Day 2 for Some Irreverent Reverie

Short on pages, but long on funny, The Sacred Diary… series by Adrian Plass  is one of my favorites. He writes with an honesty and wit that I had never read before picking up my first book of his (The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37 3/4).

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Responding to the news that a new couple that he didn’t particularly enjoy wasn’t going to be able to join their Bible-study group one particular evening, he writes:

“Isn’t it WONDERFUL when something that was going to happen even though you didn’t really want it to happen but you thought it ought to happen because it was right, doesn’t happen after all, and it’s not your fault?”

After reading the above quote, I realized this humor writer was for me for a couple of reasons.

  • His tongue-in-cheek way of reporting what really goes on in the hearts of many of us humans was spot on
  • His irreverent humor made me laugh
  • He was brutally honest
  • I identified with the range of emotions he portrayed Christians going through in a single train of thought
  • His family relationships made me laugh
  •  I walked away from each book taking myself a little less seriously and God much more so
  • And, he made me laugh

Now, these books are written by an author who is British. Some of the humor is very… British. But, the candid way he captures our foibles and follies is hilarious and brilliant.

And, he will make you laugh.

Missed yesterday’s Write 31 Days’ Day 1 post? No worries – click the little button below and you’ll be whisked there. Tomorrow, I’ll dive into a memoir.

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You Know When You Can’t Find That One Hair?

If you’ve got hair, (and I’m not judging because, Sweetman… well, he doesn’t) then you will totally know the feeling I’m about to describe.

You’re going about your business and you feel a hair that has clearly sprung loose from your head. It’s somewhere right… over… there. No! Maybe farther down your back, right down… there. NO! Dadgumit! Where is that blasted hair?

You can feel it. It tickles the back of your arm every time you turn slightly left. Or bend down to get the stray cheerio off the floor.

Determined to find it, you start grabbing at the back of your shirt in quick grabby bursts, hoping that you’ll nab it.

And suddenly, you find yourself on an all-out assault on this errant hair.

But, then, you’ve had it! So, you remove your arms from the sleeves of your shirt and turn the thing around so that you can do a full-on search for this dratted hair.

AH! There you are… gotcha!

Except, your darling husband walks in to find you standing in the middle of the room, eyes all wild, with neither of your arms through the sleeve holes in your shirt, irritated as all get out, muttering about a hair.

He looks at you like he doesn’t know whether to snap a picture and Instagram it, or potentially have you committed.

So, you say, “You know when you can’t find that one hair?”

And he calmly says, “No.”

And you realize that you are directing your question to the (nearly) bald-headed love of your life.

This leads to a deep sigh.

From both of you.

Followed, thankfully, by laughter.

And that, my friends, is marriage.

Yes indeedy.

Cheers to You, Friends!

Over the last decade (and change), since becoming a mother, I have had different friends enter the landscape of my motherhood. Each has contributed something precious and necessary: community, advice, support, assistance, and laughter.

Must. Have. Laughter!

While all of my friends aren’t mothers (hello Jason, Joan, Sarah!!!), I’m focusing in on those fellow mamas today.

Some have come alongside to help me see clearly, when my eyes were too filled with tears to do so on my own. I’m thinking of my sweet friend Ally, who listened as I relayed a devastating fear about Sweetboy, and just held my hand and patiently listened and prayed with me.  And Dana, who hears my deepest anxieties, and prays with me then and there to allay them. They are truly like Job described when he spoke of a friend interceding on behalf of another – “…let him plead with God for a human being, like a person pleads for a friend.” 

Also, I’m thinking of a brave and kind friend, Aimee. We met as part of a weekly playgroup for Sweetgirl when she was a toddler. I was unable to see some obvious developmental needs emerging in her, so focused was I at the time on getting Sweetboy acclimated in our new town. Her words were so kindly spoken at just the right time.

Others have helped lift my eyes to the Right Place, when I forgot to. I think of my bold friend Kim who walked with me through my initial depression diagnosis; and, who weathered a mighty storm, side-by-side with me, with our then shared church family. She truly modeled Proverbs 17:17 – “A friend loves at all times, and a {sister} is born for adversity.”

I have deep thankfulness for my friends Rae, Kristy, and Erin, who push me and encourage me to keep writing and dreaming and become the best little writer that God wants me to be!

And then, there have been the precious few who have provided much-needed comic relief. My fiery-haired friend Erin, quick-witted friend Janet, and round-table friends Monica and Katie . I welcome the bellyaches from All The Laughter, and their cheerful hearts truly do bring a smile to my face. Often!

These are just some of the friends in my life. And, I cherish each one. Speaking with older friends and family members about their own friendships, I see the eternal Truth and Wisdom in these Words:

Two are better than one, because they have good pay for their work. For if one of them falls, the other can help him up. But it is hard for the one who falls when there is no one to lift him up.

Each new friend that God graces me with, online or off, provides more reasons to be grateful. Whether we share a love of God, writing, or eating – whether we’re commiserating over how hard it is to be a parent, spouse, or not eat – having friends to lift me up is truly a gift that I cherish.

And a special shout-out to those of you in this here blogosphere – you hold a special place in my heart. I can’t hardly express how much joy your comments and encouragements bring to my heart.

So…

Cheers to you, my friends! Thank you for being one.

Yes indeedy!

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31 Days of Grace

Commitment and I have a rocky relationship. Once in a while, we’ll actually come to terms and hang out peaceably. But, inevitably, we turn on each other.

I’ll claim that staying committed is too hard to do at this season of life.  And Commitment is over there all, “but you make time for what’s important to you, don’t you?”

There’s nothing worse than a Commitment who’s a know-it-all.

Writing consistently is something I struggle with. Maybe you do too?  It’s partly, I’m sure, because I don’t like knowing that I must do anything (thank you, rebellious sin-nature). It’s mostly because I’m scared to commit to something that I don’t know if I’ll be able to see through. With a bit of the sense that I’m not good enough sprinkled on top.

I think, and I’ll only speak for myself here, that if God has taught me anything over this last 18 years with Him, it’s that He’s bigger. Way bigger! And, for sure, 31 days bigger!

All of that is such an anti-climactic way to say that this year, I’m going to throw caution to the wind (and fear and rebellion and anything else that whispers “NO!”). I’m going to be writing for 31 days.

About grace.

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Because people, if I know anything about anything, it’s got to be about the grace that’s doled out in heaping amounts, around these parts.

It’s almost laughable that I didn’t think I had anything I could write consistently about. The grace galore around here…

Yeah, definitely that.

Flitting in to light upon my angry heart or gently pressing in on that bruised place, bringing lightness of being to my darkness of feeling or leaving mirth in its wake – how it’s delivered, doesn’t matter. I only know that I gobble it up. Every time.

Like so much necessary air.

Because without grace, I am lost.

Maybe a few of you feel that way too? My heart’s desire is that you will read something here during the next thirty-one days that speaks grace into your own heart. Right where it aches. Or longs to be reminded that Hope is still hanging around (probably with Commitment!).

And, of course, I hope that you’ll be able to laugh, too.

Because, laughter.

And, grace.

Oh, yes indeedy!

Ready?

Links to the series (Updated daily)

One Thing Better Than High Hair

Two for the Road

Three Little Words

Flying in a V Fourmation

Five Ten

Six for Grace

Seven Times Seventy-seven

Eight Hugs a Day

It’s O Dark Thirty at Day Nine

Ten Second Grace Period

Day 11 – Take Two

A Dozen Ways to Say It

Thirteen Times, and Then Some

I’d Edit Chapter Fourteen

Fifteen Years Strong

Grace Comes as a Camel on Day 16

When I Was Seventeen

An Epic Battle on the Eighteenth Day

Interrupted by Grace on Day Nineteen

It Only Took About Twenty Years

Beyond the Twenty-First Time

Twenty-two Times a Day

Smitten With Grace

Twenty-Four Hours a Day

Whispered Things

Pain Has a Purpose

A Laugh a Minute

Grace Blazes a Trail

Filling the Void Within

Hooked on a Feeling

Phoning It In

Come on back tomorrow and we’ll get this Grace party started. And, if you are participating in The Nester’s 31 Days, please let me know below, in the comments.  I’d love to surf around and see what some of y’all are up to for the next 31 days, too! Watch for this button and you’ll know it’s from yours truly.

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Speaking With an Accent for Love

Those stormy moments we have with Sweetboy? They are always, eventually, countered by the treasured sound of his laughter. His giggle and guffaw do more to soothe our tattered hearts…  I believe that God provided Sweetboy’s laughter as a gift, wrapped up in this quirky melancholy son of ours.

And nothing makes my Sweetboy laugh harder than people talking in accents. If you ask him why, he’ll tell you that he finds different accents “interesting”.  And, in his mind apparently, interesting = hilarious.

This child is obsessed with All Things Geography, so it should come as no surprise that he enjoys learning how the people speak over in, say… Wales.  Or Mozambique. Or France.

I seized the moment, recently, when we were in the midst of a full on meltdown, to try out an accent that I’d been working on to make him laugh. (Try asking Mr. Google how to speak in a Welsh accent, some time.  Pure entertainment.) And it worked. Oh, how it worked!

He instantly snapped out of his deep dark place and asked, “Do you think they speak like that on the Western border of England, too, mama?”

Wait. What?

“Wales is on the western border of England. So, do you think that the people who live in England on the western border, but on the England side, not the Wales side…”

I now see who got my propensity for wordiness.

Seeing something worth moving his mind out of that negative parking space for, we were off on a You Tube search for “Welsh Accents”.

Just a few days ago, it was National Drink Wine Day. Serious. I took that as a sign that I should work on my Italian accent.  Maybe from the Tuscany region?

Yes.

Yes indeedy.

Captain Ahab, I Love You

Ahab and I have always had a tender and precious father-daughter relationship.  It hasn’t always been roses, of course. Just ask him about the terribly hurtful stage I went through when it didn’t feel “comfortable” to hug and kiss him anymore.  (That lovely age of 13 – it should be banned.) 

I now see the redemptive power hindsight has, though.  Looking back on the behaviors of my parents, through the lens of adulthood, provides a new understanding of All The Rules.

Clarity is an irony.  It’s only in looking backward that I understand more clearly the path I want to forge with my own family, moving forward.

That path, in large part, is because of the one forged by Ahab for his own family.

He may be a Fishing Guru, but what he really excels at is this:

 “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves…”

Romans 12:3 (NLT)

He may have been rough around the edges, but, with Ahab?  What you see is most definitely what you get.  (Nana – stop that sighing. Right now!) I learned to take myself, and the things of this world, a little less seriously from him.  (Unless, of course, we’re talking about the battle plan for the two Sport Lobster Days in the Keys each July. Then?  Then, it’s Get Your Game Face On!)

Ahab taught me how to laugh in the face of danger (“That shark over there? He isn’t interested in you.”), how to go after something you want with determination somethin’ fierce (“Well, get after it! And don’t quit until it’s done!”), how to find the joy in simplicity (“Aw, that’s nothin’ but a thing.”), how loyalty should mean something (“We take care of our own!”),  and how laughter can bring some much needed levity to A Situation (“Hair on your upper lip you say?  Well then, we’ll just call you Harry and the Hendersons from now on.”)

And he taught me love.

“Aw, you’re just sayin’ that cuz it’s true.”  Indeed I am!

I love you Captain Ahab.  Happy Father’s Day!

He always can make me laugh.

He always can make me laugh.

Do you have some fond memories of your father, step-father, uncle, or grandfather?  Please, share! And spread a memory or two.  I love hearing other people’s stories!

 

The Iris of My Eye

Do you have an Iris?

Probably.

No two are alike, you know.

Here is mine:

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The (in)courage webcast, this weekend, included much talk of Mentors; both being one, and having one.

My mentor is my friend.  And her name is Iris.  She is creating a legacy that is born of a desire to live for God.  I want to honor her today, by sharing her, a bit, with you.

My Iris is infused with joy. She has a twinkle in her eye and a laugh like a giddy little schoolgirl.  Her hair is a different color almost every time I see her, and the woman wears accessories with the panache` of a runway model.  She knows her limitations, and has learned well how and when to use the word “no”.  She wears wisdom well.  Grace and humility adorn her.  Her heart is strong in the Lord. And her arms are always open to me.

And that?  That is just scratching the surface of this funny, compassionate, and adorably short woman,  I assure you.

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“Isn’t it such a privilege to serve the Lord? It’s such an honor, isn’t it? We get blessed in just so many ways when we do, don’t we?” These are all standard refrains from my Iris.

The more time I spend with this woman, hearing her stories and seeing her delight in life, the more my own appetite is whetted to pursue God in every area of my own life. She has logged countless hours at the feet of Jesus. And the Godly wisdom and counsel she has readily available, because of that time, is precious to all who are blessed by it.

“God gives us children and they are our mission field.   We are blessed to be able to spend time with our children. It’s a crucial time for them – this time that you have at home with them.”, she often reminds me.  When I’m weary of the daily, I can count on her to swoop in with her encouragement to just keep relying on God’s strength, not my own.

She never follows these positive reminders with “Don’t ever forget that!”. And, she doesn’t begin them with “You really should…!”.  No, no. She never chides.

My Iris only encourages.  And mightily.

“I think what you’re doing now – putting your children first, is the right thing.” Each time I consider embarking on a new adventure, this woman, who has been down many of these same roads before, challenges me to consider what I will be giving up for it.  And, more importantly, she asks me what God might be whispering in my ear about it? “Have you prayed? I will pray for you about this.”, she will say.

I’ve been mistaken for one of her daughters more times than I can count. It makes me smile each and every time.

I say she’s my sister.  And, indeed, she is.

What’s more, the legacy she will eventually leave, is one of a woman who loves well and often.  Who laughs at all the days to come.  Who joys in the very moment she’s been given.  Who lives life with zest and enthusiasm for each new challenge. A woman for whom the word adventure is an intimate friend and who is well acquainted with The One who has given her every breath.

I am deeply honored to be mentored by my sweet Iris.  Any legacy I am creating is shaped, in large part, by her influence in my life.

“We’ll keep you in our prayers.”, she ends every conversation with.

And I’ll be keeping you in mine, sweet Iris.

Yes indeedy.

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