Archive for October, 2013


A Real Scare…


Book Club Readers: The MIP Reading Plan is up for November’s book! Click here to see it!

Warning: Get your favorite beverage first. 

What I’m about to discuss is not even known among a lot of my friends and family. Perhaps I should send them all smelling salts by FedEx first? If I am blessed to call you a friend or a family member, just do me a favor–sit down first, okay? And if you have a heart condition, take your meds first. But, I promise…it’s going to be all right.

In April 2013 I did my annual check-ups. Yes, plural. I have to do one for my heart condition and one for the female stuff. I have been doing the former ever since 1999 when I first discovered I had Prinzmetal Angina. The latter I should have been doing all along, but honestly, like a lot of women, I had lapsed on that exam for several years.

Enter my best buddy, Kim. Kim, like me, grew weary of the annual exams where our doctors usually chew us out for weighing too much, not exercising enough, and not eating right. Thus, when she felt a lump in her breast, she ignored it. If Kim were here, she would tell you that is the stupidest thing she’s ever done and she paid the ultimate price for that neglect: her life.

Thus, I resolved to be a better medical patient and started going to my annual female appointment again. This includes a routine mammogram due to my age. Normally, these come back just fine, despite having the very common, usually “no-big-deal” fibro-cystic disease.

This year, I got a very short report saying that they needed to re-do the test. That was it. I kept reading the report to try and discern whether the “re-do” was because they hadn’t gotten a clear pic of the “girls” or if they suspected a tumor. Even when I called to schedule this new mammogram, the receptionist wouldn’t specify why I was doing the test again. However, the scary part is that the radiologist would give me the results right away–I would not have to wait 10 days to hear whether or not everything was okay. I considered this both good and bad news.

They couldn’t schedule the re-test right away. Not good for a woman who can make mountain ranges out of an anthill. I considered whether I wanted to relay this to my family for prayer requests or whether I just wanted to “go it alone” with my husband and a few close friends who understood all too well the ramifications of what this test might mean for me. I decided on the latter. The friends told me this was very common and that often, women’s breasts calcify as they age and most of the time, these calcifications are not harmful in any way.

Finally the day came for doing the re-test. The technician did finally confirm that my breasts were calcifying and that these calcifications had grown considerably since my last annual exam. Not only did I have to redo the original scans, but now I had to endure even more uncomfortable positions for this test. Basically, they tried to wring out my breasts like a dish rag and since I’m a C cup, this was not exactly my favorite thing to do on a Monday morning. But, I survived, probably because my other health adventures have taught me a lot about surviving stupid medical pain.

As I waited with the lovely enormous pink paper towel (I didn’t know the Jolly Green Giant had breasts.) over the top part of my bod for the technician or the radiologist to return, I was actually calm. All I can say is that faith in God and the prayers of my family and friends intervened there.

The technician came back and said that the questionable spots on the mammogram appeared to be just calcifications and I needed to confirm this again with another mammogram in late October. I scheduled the appointment and returned home.

Being the researcher that I am, I got on WebMD and discovered that 98% of the time the re-mammogram of such calcifications proves to be nothing to worry about. That was even more calming news. I let those who had been praying know that all seemed to be okay for now.

Enter the health adventures of the last 4 months. Let me just add that my annual heart check-up went extremely well, so I was not prepared for my heart to go berzerk in June and then to create a clot in one of my ventricles this past August. As I recuperated from all of that mess, my mind periodically remembered the eventual October appointment. Again, I thought, “Should I tell more of my family and friends?” Most of them were in rather large transitions themselves and it seemed silly to tell them about something that was probably going to be okay. However, I had seemed to be okay heart-wise as well. And look how that turned out! My luck was pretty much non-existent!

I decided to only tell a few more people about the situation and proceeded with last Monday’s test. Again I lived through the “booby-trap” process I had endured in the original re-test. (I’m thinking a vise grip would have been kinder to my poor left side.) And this time the radiologist saw no reason to re-test until my next female exam in 2014. Yay! Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!

In the meantime one reader friend has also had to deal with an actual diagnosis of breast cancer. It is just scary how many women I know who face these rather unnerving, somewhat painful experiences every day and seldom tell a lot of people simply because they just don’t want to worry people unnecessarily.

The good news? Even if diagnosed, your chances of surviving are awesome today, particularly if you are diagnosed at Stage 1 and Stage 2. In fact I just learned that a vaccine is expected for breast cancer in 10 to 15 years. The friend recently diagnosed said that our country is full of great resources and support, often only a phone call or web site away.

So, dear lady readers: Is it time for a check-up? If so, make that appointment today. Don’t let cost deter you. Many places make mammograms and other female appointments free throughout the year. It never hurts to ask! All they can say is no. But, keep asking.

And gentlemen readers: Have you checked on your favorite person of the opposite gender to make sure she is having those appointments regularly? Be a man and stumble through it, if you have to. At least she will know you care. And that may be the very thing that gets her to the enormous, pink paper towel. You may even save her life. And just for the record, men get breast cancer, too. So, make sure you’re going to YOUR appointments, too.

Yes, friends, it’s that important. The life you save may be your own. And I am always here for support any way you need it. Why? Because I made the decision to keep my appointments. 🙂

Friday’s Post: The Patron Saint of Writers…and???

You might also like: Lessons Learned from the 2009 Dallas Breast Cancer 3 DayHow I Cope with a Heart that’s a Ticking Time Bomb, and 8 Women Who Changed My Life


Word of the Week: jape…

Picture picture

Picture picture

Well, my WOW lovers…my daughter is smarter than me…she knew the definition of last week’s Word of the Week (WOW) all too well. (This should come as no shock–I think she was born smarter than me and I’ve been trying to catch up to her ever since. It’s not working.)

It may have something to do with the fact that she moved to Texas when she was 2. A rowel is the spinning part of a spur. However, I think I like my brother’s definition the best: “Scooby-Doo’s towel.” Now, you know where I got my warped sense of humor. This is the nonsense I have had to put up with for my entire life.

This week’s WOW is the word jape. Here are my definition guesses for jape:

jape 1. a jaunty cape. (Some of you just looked up the word jaunty, didn’t you?! Caught ya! Aha! It’s okay…You just got a 2-for-1 deal this week on WOW.) 2. a gaping wound sustained while jumping 3. an escape that occurs via jay-walking

What’s your guess for jape?

Wednesday’s Post: The REAL reason I posted all that stuff about the 3 Day Walk…and no, it’s not the reason you’re thinking about!

You might also like: Word of the Week: rowel, Word of the Week: redound, Word of the Week: miscible, Word of the Week: depone, and Word of the Week: tourbillion


Slow Reader Friday: Life Interrupted…


Well, Book Club Homies…we’re here! I hope you have taken the journey with me as I read Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. And here’s why: I was fortunate to hear Priscilla Shirer speak at the 2013 Women of Faith conference in Dallas. And Priscilla had a tough place on the agenda–right after a filling lunch! She was quick to acknowledge that most of her audience might be nodding off during her time slot! But, she was oh, so wrong–she held my attention the entire time she spoke!

Thus, I was anxious to make the first MIP Book Club Selection her book, Life Interrupted. I have to confess that I chose her book partly because of the ridiculously cheap price for the Kindle edition–a mere $ 2.99. But, it turned out to be a GREAT $ 2.99 to pay. The stoic Scot over here found herself crying several times as I read about her take on the book of Jonah.

I don’t know about you, but I can so relate to Jonah. Running away from my responsibilities is one of my favorite hobbies! But Shirer carefully and skillfully shows us why God did what He did with Jonah and how we, as modern-day Jonahs, can learn to embrace an interrupted life as something new and magnificent and even as an adventure.

It is truly difficult to pick my traditional 3 quotes today, because I’d like to put about 19 here, but here are the ones I selected:

1. “…interruptions are only negative when we deem the person, problem, or circumstance that’s forcing itself on us to be of less value or interest than what we were doing before.”

2. “Hold your own plans loosely and stay ready to submit to His. Consider them to be more important, more desirable than anything you could dream up on your own.

3. “Sometimes the divine intervention of God means breaking allegiance with what you love.”

So, dear Book Club Readers (and Slow Reader Friday Readers!), I have a few questions for you to answer below. Today I will ask you a few more than I will in future months, simply because I want your input about the type of books you like to read, etc. I will do my best to take your interests to heart when I’m considering books for the future:

a) Do you prefer Christian-oriented books or something different?

b) What genre of book is your favorite? Biographies, novels, non-fiction, self-improvement, historical accounts, mysteries, sci-fi???

c) What is the highest you are willing to shell out for a Book Club book? (I’m trying not to break your budget, so please be honest and you can answer under an “assumed name,” if necessary.)

Here are the Life Interrupted questions:

d) On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being “WOW! Loved this book” and 1 being “Really? Why did you even select this book???”, where would you rate this book?

e) What was the most memorable quote of the book for you? Why?

f) What other impressions (good, bad or indifferent) did you have to the book? (Remember–I’m not judging anyone about anything here–you have a right to your own opinion–even if it’s completely different from my own!)

Thanks, in advance, for sharing!

Click here for the November 2013 Book Club Selection!

Monday’s Post: How roweled up are you?

You might also like: Slow Reader Friday: Mere Christianity, Book Club, and Slow Reader Thursday: Heaven by Randy Alcorn


November 2013 Book Club Selection


Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do by Christine Caine

Amazon Link:

Amazon Cost: Kindle Edition: $ 7.69; Paperback: $ 5.24 – 12.52; Audible Audio Edition: $ 9.99 or Free with a 30 day trial of Audible

ISBN-10: 0310333873
ISBN-13: 978-0310333876

About Christine Caine:

MIP Reading Plan for Undaunted:

Friday, November 1st: Foreword

Saturday, November 2nd: Chapter 1

Monday, November 4th: Chapter 2

Tuesday, November 5th & Wednesday, November 6th: Chapter 3

Thursday, November 7th: Chapter 4

Friday, November 8th & Saturday, November 9th: Chapter 5

Monday, November 11th & Tuesday, November 12th: Chapter 6

Wednesday, November 13th & Thursday, November 13th: Chapter 7

Friday, November 15th: Chapter 8

Saturday, November 16th & Monday, November 18th: Chapter 9

Tuesday, November 19th: Chapter 10

Wednesday, November 20th: Conclusion

Friday, November 22nd: Slow Reader Friday Post/Book Discussion & Announcement of the December 2013 MIP Book Selection


Lessons Learned from 7 Years on Facebook…

Warning: War and Peace was shorter. If you’re looking for the blog pic, now you know why it’s missing.

I can see where FB will come in handy for my Alzheimer’s years. Several times I have wondered how long I’ve been on FB…tomorrow it will have been 7 years. I originally wrote the first 38 “lessons” 2 years ago.  In only 2 short years I’ve “learned” nearly 20 new lessons. But you may want to read the first 38 again, because there are updates! For those of you who joined FB right after Zuckerberg, I’m sure 7 years seems like a very ho-hum fact.  But, for moms, it’s rather monumental. Because in 2006 I only knew one other mom who stalked her kids’ pages on FB. And she stalked long before we called it stalking.

I was getting concerned about what the daughter was spending so much time doing on this thing called Facebook.  And so I took my lunch hour to create an account to check privacy issues, etc.  My naive thinking was: “I’ll create the account, check on her and then delete the account.” WRONG!  Here’s why:

1. If you create your account right now, the daughter will post to your wall 5 seconds later.  And this was before smart phones.  And she was at school at the time.  Ahem.

2. Just when you think you’re irrelevant to the next generation, 8 teens will comment on your status statements and/or obnoxious note postings. Don’t know what a Facebook note is? It’s what we did to entertain ourselves on FB before games, apps and sharing.

3. You can write 536 pages of FB notes in 6 years while mothering, working, going to grad school, dealing with migraines, planning a wedding, planning graduation celebrations, dealing with your demented dad (literally), planning family funerals, going on date nights and vacations with the hubby, training for the 3 Day, fundraising for the 3 Day, walking the 3 Day and renovating your bathroom.

4.  If you insert the phrase, “and a partridge in a pear tree” into your next note on FB, it will instantly get a comment. I haven’t figured out why this is true yet.

5. Just when you thought you could get away with posting something truly devious on FB, your entire family (including your in-laws), your boss, your minister, your kids’ teachers and your dog will all join FB. I haven’t noticed much action on the dog’s page. What is she hiding? Dog bones, most likely.

6. The best way to know who my son is dating is to look for recent comments on his wall. Bwahahahaha. (Unfortunately, he’s now on to me.) But it was handy for his formative years.

7. If the girlfriend requests you as a friend, it’s serious!

8. If the boyfriend requests you as a friend, it’s really serious!

9. If the boyfriend starts asking you questions about your daughter on FB, start recording “Say Yes to the Dress” on your DVR. I love you, DSL. 🙂

10.  If you write 536 pages of notes on FB in 6 years, you will start getting the following ads on your feed: self-publishing companies, writing workshops, and “How would you like to pilot the next web site by FB? We will feature writers prominently.”  Even I still don’t completely consider myself a writer. Writers have published books.

11. When you tell 50 college students that you have 400 friends and have been on FB for 7 years, they will laugh in your face. And yes, I know for you massively popular folks out there with over 1000+ friends, 400 is a drop in the bucket, but here’s a little factoid to ponder…I rarely, if ever, send a friend request.  If you get one from me, consider yourself at the top of my A List.

12. Just when you set your privacy settings to prevent weirdos from seeing your stuff, 5 strangers will request you. Supposedly to read your 536 pages of notes.  Yeah, okay. Right. Either they don’t have a life, or they are…friends of your kids. What?!? See # 2.

13. Want to have fun on FB sometime?  Write 536 pages of notes and then post one asking for suggestions on what to name your future book…oh, my.  Let’s just say that the next generation is far more literate than we give them credit for and they know me way too well.

14. Etsy is a site where people make a lot of things and then sell them. You name it…it’s sold there. The scary part is that I didn’t know I needed this stuff. I wouldn’t be surprised if they sell…partridges in a pear tree…and the bird seed to feed them. See # 4.

15. When you get bored with FB, start a Pinterest account.  The number of people following me on Pinterest scares me, quite frankly.  It’s the Like feature on FB with pictures…and it’s dangerous…to my wallet and my waistline. But oh, so handy, when helping the daughter plan a wedding.

16. Just when I get used to where everything is on my feed, profile and note-writing interface, FB will move it.  This will tick me off for about 2 weeks, until I find some feature I can’t live without. That Mark Zuckerberg is such a clever guy. Hmmm…

17. Everyone else will be ticked off for the same two weeks.

18.  For my middle-aged and more senior friends, I have somehow now become the “Supreme Overlord Potentate” of how to navigate FB successfully as a newbie.  And that leads me to # 19….

19.  The Tribe is not a group of Native Americans. And they have a language all their own.  If you hang with them long enough, they may translate for you, but don’t count on it.

20. You can say really interesting things about your husband because he is foolish enough to stay off FB….bwahahahaha. Unfortunately, all my FB friends will tell him about it.

21. Because you entered that you were married to your husband in 2007, FB assumes that you have only been married for 6 years. This is news to my grown-up children who all claim him as Dad. They even have the birth certificates to prove it.

22. When you announce to the FB world that you have attended your first grad school class, FB will start sending you ads about considering various online grad schools for your degree. Zuckerberg:  Timing is everything. You should understand that concept.

23. The most original, funny, thought-provoking status statements will come from people who no longer have an account on FB. Grr. Fortunately, peer pressure will usually intervene and they’ll be back on FB when they realize that Twitter isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

24. When you are deep in thought trying to write something pithy on FB, that’s when your teenage son will decide, for once, to tell you all the details of his life. Yes, youngest child, that one was for you.  But, that’s okay…that’s what Moms are for. I’m not complaining, just noting.

25. When you brag about how you really care about the correct spelling of all words on FB, that’s when you will post a note with 5 typos. Double Grr. I probably have 5 here already. And let’s not even talk about my creative use of grammar…as in this very sentence.

26. FB knows how to stab you right in the heart when it asks you to reconnect with someone you haven’t heard from in a while on FB. If FB figures out how to friend my “heavenly friends,” I’m theirs for life….even if they move my stuff around again. (Thankfully, Zuckerberg figured out that some profiles are kept “active” for memorial purposes and this “feature” has now been deleted. I like to think it’s because of this note. I enjoy living in Fantasyland.)

27. My friends are diverse on FB. Keeping up with that diversity is what has made me an insomniac for 7 years.  Prior to that I was just a sleep-deprived mother.

28. I do not like ads for sites where I have to give them email addresses in order to see the site.  Hear that, FB??? (Apparently, they are not listening, because Zuckerberg is now trying to make money off of FB. As if his fortune wasn’t already big enough.)

29. I do not like apps that ask me to fill out a ridiculous survey in order to tell me what my Star Trek name is, etc. (This does now seem fairly diminished in popularity, probably because all of them asked for your email address and Zuckerberg wasn’t making enough money off of them. See # 28.)

30.  Perhaps the best function of FB is to allow people to say they’re having a rough time.  When it’s your turn to express such thoughts, expect to instantly get at least a handful of comments from your friends telling you it’s going to be okay.  Many of us will be blessed to have even more. Some friends will even make a date with you to cheer you up.

31. Forgetful about birthdays? Be on FB! And for the record, I don’t supply my birthday upon request…it’s already on  the feed! And no, I don’t put down the year for my b-day. Deal with it.

32. Feeling like Molly Ringwald on your birthday? Join FB. What’s even more impressive is that each wish comes with a specific inside joke between you and that friend. And if you have no idea why I referred to Molly Ringwald, it’s an inside joke for those of us who appreciate John Hughes and Easy A.

33. In 2005 I thought the words friend and message were nouns. Today I think otherwise.  They are some of the most “active” words in my vocabulary now.

34. I am not a Tweeter. Watch. Tomorrow I will subscribe to Twitter. (I now have 143 Twitter followers. Tomorrow it will probably be 2 and then on Friday it will probably be 150. Conclusion? Twitter folks are really fickle.  #feelingfickleaboutTwitter.)

35. My FB notes were often longer than my grad school papers. This is because I was writing FB notes to avoid writing grad school papers.

36. Never friend your professors. Oops. Too late. Hi, Dr. A. Hi, Dr. L. Yes, the paper was turned in on time. No guarantees on typos or proper grammar, though.

37.  What is myspace?

38. The last person to comment on your wall, 7 years later, will be…your now married daughter..while she’s in school. There’s goes Mother of the Year again. Can I at least blame her smart phone now???

39. FB notes were very convenient for the thoughts racing through my head at 1 am until I decided to start this blog and move them to MIP. That only took two months of non-stop work.

40. After writing FB notes for 6 years, you will have enough fodder for your blog for the next 3 years.

41. When you don’t think keeping up with a Twitter following, your personal FB page and your blog is enough, start a professional page on FB. And the people who like my page are not fickle. See # 34.

42. Book agents will not look at your stuff until you have 1000 for both # 34 and # 41. Guess that means I’m self-publishing my books. That’s okay–I really don’t like query letters, book outlines and giving a random critic 15% of my income anyway.

43. Your best source for writing feedback? The hubby who’s still never been on FB.

44. If your writing is getting a little stagnant, go to Alaska for 12 days and then write about it afterwards. I think I should get a commission from for all the subsequent business I’ve now sent their way. They apparently listen just as well as Zuckerberg. See # 28.

45. Heart attacks are a great way to drive readership on FB, Twitter and your blog. Thus, I plan on scheduling 1 health crisis per year. This shouldn’t be too difficult since I only have about 5 conditions that are all potentially-life threatening. The tricky part will be to figure out how to have them without spending $ 139,000. Does that mean a book agent has to pay 15% of that cost? If so, then I retract # 42.

46. I can now tell FB how much I hate their ads. However, Zuckerberg still isn’t listening. See # 28.

47. I have learned to hate Candy Crush Saga and I’ve never played a single game of it. I learned not to play FB after watching perfectly sane people lose it over their cows in Farmville. The counselor in me is thinking of starting a support group for people addicted to FB games. I think I could make some money off of this. Of course the book agent and Zuckerberg will probably want 15% each. But, I think I’m okay with this. Move over, Warren Buffett…another gazillionaire is born.

48. I now know the latest info on every ball team in the nation, the latest in the news, and what twerking is without ever having to visit other web sites. I think I could have lived without knowing the latter.

49. Never, ever begin a discussion on politics on FB.

50. The only caveat to # 49 is saying that you’re ready to throw every last member of Congress out of office in 2013. That’s good for about 15,000 likes.

51. Where is the “Dislike” button? When trying to comfort someone, “liking” their statement just seems flat wrong. How about a “I care about you” button??? Oh, my bad. Zuckerberg isn’t listening. See # 28.

52. The amount of “stuff” on my feed has exponentially increased since 2006. I’m thinking of creating a “Where’s Waldo?” app for FB. Yessss…another gazillionaire idea. Of course, you can only play it if you request that all of your friends play it and you ask for their email addresses. See # 28 and # 47.

53. Never, ever ask FB to give you updates on your phone unless you enjoy plugging in your phone.

54. I used to read my church’s newsletter to know what’s going on at my church. Now, I just go to my church’s page. Madalyn Murray O’Hair just rolled over in her grave and 5 blog readers just googled her.

55. Sharing used to involve giving something to another person that originally belonged to you. Now it means taking someone’s else’s stuff and claiming it as your own brilliance. Guilty as charged.

56. I rarely leave my home thanks to the 5 life-threatening health conditions and yet I know more about my neighbors than I did when I actually walked my entire neighborhood daily. This. Is. Scary. And the last sentence is also an FB innovation. Period. Exclamation. Point.

57. In 2006 I was too scared to write publicly. And writing a book was even more scary. Now, I’m writing 2 books and a blog. That is all due to Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and my faithful family and friends who interact with me there daily. You have my profound thanks for turning me into a raving lunatic writer.

Maybe in 7 more years I’ll understand Twitter. #hopeless

Friday’s Post: The very first MIP Book Club Day! Be there!

You might also like: Lessons Learned from the 2009 Dallas Breast Cancer 3 Day, Lessons Learned from Facebook Page Insights, & Lessons Learned from Heart Attacks 3 & 4


Word of the Week: rowel…

Picture picture

Picture picture

Book Clubbers: I’m finished with Chapter 14. How about you? This is the week of the online discussion of the book (Friday, 10/25!). Can’t wait to hear your comments.

Last week’s Word of the Week (WOW) was redound. Redound has several meanings, according to Merriam-Webster online:

redound 1.  to become swollen (although says this is an archaic definition) 2. to have an effect for good or ill (Sooooo, why wouldn’t you just say it has an effect????) 3. to become transferred or added

I think I can safely say that redound has not redounded on me. What?!?! Maybe it’s time for a nap for MaryAnn?

This week’s WOW is rowel. Here are my guesses for its definitions:

rowel: (ˈrau̇(-ə)l) 1. a vowel that growls 2. the British way to spell roll 3. a towel rolled up and used to swat random people in a locker room (or physical abuse suffered at the hands of my older brothers who probably learned such a technique from being in locker rooms way too often)

What do you think it means?

Wednesday’s Post: You know you’re ancient when….

You might also like: Word of the Week: redound; Word of the Week: miscible; Word of the Week: depone; Word of the Week: tourbillion; and Word of the Week: orgulous



Slow Reader Friday: Mere Christianity…


Book Club Readers: Next Friday is when I will review Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer! Plus, I will announce the November Book Club Selection. Please finish the book prior to Friday and have your comments ready! I am very anxious to hear your thoughts about it!

Probably every contemporary Christian has read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. While I have read some of his works (The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters), I have to be honest that still haven’t read what many consider to be Lewis’ masterpiece, aka Mere Christianity!  Here are my rather late impressions.

First, those new to Lewis’ work need to remember that he is English and wrote in the early to mid-20th century. There are references and illustrations that are, for today’s reader, a bit dated and no longer applicable. However, an overwhelming portion of the book is still just as relevant today as it was when C. S. Lewis first wrote it. And despite the fact that Lewis was a noted professor at one of the most prestigious English universities, Lewis writes in an easily understood manner. And yet, the reader must also read “up.” I did find myself thoroughly scratching my head to follow a few of his arguments and statements.

The primary target for this book are the non-believers. And through Lewis’ convincing writing, even a non-believer has to admit that Lewis’ arguments are compelling and difficult to ignore. Perhaps this is because Lewis once found himself in the “non-believer category.”

When I chose to read it, I did not realize I was picking up my dad’s copy who was a Presbyterian minister and former college professor. He passed away in 2008 and to see his penciled-in notes throughout this paperback was fascinating. I realized, by Dad’s notes, that he had probably purchased this copy to teach Sunday School classes about the book.

In some places I would have underlined and commented on the same things my dad did. In other places I was drawn to far different statements than my dad. Since I generally share three quotes that stood out to me in my book reviews, I thought it would be fun to pick three quotes that also stood out to my dad, so this Friday, you’re getting a “two-for-one” deal!  Here are a few of Dad’s favorites:

1. “As long as you are proud you cannot know God.”

2. “Christ offers something for nothing: He even offers everything for nothing…..the difficulty is to reach the point of recognizing that all we have done and can do is nothing.”

3. “God is not hurried along in the Time-stream of this universe any more than an author is hurried along in the imaginary time of his own novel. He has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died, He died for you individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world.”

Here are my favorites:

1. “Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage. When you go to church you are really listening-in to the secret wireless from our friends: that is why the enemy is so anxious to prevent us from going. He does it by playing on our conceit and laziness and intellectual snobbery.”

2. “And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata–of creatures that worked like machines–would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in the ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.”

3. “The better stuff a creature is made of–the cleverer and stronger and freer it is–then the better it will be if it goes right, but also the worse it will be if it goes wrong.”

So, dear teacher and Dear Teacher, thanks for giving a middle-aged Christian some “new” things to ponder. And Dad, if you’re up there in Heaven seeing this, thanks for the “Cliffs Notes.”

Monday’s Post: Do you live in fear of redound or anticipate it?

You might also like: Slow Reader Thursday: Heaven by Randy Alcorn, Slow Reader Thursday: Going Places, and Slow Reader Thursday: A Grace Disguised


Lessons Learned from the 2009 Dallas Breast Cancer 3 Day…

Pink Ribbon 

A mere 4 years ago (2009) I walked, along with 3 wonderful women, 60 miles in 3 days. Yes, back-to-back-to-back days. If I can do it while closing in on the big 5-0, you can, too. (And I wasn’t the oldest chick on the course…by a long shot!) All you need is determination, love, compassion and support from your family and friends. Here’s what I learned from my 3 Day:

1. Pink foam bunny ears can be a hot commodity. Do not get in my teammate’s way when she’s hunting for them.

2. I still remember how to do the Bump to Kool & the Gang…unfortunately, I did not remember how inflexible and slow I am at doing it now.

3. Don’t get mesmerized by the pretty pink flags at the Opening Ceremony and wind up at the back of the walker crowd.

4. You can take any theme and turn it into something about boobs…the favorites? “Boobstock” by the 60s hippie push van, “We’re Busted” by the Jailhouse Rock push van, and “No booty, just ta-ta’s” by the Pirate push van.

5. When your feet get tired, walk past an elementary school, complete with a wide variety of cute pink ribbon pictures, tiny hands desperately trying to reach above their playground fence to give you a high five, and teachers with pink wigs and ties on.

6. Dallas cops are the best…they will stand, in their uniforms, in the hot, Texas sun all day to hold up traffic so you can get through busy intersections and still wave their pink foam bunny ears at you (and wear pink wigs and beads and flowers). They’ll even stage photos for you of them arresting you.

7. The orange safety crew is the most tireless group of people I’ve ever seen.

8. 3 Day mileage is not calculated the same way my car and my pedometer does it. Apparently, it’s computed twice as long.

9. Pink tents up ahead is your salvation.

10. The port-a-pots with the shortest lines are the farthest away from where you are standing.

11. It only takes 2 days to forget how to flush a toilet.

12. No matter how hard you try to keep from tearing the wipies, you’ll tear the wipies.

13. Actual soap and actual water is a luxury. Purex is a necessity.

14. Toilet paper is a luxury.

15. Take Imodium AD with you on the 3 Day…let’s not go into why.

16. I can retie my shoelaces, call the hubby, re-stretch my lower extremities and eat a package of baby carrots all during one light cycle at a Dallas intersection.

17. When you get winded, drink water.

18. When you get lightheaded, drink Gatorade.

19. When you get nauseous, suck it up, Princess.

20. The next great innovation for the 3 Day will be portable morphine IVs.

21. I want the adhesive tape concession next year.

22. My teammate is not very fond of  eating chicken for lunch.

23. Another teammate doesn’t like peel on her apples.

24. Sitting on acorns is actually comfy.

25. A curb is your friend at the pit stop…it’s your enemy while walking. (And who designed those mile-high versions????)

26. I have a new appreciation for handicap accessible sidewalks.

27. Warning signs need warnings.

28. Nowhere else will the pack of walkers ahead warn you of bikers, acorns, traffic sign poles, and uneven sidewalks.

29. It doesn’t matter what collegiate team you root for on the 3 Day…there is someone else there who roots for them as well.

30. When you think you can’t take it anymore, a cheer station complete with dogs in pink bandannas saying “Dogs for the Cure”, toddling little girls in tutus, the craziest signs, cold water, bubblegum, Twizzlers, Snickers, Starbursts, Starbucks, stickers, high fives, and your family and friends will do the trick. (I was ready to walk up mountains after that!)

31. Only at the 3 Day is it normal for the most macho men to wear pink boxers, pink sox, tutus and pink fanny packs.

32. Harley bikers are the most compassionate people in the world.

33. Smuckers PB and J’s, pocket bananas, and trail mix are da bomb.

34. A sea of hot pink tents is home.

35. Young, handsome, virile men walk on eggshells after the 2nd day of the 3 Day.

36. Your feet going numb is actually a good thing.

37. Speed is not the key on the 3rd day.

38. Irony is walking past the Hooters during the 3 day and no waitresses in orange shorts come out to greet you…as every other restaurant’s staff did.

39. The Dallas West End cheer station will make you feel like a rock star.

40. When the sign says, “Uptown”, it means it. Where the heck was the sign for “Downtown”?

41. Going down hurts as much as going up…pray for even sidewalks.

42. Narrow sidewalks are just annoying.

43. Homeowners who don’t trim their prickly bushes are now targeted for their trees getting TPed…that is, if we can find any TP.

44. Homeowners who don’t trim off their lower tree branches should see # 43.

45. Preston Hollow is one pretty neighborhood…no wonder George and Laura decided to move there.

46. Little girls in pink PJs on a Sunday morning will automatically make you smile and go Awww.

47. There is a little 3 year old boy who hit his daddy’s pitched ball “out of the park” and already has a 2900 member cheering base. He even knows how to tip his cap to his fans. Tell the Rangers to sign him now.

48. Yes, MaryAnn can be quiet…it’s called she’s composing her next FB note.

49. We now know my teammate’s  middle name…don’t ask.

50. Don’t ask the tall guy in the green, pink and white tutu to demonstrate his stretching techniques.

51. The Bra Bug is a photo op.

52. I am now a street walker…but no one wanted to pick me up this weekend, for some reason…oh, it might be my stench….and the Grand Canyons under my eyes.

53. Remind your teammates to put their underwear on right side out.

54. Remind yourself to put on deodorant.

55. Masseuses could make a fortune massaging feet and my kids can find the prettiest pink roses.

56. Nobody cares that your pedicure is 19 years old at lunchtime on the 3rd Day…they’re more impressed if you don’t have blister Band-Aids all over your foot.

57. Want applause? Do the entire Thriller dance at lunchtime on the 3rd Day of the 3 Day.

58. Don’t play “Party in the USA” around my teammates unless you wanna get slugged.

59. Amusing texts from family and friends are the only way to survive while on the 3 Day.

60. Your family and friends are now officially “Walker Stalkers”. 🙂

61. Where you walk on the 3 Day is apparently a national secret.

62. Daily route cards are more valuable than gold.

63. Dallas 3 Day walkers raised $ 7.5 million. Yet, there were only 2900 walkers (they’ll take 5000).

64. The number of volunteer crew members needed to run a 3 Day? 450.

65. The number of volunteer crew members with smiles on their faces and still shaking “their tail feathers” after 3 days? 450.

66. Kim can do Chemo on Friday, cheer for her team on Saturday and Sunday and be too sick to party with you afterward…she’s my hero.

67. You know your shoes stink when your husband sprays them with enough Axe for a third world country.

68. You know you stink when even you would prefer not to be around you.

69. Don’t get between my teammates and the wine.

70. I have the most supportive friends and family in the world, including those who wrote us all notes which we found at the 3 Day post office on Day 2.

71. The most beautiful sights in the world are an overweight woman and a pregnant woman limping along for the lumps.

72. You can jay walk for jugs!

73. 10 years ago I had trouble walking around the block after 2 heart attacks…this weekend I walked 60 miles….God is good. And yes, that will bring tears to my eyes.

74. Yes, I will cry at the opening and closing ceremonies…yes, me.

75. Breast Cancer still hasn’t been cured, but we’re making progress. Doing something that matters….matters.

In early November a friend of a friend, Ms. Janet Carter, will be walking her 2nd 3 Day. She walks in memory of a friend who lost her battle with breast cancer at the tender age of 24. Please donate so that she can qualify to walk for her by going to her page here.

I am shocked that Americans haven’t risen up and maxed out the limit for walkers at every 3 Day. Let’s show them how big the heart of America is. There is no such thing as too old, too fat, too creaky, too sick. There is no such thing as unable to raise the funds (It just takes some perseverance and some audacity and last time I checked, Americans are audacious.). There is no such thing as “It’s a bad time for me.” Four women with 7 jobs, families and working on 3 degrees managed to find the time. Start early, start now…the site is:

Love you all…thanks for what you did to try and stop breast cancer from harming those we love (and what you continue to do)…I’m sure you have saved a life….maybe more than one. Maybe you saved your own.

Friday’s Post: What took me so blessedly long to read this book?

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Walking 18 Miles and 15 Miles Back-to-Back and Lessons Learned from Walking 18.2 Miles…in the Rain


Word of the Week: redound…

Picture picture

Picture picture

Book Club UpdateWe’re supposed to be on Chapter 10 today of Life Interrupted. Don’t be Jonah and run away from your responsibilities! 🙂

Join me and my friends for the 2014 Dallas Women of Faith conference on September 19-20! If you book your ticket now, you will save $ 30 off the regular price (only $ 71!). This will also include a one-night stay for the conference! Message here if you are interested. Tickets are going fast! Do you have to be a Christian? Nah. Do you have to be a member of my church or be in my family or one of my buddies? Nah. Just join us.

Not sure why you’re on the planet? Burned out? Live in my “neck of the woods”? Female? Then, join me and my buddies at Oakdale United Methodist Church on Sunday evenings beginning 10/27 at 5 pm for a study on our unique place in the world. We will be using the book, S.H.A.P.E., for our study. Cost of the book is $ 12.00 or you can download the Kindle version here. Not a Christian? Not an Oakdale member? Trust me–my buddies and I really don’t care–just join us anyway.

Have you encountered a word you did not know this week? Then send it to me in a message here and if I don’t already know it, you may just find it as one of our future WOWs! A reader already sent me such a word and I’ve already added it to the list and it is just a really fun-sounding word, so I am looking forward to the week we get to discuss it. Keep in mind that I am working my way through a list of words I’ve already chosen, so it may be a while before your word appears, but have no fear, it will appear eventually!

Okay, Word Lovers, enough updates and announcements! Last week’s Word of the Week (WOW) was miscible. According to Merriam-Webster Online, miscible means capable of being mixed; specifically, capable of mixing in any ratio without separation of two phases. Hmmm…kinda like my mixing of several unrelated definitions for the WOW. This definition got me to thinking, “Is mixable really a word? If not, should we be using miscible instead?” We Americans sure like to “mess” with the English language and create words that really do not exist and fail to use the proper ones.

However, I looked up mix and yes, mixable is perfectly fine. Thus, I think I now know why we don’t use miscible! Mixable makes more sense to us and is easier to remember how to spell!

Redound is our new WOW. Here are my miscible guesses for it:

redound: (ri-ˈdau̇nd) 1. a rebound shot with a red basketball 2. the color of your skin after trying to take off a pound or two by running around (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it?) 3. the color of a child’s face when wound up

What are your guesses for redound? Comment below!

Wednesday’s Post: Lessons Learned from Actually Walking the 2009 Dallas Komen for the Cure 3 Day Walk

You might also like: Word of the Week: miscible; Word of the Week: depone; Word of the Week: tourbillion; and Word of the Week: orgulous


Lessons Learned from Walking 18 miles and 15 miles back-to-back…

treadmill training

treadmill training

This is “Part 2” of the stupid weekend of doing 33 miles in 2 days to prepare for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk in 2009. After trying to unwrinkle every wet digit on my body, I chose to do the 15 mile (2nd day) part on my trusty INDOOR treadmill. So, what more could I learn from doing 15 more miles? Plenty:

1. 60 miles in 3 days seems REALLY far. I’m thinking a trip to the moon is closer.

2. Blister Band-Aids also work on sore toes.

3. It’s easier to walk outside in the rain than it is on a dry treadmill (ummm…perhaps that was because 18 miles had been walked outside first?)

4. No tennies on the planet will keep you from having sore feet afterward.

5. Forget Vicodin…just open a vein and give me morphine….STAT!

6. There aren’t enough ice packs in the world for all of your aching body parts.

7. Having access to over 500 channels isn’t enough to keep you from being focused on the aching body part of the moment.

8. 15 miles actually seems farther than 18….it’s Susan G. Komen math…’nuf said.

9. Even your favorite flavor of G2 doesn’t quite bring a smile to your face.

10. One wonders how one will find a tent, set it up, find his or her luggage and drag oneself to the shower after 40 miles of walking. Where is my magic lamp and that infernal genie???

11. Paul Bettany is the villain in The Secret Life of Bees? I didn’t recognize him with a southern accent. Kinda like hearing House with a British accent.

12. You can watch 4 movies start to finish while walking 15 miles.

13. Forget the incline on the treadmill…the distance is enough for you to decide against applying for the Biggest Loser and suggesting that Jillian be your trainer.

14. If people ask you a question while you are huffing and puffing, it doesn’t matter what the question is…you still consider it an insult.

15. Your thought that you might do the Breast Cancer 3 Day walk 5 years from now goes right out the window. (2013 update: So glad I read # 15 again!)

Monday’s Post: WOW time!

You might also like: Lessons Learned from Walking 18.2 miles…in the Rain… and Lessons Learned from the Breast Cancer 3 Day Garage Sale