Friday, April 29, 2011


My friend RB Tolar wrote in a recent post about memories of his mother singing to him as a child and of learning to sing harmony with his sisters. He ended his post with the question, "Who sang to you?"

Which got me to thinking.

I grew up in a house with lots of music, and both of my parents had beautiful voices. I remember Mom and Dad singing Psalms and "special music" at the Troy ARP Church. They also both sang in the Union City Civic Chorus, a pretty impressive community choir. But reading RB's post, the thing that came first to mind was sitting on my Dad's knee listening to him sing Froggie Went A-Courtin'.

Dad worked long days and came home to a house full of kids. For me, any one-on-one time in the evenings was pure gold. I don't have very many clear memories from my early childhood, but I do remember the comfort and delight I felt when Dad snuggled me into his lap and sang to me.

Sometimes, we curled together beside the fire in his big black leather chair. Sometimes, he perched me on his knee as he sat in Mom's creaky rocker, the squeak-squeak, squeak-squeak marking tempo as he sang. He smelled of coffee and stale cigarette smoke...might as well have been the perfume of the gods to this little girl!

The Farmer in the Dell, There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea, My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean. Obviously, his song choices were intended to lull small children to sleep! I commented to RB that I still remember all the lyrics to Froggie Went A-Courtin'....but when I Googled the song to find the lyrics, I discovered several verses I'd either forgotten or that hadn't been part of Dad's rendition. Or perhaps, I was just already in Dream Land by the time Daddy had sung that far into the song.

The way I remember it was....

Froggie went a-courtin' and he did ride, um-hmm, um-hmm,
Froggie went a-courtin' and he did ride,um-hmm,
Froggie went a-courtin' and he did ride,
Sword and pistol by his side,
Um-hmm, um-hmm, um-hmm.

Rode up to Miss Mousie's door, um-hmm, um-hmm,
Rode up to Miss Mousie's door, um-hmm,
Rode up to Miss Mousie's door,
Where he'd been many times before,
Um-hmm, um-hmm, um-hmm.

Took Miss Mousie upon his knee, um-hmm, um-hmm,
Took Miss Mousie upon his knee, um-hmm,
Took Miss Mousie upon his knee,
Said, "Miss Mousie, will you marry me?"
Um-hmm,um-hmm, um-hmm.

"Not without Uncle Rat's consent," um-hmm, um-hmm,
"Not without Uncle Rat's consent," um-hmm,
"Not without Uncle Rat's consent,
I wouldn't marry the President!"
Um-hmm, um-hmm, um-hmm.

Uncle Rat laughed and shook his fat sides,um-hmm, um-hmm,
To think his niece would be a bride...

Uncle Rat raced off to town, um-hmm, um-hmm,
To buy his niece a wedding gown...

Where will the wedding supper be? um-hmm, um-hmm,
Way down yonder in a hollow tree...

What will the wedding supper be? um-hmm, um-hmm,
Two fat flies and a black-eyed pea...


(So, to repeat RB's question - Who sang to you?)

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We have three young couples getting married at Grace Community Church this spring. Yes, these are exciting times for our church family!

Saturday morning, the ladies of Grace are having a shower for one young bride-to-be. Yours truly has been asked to prepare and give a devotional for the occasion - a task I find extremely daunting because, even after 27 years, I still haven't quite figured this marriage thing out. Thankfully, I do have the Gospel...and I think I'm beginning to understand that the Gospel is what marriage is all about.

Anyway, I was thinking it might be interesting to have all the ladies at the shower share some of the things they've learned over the years. Each guest could fill out a card with one piece of advice for the bride, and another card with a piece of advice for the groom. We could then bind these cards together and send them home with the guest-of-honor, for her and her sweetie to peruse later. (BTW, this is not an original idea. It was passed to me by a friend.)

Today, I'm asking you, Dear Reader, for your input. What piece of advice would you offer to a young woman as she is preparing to enter married life? What advice would you offer the groom?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


After worship service Easter Sunday morning, Steve and the kids and I enjoyed dinner and an afternoon of visiting with the rather numerous Kendall relations. I know, I hear about folks who can barely tolerate their in-laws, much less their extended in-laws, but my husband's family sort of breaks all those stereotypes. They are a truly delightful bunch of folks to be around.

So why the title of today's post and what does that have to do with Kendall Sunday? Well, during the Easter festivities, I got to spend time with two of my three sisters-in-law. My generation of the Kendall women. Let me tell you about these ladies...

My husband's sister is a highly-educated, very articulate, beautiful woman in her late 40's. Even after having given birth to three children, she is very petite, and she almost always has a twinkle in her eyes and a smile on her face. She is unassuming and possesses a quick wit and a propensity for saying kind things to and about others. She is earnest about her faith, lives what she believes, and conversations about the Gospel are as natural for her as breathing. She has worked her entire adult life as a teacher dedicated to nurturing and helping children with learning disabilities. Simply put, an extraordinary woman.

Then there's Little Brother's wife. Wow. Although ten years my senior, this woman looks to be ten years my junior. She is muscular and tan and moves with the grace of an athlete. This sister-in-law always looks fabulous...she is like the prototype for a glamour Barbie. And, her house looks like the feature home from an edition of Southern Living. And she's a gracious hostess, inviting the horde to spend Kendall Sundays in her beautifully landscaped back yard during summer months, providing the rest of us an opportunity to enjoy the sparkling pool and outdoor kitchen/barbeque. And, she's a doting grandmother (although you'd never guess she had grandkids just by looking at her.) And, she's a super savvy businesswoman. And, she's an intrepid traveler and explorer...Sunday, we enjoyed viewing pictures of their latest trip, an expedition to the jungles of Costa Rica. She really should win some kind of an award for Woman of the Year.

(The absent sister-in-law? Well, she lives with Big Brother on the beach in St. Thomas. She's musically talented, a funky, fun woman with spiked, bleached-blonde hair and a voice like a jazz singer. She's a hard-worker, but also knows how to get loose and have a good time.)

Then, there's me. Can you understand why I might feel a little "small" in the company of such women?! Frumpy, soft, introverted, no super-fantastic education, no amazing talent, no exciting adventures. My house...well, let's just say it frequently looks like Bubba is living here. Yes, in the company of the Kendall women, I do indeed have to fight occasional feelings of envy. Why couldn't I have just a smidgen of the finesse and pizazz of these extraordinary ladies?!

But I can't feel envious for long. Because, in addition to being beautiful, intelligent, talented, adventurous, and very sociable, they are also all gracious, kind-hearted, and loving. And that puts even the Green-eyed Monster at bay.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Sitting on the windowsill just above the kitchen sink, there is a small wooden heart. It is the size of my palm, cut out of 1/4-inch plywood. I love you Mom. Nate. The magic marker lettering is beginning to fade after 10+ years.

In the top drawer of my dresser, I have a small stuffed felt panda bear with black button eyes. And a rose made from red satin ribbon. And a bracelet, delicately crafted from fine wire. And numerous hand-made cards.

Last week, I received a note in the mail from a lady I met in March at a presbytery-wide women's conference. Three short, hand-written sentences. I think I've read through that sweet note a dozen times since opening it.

Emily asked me once why I keep all these "silly" things - all the childish tokens of affection and the out-dated letters. I keep them because they are treasures...treasures of encouragement, whose value and effect increase (rather than decrease) over time.

Three years ago, I decided to plant strawberry beds at the end of our garden. The boys hauled cross-ties from the shop and built me raised boxes. They helped me mix soil, sand, and peat moss. They built screen covers over the boxes to keep the naughty chickens at bay. I nestled my young strawberry plants into their new home, eagerly looking forward to the harvest of fresh berries we could expect in another year.

For a year, I watered and weeded and mulched. The next spring, we enjoyed a tiny sample of the good bounty to come. Then summer came, and drought. I watered my young plants. And watered. And watered. And watered. They barely pulled through.

The next spring, we still had only a bowlful of berries to show for all that work. But, the kids and I persevered. We weeded and mulched and watered. Then summer...and another year of drought. So we watered. And watered. And watered.

And then, I just gave up.

Last fall, my beautiful berry boxes were nothing more than glorified Weed Display Cases. The few berry plants that had survived were crowded by Bermuda grass and nettles. I had to admit the truth - I did not have the perseverance and dedication to grow strawberries. We didn't even mulch the few stragglers for winter. Instead, I determined that, come spring, I would Round-Up all the boxes and plant something that required less labor and attention. Sigh. I so want to be a real's difficult to admit my own inadequacies and concede defeat!

Then just over a week ago, my friend Donna - Donna the Garden Goddess, Donna the Master Gardener - did a very unexpected thing. She brought me seven beautiful strawberry plants from her own lush garden.

Okay, I've just admitted to killing over two dozen vigorous strawberry plants purchased at no little expense from the local Co-op a couple of years back. What on earth am I supposed to do with these lovely new strawberries?! I feel rather like an axe murderer handling a shiny new blade...saints preserve us!

Well, Saturday, I spent all afternoon digging Bermuda grass and ash saplings out of the boxes at the end of the garden. Attended by several very curious chickens, I turned and sifted the soil, combing out the roots of the nasty grass and weeds. By nightfall, the beds looked they were positively longing for the dark green leaves of a few vigorous strawberries.

And you know what? I truly believe these strawberries are going to make it. Will I be faithful to water and weed them through the long months of summer? To mulch them, and bed them down for winter? Yes, I think I will. Why? Because these strawberries are Donna's. And working in them will be like a faint whisper of spending time with my far-away friend.

Maybe a year from now, I'll be sitting here typing a post about the delicious fresh strawberries we enjoyed from our garden. It won't be because Donna told me, "You can do this, Camille. You just need to hang in there." It won't be because she motivated me with her expert example. It will be because, with seven young plants, she said, "I love you, friend."

And that's what I'll be hearing every time I'm out working in the berry boxes.

Monday, April 25, 2011


The reason I have a cell phone is so that when I'm out running errands in one of our unreliable vehicles, I can call Steve or Grammy or someone to come rescue me if mysterious smoke or strange noises or an overheated engine requires me to pull over on the shoulder of the highway. Or, so that when something similar happens to one of my kids while they're out toodling around in said vehicle, they can reach me.

The cell phone is not a social tool for me. I'm sadly prone to turn it off before church Sunday morning, then forget to turn in back on for days. If we're busy with school or some other chore, I'll ignore it entirely. I am very grateful to have this electronic device, but let's just say, I don't get the techno-mileage out of it that most other folks do. And I'm okay with that.

Last Thursday, I dropped the girls off for piano lessons, then made a quick run to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries. Mission accomplished, I turned my buggy toward the front of the store to go check out. Brrrrng! Brrrrng!

I strongly dislike using the cell phone when I'm out in a public place. Feels kind of like I'm being rude to those around me. You know, instead of making eye contact with the young mother on Aisle 14 and complimenting her on her sweet children, I'm listening to details about Fiona's dental appointment last week. Or, instead of chatting briefly with the fellow stocking produce, I'm uh-huh-ing Clarice's report about what she overheard while getting her hair colored. Call me old-fashioned, but that just doesn't seem right.

Anyway, here I was in the middle of Wal-Mart last week when my phone went off. Thankfully, it was a good friend who isn't prone to nonsense calls...probably had some detail to pass along about the upcoming Easter service. Confident this would be a quick call, I answered the phone.

Is there ever a good time to receive really bad news? I guess not. But I can say with certainty, in the middle of Wal-Mart, 10 minutes before time to pick up kids from's just plain awful. The news coming over the cell phone that afternoon quite literally knocked the wind out of me. I turned my buggy into an uncongested aisle and slumped against the shelves. Shaking with suppressed sobs, I covered my face with my hands. Breathe.

I did eventually make it to the front of the store. I checked out and paid for my groceries, wiping my eyes with the backs of my hands the whole time. Out in the parking lot, with everything loaded in the trunk, I slammed the car door, fastened my seat belt, and proceeded to have a good fall-apart.

I think cell phones should come with a feature...maybe a special ring tone?...that warns you: Find a quiet spot to sit down. This call is going to be a hard one.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I was not feeling very good yesterday. Actually, I'm still not feeling very good today, but that's not what I'm writing about. Maybe it was just the combination of spring allergies, 50-some-odd-years, the lunar cycle, and the storm front moving into our area. At any rate, all of my joints hurt...knees, shoulders, elbows, hips...and my back had me gritting my teeth and taking deep breaths. My innards felt like they had been stirred with a baseball bat, and congestion significantly reduced my oxygen-intake ability.

I felt achy, lethargic, and muddle-headed all day long. By late afternoon, I had already taken all the Tylenol and ibuprofen allowed for a 24-hour period, to no affect, and that lovely diet was brewing up a case of stomach irritation. (Now why did I think it was a good idea to fix spaghetti for supper?! Urp!) By dinnertime, I was just kind of hoping to hang on until an early bedtime without going crazy and either snapping someone's head off or falling apart in a fit of tears.

One thing I've learned about living with persistent low-grade (or not-so-low-grade) pain is that people often assume you are angry or depressed about something. At least that's the case with me. Maybe it's because when you're riding the swells of discomfort inside, trying to avoid a wipeout, you're less engaged with what's going on outside. Less talkative, less attentive, less-easily humored or entertained.

Anyway, dinnertime turned into an exercise in what I like to call "putting stones on the table." Martha was disappointed that I hadn't checked her chemistry homework earlier. Steve let slip a snarky comment after a frustrating day of work. Tom was bored. Ben felt like his day had been unproductive. Emily was down-in-the-mouth. No major problems, just several negative, downer kind of comments and attitudes. And me, there I sat doing my Lamaze breathing, wishing I could think about something else besides how exhausted I felt and the pain in my back.

So I decided to go for a walk. Walking back on the farm usually improves my mood, and often loosens up my joints when they are sore. I walked all the way back to the Three Sisters, very s-l-o-w-l-y because I was so tired and really did feel bad. By the time I trudged back up the driveway to the house, the sun was well below the horizon and a strong wind was pushing a storm front into our area. I stayed outside on the porch as long as I could, enjoying the night air and the fireworks in the western sky. Eventually, I did go back inside, where I took a Benadryl (these work like sleeping pills on me) and crashed into bed. Slept so well that I barely remember Steve telling me to get into the bathroom because of a tornado. Aaaaaah!

All this tedium to say - Can someone please tell me the proper protocol for being the Mom when you just don't feel good? This job really doesn't have vacation or sick days as part of the benefits package. I can't take a holiday, but if I idle down to a minimum maintenance level, everyone assumes I'm mad or depressed and starts developing cruddy moods and attitudes of their own. Which usually makes me feel worse. So, not only do I feel bad...I feel bad for feeling bad. How stupid is that!

Okay, all you Moms out there - I need your input.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. - 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


David, newly ascended to the throne of Israel, is under attack from the Philistines. He seeks God's direction as he and his army face this formidable enemy, spread out before them in the Valley of Rephaim. "Shall I go up against the Philistines?" David asks.

God answers David, "You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the LORD has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines." And David did as the LORD commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. (2 Samuel 5:23-25)

Have you ever prayed for guidance and direction from the LORD? "Lord, should I apply for/accept this job?" "Lord, what do you want us to do in this relationship?" "Lord, what role do you have for me in my church?" "Lord, should we move to Obion County?" If you're like me, you've probably prayed something similar too many times to count. And if you're like me, you've probably also felt like God has often been very soft-spoken, indirect, even vague in His answers.

Look at the above passage again. Reading through it, you get the feeling that David and God are sitting face-to-face, looking at each other eye-to-eye across the table. David asks something like this: "Should we charge into the Philistine camp and take them out? Are you with us?" He's straightforward, blunt, direct.

And God is equally straightforward in His reply. "No, don't go directly up into battle. Go around behind them, and come at them from opposite the balsam trees...." You can almost imagine God sketching out the details of His battle plan on the table with His finger. Could God have been any more direct? His answer, any clearer?

Now that's the kind of prayer dialogue I'm wanting - God talking to me about balsam trees. Or whatever the local variation would be...sycamore trees, cornfields, the Hornbeak BestWay. Something clear, obvious, unequivocal. But folks, it just isn't happening. God hasn't spoken to me like that. He hasn't said, "Camille, on such-&-such day, at such-&-such time, I want you to drive the F-150 to the square in Troy. When you hear Dixie playing from Jethro's jacked-up pickup as he lays on his horn at the four-way stop, I will meet you beside the tower with the giant Christmas star and will do great and awesome things for you..."

Sigh. If only things were so obvious, so easy.

But I'm not writing to bemoan the fact that God doesn't talk to me about balsam trees. I'm writing because, having read that passage in 2 Samuel yesterday, I awoke this morning with renewed zeal and focus in my prayers for my pastor and the elders at my church. I am not David. I am not called to shepherd the nation of Israel, to lead them in battle and govern them in peace. But my pastor and elders do have callings rather like David's. And today, I pray that God will give them clear direction, unified vision, unshakable faith, deep and abiding love for Christ, for each other, and for the church. I pray that God will indeed talk to them of balsam trees.

And, I pray as God directs our leaders, that we who are the body at Grace Community Church (and at Unity, because you are so much in my heart!) will rouse ourselves and march out to see what the LORD will do as He goes before us.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Someone asked me recently what techniques I employ for coping with stress. Me, stressed? Never!

My number one coping technique is lying. Denial. I'm not stressed...I'm just tired! Or, It's not's allergies. Yeah, right! Something tells me that "denying" does not equal "coping."

Second favorite....long, DEEP breaths. The kind I learned back in prepared childbirth classes. Man, I've been using that tool for 23 years now. It stays in the very top of my toolbox.

Yoga. Or, perhaps more accurately, Not Yoga. Anyway, stretching exercises combined with slow, deliberate breathing, preferably with some lovely instrumental music playing softly in the background. I have a Classical Hymns CD that a friend gave me that has been played to death over the years. Thinking silently through the words to hymns such as "How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place" is a fantastic stress buster.

Walking back on the farm, weather permitting. A few days ago, I got out and hiked back to the Three Sisters for the first time in many weeks. The sunshine and fresh air were glorious. I found wild violets, Sweet William, spring beauties, dandelions, and jewel weed blooming. Aaaaah!

Working in the garden or the yard. My Grandmother says, "Everyone needs a little dirt to scratch around in." She's right. After all, we were created to live and work in a garden, right? There's something therapeutic about getting your hands into the soil.

Sleeping. When all else fails, sometimes it helps to just lose consciousness for an hour.

When I was a kid, my Dad used to tell me to "Go outside and run around the house three times!" Maybe there was something to that. My kids have a punching bag out back that they use as a stress reliever. Or they lift weights. Or listen to music. Or play music. Or chop wood.

What about you? What tips do you have for relieving stress?

Friday, April 15, 2011


We're busy today getting ready for Saturday's country dance. Baking, brewing, last minute touches to lace and ribbons, experimenting with much excitement! This seems an appropriate time to repost one of my earliest blogs. Has it really been almost three years?


-originally posted July 15, 2008

"Mom, there's going to be a Balenciaga exhibit in Dallas, Texas, starting in February - do you think there's any way possible we could go see it? This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I would so love to see his work." Emily made her impassioned plea while home from college on winter break. The oldest of seven children, Emily is a girl who constantly does things for others and who very rarely asks anything for herself. I knew this must be something really important.

"There's going to be a what? Who in the world is Balenciaga?"

"Cristobal Balenciaga, Mom, THE Cristobal Balenciaga!" The earnestness in my daughter's voice tugged at my heart, but still, I had no clue what she was talking about.

Okay, folks, I live in a very rural community, a patchwork of wheat fields and hay fields and pastures dotted with fishing ponds and cows. "Dressing up" means pulling on a clean pair of jeans and trading the dust-caked garden flip-flops for the new pair with the shiny gold thongs. The biggest fashion sensations here for several years running have been MossyOak camouflage and Carhartt coveralls. So maybe it's understandable that I didn't recognize the name of the most famous haute couture designer of the 1900's. Emily gave me a crash course in high fashion, during which I learned that Cristobal Balenciaga had created beautiful clothing for the likes of Ingrid Bergman, Sophia Loren, Mrs. William Randolph Hearst, and a host of royalty and social elites during his career as a designer with shops in Paris, Madrid, and Barcelona.

Two months later, Emily and I loaded into her purple mini-van and hightailed it to Dallas for a whirlwind trip to the Meadows Museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University. When the museum doors opened early that Saturday morning, this fashion illiterate stepped from the common world of traffic and noise and fast food joints (wearing my nice jeans and flip-flops, mind you!), into a fantasy land of exquisite beauty and elegance. I stood wide-eyed and speechless, absolutely stunned by the magnificent artwork displayed on mannequin after mannequin. A quote by Balenciaga - "My clients do not have to be beautiful. My clothes will make them beautiful." - would have seemed arrogant, if not for the irrefutable evidence of its truthfulness, documented in picture after picture, gown after gown. I think any woman on the planet would have felt like and looked like a goddess, dressed in one of his creations.

A year later, back at the business of tending tomatoes and weeding the herb box, I still enjoy occasionally pulling the over-sized museum book off the shelf and looking through the pictures of all the lovely garments Emily and I saw that day. (Thank you so much for sharing this experience with me, Emily!) And, as with everything in life, I must ask, "What did this exhibit, this man Cristobal Balenciaga, teach me about God? Myself? My need for a savior? Christ?" The answer: very much indeed.

The prophet Isaiah writes, "I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God." WHY, Isaiah? "For He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness..." (Isaiah 61:10) David writes, "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered." Whose sins are covered by WHAT, David? "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Do you know what this means for us as believers? We are each clothed not in a fabulous Balenciaga original, but in a garment of infinitely greater beauty and worth - a Christ original! God, in His unfathomable mercy, dresses a frumpy, rough-handed, totally unsophisticated farm girl in a robe made of the pure and holy righteousness of Christ. A dirty and sinful pauper is transformed into a dazzling princess!

Maybe because God's wonderful provision seems like something out of a fairy tale, something too good to be true, I often find myself wanting to add to it, to tack on my own little "decorations" to make it seem more tangible, more real. I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ - but maybe I'll be even more beautiful to God if I agree to teach a Bible study at church. I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ - but maybe I'll be even more beautiful if I keep my house spotless and demand perfect obedience from my children. I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ - but maybe I'll be even more beautiful if.... You get the picture. Obedience to God's word, service to my family and my church, giving my time and resources to those in need - these are all good things, but I am believing a lie if I think these things will make me more beautiful to my Father. I am called to do these good things, not because they will make me beautiful, but because I have already been made beautiful by Christ. Trying to embellish the righteousness of Christ with my own good works would be like wearing my shiny gold Wal-mart flip-flops with the ermine-trimmed, black silk ball gown designed by Cristobal Balenciaga for the elegant Claudia de Osborne. Or like topping off the fuchsia pink silk brocade cocktail dress he designed for Bert de Winter, with a MossyOak ball cap. Aaaaack!!!

So, what are you wearing to the ball? Let us celebrate God's good provision and revel in the fantastic beauty with which He has clothed us - the beauty of Christ. Come, Princesses, your garments are glorious: let us join in the dance!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


As I pulled into the almost-empty church parking lot Saturday morning, it was obvious I had over-estimated the driving time. That was fine with me - allowed plenty of time to get oriented, find the "facilities," and settle in before the memorial service began.

I met Lucia, another early-arriver, in the parking lot. She and her husband had driven up from Mississippi. Lucia and I both had our radar scanning for the same thing...the nearest bathroom. We headed into the church together, and soon found the His and the Hers in a hall behind the sanctuary.

"This looks like a one-seater," I commented. "You use the ladies' room...since nobody else is in the building, I'll use the men's." Of course, no sooner had I settled into the stall in the men's room, when I heard the door to the hall swing open. Not again! I thought. Shoot! "Hey, hey, hey! There's a woman in here!" I hollered. "I'll be out as quick as I can!" Mr. Surprised did a speedy about-face and snapped the door shut behind him.

I quickly finished my business and stepped sheepishly into the hallway, where I found Lucia doubled over laughing. "That was my husband," she hooted. "I heard him coming down the hall and tried to warn you through the wall from the ladies' room!" Still laughing, she grabbed me by the hand and pulled me toward the sanctuary. "Okay, you're sitting with us for the service. You're practically family now." She pushed open the swinging door, a broad smile lighting her face. "It feels so good to laugh."

Using the wrong restroom is not something I do frequently. Sadly, it is not something I do infrequently, either.

At the Memphis Zoo with my seven small children, everyone was relieved when we finally made it to Once Upon a Farm. This area of the zoo has fantastic bathroom facilities and was our regular stop when we made it out for a day with the animals. I backed up to the door and pushed it open, directing my minions into the tile-lined potty room.

"Mom, I'm old enough to go to the bathroom by myself," whined one of the boys. "I don't want to go to the girls' bathroom!"

"We all stick together," I insisted. "This way, young man." I was busy counting heads to make sure I still had everyone. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. I stepped inside behind the last of my troops, letting the door swing shut behind me. That's when I noticed a gentleman standing strangely close to and face-toward the wall. It always takes me a second to make sense of this phenomenon. Oh, Gack! Wrong bathroom! "ABOUT FACE, EVERYONE," I shouted as I grabbed the kid nearest me and turned him toward the door. "ABOUT FACE!" Of course, it was just all-in-a-day's-work for me, and my kids didn't think a thing about it - but I'm certain we had greatly discomfited the fellow stationed at the urinal.

Then there was the time I was dressed as Mrs. know, Tiny Tim's mother. Theatre Memphis was mid-run in its annual production of A Christmas Carol. My oldest son had a part in the play, and big sister and I worked backstage. One of the financial backers asked Theatre Memphis if some of the cast could come out in costume to sing Christmas carols at her gift shop.

The real cast couldn't jeopardize their voices and their health by standing out in the cold and damp at a local shopping center, so volunteers were recruited from the lower ranks. Several of us peons suited up and spent a fun morning caroling holiday shoppers. Cold, stiff, and hoarse from singing, we headed at lunchtime to a nearby fast-food joint for some warmth and refreshment.

Of course, the first thing on my mind was finding the facilities. I pulled off my bonnet and headed down the short hallway to the restroom, my long skirts flapping about my frozen feet.

"What do you want? I'll order for you," another crew member called. I turned and threw back a quick answer as I reached to push open the bathroom door. As I settled onto the porcelain throne occupying the lone stall, a very strange thing happened. A pair of men's boots tromped into the room, then proceeded to plant themselves,toes forward, right up against the wall on the other side of the stall. Very strange.

Then it hit me. Oh, no! Not again! I gathered my long skirts up around my knees and held my breath, waiting. Please, Lord, don't let anyone else come in here until I can make an escape! As soon as the gentleman finished his business, I pulled myself together and bolted for the door.

When I exited the bathroom, I found my fellow crew members huddled together at the end of the short hall, snorting and pointing. They hadn't even ordered yet - they'd realized my mistake immediately and then stood there waiting to see my glowing face when I came out. What could I do but laugh with them?!

Maybe it all comes from being mom to a great lot of children. Maybe it's evidence that I need to be more aware of my surroundings. Maybe I'm one of those folks who can only concentrate on one task at a time...and, in certain circumstances, reading door labels just isn't the top priority! Or maybe, God knows I'm prone to take myself too seriously and need an occasional slice of humble pie and a reason to laugh out loud at myself with others.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


KP's Music Rodeo has a weekly Pick-&-Grin session on Tuesday nights where anyone with an instrument - or a voice - is welcome to pull up a chair, join the circle, and jam with their neighbors. Gospel, country, western swing, a little, mandolins, fiddles, harmonicas,'s a round-robin affair, each musician leading a song as they move around the circle.

Martha is eager to take advantage of this opportunity to master some new tunes and to learn a few new licks on the fiddle from Mrs. Judy. Last night, Helen boldly toted her little guitar onto the floor and sat slightly outside the circle, watching and listening and occasionally strumming a chord. Looks like Tuesday nights at the Rodeo is going to be a regular part of our routine for the unforeseeable future!

Me...I just perch myself at one of the tables and observe from the audience. I enjoy listening to the music, meeting new folks, and sipping a cup of hot coffee. After a few weeks of this, some of us "regulars" are beginning to seem a bit like family.

About an hour into last week's jam session, a fellow sitting in front of me stood up to stretch his legs and visit with folks at other tables. As he eventually headed back to his front-row rocking chair, he stopped behind me and placed his hands on my shoulders. "Since you've had to sit here looking around our heads all evening, I'm going to give you a free massage."

Whoa, Nelly! Stop right there! Anybody who knows me knows that I have a rather LARGE personal distance. I am prone to be shy and introverted, and, while I truly enjoy meeting and visiting with new acquaintances, I'm not quick to bring anybody into the bull's eye of my personal space. Maybe I'm just a little tactilely over-stimulated after birthing, nursing, and raising seven babies!

My shoulders tensed the second he touched my back...but before I had time to figure out a not-too-rude protest, this fellow had me undone. Three seconds maybe? I was almost in tears. He was softening the tight muscles in my neck and back into warm butter. I declare, that man had magic hands. This Shrinking Susan had to confess, "I don't know what you're doing, but that has to be absolutely the most wonderful thing I have ever felt in my life."

His wife turned around from her seat in front of me, laughing. "We're certified massage therapists, honey. I specialize in doing feet. It is wonderful, isn't it?!"

Which led to a conversation about muscles and how they work and about the purpose and benefits of professional massage. Mr. Stone explained that muscles can only contract - it takes deliberate physical manipulation to stretch them back out into a fully relaxed condition. (I guess this is why serious athletes do so much stretching, hmmm?) Once contracted, a muscle's blood/oxygen supply is somewhat restricted - which causes the muscle to contract further - which causes greater restriction - which get the picture. Anyway, the purpose of massage is to relax and stretch the muscle so that it is able to receive improved blood flow, and therefore more oxygen.

Which got me to thinking (I know, it's weird how my mind works)...this is kind of like faith. When I've "got it", when I feel like I understand what God is doing and I'm on top of things and comfortable with where He has me, I'm kind of like a firmly-contracted muscle. I'm strong, powerful, able to lean hard into the harness and get some work done. But, if I stay in that strong, sure, comfortable place, my faith begins to atrophy, to suffocate. God has to stretch my faith muscles out, make them take in new blood and fresh oxygen.

When He does, my initial response is to recoil, to resist, to tense up even more. If I am determined to not be stretched, this life becomes frustrating, painful, and less productive - just like my sore neck and shoulders compromise my ability to work productively and to enjoy life. But, when God does reach down and stretch me (even against my protests), I find that He gives me an abundance of grace and strength and energy.

And sometimes, He sends a messenger with magic hands to remind me of just exactly that.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Before I leave to take Tom to class at UT Martin this morning, I hope to have every item of bedding off my bed and out on the clothesline. This is one of those times when I really love having a front-loading washer - I can even run the bedspread and pillows through the machine. Shoot, if I could figure out a way, I'd cram the mattress in the washer and give it a whirl, too!

I love this sunshine. And, I love linens dried in the sunshine on the clothesline. After last night's storms, everything smells so fresh outside...can't wait to bring that smell inside!

A friend wrote in her weekly newspaper column recently about how the return of spring weather gives us the itch to do a little extra cleaning. Seems a fairly common phenomenon. However, as I get older, I find that I'm a little less eager to empty the cabinets and closets and give them the thorough scrubbing they need. Wouldn't it be great if instead of the old-fashioned, tedious, back-breaking method of cleaning cabinets, we could just pull them off the wall, cram them into a cabinet-washer, and push a button? Better yet, wouldn't it be lovely if we could just turn the entire house inside-out, hose it down, and let the spring sunshine do its amazing magic?! Now that would be some spring cleaning I could really get into...

Currently, I am very blessed to have several fantastic helpers come spring cleaning time. Tall helpers, who can reach way up in the cabinets. Shorter helpers, who can more easily tackle lower shelves and cabinets. Big strong helpers, who can pull out appliances and who can haul boxes in and out of the attic. When all of my children are grown and have moved away from home, I may have to resign myself to living in squalor - I don't think I could do this job without them.

Well, the washer just beeped...time to take another load of laundry out to soak up the sunshine. Mmmm!

Monday, April 11, 2011


Wow! Ever have one of those days where you feel like God just keeps getting right in your face and saying, "Do you hear me now?! Are you listening?!"

I have a little grand-nephew who, in the chaos of life in a big family, climbs up into Mommy's lap, puts his hands on each side of her face, and gets nose-to-nose with her. "Mommy, listen to me!" He's communicating, "I have something important I need to say to you, and I want to make sure you get this!" That's kind of how I felt this past God was taking my face in His hands, looking me in the eye, and saying, "Listen to Me!"

Life for me lately has been, well, just weird. Confusing. In some ways, very difficult. Challenging. Faith s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g. Fraught with uncertainty and, yes, even a dose of fear. Kind of like living mid-step in that vague place between the dock and a boat that's just a little too far out in rough water.

An emotionally exhausting place to live.

Which brings me to Saturday.

A funeral. Prayer, Scripture, conversations with new acquaintances and with dear friends. Seemed like every word I heard was reminding me how very much God loves His children, and that He is faithful.

In the fellowship hall after the service, a friend was telling me of his adventures wind-surfing, something I know absolutely nothing about. Greg explained the difficulty, as a beginner, of learning to raise the sail on the board so as to harness the wind. Sounded like the process involves lots of floundering and flopping around in the water! Anyway, Greg made a statement that went something like this, "You have to realize that you can either fight with the wind and complain about it...or you can learn to wait for the wind. If you can wait patiently, then, at just the right time, you raise the leading edge of your sail the tiniest bit - and the wind does all the work. It raises the sail for you, without all that struggling and floundering, and then it takes you across the water." Wait for the wind...
Then, zoom from the funeral to a ladies' luncheon. Our speaker at the luncheon told with such sweet countenance how God had led her through and used heart-breaking trials and difficulties in her life. In challenging the rest of us to trust God in the face of hardship and difficulty, she commented, "Cherish every tear." Why? Because, in God's economy, none of our suffering, none of our trials are ever wasted, and every tear is precious to God. They are redeemed for His glory. For our ultimate good. For the edification of the body of Christ. God transforms our suffering into opportunities to minister to others who are hurting around us. Cherish every tear...

Here it is Monday morning, and we're galloping full-speed into another week. This morning, in God's good providence, I read in 1 Samuel 13 of Saul's impatience as he waited on the prophet Samuel. With enemy soldiers swarming around him and his own troops fleeing in terror, Saul panicked - he didn't think he could wait any longer. Saul over-stepped his authority and offered the sacrifice himself, hoping to thereby gain God's favor and presence in battle. Instead, he lost everything. This morning, just in case I didn't catch it Saturday, God whispered again, "Wait."

And so I am "waiting for the wind," learning to cherish every tear, praying for the grace to know God's will and to be sensitive to His leading and His purposes for me in this season of life. Waiting, but keenly aware that God has not left me alone.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Just read through the book of Ruth again this morning. I LOVE this book. Not because of the romance between Ruth and Boaz, but because of the real main character, Naomi.

Naomi follows her husband to a foreign land. There, her husband and her two sons die. A widow, childless, with two dependent daughters-in-law, destitute, living in a foreign country, with no real hope for circumstances to improve. Man, this life is so very, very difficult sometimes. Emotionally, physically, mentally.

Hearing that living conditions have improved back in her homeland, Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth travel back to Bethlehem. Chapter 1 tells us that when Naomi finally trudged into town, the whole community was stirred. "Is this Naomi?" they asked. Old acquaintances barely recognized her. Grief, hardship, and poverty had aged and worn her into a very different woman from the Naomi they had last seen.

"Do not call me Naomi; call me Mara, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty...the Lord has testified against me and the Almighty has brought calamity upon me," Naomi answers their incredulous looks.

Ever been there? Ever felt like this broken woman, laying it all out plainly on the table? I have. That's how I feel this morning. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty... Empty, broken, little hope for things to improve.

But Naomi, even in her distress, encourages me. The LORD has brought me back empty. She's saying, from the lowest and hardest of places, that God is sovereign over all the affairs of life. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This present distress, this being ground into powder, even this is God working out His good purposes in me.

Naomi is no health-wealth-&-prosperity theologian. She doesn't sugar coat the heartbreak of life in a fallen world. But neither does she shrink from the truth that God is in control. She faces hard questions - and comes away with rock-solid answers.

You know the end of the story. Naomi - widowed, poor, old-beyond-childbearing - has a son. She is blessed and filled beyond her ability to imagine.

Appropriate that she should name the child Obed...worshipper.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


The sin of Achan. Israel's defeat at Ai. The ensuing investigation. As many times as I've read this story, it just doesn't get any easier.

As Israel moved into the Promised Land, they had very specific instructions from God: certain of the booty of conquest belonged exclusively to God. Hands off, guys, this stuff is devoted to the Lord.

After the stunning defeat of the fortified city of Jericho, the small town of Ai looked like a piece of cake. "No need sending the whole army up there," spies reported to Joshua. "We can take this place with only a handful of men."

Unbeknownst to Joshua, one of the spies had pilfered a little loot while on that initial fact-finding mission - a snazzy jacket, a handful of silver, a bar of gold. No big deal, right?

Well, the small force sent to take Ai was routed. Devastated and perplexed, Joshua fell on his face before the ark of the Lord and lay there pleading with God until evening. Finally, God spoke to Joshua and told him Achan's dirty little secret.

One soldier out of thousands, out of a nation of millions. So little treasure that it could be hidden beneath his cloak. Is it really that big of a deal? Apparently so, because God tells Joshua that, on account of Achan's sin, "I (God) will be with you no more..." Now we have a crisis of cosmic proportions.

God tells Joshua how to ferret out the thief. Achan finally stands before Joshua and confesses, "Truly, I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I did..."

Now, as a New Testament believer, this is where I want to quote 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Pshew! Achan confessed! Okay, now God is going to smile and say everything is okay, and Israel can get back to the business of moving into the Promised Land.

Wrong. Yes, Achan confessed - and just from reading the passage, I have to assume that his confession is backed with genuine remorse for his sin. But his confession did not exempt him from the consequences of his sin. Terrible consequences. Achan, his wife, his sons and his daughters, his livestock, his tent, and the loot he had stolen...they were all taken outside of the camp and destroyed. Burned, and then buried under a pile of stones. (Just as a side note here - Dads, if you are prone to excuse and make light of your personal sins, consider the horrible consequences to your children. Sobering stuff here. ...he did not perish alone for his iniquity. Joshua 22:20)

Joshua 7:15 describes Achan's seemingly-insignificant sin this way: ...he has transgressed the covenant of the LORD...he has done an outrageous thing in Israel.


Okay, that's some nasty business going down there outside of Ai - but that's the Old Testament. Sure, I transgress the covenant of the Lord, like Achan - but I'm a New Testament believer. Living under grace, right? What does his story have to do with me, sitting here in 2011?

Reading through this passage in Joshua last week, a couple of things came to mind that I think are imminently relevant to Christians today. First, Christ's atoning work on my behalf saves me from the judgment and eternal wrath of a just and holy God. That is no guarantee, however, that God will make me immune to the nearer consequences of my sin. The Christian who abuses his health is not exempt from high blood pressure or diabetes. The Christian who is unfaithful to his spouse is not exempt from marital strife or even divorce. The Christian who is prone to gossip should not be surprised to find herself excluded from the confidences of her sisters in Christ.

Grace is not a blank check to "transgress the covenant of the LORD." Scripture seems very clear - even as believers, our sin carries with it very real, often devastating, consequences. But, thankfully, the eternal weight of God's judgment of my sin has fallen to Another. Like Achan, I am guilty of the outrageous. I should be completely destroyed because of my disobedience. However, Christ has born that sentence on my behalf.

God, let me never make light of my sin, dismissing it as insignificant because I do not feel the full weight of its offensiveness to You. Rather, when faced with my own sinfulness, cause me to see it as truly outrageous. Bring to my mind my own Valley of Achor - let me remember Calvary. Then, tasting anew the wine of the Gospel of Christ, let me sing with fresh vigor the praises of so great a Savior!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Okay, I have a mystery that maybe you can help me solve. It's about a phenomenon that I'm too paleo-techno to understand.

At my email account, stuff that my computer/server/whatever thinks looks...well, junky...goes straight past my Inbox to my Junk box. Every day, I get at least a dozen emails (sometimes multiple dozens) routed straight to that holding pen, where they await the magic of the Delete button. Here's my question - who or what determines the particular junk mail I am sent?

Now, I came up with the idea that some magic comb or filter out there in cyberspace is busy continually monitoring my internet usage, looking for clues as to just what might interest me. The woman likes reading Tim Challies, over at - send her an ad for some Reformed literature. - or - She checks the national weather site daily...maybe we could tempt her with a cable subscription to The Weather Channel. - or - She chats with her college kids on Facebook. The woman is obviously a mom...what have we got in stock that we could market to moms? I mean, I could understand if I got junk email offering me T-shirts featuring Sacred Sandwich cartoons at unbelievably low prices. But, nooooooo.....

At least once a week, I get a message notifying me of the huge savings available on bamboo flooring. No kidding - bamboo flooring. Just the thing for a farmhouse sitting in the middle of a hayfield in northwest Tennessee, don't you think? A couple of times a week I receive opportunities to purchase watches that look like Rolexes and purses that look like Gucci bags (not that I have ever seen a Rolex or anything Gucci - go figure). Cheap prescription meds from Canada, carpet-cleaning services, plus-size women's clothing - have I ever given anyone reason to think I'm in the market for these things? (Okay, no comment from ya'll on that last one.)

But far and away the number one type of junk mail I get - at least a couple a day - is regarding "male enhancement" drugs. Okay, I am not a male (although, yes, I do realize that Camille is a male name). Nothing - I repeat NOTHING - on my body needs to be enhanced (although I might possibly be interested in something proven to shrink body parts).

People, my junk box is starting to kind of weird me out. Maybe you can explain what's going on. I need some answers.

Oh, and what's in your Inbox?

Monday, April 4, 2011


Some of you know that I have been looking for work recently...not that I don't have enough work to do already! Okay, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, lately, I've been looking for a job that pays. Dinero. Moolah. Cash on the barrel.

A part-time position as a dispatcher at our local E911 office opened up this winter, and it looked like it might be an ideal fit for me. Working nights - so I could still be home with the kids during the day. Twenty hours a week - so maybe I could still get a little sleep, too. No specialized education or training required before hiring. Great pay and benefits. I haven't seen much on the Help Wanted list that looked like I even remotely qualified, or like the schedule could possibly allow me to continue homeschooling. This position as a dispatcher, however, seemed promising.

And so, way back in early January, I submitted a resume. (That entire exercise, by the way, felt like an exercise in absurdity. Criminy! I've been changing diapers, cleaning toilets, and teaching Algebra for 20 years - how on earth was I supposed to sell that?!) Didn't hear anything back from E911, so, after a month, I assumed the position had been filled.

Then, I received an email asking me to attend a pre-interview orientation session. I went. Basically, this was a 2-hour class on how E911 was formed and just exactly what it is that they do. Awesome. Class. A little gross, yes, but I am so very thankful that I had the opportunity to attend that session. Let me put it to you this way - everyone reading this blog post should write a note to their local E911 office and say THANK YOU. Right now. Just go do it - you can check back in here when you finish.

Got that Thank You note in the mail? Okay, so I was one of 40+ candidates who attended the orientation sessions. Amazingly, I was called and asked to come in for an interview. I haven't interviewed for a job in over 16 years, so I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe it's middle age. Maybe it's hardening of the arteries. I don't know what it is - but that initial interview was genuinely a pleasure, not the scary anxiety-inducing ordeal I remember from a couple of decades ago.

Well, I made the first two cuts and was asked to come in for a follow-up interview. At this point, I was one of six candidates still being considered for the position. This interview felt even better than the first. Then, waiting for a final word....

Beep! Beep! Beep! We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an up-to-date report on the mental processes of the candidate in question....

I want this job. I really think I would like working with the other dispatchers that I've met at the E911 office - such an amazing group of people! Yeah, I can handle the additional workload. I perform well under stress, and I'm not a Screamer. And the extra income would definitely be great....

What the patootie am I thinking?! Like I don't already have enough on my plate?! Boy, adding a night job to my schedule is going to take some very creative management. Logisitics - getting to and from work; decompressing after a stressful night so that I'm fit to tackle schoolwork with the kiddos; planning meals...

This job would be a real opportunity for ministry - to other E911 employees, to people in emergency situations. The added income would allow me to help my family in very practical ways and to be more involved, financially, in the ministries of our new church. Maybe God has provided this opportunity as an answer to my prayers, precisely as a means to serve others.

God, would I be doing this for myself, or for You? My motives are not always clear, not even to myself. Am I doing this to establish some kind of self-promoting autonomy, or am I doing it out of a genuine desire to serve my family?

Interestingly, throughout this entire application process, I have felt very much wide open to the prospect of working at the E911 office, and also very much at ease with the prospect of not being selected for the position. And, I have earnestly desired some very clear guidance from the Lord. A friend who prays with me weekly prayed for exactly that - that I would know with certainty God's will for me concerning the dispatcher position. A "No" from the director would be fairly easy to read; a "Yes," not necessarily so easy, as I still had the liberty to accept or decline the job offer.

Well, today - April 1 - was the notification date for all prospective candidates. After probably an inordinate amount of prayer and introspection, I decided that, if offered the position, I would gladly accept it. If another person was selected for the job, that would be okay, too.

I received an email from the E911 director this afternoon informing me that I had not been selected for the position, but that they would be keeping my application on file for consideration for future openings. Yes, I am a bit disappointed.

I suppose I could take that as a "No." But, in God's economy, it is very much a clear answer to prayer.

That's an affirmative, Camille.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you...was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. - 2 Corinthians 1:19-20

Friday, April 1, 2011


On a normal morning at our house, I start the coffee, make breakfast for Steve and me, get hubby out the door, and then - usually - have about an hour to myself before time to start second breakfast. Yes, I do feel a little guilty for not rousting the kids out earlier...but I really like having at least a small window of time to myself before the day gets all crazy.

This morning, for example (the griddle is heating for oatmeal pancakes, so I'll have to write fast): Steve is on his way to a meeting in Milan; Ben is out scouting turkeys; someone is in the shower upstairs. Very soon, my offspring will be downstairs ready for breakfast and another day of schoolwork. Also very soon, baby Maryanna will be here. Very soon, my window of quiet opportunity will have vanished. What to do with the precious time I have, as the clock ticks away?

I confess: after I wave goodbye to Steve and then pour my second cup of coffee, my first thought is, "I'll check email." Of course, what that really means is, I'll check email/Facebook/blogspot/headline news/etc. (I'm a big fan of tabs.) Then, poof!, time's up. Time to make pancakes.

This year, I am once again endeavoring to read through the entire Bible. But I've discovered something weird - if I don't read my Bible during that quiet morning pause between first and second breakfasts, I almost never get back to it later in the day. Sure, there have been a few times when I've curled up at night and had a good read - but that's the exception, not the rule.

Another weird thing I've discovered - if I don't check email/Facebook/blog/news/etc. first thing in the morning, I'll most certainly do so later in the day.

Ouch. People, what does this say about what matters most to me?

Last week, reading in Deuteronomy, I came across this verse: Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. - Deut. 32:46-47

My very life?! Is this how I approach the Word of God?!

I'll get impatient with one of my kids because he's tying up the wireless internet connection stick thingy. I tend to defend my access to and time on the computer. Am I as zealous about defending my time in Scripture? Do I grieve a missed opportunity to spend a few minutes in solitude with God?

My prayer is that God will enable me to value His Word and communion with Him as I ought. Email, Facebook, blogging...they can just wait.

(Emily, thanks for taking over the griddle this morning!)