As I stood in front of the mirror rolling my hair, the early morning sun shining through the window behind me,  I noticed that my blue eyes looked exceptionally blue.  Must be the blue dress I’m wearing.

My mind went to the sixth graders to whom I spoke last week.  They were telling me what they like about their appearance and what they like about their inner qualities.  One of the girls said, “I like how my eyes change color.”

“According to the time of day and what you’re wearing, you mean?,” I asked.

“Yes,” she nodded.

“Your eyes are lovely,” I affirmed.

I affirm each child as they tell me what they like about themselves.

And as I rolled the last section of hair it occurred to me that that is precisely why sixth graders love my talk.

I am God for them.

More precisely I am the part of God who delights in them.

Later in the lesson, as I point out the land mines that are lurking in adolescence, I am God’s voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

And they appreciate knowing what’s what.

Later this morning, the bearers of the cross, the giant gold Bible, and the lanterns processed midway down the aisle and stopped, just as they do every Sunday. The Bible was opened and the deacon read from the gospels. And I love it. I love that the procession into the aisle represents Jesus coming among us.  Jesus telling us His good news – not from afar, but from within our midst.

I jotted in my bulletin, “I want to bring an aspect of God whenever I speak – mercy, compassion, love, grace, guidance, delight.”

Wouldn’t that be something?

To bring God’s delight within a midst?

To leave each person with a sense that God finds him/her delightful?

Mr. Rogers was good at that.

I think I’ll make it my prayer.

For now, I’ll ask you what I always ask them:

What 3 things do you like most about your appearance?

What 3 things do you like most about your character/inner beauty?





life, Light

Merry Christmas!

I had a million things to do before I could go to bed last night, so what did I do instead? I went to a 10:00 candlelight service. It was wonderful. But long. I didn’t get home until after midnight.


I went because my daughter read an article, which she shared with me. I liked the author’s emphasis on worship. At the end of the article was a brief bio – the author, it turns out, is a minister at a church about 30 minutes from here.  My daughter googled the church.  They were having a 10:00 Christmas Eve Service.

“Let’s go,” I said.

So we went.

It was past the hub’s bedtime so he stayed home.

It was perfect: I got to sing some of my favorite Christmas carols, there were well-read readings from Scripture, we sang Silent Night by candlelight.

As we left, the minister shook our hands, introduced himself, asked how we happened upon his small church and told us to consider Holy Redeemer our church home.

How kind was that?

I mentioned to my daughter on the way home that the format seemed a little bit Catholic.

“I liked it,” she said. “I need more processionals with large crosses and giant gold Bibles in my life.”

I agreed.

This morning, as we were opening gifts, I said to the hub, “Let’s be Episcopalians!”

My daughter googled the church again because we were wondering whether the minister is called a priest or a pastor. Apparently both are acceptable.

We chuckled at how the church describes itself – “Protestant and Reformed, and Catholic” – because that’s pretty much how I described it on the way home.

The best of all worlds.

I liked how the minister truly ministered. Like a shepherd. I liked how the congregants responded like simple sheep. At this stage in the game, I like simple.

Will I become an Episcopalian*? Probably not. Will I go back for the candlelight service next year?  YES!

But first I’ll get all my stuff done.

Here are some pictures from my house.  Now I have to get back in the kitchen. I still have rolls (I have something to tell you about that tomorrow) and salad to make.


Merry Christmas everyone!


*Turns out the church is not Episcopalian, the denomination just has the word Episcopal in its name.  What do I know?