Do Orcs Play a Role in Your Family Traditions?

I grew up with very few traditions.  Though my parents were born and raised in China, we didn’t celebrate the Chinese New Year with lanterns, moon cakes, feasting or the fastidious cleaning of the house to sweep away the evil spirits (you could eat off my mom’s floors every day of the year!).  They decided they’d raise their children as “American” as they could and in the process, didn’t pass much Chinese culture along to their three children – all of us are sadly unilingual and didn’t pass along … [Read more...]

And on earth, Peace?

The night Jesus was born, the Good Book tells us, angels appeared in the night sky over Bethlehem, bringing the news to the shepherds there. They sang: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” Here's what happened there Wednesday:At first it made me laugh because it's just too ridiculous. Robes and brooms?But then it made me very, very sad that such things happen among Christ's followers in the place where he was born. I was in Israel exa … [Read more...]

The Year In Review

Are you one of the women who spends hours making beautiful baby books for your young?  Or are you one of the women who spends hours making fun of the women who make beautiful baby books for their young even though you secretly wish you had the organizational and creative skills to pull off such a book?I was a scoffer for years. When the boys were born, I became a wannabe for awhile. I proudly call myself a scrapper now - not an easy admission in my Ivy-covered neck of the woods.I spent … [Read more...]

New Year’s Transformations instead of Resolutions

With trepidation I stepped on the scale this morning and sure enough, learned that I’ve gained 4 pounds in the past five days.  That’s what I get for feasting with 33 of my relatives over Christmas as we celebrated my uncle and aunt’s 50th wedding anniversary. Like so many others, my New Year’s resolutions should include losing 10 lbs and exercising more in 2012.  Yet after spending 5 days with 3 generations ranging in age from 7 months to 79, I’m struck by how much more than New Year’s Resoluti … [Read more...]

What I’m leaving behind

A friend of mine just posted this quote from on Twitter:"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."This is what I most want to remember in the coming year: My job is to please God.  And when I get out of the way and just follow His suggestions, it's not nearly as difficult as one would expect.  The doing part is (relatively)'s the angsting about what to do (should I/shouldn't I, will they/won't they, what if...?) that's tough.  And G … [Read more...]

Knowing Their Frames

Recently, one of my children accused me of wanting her to be perfect.After the initial denial, I realized she was right.Mamas are supposed to hold the standard high, aren’t we? If I do, maybe they won’t fail in life. Maybe they won’t suffer through the school of hard knocks like I did. Instill some discipline, establish healthy eating habits, set them on the straight and narrow and they’ll turn out okay.Or so goes the thought.But tucked somewhere in all the ‘shoulds’ and th … [Read more...]

The Hazards of Being a Wal-Mart Greeter

Why would the greeter ask me for my receipt?  Did I look like a thief?Read about an incident that happened over four years ago at my local Wal-Mart, and why the greeter's response to my rudeness shocked me. … [Read more...]

Closed on Christmas?

One of the many highlights of my 45-day Indian adventure has been the opportunity to visit several different churches all over India.  There is something special about gathering with believers in another country and culture, especially in a Hindu-dominant place like India where less than 2% of the population is Christian.  Perhaps it is the instant bond I feel with these believers as brothers and sisters in Christ, or my appreciation for the immense challenges they face while seeking to shine t … [Read more...]