Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I really like being a "boy mom". Sure....I'd wanted a girl the 2nd time I was pregnant. But, as it turns out, I was supposed to be a boy mom. And since I've ended up with 4 children, I'm very happy that they are all of the same sex and that they are boys. This is the beginning of a list of things I like about boys. I won't be able to finish it all right now because I'm short on time. But here goes...

1) Boys require less maintenance. One word, "accessories", pretty much sums up what I mean by this. There's just less crap to worry about buying with boys. They also clean up more easily than girls. You can pretty much just hose them down, dry them off, and you're good to go.

2) Boys are more physical than emotional. This can be a real pain to put up with....but the good news is, they never actually hurt each other on purpose. They tussle it up just enough to get past their disagreement or crisis and then they move on. It's over. No dramatic week-long whinefest trying to patch things up or recover their entire self-esteem or dignity.

To be continued....


Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Letter to Brother

Our youngest son (11) has called his oldest brother "Brother" from the time he could talk. This is the letter he wrote to him today.

Hey Brother,
I hope you like it in california. Some times I wish that I was there. I think it's cool how yall get to go on the beach. I have been riding with dad every night and been trying to get up and run with (brother#2) and(brother#3) each morning. I've decided that PEPPERDINE is my 2nd favorite school. I like the colors "orange, Blue, and white" those are cool colors. Tell (roommate) that I said thanks for the hat, I like it alot. GO PEPPERDINE!

I'm thinkin' that one might make it on to his bulletin board.


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Monday, August 29, 2005

One Down, Three to Go

My husband is on a business trip while I mind the house with the remaining three males for the next few days. They've actually been quite good; very willing to help and careful to keep an eye out for opportunities to pitch in around the house. It's as if they each want to be "man of the house" during his absence. Amazingly, they've not even bickered for pecking order which is HUGE because they typically can be quite rude and hateful to one another. Right now they all seem to be sensitive to the fact that it's been difficult to say goodbye to older brother. They feel his absence at least as much as I do.

I've seen a shift for the good in their overall attitude with his departure. I sense, from things they're talking about lately, that they have a new awareness of what it means to grow up. Big brother has given them a living, breathing example of what the future looks like. Leaving home actually happens because he's done it. My choices, my grades, my service opportunities....all of it....DO make a difference. I really sense that shift in them. It's awesome. I hope it lasts at least through the end of the week!


Sunday, August 28, 2005

Life Goes On

This is worth reading.

I continually thank God for people like Randy who have the courage to speak publicly and make this ministry their life's work. It's not that people MUST change, it's that change IS possible. It IS possible because of God's intent and design. People don't choose to be gay but there ARE alternatives. Furthermore, while change is possible, it's not probable, meaning it is easier not to seek change and it "feels" more natural to stay the same. This is true of any struggle with any sin. Just because a temptation doesn't vanish entirely doesn't mean we aren't victorious over sin. Furthermore, just because we slip and fall sometimes, it doesn't mean we aren't victorious. Thank goodness for that!

There's a verse....and I can't find it. "There is a way that seems right to man, but the end thereof is destruction." Something like that....I can't find it, darn it. One way this plays out for me personally is that it often feels good to gossip or talk ugly about others when I'm with a group of girlfriends. It feels good. I'm good at it. It's fun. And yet, it's wrong. When I'm operating in a Christlike spirit I wisely avoid situations like this, no matter how "good and right" it feels or what part of my natural man it feeds. It's bad for my spirit. And my spirit is eternal.

Thanks again, Randy, for all you do.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

Thoughts on Pepperdine

A few other things struck me about Pepperdine as being not typical.

The overall mood or spirit of the place was one of ease and calm. It's been 24 years since I went away to college. The mood in the dorms was as if someone had just let go of an enormous balloon they'd been blowing up for 18 years. It was a feeling of release and freedom as in "woo hoo, we're away from home, let's party hardy". The dorms were practically vibrating with the energy of it.

Pepperdine didn't feel like that. The kids were excited but not so much that you suspected they'd lose all good sense and reason as soon as we got in our cars, wound down the mountain, and made the first turn toward home. I sensed the students were ready for us to leave not so they could cut loose, but so they could get on with the business of being students at Pepperdine.

I imagine it has something to do with the fact that students who choose a place like Pepperdine are for the most part goal-oriented and focused. I'm not naive' enough to think there's not a significant amount of partying that goes on there, but it certainly doesn't set a mood of the campus.

It was also very refreshing to consistently meet 18, 19, and 20-year-olds who had no problem looking you in the eye, introducing themselves, shaking hands, and engaging in conversation. The new student orientation leaders were amazing in their willingness and aptitude for helping, serving, and doing whatever might be asked of them at any given moment. They had no problem approaching us if we paused to check our shedules, making sure we weren't confused, lost, or even at one point, thirsty. There are ALOT of stairs to climb at Pepperdine.

I talked to my son online today. He sounded good and said they were all going to do something tonight since it's their last night. That's reassuring to me for two reasons. 1) There's an "all" which means he's got a group to hang with 2) Whoever they are, they all realize that what they are doing now is something that ends at the point that school begins.


Friday, August 26, 2005

It's done.

We did it. I did it. At this time yesterday we hugged each other so tightly, tears welling up and spilling down my face, and I let him go. Again.

I'm recognizing that this letting go is not really the last or even something final. It's just the biggest one that's occured thus far. It's the most total and drastic shift in roles we've experienced up to this point. And yes, it means that he is completely free to make his own choices about everything he does (or can afford!) without any input from me unless he asks for it. So, it will be okay. Partially because he literally can't afford too many choices :) and also because we've built a relationship of trust over these past 18 years. In fact, it will be better than okay. It will be great.

We left him at Pepperdine. I can't imagine how there could be a more idyllic setting for him either physically or spiritually. While it is a Christian school, it is not rigid in the way the typical Christian school is rigid. They purposefully admit large numbers of students who are not Christians, as well as those who vary greatly in their beliefs of what being a Christian might look like. I'm in love with Pepperdine. I want to BE Pepperdine! ha! Their "brand" of our particular denomination suits me to a big giant T.

Case in point, you would NEVER EVER (don't even think it, or heaven forbid suggest it) see a woman praying out loud in any setting where there is even one man present in our church. Women can lead prayer in an all women's class. That's it. It's probably just me, but I even get the idea sometimes that those prayers don't really "count" in our church. But that's probably just my personal bias being projected there.

At our first family dinner not only did a woman lead the prayer, but she was introduced as the chaplain of the entire university! I felt like standing up and doing a little dance, which I'm pretty sure would have been okay at a place like Pepperdine.

I guess my over-all feeling of well-being about leaving him there can be summed up like this. It felt like spiritual home to me. Yes, I know it's a completely unrealistic place what with the ocean view, mountains, perfect climate....all that. But really, that's God's creation, isn't it? I'm going to choose to view that as further proof of what an amazing creator he is and know that the setting of Pepperdine comes from the very hand of God. He formed those mountains and that ocean for our pleasure. And I couldn't be more thrilled that my son has been blessed enough to continue to grow and learn....intellectually, physically, emotionally, and most importantly spiritually, surrounded by the beauty of God's creation and guided by an institution that "is not threatened by those seeking truth."

There's much more to say. I'm going to continue it later as I've much to do to get settled back in here at home.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005


I have no time but wanted to log in and try and catch a quick remembrance of how absolutely amazed, happy, and excited it is to bring a child to school here. Besides the fact that it's's just a wonderful opportunity for learning and growth for him.

Gotta run. Can't wait to write more about it all.


Monday, August 22, 2005


We're here! Arrived yesterday afternoon and are still just outside LA staying with my husband's birth mother and brother (that's an entire blog in itself...the story of the God's power to redeem and restore). We will be driving on over to the campus in just a few hours.

It was horrible leaving town yesterday....just driving away with him....seeing him hug his dad and little brother goodbye. Crossing the bridge of the lake where he's spent most of his waking hours this summer, behind a boat on a wakeboard, about caused me to start wailing uncontrollably. But I held on. He'd have chided me horribly if I'd broken down. He's a pretty tight package emotionally, but did tear up a bit when he hugged his dad.

However, since we've been out here it's been great. We've had a great time just enjoying each other's company and visiting with "mom" and brother (who leaves for a theatre arts college in Chigaco on Thursday).

It feels good and right to have him here. I'm excited and ready for him to have a world of his own to be the "expert" in. It will be good for him.

More later.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Here We Go

Leaving early tomorrow morning. We had a family dinner last night with several of his favorite if he were about to go to the electric chair or something! Which, I'm pretty sure the amount of studying he's going to need to do will feel like a death penalty to him. Oh well. If he wants to keep that ocean view dorm room then I guess he'll do what he has to do .

He did make the little guys' day yesterday by showing up with 2 friends to have lunch with them at school. Nothing much could beat having a cool big brother and two cool friends show up at your school to eat with you.

I had bad dreams all night last night. At one point I actually threw the covers off of me in a desperate attempt to escape the mudslide I was dreaming I'd just been trapped in. At least I slept.

We did find out that we'll have wireless access at the hotel we're staying I'll probably update from there.

I'm excited, nervous, and sad all wrapped up into one. It's sort of like a humoungous and intense version of the first time he's done lots of other little things in life, like play in a basketball game, leave elementary school (and me) for junior high, Mexico mission trip, TREK (mountain climbing youth trip), driving, getting a job......all that. But this time, it's like....this is it....your life. All those things we've encouraged you to do, allowed you to do, watched you experience on your own. This is what it all comes down to. Getting out there and actually figuring out how you're going to live your life and who you're going to be. Without us. On your own. Good luck and see at Thanksgiving. It's pretty tough.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

#1 Son

He' s back....
things have been good.....and he's (HE BETTER) going to come to our school tomorrow and have lunch with sons #2,#3, and spend time with me in my classroom....
He has NO IDEA how absolutely awesome that will be for ALL of us there and how we will live and thrive on that visit for the months until Christmas when he gets to come home for sure for an extended length of time.....

He did find out today that the back wall of his dorm room is all windows over looking the Pacific Ocean....(his roommate and mom went out early)........such a tough life....

i've got much more to share about my thoughts concerning the whole Christian college thing...but I can't share those thoughts just yet because I'm not sure of what they are....! :)

Turned a Corner

I'm almost positive we've turned a huge corner at school/work.

First day was yesterday and our new head honcho was appropriately (not too much, not too little) amazed and appreciative of the super smooth and problem-free first day of school that occurs when your building is comprised of mostly veteran (and caring) teachers.

I'm really thinking now that the first impression was a mis-read. I think now that he answered questions with questions because 1)he didn't know the answer 2) he didn't want to admit he didn't know the answer. Most of the questions we ask aren't really questions we need an answer for, just things we're trying to find out his particular take on so that we are conscientious and don't inadvertantly do something he won't be pleased with. He seems to be getting better about just asking us what to do instead of feeling like he's supposed to have all the answers. I really think it all boils down to trust....which takes some time to build.

So many things boil down to that one thing in life, don't they? Trust.

Hurting people or people in any phase of healing from big hurts have difficulties with trust....God designed us that way, it seems. Food for thought, that is. (how yoda of me)


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My Oldest Son

My oldest, the one I am about to deliver off to college, is at sea, on a cruise, with his Dad and a few friends. They will be back here on Thursday, and then we will fly out on Sunday for LA/Malibu to deliver him to college.

I have been the coolest, most calm, collected, reasoning straightforward individual you could imagine about this........and I'm trying to remain so......

but it will be will be HARD.....
I am going to want to call him and check on him and call him and check on him....horrendously....
I am beginning to feel this.......I've reasoned before that I could let it go....

I am beginning to understand the difficulty of those people who are opposite from me....those who need control and need to know what's going on....I must fight that urge.....

I still have a few days....I must fight that...

I do NOT need to call him....I do NOT need to remind him of things just because I know of them....I NEED TO LET HIM take care of dates, times, deadlines......

this is what I must do...

Monday, August 15, 2005


I'm snapping back into reality regarding the situation with the new guy in charge at school. The fact of the matter is....none of it makes one bit of difference in the grand scheme of things. The grand scheme being, I continue to do my best to be the very best teacher I can be....every day....full on...."head down and power through". (been watching DVD's of arrested develpment this summer)

One of the great things about being the parent of an adult-aged child is that when you find yourself in situations like this, you can imagine the advice you'd give them if they were in a similar situation. I'm pretty sure I'd tell my son to cut the whining and continue to do his best regardless of what was going on or what new rules were made. I'd tell him to be gracious and kind and to try things out the new way to the best of his ability without complaining. I'd tell him to give it some time and see what happens before he jumps to harsh conclusions or drastic steps of action.

That's what I'd tell him. And now I've been told.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Rules

Boxed up things to ship to CA today. It's really beginning to sink in now that he's leaving. We fly him out there next Sunday and there are three days of parent orientation. I spent some time today doing something that seems kinda corny but it somehow comforts me. I typed up this little list of "The Rules" to print out and frame for him. I'm going to hang it behind his desk or something in his room.

The Rules

Do your best.
Not because it will make me or anyone else proud or because it will help you “get ahead” in life….but because you have been blessed by God with opportunities. Wasting your opportunities by not doing your best is the same as being ungrateful to God for blessing you.
Do all that you do as unto the Lord.
If you this is your motivation then you will automatically follow the first rule.
Give God the glory for every success or good thing that happens in your life.
In this way you can celebrate and be happy without getting a big head or inadvertently thinking you are better than others. Every good thing comes from God.
Give God the glory when you meet with failure or when bad things happen.
Remember that God is sovereign and He has everything in control no matter what.
If you make a bad choice or mess up, ask for help.
I love you no matter what. I won’t over-react and I’m here for you.

I love you so much!
August 2005
I can do this. Really. I can.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The New Guy

I'm gonna get this out of my system and not talk about it or think about it again all weekend.

He's so patronizing. Acts as if we haven't actually been there ever having had school before he arrived. Answers EVERY question with another question. As in "let me help YOU figure out the answer" instead of just answering the freakin' question! It's so unnerving. And the good news is....he does it to everyone. This is good news because 1) I don't have to take it personally 2) I'm not the only one ticked off, mad, and ready to just shake or slap the man.

I keep hearing Denzel Washington in "Remember the Titans"....."Your're overcookin' my grits, coach."

My grits are burnt.


Thursday, August 11, 2005


I don't feel like being Christlike today. In fact, it's worse than that. I want to be very UN-Christlike.

First day back at school for teachers....and we have a new principal. And he's so thrilled and happy to be a new principal and he's making stupid rules and stifling my naturally free-spirited and creative nature that God BLESSED me with!!! He just doesn't seem to get that.

It's unusual for me to become defiant and spiteful. I'm truly just not made that way. But this guy really pushed my defiant and spiteful buttons today. I only have one of each and boy did he push them!

I just can not understand making broad sweeping changes and treating everyone like they are slackers instead of just dealing with the individual slackers.

Oh well. Think on these kids are healthy, my husband loves me, takes time to communicate with me, and is attracted to me, I haven't had to remind anyone to feed or water the dog in over 3 weeks (which is actually sort of scary), and I get to be gone from school for an entire week very soon to take my oldest to college in Malibu (woo hoo!). And many more good things to think on if I put my mind to it.

This too shall pass. I've seen plenty of them come and go. And we (me and all my cohorts) just go right on teaching and loving kids.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Radical Faith

Blessed are those who, if everything they
own were taken from them, would be, at
most, inconvenienced, because their true
wealth is elsewhere.
Max Lucado

Unfortunately, for me anyway, I've had to have many things taken from me before I learned where my true wealth lies. Which is the reason I can say I'm thankful for the sufferings and pain I've encountered. Somehow I'm able to catch glimpses, ever so fleetingly, but enough, of the principals of suffering, dying to self, and serving others that Jesus taught by his life and words. Just glimpses, mind you. And God continues to smile on me and bless me and accept my puny efforts as if I were Jesus himself. It's incredible really, how much He loves me.


Monday, August 08, 2005

Countdown to College

Pretty much EVERYONE I come in contact with wants to know the same thing. "Are you ready?"

I always know exactly what they are talking about. We'll fly our oldest through time and distance to his new world at college in less than two weeks. I think the fact that the school is so far from home is making it harder for people to grasp. I'm pretty sure(at this point) that most parents just can't stand the thought of it for their own chilrdren. Some act like we're just plain nuts. And they all seem to think I'm going to fall completely apart when it gets right down to it.

Who knows, maybe I will. I do feel sorry for the person who has to sit next to me on the plane ride home. I'll be alone because my husband is staying (in that state) for a few days on a business trip that happens to be a drive away. If I think very hard about it I could go ahead and start crying right now....but....I can't ever really do that because the younger three keep opening and closing the door to my room needing things...and so...getting a good cry on is just not something I've time to do at the moment.

Mostly, I'm just happy for him. No doubt, having an 18 yr. old leaving for college is a womp-up-side-the-head sort of experience. Here is this great big lump of parenting joy, triumph, angst and woe, just standing there in torn shorts, faded t-shirt, wakeskater shoes, sporting a tanned and awfully man-looking torso, a killer smile, and long hair that by golly will get at least trimmed up a bit before I get on that plane with him! I look at him and think of the words of Eve at the birth of Cain "With the help of the Lord, I have brought forth a man." Unbelievable.

Honestly, I think I'll be fine leaving him out there. I want him to make his own choices about who he is and how he will operate in this world. Of course I want those choices to be good ones....but I fully expect him to make a few bad ones along the way. I know I sure did. Still do sometimes. But the truth of the matter is, he never really did belong to me in the first place. God just blessed me with him to raise and to do it in such a way that he would be introduced to Him and the beauty of His kingdom. What he does with that is up to him.

I love him so much.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

These things are weird

What's Your Blogging Personality?

Your Blogging Type is Artistic and Passionate
You see your blog as the ultimate personal expression - and work hard to make it great.One moment you may be working on a new dramatic design for your blog...And the next, you're passionately writing about your pet causes.Your blog is very important - and you're careful about who you share it with.

Friday, August 05, 2005

My Gay Friends

One of our social circles (as if there are so many) includes several gay friends. This is a circle we've become a part of within the last 5 years or so. We get together with this group maybe 3 or 4 times over the course of a year....sort of a seasonal thing as I think about it.

Anyway....I can honestly say that my dealings with homosexuality have taught me more about being Christ-like than any other single factor in my life.

Being married to a man who struggles with unwanted same sex attractions was my first experience with homosexuality which caused me to re-examine everything I believe about being a Christian. This ultimately inspired me to begin to actually live and make choices based on my beliefs, most notably when those choices go against the world's view of what the most practical, realistic thing to do might be in a given situation. Doing that put me on the fast-track toward growth in Christ. I'm not boasting, don't get me wrong, because there is absolutely nothing I've done that's within my own power and ability in all this. In fact, if I had a dollar for every time I've threatened to cut my losses and head on down the road, I wouldn't have to worry about helping my son get student loans for college. The bottom line is that the only way to deal effectively with being married to a man broken as my husband was/is, is to focus on my own brokenness and restore my own relationship with Christ to the place it should be.

The 2nd way that homosexuality has taught me what it looks like to be Christ-like has to do with these gay friends of ours. You see, I really love them. I've had to examine what it looks like to love them as Jesus loves. I've come to the conclusion that if I'm operating in a Christ-like spirit and with Jesus as Lord of my life, then any way that I love them is the same as the way He does. And so....what does that look like?

For me, it looks like someone being completely honest and yet not condemning or judgemental. Which I've found, actually can be done. These friends of ours know that we believe homosexuality is a sin. They don't agree with it, but they know it. Occasionally, one of these guys will keep me up talking ALL night about homosexuality and gay issues (like marriage). I always indulge him when he wants to do this because I love him. And it is quite an indulgence for me to stay up all night because it literally ruins the next day for me what with a large family and all. He, on the other hand, gets to catch up unencumbered by mouths to feed or household calamities to prevent (4 boys).

He seems most offended by the religious right and evangelical Christians. He wants me to explain how I can be associated and worship with these people who do nothing but condemn, judge, and limit his rights to happiness and freedom. It just almost makes him mad that I continue to "church" with people who are so offensive to him....and then I remind him that, if we are truly friends and care about each other, his tolerance of me and my choices should reflect my tolerance of him and his choices.

And that's pretty much how it works. I think every time we visit like that we each go away believing maybe we've made a crack or dent in the veneer of the other.

I'm basically still figuring it all out. The whole religious right political thing, that is. I'm very certain about my opinions on sexual brokenness but I do have a difficult time reconciling right wing politics with the love of Christ.

What I have no trouble reconciling is a love for my gay friends (and I mean love in a lay-down-my-life sort of way) with my Christianity. The two are one in the same.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jesus, the Party Animal

ok....TWICE in one day now I've heard two guys named Randy tell me that Jesus was a party animal. These two live in different states and don't even know each other (i don't think) but it's made a good point with me, having heard it twice in one day. One Randy states it on this blog and the other was a professor at Abilene Christian who spoke at our church tonight. (just realized it's actually a Max Lucado devotional....but it's still on Randy's blog ; )

I've suspected it for a while. The party animal thing. It was good to hear....and for some reason particularly so since I (even at the ripe old age of 42) was one of the very youngest people sitting in our Wednesday night assembly. I guess it's just a view of Jesus I'd like to see take more root in our church body as a whole.

The Randy at church tonight also mentioned something to the effect of blue hair being accepted in our churches on 70 yr.olds but not 20 yr.olds.

AND, he made the point that if a gay couple came into our assembly they should leave feeling that the people there would be willing to lay down their lives for them. In other words, we should love them like Jesus does.

Both Randys have given me much to think and pray about because it's important to me, when God is so obviously sending messages this way, to figure out how to apply it in my spiritual walk/growth process. To me, if what you believe doesn't somehow impact your behavior and your choices, then chances are, you don't really believe it.

I really believe Jesus was a party animal.


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Monday, August 01, 2005


This week promises to be a busy one.

I'm going to a kid's camp every afternoon and taking the group of teens down to do dramas for them. It's one of those things I do every summer and keep saying each time that this is my last time. It just comes at a bad time for me personally. I'd much rather be enjoying the last week of being completely free from school obligations than doing this. And yet, every year I end up being glad I've done it. The thing that redeems it for me are the relationships I get to build with the teens I take down there. It's not a big deal, really, and yet, I GET to spend time with them and become just a tiny bit more vested in their lives because of this week. This year, I have an almost entirely new crew. Teenagers are an exciting group. Totally self-absorbed for the most part, but with flashes of insight and brilliance that are worth waiting for. They allow me the opportunity to practice several fruits of the spirit while I'm working with them. (ha!) And they're just plain funny most of the time. I wish more people (at church) would take the time to spend some time wtih them. They have no idea what they're missing.