The Confloptus Clock


What time is it?  I forgetfully glance at my wrist as I recall that’s why I quit wearing watches about five cell phones ago.

I glance around the department store I’m in.  Nothing!  Nothing on the walls but posters of smiling perfectly proportioned airbrushed people in fashionable clothes.   I glance at the young man behind me who I thought was talking to voices in his head until I realized he was only conversing on his Blue Tooth.  Does he even realize how mentally unbalanced he sounds I hear my inner self pronounce judgement.

I try and take a sneak look at the octogenarian’s wrist who is deciding between three sets of white towels in linens.  Sheer nakedness.  Not a clock tick to be found.

What a conundrum.  Since when did it become so friggin’ hard to figure out what time it is?

I put my merchandise down in my double stroller cart (it was all they had left).  I look weird putting cookware where toddler bottoms belong.  Anyway, I begin the long laborious task of fishing through the contents of my pocketbook which could also double as a ship’s anchor.

Found it!  Great!

Oh.  It’s dead.

I KNOW!   Dang, I’m so brilliant as a sheer random act of genius courses my synapses!  I’ll head over to jewelry and check out the watches there.  And then I’ll know what time it is for sure.

A random survey of time keeping devices clearly shows with 85% agreement, it’s about 2:00 p.m. give or take a quarter hour.

Wow!   Time flies when you live in a world of technology and distractions.  I do a quick check of how I spent the day from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm and quickly note I managed only to cross three things off my daily REQUIRED “To do” list:

Chat with a good friend about important stuff

Avoid doing housework on my day off

Avoid going to the grocery store for the 2, 174th time as a grown up.

       Come on!  I had to have done more than this.  I pause in the middle of the aisle to think about this.  For how long?  A few seconds?  A minute?   Nope, I’m absolutely certain—I can say without a doubt, I cannot even remember how I spent my time today, much less this week.  I can only say with absolute certainty, your honor, it is now:


      We are living our lives at the speed of light, perhaps faster, ever more dependent on devices to keep track of our time, activities, and even manage our friends.  How did this happen?

Texting, Twittering, sending messages and posting random musings and thoughts online and avoiding the reality of face to face, or even phone to phone.    The very technology meant to simplify has instead complicated our lives exponentially.

And now we are all marching lock-step to the time of The Confloptus Clock.  Confloption descends from the Greek word (than you know it’s superior right there, folks) Confloptus which means to upset the equilibrium, to distress harmony, and to create a disturbance.

Ah yes, spending and using up all our time but not keeping the peace. 

Perhaps this is why we all feel like we are living as an ADHD person amped on steroids these days.  We are all trying to do more than one human being is capable of doing in 24 hours.  We quit measuring our time in 30 and 60 minute increments somewhere in the last decade.  Instead, we are all running as fast as we can trying to beat the Confloptus Clock without checking with our brain to distinguish between that which is necessary and that which is irrelevant to either productivity or meaning.

Wishing you well as you plan your day before your last tick tocks!

Strong as Gay

      John Stillman, AKA JAck wrangler – “The Marlboro man”

I was talking with a good friend this morning.  We were lamenting on the fact that we were both sort of married to the Marlboro Man, well different versions of, not the same guy, lest you be confused.

You know.  The Marlboro Man!  Rugged.  Strong.  Masculine.  Not bad to look at.  Works hard.  With their calloused hands no less, which always have grease lined-nails and jagged edges.   Yes, they are the quintessential man’s man who know the definition of HARD WORK and have an inexhaustible supply of energy to draw from in order to work– usually ten or twelve hours (on a slow day).

Maybe you know a Marlboro Man.  He probably smokes.  And cusses when he gets mad.   They leave the seat up just for you, ladies.  They like steak and potatoes and they despise casseroles and anything that comes from a recipe.  They like a nice cold one after work.  They like Monday night football and they don’t do chick flicks—ever!  They don’t see dust and above all they never ever cry.

They’re Dodge Ram tough!  They fix transmissions and they fix broken sinks.  They have tools that are too heavy for you to carry.  But mending broken hearts?  That’s another matter.

Ah yes, these steel boned, iron-willed men are what we chose and what we are indeed grateful for.  But sometimes, if life were absolutely perfect, we wonder what it’d be like to at least borrow a man like this:

Strong as Gay

     Yes, I said it.  For just one night, I want a reprieve from reality.  I want to spend time with someone who is characteristically and  fastidiously neat and would be horrified to see urine on the side of the porcelain and would instantly reach for the nearest spray bottle of Clorox.

In this alternate universe we’d have our moment.  My dream date would go down something like this:

First, I’ll go out to dinner to an elegant restaurant with a name I can’t pronounce, attached to the arm of a man who has never publicly belched or farted and knows what a linen napkin is for.  I want to see that Polo pony emblazoned proudly on his shirt in all its embroidered glory.    Yes, this is the steed for me.

I want to smell some nice Givenchy or Hermes with fruity overtones waft across the candlelight as this beautiful man sits there and compliments profusely my long ago-forgotten beauty.  As he gazes into my forty-something eyes, he’ll reach for my hand and hold it softly in his, as I’m acutely aware of how his baby-bottom like soft skin touches mine.  He’ll look longingly into my eyes as he gently inquires how was my day and how am I doing?  Yes, how are you actually doing–he’ll insist on knowing.  Then he will even wait for and even listen to my response. 

Even if it involves tears.

Especially, if it involves tears.

    “Oh dear, dear, dear, dear,” he’ll say as he wipes my eyes.  “We can’t have this.  This absolutely won’t do; your mascara will run.”  At this point, this perfectly caring strong beautiful man will jump up and then kneel down beside me on my side of the table and wipe my tear before it even starts the slippery descent down my cheek.  He’ll lean over and kiss the crown of my head and my heart will just melt.  I will think for a moment what did I ever do to deserve such a sensitive man.

By the time the maître d arrives, the perfect Pinot Noir has already been ordered and the definite possibility of dessert is being discussed.  No, make that relished.  We are laughing as we fork through our shrimp and avocado salad discussing dessert choices.   Next the topic of conversation will slowly shift to the time-treasured topic of:

Hopes and Dreams

     We’ll slowly savor each bite of our pan-seared salmon entrees with asparagus as we spend a good hour discussing the finer details of the above-mentioned topic.   Yes, I’ll try and get a word in edge-wise about what about you and your dreams, but this strong as gay man will have none of it.  We’re not here to discuss me he’ll say; tonight is all about you.  “But it’s not even my birthday,” I’ll insist.  “Shush, shush,” he’ll say, “as you were saying?”  He’ll beg for more details in his compassionate quest.

After dessert, we’ll sit facing one another in his new luxury Mercedes S class Sedan.  As I inhale the fresh-off-the-lot cleanliness of new leather, I’ll surreptitiously notice that not a solitary object exists in his car, save for the most recent copy of Architectural Digest and Traditional Home tucked neatly away in the backseat.  He’ll check his watch and remind me that we still have an hour before the movie starts.  He’ll ask me which movie I want to see more, the one with Sandra Bullock or the one with Hugh Grant.  He’ll tell me he is good either way.

We’ll continue talking about life and he’ll offer wisdom and real words of encouragement when I mention the things that are bothering me.  He’ll lean over and say, “Is it okay if I just hold you?”    This will make me cry and I’ll say, “Of course!”  Then I’ll start crying in that slobbery kind of way reserved only for deaths of loved ones and true break-downs, and he’ll just keep holding me and have a hanky close by on ready reserve just waiting to wipe away my tears.  In between sobs and slobs, he’ll just say, “There, there, it’s gonna be okay.”  And he’ll just lightly kiss the side of my face once or twice but mostly he’ll just hold me.

I will calm down and feel strangely comforted.  I may even feel like this is LOVE.   I’m relieved because I know I don’t owe him anything later for this abundance of kindness and caring.

As the evening winds down, we’ll finally go and see our movie.  We’ll laugh and cry together as we stuff our already full bellies with popcorn, soda, and chocolate.  Yes, we’ll have lots of chocolate.   He’ll probably reach over for my hand just to hold it during the tear-jerker scenes.

Finally, he will take me home.  He’ll look into my eyes one last time and say, “Thank you darling for tonight. It has been such a lovely evening.  You mean the world to me!  Never change, okay?”

We’ll lightly peck one another’s lips as I savor one last time the smells of his car, of him, of a reality that isn’t mine, never was, and never will be.

He will drop me back off at the house of the Marlboro Man.  The house where I live.  The house where there is both duty and love.  Heartache and heart full.  But every now and then, I will pine for the man who comfortably wears pink, has a small stud earring and smells really good, and a heart that goes so deep I think I’d like to drown there for just a little while sometimes.

Yes, we suburban wives of Marlboro need just such a strong man sometimes or at least the dream of one.  Even if it goes up in a puff of smoke.

Post Script:  John Stillman who played Jack Wrangler, aka The Marlboro Man, first worked as a model, than became well-known for his rugged good looks as The Marlboro Man.  He then went on to become a porn star and died from emphysema at age 62 in April 2009.

Green Movement (Post a Week Challenge)


Green Photos submitted by Liz Gray for Weekly Photo Challenge:  Green

All Pics taken at NC Asheboro Zoo in August 2012

Pic 1: Yoga Turtle enjoys the Green Movement

Pic 2:  Butterfly on the Green

Pic 3: Green in the pond

Pic 4:  Leafy Greens on the playground

And now that you’ve enjoyed some green pics, maybe you’ll enjoy listening to one of my favorite songs:   “Green” by Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians:



It’s All Good

Wow, has it ever been a week!  It started on Monday!  I had just gotten my weekly manicure and pedicure at Paradise Salon when I chipped my middle nail on my right hand as I fumbled for my Jag’s keys.

“Lord, have mercy!” I shouted to no one in hearing range.  I was already running late to meet Betsy for lunch.  She always chastises my organizational skills because I never get to lunch first.  How are we going to have enough time to plan EVERYTHING necessary for the Association’s Charity Ball now?  I can just hear her think this as I peel out of the parking lot.

Fine then.   I wouldn’t have even been late if I hadn’t spent the extra fifteen minutes this morning arguing with my husband. When I opened the dryer earlier that morning, a rogue blue sock had tumbled out in a sea of my silky whites.

“WHAT’S THIS?!?!?    Damn it, Charles!  If I told you once, I have told you a thousand times, DON’T MIX COLORS WITH WHITE!”  He just doesn’t get it.  He thinks apologies should just cover everything.  Well not this time, mister.  I want you to learn to listen to me!  Clearly he’s off his meds again.

Lunch was pretty much an exercise in futility as Betts shot down all my ideas for the ball, but giggled that annoying little 7th grade laugh of hers, as she showed me her designer’s plans for the ballroom that all her friends just raved about.

On Tuesday my daughter Crystal informed she got a B- in Honors Calculus.  Seriously?  After all that money we spent on tutoring last year?

“College is competitive Missy.  I don’t know what your problem is, but you need to pull yourself together.”

“Okay, Mom!  I get it.  I know!  Dad went to Brown, as did his father and his father.  I am doing my level best to march lock step in line with your plans for me, so I won’t be the first to break our family honored chain of tradition!”

   Crystal does that.  She has this way of being sarcastic when she knows she screwed up.  Deep down, she knows her father and I only want what’s truly best for her.

The rest of the week was exhausting.  I was dealt an impossible to do list:  Take our oldest son Will’s Tahoe to the shop for an oil change.  A second meeting finalizing the Charity Ball plans.   Take my mother in law to her weekly bridge club.   Deal with the frisky exterminator, what’s his problem?  Finish my Christmas shopping for all 6 of our siblings and their kids!   Unload all the groceries and then realize I forgot the freaking dental flossPeggy, our housekeeper of fifteen years gets sick the week of Thanksgiving!  Great!

Finally, on Friday I had to chaperone Jason and an entire class of second graders on a field trip to what else?  A water treatment plan where we all learned how raw sewage is recycled back into water.  I swear from this day forward, it’s Evian or nothing at all for me.   Then, wouldn’t you know it, when I was at the smelliest part of the water treatment facility, about a half mile from where I had parked, I tripped over a rock, and broke the heal on one of my brand new Jimmy Choos.  I had to finish the field trip by precariously balancing my weight on my good left leg and tip-toeing on the right.

I barely got home in time to watch Days of our Lives.

What’s this?   Right there smack in the middle of our wall screen, our dusty old box TV with rabbit ears from the attic was perched on a card table.

I called my husband at the hospital immediately!  “Page Dr. Clark stat,” I yelled at the very rude receptionist.   You’d think a busy metropolitan hospital could page a neurosurgeon in under twenty minutes.  What if someone had an actual emergency?

    Twenty minutes later, Charles informs me the overhead projector is broken so he took it to be repaired this morning.  “So I set up our old TV in the living room, because I know that’s where you like to sip your coffee as you watch your Days.”

    “Thank you,” I mumbled.  Bless his heart, he really does try sometimes.   I collapsed in a heap on the sofa.  I couldn’t help it.  I started crying.

Suddenly a memory crept up towards the surface of my consciousness.  When I was a little girl, probably no more than seven, I can remember I once fell off my Princess Daisy bike and scraped my cheek a little bit.  My granny Pearl was the one who parted my hair back off my face, wiped the dirt and blood off with her clean little hanky, and kissed my tear-stained cheek.

    “There there, my baby girl.  It’s not so bad.  You’re gonna have days like this,” she softly whispered.

“Yeah, but I’m going to be in the Little Miss Charleston Pageant this weekend and now I’ll be the only one who is ugly.” 

She laughed and laughed.  That made me cry more.  “Child, you’re no more ugly than the sun is freezing.  You’ve got to relax sometimes.  Just go with the flow.    It’s all good!”

  It’s all good.  I try to remember that when I have a week like this one.

I do something next I haven’t done in a really long time.  I probably haven’t done this since my granny used to take me to Sunday school all those years ago all decked out in bobby sox and Buster Brown Mary Janes.  I get out my bible.  I close my eyes and open it up to any old random page.  I put my finger on the page.  I open it up.  Then I smile.

Well, golly gee, I can just hear my granny say, look at the encouragement the Good Lord left for you today:

For we know all things work to the good, for those that love Him and are called according to His purposes.  Romans 8:28

     It’s all good.  Indeed.

Diving into an Empty Pool


       There’s a lot of talk these days that at the end of next month America is going to go off the end of the fiscal cliff. Yeah?  So what.   As for me and my household:  I’m tired of fearing:

  • The beginning of the end
  • Calamity and destruction
  • Everything is beyond our control
  • There is no solution here
  • We’re not going to make it

At least that’s how I am feeling about things these days.

The thing is this:  What percentage of your life do you think you actually have control?  The longer I live, the more I realize the decisions of others greatly affect my own from political to professional to personal.  But I am learning the gift of unplugging.

Unplugging doesn’t mean checking out.  It means you unplug from the source of stress that frequently drives you. 

It’s really a challenge to unplug.  It requires some heavy lifting, sometimes more arduous than turning OFF the power to the remote.   It takes more strength than to be able to single-handedly not check your email, Facebook status and comments, and news of the world via your smart device every hour.

I’m not advocating an “ignorance is bliss” attitude, but more of an ignorance is blessed attitude.  Another words, if you are unable to control much of what is going on around you, then perhaps it’s time to dive into a different pool.

We can’t continue to wade in the waters of a cesspool and expect that we will be able to swim capably, much less see clearly.   When we look at our circumstances or even the choices of others that certainly affect us, it’s easier to drown in a pool of pity or the sea of sorrow than it is to look past the horizon of hell that seemingly threatens to consume us.

There’s only way to survive that which you cannot control.   You have to release the limitations of your human understanding.  You have to embrace the sovereignty of a higher power.  You have to trust God.

Simultaneously letting go while hanging on—it’s hard sometimes.

It can be done.

But only if you dive into a different well.   Dive into a wellspring of life by trusting God when you don’t have the answers to why and are tired of trying to find them. 

We see the experiences of our lives and state of our world and usually look to friends or other people or the knowledge of the various media to explain it to us and make sense of it.   Often there is an element of truth to what we learn.  But much of it is agenda, even propaganda.

In the end, it feels like we are diving into an empty pool:   Unsafe.  Fear.  Vast emptiness.  You’re rapidly about to hit bottom!   Knowledge and news can’t answer questions such as:


What now?

What is my role, if any, in this?

Before diving off the cliff of sanity, change pools.  Dive into a pool of water where your spirit is nourished and your spirit is refreshed.    Dive into a pool where trust is your life preserver in a world of tribulation.    Dive deep in faith and know that God is good and in control and can give you the necessary healing, wisdom, clarity, or compassion called for any confusion or circumstance you have.   Don’t delay.  Dive today!


I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him. Psalms 40:1-3 (The Living Bible)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ. Philippians 4:6-7 (The Living Bible)

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be afraid of them! For the Lord your God will be with you. He will neither fail you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters,
but one who has insight draws them out.  Proverbs 20:5


Three Days Later (Post a Week Challenge: A Picture is Worth 1000 Words)


How could I ever forget that day?  It was a crisp and cool fall Sunday.  We were all headed to Mass at St. Mary’s Sacred Heart.    It was a devastating time.  Our beloved, no make that my beloved 35th President John F. Kennedy Jr. had just been assassinated three days earlier by that madman Oswald in Dallas, TX.

Pfft!  Just like that, he was mowed down I tell you, in the prime of his life.  He never stood a chance.

In this picture, Sam was wearing his new wool blazer I had gotten for his 35th birthday bash at an after Labor Day sale from Bergdorf’s.  So was John Michael, who much to Sam’s credit allowed both me and my mother to call our own boy John John as well.  Our sweet John John looked quite dapper in his new pea coat and cap.  And of course, there was Mary Cat.   We called her Mary Cat because John John couldn’t say Mary Catherine when she was first born, and he just called her Mary Cat, so the name stuck.  Yes sweet Mary Cat with her black patent leather shoes and white bobby sox and her pink wool petticoat and bonnet.  Her right little white-gloved hand firmly grasped her daddy’s, while her left hand tightly clenched her little purse I had given her for birthday the previous May.  Her legs had to have been freezing and her little mouth was pursed as she bravely fought back tears because her routine-as-clockwork mother wasn’t with her.

See we were supposed to have our portrait made after Mass that day.  But everything fell to pieces.  Or maybe it was just me.

A half hour earlier, Sam had zipped up my black Givenchy dress and as he did so kissed the nape of my neck.  It’s only because I was wearing Channel.  He always gets frisky when I put my hair up like Audrey Hepburn and I put a dab of Channel behind my ears.  I had just powdered my nose.

But my eyes were swollen, swollen I tell you!  I looked positively dreadful.   How could I go to mass looking like this?

I felt Sam’s hand try to go up my dress.  I smacked him, smacked him hard, I swear I did.

He looked stunned.  It was the first time I’d ever rejected his advances.

How can you even think of that at a time like this?  Don’t you know our President has just been assassinated?  I’m still mourning.  Please!  Leave me be!”

Sam got the message.  He didn’t touch me again that morning.  He helped get the kids ready instead, a real first for him.   I tried to clasp my pearl necklace around my neck.  My thumbs were sore from having prayed the rosary I don’t know how many times the last three days.  Somehow I slipped up.  I don’t know what I did, but my string of pearls spilled out all over the bathroom linoleum.

When those damn pearls spilled out everywhere I think it scattered the remaining pieces of my sanity right along with it.   I started sobbing uncontrollably.

When I looked up Sam, whose strong butcher’s hands were freshly scrubbed clean just for church today, was standing in the doorway with our little John John and Mary Cat.  It was clear to me then, as it is now, they would never ever understand me.  I was fragile.  Too much so, I think.

“I can’t go,” I told them.

“Aw come on Janey!  You’ve got to pull yourself together.  America has to go on.”

“You just don’t understand.  You don’t get it do you!   Don’t you know those commie bastards are probably going to nuke us for sure now?  What about the rights for colored people?  Who’s going to take up the fight for them now?  What about women Sam?  What about me?”  I carried on for at least a half hour.

It was all too much.  My outburst had sucked up all his remaining thoughts and feelings.  I was crying hard now.  I needed to be held.  John John just stared shell shocked.   Mary Cat began to whimper.

The hug never came.  Sam scooped up the kids and shouted, “Come on, let’s go!”

We’ll wait for you at the curb for two minutes!  If you can’t pull yourself together, we’ll go without you,” Sam threatened.  How dare he?  He’d take the car and make me miss Mass for our President?  You know not.

     Then I did something totally spontaneous and uncharacteristic.  I grabbed Sam’s Tower Skipper camera with its monster flash.  I opened the window and snapped their picture as they waited for me. I could tell Mary Cat was still upset about my outburst.

And then I slammed the window shut.  I lit up a cigarette and kicked off my heels.  I plugged in the Kirby and started vacuuming our flat, starting with a hundred cultured pearls.  I’m not sure why.

All I know for sure was that by the time Richard Nixon became president, I was already a divorcee of two years.  I never got another pearl necklace again.  I cried every day starting that Sunday until Christmas of 1963.  John John and Mary Cat started prep school when I married my second husband Bernie, a lawyer who specialized in estate planning.

But sometimes when our current President gives his State of the Union address, I tear up a little.  I think of President Kennedy the ghost who still resides in my heart even though he’s been gone for more than half my life.  Mostly I think of Sam, sweet Sam.  He tried, but perhaps he butchered one heart too many.  He just never quite knew how to handle what he called my pervasive sadness. 

This was our last family photo.  And I wasn’t in it.   And I have to confess I’m glad Mr. Ruby shot Oswald.  For he ruined everything I ever truly loved!

A Prayer for America’s President


I didn’t vote for you.  That is okay.  You are still my President.  I am still an American both free and privileged to live in the greatest country on earth.  As a Christian I am freely choosing to do this joyfully.  America is great because God has been good to us, even when Americans do not agree on issues or even who should be President.

So today I pray this humble prayer and pray it may be shared and heard:

I thank my God for you and that we were given a choice to elect you.  For you are the President to all Americans.  I know we are divided on how to solve all the problems that confront us:  Debt, domestic policies, taxes, trade, energy, immigration, social issues, poverty, education, justice, security, foreign policy, international relationships, war, peace, to name just a few.  I’m sure there are a few thousand or so issues I left out.

Still–this much I know is true.   God has appointed you for this time and place in our history.  So this I pray for you:

First that your family will be blessed and shine as an example of what good and faithful promises are in store for families that strive to be strong, love one another, and aim to work through differences in order to remain intact.

I pray that you are surrounded by good advisors who put the good of country ahead of politics and self-promotion and the wisdom and courage to remove those who do not.

I pray that you will be an influence on moral culture and inspire people to value honor and truth.  This means living and speaking truthfully, even when or if the truth hurts you or hurts us.  We are Americans; we are strong. We can take it.

May you be granted God’s favor as you work for us and may you be given wisdom to help heal the various divisions in our country and find compromise in areas of opposing ideologies.  Neither party is completely right nor is either party completely wrong.   Extracting compromise will be your toughest challenge, and quite possibly ours.

I pray that you will listen carefully.  I pray you will hear what the citizens are asking for and what they are not.  I pray all viewpoints will have representation as you lead all parties and as you enact or veto legislation.

I pray you can be an example of fiscal stewardship and policy accountability.  I pray you will be given wisdom and favor to help you in these areas.

I pray you will seek God’s guidance first and seek His righteousness regarding every man and woman you send overseas or even keep in our homeland that are entrusted with the sacred honor and sadly, sometimes sacrificial duty required of those called to keep our country safe and free from harm.  I pray you personally understand the depth of the loss experienced by the families who personally lose an American hero.

I pray for wisdom to know what is worth fighting for and what is simply a tactic to drain us of our most precious resource of all: human life.

I pray you have courage to call evil by its name when it surfaces.  If we can’t identify evil by its calling card, we will not be able to identify who is our enemy.

I pray you will value human life from the baby who has not been born, to the aged citizen who, though they may no longer be productive, contains the wisdom of the ages if we would indeed listen and learn from them.

I pray you will receive and give honor worthy of your high calling.  I pray you always remember the office and the magnificent country you represent every time you shake a hand, sign or veto a piece of legislation, or meet with foreign dignitaries.

I pray you will be a beacon of light, a representation of honor, a speaker of truth, and a living demonstration of both peace and strength, and above all treasure the sacred honor of being called the President of the United States.  May you value your calling as highly as we who love our country value being an American citizen.

As you walk and serve, may you walk with God.   For with God, ALL things are possible.  We know that ALL things, even divisive elections, can be used to work for good.

This is your time.  May God abundantly bless you as you find your way in the pages and memories forever chronicled in our American history.


Freedom to Choose


     At last! It’s here!  Election Day!  The incumbent verses the challenger.  The red verses the blue.  The D verses the R.   The right one verses the wrong one.  The list goes on!

Who will you choose and why?

What if you’re stuck and not certain of your choice?  Then get busy TODAY and research your candidates and compare them to your values.  In the world of endless media to acquire an informed mind, ignorance is no excuse!

To all who may see this, I implore you to vote today!

Why?  Because millions around the world would do anything to have the freedom to choose who is in power of the land they call home, or at the very least, were destined by birth to inhabit.  Vote because untold blood was shed, so you could stay free and maintain this right.  Vote because you love your country and care enough to be informed about the choices of those in power and how it will impact your life and others.

Vote because you reject negativity and cynicism to take root in your soul, despite the fact you may not be totally overjoyed with the choices and there has never been a perfect candidate.    Vote because you are telling the world your voice and your view matters.   Vote because you stand for this and reject that.

Validate that which you value by voting!

Life, liberty (freedom!), and the pursuit (the hopeful intention to achieve, not the guarantee) of happiness are three truths that are too valuable to squander because you were too lazy to vote.

Above all, when you cast your vote, may you have peace with your soul!

Join the millions of Americans tonight who will be glued to their TV, waiting with anticipation, dread, and elation, awaiting the direction and vision America steps into the future with.

Vote for responsibility.  Vote for freedom.  Vote for truth.   Vote for honor.  Vote for life.


And…..A Prayer for Wednesday:

Dear Lord, Many of will be rejoicing, but many of us will feel crushed in spirit.  Help those of us who feel victorious not fall prey to boasting.  Help those of us who feel as if we’ve lost to not feel defeated in spirit.   We are Americans!  As a nation we have many problems socially, economically, and spiritually.  But we are a great people.  We have been blessed with a diversity of divine wisdom if we just ask You for it.    We are not victims; we are victors!     We are free to choose how we are led and free to choose how we will respond once our President is chosen.   Today is the day I choose to shake the hand of my neighbor, to hug my friend, and love my fellow American because I am indeed free.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.   1 Chronicles 7:14

An interesting link to how the Electoral College works (be sure to watch the video):

Pen Fed

Photo credit:

Grab your nearest pen and examine it’s features. Is it a micro billboard for a dentist, a plumber, a church, an insurance agency?  Where did you get it?  Did you acquire it honestly or do you just have no idea where it came from?

If you are in the latter category, you may have PKD or partial kleptomania disorder.  You don’t mean to steal pens; you just do.  “Can I borrow a pen please?” is code for “you’re never gonna see this baby again.”

Maybe it started as a baby when you held your first rattle.   Maybe it started as a toddler in preschool when the other kid’s toy was more desirable than yours, so–

You snatched it.

You weren’t thinking of the future.  You were living in the now, a positive character trait you perhaps spent untold thousands of dollars relearning from your shrink, as you learned to let it go (all your anxiety) and embrace the present (for it is indeed a gift).

The thing is we live in a highly distractible world.  Most people schedule their calendar, pay their bills, check their email, conduct their personal and professional calls, and tweet and post to the world their minute by minute status at the CLICK of a button on a vast array of smart devices.

Not me.  I mean I have a smart phone and I use some of its features.  But I’m still a pen and paper kind of gal. And my pocket book runs deeper than my memory.  I mean way deep.

Even when I’m up to my elbows in used Kleenexes, crumpled coupons, crumb-crusted chopped off lipstick tubes with no tops, loose coins, a few Happy Meal toys, and my emergency dollar (to be used only if the apocalypse is suddenly upon us) I continuously bump up against this truth:

I can’t find my friggin’ pen!

So I feign extreme hardship and ask the nearest stranger that exudes an ounce of grace, may I please borrow one.    I bat my eyelashes, and voila!

A new pen magically appears in my hand!

Van Cleef and Arpels — Montblanc’s Mystery Masterpiece — Value:  $730,000

So I write my check at the check-out line, and then notice I can’t find my phone.  Hey, where did my kid go?  He was right here!  Dang it!  The cashier already bagged my stash and forgot to use the reusable bags under my cart again!  On and on the physical and mental drama continues.  But time marches forward quickly.  Soon I find my kid, load my car with supplies, and what seems like a matter of nanoseconds, I am at the bank teller line, ready to make a deposit.  Correction, ready to make a withdrawal and play a round of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” with a variety of low-valued bank accounts.

I hit SEND in the bank’s drive thru line, as I simultaneously hit CALL.  Whoosh, goes the pneumatic cylinder, straight to the banker’s awaiting hands.  “May I help you?” she asks, sensing I’ve just wasted electricity to send her a tube of nothing.

“May I borrow a pen, please?”

“No problem, Liz.”

I love it.  They all know me.  How is it that a big metropolitan bank has an entire staff who knows me personally by name, despite an absence of large funds or influence?  Now that’s service.

And then I remember, oh yeah, I already got a pen. Oh well.   By now, the new pen has sailed effortlessly through space and time and is now in my hand conducting complicated banking business.

“Liz?” the teller asks.


“It looks like your front tire is low on air.  You may wanna take a look at that.”

Seriously?  Now that is PHENOMENAL service I think.   I’m so inspired by this teller’s personal concern I may go home and write a letter of commendation to the branch manager.

“Thank you!  I will!” as I send back the various checks, withdrawal, and transfer slips, and a roll of coins as I remember, oops, you’re not supposed to send those.  You might clog the pipes.  Too late!

Whoosh!  The various receipts come back.  Thanks again!” I exclaim as I drive off, still so happy that my bank teller is more concerned about my personal welfare than just money.

An hour later I’m home, the tire’s infused with fresh air, my kid’s had his meal on wheels, and all our supplies our mostly put away.  My son is ready to do his homework.

Arrrghh!  He can’t find his pencil, one of at least two hundred I’ve surely bought this year, a penance or form of poetic justice I suppose, and one I endure often.    I plunge both arms into my pocket book to see if I can find a token of tree and lead.

“Just forget about it” I say, “just use a pen this time.”  I pray his first grade teacher doesn’t mind.

Oh no!  I’m plagued with guilt.  I silently ask God for forgiveness.  Almost immediately, this burden mysteriously lifts.

“Which one do you want?” I ask my son.  The purple one (Dr. Elvin Schmidt, Proctologist) or the black one (Black Bic, no frills—probably came from the bank).

I try to behave, be kind, and live in the truth.  But if you ever find yourself annoyed, because you can’t find your pen as you spin a 360 stammering, “I just had it!”, then I humbly ask your forgiveness now.

For I am just a lowly, aspiring writer whose brain thinks at a slightly higher RPM than a car’s tachometer straining in the red zone.

I can only say a prayer and hope St. Peter holding his Book of Life has his pen firmly in his grasp.