Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I have loved mysteries since I could read.

When I was young, it was The Boxcar Children, Trixie Belden and of course, Nancy Drew. As I got older, my love of a good (or at least engaging) mystery did not fade. I still gravitate toward mysteries and especially enjoy reading series because it's so nice to get to "know" the heroine. Yes, heroine. I tend to prefer female sleuths and I'm more a fan of the cozy than the gory, forensic mystery. My imagination is vivid enough, I really don't care to read about murder/death/injury in graphic detail. So, just give me a nice clean crime to solve, thank you very much. (In other words, hold the maggots and graphic descriptions of wounded flesh.)

Because that is what draws me in..trying to figure it all out. So when an author leaves out clues key to solving it myself, I feel like they cheated. It's like they didn't bother to create a cohesive plot and plan. I mean, if they're not going to give me all the pieces of the puzzle, what kind of game are we playing? I guess I fancy myself an armchair sleuth. :) (I wanted to be Nancy, and I do have superb observation and deduction skills...really.)

Life is full of mysteries. Some are puzzles to solve based on clues. Others are less concrete and often, more troubling. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do some people seem to face more struggles while others seem to float through life? And of course..where is God in this?
My superb observation techniques do not provide the answers to these questions...but the Bible does. Sometimes I can remember where I need to look, sometimes I open randomly and find the verse or story I *need* and sometimes another person, a disciple if you will, directs me.

When I want to solve a mystery and exercise my brain, I settle in with a good mystery. When I'm faced with a mystery in my life, I turn to The Bible.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy plastic people?

I have been told, since forever and a day, that I wear my feelings on my sleeve. My mother could have made a recording of that statement and saved herself a lot of breath. I always thought she was right. I cry when I'm sad, happy, scared...in other words, waterproof mascara is a given. I consider myself a transparent person. I don't tell everybody all of my troubles, but I am pretty open. Or at least I thought I was...

Last week my neighbor and I were having a conversation and she said, "You're so confident and sure of yourself." I laughed. Really. I was shocked. My husband calls me "medium", not because I can communicate with the other side, but because I agonize over decisions, second guessing, analyzing and trying to anticipate every possible outcome.

This conversation made me realize that she doesn't see the insecurities and fears of my daily life. Sometime I do share them with her because, to be honest, she is the most formidable prayer warrior I have ever met. But for the most part...I don't want people to know the daily worries of life. Nothing major, no deep dark unmentionables; just everyday fears of failure, financial strain, defiant children, messy house...the things that I feel judged and measured by..and not usually hitting my goals.

Part of keeping it to myself, is nobody wants to be the person with the black cloud, the Eeyore of the group... and really, nobody wants that person in their group either. ;) But part of it is really well expressed in the song Stained Glass Masquerade by Casting Crowns...
"Is there anyone that fails? Is there anyone that falls? Am I the only one in church today feeling so small? 'Cuz when I take a look around, everybody seems so strong. I know they'll soon discover, that I don't belong. So I tuck it all away, like everything's ok. If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too. So with a painted grin, I play the part again, so everyone will see me the way that I see them. Are we happy plastic people, under shiny plastic steeples, with walls around our weakness and smiles to hide our pain? But if the invitation's open, to every heart that has been broken, maybe then we close the curtain on our stained glass masquerade... "
I harbor the (false) belief that everyone else has a perfectly ordered and tidy life with no failures, missed goals or flops while my life is not working like a swiss watch. (Is that even a good metaphor anymore?). Rationally, I recognize that everybody has their black clouds, their flops and their "stuff" and probably a lot of people are going through tougher things...but we're all so busy putting on our "painted grins" we don't even know they need the kind word, the smile, the hug or the help. We can't swoop in and save the day for everybody, but even in our "stuff" we can be the hands and feet of Christ with a smile or kind word. Sometimes, we might even have part of a solution...
-Peace and Blessings

Sunday, August 9, 2009


It's been a long time
It's not like life has been exciting, just busy in a very pedestrian way. I mean I cook, I do dishes I do laundry, repeat. In between that fun stuff I break up skirmishes between the boys, step on Lego's (painful), and enjoy spending time with the little (and not so little) people I birthed.

I have been spending the evenings (and some afternoons, like today) reading. I just finished Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke. The sleuth, Hannah, owns a cookie shop in Minnesota and finds dead bodies. She manages, with the help of her colleagues, friends and family, to find out who did the dastardly deed in between baking up batches of delicious sweet treats. Today I decided to try her recipe for cream puffs and filled them with homemade whipped cream...Scrumptious and so very easy.

I also took up the knitting needles again. I'm working on finishing a pair of socks..so I won't have to hop on one foot in order to wear the completed one. I have been drooling over some gorgeous sock yarns online...someday, maybe I will get some and make colorful socks to wear with my clogs when it's wool sock weather instead of flip flop weather. While knitting socks is far more time consuming and a little more pricey than buying them, there is something therapeutic about the process of knitting.

I read. I knit. I pray. I relax into the present and don't try to solve the problems that may arrive tomorrow, next week or next month.

-Peace and blessings