Thinking about Lent, Part I: Prayer

“Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”  Matthew 5:44

It’s not politically correct to wish the entire Muslim world would convert to Christianity, but it is something I pray for most days.  It’s better than wishing for their annihilation, a thought I frequently forbear to have.

For 9 1/2 years, I have been praying for those in the military in harm’s way.  Most of that time, I have had specific names and faces, friends and family, included, making it a very personal intention.  And every year that it goes on brings me closer to the possibility that my children will follow in their father’s footsteps, join the military, and become one of those names on my prayer list.

I’m tired of it.  I want it to stop.  I don’t want the US to become isolationist – that isn’t going to help.  Then I will have to worry about everybody, especially those who live in populated areas of our country.  We can’t just turn our backs and walk away.  They will simply follow us home and do more damage.

So I pray that they will convert…God is love, turn the other cheek, etc etc etc.  Then perhaps they won’t feel the need to force women accused of adultery to be suicide bombers.  Just a thought.

My sister found this website: Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer

Why Pray for a Terrorist?

Why Pray for a Sponsor of Terrorism?

Where is the Christian response to terrorism? If the struggle against violence done in the name of Islam is primarily spiritual, then defeating it requires a spiritual response.

This site features FBI and State Department identified terrorists and terrorism sponsors. Terrorism inspires fear. According to Jesus, the antidote to fear is love.

When we hate, we are reactive victims. When we love we seize the initiative. Love for country helps soldiers to risk their lives. Love for children enables parents to discipline them without being intimidated. Love for us took Jesus to the cross. Love for enemies will give courage to face, overcome, and transform them and the environment that breeds them.

I love it.  This Lent, besides praying for my own sorry soul, I’ll be praying and sacrificing for the soul of an enemy.

Amusing Me

My babysitter is moving, and I’m searching the names at to find a replacement.  I have one meeting every month in the morning, I can’t take the kids with me, and it’s really too long for Fritz to be in charge.  Maybe if he were a girl…

Anyway, lots of teen girls…not available during the day…

…some SAHMs who want me to bring the kids to them…

…lots of people willing to babysit 2 or 3 children…

…some fine with littles, but not the big-uns…

…and one woman who made me laugh out loud:

I have a 2-year-old of my own so there isn’t much I haven’t seen or dealt with before.

She’s only comfortable with littles and only up to 2, so I can’t even give her a chance to see exactly what she hasn’t seen or dealt with before.

Ears on the back of her head

Most mornings, Mary makes her way into our bed between 5 and 6 am.  Sometimes she goes back to sleep, sometimes not.

Some mornings, like this morning, she comes in much, much earlier.  I don’t kow what time she came in, but around 430 am, Fritz came in because he had heard screaming outside.  Bill got him back into bed and assured him he likely heard a possum and/or cats fighting. 

When he came back to our bed, he commented on Mary’s ragged snoring, which I was desperately trying to ignore.  I scooped her up to take her back to her bed.

“Oh, no, she’s fine,” he said.  He hadn’t meant for me to have to get up.

“No, she’s driving me crazy,” I said.

I carried the girl, still snoring, back into her room.  As I gently set her down, her eyes opened.

“No,” she begged, “I won’t drive you crazy, Mom.”

I smiled, kissed her, and then took her hand and led her back to our room.

Beware the Bradford

We have a Bradford pear tree on our property.  It’s very pretty.  And an early bloomer.

The blossoms are quite lovely…to look upon.

One tiny problem.  The blossoms, though lovely to see, have a rather unpleasant aroma.

In fact, they smell like rotting meat…or dead fish.

Ours is not the only Bradford pear in the neighborhood.  There are quite a few.  One property has at least a half dozen.

Yes, 12 or 15 or more trees all filling the air with the stench of road kill.

This plant is not native to North America.  Do not plant it

This is the crab apple tree near our home in Kansas (2008).  Gorgeous blossoms.

Pretty.  Not as shapely as the Bradford pear, I’ll admit.

But it doesn’t make you want to vomit.


Billy received his Arrow of Light this past week.

Waiting for the ceremony to begin.

And still waiting.

It got pretty chilly.

Some didn’t mind waiting so much.

She certainly didn’t.
Small to tall.

My parents’ oldest and youngest grandsons.
Almost 15 and almost 6.
He has pretty intense eyes.

The Boy Scouts helped with the ceremony.
Fritz is blinded by the light.

The fire made the waiting in the freezing cold bearable.
But they had to move when it was time for the ceremony.

The Boy Scouts led the blindfolded Webelos over.

Awaiting their Arrow of Light.
The ceremony was very solemn.

Receiving the Arrow of Light.

Pinning the mother’s pin on.

Proud mama.

Happy Scout.

The den and leaders.

They told us to come early, and then they started late.  The ceremony was about 10 minutes long.  But it was worth it.

In 2 weeks, I will have 2 Boy Scouts and 0 Cub Scouts.  In the fall, we start the Cub Scout journey all over again with Peter.

Many thanks to my sister for taking the pictures.

How to make a Monday morning less dreary

Taking time off from our normal school day to…get sunburned.

Tybee Island Lighthouse


Serious digging.
My niece, Morgan
My nephew, Jack, always had his backside to me.
The little boy in the middle is some kid we don’t know.
He was just so happy to see a whole van load of
kids show up to play with him.  That happens to us.
All the time.

My lovely sister.

At this part of the island, a cargo ship will appear
in the distance…ghost-like.

Then a half hour or more later, it will suddenly
streak by on it’s way to port.

I tried to get a picture of her eating strawberries, but
after a nibble or two, she would shove the rest in her mouth.
Florida strawberries are at peak season right now.

Although sunny and in the upper 70’s, the brisk shore wind made things chilly.  There was one girl parading around in a bikini, but I put on a sweater.  I think everybody went home with pink cheeks and noses.