Tuesday, January 31
I call him "Hero"
Today my husband becomes a blogger.......kinda.....and certainly without his foreknowledge. For anyone who knows Tad, they know this is LOL funny! He is not a writer; heck, he's barely a reader (he's very proud of the claim that he didn't take home a book his entire senior year in high school...or was that his entire high school career??). He goes further to assert, through college, he never read a book cover to cover (and yeah, he was an A student, through HS anyway...that wavered a bit at Clemson. Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer come to mind with a smile (mine, not his)).

Anyway, the exception to the "no book read" thing is "They Call Me Coach" by John Wooden, a book Tad started, completed and wrote a report on way back when.

Today Tad sent me this article written by Rick Reilly sometime ago, the only sports writer I enjoy reading. I never read a Sports Illustrated without looking for his column (is anyone who knows me cracking up at the thought of me actually reading SI? Anyone who doesn't know me well, should be). Wooden's story is lovely and inspiring, and in the midst of a culture gone mad with celebrity, he's demonstrates quietly in word and deed how to live life with conviction and integrity.

My kind of Hero :).

p.s. Newsflash for Tad's long-time friends...he's actually been reading BOOKS in Tennessee--not just magazines and newspapers. Shhhhhh, he wouldn't want to damage his reputation. Jeff & Izzy (if I'm ever brave enough to share my URL with you), he STILL keeps phone converstions to 60 seconds or less ;).

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, January 31, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

Monday, January 30
All American Rejects....and Bonhoeffer?!
The second night the youth girls were with us......they were pretty worn out. Up til LATE the night before, up early Saturday, then a FULL day of sessions and fun, then back to our house. I'm not sure it was the wisest of decisions to have a "real" session Saturday night.... Laura (student leader) had a pretty good handle on this, so she didn't belabor the points that were supposed to be made.

As I said before, the focus of the weekend centered on forgiveness. Most of the emphasis was on "us" being a forgiving people (as believers) because we are a forgiven people. I was quiet during the sessions I sat in on, an observor, not a participant. (Anyone who knows me, knows that requires a great deal of restraint:)...I'm a girl...I like to talk.)

It hit me that I had heard little about the "being forgiven" part, although I'm sure they must've covered that in the sessions I didn't sit in on. As I looked around the room that night, when the girls were much less engaged in the session, I wondered what "secret sins" they were harboring...those things they felt they could tell no one. The song "Dirty Little Secrets" by All American Rejects popped in my mind.

This is one of those songs I probably wouldn't have liked if I had not seen the video before I heard it. In the video, there are a series of people holding cards in the foreground with their personal "dirty little secret" written on it (i.e., "I haven't spoken to my dad in 10 years....and it kills me everyday", "I'm only dating her sister to get to her", "People think I've stopped lying but I'm just getting better at it", "I only love two of my (3) children", "Sometimes I fake sympathy to get people to like me", "When I eat, I feel like a failure", "My family is rich but I shoplift everyday", "I hate people who remind me of myself", "I miss feeling close to God"....and more). A lot of the "secrets" begin with the two words "I'm afraid...".

Everyone has a "dark place" although not everyone admits it to anyone or even themselves. Dark places can be the indiscretions of youth, addictions, secret sins in deed or thought, and even people you cannot imagine having a dark place, have a dark place. Parents... grandparents....teachers.... preachers, no one is exempt from the dark place. It's a place riddled with guilt and shame, and whether the dark place was birthed yesterday or yesteryear, when you think about it (or if you are currently in it), you think there's no way out. Even when you KNOW the way out.

The thing is though, GOD knows our dark place...NOTHING can be hidden from Him! And yet, He STILL loves us! Don't gloss over that truth....stop....STOP! and THINK about what that really means.

I brought up the song the other night to the girls ("What!? YOU know All American Rejects???!") and made the parallel between "DLS" and secret sin; and the freedom found in realizing the forgiveness we already have in Christ...which in turn compels us to be generous forgivers. They had already read dozens of verses on forgiveness, but it seemed like something I read a while back punctuated their last home session. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together offers a brilliant exposition on the expression of forgiveness, beautiful really (then again, the whole book is, and it's a much easier read than his more lengthy Cost of Discipleship). I shared it with them because this is how it's supposed to work. THIS exchange between sinner/repentent confessor and the forgiver as representative of the Body of Christ is amazing...transforming.

In confession the break-through to community takes place. Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed it poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen even in the midst of a pious community. In confession the light of the Gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart. The sin must be brought into the light. The unexpressed must be openly spoken and acknowledged. All that is secret and hidden is made manifest. It is a hard struggle until the sin is openly admitted. But God breaks gates of brass and bars of iron (Ps. 107:16).

Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of a Christian brother, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders. He gives up all his evil. He gives his heart to God, and he finds the forgiveness of all his sin in the fellowship of Jesus and his brother. The expressed, acknowledged sin has lost all its power. It has been revealed and judged as sin. It can no longer tear the fellowship asunder. Now the fellowship bears the sin of the brother. He is no longer alone with his evil for he has cast off his sin in confession and handed it over to God. It has been taken away from him. Now he stands in the fellowship of sinners who live by the grace of God in the Cross of Jesus Christ. Now he can be a sinner and still enjoy the grace of God. He can confess his sins and in this very act find fellowship for the first time. The sin concealed separated him from the fellowship, made all his apparent fellowship a sham; the sin confessed has helped him to find true fellowship with the brethren in Jesus Christ.

Moreover, what we have said applies solely to confession between two Christians. A confession of sin in the presence of all the members of the congregation is not required to restore one to fellowship with the whole congregation. I meet the whole congregation in the one brother to whom I confess my sins and who forgives my sins. In the fellowship I find with this one brother I have already found fellowship w/the whole congregation. In this matter no one acts in his own name nor by his own authority, but by the commission of Jesus Christ. This commission is given to the whole congregation and the individual is called merely to exercise it for the congregation. If a Christian is in the fellowship of confession with a brother he will never be alone again, anywhere.

To forgive or be forgiven biblically as Bonhoeffer describes, is healing, restorative. If you're a party on either side, it's something you'll never forget. I'm thinking we should be experiencing this extraordinary but simple act of obedience daily.

Sad I often settle for less, grieved I make it more complicated (conditional) than it needs to be, but hopeful I'll begin to get it right.

  Into the pensieve on Monday, January 30, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (6)

Sunday, January 29
I love it when I'm wrong
This past weekend, our church had an "in-town" youth retreat, I think the first time they've done something like this. Teaching for the weekend centered on "forgiveness". The format included both corporate worship/teaching with all the kids on campus AND small group sessions in host homes.

Although we had volunteered to be a host home, our daughter, a middle-schooler, stayed with a group of girls elsewhere. Thank goodness she had the insight to ask for this, intuitively knowing she'd "do better" without us around. When I had offered our home though, I thought it would be to have a bunch of middle school girls........instead, we had 10 girls, 8 of them highschoolers, the other two, post-college leaders.

Ya know, that kind of unnerved me at first. I didn't know ANY of them. I stereotypically assumed they would have absolutely no use for me and that they'd be "closed", cold toward me as some "mom" they had no relationship with. Still a relative newcomer to this area and our church, I lamented how different it would have been had this been our former church where I knew just about ALL the youth--I remember when most of them were born! I knew their moms and dads and their behind-the-scenes "stories". I knew the clicks...personalities... reputations.

So when I walked into the fellowship hall for the kick-off dinner, I froze. Right then, my cell phone rang--Erin, one of my FAVORITE SC girlfriends--and I must say, the call couldn't have been more timely!! I told her I was freakin'. That I was in a sea of STRANGERS! That I had made soooo much progress in establishing a life here over the past 2 1/2 years, only to feel like I was at square one...AGAIN. LOL, she knows my flair for the dramatic, she knows me well in general. She spoke reassuring words, words of truth, not the "lies" I was believing at that moment. Great encouragement, telling me that God had purpose and intent not only for the youth that weekend, but also for me.

She was right. My "feelings" were wrong. (I never trust them, anyway; I've been around long enough to realize feelings are among the most vicious of lies we're often goverened and motivated by......often leading to painful consequences). That night I sat in on their "home" session. It was late, so after chattin' a little, I was headed for bed. But THEN, the conversation shifted. Somehow, a door was opened and several of the girls started talking WITH me. Interestingly, about their relationships with their own moms. They were rather candid and expressed the desire to be able to talk with their moms but felt like they couldn't. I'm a mom! I wanted to know WHY!!

And so the conversation went...they offered insight into the mind of a 16-year-old. They were responsive to my questions, and even to me playing devil's advocate a bit. I think it'll be helpful to me as my own kids get to that place. It was refreshing how much the girls wanted to talk (I guess that's not a s t r e t c h for ANY girl, but they were open...not closed, as I assumed). And the experience might just be drawing me to lead a group of girls, something before that weekend I had not been drawn to in years.....

Fantastic weekend, Chris & Jake and all the planners did a great job. Typical youth stuff, organized CHAOS!

And for the record, on the wild & wacky video scavenger hunt on Saturday afternoon--our girls WON!!! (and so did the middle school group I drove). My cup runneth over ;) ---> that's a "souvenier", personally-autographed, limited edition cup the girls hand-crafted for me...well, actually they all signed each other's cups, but they made one for the housemom, too.

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, January 29, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (5)

Thursday, January 26
Guilty pleasures........
I just discovered J. Jill since it opened here a few months ago. I never shopped there before we moved, I'd always pass it by. That being said...........I have turned into a CLOTHES MOLESTER!!! All their sweaters FEEL absolutely yummy (and the colors are cool). Much softer than any chenille throw you could wrap yourself in. My children find extra reasons to touch me when I'm wearing one :).

I also just learned you can have "audioblogs" (might be something I play with in the future). I mention that here because I WISH there was such thing as a "sensoryblog", then you could FEEL exactly what I'm talking about 'cause the picture just don't do it justice. This IS the sweater I have (no, that's not me, I have a head and I'm not that stiff), the color is "vicuna". I never heard that word before, so curious me, I looked it up (I woulda just called it cocoa or coffee bean or BROWN for heaven's sake!). And lo and behold, I learned about an animal I never knew existed before now!! Here's a picture...

Hmmm...shopping has become EDUCATIONAL!!! I wonder if anyone (any husband) will buy that as an excuse for a girl's day out. "Honey, I'm going to go learn with the friends today."

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, January 26, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (6)

Wednesday, January 25
Death, my friend, is evidence of life LIVED. The death to self preceeds physical death, and both are resisted, both bring momentary pain. But, this is the means through which we enter greater life, the mysterious but inimitable entrance to eternity. Only those who've drank from its cup know the sweetness it yields. Only those who've tasted realize THIS is for what their hearts have been longing since birth, beautiful in its time.

What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever. But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this happens--when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die--then at last the Scriptures will come true:
"Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

~1 Corinthians 15:50-57 (NLT)

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, January 25, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Tuesday, January 24
What in the "HA-EL" is in THAT jar???
I can tell you this, it ain't just honey!

OH, MY WORD! I am cracking up just THINKING about this memory! I guess spending lots of time with my father and siblings over the past few months has allowed my thoughts to wander back to childhood.

We had various home rememdies when we were young. Wet tobacco on bee stings....baking soda for ulcers...globs of Mentholatum crammed up your nose for anything upper respiratory... Mercurochrome for cuts (OUCH!).........and home-made cough syrup for the obvious.

Once when I had a croupy cough in the fifth grade, I took a SueBee jar full of the latter to school, to swig whenever I had need. My teacher, Conradine Henderson, noticed me drinking out of the jar. She meandered over to my desk to investigate. I handed it to her, she unscrewed the lid and took a sniff, then exclaimed "What in the HAAAEEEEL are you drinking?!" (I'm close to rolling on the floor right now, I can see--and hear!--this like it was yesterday). I was taken aback by her candor and shock, it certainly was the FIRST time I had EVER heard a teacher use profanity! I don't remember what happened after, I don't even know if I told her the list of ingredients. I do think she confiscated it for the rest of the day.

And to this day for the life of me, I can't figure out how honey, sugar and peach brandy was supposed to make me better.

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, January 24, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (12)

Saturday, January 21
Some things are just wrong..............

  Into the pensieve on Saturday, January 21, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (4)

Monday, January 16
Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.
Read this. Stick with it til the end.

Makes me wanna shout this !

  Into the pensieve on Monday, January 16, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Wednesday, January 4
A Partial View

This is an amazing picture of Alzheimer's from one "on the inside". It's beautiful and tragic, and a must-read for all. You'll want to view the photo gallery, it takes just a few minutes. If you have time, read the Forward by his wife. It's equally beautiful and tragic.

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, January 04, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Please click the red pensieve...it's my current blogging spot!

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Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often)...love to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find life in my 40s to be an amazing time of transformation & discovery--of self, others, creation and the Creator.

Here's a partial explanation for my Blog title. I think it'd be cool if they really existed.

A Pensieve is a stone basin.... [One] can extract his or her own memories and place them in the Pensieve, especially to relieve the mind when it becomes too flooded with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve, which also allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the memories stored within...

A Pensieve first appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...

For the complete explanation, see
my 2/17/06 post.

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