Monday, September 29, 2008


I have a theory about is an inevitable part of my life.

I can either discipline myself, or someone else will step in to do it.

For example, I can either have the self-discipline to drive the speed limit, or a police officer will write me a ticket.

I can either discipline myself to pay bills when they are due, or incur late fees.

I can discipline myself to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, or balloon out of control.

I tried to teach this to my children as they grew up. "If you will discipline yourself, then I won't need to step in and do it for you. It is your choice."

Consequently, I am a fairly disciplined person, which basically means that I thrive in a disciplined environment. I am happiest when there is discipline and order in my life. It does not always mean that I practice discipline; it just means that I aim to and am happiest when I am successful.

There are times, though, when my self-discipline gets out of whack and I must calibrate myself. I wonder if the apostle Paul was lamenting a lack of discipline in his life when he said,
"For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out...So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
Romans 7:14-25

I can relate.

Paul is really whacking himself, totally frustrated with the war at work between his mind and body. How many times have I wanted to lose weight (in theory) but not enough to deny myself certain foods? How bummed out am I about the state of my closet, or my drawers, or even my house, and why isn't it enough to cause me to muster the energy to tackle it after a day of work? How many projects have I started and left unfinished? How often have I wanted to have a more intimate relationship with God but got "too busy" to communicate with him on a regular basis? What happened to that daily Bible reading plan I had?

It helps to know that I am not alone in this battle of my mind and body.

Thanks be to God, indeed.

Can you relate?

Friday, September 19, 2008


So I'm changing my grandson's diaper this morning. He will be three in December and is mostly potty-trained for one function, but for the other, more pungent one, he still prefers the convenience of the diaper. I have noticed that he will walk past his dad, his Pop, and even his mom to come find me so that I can change his dirty diaper. On many occasions, he has even met me at the door with, "Nana, pwease change my diaper." I mentioned this to his mom one day and she replied, "It is your own doing. You make it too fun."

Well, dirty diaper duty aside, we do have a good time. It begins with mutual speculation about how many wipes will be required to do the deed. Will this be a two wiper diaper or a three wiper diaper? I then place each cold, wet, wipe on his stomach with a loud "CH" sound to see if he can stand the cold. I also have a tendency toward the dramatic as I follow the odor to uncover the source.

The best part, though, is the conversation. This morning's went something like this.

"How was school yesterday?"
"What did you do?"
"I pay wif Cole and Camden and I had fwee boogers in my nose."

Ahhh...the candor of youth!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Our son has been living in Galveston, TX. for about 6 weeks now. A couple of weeks ago, Hurricane Gustav headed toward Galveston as a category 5. A couple of days before it was set to arrive, he packed up his dog, and the possessions he held dear (his books) and headed to Houston, where he spent the weekend with his sister and her husband. Fortunately, by the time the hurricane hit land, it downgraded to a category 1.

A few days ago, a short two weeks later, Hurricane Ike barreled to the coast of Galveston, a category 2, but one m.p.h. short of being a 3. Once again, he packed up to head to Houston. He got out of Galveston hours before the mandatory evacuation began, and has been in Houston for several days now. Unfortunately, the storm has now made its way north from Galveston, and now my daughter, her husband, son, and my son are without power in Houston.

So now my husband and I sit in the den, each with a laptop and a cell phone, glued to the TV for two days, watching the weather channel, while simultaneously surfing the internet and texting to our kids. Cut off from the world, they have many questions, not the least of which is how long they will be without power. My son is anxious about: the state of his apartment and all his possessions, not knowing when school will resume, and whether he will be able or even should come to Dallas. I'm checking his email for him, as well as monitoring the school's website for news.

I can't help but wonder about the Galveston Hurricane that hit on September 8, 1900 as a category 4. To date, it is the deadliest natural disaster in U. S. history, with approximately 8000 deaths reported. That was before the weather forecast, or the emergency broadcast system. Of course, italso pre-dates radio, television, cell phones, texting, internet, and email. The residents of Galveston were completely blind-sided. They didn't know to prepare for the storm, nor did they know to evacuate.

So I feel blessed to live in a time when there are so many ways to be connected to those I love. Of course, the mother hen in me would much prefer to have all the chicks in the nest...............l

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Read the Label

I like to take yogurt to work so that when I get the mid-morning hungries, I can have a quick, moderately healthy snack. So today I was in a long morning meeting, and when we took a break, I hurried to the kitchen with yogurt on my mind. I grabbed my yogurt, rushed back to my office and plopped in my chair, primed and ready to plunge my spoon into its creamy goodness.

However, it seems that in my haste to leave home this morning, I had grabbed, not my yogurt, but Egg Beaters. So, here I am, sitting at my desk with a hungry fist-full of raw egg whites. I'm really perplexed, because I am absolutely certain that I brought yogurt. On the outside, at a glance, it looks like yogurt in size, shape, and feel. I am deceived by what I see on the outside. On the inside, it is something different entirely.

I'm sure there is a lesson in there somewhere.

Greatest Moral Failure

Recently, I watched the Presidential Forum, moderated by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California. Both candidates, Barak Obama and John McCain, were given the same questions touching on a variety of issues. The candidates were asked to avoid automatically reverting to their usual "stump," but rather to thoughtfully and carefully address each question as it was worded.

I found one question in particular to be intruiging: "What is your greatest moral failure?" Without hesitation, Obama referred to his rebellion and drug use during his teenage years, which he disclosed in his book, "Dreams of My Father." McCain referenced "the failure of my first marriage" but provided no further details.

Recently, John Edwards has dominated the news because of his extra-marital affair which was originally uncovered by the National Enquirer. The media is less critical of the affair, and more critical of the fact that he lied about it. Had he admitted it publicly in 2006 when he reportedly confessed it to his wife, Elizabeth, the media no doubt would have lost interest in it by now, as evidenced by the lack of current interest in the "indiscretions" of McCain, or Clinton, or Guiliani, or Limbaugh, or O'Reilly, or Gingrich, or Kennedy, Kennedy, and Kennedy (John, Robert, and Ted).

It seems that this country, or at the very least the media, is only moderately concerned about the sin in the life of public figure, but extremely critical if that sin is concealed or confessed only privately. Full public disclosure is expected of all public figures.

However, as private citizens, one of the inalienable rights we hold dear is our right to privacy. How many of us would openly and freely confess and discuss our greatest moral failures? I know of many who have, but it is usually because their sin was disclosed, either voluntarily because of guilt, or by happenstance, and it cost them their jobs or ruined their lives. Such individuals often choose to parlay that disclosure to a book deal or speaking engagement, capitalizing on their fifteen minutes of fame to go after the almighty dollar. Others share their experience to cleanse their conscience, or so others can learn from their mistakes.

Regardless of which way you, as a private citizen, are leaning in this election, you have got to admit it takes a great deal of courage to choose the life of a public figure these days.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Best Kind of Friend

I started this blog in July of 2006.

For a little over a year I made several entries a week, which slowed down to two per week, then one. Finally, I just stopped.

I discovered the other day to my chagrin that my last entry was almost one year ago. It is kind of like losing touch with an old friend. Weeks fly by, months pass, and suddenly you cannot remember the last time you talked. You reflect on all that has happened since you last spoke and wonder if you should get together, but you dread the awkwardness, the stammering explanations of how busy you have been and why it has been so long since you have called, or, worse yet, returned the call.

Maybe blogging won’t be that way. Maybe it will be like those really comfortable friends who you can call every once in a while and pick up where you left off since the last time you called. No stammering, no awkwardness, no explanations, just sharing each other’s lives and enjoying each other’s company.

I’m hoping blogging is that kind of friend.