Guilty As Charged

Guilty As Charged

Maybe it was divine payback for my comment about circumcision in an earlier post, but I sliced off the tip of my finger last week. I kid you not. Selling Cutco knives was the costliest summer job my son ever held. This is the third trip to the emergency room since I became his first customer. Not that the tip of one’s forefinger can compare to other more sensitive areas, but it was painful. As I sat in the emergency room, I wondered what I was supposed to learn from this episode…..

Entrance Fees

The college admissions scandal dominated the news this week. What surprised me most was not that it was a reality, but that it is news at all. Anyone who has been through the process is well aware of the inequities that plague the college admissions system. The only difference in these cases is that the perpetrators crossed a legal boundary. Wealthy parents have been ‘buying’ entrance into elite schools forever. It starts long before college. Making a six or seven-figure ‘donation’ may not be considered a ‘bribe’ legally nor is joining the board, but let’s just call a spade a spade. My own children…..

Hope Waiting

While in Milwaukee, I accompanied my sister to the hospital for a number of appointments. The names of the clinics surprised me. There is Faith, Hope, Courage and Grace. I can’t think of anything you need more when battling cancer – or life for that matter. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could infuse those qualities through an IV? So much simpler than developing them the hard way – through…..

At the Foot of the Cross

Now that I’ve had a couple of months to process the trip to Israel, I wanted to share what I consider my most valuable takeaway – or more accurately, ‘leave behind.’ When the professor suggested we begin the trip open to the divine mystery and a new way of looking at things, I had no idea the ‘thing’ God was going to have me see in a new way was me – and not the me…..

Rock Walls

While visiting my sister in Milwaukee last week, I had the privilege of accompanying my nephew and his five-year-old son, Finn, to an indoor playground called BOUNCE. Based on the name, you can imagine the plethora of inflatables available. It’s been a long time since I laughed so hard. Pure joy is balm for the soul. Too many of us forget the importance of play…..

Muddy Waters

At a recent wellness retreat, I had the privilege of experiencing my first “official” mud bath. Based on where I’ve been, who I’ve been with, what I’ve been watching or what I’ve been doing, there are days when I’ve felt just as dirty by the end of the day. Let’s face it, no one is immune to the current mud-slinging atmosphere in this country. You can’t avoid its negative impact…..

Superbowl Showdown

Superbowl Sunday. Short of making it a National Holiday, I don’t know how you could miss the buzz this event provokes. If tonight’s game is anything like the two playoff games leading up to it, it’s going to be another nail-biter, especially if you’ve got skin in the game. Even though the Patriots have become the team everyone loves to hate, you’ve got to admire the last-minute miracles that characterize …..

Tel-apathy

As I put my photo book together, many more Israel moments return to me. The trip was so fast-paced, it’s a blur. It feels good to have the opportunity to sit back and reflect on the places I visited and the lessons I learned. Oddly, many of those lessons occurred on the bus. There was one in particular that resonated with me. We began each day in prayer as we embarked on our next adventure. It was about five days into the trip after we’d see lotsof ruins. The man chosen to lead us in prayer confessed that …..

Holy Land Debrief

So, did I return from Israel a changed woman? Other than an extra five pounds, a better understanding of biblical culture and a deeper appreciation for scripture, the answer is no. I have to admit I’m disappointed I didn’t experience the spiritual transformation so many pilgrims told me to expect and wondered if there was something wrong with me. It’s not that there weren’t moving moments, but they…..

Oy Vey!

Considering I only know two Hebrew words, it’s ironic I would employ one before leaving Newark airport. While purchasing food, I realized with dread my credit and ATM cards were still on the photocopier at home. I thought I was so organized copying them in case of a lost or stolen wallet. Stupidly, I took the photocopy just not the cards. Without them, I didn’t exist as far as the hotel in Tel Aviv was concerned. “But I am a child of God” did not fly when trying to check in. What the heck? This is the Holy Land isn’t it? I could’ve…..

The Great Adventure

The Great Adventure

As some of you may know, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the Wise Men finding Jesus after following a star through the desert. It seems only fitting to choose this time to embark on my own pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It’s certainly an appropriate manner in which to combat the holiday hangover January ushers in – the aftermath of too much food, too many festivities, too many distractions. Now as the din of December fades…..

Christmas Begins...

While you are boxing up Christmas this week, I wanted to send you something to think about in the process because Christmas isn't over. It's just beginning. You can pack away the ornaments and discard the greens, but the present/presence God sent on Christmas is meant to be re-gifted all year long. There isn't a box big enough to contain the Spirit of God though many people are tempted to confine Him to parameters our limited minds can understand. If there's anything I've learned about God, it's that He is meant to be …..

One Solitary Life

One Solitary Life

My daughter and I went to see The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in New York City last week. If you’re ever having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, this show will penetrate the heart of even the most adamant Scrooge. It is quintessential Christmas. The best part is that the producers have kept Christ as the heart of the show. In the current climate of political correctness…..

Advent Waiting

Today is the last Sunday of Advent, but is Advent ever really over? If it’s a time of waiting and preparation, doesn’t that describe our entire life? We live in the in-between – a time between the birth of Christ and when He comes again. The challenge is to live by faith not by sight, trusting Him in the in-between while looking forward with hope to the fulfillment of His ultimate promise when he will…..

RECOMBOBULATION AREA

RECOMBOBULATION AREA

Returning from Milwaukee this week, I went through security and saw a sign indicating “RECOMBOBULATION AREA.” I laughed out loud. Is that even a word? As my flight was delayed a couple of hours, I had plenty of time to investigate. Unique to General Mitchell Airport, the term recombobulation was created by “Barry Bateman, a former airport director. Bateman made up the word and suggested the signage in order to add some comic relief to what can be a tense aspect of air travel.” Apparently, it’s working. I’m not the only traveler who has stopped to snap a photo. Comic relief….

Christmas Crisis

My sister, Mary Frances, received an alarming health diagnosis recently. When my mother learned of it, her first response was to suggest cancelling our annual Christmas gathering. I understand her gut reaction as I have often been tempted to do the same, feeling guilty celebrating Christmas while those I love are in pain. However, I’ve learned from experience that there is no better time to celebrate the hope of Christmas than in the midst of suffering. As I mentioned last week…..

OOPS!

Experienced another Lucille Ball moment this week. I was in the middle of a do-it-yourself project that required black spray paint. I purchased a can along with some other items and unpacked the bag on the kitchen counter. When I went to move the paint into the garage, I dropped it and chaos ensued. The cap cracked off and the nozzle hit the floor releasing a torrent of black spray. Stunned, I watched…..

Stuff It!

This week I’ve been composing a list of “do not mention” topics for my husband as prep for the Thanksgiving dinner. The list grows longer each year and is now lengthier than Santa’s naughty and nice list. It’s amazing that despite my censorship, he still finds plenty to talk about. In regards to the Thanksgiving dinner conversation, neutrality is always the….

Stuck in the Middle With You

At this point in life, I find myself sandwiched between budding adult children beginning their life’s journey and aging parents finishing theirs – both standing on the abyss of the unknown. Don’t you wish life came with a version of What to Expect When Your Expectingfor every phase of life? As a young mom, I relied on child gurus, Louise Bates Ames and Francis Ilg, who authored a series of books addressing each of the “age” stages in childhood from one through fourteen. As a rookie, I found them extremely helpful. Now, I’m waiting for someone…..

Love is a Weapon

The alarming thing about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is the fact that the shock value no longer exists. No one can deny the horror of last weekend’s events. However, the frequency of these types of violent acts has led us to expect them. It’s no longer a question of if it will happen again but where and to whom. Therein lies the true terror…..