave his flock(s) and talmidim were now taken as sacred Scripture by every soul called to faith in Mashiach.  I like to think he'd be rather stunned.  I also wonder if he would have worded things a little differently, he had been privy to that most important tidbit. Guess the LORD chose to keep him in the dark on that, …

Is Every Day Judgment Day?

Well, for some, it may be.

1.  an act or instance of judging.
2.  the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
I have come to the conclusion that everyone, at some point, considers themselves a judge - myself included.  We all make daily judgments on situations, decisions and on the actions of others.  We absolutely must determine, especially if we are believers in the Most High G-d, if what is presented to us either by others, the media or from our own minds is good and right.  However, a problem arises when we make judgments that are harsh or unfair that cause hurt to others due to our self-righteousness.  We put ourselves in the place of the Almighty, passing judgment as if we were appointed to do so...making ourselves feel superior in the process.  Things only become more entangled and sinful when we then execute sentencing up…

Star Wars Challenge: Week 22

Your favorite moment in Return of the Jedi?

I really do like this movie.  Except the Ewoks.  Yeah.

When Luke reappears as a Jedi, it is an awesome moment for this Jedi - definitely my favorite.

I have never thought Mark Hamill was as cute as Harrison Ford or Ewan McGregor, but even I have to admit that this headshot is something to take a second look at...

A Jedi craves not these things.  Haha!

A Sabbath Day's Journey

Just wanted to share some of the scenery from our trip up to Lynden, Washington this Sabbath. Usually we enjoy each other's company at my home, but this Sabbath we accompanied Batya up to a family wedding. It was a glorious, sunny day - summer at last!!

I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?

My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.

~Psalm 121