Christians Behaving Badly

Christians are some of the meanest people I know, myself included. Can I get a witness?! LOL. Oh yes, if you’re honest you know we’re right up there with prom queens, Mayan ritual priests, soccer moms and toddlers. So, bygones. I’ll speak for myself and say I have always had the innate ability to use words the way a surgeon might use a scalpel or how an inmate might use a sock full of pennies in gen-pop when someone takes his smokes. Words are my signature method of expression, for better or for worse. This gift has been a two-edged sword- having served me well and kicked my trash all over the place when I am having one of those days where a colonoscopy sounds like a nice way to get some R&R. Fun fact: Christians are human beings.

However, Jesus’ name has never been a get-out-of-hell-free card to let people off the hook when you join their pricey MLM and then they stop responding when you have a bad reaction to their essential oils. (Unless its doTERRA, in which case, you won’t have that reaction at ALL! hahaha)

If you run into one of my personal no-fly zones, you may trigger my emotional Neanderthal and she is hideous. But I hope I remember to think about things like: Would Jesus be proud of how I’m acting? Of what I’m saying? Would someone look at what I’m doing right now and see Jesus in me? These are important questions to ask every day, all the time. When someone dies for me (granted, it’s just been that one Person), I really do my best to try and honor that sacrifice with how I live.

Romans 3:23 says (I’m paraphrasing here), that everyone, Christian or “other”, is a jerk and deserves to be punched in the face at some point or another. Myself included. I am one of those “nobody puts Baby in a corner” type of personalities. (I’m a hoot at parties though). In the Bible, James, the brother of Jesus called the tongue, “…a fire, a world of evil.” (James 3) Preach.

King David wrote the following: Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.” (Psalm 141:3) And this: I will take heed of my ways so that I do not sin with my tongue.” (Psalm 39:1) And this,Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, Lord.” (Psalm 19:14) Sounds like he may have had an Alicia-level mouth on him, amen. 

Let’s be honest, there really isn’t anything a Christian can say or do that someone, somewhere won’t give Jesus the “credit” for- whether you flip the bird while driving with a Jesus fish on your bumper or overreact when someone moves your blankets at the Plaza when you were saving spots for your church group’s 4th of July shindig. Even so, we are representing Jesus to the world and I hope that when you take a super long time fiddling with your 1,001 coupons at the grocery store, I remember that while I’m waiting behind you. 😉

Cringeworthy Christianity: Stuff We Say

Today I issue a formal apology to all humans who have innocently bumped into a Christian only to be accosted with offensive or perplexing language that feels, at best, nonsensical or, even worse, makes sense, but is flat-out weird. We have our own language. Some of us also have wine. If it’s been a while, you should at least try church again. It’s not the pearl-clutching society of old bitties it once was. I swear. I have a tattoo on my neck. You can trust me. But I digress…

Hi, welcome to church! If you’re not washed in the blood, maybe you need to come to the river and drink. Hey, while you’re there, have you been baptized by water? Fire? Are you filled with the Holy Ghost, as evidenced with the speaking of tongues? The great cloud of witnesses is watching you run your race so run for the prize! Do you want the full armor? We’ll know you by your fruit so we will lay our hands on you before we take up a love offering. First, we’ll eat Jesus’ body and drink His blood. Let’s lift up our hands and surrender. Are you ready to take up your cross and die for Christ? Hope to see you next Sunday! Amen!

As a pastor’s kid and now a pastor’s wife, I have seen it and heard it and cringed at it all. I still suck wind through my teeth when we ask visitors to stand up or wave and then 250 people turn and stare, clapping wildly as they try to shrink into their chair and maintain a brave smile. The thing about Christians is that most of us are all so genuine in really, really wanting to show people what joy we have found in Jesus Christ that our unbridled enthusiasm becomes clown-with-yellow-pointy-teeth-and-drippy-makeup scary. Please stop.

Christians speak their own language, it’s true. How did that happen?! Do we know how we sound to the rest of the world? I’m guessing we don’t, not most of the time. Paul got it. He wrote, “…I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save them. This I do for the gospel’s sake…” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) Let’s all agree that telling people things like God will take coal and cleanse their lips is not the way to interest them in learning more. Let’s stop saying weird things about an enemy shooting fiery darts and crouching at their door seeking to devour and instead invite them to coffee and just listen and say things like, “Can I pray for you?” (We can tell them about the foot washing once we’ve got them in our clutches.)

Fight if you can. Die if you must. But NEVER forget.

My grandfather, Frank Nolan, lied about his age so he could be old enough to enlist in the U.S. Navy and fight in WWII and the Korean War. He was deeply patriotic and a true hero. As part of the “Greatest Generation”, it was natural for him to want to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the American way of life. Many, even Americans, try to tear down, disparage and minimize our greatness, but as long as there is breath in my lungs, my voice will drown theirs out!

Our country, as flawed as it has been from the start, presented to the world a beacon of hope in democracy, capitalism and freedom from tyranny in a way the entire world throughout all of human history had never seen. Perfect? No. Still superior to anything else in the world? Absolutely. God-given? Yes. Blessed? Yes. And it is worth fighting for, and even dying for.

My grandfather died in January 2018, warm in his bed, at the age of 91. One of the last things he ever said to me was what a beautiful life he’d lived and how grateful he was for what God had given him. He was a proud and unapologetic American, as am I.

What can we do in return? REMEMBER. Today is Memorial Day, for those soldiers who have fought and died. (Veterans Day, in November, is for those servicemen who are still living.) America must never forget. We must shed tears, we must have parades, we must set out pictures, we must talk about it at the dinner table and we must speak louder than those who try to speak against us, and we must keep memories alive. We must inspire future generations to love our great country, and be willing to let them go and fight… and, yes, die when necessary. God bless you, and God bless America.



When Making a Lunch Changes the World

There was a season, when our big kids were little that ee were on Food Stamps for a while. Quite a while, actually. They didn’t know about it, of course, but we were barely making ends meet for a while and on Fridays would pretend that we were going to soup kitchens to “help out” and we’d dutifully serve the homeless their slice of turkey with gravy and canned corn, so the kids could get some free dinner. It was a humbling experience.

One morning, during the season when we were living on food pantry staples, WIC checks and SNAP benefits, one of the kids stomped around in anger before school because “we never have any good food”. (We’d been making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch for quite some time by this point.) My husband suggested scraping three dollars out of our spare change jar to let him buy lunch at school, but it turned out that we didn’t have enough. Sigh. 

This child left for school and I sat down and cried very frustrated, wishful tears. Later, when I was doing my devotions, I was reading in John 6, about the little boy with the five loaves and two fish. You know the story- Jesus had been teaching and everyone had come from far and wide, and apparently no one had thought to bring any food into the desert. When Jesus suggested buying them food, Philip points out that they don’t have enough money to buy food for everyone (we didn’t even have $3, so I felt his pain), but they did have “five loaves of barely and two fish”, offered by a boy in the crowd.

Suddenly it struck me — someone had made that lunch for him, most likely the boy’s mother. My mind wandered as I thought about what that mother may have gone thought that morning as the boy headed out to see Jesus. Did he argue with her about how he hates fish? About how he’s sick of eating barley bread all the time? I wondered if he had complained that his friends always had better lunches. I wondered if he told her he’d throw it away once he was away from her, as my child had done.

5 loavesI thought- maybe after he’d left, holding his five loaves and two fish away from his body as though it were covered in spiders, if she’d sat down like I had and beat herself up for not being a better mother and for being poor or for trying her best, knowing it wasn’t good enough. Maybe she’d sent him out of the house with resignation, imagining how he’d toss the food that the rest of the family would gladly have eaten without complaint and what a waste it would be. Maybe she’d just been glad he was gone for a few hours. (You know how that goes).

Then, I remembered Jesus. He’d taken those five loaves and two fish and had performed one of His greatest miracles ever recorded – feeding well over 5,000 people (the Bible only counts the men) with that humble, packed lunch that some mother, somewhere in time, had made that morning. Who knows what she went through, but if she were anything like me, she may have had a morning that made her think: Why do I bother to do this at all? Will it ever get any easier?

And yet, because of the faithfulness and, yes, even the “routine” of one mother, who had made a thousand thankless lunches before that and a thousand thankless lunches after that day and may have had a thousand other arguments with her son about how it’s never good enough- she got up and did it anyway. Why?!

Did she know Jesus would perform one of His greatest miracles with her humble, packed lunch? No. In fact, it’s highly probably she never had any clue what the Lord had done with her thankless lunch, made on a morning when she felt especially frustrated with it all. She did it because that’s what loving mothers do – they keep moving ahead because they love, because they see things their kids do not, because they’re willing to invest in their children, even when it’s not gratefully accepted at the moment.

However that investment pays off someday isn’t the concern right now. Momma, we do what we know to be the right thing, our very best, in spite of the struggle, the monotony of the routine, in spite of how others around us accept the best we have to offer- we’ve given it to God, and who knows- maybe that one, frustrating morning where we did the same thing we do every day will become one of the greatest events ever recorded in history- because we got up and faced another day thinking all we were going to do was pack our kids a lunch.

Food for thought.

5 Reasons Why a Christian Would Have an Abortion

NOTE: This post is one I originally wrote it for my local news outlet, The Times Union where I run a blog called “An Everyday Kind of Jesus”. I am posting it here as well because the lives of unborn human beings are under threat now more than every before- and the numbers are rising. Did you know that in New York City in 2017 more black babies were aborted than were born?? That is horrific. What can you do to help?? A LOT!!!! Please read on and I will share my story with you…

While this travesty sometimes seems overwhelming, you CAN help in a meaningful and life-changing way. Please take a few minutes to read my thoughts on why a Christian would choose abortion over all the other options and PLEASE copy the URL and SHARE this on Facebook, in text, via email, print it out – share with anyone and everyone you can. You will see as you read why abortion feels like the only choice even for Christians… and what you can do to change the course of one woman’s life and even save the life of her unborn child. God bless you! Here it is:

Christians having abortions? Impossible….. right?! Actually, very possible- probable even. Every day and all over the world. But isn’t that a sin?? Let me start with this: Abortion is the most intentionally racist and heinous action ever perpetuated upon mankind and yet people of all races laud it as progressive, evolved and even godly. If it weren’t so deadly serious, the irony of that could almost be laughable. The worst part of the willful dismemberment, disembowelment and beheading of unborn human beings? The participation of Christians. If we don’t cry out, if we don’t DO something, who the heck will?

I have known the agony of staring down a life-or-death choice when you are a Christian who knows that abortion is an act of murder and yet here you are- pregnant, unwed and a pastor’s daughter. We all say things like “abortion is murder” and maybe it boggles your mind why a Christian would have an abortion, but it does happen. I hope you’ll read what I have to say here because there are Christians out there, right now, who are faced with this choice, and you might be the person they see, or overhear or turn to or confide in and what you say in those moments could change everything for the unborn, God-breathed human being waiting for a chance to live the life God has created them for….

NOTE: This will be longer than my usual posts, but I implore you to read on and learn something that might one day, literally save a life…

I won’t lie- these truths may hurt, and maybe they should, but from one who has walked this path, here are five reasons (there are more, of course) why a Christian would rationalize abortion as an option. Which of these resonate with you??

1. Shame: For Christian women faced with an unplanned pregnancy, abortion isn’t a “convenient choice”- it’s a desperate one. Shame is a powerful and motivating force. We all want to hide the things we are ashamed of, but it’s a lot easier to fly under the radar with a porn addiction or alcoholism or the tendency to slap your wife or kids in the face when they mouths off than it is to hide a growing child in your stomach. Historically speaking, people of faith have not been kind to women who sleep around, or even women who made one mistake, one time. If a baby shows up, it’ll be a forever reminder of her shame. “Who’s the father?” People will demand answers. She’ll always have to tell people how her husband isn’t the baby’s “real father” or people will do the math and figure it out, and that woman? She knows it’ll be that way. She’s seen you do it to everyone else and she knows she’s next. Shame.

Let’s be honest – we all judge on a “sin scale” and when a desperate woman sees a positive pregnancy test, make no mistake: She can already see the look on your face, and hear the things you’ll whisper behind her back. Removing that baby from the equation sounds like freedom.

2. Fear: Actually, I should rephrase that to “terror”. The terrors of a Christian woman faced with an unwanted pregnancy range from Who is going to take care of it while I work/go to school? to Will it be loved and accepted by my friends and family/boyfriend/church? to What about my life/my plans? The fear of bringing a “bastard child” into the world has a rich history in the church so much so that plenty of Christian women died from coat hangers, poultices, ritual cuttings, self-mutilation and worse in an attempt to hide a baby that will forever be the hallmark of what led to that pregnancy. While that’s not necessarily true in every Christian circle, those things regardless do run through the mind of every woman who got pregnant from an affair, or from a one-night stand, from a boyfriend or even from incest or rape. What good, Christian man would want to take on someone else’s used goods/baggage? Who would choose her over a virgin,or  over someone with a less sordid sexual history?

She’s terrified on every level that her life will never be the same – which is true either way – and she will cling to whatever catharsis will make her feel better now. The antidote to fear is LOVE. But if you wait to show love after she’s pregnant, you’re too late and that baby is as good as dead. Change the way you speak about this issue now. Change the look on your face now. Change your tendency to gossip now before she gets pregnant. She is watching you now, and the baby that results from her mistake depends on your example of love, forgiveness and redemption now.

3. Guilt: We Christians thrive on guilt. We have a guilt culture. Let’s be honest for a sec. We say that the Lord brings conviction and that Satan brings condemnation, but we are often quick to judge people who don’t seem like they feel guilty enough for their odious sin or who look a little too forgiven too quickly, don’t we? We like people to feel guilty because it makes us feel like they’re truly sorry and that they’ve learned their lessons and that they’re now, officially, deserving of forgiveness. Been there, done that. The Christian woman feels plenty guilty, I can promise you that. She doesn’t need your help. Maybe she’s smiling and putting on a brave face, but most of us seriously think about killing ourselves when we see a positive pregnancy test and the realization hits home that our sin/shame is about to find us out. How could we be so stupid? We ask ourselves that over and over.

Instead of facing our guilt and running to the cross of Calvary, the baby dies in our place, taking our guilt and shame away forever (we hope) like a little tiny Messiah – except the difference is Jesus was a willing sacrifice. An abortion feels like catharsis, but instead of dissipating, the guilt becomes a permanent fixture, branded into the heart for all of time an eternity. Abortion is a deception on every level and the only winner is Satan.

4. Hardness of heart: When I was 22 and starting graduate school at a Christian university I found myself unwed and pregnant. I took a blood test to confirm what I already knew and then then doctor tossed a stack of Planned Parenthood literature on the bed and left the room. Abortion. The only reasonable solution. The literature was very clear: There was a path forward to freedom. It would be quick, painless, inexpensive and private. Sign me up. I knew abortion was murder. I grew up sitting outside of abortion clinics with literature and prayers and signs. My dad had once gone to jail for blocking the doors of an abortion clinic. But when it’s youeverything changes. You steel yourself. You harden your heart and ignore what you know. You pretend it all away. You try to convince yourself it’s your life, your body and your choice, that the baby will be better off. You turn a blind eye. You justify. You rationalize. You compartmentalize. You apologize to yourself and your baby. You tell yourself the Planned Parenthood mantra: It’s viral. It’s just a lump of tissue, that it’s not “viable” yet. You tell yourself that God will forgive you. And you get yourself to Planned Parenthood under cover of night and a fake name.

Unless… Unless a Christian stops you. Unless a Christian asks what’s wrong and you pour out your heart. Unless a Christian speaks words of life over you. Over your unborn baby. Prays with you. Loves all over you. Rubs your back. Reminds you of your courage. Of God’s grace and mercy. Reminds you that you’re not alone in the fire. That’s what happened to me and 18 years later, I look at my son who is an artist and plays the saxophone and is in college and I desperately thank God for a woman named Renee Ross in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who saw me and stopped me, and softened my heart and saved his life. Who can you see, and because of that, who will you save?

5. Reputation – As the daughter of a pastor, I was often, and against my will, expected by my friends’ parents to be some kind of example of Christian purity, godly characteristic, 9 fruits of the Spirit and womanhood that all other girls should want to look up to. Not a chance. I was as self-serving and bratty as the rest of those pretenders. The biggest difference is that I tend to, ahem, “live out loud”. It’s both a blessing and a curse- pray for me. If discovering myself pregnant was a shock to me, it was Hiroshima to my parents. It launched me into “how the mighty have fallen” status for many years to come from smug frenemies and their parents everywhere. I can’t tell you how many people to this day “do the math” and realize I wasn’t married when my son was born. To this day. What the actual heck?!

For any Christian woman who has had an affair, or a one-night stand or a even slipped into sin with a committed boyfriend or fiancee, she already knows her reputation is about to be torpedoed. Most of us read “The Scarlet Letter” in high school so we are keenly aware of how “the church” views purity and sexual sins, even if we go to a grace-heavy fellowship. There is still a pretty pungent stigma surrounding pregnancy out of wedlock.

Maybe Christians aren’t overtly using words like “whore” and “bastard child” anymore, but plenty are still conflicted about the questions of whether a child conceived out of wedlock should be celebrated or hushed up. (The answer? CELEBRATED.) So, the Christian woman who just found out she has a very unplanned and probably unwanted pregnancy pictures the look on your face when you find out, what does she see? When she imagines what you will think of her, what words does she imagine you’ll say about her? About her baby? For the Christian woman who was, perhaps, raped by someone of a different skin color- she knows everyone, ever, ever, ever will notice and wonder why one of her kids is clearly not of the same father as the rest. She cares what you think so much so that she’s willing to dismember or chemically burn her unborn child to death so you can continue smiling and approving when you think of her. What the heck? An unwed pregnancy is, sadly, a brand we carry forever. And in one way or another, we are forever reminded that our child was conceived in a manner “Other” than a holy marriage.

Whose life do you hold in your hands?

Lots of people are pro-life and I applaud that, and many will be gathering to stand for that, but we have to do more than march and stand, and picket, and even vote.  We need to adopt children, and foster them, and embrace and love, support their confused and scared mothers…So, maybe you flat out don’t approve of what the Christian woman did who should “know better”… but you know what? We all should know better, about everything. And yet here we are still doing all the things Jesus died for- cheating on our taxes, speeding, being disrespectful, lying, fighting, holding grudges, murder, gossiping and having sex outside of marriage. Sin happens. No more high horses, please! But if you insist, at least go with this: A baby has nothing to do with it. That baby chose nothing. It simply lives. GOD KNEW life would come from that choice and He was okay with it – why aren’t you?

I didn’t become a news anchor, you know. I didn’t become a world traveler. I didn’t become an actress or a model or a missionary either. Those were my plans at the time I saw my pregnancy test. Instead, I gained 25 pounds and became a mom. And I realize now that that adventure was more wild, thrilling, frustrating, scary and maturing than any other experience could have afforded me. Satan tried to get my to kill my son, my heritage and God saved his life. I found a godly, Christian man who loved my son and raised him as his own. The joke is on you, Satan. All because of this: A Christian saw past my mistake and helped me to see past it too. Can that be you?

Christian woman consider abortion every day. They feel they have nowhere to turn. Can you be the person she can turn to before she needs it? Someone’s life depends on it.

CBD Oil or Copaiba: What’s the Difference?

Everyone is talking about CBD oil right now and how its so good for “this” and curing “that” and how theirs is the best. Honestly, natural remedies and wellness management approaches are truly rocking right now for a reason- they can be highly effective for so many needs, but they are not all created equally. If you’re going to go the natural route (and really, you should!), then you – you – must educate yourself. Read, learn, ask. Then, begin.

But wait…!

Did you know that CBD oil will show up on a drug test? Did you also know that CBD oil only indirectly affects the body’s systems that need help? There is a better way, and one that will provide significantly more effects and results than anything you’ll find on the mass market bandwagon.

doTERRA’s Copiaba essential oil is shaking the CBD market to its core. Want to know why??

Read the full article here: 

CBD oil or Copiaba: What’s the difference?




An international Christmas story…


Last night we had our ESL Christmas party and in my class, Level 4, I decided we would discuss Christmas. Everyone rolled their eyes and said they’d done that too many times. But I told them that as a professional journalist, I was going to interview them and they were going to share with us their favorite Christmas memories. That had NOT been done in the class before! Want to know why I did that? Because *everyone* has a Christmas memory- even if you don’t celebrate it. As the students began to share, we were all very moved and some even became emotional because those memories are powerful and poignant and stand out for the best reason: LOVE. Christmas is about LOVE- the LOVE of God to send His Son, Jesus, “God with Us” and all around the world what everyone remembers about their own experiences is LOVE. I was so beautifully touched that I wanted to share with you a few bits of their stories:

1) Romania: I grew up in a communist country with very little freedom or ability to celebrate Christmas, but even so- the greatest memories are of standing in the food lines for many hours waiting for an orange and a banana. Thousands of people waited for their orange and banana for hours in the cold, but it was such a precious treat! And because I was good at karate and was a big guy, some people would even share their orange or banana with me…. We would traditionally eat fish at Christmas, but it was very hard to come by so one year, when I was 14, I went fishing in the lake. I cut through the ice and fished for hours until I caught 60 pounds of fish! Even though I was very cold and my clothes were frozen, and the fish was very heavy, I was so happy to walk the 8 miles back to my home and give it to my family!

2) Poland: We did not get many gifts for Christmas because we grew up also communist. However, one year my parents spent a great deal of money to buy me a pair of skis. They were the best gift I’d ever received. They were wooden skis and I took them out and skied all over the place! I still have those skis to this day and keep them in my home.

3) Pakistan: Our family couldn’t celebrate Christmas very much because we were often tormented by the country’s dominate religion. Even at the malls we would be mocked and spat on and called terrible names. Many Christians lived near each other for protection. One year, when I was 10 years old, my father had saved up his money and bought me a bike. I was the only kid in the whole area who had one and it was like I had gotten a new car! All the children took turns pushing me and running alongside me and watching me ride and cheering. It was one of the greatest days of my life.

4) Hungary: Our family didn’t decorate for Christmas or do anything very big, but one year my father surprised me by bringing home a huge tree. He had decorated it with real candles and I remember watching in awe as it glowed and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

5) Serbia: We grew up as atheist and did not celebrate Christmas. However, in our small down, the woman who delivered our milk was a Christian. She would roast a pig and invite our family over and she would scatter hay all around her kitchen floor and in it she would hide walnuts and oranges and pieces of candy and we children would pretend to be chickens and we would run all around hunting for the treasures. Then, the woman would sit us down and tell us the story of Jesus and of His birth and His family and why God sent Him to earth. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized those stories were true and that the kind milk woman had planted the seeds of faith in my heart when I was a young child.

6) USA: When I was very little, my mother had just remarried and we were celebrating our first Christmas as a new family. My wish was to have some doll furniture for my little tattered doll that I loved very much. On Christmas day, the gifts that I opened were brand new doll furniture- a dresser with a little mirror, a cradle and a little desk- all handmade by my stepdad. He had worked for so long to craft them for me, his new girl. I am an old woman now and I still have those things to this day.

7) Japan: When I was young, my greatest wish was for a dog because I was an only child and often lonely, but my parents would not allow me to have one. When I was 10, on Christmas day, we traveled to the home of a friend and she brought me into a room filled with puppies and told me I could take one home as my gift. I looked at me parents and they agreed! I named my puppy Jian and he was my friend and companion for 16 years.

8) Alicia: When I was 14, my grandpa, who died earlier this year, wanted to purchase me a special ring for Christmas. I went and picked on out with my mom and waited excitedly for Christmas. On Christmas day, I opened all my gifts and finally they brought out a large box. Inside was a beautiful, emerald green, very long dress coat from London Fog. I knew it was very expensive, and I tried very hard to smile and be thankful, but my heart was broken because I had been looking forward to my new ring from my grandpa. It wasn’t until later when the gifts were done that my grandfather pulled me aside and put his arm around me and asked if I liked my new coat. I said I did- and then he asked: Did you look in the pockets? I ran to my new coat and there in the pocket was a small ring box with the beautiful ring, that I still have to this day 

Desperately Seeking Soulmate (My Husband is too…)

Can you help me find a soulmate?

It’s true. I’m searching for a soulmate. I’m trolling Facebook, asking friends if they know of anyone, judging books by their covers and writing people off because I don’t like the “Movies I Like” section on their profile. My husband has his ear to the ground as well. We’ve been searching for some time, actually. It’s not that we’re not fulfilled in our marriage- quite the opposite actually.  It’s because I’m so happy in my marriage that I’ve decided to search for a soulmate.IMG_1651…because it’s not for me.

I’m here to help! Hi! Oh, and in case you’re wondering- those selfies below are from the time I went- by myself- to a bridal shop and tried on wedding dresses. No, I was not engaged at the time. Sigh.

I have a theory- let’s see if you agree with it: The best people to help find a viable candidate with whom you could have a lasting relationship are those who are happily married.

I’ll say that oppositely as well: The worst people to ask for help (or advice) from, no dangerous, in fact, are unhappily married people, or those who can’t successfully hang onto a relationship. (Not to be confused with other singles who are also waiting, or who are single by choice. You know what I mean.)

What’s a single girl to do?

So, I’m searching for a soulmate. Here are some deets for you: I have a female friend who is tall, intelligent and beautiful, godly (non-denom/Charasmatic), well-traveled, bilingual (Spanish), between 36 and 42 years old, never married and lovely in every way- and lonely. Desperately, painfully lonely, actually. I feel her pain, literally, even now.

meTen years ago, I was her. Crying myself to sleep, literally, and physically aching from feeling so alone. I don’t even care how un-modern and anti-feminist and pitiful it sounds to say that. It’s the truth. So, I offered to help her. (Don’t try and guess who she is. I won’t tell you.)

It’s almost pathetic, in this day and age to long to be married, isn’t it? Especially among Christians. If “God” doesn’t “find” you the right person, women are supposed to just “wait on God”… learn how to knit, ignore their biological clock, get a cat and volunteer for things because they have all kinds of free time while they’re not taking care of really important stuff, like a family and a husband.

Ask, Seek Find- Hey, It’s Biblical!

Yeah, but it really is shameful to ask for help- at least in my observation and experience. Humiliating, actually, to break down and ask a friend to help you find someone. Heck, anyone. WHY?

Honestly, most singles in churches aren’t pairing up. Or people in the church assume you want to be paired up with the only other single person within 10 years of your age. It’s like… you know them too well and, gross. But having a “singles group” between churches sounds about as fun as showing up to a Star Trek convention dressed as Season 1 Lieutenant Troi. #freshmeat

What’s a single person to do? Ask us for help! It’s okay. We happily married people would love to see you happily married to, if that’s your desire. We’re the best ones to ask, actually, because we know what makes a marriage work well, and we’ll walk with you as it all plays out, because someone did the same for us.

Homer and I met online, so no judgement here, and it was totally a God appointment, so I don’t have any assumptions of what will and won’t work. I know that “he” is out here, waiting to meet her, praying and probably struggling with loneliness too.

DO THIS: I’m asking you to SHARE THIS POST *RIGHT NOW* with someone who might know someone, who might know a really extraordinary someone who might fit the bill (see above criteria, and yes, I have her permission!). Make it go viral. I’m SURE one of us knows a wonderful, godly man who is praying for a woman just like her… Oh, and no, I am not kidding. 🙂


Can you help me find a soulmate?






I’ll Take Your Hand-Me-Downs, but I Won’t Give You Mine

I’m wearing a hand-me-down right now as I’m writing this post. I’m wearing a mustard yellow, knit duster sweater by a friend who said it was “too big for her”. While I wasn’t thrilled with the knowledge that she wanted to upcycle her fat clothes to me, at the same time… it was a super cute, comfortable sweater so whatever. I took it gladly and wear it happily, even though I think it makes me look like a tube of polenta.

If you look closely in the picture at the top of this post, notice the jeans. My friend’s jeans are rolled up and nicely pegged, per the style, while mine are… blousy and pleated looking. Yes, those were hand-me-downs I tried to morph into style. Such is the life of a kid who wears hand-me-downs. Eternally creative.


I’m not complaining. I’ll take hand-me-downs gladly any time. As a pastor’s kid, we got hand-me-downs by the station wagon-load when I was growing up. It was like Christmas in July to get garbage bags filled with clothing to rummage through. While most of it was grossly outdated and, well, gross, I could sew and adjust, nip and tuck things here and there to at least stay a few years behind the fads, as opposed to whole decades behind- ala those pegged pants.

See this picture of the ginger kid? It’s me at Easter. I was about 13 years old, wearing a pale pink dress. I’ve always avoided pale pink with the knowledge that pale pink blends almost perfectly with my skin tone and makes me look like a dead body, but alas, it was a hand-me-down and I wanted to wear a new dress. It was all I had.

To this day we get hand-me-downs. In fact, we just got a bag of clothes from a friend for Emmeline and it felt just the same for her- like Christmas. She excitedly tore through the bag and held everything up, exclaiming how cute it was, and trying it on. Even Adelaide slipped on a bathing suit over her clothes and wore it proudly around the house for most of the day. It was joyous. See them? Aww. Happy Hand-Me-Down Day!


And yet, no one will ever know that joy from me. I don’t do hand-me-downs.

It has been my secret shame. I am the perpetual receiver, but it’s the one area in life I refuse to pay it forward. Want to know why?

Because my kids wear their clothing. I mean it- they wear them while living life to the fullest and their clothes, once they outgrow them, reflect a life well lived. How parents preserve their kids’ clothing in a condition good enough to give to another person without shame, I will never know.

Actually, every time I open a bag of fabulous, generous clothing from someone, I marvel at how clean they are. I marvel like you’d marvel at a beautiful piece of artwork, or a feat of engineering. How do they do that?!

Of course, I have managed to salvage a few fancy coats and charming, monogrammed onesies here and there for posterity’s sake, but overall… nope. We Purdys live in our clothes.

See these costumes? Hand-me-downs- we just got them a few days ago from a mother whose kids probably sat in them and… I don’t know, had a tea party? Perfect, like-new condition. And oh boy, are they going to be loved to the death at my house. They will used for fighting epic battles, worn while eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Popsicles and slept in (let’s just be honest), if history is any indicator.


While I’m not too proud to receive hand-me-downs (I love it, in fact, because it feeds into my love of all things second-hand- recycled, reused and repurposed), I am way too proud to give hand-me-downs to you. You don’t deserve the headache of sorting through them only to find orange stains on the collars or marker colors on the bottoms of the pants– and they are there.

I care about my reputation way too much to let you see that I cannot keep my kids’ clothing in giveaway condition. But- we all have our cross to bear. So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for your generous, thoughtful hand-me-downs. We love them, and love you even more; aaaaand after we’ve had them for a while, we’ll give them a proper burial…





Our Handy-Man’s Special: Bathroom Edition


Talk about perspective…! Our new home, a classic American Foursquare, built in 1927 is one of my greatest blessings- aaaaand projects. It has the most beautiful wood work and old charm, high ceilings and a really classic feel that is homey and yet stylish. But.

I can already tell it’s going to be a long journey to the end, when we’re finally satisfied with the way it looks and feels, but that’s okay. It’s more than okay, actually. I want it. I wanted a “handyman’s special” so I could make this house mine. 

So, when we moved in and two months later the bathroom sink started backing up with black water, I had a pretty cheerful outlook, sort of enjoying the idea that we were official home owners, doing home owner-y things. Broken pipe? No problem-o. My husband is a handy man, indeed!

Here’s my favorite (and most daunting part) – the woodwork. 😀

Buuuuut, then it became this awful “if you give a mouse a cookie” scenario that escalated very quickly, and it turned out we had to tear the entire bathroom out to get to that pipe. In the meantime, we bonded as we brushed our teeth over the bathtub and peed into a commode for a bit. The commode was actually a step up because for three days we were sprinting next door to do “the necessary”. I’ll admit that my cheerful outlook turned into a fake, plastic smile of sheer willpower to get through this as quickly as possible.

Here’s the bathroom before- somewhat outdated with the heavy, dark marble floor, a 3-cabinet vanity with outdated tulip light fixtures and it was actually decrepit. Rotted wood under the sink, broken drawers, painted-over rusty bits, cracked trim and the like. Not pretty, but good enough, and, well, free.bathroom before

But we’re blessed. It took about 7 weeks, mostly because we work jobs and have a life and two little kids in the house and could only do so much at a time. We stepped over screws, boards with nails, avoided the sink in the hallway at night, and piles of tile and joint compound And, while I am perfectly capable of attacking anything with a drill, hammer or paint brush, there were things I simply couldn’t do. So, we called in some friends to help with the demo and fixing that old, crusty (literally) pipe and started to rise up from the ashes.

bathroom during

The sliver lining was, of course, a new bathroom! I was really excited to put it all together because we want to honor the 1927 look and feel of the house, so I kept that in mind as I chose all the new elements. The walls are a somewhat greyish-pinkish, which perfectly fits with the space. Muted, yet pretty. Lowe’s had the most beautiful tile and it was such a great price!! $1.50 per tile. That’s *nothing*. And I learned a new skill- how to tile, mortar and grout a floor!

Honestly, I could sit and watch paint dry and have fun with my husband. (Actually, we did sit for a bit and watch the paint dry…) So, we stayed up many nights until the wee hours of the morning to get this all done as quickly as we were able, but that was okay with me. Doing demo projects with my best friend is one of my love languages….

bathroom floorOh, wait, pause. Did I mention we had to tear into the ceiling in our dining room to address a leak? Good times….when you can look up through the ceiling and hear someone doing their business on the toilet.

bathroom downstairs
Once you get use to the dust everywhere, and on everything, you start to appreciate the softer, diffused light in the room, which hides wrinkles a bit… #perspective.

I wanted an inset bathroom cabinet, but it didn’t work with the space, so instead, we opted for an antique gilded gold mirror and purchased an old-fashioned looking bathroom cabinet from that fit with the style.

bathroom after4It’s a really small bathroom so I wanted to give it a better sense of openness and stuck with smaller, individual pieces, rather than the heavy, overbearing giant sink and cabinet that was there originally. The original sink was over 4 feet long and was so deep that you could hit your teeth on it when sitting down to use the toilet. I opted for a dresser style from Home Depot that was much thinner and shorter for the space.

bathroom after3

Shower curtain is from Pier 1 and it is fabulous all the way.

bathroom after2

Now that it’s all done, I am completely happy with the whole thing. The process was a little touch-and-go, but it had to be done. And I’m happy to have been able to do this with my best friend. I realize not everyone has the luxury of a guy who can tackle things like this- so I consider myself extra blessed. It really is fun, when all is said and done. And you learn a lot about your relationship, too!

One of the things I love about our house is actually how much work it needs. We bought it for a song, and now we get to work together to develop, nurture and shape it- powered by our own two hands, our aching backs, our blisters, our laughter, our intense personalities and strong opinions and all the blood, sweat and tears a home really deserves. 🙂

Look, the bottom line is, we ALL have seasons where everything is falling apart, literally- but there is joy to be found as you put it all back together. 🙂