Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things I Want to Say At Walmart But I Don't

You are able-bodied, have no kids with you, and you pushed a full cart all the way back to your car.  Can you really not push it while it's empty 15 feet away to the cart corral?

Can we please institute an "Extreme Couponers Only" check-out station?  Or at least a "No Extreme Couponers" check-out station? (Kind of like the express one?)

Why yes, I did say "excuse me" while passing in front of your line of vision to the shelf.  But don't trouble yourself to respond.  I know you're concentrating.

No need to move your cart from the very center of the aisle to the side.  The extra calories I burn turning around and taking a different aisle back around to end up on the other side of you will do me some good.

Heavens, no, I didn't find everything okay!

Lord, help me have a better attitude and be grateful for the convenience and provision.  (Okay, I do say that one, to myself.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fix: Tomorrow

Everyone put on your orange afro wig and belt out with me:

OOoooh, the sun'll come out, tomarrow
Bet your bottom arrow that tomarrow... er, wait a minute.  Something's wrong.  Arrow?  Crikey!  There's no "a" in tomorrow!  Anywhere!

Let's regroup and try the second stanza of verse 1:

Just thinkin' about tomorrow
Takes away the cobwebs and the sorrow
'Til there's none.

Yes, that's it.  Tomorrow rhymes with sorrow and borrow, not arrow or bone marrow.

Contrary to what you see slopped all over facebook or a folded sheet of binder paper being passed across study hall, there is no "a" in the word "tomorrow". Also note-worthy are the double "r", and single "m"--poor things are misrepresented in this pesky word too.  But I couldn't think of a memorable song for them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Uh...(thump thump thump) Is This Thing On?

Good gravy, it's been almost an entire YEAR since I posted on this thing and the format for doing it has changed dramatically.  We'll see if it works.  At least there's no rust or cobwebs.  I think a tumbleweed just rolled by though.

Why the hiatus?  You might say the ol' creativity well dried up.  Temporarily.  And I'm not ready to announce a big dam burst or anything like that either.  But I do know this.  Little by little and drop by drop, inspiration is once again starting to form tiny cloud bursts (kind of like the little hand-sized cloud Elijah's servant saw in 1 Kings 18:44?).  And even more important is the excitement about maybe, just possibly, starting to share them again.  Lord Jesus, thank you.  Your will be done.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Fix: Loose vs. Lose

I was sure I'd done a Fix on this topic before because it's so pervasive and annoying. But a five minute facebook session in which I saw these terms misused enough times to send me into seizure resulted in me scouring my archives in search of said Fix. (Because, ya know, then I'd repost so that some of the offenders might learn something, because, ya know, a link on facebook is all it takes to change the error of our ways.)

Alas! No existing Friday Fix on loose/lose!

So here goes.

L-O-S-E is pronounced "luze", as in If we don't start making some shots, we're gonna lose the game!
As in Man, I hope Illinois doesn't lose again.
As in Sooo, if Illinois DOES make it to the big dance, will it be one and done? How long before we lose?

Oh, sorry. Got a little carried away. March madness, yanno. Go Illini!

L-O-O-S-E is pronounced "luce". As in How loose is your goose?
As in Make the noose loose.
I used "goose" and "noose" on purpose, to illustrate that if in doubt about the extra "o", you can picture a goose or a noose, or hey! Why not a goose wearing a noose ('cause I'm efficient like that), and remind yourself that because you want them both loose, keep the double o. Kay?

What's the time? Quiz, time, my friend! Are "loose" and "lose" used correctly in the following sentence?

His pants are so loose that he'll lose them if he's not careful!

You're right, it IS correct! (Both in usage and in terms of factual content--Tip: Suspenders, Buddy! Or how 'bout tightening that belt above the waistband of your underwear?)

And if that doesn't make sense, well then, you're probably just a looser. ;-)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Awhile vs. A While

This Friday Fix is dedicated to Nicole, to whom I give thanks for catapulting me from blog-neglect to mixin' it up again on the Fix. At least for this week. :-)

The conundrum? Whether to use "awhile" or "a while." And they really are two different beasts.

The oracle at explains beautifully:

A while is a noun meaning “a length of time”
•“I slept for a while.”
- (compare with “I slept for a bit” and “I slept for three hours”)
“I was away from my desk for a while.”
- (compare with “I was away from my desk for two minutes”)

Awhile is an adverb, meaning “for a time,” or literally, “for a while”.
•“I slept awhile before dinner.”
(compare with “I slept deeply before dinner” and “I slept badly before dinner”.)

As you can see, the words can be used almost interchangeably in some cases – but a while needs to be accompanied by a preposition, such as “for” (“I slept for a while”) or “ago” (“I left work a while ago”). Awhile always means “for a while”.

Dig? So let's practice; which are correct?

A. I had to stop studying awhile because my eyes were crossing.

B. Let's walk for a while and see where we end up.

C. Ugh, that Tobasco sauce had me worried there for awhile.

D. I'd love to spend a while soaking up your awesome presence.

If you chose A & B you are a winner!!! There's no prize, but you are definitely a WINNER! Soak that up for awhile, er. . . a while. :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010


Two new devotionals! I was blessed to be able to contribute to two more devotionals this past year. And they've just recently been released by Zondervan in time for Christmas. Both are one-year books so if you've heard someone say anything like "In 2011, I resolve to begin every morning with God" these books would make great gifts to help that person develop a discipline in the best relationship they'll ever have.

The first, Take My Heart, Oh God builds each daily devotion around nuggets of wisdom from some of the most widely known Christian women scholars, teachers, and encouragers of our time. Passages by Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs, and Joyce Meyer--among many others--are plumbed for deeper reflection and drawing closer to the Lord.

Click here to read more about it or take a peek inside.

The second, Heaven Calling, holds a very special place in my heart. As soon as this assignment came in I felt my spirit quicken because it differed from all the others I've had. The devotions are written from God's perspective--His words to His beloved, spanning the books of the Bible. I knew that to undertake such a privilege and do it justice, I would need to listen especially closely to what the Lord wanted me to write on His behalf. It was one of those seasons of special closeness that I cherish because of the chaos going on in my life at the time.
The Lord knew I'd need that special closeness...
You see, the VERY same day that I submitted my devotionals was the day that my dad fell and sustained brain trauma that took his life four days later. That morning I'd gotten up in the wee, dark hours to meet God and meet my deadline. It was time with God that brought me to tears because I realized that the Holy, Righteous Lord of All uses broken, dirty, imperfect people like me. I felt the power and rejoicing mentioned in Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT). And then that afternoon I got the phone call that God had been preparing me for.

How like Him to implant His words in my heart so firmly that I'd be sustained and tuned into Him during that difficult time. And any time.

Click here to see more of Heaven Calling.

You can also order at the above links, but if you're local I can save you a few bucks. I'll be placing my order by November 29, so let me know if you're interested and I'll order yours along with mine! :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

F.D.O.S. '10

Wait, what's the date again?

Oh. October 1st?

Well, then according to KST (Kathy Standard Time) it's time I post the first day of school pictures. Yes, silly, they ARE 2010--I know! Not bad, right?
Illustrious academics, roaring to get ta tha learnin' and stuff.

Lexi busted out her cute headband for the first day of Jr. High. Skylar, now in 4th grade, was waving the yes-we-read-and-signed-bus-rules sheet he was getting ready to hand to the driver. Maisie was sporting her rad sling and not TOO jazzed to be starting Jr. High with it. And Penny? Well, maybe she heard the bus coming. She never wants to miss the opportunity to escort her friends to the big yellow box that picks them up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Fix: Cyclists Aren't Necessarily Peddlers

A flower has PETALS.

A person hocking wares (or peddling) PEDDLES.

And a cyclist PEDALS.

Just don't go peddling petals while pedaling or you could end up hurt! ;-)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Anyone Know Anything About Rabbits?

Okay, it's Friday, but instead of a Fix I want to share a picture of the newest member of the Lay family.

Meet Gracie...

Now, getting a rabbit hadn't even appeared as a blip on the radar screen. We simply went in to Shane's mom's house for a visit and ended up coming home with another pet.

Apparently, a 4-H kid was tired of caring for this little cutie and her family was just going to turn it loose. A kind gal overheard and wouldn't stand for it. So she took the rabbit along with two other ones, vowing to find them good homes. This kind gal happens to be a neighbor of my mother-in-law and thought our kiddos might enjoy a new pet.

She was right.

And how has Penny-Poo adapted?

All signs indicate that if we can keep her from playing "too hard" things should work out just fine!

Now, can anyone tell me anything I should know about rabbit-keeping? For starters, what kind of rabbit is this?

Thanks for any help!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Fix: Packaging Your Message

This Friday's Fix centers around the packaging with which you deliver your messages.

You may have noticed the new blog template. It's an attempt to jazz up the ol' blah-g.

But just because the presentation--the package, if you will--has changed, doesn't mean the blog itself has changed. Same writer, same types of posts, same pretty much everything else.

But it needed an updated look, if not for readers, then at least for me. It was like I actually looked at the old colors one day and thought, "Yuck-o! Time for a change." And to me, this new look compliments my goals for what's posted here. It's cheerier, no? And a bit wistful?

So enough about that. What does this have to do with you packaging your messages? Simply this: consider the best, most complimentary method to deliver your message.

Case in point. Kids are playing loudly inside and you're trying to get some work done. Goal: get them to continue playing, but outside.

So you say, "Why don't you guys go outside and play?" Right? I mean, you can't convey your message any clearer than that.

But kids aren't stupid. Imbedded in this particular message is, "You're annoying me and I can't work with you in here." And they get that. Do they take it outside? Sure. But they carry a little extra chip with them when they do. Which is NOT the goal.

So then what about this? "Hey, you guys haven't been in the tree house for a few weeks. Why don't you take your game out there and also double-check to see if any critters have moved in?"

The original goal will be met, because, come ON... what kid isn't gonna rush right out, secretly hoping critters DID move in?! But more importantly, the goal was met without injury. It even provides the listeners with a goal of their own. (Adventure!)

If it helps, think of literal packaging, especially if the message you're sharing is important. Would this person like bright, frilly bows or an organic-looking brown bag with pine cones or stalks of wheat sticking out? In other words, and I've said this before, consider your audience.

We Christians talk a lot about meeting people where they are. Our message never changes. But our methods should never be one-size-fits-all. Jesus reponded differently to different people, according to their needs. Paul followed suit. Let's carry that over into our communication choices for maximum impact.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday Fix: Life in Defiance

Okay, this week's Friday Fix is geared toward fixing summer boredom. And you just might get the added bonus of more insight and reflection into your own relationship with Jesus. Following is a book review for a new release--the final installment in a powerful trilogy. Read on for a summertime fix!

Book Review: Life in Defiance by Mary E. DeMuth

Secrets. Ouisie Pepper has her share of them: there's the bottle of alcohol tucked away in a vase, the paintings she hides, the baptism that wasn't, the violence in her home, and the still-at-large killer of her son's best friend that she's reluctant to expose. And Ouisie's greatest longing--freedom.

Mary DeMuth has done it again with her final installment of the Defiance, Texas trilogy.

In Daisy Chain, the first in the series, the disappearance of 13-year-old Daisy Chance torments her best friend, Jed, and haunts her mother, Emory. In the second title of the trilogy, A Slow Burn, Emory comes to terms with her daughter's murder and her own regret at not being a better mother.

The third book, Life in Defiance, finds Ouisie, Jed's mother, battling her own mothering issues, as well as trying to become the perfect wife to tame her pastor-husband's rage. With each humiliating act he inflicts on her, Ouisie questions what she's doing wrong and determines to win his love again. Out of desperation she turns to a spiritual "how to" book on becoming the woman God wants her to be.

Then there's the matter of the murderer still on the loose. Daisy's killer is identified once and for all in a juicy twist that brings a surprising revelation, culmination--and strangely--liberation, for Ouisie Pepper.

DeMuth's ability to create powerful images propels the provocative story into a movie lover's dream. I was pulled so strongly into some scenes that even when life forced me to put the book down, I would carry them in my mind, reliving Ouisie's vivid and sordid reality and feeling empathy for her self-berating. Doesn't every mom feel like she falls short? I found myself relating to her constant thirst for something more.

And found myself rejoicing with her when she finds it.

Life in Defiance was released on May 11, 2010, and is available locally at The Open Door or online. If you're looking to beef up your summer reading list, I highly recommend the entire Defiance, Texas Trilogy. You'll mourn loss, root for love and forgiveness, and discover that secrets can be gloriously freeing when unveiled and given to Christ.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fix: -ly vs. -ally

1) Incidently or incidentally?

2) Accidently or accidentally?

This Friday Fix is brought to you by my own uncertainty. I have actually avoided using either of these words before because I didn't know the correct spelling and I was too lazy to look them up at the time.

The time has come, my friend.

According to (my fave!), incidentally is the correct form. Interestingly enough, though, both accidently and accidentally are acceptable. Who knew?

Incidentally, the -ally suffix makes perfect sense when you consider that incidental and accidental are adjectives. Slapping on the -ly suffix turns them into adverbs, making the -ally form "most" correct.

Yanno, in case you need a reason. ;-)