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Tell me something is impossible and nine times out of ten I’m going to try to prove you wrong.  I taught myself to knit before the internet swarmed with tutorials.  I had failed to learn from my mom but when my 12 year-old niece acted like I was a simpleton because I couldn’t do it, I had to learn.  Hey, don’t judge. I wasn’t a mom yet.  I didn’t understand that 12 year-olds act like you’re a simpleton just because.

And it isn’t like this trait has diminished with age.  One of my girlfriends calls it my “hold my beer” response.  Half of the joke is that I don’t drink beer, I don’t like beer and I will never need someone to hold my beer.  But if you tell me something is impossible you better step back because I am hardwired to try to prove you wrong.

Some people would call this a weakness and it could be.  But I’m a writer.  Writing is hard and so is getting published.  If I gave up every time someone pointed out how impossible this job is, I’d still have a desk job.

I like to think my innate stubbornness is a gift from God.  Whether or not you agree, it is definitely something I’ve used to my advantage.



Tonight I’ll be at the front door giving out candy.  I love seeing all the kids in their costumes.  My favorites are the kids who are wildly out of step with the current trend.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll ooh and aah over every Black Panther but my favorites are the kids who do their own thing.

Admittedly, I appreciate that a lot more now that I’m not the mom who has to figure out how to make the requested “fire ghost” costume.  The year he was “nightmare homework” was a lot easier.

I understand, some kids love being their favorite character.  I get it.  I was Indiana Jones.  My son did Harry Potter complete with the scar on his forehead – the scar and glasses were genuine, the rest was costume.

But all too often we discourage people from being themselves.  We hand the toddler girl the baby doll without noticing she was reaching for the truck. The little boy is discouraged from wearing the glittery shirt.  The girl can’t find a calavera t-shirt that doesn’t include this same glitter or rhinestones.

God created each of us.  To some he gave one gift.  To others another.  To discover just what these gifts are may require us to step away from the crowd and to make a choice that is uniquely our own.  That said, someone who loves us may find themselves trying to figure out what a fire ghost would look like.


We all have gifts from God.  Why not aim high and really test them out?


You.  Just use the gifts God gave you.


If you’ve read this blog for any time, you know that I love music and singing is a huge part of my individual worship. Like anyone who finds joy in something, I want to share it with others.

Recently, I invited someone new to join the choir.  “Oh, no.” She shook her head.  “I can’t read music.”

Why do we so often avoid using an imperfect talent?  I’ve seen parents pull their children out of sports because they didn’t win enough ribbons or trophies or zoom from one level to the next.  I actually had one friend tell me that if God wanted her child to play this sport, she would be better.

The funny thing? Like the person I invited to choir, I don’t read music. I know treble clef vs base clef, EGBDF and FACE and middle C. I can tell the difference between a whole note, a half note and a quarter note.  On a great day, I can tell you how many beats each note has. But hand me a piece of music I’ve never seen before and I have no clue how it should sound. It might as well be Sanskrit.

Hand this same piece of music to one particular choir friend and she can sing it. Yes, she has to look at it for a minute but then she’s ready to sing.  That said, if we have an accompanist who doesn’t keep a steady tempo, it drives my friend crazy. Heaven forbid we have someone who improvises.

Me?  I just close my eyes and listen. I have a good ear so I can follow along.

Neither of us is perfect, but God has put song in both our hearts. What slightly imperfect gift has He put in yours?


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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