Cuban Sandwich, Ghiradelli, and Dekker

I love January. It’s usually a snuggly month to regroup after Christmas and prepare for a great new year.  This January was no exception (with the exception of a lumpectomy which I’ll tell you about in Fresh Grounded Thoughts).  Our Christmas was wonderful.

We flew to my folks’ home in Florida on Christmas afternoon.  We also got to spend a whole day with all of Phil’s family who had gathered in Tampa.

Behind God’s Back

How many times have you heard a mom described as having “eyes in the back of her head?”  Often, right?  It’s a picturesque way of illustrating that a mom can see what her kids are doing, even when they’re doing it behind her back.

But, have you ever thought about God having “eyes in the back of His head?”

Of course, God is Spirit and utterly omniscient, but think of what that picture could represent.  Does God see what is behind Him?  Does He willingly observe that which is behind Him? What about your sin?  Is it before Him or behind Him?

When King David committed adultery and was confronted by the prophet Nathan, he was devastated.  If you read Psalm 51, you sense that his devastation isn’t because he was caught, but because he realized the blackness of his act.  “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.”

Get Those Unmentionables Out of Your Life

For about ten years now, Katharyn, Lori, and I have met for a girls’ weekend.  Beach condos, New York City hotels, and even our homes have all played host to our once-a-year estrogen-charged escapes.

This year, we chose Kansas City for our latest installment.  We arrived late Thursday night to discover our lovely suite overlooked the Country Club Plaza, yes; my expectations and excitement were brimming.  The only thing I anticipated more than the shopping was the emptying of my brimming bladder; yes, it had been a long drive.

After checking in, I raced into our hotel bathroom and quickly shut the door.  Well, I tried to shut the door.  Something had lodged beneath it and the door was jammed.  I reached down to dislodge the assumed washcloth, grasped a wad of fabric in my fist—and screamed.  Katharyn and Lori rushed to the scene for a “sight” inspection.  I knew for certain when Katharyn yelled, “Gross!” and Lori groaned.  I held an anonymous pair of men’s underwear in my hand.  We all marched from the restroom to the phone.  I pressed zero and connected with the young man at the front desk.

Entering a New Gate

Green field - new gateThe farmer recounted how his cows behaved when he put up a new gate:

“Mooo, that’s not been here before…Must turn around.” 

He described how they shift, shake their heads and moo.  Some turn and wander away.  Some stand before it paralyzed.

That very gate may be the way to greener pastures and lush surroundings.  That single gate may be what stands between the thirsty cow and a fresh watering hole.  But the cow stares at the gate–half confused, half offended–and seems to think, “Moo, moo…that doesn’t belong here.  I’m just gonna turn around and go back, or stand here and stare at it.”

We often act like cows at new gates.  

What we really long for is just on the other side of something new and unfamiliar, but we often forfeit what we really desire because to get there means we have to face what is new and unfamiliar.  It feels entirely too risky. However, gates are not barriers unless you are unwilling to open them and pass through.

Watch Out for the Negative White Rapper

negativeKnock, knock. 

The thud at my front door soon after the school bus arrived wasn’t unusual or alarming.  I simply assumed it was one of Connor’s friends from the neighborhood with a kick ball and an invitation to play. 

When I swung the door open though, I realized it wasn’t one of the neighborhood boys.  It was a male voice and with caricature like swagger, he schmoozed “Well, hello Miss America!”  I instinctively rolled my eyes. 

“Oh, Please!” I thought, “I’m 46, no make-up, standing right before you with sweats on and not falling for that empty flattery.”

“What do you need, Sir?” I asked with as much firmness as possible.  

He began to fall into a pitch he had clearly given millions of times before.  I really have no idea what he was selling because he hadn’t finished his first sentence before something very unusual came over me. I interrupted him and began this chant-like response that stopped him mid sentence.

Green Tea, Philly, & Friends

I brewed a cup of my latest favorite tea and sipped it as I wrote this month’s Java.  It’s Ginger Peach Green Tea by Stash, and it has 100% natural ingredients–green tea, ginger root, peach flavor, and Japanese Matcha. For a green tea, it’s bursting with robust flavor.  It’s the flavor of spring!

Jennifer and Kathy Troccoli

I tucked a few of the tea bags in my suitcase for some serious travels this month.  First, we enjoyed a fantastic Fresh Grounded Faith event in Newark, Delaware.  The women there were absolutely wonderful.  This Southern girl just loved my Yankee sisters!  Speaking of Yankees, Kathy Troccoli was my special guest, offering the perfect girlfriend blend to the weekend.  She is such a woman of grace and authenticity.  I love her music, I love her heart, and I love her accent!  And, I love her friend Ellie Lofaro, who I finally got to meet in person.  You should check her books out, too.  What a woman!