Friday, October 21, 2011

Ziva Did It!

For the past year our family movie time has been riveted on what was, for us initially, an unlikely target--the highly successful crime show series, NCIS. So far we've watched (in order) every episode of Seasons 1-8. And as family movie watching often does, this activity has produced a new level of comradeship among us. We've experienced every episode together, discussed and played with some aspects, made common memories. To make the endeavor and time even more valuable, the teacher in me assigned an extension activity: Write an essay telling what you learned from the show. Here we list our family's most valuable lessons:

~Ziva did it! This is code for "Dad is funny, albeit repetitious." He blames Ziva for everything around here now!

~"On your six, Boss." There is such a thing as a team, and it requires loyalty and dependability. Don't take a job unless you're committed to supporting your team. Your co-workers are depending on you. Incidentally, your family is a team, and it depends on your support as well.

~Give 'em a Gibbs A head slap on the back of the head for saying/doing something foolish is just affectionate feedback. If the whack was on the front, it would be demoralizing. No whack at all leaves you feeling insecure, unsure of your value and position in the group. (That's NCIS's perspective and we laugh about it, but Bear Bait insists that if his boss ever gave him a Gibbs, that'd be the end of THAT job!)

~The Rules Everyone needs a code they can live by. There are rules. Sometimes they're more like guidelines, but... My house, my rules. Gibbs has about 50. See them here. We each have a favorite. Mine is Rule #51: Sometimes I'm wrong.

~Time Management
"A little less time for the rest of the world / And more for the [four] of us..."
(Okay, that's not from NCIS. I borrowed it from the song Honesty by Rodney Atkins--thank you, Rodney! I borrowed it because my HE, Bear Bait, truly worked hard at and learned the value of giving the world a little less time while we were deep in the throes of watching NCIS. "Projects? Projects--schmojects! We've got a DVD to watch!")

~Chinese Takeout We all love it! The restaurants are trying to get away from packing their entrees in paper cartons nowadays, but it's worth the extra trouble to clarify that desire to the person who takes your order. Besides the extra xenoestrogens we don't need around here, it's just not the same eating Chinese out of plastic.

~Morality vs. Ethics "The ethical man knows that it is wrong to cheat on his wife, whereas the moral man actually would not do it." --explains Dr. Mallard to his assistant ME, Palmer. I appreciate Ducky's analysis. It's good to mark the difference here, so you're not so disappointed if the person you vote into office, go into partnership with, or even just look up to turns out to be more ethical than moral...

~Semper Fi Most of my family members rebelled against the idea of actually WRITING their thoughts, but one actually did turn in an essay, and it's awesome:

I learned what the word "semper fi" means, even though I don't remember now.
I learned that you don't have to tell everybody your business (unless you need to).
I learned you can't love someone too much, because everybody eventually passes on.
I learned that you can't trust someone too much because there's always a chance
they will turn against you. I learned that I am very interested in Forensic Science.

How about you? Any favorite gold nuggets from this show? Or just an opinion? Love it? Hate it? Feel free to leave comments! ;~)

Semper Fi...(Always faithful),

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I am so thankful today
that last night I was able to go to bed at 11:30 and sleep through the night without pain...

I am so thankful today
that on this day over a decade ago, my friend, Leone, was available to pick me up, drive me to the hospital, and coach me through the day.

I am so thankful today
that my HE is still happily married to me, even though on this day over a decade ago, I (apparently...according to him...though I absolutely can't imagine or remember myself doing this) told him to "Get out of my face!"

I am so thankful today
that on this day over a decade ago, in spite of all that could have gone wrong, God blessed us with the safe delivery of a precious little girl who was the spittin' image of her baby brother when he was born!

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well." --Psalm 139:13-14

I am so thankful today
that on this day over a decade ago, the Lord gave us the final biological member of our family. We welcomed her along on our journey of teaching and learning from/with each other as we pursue Christ-centered living together.

I am so thankful today
for the gift of marking days and looking back,
for today as I reflected on many fond memories, I also discovered I was still holding a grudge against one of the nurses who was assigned to help us that day. I know the wisdom and freedom, now, of choosing to forgive and not despise God's other children, and it is easy--a relief, even--to let go of that burden.

"Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." --Matthew 11:28-30

Finally, I am so thankful today
that I am not being poked or pierced with anything. It's our daughter's turn for that. She got her ears pierced! ;~)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


[He] knew he should say something more, but his mind was still reeling. He couldn't think of anything else to say that wouldn't take more explaining than he was capable of right now.
(from Impeachable Offense by Neesa Hart, pg 3)

My mind's been reeling for months. Somewhere in the middle of last school year I lost both my bearings and my footing.

Footings... Hmmm...

Maybe it was when I broke my foot! That was last mid-December. I'd promised our son I would meet him on the ice to skate while his school friends were still arriving for his party. He was excited, and I was late. Running quickly through our crowded house, I failed to negotiate a turn in our hallway and whammed my pinkie toe, HARD!, into the wall corner. Black and blue, swollen and bleeding...suddenly skating, as well as dance practice, walking, and even putting on a shoe, were out for the evening.

The owie slowed me down, but didn't stop me. I limped through the Christmas break and had to sit in the lodge during our annual downhill ski trip, but I was ready to teach and dance again by mid-January. A few weeks later we spent a lovely afternoon XC skiing and my foot didn't hurt at all--just felt tired when we were done. Until an hour later, when I re-broke it playing in the snow at the campground where we stopped for teatime! This time I ended up in a walking boot. Dance class was no longer an option and I limped through school and housekeeping for six weeks. All my favorite winter sports activities were out, and the bare necessities were harder to accomplish--took more time. Since I had commitments and responsibilities, I gave my quiet times away to work. I figured it was just for the short-term, because I had to.

But, like Mary's sister Martha, I was "distracted with much serving..." (Luke 10:38-42). By summer, my foot was healed but my soul and spirit were not. My prayer life had virtually petered out. As a teacher I was burned out to the point that little disappointments made me critical, and I no longer wanted to participate in our homeschooling co-op. I also had no heart or gumption for my favorite warm weather activities. I spent almost the whole summer sitting on the beach while my kids swam, and I hardly biked at all. Still, I did not recognize my depression. I felt "fine"--just tired, and cold...

My functional med doctor saw me in late summer and insisted I exercise harder. Run, he said. I hate running, but...our son decided to try XC running, so I did, too. After the initial rotten first two weeks, running went well and felt good until mid-fall when N got sick and there was just driving and hospitals and doctors--no time or place for exercise.

Now it's winter again.
I'm feeling old,
and noticing a pattern of lack of ambition. I see now that
I've been drowning for months,
and struggling for weeks to regain a foothold so I could rise above the surface again.
This week I returned to my piano to worship musically,
and finally, just today...
a whole year after breaking my foot...
had a basic, real, honest-to-goodness prayer time again.

Short, simple, and...successful, the Lord definitely met me where I was. I feel..wooed. And excited for tomorrow. Because...well, have a gander at the gold nugget He gave me today:

"Be still, and know that I am God."
~Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

He Gave Them Charge

So Moses spoke thus to the sons of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses on account of their despondency and cruel bondage.
Now the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the sons of Israel go out of his land."
But Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, "Behold, the sons of Israel have not listened to me; how then will Pharaoh listen to me, for I am unskilled in speech?"
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, and gave them a charge to the sons of Israel and to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt...
Then the Lord said to Moses, "See, I make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. You will speak all that I command you, and your brother Aaron shall speak to Pharaoh that he let the sons of Israel go out of his land."
~Exodus 6:9-7:2

Moses did not feel empowered. It wasn't his fault the Israelites were too despondent to believe God sent him to free them from slavery. Cruelly burdened by a tyranny that grew over centuries, they felt abandoned by God and looked upon this dusty, aging shepherd from the wilderness with disillusioned skepticism. But Moses took their rejection personally. Their response shattered the initial self-confidence that had carried him across the desert since his meeting with God at the burning bush.

Yet it is in the midst of his pain and questioning that God gives Moses and Aaron a charge--

an assignment,
a responsibility,
a stewardship,
a commission...

...not only to the Israelite slaves, but also to the Pharaoh who held them in bondage, to bring the Israelites out of the land of Egypt.

Notice God does not give the brothers a full briefing; rather, throughout the Exodus, information comes on a need-to-know basis. This MO promotes trust, faith, and great opportunities for God to reveal His glory and character. But at this point, all they know is that they have a job to do--an overwhelming job for which Moses does not feel equipped.

Verses 14-27 establish their credentials. Credentials? What credentials? Moses and Aaron descend via some rather intriguing characters and circumstances. Their father, Amram, married his Aunt Jochebed, and these two bore the brothers. However, notice the information in verse 16: "These are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations." It is the genealogy, not circumstances or skills, that make Moses the man for the job.

Finally in Ex 7:1 God reveals an encouraging element of His plan: "See, I will make you as God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet."

I will make you...

Lord, please make me into the person You created me to be, and direct me, that I might fulfill the purpose for which You created me. Grant me discernment to know what You give me charge of, versus what You don't, that I might stay on task. And thank You for not giving me too much information ahead of time. I love to watch You work and I love Your surprises! Oh my Lord, be glorified!!!