My song has no melody, so I hope you like the words

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Restoring Honor 8-28-10

Our idea to stroll down last night didn't pan out, but thousands of people were there all night. By the time we went to the Memorial at 7:30am [the event was starting at 10am], it was a mob scene and we wound up about half-way down the reflecting pool.

The mood was very different from the Tea Party Rally last 9/12/09, much more reflective and directed towards personal action. One expression of that was the generous response to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The SOWF exists to provide support and a college education to the children of special ops soldiers who are killed or severely wounded in service to their country. Glenn Beck asked us one time to text "SOWF" to 85944. He came back on stage a little while later to announce that $3,000,000.00 had been raised since he made the request. Check the group out at if you want to help honor those who give their lives on our behalf.

The whole event was a call to return to our founding principles, a personal relationship and worship of our Creator as the foundation of our liberty. 240 pastors stood on the steps of the monument, representing every denomination and faith. This was the kickoff event for a new "Black Robe Regiment", which was originally a group of pastors who came together during colonial times. From a website, "they understood that in order to have a great government, then you must have great citizens. The way that you have great citizens is by having great people that are rooted in the foundation of the Word of God." []

Glenn Beck recognized 3 individuals by awarding a Medal of Merit to each for their steadfast devotion to the 3 themes of Faith, Hope and Charity. The Faith award went to C.L. Jackson, civil rights activist and pastor of Pleasant Grove Mission Baptist Church in Texas for the past 45 years. The Hope award went to Albert Pujols for his extensive community service in both St. Louis and his home country of the Dominican Republic , and the Charity award went to John Huntsman, the billionaire philanthropist who has, among innumerable other charities, started many shelters for abused women and children and founded the Huntsman Cancer Institute

Though most of the speakers were Christians, the event glorified God rather than any doctrine. It was definitely apolitical, with several prayers, scripture readings and gospel music. We also sang the battle Hymn of the Republic, and near the end, the crowd came together to sing Amazing Grace. Trust me, you haven't heard that song sung, until you hear several hundred thousand voices lifted in one accord. It WAS amazing.

Today was only the beginning, a gathering of like-minded patriots who will now return to their communities with a fresh determination to honor God is every aspect of their lives, including their civic participation.

A sweet 'extra', the Lord led us to sit next to a lovely woman from Wilmington, and I look forward to connecting with her again when we get home.

Now I'm going to take a nap, and let the ideas and events of the day percolate a bit. I am grateful beyond measure to have been here today!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm in DC!!!

I'm settled into our room, and later tonight we're going to stroll down to the Lincoln Memorial grounds to check it out before the crowds arrive tomorrow.

We would already be out walking, but 'flaky me' struck again. In the chaos of packing all of the gear it takes for me to be away from home, we left behind a case of critical chargers and batteries. My husband is driving north, our son is driving south, and if all goes according to plan, they will soon meet in the middle for an exchange.

Then my ever patient and loving spouse will drive BACK into the city in Friday night traffic. He's not riding a white horse, but he's still my knight in shining armor, albeit in a gold minivan.

We think we're staying at the same hotel as the organizers because there are a bunch of people wearing staff badges and there is a reception here tomorrow afternoon after the rally.

Weather tomorrow is supposed to be ideal - dry and 80 degrees, well within my comfort zone. In every way we sense God's presence in this. The kickoff event tonight is a gathering of religious leaders at the Kennedy Center. We wanted to go, but decided that tomorrow would be all I could realistically handle. A woman behind us in the hotel check-in line was handing out American flags, so my scooter is now "fully equipped"

I took all of the political buttons off my backpack, and instead am sporting a large "We The People" bumper sticker on the backrest and an American flag waving off the back. I've got my flag pin and 'Restoring Honor' shirt and hat ready to go. I know all of the bling is silly, but if I have to be in an electric scooter dragging oxygen tanks, at least I can have fun decorating my ride!

David Barton and 3 pastors were on Glenn Beck's show tonight, talking about the light of God that covers the darkness. May tomorrow be a bright new beginning for our nation and each one of its citizens!

Faith, Hope, Charity, and What am I Doing Here, Anyway?

I spent the better part of my day today preparing for a special event this weekend. It is a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. called “Restoring Honor”. I’m proud to stand with those who will answer this call to personal responsibility and citizenship. Time will tell if or how much difference it will make, but I’m praying for our nation like never before.

By ‘preparing’ I don’t mean packing, though I need to get started on that soon. Mostly I have been preparing my heart and mind for the days ahead. I’ve been praying, listening to scripture on my Ipod, and reading. I read Wives of the Signers, The Women Behind the Declaration of Independence, and a transcript of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

Rev. King delivered that speech from the Lincoln Memorial 47 years ago this Saturday, and my mother was there that day to hear him. I remember being in the city with her during those tumultuous days, and always been proud of her for standing for what was right even when it was hard.

My white, middle class family did not suffer anything remotely like what the nonviolent protesters in the south endured, but as a small child it rocked my world. I remember my father bellowing in the middle of the night, trying to raise cash because my mother had been put in jail as a result of our car tags being on a watch list. I remember the adults talking about our phones being tapped, about being watched, about the injustice. I remember watching the city burn from our apartment window, and waiting what seemed like days for my father to safely return home. Mostly I remember the smell of the tent city on the National Mall when my mother took me with her to deliver food to the protesters.

Those were different times, but what has always stuck with me is that a man of God was willing to risk everything to stand for the ‘unalienable rights’ to freedom that God so abundantly blessed us with at this nation’s founding. Rev. King did not stand on those marble steps and demand a government that controlled our lives, treated us like children and taxed us into bankruptcy; he was there to demand “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I believe that his dream we so famously recall from that day, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” is only possible when we recognize one another as the free men and women God created us to be.

‘Faith, Hope and Charity’ are the source of our strength as free people. Not trust in government, but in the God who created us. I sense more and more that we Americans have lost sight of ‘the riches of freedom’, that we have traded our birthright for a cheap imitation, our freedom for a false sense of security not based on justice but on power and greed. Our politicians may promise us everything, but we need not foolishly believe them.

So that is why I will be in our nation’s capitol this weekend. Not because I put my trust in men, but because I will be pleading with God to heal our hearts and our land.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dark Days of Joy

I just posted a depressing poem, because that is sometimes where my thoughts go. At those times I cry out to God, and ask him to sustain me. Maybe I just need that reminder sometimes that he really is my only source of peace.

When I look back on my years of journals and poems, I can see that this low place is where I spent most of my time. The few poems and writings that I can find from the happy times are brief, because at those times I was participating in life instead of observing it from the sidelines.

I’ve been labeled as having so many mental illness diagnoses that I feel like a walking textbook of crazy. From what I have read, and what I know of my own experience, those labels all fit. That is just the mental health issues; I have a slew of physical issues as well. My local pharmacist loves me – at present I take 13 different prescription pills a day, in addition to 3 inhalers for my lousy lungs.

This is the reality of my life. I am broken, and deteriorating more day by day. Walking across the room is a challenge many days, even with several extra liters of oxygen flowing through a tube up my nose.

But just as real as all of that is the hope I have in Christ, and the joy that fills my life. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and five terrific sons. I have friends who love me ‘warts and all’, I am safe, and secure in the knowledge that God will never forsake me, no matter how unpredictable or uncooperative my mind and body may be. He has saved me from eternal misery, and is right now preparing a place for me. I sense God’s presence with me even on the darkest days; I experience His Holy Spirit as my comforter in the very core of my being.

Today I have a choice. Which reality will I embrace? Will I give up because I am such a wreck, or will I live a life of gratitude for all that I’ve been given? I choose joy.

Wars and Rumors

Wars and rumors of wars to come,
Devastation and suffering surround me
Hatred, violence, lies and greed
Such is the world we’ve made

Forgive us Lord, heal our land
But first, restore our souls
Save us from our enemy
The father of lies who tempts us still

We of weakened frame cry out
Overwhelmed by brokenness
Please bring your holy light
That saves us from the darkest night

Monday, August 23, 2010

Flaky me

I thought turning 50 was pretty cool; it makes me sound all grown up and mature, right? Unfortunately, it's still the same flaky me, just in an older body. I found that out the hard way this morning when I did a belly-flop off the fireplace mantle onto the hardwood floor. Not exactly a belly flop, more like a knee-ankle-arm-and-toes-flop. Nothing broken besides my pride, but lots of scrapes and bruises. Clearly age has not improved my grace and agility.

It hasn’t helped my memory either. Or my aversion towards and ineptitude for paperwork. Or a host of other foibles and shortcomings that have followed me through my life. As a matter of fact, there are days when I don’t feel like 50 years of experience have done me much good at all.

But then I remember that the real standard I am called to live by is pursuing Holiness, not coordination and organizational skill. God is at work in me every day to make me more like His Son and less like flaky me. I may not have gotten any more graceful physically, but I hope and pray that I am becoming more full of God’s grace.

Galations 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Those are the qualities that really matter, the goals I strive for each day.

James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” That definition of wisdom is very different from what the world would define as successful, but it is what I pray for. I do plenty of belly-flops on those, too, but I like to think that I’m closer now than I was 50 years ago.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wings Unfurled

We delivered our third son to college this week, and my nest is feeling increasingly quiet. This poem is for him, but I thought I would share it here as well.

Wings Unfurled

You burst into my life one day
So rushed to make your mark
You never even stopped to breathe
And almost broke my heart

Our fears relieved by your strength
You overcame that shaky start
My child of laughter and delight
Took on the world a boy apart

Though life confused you many times
By your determined heart
Somehow you made your way
Your life God’s work of art

All I knew and tried to teach
From all the love within my heart
You’ve soared beyond, wings unfurled
Flying from a running start

My son, now grown a man
Tested, strong and smart
Seize the future God has planned
Your life, His work of art

My Rich Mullins Story

This whole blogging thing is a bit unnerving… I have no idea who is reading, or when, and feel a bit silly for posting into the void. But post I will, because it makes me happy. I was at a Rich Mullins concert years ago, and heard him explain why he wrote songs. He said it wasn’t because he had something new to say, since it had all been said before, and it wasn’t because he thought he had anything better to offer. He wrote his music because he couldn’t help himself, and it brought him joy to praise his Maker. I agree – writing just brings me joy.

I heard Rich Mullins make his comments at what turned out to be one of his last concerts. The story of how I came to be there that night still fills me with awe and gratitude. Our family had just moved to Delaware from Texas. We were broke trying to cover mortgages in 2 states, and I was home alone with 5 sons, 3 dogs, 9 cats, and no car in a strange new place while my husband worked long hours 50 miles away. To be more precise, it was “no fun.”

Things became even more stressful when some long buried personal issues surfaced. I was emotionally shattered and overwhelmed, and clinging to my sanity. God bless my dear husband, who saw that his wife was at the end of her rope, and praise God for providing the perfect reminder of His love and presence in the tiniest details of my life!

I never had a sense of ‘home’, or roots, having lived only 3 weeks in the state where I was born and then continuing to move around frequently all my life. The home we were renting at the time was the 24th place I had lived, and at that point I really needed stability. I knew the name of the town where I was born, but that was it. I didn’t even have a birth certificate.

It will come as no surprise to my faithful readers that those details were not a problem for the Lord. I felt compelled to track down my birth certificate, and get the address of where I was born. Then I learned that Rich Mullins was going to be performing in that same small town, on my birthday. That may not seem a big deal to you, but Rich Mullins was the first Christian songwriter I ever heard, and remains my all-time favorite.

Somehow my husband pulled together the money to put me on a plane to Indiana, buy me a ticket to the concert, and reserve a room for me at a local hotel. He also set up a rental car, though the address I had for where I was born didn’t show up on any maps. I arrived on the afternoon of my birthday, just a few hours before the concert at a local church. I had hoped to see my first home, but even a call to the city hall didn’t find the location of the street.

I decided that the concert alone was going to be such a blessing that finding the house was too much to ask for. My husband had even arranged for a birthday banner to be hung in my room, reminding me that he was with me in his thoughts. It was with that overwhelming feeling of being loved and cared for that I walked into the church and sat down next to a friendly looking young woman. Before the concert started and during intermission I told her about the amazing blessing of being in my hometown on my birthday for the concert. She told me she had lived all her life there, and eventually asked me the street name. When I told her, she got a strange look in her eye and asked me if I was kidding. I assured her not, and showed her the birth certificate.

You have probably guessed what happened next. The street where my family once lived was only one short block long, a sort of connector between 2 other marked roads. My companion at the concert lived on that small street, across from my parents’ former home. She told me it wasn’t on any maps, that there was a street sign but only the postal service used the street name.

I drove back to my hotel after arranging to meet her the next morning at the house, laughing and crying with thanks and thinking how impossibly perfect the day had been. But God wasn’t finished yet – when I got out of my car and approached the hotel lobby, Rich Mullins and his band mates were standing at the door. I couldn’t help myself; I gushed and made a fool of myself telling him how the Lord had brought me there and led me to my first home. I know he though I was crazy, and when I told him I had 5 sons he understood why!

Standing in front of the house the next day was almost anticlimactic, because the miracle was in the journey. I thought the destination was the point, but God made it clear to me that He is with me in every step, no matter where it leads. Rich died in a car accident just a few weeks after that concert, and I was blessed to work though my grief by helping to assemble a memorial book for his family. I was grateful that even in the midst of my pain, God was leading and healing me in the broken places.

Treasure those moments when God reveals himself to you – He delights in doing miracles!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The best education is not 'one size fits all'

The title of this post is stunningly obvious, I know. But I hope it caught your attention enough to spend a few minutes supporting a cause near and dear to my heart. If the link works [doubtful given my lack of computer literacy] it will send you to a page to promote awareness of The Elijah School in Northeast, MD. This small school was started by 2 educators I greatly admire and am honored to call friends. They had a burden for students who learn best through non-traditional methods, and the vision and courage to start a school to meet those student's needs. Please take 30 seconds to give the school 5 votes, and increase its visibility.

If my links don't work, or even if they do, go to the school website to learn more about this unique opportunity for children in the MD/DE/PA area.

My husband and I have home schooled our boys for 20 years, dabbled with a few years of private school, and even a semester of [gasp!]public school. That experience has taught me one thing - there is no perfect school for every child. That said, The Elijah School is a perfect fit for the students who need it, and I'm proud to share it here.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Best Birthday Card Ever

I found the best card for me to give those I love when I invariably miss their special day: on the front, it has a cute little mouse saying, ‘I marked your birthday on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget’ and on the inside it says, ‘… have you seen my calendar?’

Between my husband’s frequent overseas travel, son #3 heading off to college next week, and sons #4 and #5 signing up for every sport, bible study, party and volunteer event they can find, is it any wonder I’m losing track???? School is starting in 17 days, and I haven’t finished filing papers from last year yet. I keep telling myself to breathe, that this hectic and chaotic season of life will not last forever, that my adorable children are worth whatever the cost to my sanity. Some days I believe me.

It is the constant shifting and changing plans that really send me around the bend. I learned long ago to use pencils, not pens, to write down appointments. So this got me thinking… how does God manage to have written the future in indelible ink? My life feels out of control because I forget my friends’ birthdays, but somehow God, across the millennia, knows exactly when and how His plans will be fulfilled. When Jesus said that we couldn’t know the day of his return, it wasn’t because God penciled it in and hoped for the best. God KNOWS the exact moment that Christ will return, and exactly how the future will unfold.

Amazing, isn’t it? Thank you, Lord, for holding the future securely in your hand.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I am a Patriot

When reading words from long ago
Describing what would be
My heart is full of gratitude
And more, humility

What have I done today
To sustain this legacy?
Have I served my nation well?
What future do I see?

Days are dark and violent now
Our leaders lack integrity
Selfishness and greed abound
Fools and liars live easily

Do I speak the truth aloud
To honor this gift of liberty
Or do I grieve alone in silence
Denying that we once were free?

No! I am still a Patriot
Standing tall and constantly
Fighting lies with honest words
And honoring our history

Children, listen to my words
Honor men of bravery
Live your lives with virtue
Remember why you're free

Thursday, August 5, 2010


My husband and I have been blessed with five sons. The older 2 were teenagers when I wrote this poem, after a long day with their friends. Now the younger boys are all in their teens, and I am as convinced as ever that teenagers are aliens, wonderful, entertaining aliens.

Do you ever wish to see
Your world through another's eye?
What can seem so maddening
Appears to some as fun
Teenagers must be aliens
Who stay a few short years
Confusing all their parents
In times from youth to manhood
They forget the social graces
How to act, and how to speak
They view the daily grind
Through a different frame of mind
Aliens they must be,
Not quite fitting in
Excitement and activity
Define their daily life
As we adults just shake our heads
And wait for sanity's return


This morning I awakened
To God's symphony of sound
A thousand birds to praise Him
With voices skyward bound
The light was soft and gentle
Not yet the harshness of the day
My heart was called to worship
And my spirit stirred to pray
What need has God of humankind
When all creation sounds His praise?
And yet it brings me such great joy
To dwell upon His ways

The funny part about this poem is that I am not and never have been a morning person at all :-)

Virtues and Morals in Public Life

I’m reading The 5,000 Year Leap, a book dedicated to explaining the principles that guided our nation’s founders and led them to design the governmental structure of our Republic. It is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wonders why current events in our country don’t make sense anymore.

The author quotes generously from the official documents, speeches and correspondence of the founders, and then restates the ideas in language a modern and comparatively illiterate person like myself can understand. If you read Polybius, Cicero, Hooker, Coke, Montesquieu, Blackstone, Locke or Adam Smith, you might not need the translation. The closest I ever got to reading Alexis De Tocqueville’s tome, Democracy in America, was ordering it for my precocious firstborn son, so I’ll take all the help I can get. By synthesizing all of these ideas into a set of 28 “Founder’s Basic Principles”, the text clearly explains each concept.

The forward thinking of the men who spent that long hot summer in 1787 Philadelphia serving in our first federal convention can’t be overstated. I was surprised to learn that John Adams predicted our nation would someday be composed of 200 to 300 million citizens. It was with that future in mind that they crafted a Constitution that could stand the test of time, IF we stayed faithful to its guiding principles.

Our government was designed very carefully to keep all power in the people’s hands to prevent rule by tyrants, while at the same time avoiding anarchy. Foundational to the success of this grand experiment was the character of its citizens. Without what they called “public virtue”, or a willingness to put one’s personal desires below the needs of the community, the government will fail. A personal morality based on subjection to our Creator’s code of “right conduct” (The Ten Commandments, for starters) is equally essential.

When tempted to blame politicians or any other group for our deteriorating condition and increasing government control over our lives, remember that the success of this nation starts with each one of us as individuals. If our nation is suffering, it is because we as a people have lost our bearings and shirked our responsibilities. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

Hopes and Dreams

Who places these desires
Deep within our souls
And drives us on continually
To such a far-fetched goal?

Does God within each child He makes
Plant seeds of greatness to be sown
Then leave us in life's tangled grasp
To find the way alone?

A loving Father could not, I'm sure
And yet I wonder why
These hopes and dreams I carry
Seem destined still to die

I ask Him in my quiet time
Are each of us the same?
Does every child of God
Have dreams they know by name?

When I look across the crowded pews
And see tranquility
I try to glimpse within the hearts
And know what God can see

Are they satisfied by daily life,
By outward symbols of success?
Does that old man feel content
That life has been his best?

Or does he now prepare to die
And leave this earthly realm
With hopes and dreams unsatisfied
And regrets that overwhelm?

Does the housewife in her lacy dress
Seek more than what she's found,
Or does her average, daily world
Bring joy while duty bound?

I wonder all these things and more
As I sit there in my pew
God has not revealed the truth to me
And those who I can ask are few

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Stream

The God who created water in this stream
Made some paths smooth and quiet
Other places full of rocks.
In those rocks the water's tossed
Pushed aside from its gentle path
Those rocks are hard, and sharp,
But only there does the water dance
And sing, and come alive

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Purpose in Everything

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." Romans 8:28, New Living Translation

Last night I was browsing through an old collection of poems I've written over the years, and was overcome with gratitude:

I read through memory lane tonight
And stopped along the way in thanks
So many cries for help,
So many answered prayers!
Brief glimpses of the life I've lived
The triumphs and the trials
Young wife, new mother,
Confused and overwhelmed
Then by God's grace and power
Came a help for every need
Where once lived doubt
I now have faith
Still weak, I've persevered
Where fear once filled my days
My hope is a strong tower
I praise you, Lord, for all you've done
To save a wretch like me
Amazing grace, amazing love
Your power is revealed.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Links and dates to remember

August 21, 2010 - last day you can register to vote in the DE party primaries. You have to declare party affiliation to vote in these.

September 14, 2010
- DE state primary elections

October 9, 2010 - last day to register so you can vote in the general election

October 10 through November 2 - no changes can be made to your voter registration

November 2 - general election, poll open 7am to 8pm.

New Links:
I've just added a sidebar of links to Delaware political websites. If you find these helpful, or know other websites that would be helpful and informative, please pass them along. The Green Papers website already links to the individual candidate websites, so I won't be listing those individually here.

Principle or Politics - How Will You Vote?

A great visit with friends, discussing the upcoming primary and elections. We talked about local and national candidates, and wrestled with the temptation to vote for a winning candidate rather than voting on principle even if you know your candidate will lose. 'A half a loaf is better than none' can sound very reasonable, especially when you know that their opponent would be worse.

No candidate is perfect, they are all human. Some share my convictions, some only mouth the words, and some clearly see the role of government differently than I do. My husband and I decided last year to make a 'no incumbent' voting pledge. This grew out of our frustration with the lack of term limits; if politicians won't willingly return to the private sector to live under the laws they pass, then we will do what we can to force them into retirement.

If I set aside incumbent candidates, I still need to decide which other candidates to support. Our discussion today centered on races where the candidate that we support in principle likely doesn't have the chops to win the general election. This is where I think the concept of 2-party politics does us all a disservice. Rather than choosing the best candidate, we begin to think in terms of whom best serves our party. We begin to think of the party over the country, our own alliances instead of putting the Republic first.

Maybe I am a hopeless idealist, but I would rather vote for someone I want to represent me, than settle for someone popular enough to win. I know this leads to split votes, or victory for the person I like least, but my vote matters to me. If I give my vote to a party rather than to my country, I have diminished its value and my privilege as a citizen.

What do you think? How do you make the decision for whom to cast your vote?