Monday, August 25, 2014

Multi-Tasker Headgear

It's not easy being a woman.

It's especially not easy when you're a multi-tasking woman. Actually, that may be the most redundant sentence in the universe, because all women are multi-taskers- even when we're not trying to be.

Who else could wear so many hats, yet not break her neck? Even if we don't have kids, we usually have more than one task going on at the same time anyway- we just have more time to devote to those tasks.

Some hats may seem like one hat, but they aren't. They resemble those hats you see in a Dr. Seuss book, where one hat has a bunch of tiny ones under it. These hats have sub-hats!

For instance:

     Husband Caregiver
     House cleaner
     Personal Shopper
     Incubator for the next generation

     Cow (when they are babies)
     Cash Cow (when they are teens)
     Toxic Waste Manager
     Cook (making meals from hot dogs and spaghetti, not the fancy stuff when you used to be a Chef)
     Greased Piglet Handler (aka wet, soapy, kid wrangler)
     Taxi Driver
     USO Expert (Unidentified Stinky Object)
     Actress (especially when the kids need a monster to "kill")
     Financial Guru
     Lunch Lady

     Acrobat (especially in high heels)
     Computer Expert
     Psychic (you know the boss will be here any second!)
     Phone Operations Expert
     Office Machine Repair Guru

...and this is just three hats. This post would never end if I mentioned all of the hats we women wear. 

Men have hats too:

Helloooo Wife!

Men are smart enough to take off a hat when they're done with it. Not us women, nooooo....we need to keep those hats handy just in case we're needed for something- like a Zombie Apocalypse. You know you have a hat for that, too....don't you? (especially if you have kids!)

Monday, August 18, 2014


I've seen some pretty weird things on the Internet. What I don't understand is the newest fad- Challenges. The latest ones are:

Challenges like teens lighting themselves on fire for fun. 

Making videos of certain body parts moving (and I don't mean ears or noses!)

And this latest thing that's even gotten adults doing it- the Ice bucket Challenge. People dumping ice water on themselves instead of giving a certain amount of money to a charity. Some are even congratulated for their bravery when doing it.


None of these things build character- in fact, some of them are downright dangerous and can cause permanent damage. I'm all for fun, but this is borderline crazy! Are kids really that bored with life that they invent new ways to maim themselves? 

Apparently so.

"I'm really bored. Let's find something cool to do- Hey, I know! Let's grab some lighter fluid and burn ourselves! Oh, let's be smart about it and stand in the shower first- of course I can turn on the water and hold my phone at the same time- I'm not an idiot."


"I want people to respect me for my talents. Watch me show off my (name body part here) so they can see how awesome and talented I am!" 
(for the record, popularity and "likes" on Facebook don't equal respect, kiddo).


"Oh look! This charity needs help. I can't donate, but to help spread the word of their needs, I'll post a video of me dousing myself with ice water- this is going to do wonders for them!" 
Um...why not take those bottles of ice water and sell them so you can donate to the charity? What good will posting a video of yourself wet and shivering do to help those in need? 

It makes no sense to me. I hope I'm not the only one.

I'd rather light a fire on my fire pit and invite a hungry family over for a cookout.

I'd rather see you dancing and singing with joy to God- that I will record and happily put on facebook!

And I'd happily dump several buckets of ice water on my head and post it to Facebook if everyone who watched it would donate to a charity. That is a challenge I wouldn't mind doing (and I hate cold water!)

Before doing any "challenge", please think before accepting- I don't care who you are, what age you are, or if you like or hate the color purple. Use the brains that God gave you and accept only those challenges that make you grow into a better person- not a human torch/porn-star/soggy-Popsicle!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Heart-Colored Microscope

People are funny creatures. 

We look in the mirror and see nothing wrong, but look at others with a microscope. We find every flaw, every blemish, every negative aspect, then act accordingly. The media and social networks don't help us curb this tendency.

But, what if we looked beyond the faults, the bad behavior and the negativity? What if we looked at people with a heart-colored microscope? What would we find?

We'd see the cranky old neighbor has a desperate need for companionship.

That nasty little boy next door has no one to talk to, and lashes out in frustration to anyone that tries to get close.

The homebody housewife down the street is just very lonely, and would love it if someone just said "Hi" and invited her over for coffee.

And the lady at church who keeps to herself, is just shy and doesn't know how to act around a large crowd- like a congregation. She would love to chat, if only someone would extend an invitation.

What if we looked at others and saw even a speck of humanity beyond the bad? God said that even a mustard seed of faith is enough. And such a tiny seed can be seen so easily through a heart-colored microscope!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Breaking the Fear Bone

I went to the Greater Philly Christian Writer's Conference this week- it was chock full of classes, workshops, sessions and appointments- so much so, that I need a few days to recuperate after I came home!

The classes were awesome (though I missed the main one I wanted to attend due to appointments- good thing Torry Martin said I could buy his book- Shameless Self-Promotion!) I did manage to get an appointment with him, though. I had to admit, seeing him face-to-face, I wanted that long red hair he has. Gorgeous! Since the appointment we had was only fifteen minutes, I asked the only question I was desperate to have answered, "How do you get up on stage when you're scared to death?"
His answer? "Just go up and do it."

Egad. the man was a hack. Where was the list of breathing exercises? The "Rah-rah-you can-do-it" speech? The "Just call me anytime day or night and I'll help you launch your career" support? And why didn't trumpets from God sound when he said these supposed words of wisdom? I took this all in stride and thought maybe, just maybe I could learn more from his classes. (And his hair really is that gorgeous in real life).

Ah, well. Maybe the rest of the week will be fruitful.

It was.

Occasionally I was given the opportunity to bless others. I was looking for a seat for services when I noticed one lady rubbing her arms and shivering. I asked if she was okay and she mouthed the words "Peri-menopause cold flash". I smiled, because at that very moment I was having a major hot flash, so I offered to sit next to her. After a few minutes she smiled and leaned in to whisper "Thank you, I'm much warmer now!" 

Just using what God gave me, sweetie...just using what God gave me. In the meantime, the audio faculty was sitting in the booth above me toasting s'mores over my head. I was glad to help.

Sometimes you learn lessons outside the classroom, and blessing others can mean blessing yourself- in unexpected ways.

After overhearing some of the faculty lament over how stressed they were, I shared with them my "100% Surefire Way to Get Rid of Stress and Nervousness". Marlene Bagnull, the Ringmaster of this particular circus, liked it so much she asked me to show my technique to the entire audience of conferees during the morning services.

I'm sorry....what?

Go up in front of everyone, and do my silly little technique? Didn't this woman know when I get up in front of a crowd, I'm somewhere between bed-wetting and a near-death experience? Apparently not. Then God whispered in my ear.."Remember what Torry said."

Just go up and do it? Oh please God, tell me you're kidding! My knees went to jelly just thinking about it!

So stop thinking about it and just do it.

Yes, Sir.

Marlene was nice enough to give me a code word that would cue me to "interrupt" her announcements. Otherwise I would have just sat there and forgot what I was supposed to do. I tried boosting my confidence before the announcements.

Just get up and do it. You can do it. You can. You might need a mop afterwards, but you can do this. Just thank God that the floors are tiled and not carpeted.

Then Marlene said the code word. I was up!

Inside I was a mess of nerves. So nervous that I didn't even use my own technique to get rid of it! But I got up, did my spiel, and was surprised to hear...laughter! And applause! I did it! I did it! I just got up and did it!

Torry Martin is a GENIUS! I'm buying all of his books!

The best part? After I did my technique, you could feel the entire room settle down- the tension was gone. I had helped the entire audience relax and settle their nerves. God is good, and my wall of fear crumbled into dust.

That fear has been a wall that's been up since I was in grade school when I froze on stage dressed as Shirley Temple (I was the only kid with naturally curly hair). It felt weird not having that wall there anymore. 

Oh, I had "battle nerves" after I sat down next to Marlene (I was shaking like a jackhammer), but an excitement ran through me that could only be God and the Holy Spirit saying "WOOHOO!"

During the rest of that day I had people coming to me and saying they saw their classmates using my technique before class. I was so tickled! When one person did it, everyone laughed, and it helped a lot of people settle down for their appointments (which can rattle anyone's nerves)! 

When Marlene began to play my video that evening, I heard soft gasps of delight as my face showed up on the screen- the conferees remembered me and were looking forward to the video. They loved it, and those sitting next to me made me get up and take a bow. I was grinning from ear to ear and my face felt flushed- and this time I wasn't in the middle of a hot-flash.

I felt like I could really reach out and touch people's hearts. I really could "just get up and do it". The wall of fear was down, and I could see the sun shine for the first time in decades. And it felt good.

Thank you Marlene, for putting up with an over-exuberant nutball. Thank you conferees, for being willing to laugh, to share, and for all the congratulatory hugs and handshakes. Thank you Torry, for listening and giving simple but powerful advice. You are so not a hack- but I still want your hair. I just wish I could have told you all this in person! (Not the hair part but the other know what I mean!)

I have some nibbles on my book proposals, so I'll be working on them this week. As for this breakthrough? I'll be working on what to do with my new found confidence (and yes, something to do with those techniques I was talking about)- so watch out, world! Here I come!