Friday, September 30, 2011


We just returned home from a week visiting Kimberly's family in Minneapolis.  We were treated like royalty and relished every minute with our grandkids!  

But home looked good when our plane landed. We came back to a clean house.

Why do I find it necessary to clean the house, wash the clothes and dishes before I leave on a trip? Probably the same reason I make my bed every morning, even when no one is coming over.  If I die, I don't want to be embarrassed when a bunch of people come over and see a mess!  Or maybe I'm basically lazy and don't want to face housework when I get back home from traveling.  

I don't think it's so much obsession as it is perception.  Obsessive people clean constantly.  I just pick things up so to the eye it appears clean.  I've always hated clutter.  Years ago I learned that neatness passes for cleanliness.  Neither is next to godliness.

I had an OCD neighbor once.  She actually stopped by my house one day to tell me, "Kathy, you probably can't tell from inside, but your 2 window shades are not level."  Now I must admit that I almost laughed at her then realized she was serious.  Raising three level-headed kids trumped raising two level blinds that morning!

My house looks different now in my 60's than it did in my 30's.  Then again life is quite different these days.  Young mothers dream of order, decluttering and decor.  Those rooted dreams come true AFTER the kids leave home and time becomes yours again.   So invest in lives now and living rooms later.  

When we first entered our empty nest we loved it.  So much changed. Laundry for example.  With a family of five, washing clothes was a frequent chore.   But one day  Doug asked his empty-nester wife, "Kathy, you gonna wash clothes soon?"

I opened the hamper and spotted a small pile of black socks, hardly a load.  "No.  Why?"

"I'm almost out of black socks."

"How many pairs do you have?"

"Six or seven."

So I pondered the new dilemma then countered with, "Honey, if you'll buy about three more pair, I'll wash a dark load about every 10 days."  Now in the summer with sweaty clothes I may break down and wash weekly!

Naw.  I'm not obsessive.  It's all about perception.   Don't feel the top of my fridge and judge me.  Just do a quick scan of the room and it'll pass for clean!  I vote for a home over a house any day.  Come over and put your feet up.  Shoes on are fine!

Read about my philosophy on dusting.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Remember the old Art Linkletter Houseparty show from the 50's?  My favorite segment was the title of this blog.  It's true!  

To document it, I kept  3 little notebooks, one for each of our children, on funny things they'd say. One would try to get in her book, "Mama, you gonna write that down?"  

Another desperately feared saying something I might record, "Mama!  DON'T write that in my book ple-eeeease!"  Now that they're older I don't think they'd care.  But I'll risk embarrassing them on other blog days.

Today I'll share proverbs by school kids.  Sayings quite familiar to us were presented (in part) to children.  Creative little minds finished the phrases, spinning new twists on old adages.

  • Don't change horses until they stop running.
  • Strike while the bug is close.
  • It's always darkest before Daylight Savings.
  • Never underestimate the power of termites.
  • You can lead a horse to water but how?
  • Don't bite the hand that looks dirty.
  • No news is impossible.
  • A miss is as good as a Mr.
  • You can't teach an old dog new math.
  • If you lie down with dogs you'll stink in the morning.
  • Love all, trust me.
  • The pen is mightier than the pigs.
  • An idle hand is the best way to relax.
  • Where there's smoke there's pollution.
  • Happy the bride who gets all the presents.
  • A penny saved is not much.
  • Two's company.  Three's the Musketeers.
  • Don't put off tomorrow what you put on to go to bed.
  • You get out of something only what you see on the box.
  • Better late than pregnant.
  • Children should be seen and not spanked or grounded.
  • If at first you don't succeed, get new batteries.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you.  Cry and you have to blow your nose.
  • There are none so blind as Stevie Wonder.
  • A bird in the hand is gonna poop on you.
  • When the blind lead the blind, get out of the way!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


This blog is not my usual style.  In fact it's not even written by me but a friend, Ivy Spera, shared it with me. It convicted me.  It's from the radio broadcast of Nancy Leigh DeMoss, author and speaker.  My prayer is that it touches you today too.  

Proud people focus on the failures of others, but broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need. Proud people are self-righteous. They have a critical, fault-finding spirit. They look at everyone else's faults with a microscope but their own with a telescope, and they look down on others. But broken people are compassionate. They can forgive much because they know how much they have been forgiven. They think the best of others, and they esteem all others better than themselves.

Proud people have an independent, self-sufficient spirit, but broken people have a dependent spirit and recognize their need for others. Proud people have to prove that they're right, but broken people are willing to yield the right to be right. Proud people claim rights and have a demanding spirit, but broken people yield their rights and have a meek spirit. Proud people are self-protective of their time, their rights, and their reputation, but broken people are self-denying. 

Proud people desire to be served, but broken people are motivated to serve others. Proud people desire to be a success, but broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others a success.

Proud people desire for self-advancement, but broken people desire to promote others. Proud people have a drive to be recognized, to be appreciated. They're wounded when others are promoted and they are overlooked. Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness. They're thrilled that God would use them at all in any ministry. They're eager for others to get the credit, and they rejoice when others are lifted up. 

Proud people have a subconscious feeling, "This ministry is privileged to have me and my gifts." They think of what they can do for God, but broken people have that heart attitude that says, "I don't deserve to have any part in this ministry." They know that they have nothing to offer God except the life of Jesus flowing through their broken lives.Proud people feel confident in how much they know, but broken people are humbled by how very much they have to learn. Proud people areself-conscious, but broken people are not concerned with self at all. 

Proud people keep others at arm’s length, but broken people are willing to risk getting close to others and to take the risks of loving intimately. Proud people are quick to blame others, but broken people accept personal responsibility and can see where they were wrong in the situation. 

Proud people are unapproachable, but broken people are easy to be entreated. Proud people are defensive when criticized, but broken people receive criticism with a humble, open spirit. Proud people are concerned with being respectable. They're concerned with what others think, and they're working to protect their own image and reputation. But broken people are concerned with being real. What they care about and what matters to them is not what others think but what God knows, and they're willing to die to their own reputation. 

Proud people find it difficult to share their spiritual needs with others, but broken people are willing to be open and transparent with othersas God directs. Proud people, when they have sinned, want to be sure that no one finds out. Their instinct is to cover up, but broken people, once they've been broken, they don't care who knows or who finds out. They are willing to be exposed because they have nothing to lose. 

Proud people have a hard time saying, "I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?" But broken people are quick to admit their failure and to seek forgiveness when necessary. When confessing their sin, proud people tend to deal in generalities, but broken people are able to deal under the conviction of God's Spirit to acknowledge specifics.

Proud people are concerned about the consequences of their sin, but broken people are grieved over the cause, the root of their sin. Proud people are remorseful over their sin, sorry that they got found out or caught. But broken people are truly, genuinely repentant over their sin, which is evidenced in the fact that they forsake that sin. 

When there's a misunderstanding or conflict in relationships, proud people wait for the other to come and ask forgiveness, but broken people take the initiative to be reconciled. They race to the cross. They see if they can get there first, no matter how wrong the other may have been. 

Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor, but broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy. Proud people are blind to their real heart condition, but broken people walk in the light. Proud peopledon't think they have anything to repent of, but broken people realize that they have need of a continual heart attitude of repentance. 

Proud, unbroken people don't think they need revival, but they're sure that everyone else does. Whereas humble, broken people continuallysense their need for a fresh encounter with God, for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit. 

There's a cycle in the ways of God that brokenness leads to genuine repentance. Genuine repentance leads to forgiveness. Forgiveness will produce in my life freedom from the guilt, freedom from the bondage of myself and my sin.

When there is that new freedom birthed through brokenness and repentance and forgiveness, that freedom will produce a new capacity for love and worship and a capacity to love others, to love the unlovable, to love God, to worship God.

And, of course, that worship and that love of God lead us always back to new levels of brokenness
, leading to greater and deeper repentance, to new forgiveness, to newfound freedom and increased capacity for love and for worship, to love the people we work with, to love the people we live with. Why is our capacity so limited? Perhaps it's because we are not living in brokenness, for brokenness yields that wonderful fruit of increased capacity for love and worship.

And then brokenness brings increased fruitfulness. For you see, God uses things and people that are broken. There are so many wonderful illustrations of this in the Scripture. 

  • It's when Jacob's natural strength was broken at Peniel that God was able to clothe him with true spiritual power.
  • It's when the rock at Horeb was struck and broken by Moses' rod that the water flowed out to quench the thirst of the people.
  • It’s when 300 people broke their pitchers that the light of the lanterns within shone forth.
  • It’s when the little boy's five loaves were given to Jesus to feed the 5,000. In the Master's hands they were broken and were sufficiently multiplied to feed the multitudes with abundance left over.
  • It's when Mary's alabaster box was broken that the fragrance was released and filled the whole house.
  • It's when Jesus' body was broken on Calvary that eternal life was released for the salvation of the world.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

UNhappy Birthday

"And, Katy, you better not take any kids in our room and let my hampster outta the cage!" warned big sister Kimberly. This was her pre-party instruction while I iced her birthday cake.  Katy loved Sweetie too but she was Kimberly's pet.

Party hats, candles, gifts, streamers and balloons adorned our driveway as the party began in our carport.  Children arrived as adults visited and served.  The joyous sounds were suddenly interrupted with screaming, "KATY!  I TOLD you to stay out!"  Kimberly began to cry as Katy's tears were also cascading down her red cheeks.

"What happened?" I asked.  They took me to their bedroom where I saw the dead hampster in the cage.  

It seems the temptation to introduce Sweetie to a friend lured Katy and Eric into the bedroom, just to peek at the cute furball.  Innocently Eric lifted the cage door when Katy loudly repeated the warning from her sister, "Don't let him out!"  Obediently Eric quickly slammed the cage door down right onto Sweetie's neck. They lifted the door and shoved the lifeless lump of fur back into the cage.  Too little. Too late. Confession followed discovery.

Katy in blue standing behind Eric
(not sure what he's hiding behind his back
and mischievous smile)
Forgiveness and reconciliation between sisters took some time and overshadowed the birthday bash that sad day. Eric remained friends with the girls as did his family with ours.  He and Katy even took swimming lessons together.

Several years later Kimberly was married and Katy in high school when she and Eric attended her Junior Senior banquet, still just friends. Both went their separate ways to different colleges. Katy taught school at her alma mater awhile then married Dave, moved to Canada and had 4 little boys.  

One day though Eric popped up on my facebook radar and I saw he had become a doctor.  He was in scrubs performing surgery. Many greetings of congratulations popped under the comment section.  I joined the fray with a different message:
Eric Eason, pediatric cardiologist

"Eric, do your patients know that before you started saving lives, you were a hampster murderer?"

He quickly denied it, even blaming his sister, Alicia, for creating such a hideous rumor. She shot back a comment accusing him of both Sweetie's death and his false denial.  This was all reminiscent of the long-ago but not forgotten birthday party. Maturity sidesteps sibling rivalry sometimes.  Obviously his funny bone remained intact.

  • Innocence
  • Laying down the law
  • Violation
  • Death
  • Forgiveness
  • Reconciliation
  • Redemption from bringing death to
  • Giving life for and to others

Any of this sound familiar?

Aside from making Eric both the first and second Adam, there may be a few viable parallels here.

On shaky theological ground, but still standing,
                                         The saga continues in Comments:

Thursday, September 1, 2011


This is my back-to-school-unsolicited-advice blog.   

Educators, I suggest you become a pusher.  Get students hooked on something good, like phonics. The English language is not intended to be easy.  That's why you teach it nearly every year til graduation. 

Students, my advice to you is go ahead and learn the forty'leventeen rules in grammar.  They're just the gateway to memorizing the myriad of exceptions to follow.  The whole concept is cruel.  Why else would the word phonics begin with ph?  Or the word lisp guarantee mispronunciation if you have a lisp!  Just cruel!
Our 3 college grads.  Kent just finished his master's!   Still weird, comedic kids.

Mothers, don't let your kids grow up to be comedians.  Because they probably won't be nearly as funny as my favorite, Brian Reagan.  Enjoy his video tirade and academic childhood scars.  It will be the funniest 3 minutes of your day, guaranteed.  It'll also guarantee you're involvement in there education! (Yes, I meant to do that.)