A Poem of Hope

Resurrection, imperfect

Sleep sleep old Sun, thou canst not have repast
As yet, the wound thou took’st on friday last;
Sleep then, and rest; The world may bearer thy stay,
A better Sun rose before thee to day,
Who, not content to’englighten all that dwell
On the earths face, as thou, enlightned hell,
And made the darker fires languish in that vale,
As, at thy presence here, our fires grow pale.
Whose body having walk’d on earth, and now
Hasting to Heaven, would, that he might allow
Himself unto all stations, and fill all,
For these three days become a mineral;
He was all gold when he lay down, but rose
All tincture, and doth not alone dispose
Leaden and iron wills to good, but is
Of power to make even sinful flesh like his.
Had one of those, whose credulous piety
Thought, that a Soul one might discern and see
Go from a body,’at this sepulcher been,
And, issuing from the sheet, this body seen,
He would have justly thought this body a soul,
If not of any man, yet of the whole.

–John Donne

Whine, whine, whine

I read this book about 10 years ago, not long after it came out.


Then I read this one:

 And, let’s not forget the Parenting with Love and Logic Seminar that Mark and I went to when the three older kids were little.

 All of these books/resources were good, and I recommend most of the concepts presented in them.  They all advocate the idea that children are to be taught when and how it is appropriate to express their feelings.

 Unfortunately, all the book reading in the world will not change the behavior of children.  Consistent admonition and consequences for wrong behavior and modeling are what really makes a difference.

 Lately, the whining at my house is driving me up the wall, and one would think we never practiced any of that.  But the fact is, we did some of the time.  Were we always consistent?  No.  Were we perfect role models, by no means.  Did we always present consquences for wrong behavior in a proper way?  No.    But the fact is, our kids do behave well a lot of the time–especially when they are with other people.  So I feel that the work that we did do is paying off some.

But, now I need some refresher courses in being consistent, in improving my own behavior and reactions to wrong behavior so that I can be a better example, and, what I believe is most important, coming up with consequences that appropriately match the offense.  Basically, I am looking for a more peaceful household.  It would be nice if I hadn’t read good books that had good advice so I could claim complete ignorance.  But I did indeed read these and several other good books on the subject.   So I am praying that all the good information floating around in my head will sink in again.  I am also trying to pray for our family more.  As the kids get older, I want peace not just for the here and now of our lives, but I want it for them as they enter adulthood and leave our home into the world.

The prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Goodwill Gleaning

Our women’s group at church kicked off the fall with a Goodwill fashion show and lunch last week.  A few of the young women modeled their thrifty and fashionable finds from Goodwill. Since 2/3 of our family’s wardrobe comes from Goodwill and other thrift store, this was a function I felt I must attend.  Since Mark was working, the girls came along wearing a couple of their cute dresses from Goodwill.

Our numbers for the event were small, but everyone enjoyed sharing info about their finds . . .  As I talked about which Goodwill stores I shop in and mentioned other thrift stores in St Louis that I like to frequent, I realized what a blessing it is to live in a country where the cast offs of some are perfectly usable and worth hunting down.  It is great to glean from the waste of others.  I can’t pretend that I don’t also send my own cast-offs to Goodwill and other charity shops.  I am also blessed to have somewhere to take things we can no longer use that still have some wear in them so they can be passed on to others.  It was also good for my girls to see that other women in the church whom they respect shop at second-hand stores.  They were able to see that we are not the only family that chooses to buy gently used clothes and household items whenever it is feasible.  I hope that as they mature, they will remember this and conclude that buying from second hand stores is not something to be ashamed of, but it is something that makes us better stewards of all that we have been given.

(P.S.  Did you know you can shop at Goodwill on-line?  I have never tried it, but I like the concept.  They also have a merchant site on Amazon for books.)

Working . . . Cooking

So I have been at the full-time job for 10 months now.  Wow.  When I was working full-time at home taking care of the house and children, I was always wondered how all those women who work full-time outside the home do everything.  I always thought it would be very hard.  And, I was right.  But, I have found with 10 months under my belt, that it is ok to let stuff go sometimes, and planning ahead really does help with getting more stuff done.

So a few weeks ago, I got just a little more deliberate in my meal planning.  In 3 weeks, I have done much better than I was doing, with just a little planning.  If I have all the grocery shopping mostly complete and a planned menu for every night, we save time and money.  I know.  It is nothing new.  I just rebelled against it for a long time.  I am in danger this next week of not being prepared, but I am giving myself grace until Monday night to get the full plan for the week underway.  Plus, my planning over the past month has me armed with a chicken enchilada casserole in the freezer.

I leave you with this recipe that I tried during week one of my “more deliberate meal planning” experiment . . .

Savory Grilled Pork Tenderloins with Herbed Vegetables


 2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2teaspoon pepper

 2 to 2 1/4 lb pork tenderloins

 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

16 medium green onions, diagonally sliced (1 cup)

2 medium bulbs fennel, cored, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Heat gas or charcoal grill. In small bowl, mix onion powder, 2 teaspoons thyme, the garlic salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme mixture on all sides of tenderloins. Immediately place on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 15 to 20 minutes, turning 3 times, until meat thermometer inserted in center reads 160°F.
  • Meanwhile, in 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook remaining ingredients in oil 4 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender.
  • To serve, cut tenderloins into slices. Spoon vegetable mixture over slices

When I made this, I used the broiler, and it worked great.  I also did not have fennel available, and we liked it fine without. Enjoy!

Well, Good!

Pet peeves about grammar seem trite and ridiculous to most people.  Yet, I always seem to find a few who share my propensity for noticing poor grammar usage.  This doesn’t mean my grammar is perfect, by the way.  This means I am striving to make my grammar better, and I would appreciate it if more people did the same.

A few nights ago, I posted a status update on Facebook about my grammar pet peeve regarding the incorrect use of “less” when the word “fewer” should be used.  I received 13 comments–grammar nerds unite!  The simple rule for the correct use of less or fewer is this: if you can count the items in question, use fewer.


Fewer people came to the party than the host was expecting.

There was less macaroni salad than potato salad.

There are fewer marbles in the box than game pieces.

You get the idea.

Now, onto good versus well.

Good is an adjective.  Well is an adverb.

The answer to the question, “How are you doing?” is well, not good.

When complimenting someone on his performance at a sporting event, one would say, “Wow, you really hit that ball well!”  Not, “You did good!” (Add hick accent in your mind to make this more authentic.)

If you want more grammar tips, I recommend Grammar Girl.


Time Passes


School, overall, is going well for the children.  The middlers (Nevin and Evangeline) are hitting a few bumps as they adjust to their new school, but I believe they are not insurmountable.  Charis and second grade get along well.  Yes.  I said, “well,” not “good.”   (That’s a topic for another post.) Calvin is still happy with homeschooling, and it is working out for us, too.  So no complaints on the school front!  Phew!


Our church lost an important part of the congregation last week when one of our members was killed in a house fire.  It was a shock to our system, and we will miss all this talented man added to our worship through his music and all he offered in terms of service as a deacon and beyond.  This came only a month or so after we lost one of our elderly members to cancer–another man who had served Christ and His church faithfully for 80+ years.

Also, Mark’s grandfather passed away in July, and several folks at the church where I work have been seriously ill, and some have passed away in the last couple months.  I am feeling a bit weighed down by all the sorrow around me–even when I am not one who is/was particularly close to those who have died or are sick.  I am praying for the families touched by these sorrows, and I know God is changing me through that.  One thing I am learning is to be more purposeful in what I do and to be thankful for each day as a gift from God.


We had a great visit with Mark’s parents in the first half of August.  It was wonderful to have 2 weeks with them being a part of our routine–however mundane that may be.

I have lamented not being able to get away to see my mom and brother since last July when my sister Katherine passed away.  The new job, kids’ schedules, Mark’s work schedule, finances–none of it seemed to work together to make a trip possible.  So, we are planning to have Mom and Dave out to visit at the end of October.  Mom had eye surgery this past Monday, and she needs to wait a month before making the trip.  I am looking forward to seeing them!

Nothing Earthshattering

So time marches on in my life . . . nothing big to share.  God continues to give me and our family gifts of grace and mercy.  I pray that I will not squander them, and I pray for forgiveness for the times that I have and will inevitably do it.

1 Thessalonians 4:9 -12 (esv)

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.

Psalm 16:5-11 (esv)

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.


The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.


I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have(N) set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.


Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.


You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.