Snowing in Nashville

My brother visiting me this weekend

This is a thrilling day here in Nashville, TN. Please read this slowly: It is snowing! And when I say snowing I do not mean a dusting, sleet, ice, flakes that don’t stick, frost, or the anticipation of snow. I actually mean snow. Real individual flakes that are falling en masse to a surface that is currently somewhere below freezing. I have been waiting for this day in Nashville for years.


A view from my front porch

After moving from the north almost nine years ago I am willing to trade fried pickles, sweet tea, even extremely friendly people with accents for this magical powder. It is truly one of my favorite expressions in all of creation. Thank you God for dreaming this one up and letting it fall in the south today. Anyone else getting snow?

Also, thanks again for helping answer the questions on my last blog. I would love to still here from you if you have the chance. Off to stand out in the snow (did I mention it’s snowing here?) to grill some steaks for my favorite friends and my favorite brother and my favorite sister in-law. This is a good day.

Some Questions For You To Answer

I am writing from Houston, TX. Had a great couple sessions kicking-off “No Other Gods” at Friendswood Community Church. Tonight we are off to Marquez, TX and then tomorrow morning we are flying to New Orleans for a women’s event a few hours outside of all the beignets and jambalaya. It’s going to be an exciting run.

In the meantime, I have a big favor to ask of anyone who is willing to share her thoughts: I am writing a new book on the classic virtues (godly character traits) in the Bible. I want to come at this from a very here-and-now angle. What I mean by this is: I don’t want to approach things like forgiveness, patience, integrity, etc. from a lofty, textbook approach because we need these things in REAL life, right? I want to really study them for what they are, while also looking at the power that only Jesus can give us to live these guys out.

I am passionate about these character qualities because they have made a huge difference in my life, and yet I feel there is little being said about them collectively right now. So here are my questions for anyone who is gracious enough to share:

1. (This is not an exhaustive list) Out of the following virtues: Forgiveness, kindness, patience, humility, joy, peace, love, integrity, purity, thankfulness, grace, which THREE are the most difficult for you and why?

2. Which TWO would you like to have more of in your life?

3. Out of these eleven, is there a character quality that you’d like to see added to the list?

4. Absolutely ANY other thoughts you have on this subject matter are wholeheartedly welcome. Also, please feel free to pass this blog/questions along to anyone who is willing to share.

Thank you all so much. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

For Haiti

I John 3:16-18, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

I woke up with the flu this morning. It seems my attempts at healthy and whole eating have momentarily failed me. My friend ran to the grocery store before 10:00 AM to get me juice and graham crackers (sometimes you just have a hankering for one thing and one thing only). “Are you sure you don’t mean saltines?” she replied. Hmmm… “Nope, graham crackers it shall be.”

We are so dialed in here in America. A slight fever and I’ve got 40,000 choices of drinks, snacks, restaurants, soups… all the while, thousands of God’s creation have died or are dying in the rubble, and I truly have no idea what to do with this knowledge. I can make no reconciliation here, simply I can cling to this passage in I John that doesn’t explain, it only tells: this is what love is that we lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters. That we give out of our immense options and poverty to those who are in desperate need.

2010 Thoughts

Sister in-law Megen, Me, My sister Katie, Niece Maryn and sister Megan

Okay, I cannot lie. Monday, January 4th, 2010 was a huge downer for me… Since there was actually no catastrophe I should should probably back that up a bit-I was a bit bummed. I found it surprisingly difficult to get back into the swing of things, mostly because I had the most amazing time off. Lots of relaxing days with dear friends, family, great food, a lot of snow, too much shopping and football watching, lingering time with God, deep conversations, much needed rest – just an overall amazing break. Strange how this past Monday loomed over me simply because of one small word. Work.

Me and my niece Maryn freezing

So I was testy on Monday, right on the verge of snappy really. Just not ready to get back to the grind. And when I say grind, I am grateful for the grind I have, but it’s work nonetheless. So for anyone who might be feeling just a bit the same way – whether it’s back to the office, the airport, the house, the computer, the phone, here’s what I saw this morning in Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”

My friend April, Me, Absolutely the REAL Santa, my sister Megan and friend Mary Katharine

I love the phrase “take care of”, “keep”, even “dress” in some versions. I was reminded of this last night when I helped a friend move her 92 year-old aunt from PA to Nashville. I picked her up from the airport and got to help her into an assisted living apartment just hours after she had said goodbye to her home of 40 years. When I hung up her Pennsylvania London Fog coat and helped her find the “Republican Station” on television (I think she meant FOX News), I got the feeling that this might be the most important hour of my year so far. The wisdom and longevity of this woman and the opportunity to tend to her in some small measure were timely blessings. I will get to know her more in days to come but I’ve already discovered that she has handwritten most of the Bible and stores the pages in shoeboxes. When I asked her how she has stayed so healthy, she thought about it a while and then looked up and smiled, “It’s the Lord.” She also told me that Nancy Pelosi had great posture and that she just loved to watch her walk… I am making no political statements here, just loved the irony and sentiment of these comments while the Republican station bellowed from the background. It was a privilege to serve her.

As a woman, I feel that I have this innate desire to dress and keep and tend and take care of, even when this feels exhausting. Yes, you can drop your kids off at my house 🙂 This “tending” excites me, despite how much I’d love to stay frozen in Christmas vacation for another month. I hated to leave the East Coast snow and the scent of my Christmas Tree and wrap up the lights and put away the ten tons of sweets (because my Dad likes to say, ‘it’s not what you eat between Thanksgiving and Christmas that’s the problem, it’s what you eat between Christmas and Thanksgiving’), but there are things to be dressed, people to be tended, hearts to be nursed, souls to be invited in 2010…After last night, I’m just about ready to get back at it. Thank you Lord for the gift of dressing and keeping. Give us the strength.