Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Where I'm From

One of my favorite bloggers just posted a poem from an elementary school template.

I like writing poetry. So, I decided to write my own and share it here.

Where I'm from

I am from music. 
From chocolate and singing.

I am from the lakeside.
From depth and calm 
and raging waves.

I am from blue skies,
 and sunshine, 
and rain.

I am from Brookside and good suntans,  
from Teri and Vince 
and Melanie and Noella. 

I am from Singing and Singing
and more Singing.
I am from the wind section and from the choir.

I am from high expectations and unconditional love.

I am from the water.
Baptized in the Holy Spirit
Beloved child of God.

I’m from Minnesota and Norway and Ireland
and everywhere, 

From cinnamon rolls and lefse, 
from hot dishes, not casseroles.

I am from Grandpa Clint's No Stuff Oreos, 
from Great Grandma Irene's Pinochle rules that no one else knows
  and Grandma Lois's Three Tier Bars 
and Grandma Ramona's Fresh Baked Bread.

I am from  my mother's porch,
my grandma's attic,
my aunt's back deck.

I am from the kitchen table
and family
and love.

For the template  to write your own go here

Friday, January 20, 2017

Don't forget to Pray

I'm sharing this again today because it seems appropriate. Even though the election is no longer in the future.

And also this which I wrote years ago and never told anyone about because I don't write for others so much as for me.

I hope you will read them both. Even if you have read them before.

They seem appropriate today and I feel like being a little loud and evangelical today because these are scary times. And I am afraid. I am afraid for this country. I am afraid for my daughters. I am afraid for myself.

I am afraid of power hungry men who degrade and dismiss everyone who is not a power hungry man. And I know they don't represent all men, but they seem so Many and so Powerful.

And the answer to my fear remains the same as it has always been.

The answer hasn't changed for centuries.

The answer is in faith. The answer is in God. The answer is in a savior. A God who so loves this world that he sent his only son to die for us. For you and for me and even for those we fear.

So call your senator and your representative and march and do whatever else you need to do. These are Important things. But don't forget to also do this:


Pray for our nation. Pray for our schools. Pray for our children. Pray for immigrants and women and everyone you can think of. And then


For the president. No matter whether you like him or not. And pray for those appointed to work beside him. Pray for your representatives and senators. Pray for our judges.


God wants to be in this mess with us but we have to invite him. He won't come in if he's not wanted.

Now more than ever, we have to let him in.


I will be praying with you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


She's Too thin
She's Too fat
Too short, Too flat
Too tall, Too busty
Too shy, Too gutsy

She's Too loud
She's Too quiet
That short skirt could cause a riot.

She's Too covered
She's Too bare
She should cover up that hair

Too pretty, Too plain
Too disheveled,  Too vain

She's Too smart
She's Too dumb
Too emotional, Too numb

Too much makeup, or Too little
There's not much room here in the middle

It's always Too That or Too This
For a mark made just to miss.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I spend a lot of time feeling lost.

I'm not the best at navigating on my own. That's probably an understatement.

Even my children know that I don't know where I am going much of the time. I drive by the violin teacher's house almost every time and they chorus from the back seat, "Mom, you drove by the house again!"

I never know where North is.
Let alone South, East and West.

There are places in town I can't quite seem to get to, even though I may have been there many times.


This spring, I finally got a good smart phone with GPS and live navigation directions. I am rarely physically lost anymore. My phone even notifies my watch, which taps me on the wrist when it's time to turn.

Technology is really amazing.

But technology can only do so much. Even with technology, I have still managed to get lost a few times. Sometimes, it takes me to the building, but I can't find the parking lot, or the entrance. Sometimes, there's road construction.

That feeling of being constantly lost has not abated with the addition of GPS to my toolbox. I have realized there's more to not feeling lost than just knowing where I am and where I am going in physical space.

The directions for the rest of my life don't come with GPS in an app on a smart phone. I am still me, not very good at navigating, and I am still lost. I still feel like I don't know where I am going over half the time.

Where exactly am I supposed to go?
What job am I supposed to take?
What do I need to be doing for the people I care about?
How do I make this or that decision?
What is the right answer?
What is the right question for that matter, what if I'm asking the wrong one?

I forget that if I get quiet and listen there is a single answer for all of it.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through me."
- John 14:6

I feel out of control when I feel lost. It seems that I have lost or am losing control. As if I had ever had control in the first place. I forget that it is not in my hands. Control is an illusion at best. It is not my way. My way does not need finding. 

Jesus is the way, and the way does not need finding. 
It just needs following. 

We're all so caught up in finding our own way. 
Or the American way.
Or the Minnesotan way. 
Or the feminist way. 
Or the Lutheran way. 
Or the Catholic way.

There are plenty of ways to get lost in. 

We've forgotten that there is only one way that matters. His way.

We all need to go Jesus' way. 
We all need to follow Jesus. 

We need to get unstuck from our fear and unstuck from our loss of control. 
We need to let go of this idea that there is another way and go his way.

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.
- Matthew 4:19-20 

The disciples left everything. They didn't debate on it for days either. They didn't worry about being in control, or doing it in their own way. They didn't worry if it was a socially acceptable time to go. They didn't read a bunch of books on how to follow Jesus, take a class and debate it, and then go. Immeadiately, they left everything and followed Jesus. They knew what we have forgotten.

There is only one way. There is no other.

And he will lead us if we will only follow.

I will not be afraid
To surrender my way
And follow who You are
- Jeremy Camp, Reckless

Jesus, show us the way.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I've been thinking a lot about voice lately. And by lately I mean for years.
(This post has existed as a couple sentence idea since 2013 and I am just now getting around to fleshing it out.)

 In particular I have been thinking about Finding My Voice.

Finding my voice in my singing.

Finding my voice in my writing.

What is my voice?
What is it that I have to contribute to the world? (Is there anything?)
What is my message? What is the thesis?
Should I talk about God? Or Parenting?
Should I write about women's rights?
Should I sing about grace and forgiveness?
Should I sing about love?
What sound am I looking for?
Head voice? Chest Voice?
Opera voice? Country Voice?
Snarky Voice? Serious Voice?

At some point I began to realize that my voice is really not the point. Actually, maybe I can't seem to find my voice because that's not the one I should be looking for.

The voice I should be looking for is the Still Small Voice.

God's voice.

This caused me to go looking for the origins of the still small voice and I found out it is only actually in the bible once. In 1 Kings 19:12

And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a
still small voice.

 Turns out in general in the bible God's voice is not so still and not so small

The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 
Psalm 29:4
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Revelation 1:10 
 The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice.
 2 Samuel 22:14

Wait a minute. If the voice of the lord is powerful and thundering, why is it so hard to hear? 

Or maybe it's just me? 

But I've talked to enough people that I feel confident that the voice of God is hard to hear for most of us. It's not just me. I think those who say otherwise might be delusional or lying.

I think this is where the still small part comes into our understanding of God's voice. No matter how it thunders, we can't hear it if we don't stop to listen. Sometimes we can't hear it because we just don't like what it is saying.

I didn't write on this blog for over two years because what I was feeling compelled to write isn't ready for public consumption. It may never be. But it needed to be written. Now I'm done with that content for now and I find myself back here. Although I still worry and wonder about my voice, and my message. Once again it seems like the stuff to write just comes if I let it. If I don't seek too hard and question too much. If I just let what feels right come out.

For me, I think I've figured out that the voice is a near constant nagging sensation. Often to do something I don't want to do.

You should write that post on voice.

There's a time limit on the action. I can choose to ignore it.

You should sing "Trust in You"

If I ignore it long enough. The feeling that I need to do something will go away.

But then I have failed to listen to the call. I have failed to listen to the still small voice.

I don't know if what I am writing is for me or for you.
I don't know if what I am singing is for me or for you.

But I do know that right now I am supposed to be writing this post on voice and in a few short weeks I am supposed to be singing "Trust in you". And  I will know the next thing that I need to write or sing, as long as I am listening for his voice. Even when it seems scary and hard, I will try to listen and obey.

And I trust that whether it is for me or you or all of us, he will use my voice to work for his kingdom.

We are the body.
We are the hands and feet.

And voices.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Doing Our Best

I recently saw the book of Mormon for the first time. I have to admit, I loved it. I totally enjoyed every inappropriate minute of it. I am not sure it is one I will ever see again, but it was wonderful to see it once. It's irreverent. It's raunchy. It is offensive. It insults just about every religion. And yet in all that irreverence, I picked out a very important message.

I never would have imagined that a musical would have such an effect on my view of faith.

I already believed that all people are trying to understand God. Jews were trying their best, and all these different Christian denominations are trying their best. And Muslims and Buddhists, all trying their best. And God understands it all. And GRACE people. It's all going to be OK.

But before I saw the book of Mormon. I thought the Mormon church was pretty out there. I mean, religion is not like Oprah's favorite things.

You get a planet and you get a planet and you get a planet!!!

 EVERYONE gets a planet!

(Please excuse my ignorant oversimplification of the Mormon faith, I have not studied it. I have seen a musical. Also it's supposed to sound ridiculous for literary effect.)

There's a song in the show where it says the bible has two testaments old and new, or only one if your a Jew. It describes how the Mormons have a third book from the prophet, found in the USA. (This is where my inner skeptic goes, yeah right, seriously people?)

And it hit me like a ton of bricks. The way I feel about that third book, well that's probably just about the same way Jews feel about Christians and the new testament.

Jesus. I mean, he was a cool guy and all. But he was God? Really? 
I don't think you Christians understand what God is.
Hint: He is Not a man. He is God.

Now personally, I get the whole Jesus package. Died for us. For our sins. Because frankly, we can't seem to stop screwing it up and there's no way we could ever get to heaven without grace. This whole package works for me. It connects me to God.

But that doesn't make it right.

(and this is a really BIG And)
There is nothing that says I have to be right.

Who says there is only one way to connect to God?

We are all, ALL OF US, Jews, Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Buddhists... even Atheists professing not to believe in any God, or Agnostics who can never really know...


We are just trying to understand that which is completely beyond our comprehension and always will be.

God is unknowable.

It even says so in the book. Job 36:26 (I chose the God's word translation)
"Certainly, God is so great that he is beyond our understanding."

I thought I had a pretty inclusive faith to begin with. Everyone is in; as my favorite bloggers like to say.

We're all just doing are best. We are all IN. We are all welcome at the table.

I didn't even realize my faith still needed to be expanded.
That my everyone wasn't quite everyone yet. 

Well, Everyone is welcome at my table. Even if I haven't realized that I forgot to welcome you yet.

So if you want to talk about Jesus Christ, or Muhammad, or Joseph Smith or ??? You're welcome to dine with me and there will be laughter and there will be love and wherever two are more are gathered, there will be God also. However you believe.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

What kind of Mom do you want to be when you grow up?

For about a year, we've been watching reruns of The Cosby Show with the kids. We started last summer and we're in the middle of season 3. (We do not watch a lot of TV with our kids, partly because there is not that much modern TV that is appropriate for kids.)

While watching the Cosby show I am regularly struck with the urge to say to my kids "This! YES YES YES this!! Please remember this." Like on the episode where Cliff and Claire say to their kids: if you ever have a problem we want you to come to us and let us help you because even though we may get mad, Nobody, I mean Nobody, loves you like we do. Let us help.

And I am watching my kids watching this show and Hoping that this is soaking in.

Yes. Kiddos, This! YES!

Meanwhile, after the kiddos have gone off to bed, I've been watching reruns of Modern Family by myself.

And I am just struck dumb by the difference between the parents I grew up watching on TV and the parents on TV now.

The Cosby Show, Growing Pains, Family Ties...

These were Moms that we looked up to. I mean sure they made mistakes, and the mistakes were funny. But in general, they were better than average. They were better than we are. They were Moms to aspire to be when you grew up.

Today's moms are like a mashup of all of our worst mistakes and faults. Designed to make us laugh and to make us feel better about ourselves.They are not better than average. I am not even sure they are as good as average. They make us think:
I'll never be June Cleaver but at least I'm a better mom than that. 

And I wonder what this new "feel better" TV mom is doing to our mom ideal. If we spend all our time watching moms that leave us thinking, phew I'm not that bad. What ideal are we reaching for? Is there any ideal to reach for?
Or do we then just stop reaching?

It's not that I think that we shouldn't feel good about the job we are doing as moms. I know I am never going to be Claire Huxtable, but that doesn't mean I am not a good mom. It is important to feel good about the job I am doing.

It's more that I think that it is also important to have something to reach for. Someone to look up to; to aspire to be. The lion share of what it takes to be a good mom, in my estimation, is to just keep trying. As hard as we can. (Which granted somedays isn't very hard at all). Our kids know when we are giving it our all. They know when we are trying, and in this trying is the ultimate expression of our love.

I hope my mom didn't feel bad about her work as a mom when she and I sat and watched Cosby together. I know I don't feel bad as I watch with my kids. Instead, I regularly find my self wanting to be Claire when I watch the show.

Yes! This! Yes! This is the mom I want to be! Yes!

And I feel like for awhile afterward I do try harder, and I do emulate what I see.

When I watch today's TV mom's I never want to be them. Instead, I am relieved that I am doing better than them. I have that flaw, but oh thank goodness I don't have all those flaws. They're funny and they're forgiving, but they don't give me something to look up to like the TV moms I grew up with did. There's no motivation here to try harder.

So is this harmless entertainment? Does it matter what I watch? Does it affect the kind of mom I am?

Or does the decline in the role models we have to watch on TV actually make us slowly and steadily worse?
In the end, are we what we watch?

What do you think?
What TV moms are you watching?

What kind of Mom do you want to be when you grow up?