Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Slippery Slope

A sinful world where anything goes
I feel the sand between my toes
The boundaries have been erased
Morals continue to be defaced
Everyone can choose their own
belief system to condone
And yet I stand on solid ground
knowing the Truth to which I’m bound
Take care with what your heart and mind allow
Okay, I’m getting off my shoebox now

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crunchy Leaves Lead to Fresno

I love Boston in the fall.  My favorite season is expressed most beautifully in the city where I grew up – that gorgeous foliage, crisp air, and wonderful Thanksgiving time of year.  I still remember the sound of the crunch as I stepped on leaves while walking home from school, and how they felt under my boots.  You couldn’t resist going out of your way to step on that single, perfectly crunch-ready leaf on the sidewalk.

Despite all that, I always knew I would eventually leave Boston.  Even in high school I was keenly aware that there was a world out there waiting to be explored.  I remember friends at our high school graduation crying their eyes out – I thought they were crazy!  Why stay in high school when there is so much life to live and experience and discover?

My sights were set on New York City or Paris.  Bright lights, big city – entertainment, fashion, music.  I couldn’t wait.

Fresno?  Not so much.

And yet, after visiting many cities in the United States and Canada, as well as Armenia, Karabagh, Amsterdam and Spain, my path led me to Fresno.

Surprisingly, even to me, I love it here.  I would not want to live anywhere else right now.  (Although I wouldn’t say no to a vacation condo in NYC or a summer home in Paris.)

Autumns in Fresno aren’t so bad, either.  There are even leaves to crunch on.

Life takes you to unexpected places sometimes.  When the fear and trepidation are faced and put aside, the real joy begins.  And I’m so thankful for it.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


When something is good, I want more of it.  For example, chocolate.  Where the serving size is two pieces, I’ll eat three, and then one more for good measure.

The same applies to friendship.  I don’t mean in terms of quantity, but quality.  I don’t like to just scratch the surface with people.  I can’t stand small talk.  I want to build deep relationships with those I care about or with whom I click.  My tiers of friendship go from acquaintances to friends to close friends to those who are more like sisters to me.  I like to know peoples’ history, where they come from, what their families are like, what makes them tick, and what comprises their dreams.

Having limited free time, I love enjoying it with those in my closest tiers.  I enjoy making the effort, designing get-togethers, and planning dinners (especially if I’m not cooking).  I like having focused conversations.  I want to walk away having learned something new about the person.  I love how my heart grows as I build stronger connections with people.

Another example is God’s Word.  This may not apply to all of you, but it’s important to me.  I want the real thing – I don’t want fluff.  I want to dig in and be filled and walk away hungering for more.  I want the Truth, even if it isn’t always easy to swallow.

Chocolate, friends, and the Word are three things I can’t get enough of, and the list goes on.  What’s important to you?  Don’t settle for the superficial, and don’t be afraid to dig deeper.  The result is usually worth the effort.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I despise Halloween.  Wait, despise may be a harsh word.  I loathe Halloween.  It really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, despite all the chocolate that accompanies it.

I appreciate that it has become a social holiday, when kids dress in cutesy costumes and have parades at school.  But there are evil forces out there, and bad things happen on Halloween night.

I’d just as soon turn off our porch lights on the 31st and be done with it.  But now that we have children, I feel very conflicted.  Do I ban Halloween from our family traditions and calendar, and risk my boys feeling left out on this day each year?  Or do I give in to the social pressure and just keep it “fun” and let them dress up?

Thankfully our church (like many others) hosts a Harvest Festival on October 31 each year.  Yes, it’s an attempt to sanitize an ugly custom.  But it has become a huge outreach to the church’s downtown community, with more than 400 neighborhood friends attending and receiving a free dinner, games and candy, as well as hearing Bible stories and taking home a Spanish-language Bible.

So I will begrudgingly dress my boys up and take them to church on Halloween night.  We’ll have fun and take pictures and I’ll count down the minutes until we can go home.  Is it November yet?

Oh, and one more thing on the topic of costumes.

Since when does Halloween make it okay for girls to dress in a provocative and revealing manner?  Why does “sexy” have to become the prefix for every disguise?  Sexy nurse?  Sexy cheerleader?  Sexy saloon girl?  What’s next… Sexy Candy Corn?

Come on, ladies.  Have some pride.  Cover your assets and be confident in who you are, not what you can show off.  Know your worth and demand the respect you deserve.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's About Time

Most people identify who they are with what they do.  For mothers, this is especially true, as mommyhood can be an all-consuming job.  I thought recently about the things that I am:

        Daughter of God
        Grammar police
        Etiquette advocate
        Copy Editor

This last one was a long time in the making.

As a kid, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.  My sister always wanted to be a lawyer, from as young as nine years old (and she is one now).  In sixth grade my father wanted me to be a pharmacist.  I once said I wanted to be famous.  But for what?

I knew the areas I had no interest in pursuing:  medicine, law and business.  I was not good at science.  History bored me.  I liked math and languages, but how do you choose a career based on a love of calculus and French?  Even at Boston College, I waited until the last possible moment to declare my major (Communications).  I had a dream of being an entertainment broadcaster.  However, working to pay my way through college did not allow me the opportunity to take unpaid internships at various media outlets, which was the only way to get your foot in the door.  I guess I wasn’t passionate enough about it to really pursue it, or I would have found a way.

During my senior year in college I took a job as office manager at a weekly newspaper.  That led to writing and, sometimes, editing for them.  I realized that I really enjoyed writing – especially about faith, music, fashion and family.  OK, so I was narrowing in on my “future.”  I continued to write (freelance) while working my day jobs, and built a portfolio.

And then I got married and my beautiful boys came along, shifting my focus just a bit.  I love being a mommy – it’s easily the most challenging yet heart-filling job I’ve ever held.  But time becomes an issue, and when combing your hair each day is an achievement, it leaves little time for writing or anything else of a secondary or tertiary nature.

What I discovered, however, was that copy editing (or proofreading) was a much less time-consuming task for me.  I am able to do it after the boys go to sleep, and it gives me much-needed mental stimulation.  Playing Chutes & Ladders and making mac & cheese can only take you so far intellectually.  I realized, quite recently, that this was my “AHA” moment.

And so, at the age of almost-37, I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up – a copy editor.  Four years of college (at a grand total of $70,000 + books), many electives (that wasted a chance at a double major), and 15 years later, I know what I want to do with my life – aside from mommyhood, of course.

For those of you in college (or out of college) who still don’t know what you’re doing with your lives, please don’t despair.  But don’t just sit around, either.  Get a job, stay busy, pursue your interests, and pray for God’s direction.

It’ll come to you eventually.  It did for me.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.