Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I have a photo of someone I care about (no, not one of my kids) doing a couple lines of coke. (Seriously, people. Not everything has to be posted on Facebook.) 
Every. Single. Time. I see it I am gutted.  

And I look at it often. 
I wonder if I'll ever get desensitized from over-viewing? 

This month I've got it open on one of my screens on my computer at work, as a back drop behind the documents and lists I'm working on. 

It's my reality check. 

So while I sit in my squeaky clean office, surrounded by images of happy families, smiling children, and affectionate couples bathed in bright colors and warm tones - I also have this very real, not-photoshopped, not-digitally enhanced, not-posed picture RIGHT HERE that breaks my heart. 

And I pray.
I pray that today, right now, RIGHT THIS SECOND, I pray that God is at work being God. I pray that He is meddling. Moving. Calling. Healing. Providing. Protecting. Convicting. 

That photo is a trigger for me. Not just to pray for that person, but for all the others who are using drugs as a means to get through the day. 


I have another trigger. It happens at 11:11 am and pm.
One of my print salespeople was telling me that she believes that 11:11 is a spiritual time of day for her. That fate/karma smiles on her at exactly that time. And because she asks me to pray for her whenever she drops into my office, I've told her that if I happen to look at the clock and see that it's 11:11, I'll think of her and say a wee prayer for her.   


Another trigger?

This one is very recent. And will likely end before January. But everytime this song comes up on my playlist, I pray for his upcoming concerts in the UK. 

(Once, years ago, at a Passion event, they had us in the crowd pause and pray out loud with the person beside us for the next event and the people who'd be attending. That was a powerful thing to be a part of. Especially when they showed us a video of people in Mexico praying for us the night before.)

What? You want to pray too? AWESOME. 

Here are the dates:


Dec 1  London - Bush Hall
Dec 2 Wolverhampton - The Robin 2
Dec 3  Bristol - The Fleece
Dec 4  Exeter - The Cavern
Dec 5  Tunbridge Wells - The Forum
Dec 6  Brighton - Coalition
Dec 7  Southampton - The Brook
Dec 9  Ispwich  - St Peter's By the Waterfront
Dec 10 Manchester - Night n Day Cafe
Dec 11 York - Fibbers
Dec 12 Reading  - The Bowery

Something else? One more thing about Martin Smith? He and his wife have 6 kids. AND in the comment section of that video I posted above is s a comment from one of his daughters: "love you dad." 

There's something about that that just touched my feelers.


An upate, in case you're interested about those magazines that we worked so hard to get across the border on Friday night.

On Monday morning when I got in to work, I was advised that the mags were just leaving Calgary. 
And then.
They haven't moved far since then.

Apparently there's a weather system? And road closures? 
The earliest we can expect them now? Maybe Thursday. 

I think in the future the trucks should go south from Kentucky then west to California then straight up the I5. 

All that to say, if you are on our mailing list and receive our Thriving Family magazines (and why don't you, if you don't?) it might be delayed this month. For reasons far beyond my control. 


Today was Nov 25.
One month til Christmas. 
Gasp. I canna believe it myself, 
But I removed two songs from my playlist (Savage Garden's Truly, Madly, Deeply,) (gag. WHAT was I thinking) (and an Adele song.) (Seriously. I can only take so much drama.)
AND I ADDED TWO Christmas songs:


Proud to be a Canuck fan this evening:


And lastly, with the American Thanksgiving just hours away, here' s bit that Anne Lamott wrote:

No matter how you say it, grace can transform an ordinary meal into a celebration—of family, love, and gratitude.

We didn’t say grace at our house when I was growing up because my parents were atheists. I knew even as a little girl that everyone at every table needed blessing and encouragement, but my family didn’t ask for it. Instead, my parents raised glasses of wine to the chef: Cheers. Dig in. But I had a terrible secret, which was that I believed in God, a divine presence who heard me when I prayed, who stayed close to me in the dark. So at 6 years old I began to infiltrate religious families like a spy—Mata Hari in plaid sneakers.
One of my best friends was a Catholic girl. Her boisterous family bowed its collective head and said, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts. …” I was so hungry for these words; it was like a cool breeze, a polite thank-you note to God, the silky magnetic energy of gratitude. I still love that line.

I believed that if your family said grace, it meant you were a happy family, all evidence to the contrary. But I saw at certain tables that an improvised grace could cause friction or discomfort. My friend Mark reports that at his big southern childhood Thanksgivings, someone always managed to say something that made poor Granny feel half dead. “It would be along the lines of ‘And Lord, we are just glad you have seen fit to keep Mama with us for one more year.’ We would all strain to see Granny giving him the fisheye.”
I noticed some families shortened the pro forma blessing so they could get right to the meal. If there were more males than females, it was a boy chant, said as one word: “GodisgreatGodisgoodletusthankHimforourfoodAmen.” I also noticed that grace usually wasn’t said if the kids were eating in front of the TV, as if God refused to listen over the sound of it.

And we’ve all been held hostage by grace sayers who use the opportunity to work the room, like the Church Lady. But more often, people simply say thank you—we understand how far short we must fall, how selfish we can be, how self-righteous, what brats. And yet God has given us this marvelous meal.
It turns out that my two brothers and I all grew up to be middle-aged believers. I’ve been a member of the same Presbyterian church for 27 years. My older brother became a born-again Christian—but don’t ask him to give the blessing, as it can last forever. I adore him, but your food will grow cold. My younger brother is an unconfirmed but freelance Catholic.

So now someone at our holiday tables always ends up saying grace. I think we’re in it for the pause, the quiet thanks for love and for our blessings, before the shoveling begins. For a minute, our stations are tuned to a broader, richer radius. We’re acknowledging that this food didn’t just magically appear: Someone grew it, ground it, bought it, baked it; wow.

We say thank you for the miracle that we have stuck together all these years, in spite of it all; that we have each other’s backs, and hilarious companionship. We say thank you for the plentiful and outrageous food: Kathy’s lox, Robby’s bûche de Noël. We pray to be mindful of the needs of others. We savor these moments out of time, when we are conscious of love’s presence, of Someone’s great abiding generosity to our dear and motley family, these holy moments of gratitude. And that is grace.


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Evenings with old friends. Catching up. Laughing. Sharing stories. Being happy (or sad) for each others' journeys. And then watching a movie that leaves you all wishing for a slightly different ending... 

2. Books that spark conversations and friends who are a part of that conversation: 

3. Music that makes you feel less angst about the upcoming season. (See links above.)

4. Summer memories. Just got this pic in my wedding gift thank you card. Bride and groom had their pics taken with each table of guests. This is who I sat with:

Shalom, all.

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