Less naked jiggling, more good stories please

So we watched X Factor last night.

Aside from the half naked man that totally creeped us out, we liked it. In fact at the end of the show, they had a great story about a young guy who has been sober for 70 days. He sang his own rap song and when they interviewed him at the end, he talked about the three best days of his life:

  1. The day his son was born
  2. The day he got sober
  3. The day they put him through on X Factor

I always pretend not to cry when I watch TV, but as I looked from underneath my bangs at Mom and Sam, I could see tears in their eyes too.

Whew! I wasn’t alone.

I let a few spill over onto my cheeks.

There’s nothing like a good story.

In the midst of my tears I found myself fiercely hopeful for the guy: that he’d stay clean, that he’d be the dad he wants to be, that he’d succeed in his dreams.

Good from bad, life from death, hope from addiction.

This morning in my quiet time, I was reading about the Israelites. God was forever reminding them to remember. Remember what I’ve done. Remember where you’ve been. Remember what I saved you out of…

He commanded them to have festivals and parties and all out celebrations so they wouldn’t forget his goodness.

So I sat on the porch and I remembered.

I remembered when lies flowed as easy as the truth.

I remembered when addictions were more appealing than life.

I remembered when I hurt people I loved and didn’t care very much.

I also remember the way God loved me in the middle of that, how He sent people to be nice to me, to reach out to me, to provide for me when I didn’t deserve a single thing they did.

I remembered my own Egypt and how He, like a fiercely devoted lover, rescued me out of it.

When I think of how I’m different now, I know it’s not my own doing. I’ve tried to be better “tomorrow,” only to put that off one more day: “For sure, tomorrow I’ll be a totally good girl. Seriously!”

But tomorrow never came.

What changed me from the inside out, what continues to mold and shape me, is a love I can’t explain and don’t deserve. It’s a love that fashions and forms me as I sit in its presence. It’s a love that rescued me from Egypt and tells me to “Party on” as I remember that incredible work.

So blow up some balloons, hang some streamers, toot a horn, bake a cake, eat cookies and laugh until your belly hurts.

You’ve been rescued.

Or maybe you’re being rescued.

Whatever it looks like for you, take a moment to remember. After all, there’s nothing like a good story worth celebrating: Life from death, hope from despair, freedom from addiction.

Way better than naked jiggling – any day.

Thank you, Lord.

Just another day saving the world

I’m rarely a good citizen.

Sure, I pay my taxes and vote my conscience and smile at senior citizens, but beyond that, I’m really pretty self-absorbed.

I don’t recycle.

I don’t pick up enough random garbage.

I don’t carpool. (Although sometimes Brian gives me a piggyback ride from upstairs to my home office…. Does that count?)

So I’m pitifully behind the times in fulfilling my part in the greater good.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I was Mrs. Crime Stopper extraordinaire, a super sneaky neighborhood watchdog.

So here’s what happened. I observed some criminal activity. This has been going on for a week or two and since I’ve seen other people around said criminal activity, I confess that I thought they would do something about it.

But it continued.

So yesterday, in my super stealth detective way, I jotted down a license plate number of one of the participants and called the non-emergency police line.

“I have a clue!” I said, super excited.

“I’m sorry, ma’am?”

“Oh sorry. I have a clue about some bad stuff happening and I know who’s doing it and I have their license plate and I’m calling because I’m a good citizen!”

She seemed very excited and immediately transferred me to someone’s voicemail.


Well, that certain someone called me back and I filled him in on all my great detective work.

And guess what he said?

He said, “Ma’am we’ve been looking for some people, and I think you just helped us find them.”



I was thrilled. My chest puffed out. My grin widened.

I wanted to ask if I get anything for my good deed. Like one of those cool Sheriff stars to pin on my shirt or maybe a reward or a meeting with the mayor or something…

“So have a nice day, ma’am. And thanks for calling.”

Wait! Wait! But… is that it? No star? Reward? No small press conference? I could totally be ready in 15 minutes to talk to any one of the news stations.


That’s it?

That’s it.

So dear friends, as I thought about this travesty, I couldn’t help but wonder if there are others of you out there,  other unsung heroes who have gone unnoticed. Everything inside of me rose up as I imagined that I might not be alone. What about my friends? What about all their good deeds?

Well, since I’m in the mood of righting wrongs, I just want you to know that I celebrate you today. All of you unsung community heroes — you recyclers and carpoolers, you snitches, neighborhood watchdogs and random garbage-picker-uppers—I see you! I celebrate you!

You rock and I am singing your tune this very second!


Now get out there and keep saving the world….

What was that, God? Sign or fluke?

Sometime I crack myself up.

I’ve been pondering a big change in my life and have been asking God about it. Two days ago, I was reading in Deuteronomy about the hill country and decided that yes, this change was a little bit like heading into the hill country.

So I read: “Break camp and advance into the hill country…”

Sweet! God must want me to make this change!

Then a few days later, I read: “You have made your way around this hill country long enough; now turn north.”


So you don’t want me to go to the hill country?

No, I thought, that must not be what you mean, God. After all, I really think you are calling me to the hill country. That other thing about leaving the hill country? That was just a fluke, not a sign.

It seemed like God smiled.  See, that’s the problem with me and signs. I should really just be honest with God. When I’m looking for signs to do something, I should just say, “God, I really want to do this thing, so I am going to look for things that point to it and call them signs. If I see something that points away from it, I’ll brush it off and call myself silly for doubting what I’m certain you are saying to me.”

I thought I was seeking God’s will, but He (in his gentle way), let me know that I was really just looking for him to agree with my way of doing things.


Sorry about that, God.

What would you really like to say to me?