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This past weekend I had my 35th high school reunion.

I had completely forgotten how many people called me Beth.  How do you get Beth from Sue?  You don’t.  Beth, Marini and I ran around together.  We had gone to gradeschool together.   Beth and I were both quiet strawberry-blondes with fair skin.

I quickly learned that the sun is not your friend.  My husband jokingly calls my sunscreen SPF 2000.

But I was standing talking to two women and one of them patted my arm.  “Your skin is so nice.  Isn’t her skin nice?”

Um, thank you?

Taking a compliment has never been my strength.  Instead of just accepting it, I want to downplay it.  Freckles, ugh!

But these women were being genuinely sweet.  They wanted to say something nice and all I had to do to make them feel appreciated was say thank you.  Sure it had taken them a moment to realize that I’m still not Beth . . . oh, we should have switched name tags!  That would have been so funny . . .



I love the way Miss Ruth put this in her post.  Burden and blessing.  Like Ruth, we’ve been having drain issues.  Ours quit working completely.  Burden. But my husband could fix it which saved as a $250 bill to start the new year.  Blessing.

Our area is just coming out of a period of dangerously cold weather.  Our temps were well below freezing between Christmas Eve and yesterday.  I know the wind child dipped below zero.  Many days were between about 8 and 12 degrees.  Water mains and frozen pipes abound.

At the outset of this cold snap we were really worried whether or not anyone would come to Christmas Eve service.  Would people come out on such a freezing cold night?   Looking out at the congregation from my position in the choir loft, I wasn’t surprised by some who chose not to attend.  They’d already messaged me to let me know that the cold was just too much.  The surprising part?  These were many of our younger members.

Sitting in one pew was a man who uses a walker.  Recently widowed, he comes to church to interact with others.

On the other side of the aisle was a gentleman who had recently gotten out of the hospital. He had a bad reaction to some of the medication he is on to fight cancer.  He and three family members took up one pew.

“Why did they bother coming out in this cold?” asked one usher.  The cold – that’s been our recent curse.

So why did they face it?  Because they can.  They are celebrating this ability to get out.  To see and be seen.  That’s a true blessing.

What do you have on your list for today?  I’m rewriting an assignment.  Again.  They brought in a new expert who wants changes, Changes and more CHANGES.  If I let it, that would feel like a curse.  But really, it will make for a much better book and the better the book the more likely it will be to help one of our young readers.  Definitely a blessing.

Thank you, Miss Ruth!


Yesburdenterday a conversation popped up on a friend’s Facebook wall.  She is a university professor.  In class, she showed her students a video on white privilege.  Let’s just say that it did not go over well.  Some students felt guilty.  Others felt angry.  No one seemed to understand why they felt these things but they did know that black people are to blame for their bad feelings.

Talk about missing the point of a lesson.

Room by room, we’ve been cleaning out my dad’s house.  That means things are making their way here and to my sisters.  One corner of my basement looks like this.  A table.  A trunk.  I’m not sure what under the table.  And boxes.  I’ll be honest with you — I started to let this stuff freak me out in part because we have similar stacks in other corners and in the garage.  It is all just too much.  All I felt was the burden.

Then a friend at church asked for small flower pots.  She’s going to re-pot cuttings for the church rummage sale.  My husband took a bag into the garage and cleared off a shelf.  Wow.  That felt good.

While I was at choir rehearsal, he cleaned off a shelf of sports bottles.  They went into the recycling.  The recycled plastic will be put to use somewhere else.

Privilege is a lot like this.  You can look at it all around you and hate it, or you can find a way to use it to benefit others.  I can’t give someone my whiteness, but I can speak up for them.  I can’t hand over my education, but I can help them gain their own.

God has blessed me with a quite a bit.  It can become a burden in my life or a blessing to others.  The choice is mine.


Love is the Maker, and Spirit, and Son;
love is the kingdom their will has begun;
love is the pathway the saints have trod;
God is where love is, for love is of God.


I found this blessing on the Church of Scotland site.  If you have a few minutes, check out this information packed site.




Have a Mary Little Christmas

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