Tuesday, September 30, 2008


From Crosswalk.com, September 30, 2008

James 4:14-15: “Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that’” (NASB).

God wants our eyes to be fixed on Him. The world offers many distractions, and we may substitute our obedience for earthly indulgence. The more we do this, the more we learn to settle for less. John Piper, from his book A Hunger for God, notes, “If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”

What distracts you? What keeps you from the best and the great?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


There are lies like, "The dog ate my homework."

There are lies like, "I didn't do it, Mommy."

There are lies like, "I know I wasn't driving that fast."

But then there are lies that are real doozies. There are kinds of lies you believe and no matter how much you believe them for as long as you believe them, they just aren't true. It can take years to discover the lies. They are like weeds in the soil, growing and influencing all that is good in the garden of life. Until they are pulled out, truths around them are choked into submission, not realizing the fullness, beauty and power of the truths they are. Truths are made weak while lies grow strong.

What lies have you believed?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Forty One'derful Birthday!

Yes, it was. I dare not blog about it for fear I’ll sound like I am bragging, but I just can’t believe what a wonderful day it was!

It shouldn’t have been a good day. I mean, my aunt died in July and it was the day the truck was coming to deliver Auntie’s stuff to my house. When he finally arrived several hours late after giving me the run around about having to hire a U-haul, he opened the back of the truck and I got weepy. Memories of my dear aunt were in a truck.

But even before that moment, I had to get up and get dressed. Because he said he might come as early as 7 we had to forgo the Schneider family tradition of breakfast in bed, which is the very best part of any birthday day. And I didn't get breakfast in bed.

So, it should have been a challenging day.

Evan didn’t do well on Chapter 2 of Grammar. Problems already. Ugh.

Jillian balked at having to make up a few of her own math sentences. More ugh.

My nose is still running and my throat is all hacky and I couldn’t read as much history as I was planning on and with each day of my snuffly hackiness, we’re getting farther behind and then we had to rush out the door and onto piano lessons.

We ran out of both milk and eggs. WHEN will I get to the store? I’ve got to volunteer for the first time at MOPS tonight. Am I going to have energy at the end of this day?

It should have been a stressful day. But it wasn’t.

When we got home from piano, guess what happened....

FRIENDS! With CAKE! MADE FROM SCRATCH! And all their beautiful silly unique children with BALLOONS! And moms with their BLOGGY CAMERAS! The frosting was melting since they were waiting on the porch (I was late coming home from piano), so I ushered them in to my messy house with Auntie’s stuff all over everywhere since nothing has a place of its own yet.

I should have been uptight. I wasn’t.

The cleaning supplies were on the counter since we had a leak under the sink. The dog kept licking Denise to welcome her to our abode. She had never been at my house before. There was laundry on the couch. BUT IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY and I was with FRIENDS! Who sang me happy birthday and served me cake.

Is there a better day?

When it was time for me to rush onto church, Julie took my kids to dinner. BLESSING MY CHILDREN!

Oh yes, one more marvelous thing - at the end of my amazing day I got to crawl into bed wearing the most amazing pajamas. Jilly purchased them with her very own money and was so happy I liked the color. If you have a Gottschalks near you - go NOW and get the softest pajamas ever in whatever color that suits you. They are wonderful. My day was wonderful. My FRIENDS made it wonderful.

thanks - Josie, Noah, Garrett, Megan, Julie, Denise, Zach, Jillian, Evan, Jeremy and Emilie for giving me the perfect present - YOU and surprises and TIME and love and LAUGHTER and honesty and simplicity and BLESSING.

Zachary said, “I didn’t think today was going to be a very great day, but it turned out 41’derful!” Yup. thanks to terrific people, it sure did.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Forty Wonderful

Do you remember the line from Ben Hur, “We keep you alive to serve this ship. Row well, and live.” ?

Do you ever have days like that? Weeks like that? Do you ever feel your friends or worse, your family and especially your husband, keeps you alive to serve THEM?

I know all moms feel like that at one time or another, but as the years have passed, those days are fewer and far between for me. No, I’ve got something else in common with good ol’ Judah Ben Hur....

Cook well 41.

Teach well 41.

Read well 41.

Brush my hair well 41.

Serve me well 41.

Slice my sandwich well 41.

Bigger scoop of ice cream, please 41.

And my favorite, Sleep well 41.

Yup. My kids are hysterical. They’ve been commanding me all week.

Somehow, and I think it started with my husband, my kids caught on to this very funny joke because as of Thursday, I am 41. Unlike Chuck Heston however, I am no slave.
I am princess! I am queen! I am Mom!

It is my birthday and they are alive to serve me and make me feel special. My ship will sail today like no other. I will savor every moment. I will be royalty.

My 13 year old will make breakfast and attempt to make coffee. My 10 year old will clean the kitchen. My 7 year old won’t argue with her brothers and will unleash a present unlike any other I’ve ever received that she especially bought, with her very own money, for ME!

It will be a 41’derful Day!
Ramming Speed!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

An Ode to My Friends and More Thoughts on The Shack

I love my friends. All of them. God has seen fit to give me one or two gems during each season of my life. I’ve got the Junior High Friend who eventually became one of a few good High School Friends. I then added a singular College Friend and eventually a few New Mommy Friends came along. Recently to my treasures were added the Women Who Prayed Me Out of the Pit Friends or CC (for Caretakers Club since I had one foot in the grave at the time). The CC Friends all live in Colorado. One of my CC Friends once told me when we were just getting to know each other, “It’s hard to know who’s going to be a ‘Keeper.’”

I like that word: Keeper. I Keep little corners of my heart for those I am especially fond of. Each Keeper knows a part of my life and where they are free to roam within the whole of me, they usually hunker down in the familiar places set aside just for them. When they are there, my heart is more full. When they are not, my heart feels a little bit empty until they, or I, return or write or call.

What I love about Keepers God has put into my life is that because they have access they see who I really am. In the midst of that knowledge, they have given me the freedom to be me. No matter the circumstances, the falling in and away and back in again; the lack of intimacy for months or even years on end, abruptly ending with a “Hi! How are you?”. The words of wisdom that might otherwise chastise and hurt, from the mouth of a friend are both freeing and edifying.

The little gifts of words and time blossom into familiarity. The sound of a friend’s voice, affirming words, understanding, the distinct scents my dear girlfriends wear, scattered memories of crazy sneezing, laughing fits, dye jobs, eating too much, drinking too much, movie lines we can quote, breaking out into 80’s dance music, the habits and rituals we’ve created be they wontons, wine, sipping coffee, late nights of satisfying conversation....so many things come together to make me feel whole and even be whole. Sharing. That’s what it’s like being with my Peeps, my Keepers, my Friends. Relationship.

Real Love is not forced. I wish I were a sponge who could soak that in completely and wring it out on everyone I know. My friends don’t force. Jesus is like that. He doesn’t force Himself on me. Friends simply open the door. Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock... I will come in.” Kind. Loving. Accepting. So often, my friends have given me the right words, at the right time. Depth. Cutting to the chase. The perfect question causing my mind to swing from presumption and posturing back to truth. Relationship. Relating. Being Real. That’s what I love about my friends. That’s what I need so desperately in my God. That is what I’ve found in Him.

What does this have to do with this book everyone is talking about? I’ll tell you. My friends love me at all times....even when I’m not so lovable..... even when I’m distant.... even when I’m a mess. That’s The Shack. That’s my God.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who Wants to Try It?

Who wants to try this? I've got to know if this works! I'm all outa eggs and am not going to the grocery store. Someone please help, try it soon and send a comment! I've got to know...

NOTE: MILD profanity

Monday, September 1, 2008

Whose Idea Was It to Play Tag in Cyberspace Anyway?

From My Friend at Sparks of Illumination
I got Tagged!

Here are some things about me -

I am: bloated.

I know: that I will feel better if I eat nothing for 3 days.

I have: to be getting older or why else would I feel so uncomfortable in my own skin?

I wish: I were 30 with the wisdom and maturity of 40.

I hate: it when I can’t sleep at night.

I miss: Colorado.

I fear: my children not hungering and thirsting for Jesus.

I feel: my husband scratching my back.

I hear: crickets.

I smell: my shampoo.

I crave: worship.

I search: my heart and my mind.

I wonder: what it will be like to live in Heaven.

I regret: moments of ingratitude.

I love: who God is making me.

I am not: crazy.

I believe: in miracles.

I dance: when I can’t help myself.

I sing: from my soul.

I cry: often.
I don’t always: do my best.

I fight: against despair.

I write: to process things.

I win: at Othello.

I lose: at everything else.

I never: eat peanut butter with syrup.

I always: give cheerfully.

I confuse: my husband.

I listen: to reason.

I can usually be found: at the computer.

I am scared: that my children will grow up in an ugly world.

I need to: trust God more.

I am happy about: the fact that God is with me.

I imagine: what it will be like when every knee bows and every tongue confesses Jesus Christ as Lord.

Okay, Michelle and Robin, want to play? You're IT!