If It Were That Simple; Everyone Would Do It

Anyone who’s known my blog for awhile may have noticed I don’t mention parents, in-laws or extended family.  I always affirm others in those relationships, but haven’t shared my own story.

Lately, I have felt prompted about simple obedience.  No matter that the world around me is having a full on revolution of selfish self-seeking rude violent lawlessness.  What leads to happiness is what always has.

“Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy…”

Elisabeth Eliot, once teaching on finding rest, said,”The happiest students on any college campus are the athletes and musicians, because they have voluntarily come under discipline.”

We’ve had a lot of change going on.  Change can bring discomfort.  If you want to know about trusting God, I can’t tell you, because the minute we got a little money in the house, I started having trouble listening to Him.  I know what I ought to do.  I would prefer to do something else.  So, I am living the philosophy that I have always hated most

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”

Um, no.  It isn’t.

At any rate, along with EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE, the topic of extended family relationships began to nag at me.  What is my role? Do I want to lose them forever?

Two years ago, my dad’s stepdaughter publicly eviscerated me on facebook.  I promptly called him to say I didn’t say anything that warranted that response and in the course of the conversation said, “I understand that you may have found your second family and might not need a relationship with me, but…”

And while I paused to search for the right words to ask that I not be bawled out by people who don’t know me for things I have never expressed or implied, he said, “Yep.”

He didn’t clarify and ended the conversation by saying he’d talk to me in a few days.

I never heard his voice again.

And no one else’s in the family either.

Based on the thinking of the last couple of weeks, which coincide exactly with the original event, I moved forward, tentatively; with an email to the cousin closest to me in age. My cousin responded to my email by saying:

“I don’t know about it, or want to take sides.   I just think it is sad for all involved.”

If they don’t know, how can they think it’s sad.  Isn’t it taking sides to not hear both and not speak to the person whose side you haven’t heard?

To my blame, writing this has made me realize, if I’ve been having a hard time listening to God, I shouldn’t initiate processes without His approval.  Will all things work together for good?  Sure.  Did it have to be this way? No. This is uncomfortable.  I can explain my side, but if they didn’t care about it last week, it’s difficult to imagine they’d change now.  I don’t feel ashamed of the way I have handled it up to now. The Bible does say, “Seek peace and pursue it.”  It doesn’t follow up with, “because it’s your job to make it happen.”

I don’t have to be the one to pursue God, My Father.  He pursues me, crazy, rebellious, black sheep that I am. And all I have to do to seek peace is obey Him.







F-5: The Finger of God

image: trailer addict

If you follow me on Twitter, you know we watched Twister last night.  For those of you who are not from Tornado Alley, I should clarify that it is to weather forecasting what Star Wars is to manned space exploration.  Just. About. Nothing.


Except gorgeous.  Not only does Helen Hunt’s hair NEVER look bad for one second, and there are so, so, many beautiful views of the prairie.  The film takes place in the middle of where I lived from birth to age 27.  Mountains and beaches mean nothing to me, compared to the beauty and power of a storm rolling across the prairie.

While talking with my friend, yesterday, I came to the realization that pretty much everything about life has changed.  I am still married and still have my kids. We are still healthy. We still live in the same place.


The bills are paid.

I don’t lay awake worrying.

Neither does he.

Mickey has new shoes.

So do I.

So do the kids.

Shoes, y’all.

Mickey even got some socks.

We replaced this pump on the HVAC unit.  With no fear.  No resentment.

There is discussion of joining a pool this summer. (???)

He hadn’t been at the new job too many days, when he became combative when I expressed the slightest difference from his thinking.  He’d been effing miserable, but it had been more of a “we’reallinthistogetherIamsorrythissuckssomuchtoobeatdowntocare” thing.  This was different.

We kinda worked through that.

Then, last week, we were both out of balance.  Feeling a dread we couldn’t identify the source of.  A little bicker-y.  Then it dawned on me.

It was the end of the pay period.  Our bodies were accustomed to going around in fear and anxiety, but this time there was no reason to panic.

Our bodies.

Our minds.

Our relationship.

The second half of the pay period (or half our lives, whichever you please).  For years.

Once I pointed this out to him, things have settled a bit.

Did I mention?  The bills are paid.

The last shot of the movie Twister is supposed to be an aerial view of the path of the storm.  I haven’t ever seen a real one, so that’s what I have to go on.

It’s like that.  Scoured and razed and fresh and alive to see it.

And kiss before we go back to living the dream.










Today’s Burning Question

Yesterday, while I was getting ready for the day, I saw an old Martha Stewart magazine on the shelf.  One would not guess by looking at my home, but I went through a short-lived obsession with her, in about 2005, at the height of her over-exposure.  Back to the magazine on the shelf.  I grabbed it and thumbed through.  I thought, “Wait a minute.  Is she the most brilliant living American?”


Since WWII, advertising has sold us everything from automobiles to household appliances with ease, convenience and time-savings as the buzzword. “Less work for me?  It must be good. Let me pay you more than it would cost to do it myself.”

But wait.  Where was our attention when Martha snuck up and built an empire off selling American women (mostly) “Doing It the Hard Way and Paying More For It”?

My grandma ran a tasteful home where people wanted to be.  She grew her vegetables and her beef.  It was considered turncoat to eat chicken.  She did her tasteful home decor herself.  She preserved food for the future.  She cooked and hosted and considered it an achievement to have more people than last year.  She passed along those skills to her daughter, my aunt. I sneaked them when no one was watching.

Martha’s way is always harder and more expensive than Grandma’s way. Grandma’s way makes my people feel loved in a way that Martha’s way couldn’t.  Grandma’s way is free; every time I do it Martha’s way, she gets a cut.

Is homemaking (or keeping) a lost art?  Does a generation who may have come up without seeing Thanksgiving dinner made (or the sheets changed) need someone impart to them skills that used to be handed down in the family?


Or is she just selling back to us what used to belong to us by rights?

Who taught you to take care of your home?  Mom?  Aunt?  Grandmother?  Dad?

What is your cleverest homekeeping trick?

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