Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jumping on the blog-wagon re: Dan Cathy

Life has been a bit crazy for my family, and not a little stressful. So, I took a break from earlgreygirl. I am jumping back into the fray on an uncomfortable topic. I don't really like controversy, but as my writing professor used to say, "To be a good writer, you have to stick your neck out."  I write this out of love and concern for all of us who are together on this crazy, spinning planet.

It amazes me how intelligent people can jump on a bandwagon of hatred so quickly. Bloggers, reporters, politicians et al are ready to burn Chik-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy at the stake for his opposition to gay marriage...oh, wait, Cathy DID NOT say one word about gays and gay marriage in the interview.

He simply stated some facts about his business and family: "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

Bloggers are making wild assumptions about Cathy’s beliefs from those three sentences. One blogger wrote, “On the simplest level, I wish that Chick-Fil-A's President Dan Cathy had someone like (my friend) James in his life, because if he did he’d easily see that a person’s sexuality does not determine his or her character. He’d see that people who are gay deserve to have the same rights as everyone else.”

This is a woman who blogs for the Chicago Tribune. Where in the interview with Dan Cathy does he say anything about his views on a person’s character, or that he does not believe gays have rights? He simply makes a personal value statement about family.

Another piece for the Chicago Tribune stated, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed Moreno’s ideological viewpoint (an alderman who says he will prevent Chik-Fil-A from opening another restaurant in Chicago), saying the city does not share the values espoused by Dan Cathy, president of the family-owned Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant chain.”

Really? An entire city is opposed to the kind of family unit Cathy talks about? An entire city does not support the idea of a family-owned business? How on earth does Emanuel have access to every heart and mind in Chicago? Before you take me to task for exaggerating, understand that I am repeating the essence of what Mayor Emanuel stated.  Just because someone states he is living out a certain way of life and a belief system, does not mean he or she is opposed to your right to a certain way of living and belief system.

Someone, somewhere will interpret what I say here as “homophobic” even though I have not voiced a single word that can be truthfully interpreted as such. My point is to ask that people stop knee-jerk reactions based on assumptions and media hysteria.

I am a believer in Christ. I am a registered Republican. I am a woman married to a man. My husband is a pastor. Because of these four sentences, four statements of fact, people--be they Christian, Buddhist, atheist, conservative or liberal--will make certain assumptions about my character, my beliefs, who I love and who I supposedly hate, and I guarantee that most of the assumptions would be wrong.

If there is something I hate, it is hatred. Hatred caused the tragedy in Aurora; hatred caused 9/11; hatred propels people like the pastor of Westboro Baptist---which, by the way, simply because he calls himself a pastor and his church “Baptist”, does not mean he is a believer in Jesus. He in no way reflects the Jesus I love and know from the Word, nor does he reflect the character of any believer I know.

When we lambaste someone for holding a different opinion (especially without truly knowing what that opinion is--like reading a headline and thinking that is the full story), our reaction is not only ignorant, it is hateful.  If we are not operating out of love and respect for another’s opinion, whether they be that “crazy” neighbor, the president of the United States, a CEO, a co-worker who is also a lesbian, a teen working out his faith, we will fear and hate what we don’t understand.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Luscious Fruit of Lies

Lying lips conceal hatred, and whoever utters slander is a fool. When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but the prudent are restrained in speech. (Proverbs Prov. 10:18-19)

One of my jobs is to proofread articles for the terrific Theology of Work Project, begun by my friend Will Messenger. I just finished proofing "Proverbs" and it is so good, I wanted to quote it left and right here, but I can't, since it won't be published until next week.

However, I can mention that the section on slander and gossip is something every person should read--especially every believer in Christ, since believers claim the Bible to be the living, authoritative Word of God--because just about every worker, every church-goer, every parent and teen (in other words, every person), has known the pain of gossip and slander.

Most of us have engaged in gossip--from a sip to a gulp-sized portion
--and the result is never good. I know I don't feel good about myself if I talk about another person out of turn, especially since I have known the sting of being gossiped about.

Slander is similar to gossip, except it is usually more public and more damaging. Two dear friends were the victims of slander a few years ago by someone who had perpetrated a crime but tried to shift blame onto innocent people. Because this person's family was well-known in their city, they made life very uncomfortable for my friends for a while. What made this all the more difficult was that those involved were members of the same church.

Sinners are everywhere and can especially be found at church. Is that such a surprise? True believers are those who know they are sinners saved by the grace of God, through the sacrifice of Jesus. So, our churches are filled with sinners--but they should be growing in love and wisdom and obedience to God's Word, not in building a rap sheet.

The Bible takes slander and lying very seriously and warns us to "not bear false witness" (the ninth commandment, Exodus 20:16). This makes sense, since the very first whisper of slander led to catastrophe. In Genesis 3, the serpent hisses a lie to Eve about God--slandering Him as unloving, selfish
--and extends the luscious fruit that traps Eve and Adam, and catapults the human race out of paradise and into the messed up world we live in.

Slandering our brothers and sisters is wrong, and many times it stems from blame-shifting: we can't face the log in our own eye, so we will try to find a splinter in our neighbor's (Matthew 7:5). Let's not take a bite out of the fruit the "father of lies" dangles before us, and instead have "the tongue of the wise [that] brings healing."

Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness speaks deceitfully. Rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.  Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy. (Proverbs Prov. 12:17-20)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Means No

A young woman, petrified, tells her mother that a young man lies dead in her bed. The mother, appalled, asks, “Did he force himself on you?” The daughter shakes her head no, her face crumpled in tears.

The thing is, the daughter is absolutely wrong. She was forced.

Downton Abbey is a favorite series of mine on PBS. It is written well, has a terrific cast and a decent storyline. Unfortunately, a Season 1/Episode 2 storyline perpetuates the Hollywood-driven myth that when a girl says, “No” she must mean, “Yes,” especially when an ardent admirer is in pursuit.

Hollywood is not only to blame: this attitude and the one that equates love with violence extends back to ancient times. In the Greek myth, “The Rape of Persephone,” the daughter of Zeus and Demeter is kidnapped by Haides, who is described as “being in love” with her. The Biblical account of Tamar’s rape by her own brother is a more compelling, unromanticized account of a man ignoring a young woman’s “no”  (2 Samuel 13). These are two extreme examples of force, and of ignoring a woman’s right to refuse advances.

In Downton Abbey, the scene is more subtle. It cleverly disguises rape as a romantic conquest. Mary, the eldest daughter of Lord Grantham, meets a handsome Turkish diplomat staying at Downtown for a weekend hunting party. He is immediately attentive to Mary, who becomes quickly infatuated with the debonair Mr. Pamuk. Disregarding English social convention--and the fact that he is a guest in Lord Grantham’s home--he tricks Mary into being alone with him and grabs her for a passionate kiss.

She gives him her first “No!”  after he commands her, “Let me come to you tonight.” She reminds him that as her father’s guest, he would be thrown out if she revealed his behavior. She hurries back to the dinner party. 

Later, despite Mary’s emphatic earlier rejection of his advances, Pamuk has a servant guide him to Mary’s room and he simply walks in. She then gives her second “No,” and he again disregards it, convinced she is already his prize. She tells him she is inexperienced (code word for ‘virgin’) and that this liaison would ruin her reputation. That would again be a “no.” But the guy won’t take no for an answer, and convinces Mary that the act will be “safe” and that she should trust him.

Mary does not tell her mother these details--she believes she willingly allowed him into her bed; therefore, she was not “forced.” (He died of a heart attack that night, despite his young age and virility.)

Gavin de Becker, the author I mentioned in my recent post about fear vs. worry, writes in the “Gift of Fear” that a man who ignores a woman’s “no,” no matter the situation (“No, I don’t need your help”; “No, I don’t want to date you”) is not a trustworthy person. Our sons and daughters are getting a completely different message on television and in the movies.

Downton Abbey nearly had me fooled as well--I did not recognize this as a rape until I happened to watch the episode the other day. Why hadn’t I seen this before? I was probably blinded by the set up of the story, and the seemingly romantic pursuit of a girl by a handsome man. 

From the very beginning of his stay at Downton, Pamuk began forcing himself upon Mary. When a person ignores a “no” and continues to fulfill his own wishes, that is force, bullying, and yes, perhaps rape. Let’s call it what it is, so our Marys and our Pamuks can understand the difference.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Locked Out and Unlocked

At 7:15 a.m. yesterday morning, the door clicked shut behind us as my daughter and I left the house. And I knew. Sigh...locked out. Keys on the table. Tim in Boston to pick up our older daughter from college.  Every window locked, in an effort to combat all the roving criminals in Pittsford. Our spare key was missing and we hadn't replaced it.

At least I had the car keys and my wallet. I keep a Bible and some books on the porch--if I also had water out there, I could have survived. I drove Emma to school and then texted my husband my predicament...and then my phone battery died. Yup. Just call me Mrs. Prepared. Yes, I should have charged my phone the night before. Yes, I should have an extra key hidden outside. Better yet, had my house keys in my purse instead of...somewhere else. Where are they, anyway?

I sat on the porch for a while, the cat complaining endlessly at the window, as if to say, "Why are you getting to have all the fun on the porch? Let me out there!" 

A situation like this can cause one to lose one's temper. But, instead I felt peace. I also felt hunger, so I went to Dunkin' Donuts and blew my diet on a croissant. And then I felt more peace. I waited two hours more for the person I thought had an extra key--the owner--but he never showed. At that point, like any red-blooded American with not much else to do, I went shopping. It was going to be 80 degrees in just a couple of hours, Tim was not due home until 3 p.m., and I had a fleece jacket and a pajama top on over my jeans. And did I mention I was in desperate need of a shower?

I braved the morning crowd at Marshalls, and not a customer nor clerk fainted from my lack of makeup or unwashed hair. One new polo top and undergarment later (I changed in our garage), I decided to go for a drive, passing through the lovely town of Honeoye Falls. A gazebo on the green was filled with musicians and speakers,  and was surrounded by people on lawn chairs--and then I remembered it was National Day of Prayer. I had my Bible, a Diet Coke, and headed to Mendon Ponds Park. Parked by the the water, I prayed and enjoyed creation.

Seven hours after being locked out, I headed back home to decorate the porch with a sign and balloons (I managed to pop two of the four getting them into the car) to welcome home our Emerson College freshman, Maggie. Emma and her friend Grey managed a forced entry ten minutes before Tim arrived with the keys--she did not want to be late for crew practice. Grateful for our own resident Bonnie and Clyde,  I scurried to the loo.

One of the definitions of "unlocked," is "to free from restraints or restrictions." It was frustrating for me at first to know that the tools I needed for my workday (my computer and phone charger) were locked inside the house, but then I embraced the freedom. Being locked out unlocked freedom from my schedule and typical control of my day. I confess it has been a while since I have devoted most of a day to prayer and meditating on God's Word.

Today I remembered to unlock the door before zipping Emma to school. I admit, the thought crossed my mind to do a repeat and unlock my day instead.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom....Have compassion on your servants. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.  Psalm 90:12-14.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pushing Through

A recent race proved to be a character building opportunity for my daughter. A rower, she knows what it feels like to be in pain. Rowing (also known as “Crew”) requires nearly every large muscle group, and a good coach requires tough daily practices in anticipation of victory at a regatta (the rowing event at which several schools or clubs compete).

On the very day she had two races, my daughter was unwell and in pain. The racecourse was cold, the waves choppy, and she was scheduled to be in the top novice boat. She worried that she would get sicker out on the water, and then let her teammates down. “Push through the pain,” her coach and I told her. “We know you can do it--it may actually make you feel better.” 

Sound callous? Not really: her coach and I both know what she is capable of, and we were speaking truth (the demands of rowing would supersede the pain of the ailment--and yes, I know: easy for me to say!). 

Many times our worrying about a negative result is simply that: a worry, not a result. Pushing through, despite our worry or anxiety, will reap the data that will enable us through the next seemingly insurmountable hurdle: “Hey, that wasn’t so bad!” “That did not turn out the way I expected at all.” “I accomplished much more than I thought possible.”

Gavin de Becker, in his excellent (and a bit unnerving) book, The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence, makes a distinction between situations that cause real fear and the worry that stems from imagination. True fear, which is connected to our intuition, causes action; worry, on the other hand, “stems from a root [word] that means ‘to choke,’ and that is just what it does to us.”

“Our imaginations can be the fertile soil in which worry and anxiety grow from seeds to weeds, but when we assume the imagined outcome is a sure thing, we are in conflict with what Proust called an inexorable law: ‘Only that which is absent can be imagined.’ In other words, what you not happening’” (de Becker, p. 292).

Worry is the enemy of action and “pushing through.” It consumes our imagination--and we make that imagined outcome the reality instead of pushing through to the real outcome! We sink our own boat, if you will, before even leaving the dock.

My daughter pushed through and realized the reality that her body did not fail her, and she actually felt better after the two races (coming in First Place probably helped). How about you? What anxiety about your imagined lack of ability or courage is stopping you from taking action? Pray for strength and push through (as Joyce Meyer famously said, “Do it afraid!”). You can do much more in reality than you can even imagine.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Ephesians 3:20-21.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Burden Lifted

Ever have the need to “get something off your chest”?

NPR ran a story yesterday about Larry Israelson, a writer who carried a secret burden for 39 years and who then wrote about the apology he was finally able to make to his seventh-grade teacher. 

His "misdeed" may seem trite compared with darker things students have done to teachers: as a twelve year old, he dropped out of a beloved teacher's class because students were making fun of him, rhyming his name with the teacher's, trying to imply something the naive boy didn't understand, but knew was an ugly connotation.

Israelson convinced the principal to let him switch teachers, and never told the teacher why. And it bothered him.  For years. This teacher had been an encourager to him, consistently helping him and complimenting him on his writing skills, encouraging him in the very career where one day this boy would make his mark as a man.

As an adult, he felt shame about his cowardice, and having let down this very special mentor. For Israelson, the burden was heavy. Being able to find him and apologize, Israelson said, "was like a huge weight was lifted." 

This is a great story, because it illustrates the power of confession, forgiveness and reconciliation. Relieving ourselves of a long-kept secret or sin against another can be freeing, especially when it makes forgiveness and reconciliation possible. 

The darker side to “getting something off your chest” is when it is about making yourself feel better, without considering how the person on the receiving end will feel or react.  That could implode a solid relationship very quickly, or unintentionally cause harm. A counseling session can be a first “best practice” for sharing in a safe environment.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Back to the Tea and Now to Tu

I know my last two posts were kind of heavy material--my blog is not about theology per se, nor do I want to pound someone over the head with my opinions (hmm...will that work with my husband?). But when I get pumped up about an idea or need to share something I believe in, it bubbles to the surface and must be released! That is probably not the best image. But I won’t hit the delete button, because it is kind of funny and since I just had the flu for a week, humor is a must.

So, brew a cup of tea and let's talk about my hair stylist. Yes, she is my "stylist." That word makes me feel cool and worthy of her shears. Her name is Tu, and she is originally from Vietnam. She is twenty years younger than I am and I love her 'tude--that's "attitude" in Earl Grey Girl parlance. She loves what she does, and like many creative people, she can't explain why she can do what she does.  She "just can."

She was cutting her own hair at age 9, and had a curling iron in her fist when she was 10. She cut hair for fun in high school, but did not consider it job material until she grew bored with computers in interior design school. An artist needs to use her hands.

When she was in hair school (is that what they call it?), she would watch her instructors carefully, and could quickly understand how to cut the right angles (math-challenged, I would have flunked immediately), and she could also intuit what style would work with a particular client. She told me that when she looks at someone's head, she can "see" how the hair cut should turn out. She has an artist's eye, and that's how she approaches hair styling.

Is there something you just know how to do, but can't really explain how you know to do it? Don't dismiss your capability--it is God-given and probably world-necessary. No woman reading this is going to doubt the necessity and awesomeness of a gifted hair stylist. A good haircut can lift a pound of stress from a harried woman. There are ministries that give away free haircuts and spa days to show the care and love of God, like Good Cause in Maryland. 

When you discover what you are good at--as long as it is moral and legal (Bernie Madoff was really good at raising money--for himself)--shout it! And then, share it. Share your gift. 

"Moses told the Israelites, "See, God has selected Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He's filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know-how for making all sorts of things, to design and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to carve stones and set them; to carve wood, working in every kind of skilled craft. And he's also made him a teacher, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He's gifted them with the know-how needed for carving, designing, weaving, and embroidering in blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, and in fine linen. They can make anything and design anything." Exodus 35:30-35.

What Does it Mean to be Converted?

Chuck Colson's death over the weekend has brought the "C" word back into public discussion: not "convict" or "criminal," but "conversion." And that is a good thing.

Yesterday, I wrote about the very public transformation of Chuck Colson from a Watergate criminal to a convert who exemplified Christian service and sacrifice for the marginalized in society: prisoners and their families. Washington Post op-ed columnist Michael Gerson wrote on Monday that Colson was "the most thoroughly converted person I have ever known."

Conversion is a mystery--Christian theology has never made the claim that conversion is man-made. One cannot just whip up a quick conversion, though many evangelists have probably tried. Christian conversion involves the Spirit of God convicting us of our great need to turn toward God and away from all that holds us captive: sin, pride, evil. The dictionary defines conversion in the Christian theological sense as "repentance and change to a Godly life."

Do you want to know if someone is a true convert? Look at his or her life! Let's look at our own lives! True repentance leads to a changed life. It won't happen overnight--though some internal and external change can happen instantaneously. My father, for instance, was miraculously healed of alcoholism. That was apparent to anyone who knew his circumstances: he never suffered the effects of withdrawal. But other changes within him happened over the long term. God's work in us is a life-long project, but His grace and love encourage us to keep turning to Him!

Colson was known pre-conversion for having few virtues--few people liked him, and many were afraid of him. It would be awful to leave a legacy like that--but God did not let that happen. Colson took no credit for the changes that occurred within him and his relationships--it was a work of God that allowed him to be so thoroughly converted and so thoroughly transformed. He, like every other person who turns to God and away from the prison of sin, became "a new person."

Colson reminds me of a certain person named Saul, who was greatly feared by the first Christians 2,000 years ago. He believed his destiny was to wipe out what he and the other Pharisees believed to be a blasphemous group. He was going to make it his life's work to throw every Christian into prison or to have them executed.

But God had very different plans for Saul, who was thoroughly converted on the Road to Damascus. He, too, was eventually thrown into prison for his crimes--the very crimes of the faithful he had railed against as a Pharisee. Colson was released from prison for his crimes after only seven months, but lived the rest of his life as a former prisoner truly set free. We don't jail people in the United States for preaching and living out the Gospel (there are countries who do!)--if we did, he would have served a life sentence, like Paul.

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" 2 Corinthians 5:17, New Living Translation.

Photo credit: Kairos Prison Ministry

Monday, April 23, 2012

Chuck Colson: A Very Good Work

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and author of Half the Sky, posted on Facebook Saturday a short tribute to Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, who died at 80 April 21. What struck me is that Kristoff began the tribute with a disclaimer: "I know this will horrify some of you, but I had respect for Chuck Colson..." and then Kristoff describes the very good work Colson did in addressing the many problems in the prison system, including prison rape.

From the comments the columnist received, one would think Colson had been the devil incarnate, instead of a once-power-hungry human being who "sinned boldly," was convicted and imprisoned, and who, for the rest of his life, reflected the conversion and redemption that he claimed had saved him in prison.

Let me repeat that: Colson, for 40 years until his death, led a life of integrity, service, creativity, and commitment. He was not a hypocrite, a snake-charmer, an adulterer, unlike other "church-going" leaders we have seen take a fall in recent years; he was a sinner saved by grace who then served boldly.

He was "working out his salvation" for all the world to see--except that much of the Western world chooses to call evil, good and good, evil, especially when in disagreement with someone. The sophisticated world has trouble seeing good in Chuck Colson. The comments on Kristof's post were primarily shots at "evil" conservative politics, and the assertion that Colson's Watergate crimes and later political alliances were equally bad.

But evangelical Christians also had a problem with him in the mid '90s, because he dared to forge an alliance with Catholics. When the document, "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" was published, 100 angry evangelical leaders denounced it, and Colson's ministry lost one million dollars in funding. Apparently, helping prisoners wasn't as important at that moment as sticking it to a perceived pal to Catholics. 

But, it was only for a while. The furor died down, and many came to see that Christians working together, regardless of denomination, is much more effective than ripping one another apart.

I did not know Chuck Colson personally, but I ran into him a few times while I was working for Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He was a long-time Board member. I remember being in awe--geek that I am--because he was the rock star of transformed lives. I had read several of his books, and had been given his book, Born Again, many years before by my father when I first became a Christian. I remember calling my dad excitedly that I had just been standing next to one of his heroes.

But a glimpse into Colson's character can be found in a 45-minute car ride with my husband who was driving him to the airport. He asked Tim about his work, his plans for ministry. He wanted to hear his opinion about the seminary. Then, he apologized as his phone rang. "I have to take this--my daughter's calling!" Tim could not help but overhear a loving exchange between a dad and a daughter. A few weeks later, my husband received a signed book from Colson's office. Colson had said he would like to send him one and wrote down Tim's address. This very busy man, with much on his mind and plate, remembered to send a book to someone he had just met.

Like Kristof, I have great respect for Colson--yes, for the prison ministry, but more for his ability to actualize God's promises: that as a child of God, you can be set free from sin and shame--and then move on to do great things.

I have counseled people who had great difficulty in believing they were truly forgiven for the past, who had not committed ugly crimes impacting an entire nation. It takes courage and faith to face those we have wronged, admit our wrongdoing, then lay that shame at the cross (see Colson's book I mentioned earlier, Born Again).  Of course, there are consequences to our actions: some wrongs can't be undone. But if Colson had wallowed in self-pity, or worse, so much good would not have been realized.

Kristof was pandering to his more liberal followers in his post, but he, like Chuck Colson, is at least willing to stick his neck out and acknowledge that a life transformed can help transform others--calling what is good to be good.

Chuck Colson photo courtesy of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Click here to read the Gordon-Conwell memorial to Colson.
Kristof photo by Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What's Your Story?

Whenever I see my gregarious father-in-law, he greets me with, “What’s your story?” or the classic, “What’s your excuse?” He is of course implying that somewhere, somehow, me being me, I am causing trouble (probably starting with marrying his son 25 years ago). I think he would fall over if I replied, “What’s my story? Let me tell you the history of me!” More likely, given that we have a jib-jab teasing relationship, the response would be, “Please, I know enough.”
But, actually he doesn’t. And neither do I about him, or my own mother, or even my husband.

Everyone has a story. None of us can know the whole story of others, because we are not they.  Each one of us has a unique “history of self,” even those raised in the same household. Birth order, age difference, gender, personality--if you have a sibling, or are the parent to more than one child, then you know how these categories and their impact can differ dramatically from sibling to sibling.

It is so easy to make assumptions about another person, based on even a few exchanges of communication. But we really don’t know his story until we are told, and until we bother to truly listen.

The more experience I have in life (read: getting older!), the more I realize how my account of childhood in the Larson home may lack a certain historicity--authentic history--because it is my perception. I don’t have the whole truth, because I was not--nor can be--in everyone else’s heads to get their understanding or perspective.

So what’s the point of this post? To encourage us, myself included, that to understand one another, to know one another’s stories, we have to communicate and not make assumptions. Sometimes the other person won’t be ready to share; respect that. But, start somewhere. Just ask, “So, what’s your story?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Remember to Steep for 3 Minutes

Welcome to a blog two years in the making! Most writers would have tapped out that first entry ‘snapdoodle’ after snapping up a domain name, but not me: too busy finishing up grad school, supporting my daughter through senior year of high school, a major move out of state, and supporting my other daughter as she plunged into a brand new high school. Fun times.

So, let’s not delay any longer: why Earl Grey Girl? Because Earl Grey is full of Bergamot, which = heaven in a teacup, and conversations over tea are usually much more productive than those over hard liquor. But, I am not opposed to conversations over a nice glass of Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.  I am all about conversations steeped in love and laughter, and in building relationship. Not perfectly, because who can do that, except God? I mess up, especially with people I love, but I would definitely give my little finger for them. Not the index finger, because I need that one to type.

Here are my passions: people; encouraging people, especially women, to pursue lives steeped in excellence and joy in their goals and relationships with others and with God; books; culture; writing; family; and did I mention people? I am a writer, a speaker, a counselor (M.A., Counseling, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 2010) and a worship leader. My desire is to encourage readers in their daily lives and to help them find the Living Hope that is Jesus Christ.

And, by the way, tea is not just for women. Ask my husband.