Saturday, April 6, 2013


I sort of thought if we ever went bankrupt it might be due to medical bills or salsa. I never would have guessed phone calls from prison. We're officially in the phase of "Hey - we should try to, these calls out a bit!" It's hard to not answer that phone when it rings most nights around 10 pm.

The people who decide how much stuff costs in prison wear two horns and a tail. That's all I'm saying. Yeah, yeah. I get it. But seriously, it's giving me frightful flash backs to my retro years of the gold wall-mount phone with an extra-long curly cord and the long distance phone bills my dad would tally up, expecting and collecting payment in full. {shudder}

We have this new thing that we do. The robot lady voice comes on all, "You have one. minute. remaining." and we take turns picking a chapter in the Bible for all of us to read that night. The only rule is, it has to be random. No deck stacking. Admittedly, we're heavy in the Psalms. But aren't we all? Last night it was my turn and I picked 17. It's always interesting to read things like "Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me" and imagine what it's like to read those words from prison.

But the main thing that stuck out to me last night was this: "Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways". So that was my prayer. For me, and Robert, and all of us. 

And then I went about my day. 

We got a slow start, had tens of twenties of errands to run. The little smoochies were grumpy-ish. I was determined to have a great last day of Spring break. 

I jotted a quick note to stick in the mail and I copied down that verse and said, "God's always showing us His love...we just have to notice it." 

A package arrived in the mail and I felt like the luckiest girl in town. It was so fun, so unexpected,so perfectly random. I felt loved.

But it was hours later that God brought to my mind 3 separate times in recent weeks when I thought about buying 3 of the things packed in that box - right down to the scent of the soap. 3 times I reached for something then pulled back, feeling for whatever reason that I didn't need it. It's true, I didn't need it. But I did need to see God's unfailing love and today that meant a USPS box full of wonderful. 

It also meant brussels sprouts on the stem. (The obsession rages.)

And delivering dinner to my oldest/dearest Sarah, who's sick as a dog.

Our evening:
* Stuffed our faces.
* Decided that we were right and Rick (her husband) was wrong. (You totally know we were right.)
* Sat under afghans on the couch and leafed through mags.
* I tore a recipe for a meringue dessert out of a mag she hadn't even read yet. (The elephant in the room: I would never have allowed such nonsense! (I'm a complete and total selfish, jerk-face magazine hoarder))
* Talked about the following celebs: Jessica Chastain, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner (who am I forgetting?)
* Discussed how unimaginable it is to consider that some people might not think about food for the better part of their day. {double shudder}
* Sarah mentioned how funny Pioneer Woman is on twitter and I screamed "YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW JEN HATMAKER! LIKE NOW!" So we pulled her up on Sarah's futuristic phone with internet and then we scrolled back to Feb. 24th and read her entire feed from Oscar night. And we howled like hyenas. #stalk #ers
* Watched a movie that shant be named for fear of condemnation and judgment.
* (Four thumbs way up.)
* Vowed to do it all again soon.

I drove home with The Wallflowers Bringing Down the Horse in my ear. I love it. I borrowed it from the library and the first time I played track one Silas announced "That's my song!" and I thought, "Kid, I think I'll keep you." My favorite song? Angel On My Bike. I can't possibly begin to say what it's about, but I can't get enough of that melody thing where it's in a minor key. I think, or maybe not. But you know, it's the part where the music resolves in a most unexpected way...there's sounds a bit strange. Or Chinese. That thing. And I love the idea of a double prayer because I can't often manage a single. I just like the song, man. The whole cd, really. Those Dylans might be on to something...

In case you didn't notice, I'm a musical prodigy.

Scratch that, I'm too old to be a prodigy. And I know that thanks to my homeboy, John Green and his magical An Abundance of Katherines. So I guess that leaves me at Musical Genius. You get my point.

I'm very thankful for a today that gave me enough open space to fully recognize my inadequacies and the grace to let them go.

I'm thankful for all of your gardening tips. (You don't even know.)
I'm thankful for the kilometers of mileage I got from one of you announcing on Facebook that my dad is "a hottie."

I'm thankful for the promises of tomorrow, which include 60-degree temps, a visit with our oldest, Nicoise mash-up salad, and an in-house date night.

I'm glad I noticed the unfailingness of God's love today and wish I could pocket a guarantee for a repeat "noticing" performance for, oh, every day for the rest of my life. (I hate that I decide not to notice sometimes.)

What's your stem of sprouts today? What's the angel on your bike?? 

Happy Saturday, friends.


  1. This post is so precious to me--I love how you paint twirly whirly scenes with your words.

    Life should be full of days like these--noticing the unexpected grace and blessings and love rather than expecting them to arrive when our calendars are empty and we have designated time for Him.


  2. Have you considered a voip phone? It could save you a lot of money.

  3. This is my favorite line: "God's always showing us His love...we just have to notice it." Wish I could remember this every day too! xo

  4. I love reading your posts. So refreshing.

  5. Heavy in the Psalms. AMEN! : )
    I am glad you take the calls when you can. You are making a difference.
    Happy Saturday Shan.

  6. I could share quite a few "Hallelujah, He loves me" moments, but I will try to keep it short. I have been saying quite often these past few years that God loves me through Goodwill. I know it sounds really silly, but money is suuuuper tight for us but there have been more than a few times that I have gone into my local GW looking for an escape, or something brilliant... to find a perfect pair of jeans (that fit!) and "magically" half off that day. But my fav GW moment that literally makes me giddy each time I think on it was the day I found a pair (TWO matching panels at GW?!?!) of curtain panels that I had been dreaming of for months. And they were half off and brand new. I cried and praised all the way home, undone by His unfailing love for me even in my silly, materialistic desires.

  7. You are the angel on my bike. I wish the many kilometers between us were feet and you were my next door neighbour. You always make my day. I adore you! :)

  8. Birds singing, farmers' markets opening, and tasting kumquats for the first time. I keep going back for more!
    Hope the rest of your weekend is beautiful!

  9. I dared to ask God to show me how much he loved me one day a few years back. I specifically then asked to see a horned toad. I love those things and hadn't seen one in years. Not 10 minutes later my daughter in law showed up at the door with homemade cookies. And guess what kind they were?? Horned toad cookies. She said it was the first time she had ever made them and wanted to share them with me. If that isn't love (from God and my sweet DIL) then I don't know what is.
    I enjoy your writing so much. I also loved the part about the movie you wouldn't mention for fear of being judged, etc. Made me laugh cause sometimes I feel the same way.

  10. BTW, when I asked it wasn't for cookies but for the real live toad. Cookies turned out to be much better.

  11. Sounds like a lot of awesomeness going on around your place.

    I am dying to know what you did with those sprouts?!! I have some in my garden right now...wish I could ask your dad for some advice on when to harvest them!


  12. Life has been crazy busy for me for quite a while and today I finally have free time to read my favorite blogs. I just have to tell you that you make me smile and fill my heart with joy! You have the sweetest heart and I'm so glad you share it with us!!

  13. So glad you were blessed with happy mail. Those are the best gifts...the one's that you know were really heaven sent. It's like He's smiling down on you. Reaching out through another. Love it.

  14. jg is a ruddy genius. have you 'the fault in our stars'? if not, sit tight. i will mail it to you. (i have a signed copy and need to find it a loving home since it shall not make the 14-duffle-bag cut. i'm whispering this so it can't hear me.)

  15. Thank you so so much for loving The Wallflowers. :)