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Random Musings

Random musings on any number of topics, inspired by real life...and coffee

Updated: 2018-03-02T08:04:51.824-08:00




So I started another blog. If you are interested in prayer, you might want to check it out.

Cobweb blog


That's what this is — a blog that fell out of use so long ago that it is now gathering cobwebs. But I was recently reading some of my past posts,, and noticed that I had posted an incorrect link to my newer blog. It's called "Prone to wander". The past year or two has been a season of new beginnings for me, and a fresh blog seemed to go together with the fresh starts.

I thought I'd post this in case any of my long ago readers happen to check in here.

Time to blog again


A fresh start...a new blog

[edited this to correct the broken link]

Of beaches and bikinis


I tried to post the following as a comment to an article on someone's blog, but I kept getting an error message. Since I didn't want to waste my rant, I'm posting it here.You know it's summer when article after article appears about "the bikini question". Not to insult the author, but this article is really no different than the hundreds, if not thousands, of others already out there. Let me get to the point. If the author truly wanted to "sacrifice" for men easily drawn to lust [by wearing a cute tankini instead of a bikini] she should stay home and pray that they would have the sense to do the same. Because that's the solution I've never seen addressed in an article. I'll be so bold as to say it here:DUDES! If you are so easily tempted by the sight of a woman in a bikini, DON'T GO TO PLACES WHERE YOU MIGHT SEE ONE! Don't go to the beach, or to swimming pools. Don't watch TV. Stay off the Internet. IT'S THAT SIMPLE.Chocolate cake analogy [several commenters used the analogy of someone following you around, offering you tempting chocolate cake]: since I don't want to eat chocolate cake, when my willpower was weak, I avoided places a chocolate cake was likely to be. Why torment myself? Now I've been without it for so long, and have such compelling reasons to avoid it, that it doesn't bother me if everyone around me is eating some. It would bother me if someone followed me around offering me a slice all the time, because I'm creeped out and annoyed by coercive people who disregard my "no thank you". (So, ladies, even if you are wearing a burka at the beach, don't follow guys around offering yourself to them when they don't want what you're offering. Respect their boundaries. Take a hint: the lack of an enthusiastic "yes!" should be taken as a "no".) At the same time that I am no longer overly tempted by chocolate cake, I see no reason to hang around bakeries, checking out what chocolate cake might be there. What's the point?I can hear the menfolk whining about the unfairness of staying home so the women can wear what they want. I can hear the mothers complaining, "Are you saying I can't take my boys swimming or to the beach?" Let me put it this way. I have five sons, ages 16 - 27. There is no way that I would ever knowingly expose them to a temptation they are not spiritually mature enough to handle. I don't expect the world to arrange itself to be less tempting to my sons or to me. To use an old cliche, if we can't take the heat, we stay out of the kitchen.If the sight of anything — chocolate cake, an athletic man in a speedo, your neighbor's new sports car, the latest cool techno-gadget from Apple, a scantily clad woman — whatever it might be, if you are easily provoked to sins of covetousness and lust, do whatever it takes to avoid the temptation! Jesus had some pretty extreme things to say about avoiding sin. He went so far as to talk about gouging out your eyes. What he didn't say is to tell your girlfriend how to dress or to blame other people for "stumbling" you. It's not what goes into you that defiles you, whether it's food or the sight of a body you find sexually attractive. It's what is already inside you, and inside me. We are responsible for our own lust and covetousness.Yes, this article was written to the women. As are so many countless others repeating the same tired old theme. I guess I had hoped, because someone I know linked to this one, that it was something a bit better than same old, same old. Sigh...My lucky 3 readers get more of my ranting:You know what else? As an "older woman", I'm just about ready to start teaching me some of these young bloggerettes! Which is my funny way of saying that someone needs to take some of these young women to task for their pride. I mean, I'm all for healthy body image and all that, but that hardly means you have to jump on the Internet and brag about how men everywhere would be driven to lust at the mere sight of you if you weren't so loving, godly, and sacrificial as to clothe your[...]

Protecting our daughters, part 1


Recently I read an article wherein a father told a disturbing story about allowing his daughter to be subjected to continual harassment by a drunk man on a plane. Ironically, even though the father let this man persist in his unacceptable behavior, he actually believes he was protecting his daughter!The father is Scott Brown. His daughter is Kelly Bradrick. (She was not yet married at the time this took place.) The article appears on the Vision Forum website. "In 2003, I took my daughter with me on a mission trip to Romania. On the plane, there was a drunken man flirting with her in a very aggressive way. Unfortunately for him, there were 535 pounds of manhood in our party ready to protect her. Believe me, we were exercising much Christian patience with this man who persisted throughout the entire flight. He did not realize that he was facing deadly force, if he persisted. He actually touched her once and was making bold advances. He even continued the pursuit after the plane landed. I am convinced that, if we had not been with her to protect her, she would have been in serious danger." (Read it in context.)Really? This creep was "facing deadly force, if he persisted"? But this guy DID persist - even after the plane landed - and absolutely nothing happened! Are we really to believe that men who are too cowardly to intervene and protect a woman from such obnoxious behavior are suddenly going to use deadly force? After sitting there passively and allowing his daughter to be mistreated in this way, does Scott Brown honestly think he is capable of manning up if things exceeded even his tolerance? And what were these men patiently waiting for? For the man to get physically violent? "Unfortunately for him, there were 535 pounds of manhood in our party..." Don't make me laugh. Fortunately for him (from his perspective) these men gave him full permission to persist in his harassment of this young woman. I'm sure he had a wonderful time at Kelly's expense. I can only imagine what sort of awful ordeal the flight was for her.From this account, I cannot help but conclude the following: 1. Mr. Brown sees no need to protect his daughter from "very aggressive" drunken flirting. 2. He saw nothing wrong with allowing this behavior to continue for the entire flight. 3. He saw no reason to intervene even when this man touched his daughter. 4. His daughter's feelings in this matter were of no concern to him. Can you imagine having to endure this while your father watched passively? 5. It was more important to exercise Christian patience with a man than protect a daughter. 6. He never taught his daughter how to behave in such situations. But, wait - maybe he did: "Exercise Christian patience and do nothing. Let the man's horrible behavior continue without challenge or protest. Here, observe my example." 7. Kelly would have been no less protected if she were traveling alone. She may actually have been safer. Perhaps, in the absence of the passive "manhood" accompanying her, someone else might have intervened - offering to trade seats with her, calling the flight attendant, and/or insisting, "Back off, buddy, and leave the young lady alone!" I know we can't count on being rescued by bystanders; at the same time, in my younger years, I benefitted from men who wouldn't tolerate a woman being treated disrespectfully. In Kelly's case, onlookers must have thought, "Well, if her father is perfectly OK with how she's being treated, why should I jump in?"The huge irony is that Mr. Brown follows his story with these words: "Where do we get the idea of protection from the Bible? We could make a long list, but here is a short one. Godly behavior is defined by shepherds who protect their flocks. The strong should support the weak. Women are the weaker vessels. And daughters should be protected by their fathers who are commanded to give 24/7 watch care over their children (Deuteronomy 6:1-9). This is enough for me to be convinced that women shou[...]

Theirs been a few things on my mind lately...



- Posted using BlogPress

World's Cutest Baby


Here she is, my adorable first grandchild, right after she was born in November:


A few weeks later, we briefly placed her in the travel bed/playpen we used with her mother and uncles. In protest, this amazingly brilliant child uttered her first words:


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone



Recently one of my Facebook friends made some posts about feminine beauty and how women perceive themselves. If I understood him correctly, he was saddened by the fact that not every woman thinks of herself as physically beautiful, and he had an admittedly romantic notion that each woman should/could find a husband who would affirm our beauty and find us drop-dead gorgeous. We had a bit of a dialogue back and forth, and I've found myself thinking some more about the topic since then.The truth is that we are not all physically beautiful. If we claim all women are, we render the word "beautiful" absolutely meaningless. By insisting that, no matter what a woman sees in the mirror, it is some sort of tragedy if she does not "feel beautiful", we are making plain women believe they now have two problems: their physical plainness and their inability to conjure up feelings based on wishful thinking or pretense.Over the years, I've read a few books and articles on dealing with a poor body image. Over and over again, the solution is some variation of, "Look in the mirror, preferrably naked. Admire all your wonderful features and say out loud everything you like about your body. Embrace those extra pounds...remember, real women have curves!"This ignores and invalidates women who cannot bear to look in the mirror because of hideous scars from trauma, because of deformities, because the sight of their body triggers painful memories and feelings. It ignores those of us lacking in the curve department. But who cares? Apparently we are not real women.Real women, it seems, are all beautiful. If we don't think we are, we should pretend otherwise and "feel beautiful". If we can't do that -- because we're too realistic and honest, or because what faces us in the mirror is too broken and scarred, or because we are not "womanly" enough -- we are basically invisible, as if we don't exist. We don't matter, and it's our own fault.On the one hand, we are told that our worth is not determined by our beauty or lack thereof. On the other hand, we are told that we need to "feel beautiful". We are told that, if we are not confident in our beauty, we may never attract a husband and, if married, we will never be able to fully please him sexually. As wives, we are duty bound to be uninhibited and to act as if we were incredibly beautiful and sexy...and then somehow we will convince him.The underlying message seems to be: It's bad enough if we are not beautiful. It's even worse if we can't pretend otherwise so convincingly that we fool ourselves and almost make people forget our crime of not being beautiful.Christian books repeat this message. They tell us men NEED (not just want) us to be beautiful, that they need a "beautiful woman to rescue" and that we need to "reveal our beauty".When you're not beautiful, all of this is like yet another cruel taunting reminder, a slap in the face. "Oh, but all women are beautiful," some men will blithely say...and yet these same men will make disparaging remarks like, "Even an ugly woman can find some guy somewhere if she is confident enough in her beauty and femininity." Don't they see the glaring contradiction there?It's become somewhat popular in certain Christian circles to bemoan our society's standards of beauty. "Don't fall for the media's false messages!" we are told. We are reminded that we shouldn't feel inadequate and should not compare ourselves to media images of surgically-enhanced and airbrushed professional models and actresses. "That's not real!" we are urged to remember. We are told how tragic it is that, because of these false images and messages, teenage girls are growing up thinking they are worthless because they don't realize how beautiful they are.At the same time, we are told that our beauty is dangerous and that we need to conceal it carefully lest we cause great damage to our brothers in Christ. Beside[...]

Rape Prevention


I've been preparing to teach some classes on personal safety and self-defense for young women. As a martial arts and self-defense instructor, I have read my fair share of material on this subject. I can honestly say that the following rape prevention tips, if followed, would be enormously successful, far more so than any other tips I've read.

Please pass them on to everyone you know.


-- Posted from my iPhone

Most popular posts???


While doing a little blog housekeeping, I installed a widget that displays my five most popular posts of all times. I'm disappointed in what I learned.

I mean, really? Why not one of my posts about how amazing grace is? why not one of my humorous posts? why not one that brags about how incredible my offspring are?

But, instead, we have the ones about wacky teachers. That's what I'm known for? Controversy?

[said somewhat in jest...but I was surprised...] 

This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice at the bottom of the sidebar. Thank you.

Remembering and reflecting: where I've been


It's been quite a while since I blogged semi-regularly. It's been so long that Blogger has come up with all sorts of cool new features since I last did anything but a quick post. It's also been a long time since I was active in the world of blogs. There are a few I keep up with sporadically, but I rarely comment. I have no idea what new controversy has everyone's knickers in a twist in what used to be my corner of the blogosphere. I am utterly and completely out of the loop. For all I know, some new wacky teacher may have arisen and convinced the gullible that patriarchy -- true, Biblical patriarchy!!! -- requires living in tents or that the reason men don't have concubines today is all the result of some vast feminist conspiracy.I miss some of the people in that world, but I don't miss that world. It feels good to be free of it.A lot has happened in my life and in the life of my family since those days. Life and death stuff, or I should say, near-death stuff. Crises. Heartbreak the likes of which no one should ever have to suffer. Anguish. Dark nights of the soul. But also incredible joy in the midst of that sorrow.In other words, real life. Real nitty, gritty life.When life gets that in-your-face overwhelmingly real, despite all the chaos and confusion that might ensue for a season, some things become really clear. You re-examine a lot when you're treading through deep waters. You begin to realize what and whom -- and Whom -- you can grab onto for safety and what and whom will only pull you down further. You realize who you can go to with your burdens...those who will weep with you and rejoice with you...those who will hold your darkest secret heartaches as sacred trusts...those who will walk with you through the darkest valleys.There aren't many of those sorts of people.Years ago, back in the day, I remember an online discussion of homeschooling mothers during which one brave soul dared mention a minor issue she was having with her teenage daughter. This girl was no longer content to play "Little House on the Prairie" and read Elsie Dinsmore for the 20th time; she wanted more out of life; she longed to do something that made a difference and was exciting at the same time. A number of the other moms, who only had young children, tore into this mother and her daughter. You would have thought this girl had announced, "I want to be a harlot" and that the mother had answered, "Whatever you want, dear, is fine with me; let me buy you some harlot clothes" -- that's how these other moms carried on. They gave advice that this girl's "rebellious spirit" needed to be rebuked and punished, that the mother shouldn't listen to her nonsense, that both were in sin, etc., etc.Needless to say, these are not the sort of people you turn to in a crisis.A few years went by, but it was still back in the day, when the son of a homeschooling family died under unfortunate and disturbing circumstances. The parents decided to alert other families to what had happened, so that others might be spared their tragedy. I was horrified at the lack of empathy, at the other callousness, in which some in the online world responded. There was much holier-than-thou shooting of the wounded.Needless to say, these are not the sort of people you turn to in a crisis.More than one mother, way back in my days of writing about my concerns regarding the Ezzos' teachings, insisted that they had the whole parenting thing down and would never have to deal with any problems because their one-year-old was already "characterized by first-time obedience".Needless to say, these are not the sort of people you turn to in a crisis.Also, back in the day, there were certain online teachers, some of them leaders in their own churches, who thrived on controversy, who loved to declare their authority over anyone [...]

Not your typical speaker at church


I thought this was the funniest promo video for a church guest speaker I've ever seen. Let me know what you think.

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="262" src="" width="420">

My grandchild


This is a picture of my first grandchild. He/she is still in hiding. I think my daughter is the cutest pregnant person ever.


-- Posted from my iPhone

New season of life


We have entered a new exciting phase as parents. Last October, Offspring #3 was married. If I have any readers left, you may remember him as Strapping Young Man. He made a handsome groom with his beautiful bride:


In January, it was Offspring #2's turn. She took my breath away.


I danced with the love of my life at the wedding reception:


Next up: grandchildren! My daughter is expecting our first. I am so looking forward to this new adventure!!

A friend of mine once said that grandchildren are the closest we get to a "do over" in life. As young, earnest parents desiring to raise godly children, too many of us -- myself definitely one -- erred too much on the side of fear, legalism, strictness, impatience, and insensitivity. As grandparents, we can shower grace, love, compassion, and understanding on the little ones in our lives. We can lavish affection and well-deserved praise. And we can be humble enough to tell our children, "This is how I should have treated you. I can't turn back the clock but please know that when I show love to your children, I'm doing those things for you too."

-- Posted from my iPhone

Keep me at thy sacred feet


Pray for me...

How oft, alas! this wretched heart
Has wandered from the Lord,
How oft my roving thoughts depart,
Forgetful of His Word.

Yet sovereign mercy calls, “Return”;
Dear Lord, and may I come?
My vile ingratitude I mourn;
O take the wanderer home.

And canst Thou, wilt Thou yet forgive,
And bid my crimes remove?
And shall a pardoned rebel live
To speak Thy wondrous love?

Almighty grace, thy healing power
How glorious, how divine!
That can to bliss and life restore
So vile a heart as mine.

Thy pardoning love, so free, so sweet,
Dear Savior, I adore;
O keep me at Thy sacred feet,
And let me rove no more.

-Anne Steele

-- Posted from my iPhone



...I'll start blogging again...

-- Posted from my iPhone

Power and Control


This is obviously my blog. If someone posts a comment I don't like, I can simply delete it. Because,'s my blog.

But here's the funny thing. Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I don't get all power-mad and full of myself over the fact that I've got my own blog and that, in real life, I have a God-given position of authority over some people. (I'm a mother. I know it's kinda radical in some circles to claim boldly that God had given a mother any authority over her own children but...hey...I didn't make up the book of Proverbs and I don't think the verses to heed the instruction of one's mother are some sort of feminist conspiracy.)

Anyway, I needed a good laugh and I found one. Astute longterm readers of my blog (assuming I have any left) will no doubt recognize what blog I am quoting:

"You attacked me, personally--which is fine. I'm not upset. But now, submit to our rules and identify yourself with your real first and last name, plus a working e-mail. I've always identified myself, fully, and there are times we require our readers to do so, also.

Submit to authority.

And of course, I've used that word twice now because I was guessing you wouldn't."

Submit to authority??!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, my goodness!!! I am wiping away tears here!! Writing a blog gives a man authority over his readers??? Is this silly or what?

You know what? I think the power is going to my head. I insist all my women readers post lengthy comments immediately! Submit to my authority! After all, not only do I have blog authoring authority but, as an older woman, I have teaching authority as well.

Comment away. Submit to my authority!

I'm not even asking that you identify yourselves.

Hhhhmmmmm...I think this authority power-crazy stuff is more a guy thing. It just feels silly to me. Reminds me of visiting other families when i was a kid and trying to play with some little self-important budding tyrant who puffed out his puny little chest and declared, "You have to do what I say because I'm a BOY and I'm the BOSS of my backyard!"

Some little boys get bigger -- and use bigger words -- but they never grow up.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Whole lotta hammerin' goin' on


And this is the result so far:


-- Posted from my iPhone

R.I.P., my furry friend


Finally, another post in what has become truly a hit and miss -- far more miss than hit -- blog. This is long overdue. Not just because it's been so long since my last post, but because it's been over a month and a half since this happened.We had a wonderful Mothers' Day weekend planned. My daughter and her boyfriend surprised me by arriving on Friday afternoon. The plan was to leave Saturday morning and drive to a tiny town (I've been told the current population is 37) out in the middle of nowhere for a bluegrass festival.But on Friday afternoon, our dog Zeke ran away. He was gone over four hours and returned that evening, not quite acting himself. By Saturday morning, it was clear that he was very, very sick. He couldn't even keep down water. We took him to the vet and she advised us to leave him there, so she could treat his nausea, vomiting and fever, try to figure out what was going on, and do whatever else seemed necessary. We felt hopeful that he would be fine; after all, he was only four years old, and a very strong and healthy dog.So we decided to go ahead with our weekend plans, which had been put on hold. We managed to have a good time, a really great time in fact, listening to good music and camping with friends of ours. But Zeke was on our minds the whole time, especially whenever we saw another dog.On the drive home, once we were back in cell phone range, I got the sad message from the vet. On Saturday night, Zeke had seemed to be doing better. He hadn't thrown up again once they admitted him. The fever was gone. He was even wagging his tail and being charming. So the vet was shocked when she checked on him early Sunday morning. At first she thought he was sleeping, but he was gone.We spent the rest of the drive home either quiet or crying. The house seemed horribly empty that night.Zeke was a good dog. He had only three character flaws: he tended to run away; he stole food; he didn't always get along with other dogs. But he was wonderful with people and children.We got him at the pound when he was 2 years old. He picked us, and greeted us like we were his long lost family. He was ours from that moment. He was a lab mix, with the shiniest black fur I've even seen on a dog. Even though we were adamant he was going to be an outside dog, he charmed his way indoors and was so well-mannered that we loved having him around. My husband used to share his breakfast with him every morning.He could run like the wind. He was strong, and the boys liked to harness him to their wagon or let him pull them on their bikes. He was fun to take places. He was a wonderful family pet, the kind of dog everyone wishes for their kids.During my worst bouts of insomnia, or after bad nightmares, he was always there for me. It was amazing how comforting he would be. He was also a great listener and extremely nonjudgmental. I can't imagine being up in the night without having him hang out with me. This is what he looked like one morning when he was trying to sleep after he'd been up with me most of the night:I miss having him greet me with joy and delight whenever I walk in the door at night. I miss his companionship. I miss his amazing soft fur. Even though we've since added two puppies to our household, they can never replace him.This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice at the bottom of the sidebar. Thank you.[...]

Why did the chicken cross the road?



Here is the answer:


-- Posted from my iPhone

It's not an easy day


For too many people, Mothers' Day is tinged with sadness and disappointment, even pain. The day can be a cruel reminder that:

1. We cannot bear children and will never experience the joyous privilege of being a mother.

2. Our own mothers are no longer living, and they have left a void that cannot be filled.

3. Our mothers were nothing like a Hallmark card and left us wounded and scarred.

4. Our husbands do not honor us as the mothers of their children. In fact, they barely appreciate us in this role.

5. Our children do not rise up and call us blessed. We may have lost a child to death or rebellion. We may have children who are struggling.

So we sit through the annual pat on the back at church, a sermon that also points out how much we fail to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman we are supposed to be. We feel ashamed of our grief and hide it away.

If this day is like that for you, know that God is faithful. People may and will disappoint, but He longs to comfort you...even as a loving mother comforts her children.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Bluegrass Festival


My husband wearing his hat, a very special young man, a sweet family friend, and my beautiful daughter listening to some great bluegrass music.


-- Posted from my iPhone

Making all things new


Out with the with the new...there are so many times that I've really longed for that in my life.

On Good Friday, we watched Mel Gibson's "The Passion". One of the things that struck my husband is when the character of Jesus tells his mother, "Behold, I make all things new." That statement is true on so many profound levels that one could spend a lifetime plumbing its theological depths.

But sometimes it is the simple things that touch the deepest. It's easy to get into a get bogged down with daily be overcome by the cares of the world. That is our human condition. Sometimes it gets more serious than that. Tragedy hits. We experience unspeakable pain and suffering. Or we battle an ongoing affliction that is never-ending. People hurt us. Our deeply unbearable wounds overwhelm and cripple us, even those that should be long scarred over.

We try our hardest. Or we don't. Somehow we put one foot in front of the other, and life goes on. It's hard to maintain hope. Everything seems a bit bleak. Our hope is that maybe things will get better somehow...that conditions will change...that healing will come...or, if all else fails, we have Heaven to look forward to.

And then, God does something. Out of the blue. A simple thing. And then another. And another. And these simple things happen when we least expect them, and they turn into an amazing bunch of coincidences that all come together. We wonder if there is some sort of wonderful conspiracy, because it seems as if so many different people are in on it.

Simple, everyday stuff. A hug. A whisper of encouragement in my ear, urging me to stay the course. A text message with an urgent prayer request. A couple apps on my iPhone. A hymn. A prayer. A few verses in the Bible. Who knew how all that would come together?

He makes all things new. All things.

And it's springtime.

This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice at the bottom of the sidebar. Thank you.

Easter in the Midst of Grief


I wrote this back in 1990, to be published in a church devotional booklet. I posted it here on my blog before, but felt the urge to repost it this year: has held a new, triumphant meaning for me since I discovered that you can't really celebrate the victory of Easter without being devastated by Good Friday; one is meaningless without the other. When I was 19 years old, my beloved Opa died, my mother's father, a man who had completely opened his heart to me and captured mine in the process. Even when he was a continent away, I felt his love.

A brutal, painful heart attack took his life not long after he had celebrated his fiftieth wedding anniversary. My mother, who had the privilege of being with him when he went home, told me his last words were a prayer of praise, ending, "Jesus is the victor! Hallelujah! Amen."

Grief is far more than emotional. It is a pain so intense that it is physical, devastating, exhausting, all consuming.

Easter came in the early days of our grieving. My mother and I stood together in church, singing the familiar Easter hymns, tears flowing down our faces. It was then that Easter became real to me--truly real--dynamic and immediate rather than historic. I was amazed that my heart could be simultaneously filled with such great joy and such aching sorrow.

Someday I too will be snatched out of this life. Someday I will stand before my Savior, along with all the saints who have gone before, and I will shout with my Opa, "Jesus is the victor! Hallelujah! Amen."

That is what I celebrate at Easter.

[This post, along with my entire blog, is copyrighted. Please read and honor the copyright notice on the bottom of this page. Thank you.]

-- Posted from my iPhone while on the road...oh, the marvels of modern technology!

Road Trip


This is the view from the car. And no, I'm not the one driving.


-- Posted from my iPhone