Go here…
10 Second Rule
I’m not proud, but just do it.
If you go there, you’ll have arrived at my dad’s website which launched today.
You’ll be able to order his book, which is available now on his website (or you can wait until September 15th when it’ll be in hundreds of stores nationwide, but I’m not proud).
We got ours fresh off the press yesterday.
Complete with nifty stickers you can put on your watch and cell phone to remind you to do the rule.
Ok, I’m proud.
It’s good.
Really good.
But don’t take my word for it, go get yourself a copy and see what you think.
I believe it’s a book that will launch a revolution of people who are seeking after Christ’s own heart.
There are lessons you can do with your children.  And bracelets you can wear.
But don’t let me get ahead of myself.
First go here:
10 Second Rule
Or you can preorder on Amazon.
Either way, get it.
I’m proud.  Very.
This is me being proud.



This is The New Ewe
It’s undoubtedly the greatest yarn and fabric shop in Michigan.
Probably the United States.
Maybe even the world.
Probably the world.
It’s right next to the Newaygo Democratic Party headquarters, but don’t let that scare you off.  
Mumsy got transplanted there nine years ago.  To Newaygo, I mean.  And she was lonely.  
So she picked up knitting.  Boy, did she pick up knitting.
Pretty soon she owned the shop.
Then she moved it to this sweet building.
And filled it with soft yarns and fun fabrics and every notion you can imagine.
And with Cyndy, Marilyn, Jan, and Jody.  They are soft and fun too, but not for sale.  
They will sit on the couch with you in front of the fire on a cool fall day and help you pick up a dropped stitch or dream up a colorful quilt.
This place has Mumsy written all over it.  
I think she was happiest there.
We went there on Wednesday for the first time since she left.  It was hard, but so good.  And now we are all knitting soft somethings.  Except for Lucy.  And me.  It took me only about three rows to remember why I sew instead of knit.  Now Lulu has a new scarf and I spent some time today kissing my sewing machine and reassuring it that it’s the only craft for me.  We both feel better.
So if you find yourself with some time on your hands and a hankering to feel loved by complete strangers who will be family before the bell over the door stops ringing, head to Newaygo.  Stay on the main street and you can’t miss it.  The New Ewe.
This is me being real.  Thankful for the haven that Mumsy imagined up and remembering my promise to her that I’d meet her on the couch there on the first day all my kids are in school.  And that we’d knit all day and chat and have some lunch at the Whistle Stop Cafe across the street.  T minus three years and nine days and counting.  Care to join me?


The kids caught one the other day.  Saved it from certain death in the middle of the road, running after looking both ways to scoop it up and carry it carefully to safety.  Put down on the side of the road and watched it lumber off.  But first it had been in the middle of the road, right in harm’s way and when they’d reached for it, it pulled in it’s head and appendages and hunkered down.  Passively fought them off just by virtue of being still and escaping inside.
I’ve been doing that this summer.  This gluten free, sugar free, naturopathic doctor thing is working.  I believe in it.  But there is still anxiety.  Lots.  And no medication to buffer it’s effects and make things seem ok.  And my natural response isn’t to reach out or ask for help.  My natural response is to go inward and turtle.  Of course there is the home team who know all the ugliness and who pray and ask and who get honest answers, but if this is really about me being real, then I have to pony up and say that anxiety sucks.  It just does.  And I seem unable to pray it away or gluten-free it away or supplement it away.  Most of the time, yes, but my counselor has been helping me realize that my default mode for dealing with stress is fear.  Yours probably is too, but you maybe deal with it differently, drinking too much, shopping, tapping your fingers on the counter in distraught rhythms.  There is a reason the words “fear not” are the most frequently occurring commandment in the Bible.  A reason fear was Adam and Eve’s first response after they screwed it up.  It is a strong weapon of the enemy and we know that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark work and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  Rotten satan.
So God is using this anxiety and this summer and all it’s sharp corners, like Mumsy’s absence and my mom’s health struggles and other private hurts that have surfaced, to teach me about faith and trust and fearing not, which is something I totally stink at.  But I’m learning.
And I sat here this morning in the quiet hours before the house woke up and read again my life verse, which I haven’t lived out very well lately:
“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my side, a messenger from satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me, for when I am when, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:7-9
So this one is for the comrade at arms who is dealing with fears of their own and failing in how they do so. And for those of us who are learning hard lessons taught to us by a God who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty for the sake of a better child on the other side.  This post is my stake in the ground because we are not called to suffer silently or alone but to circle the wagons and hunker down and pray and, while there are some things that are private, just private, and will remain so, there are others that I’m learning to speak of in quiet tones and not care so much that they might make me look weak.  Because then God gets nothing.  Nothing.  I want God to have everything of me.
So, this is me, running for the porch.  Because Tessa heard the story of the prodigal son this morning and in the retelling of it at lunch, I realized that porch time with my Father is what this anxiety breeds. Always.  See the light on and run there.  And get welcomed and celebrated and find security and safety.  And then, even though I swear I’ll never step off the porch again, I lose the battle with pride or fear or I put too much on my plate so I’ll look invincible to others and, boom, I’m off the porch.  But God never moves.  Just stands there under the light and waits, letting me thirst and hunger until I come back and fall into his safety.  He is the sure thing.  Thank you, God.  No, seriously, thank you.
Are you on or are you off?


2011 may forever be thought of as the summer of the duct tape.  We’ve made duct tape wallets, duct tape bracelets and duct tape cell phone holders.  There have been duct tape bow ties for fancy dinners, duct tape doll accessories and duct tape hair pretties that stick to your head but look really colorful.  There have been duct tape iPod cases and duct tape water vessels that really hold water.  We’ve watched exhaustive duct tape tutorials on YouTube and discovered all things duct tapeable and many that aren’t.  There have been hours spent at Nana and Papa’s cottage, cousins clustered around colorful rolls making sticky creations.  My scissors are all gummed up and the recycling bin is full of brown empty rolls, a testament to the copious amounts of taping going on here.  There have been duct tape flowers and even this duct tape scooter, the frugal mom’s answer to hand me downs:

Who knew that duct tape came in every color?  Even Hello Kitty and the ever popular late 80’s splatter paint pattern for those nostalgic tapers.  So, as summer of 2011 winds to a finish (sigh), we can only think to dig in our heels and say, “Carpe Ductum”.
This is me being real.  And trying to get this residue off my tables…


She did it yesterday, just like they all do, despite my misgivings about another year.  She did it surrounded by costumed friends as I snapped pictures, pink tulle and happiness my only filter.  Started with a fairy bower on the deck and ended with wings and wands and barefoot running in the grass.  Began with gift bags filled with pink things and art supplies and ended with an egg in each, names written on in crayon, the true treasure to girls dressed in fancy clothes and heckling the hens for a prize.

There were wings to decorate
 and frozen fruit kebobs to gnaw on.
 And sisters to pose with, but no brothers.  They were sent away.  They’d have hated it.
 And mamas to give sugar to.
Even baby fairies.  Who knew?

 And pink cupcakes because what, really, is a girl party without them?

There was a Nana flitting around making sure all was in place and an afternoon spent coloring and popping beaded jewelry together and watching the fairy dance in circles on top of the music box one more time.  And a surprise visit from a friend who woke me up when I’d nodded off and was drooling on the throw pillows, dreaming of primary colors and sporting equipment.  She proved a perfect distraction from puddling tulle and mystical creatures.  I needed that.  And after a dinner of Totino’s Pizza Rolls and steamed broccoli for her and pecan crusted Tilapia for the rest of us, there were teeny tiny root beer floats and banana splits along with the sweetest ice cream shoppe table and chair set that will, I’m sure, ensure that we fill our days having ice cream parties with her American Girl Doll.  So much fun turning six.  Even when your mom is only partially ok with it.  Even then.  It’s so fun turning six.
This is me being real.  And pretty sure my kids keep getting older just to spite me.


It occurred to me, as I walked around with my head in a book yesterday, that I haven’t updated on reading this summer.  Score?  Me, 18.  The boys, 6.  Not that we’re competing, but if we were, they’d be in the dust.  There is apparently no incentive I can either afford or feel comfortable giving out that will make them read. How?  Why?  This just seems cruel.  But, for your reading pleasure I offer up these fantastic books you must get your hands on:

I don’t know why it’s fuzzy, but you have to read it.  It’s so good you’ll opt to wet yourself just to avoid having to put it down long enough to use the toilet.  Justin Cronin’s The Summer Guest.  Go get it.  Are you getting it?  Go get it.

I fell in love with her when I read Still Alice, but this one made me want to marry her.  You could borrow mine, but I’m still trying to wipe the drool off it.  It’s that good.
This is lighter.  But still so good.  I’ve never been a fan of christian fiction, but I think that may have just been pride.  This is the first in a trilogy.  And since historical fiction is my favorite genre and since I love any information I can get my hands on that has to do with westward expansion and since I grew up wanting to be Laura Ingalls, this kicked off a frenzy of wagons west reading.  Including:
anything I could get my hands on by Mary Barmeyer OBrien, this trilogy by Jane Kirkpatrick, and a couple others.  
I’ve shelved Love Wins.  No offense, Rob, but I don’t want to talk about hell in the summer.  I want to talk about summer things and traumatic brain injuries and the Oregon Trail.  Maybe fall is more of a hell-reading time.  We’ll see.
This is me being real.  And saying you have five weeks left of summer.  What are you waiting for?


He taught from Acts 12.  The story when Peter is released from jail in the middle of the night by an angel of God.  Just walks out after the chains holding him to his guards drop off.  Walks out after the angel manages to wake him up by hitting him.  Because Peter was deeply sleeping.  On the night Herod Agrippa was to send for him to be killed, he was sleeping.  Seriously, read it.
“I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  Psalm 4:8
My first lesson.
Jesus works through people whose faith is faltering, he said.

It’s not the strength of the one who lips the prayer, but the absolute power of the One to whom the prayer is directed that moves mountains, he said.
Or something like that.
Because Peter escaped jail on the arm of God’s angel and went straight to the house where many were gathered praying for his release and when the servant girl, Rhoda, tells the people in the room that Peter is at the door, they don’t believe her.  They call her crazy.  But she isn’t.  She just is seeing this guy they are all praying for and he’s not in jail still, he’s standing before her but she can’t get them to believe until they see for themselves. 
Prayer already answered and they don’t believe it.  Have to look for themselves.  Because God hears the prayers of all who call on His name, including the ones who pray with blinded eyes and weak hearts that are afraid to ask for the impossible for fear that if they don’t get it, it’ll mean they have no clout with God.  I do that.  Disbelieve my prayers have been answered even when it’s right in front of me and don’t pray in boldness sometimes.  I do that too.
My second lesson.
We don’t often get it.  That Jesus isn’t the conduit to all the benefits of heaven.  Jesus is the benefit.  That we think our lives should be about storing up treasures in heaven, securing our place there, but heaven has come to us in the form of Jesus and if we have Him, man, we have the greatest treasure heaven has to offer.  Already in hand.
My third lesson.
Thank you, Matthew (can I call you that?) for preaching it this morning.  Jesus spoke to my  heart through you.
This is me being real.  Needing to sleep in peace.  And believe in Jesus more and myself less.