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My mackerel-tabby, Squeaky, in his situation of blessings: napping on a comfy blue blanket on the golden-colored couch, while bathed in a patch of sun rays.

Before I start the day, I listen for God’s leading. What’s on my mind today? What’s on my heart?

So, at 55-years-old, I’m thinking about going back to college to finish my degree. I found myself thinking that if I’d accomplished this one specific thing, my life would have turned out better. 

But is that true? 
If I’d gotten my degree, I might still feel incomplete.
Okay. Got my Bachelor’s. 
Shoulder shrug.
Great. But you know what? I still feel incomplete. If only I’d gotten my Master’s! Okay. Got my Master’s. If only I’d gotten my Doctorate! Okay. Got my Doctorate.

Head shrug. Hmm. Still not quite “there” yet.

If only I’d gotten that research grant! Okay. Got the grant. 

If only my lab were bigger! Got the bigger lab.
I’ve got it now.
If only my lab coat were more comfortable! Oh, I could be so much more productive. Why, I’d discover great things, even unlock that last, implacable door and find the key to happiness! But alas. Scratchy lab coat. What can you do?

Soul shrug. It’s an impossible dilemma!
Maybe it’s not about waiting for the perfect circumstances. It’s okay to be where you are, as who you are. You’re not incomplete or broken. You’re you, in the process of becoming even more you. It’s not about perfection, but being in what I call, the “situation of blessings.”

Be around people who are warm, welcoming, and with whom you feel a kinship. Do the things you love, in a relaxed environment. That’s where you bloom into your own fullness. I may go back to school, and I may not, but I’ve learned a life lesson today. 

Where is “there” anyway? Doesn’t matter. Right now, just be here, reading this blog. In the palm of God’s hand. In your situation of blessings.

Sometimes I wonder how everyone else knows how we are supposed to be thinking or be dressed.  I remember showing up to a casual reunion get-together.  I don’t even remember what I was wearing  Absolutely everyone else had on cropped khaki pants, sleeveless blouses and wedges.  Well, all of the women.  It was a bit stepford.

I’d love to say that this was the only time I’ve experienced a moment where I’m out of sync but it is actually pretty common.  Fifty Shades of whatever?  Nope.  Not even interested.

And we don’t have Netflix.  We have wifi and internet.  And we check out movies from the library.

On my kitchen stove at this very moment are a percolator and a cast iron skillet.  Of course, the tablet is sitting on the breakfront.

I don’t worry about it too much.  I’ve always been this way even when my mom was trying to “doll me up.”  Poor Mom.

Just as we have many talents, we have many personalities.  Every now and again I try to be the person someone else wants.  Bad, bad decision.  So much better to be the unique, quirky person God made.  He’s got a job for me and I’m fairly certain I have to be me to pull it off.




My birthday is coming up next month, so I’m hoping to encounter some German Chocolate Cake and a new pair of sneakers (if my son is reading, hint-hint!) While I’m all for presents and cake, I don’t like surprises. I agree with Angie Dickinson, who told friends she’d never appear on the show, “This is Your Life,” and when they conspired to surprise her anyway and got her to the set, she walked out!

Now, I do love a surprise ending in a movie. A good play on words. A clever juxtaposition. I was tickled by this observation in an article about hidden writing that was recently found in ancient manuscripts in a desert monastery: “For a monk who lives in the Sinai desert in Egypt, in the world’s oldest working monastery, Father Justin replies to emails very speedily.” Researchers who visited had to “follow the monastic spirit of the place and Father Justin’s schedule, breaking for lunch and Vespers.” He didn’t put his faith on hold, despite the fact that this was an important scientific find.

I also like this unexpected revelation about Lauren Ridloff, a deaf actress who stars in the Broadway play, Children of a Lesser God. When she went to a deaf camp as a teen, the kids spoke exclusively in sign language. Not having to focus on what her words sounded like to others meant she could put all of her energy into signing to express herself. She never spoke again, changing her life for the better as a result.  

All of this to say, it’s okay to show up in life as yourself. Some may drift away if you do, but the ones who just “get you” will stick around. After all, this is your life. You might as well live it your way.

This Land is Your Lang

Vim and vigor.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

These are words that don’t fully exist without their partner terms.

On this Independence Day, I’m reminded that “America” and “freedom” go together – even though it might sometimes seem like an elusive ideal.

It’s a lot like God’s grace. It’s not a selective thing, only available to beautiful people, or those “in the know.” It’s open source, as they say in the computer world. Free to all, for anyone to use at will.

But in recent times, it might seem that some Americans believe that freedom doesn’t apply to everyone.

A man from the United Arab Emirates was mistaken for an ISIS member while visiting Ohio last week. Footage from the police body cam was unsettling. In response to this incident, the Emirati government issued an advisory to its citizens not to wear traditional garb while traveling.

They can’t dress the way they dress at home? That’s like telling me I can’t wear a cardigan and cat socks! I’ll be drummed out of the Lil Ole Lady Knitting Club!! 🙂

If freedom doesn’t apply to what people can wear, what does it apply to?

I’ve always admired people willing to wear their faith and heritage on their persons. Muslim women who wear hijabs, Jewish men who wear yarmulkes, Catholic priests and nuns. In a world that is often hostile to religion, they dare to proclaim that they believe in something! It’s outrageous.

Now, I haven’t held a seance, so I’m not speaking directly for the founding fathers, but I’ve got a pretty good idea of what they would say if they were here today.

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” applies to everyone. No exceptions.

We all came to this country for the same reason: to be ourselves. Being an American means we can think, speak, and dress the way we see fit.

And if I want to wear a Fedora and fuzzy slippers to the diner for the Early Bird? Well, why not? It’s still a free country.

When I was a child, I knew nothing of You.
Others spoke of You.
Old as time.
Inscrutable as infinity.
And I came to think of You as an antique.

Now that I am of a “certain age,”
I see us both as vintage.

It wasn’t until I’d lived a long time
that I came to what now seems
an obvious conclusion.

God doesn’t make mistakes.

You said it all with Your name.
I am that I am.

If I am Yours, I’ll ride the tide of years
and wear it all proudly:
grey hair, bi-focals, crow’s feet.

This is where the journey gets interesting.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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