the best lines

So you all know how I read approximately one book a year, and when I do I have to share it with all of you. I must verbally process everything, and yet I’m trying NOT to do that very thing because I tend to dominate conversations with my friends. Sooooo even more reason to type it out here; it’s practically the same as talking it out and you guys can choose whether or not you read this post instead of being forced to feign interest while I talk to your face.

[I’m also copying my clever and interesting friend Heidi who has a hashtag on Instagram #heidijoesbookreport. She reads a lot more than I do so you should totally check her out. But if you are ever so inclined to read all my “book reports,” there ya go, a new category on this here blog: erin’s book report.]

[ALSO, I would like to dedicate this post to Emmy who forced me to read the book and Jayme who dropped off her copy on my porch. A small delegation from a pretty amazing tribe of women.]

Ok! The best lines from Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love.

“I see a generation of people ON THE HOOK. Man, we are tough on one another, starting with ourselves. When Jesus said to ‘love your neighbor as yourself,’ I don’t think He meant judgmentally; but that is exactly how we treat our own souls, so it bleeds out to others. Folks who thrive in God’s grace give grace easily, but the self-critical person becomes others-critical. We ‘love’ people the way we ‘love’ ourselves, and if we are not good enough, then no one is.”

“We are called to this work, and it might not seem like much, but if you play your one note and I play mine and she plays hers, together it will create a beautiful song that sounds like freedom for the captives and good news to the poor. May the broken-hearted be healed and ashes turned to beauty in our generation.”

“As Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing says: ‘Don’t try to win over the haters; you’re not the jackass whisperer.'”

“At your age, it takes courage to march to your own drumbeat. So few kids try. Popularity is a terrible goal, because you have to lose yourself to find it. If you sacrificed one precious part of yourselves, it would be a calamity. At no point, in no environment, among no friends must you be anything but exactly who you are. There is never a need to act less weird or more enthusiastic or extra eager or remotely mean to please someone else. When you want to say no, say no. When you want to say yes, say yes, even if no one else does. Dad and I have your back.”

“The best we can do is give them Jesus. Not rules, not behaviors, not entertainment, not shame. I have no confidence in myself but every confidence in Jesus. He is such a relief, isn’t He? He is always the true answer, the strongest touchstone, the best example. When I am grasping as a spiritual mentor to my kids, there He is. When words and ideas and ‘right answers’ fail me, His life and legacy deliver. With good reason my kids may doubt their parents, church, Christian culture, and their own understanding, but it is harder to doubt a Savior as good as Jesus. He is so incredibly dependable.”

“… So don’t let anything stop you, because a messy kitchen only tells me someone cares enough to feed me, which is a good key.”

“The early church involved small, organic communities who gathered around tables, lived simple lives on mission, and loved God and neighbor. That was kind of it. The first believers assembled for renewal and teaching and dinner and togetherness. It was so basic and lovely. Everyone pulled weight, pitched in, pressed into God. The early church wasn’t fancy or entertaining, impressive or complicated, but it managed to take the gospel to the whole world.”

“Loved people forgive and encourage, serve and uplift, because they are precious to someone. They live within a ridiculous ‘others first’ paradigm that only secure, beloved people can pull off.”

“Let’s treat each other well, making more space for every sort of ragamuffin… The breadth of God’s family is mercifully wide. Grace has no discernment, apparently. Jesus created a motley crew, plucking us from every context and inaugurating a piecemeal clan that has only ever functioned with mercy.”

throwback thursday

[At the end of the day! But it’s still here so coolio.]

[This is a post from September 2008.]


Hubby is down to three-day workweeks (we shake our hands in anger at the Boeing machinists for messing up Spirit’s schedule and pay) and so we have been taking advantage of all this time off: first we went to Fredonia to see his parents, then to Austin to see my parents, and this past weekend Hubby took little G camping.

Hubby’s family has land from his grandparents that is pretty much open prairieland. Beautiful prairieland with hills and ponds and amazing sunsets. A gorgeous place to camp and play drums and commune with nature and eat raw fish with your hands. Or whatever it is boys do when they camp.

Here is G setting up the tent:

Set-up complete:




Saying hi to the cows:

He caught a fish! And this time he’s not scared of it!


Not like he was a year ago when he wouldn’t touch the fish but we couldn’t keep his sister from it.


Then they cooked some dinner:

A happy end to the day:

While the boys were away doing their guy-things, Little Missy and I baked a cake and watched a Barbie princess movie. I felt slightly guilty at the events I planned for the two of us. Even though Hubby and I chuckled at his sister-in-law (Hi Ang! We love you! Don’t be mad at us for what you next read!) for contemplating not giving her daughter a vacuum cleaner she’d received from her uncle for her first birthday because of the gender stereotypes, I really don’t want my daughter to feel pigeon-holed into only enjoying overtly-girly things. But Little Missy genuinely loves dresses and baby-dolls and princesses. So I’ll let her Daddy make her a tomboy and I’ll balance her out with tiaras. And I would have polished her nails but we’d already done that the day before.

i can’t even spell what we bought

Last year when Gideon got braces I promised him Frappuccinos after every appointment. He hated those braces and needed an indulgence to ease the mental and physical pain of braces; I needed an excuse to hang with my kid longer.

Well then he didn’t want to miss school for his appointments (Whaaaat? As a kid I envied those who got out of school for their ortho appointments. Break the monotony of the day, man!) so his sisters got dragged to his after-school appointments, which meant they were with us at the Starbucks wanting Frappuccinos as well. We did that once but then I told Gideon the hard truth: I can’t pony up more than 15 bucks after every appointment. That’s too much, man, even if you are in mental and physical pain.

There was one time over the summer when I felt extra generous so we bought the QT version of slushees after an appointment and it set me back like $5. Much better.

Today was his first appointment of the school year, IN THE MORNING, because he decided it was worth it to miss school in order to have a Frapuccino. I appreciated that decision. And then I got a Frapuccinno, too.


the things i worry about

The second those bears came on the TV I resolved right then and there to never buy Charmin toilet paper.

I felt encouraged by my indignation when Mia, a young little tyke at the time, scrunched up her nose in solidarity as we stood in the grocery store aisle after I told her that I didn’t buy that toilet paper because of the bears with the toilet paper bits on their behinds. “Oh, me either! Let’s buy the doggy toilet paper!” And so we bought the doggy toilet paper, and the cheap-o toilet paper, and any toilet paper that wasn’t Charmin. Because those bears are gross.

TV adverts rarely encourage me to buy something but they sure can make me dig in my heels and NOT buy something. As in: I will never buy a Fiat because I’m not a pervert. And I will never buy Charmin toilet paper because those bears are gross.

But then Costco. The land of delicious free samples and super cheap Sabra hummus and heavily-discounted PF Chang’s gift cards and the Bed Head shampoo that can no longer be bought in salons because TiGi changed their formulas (and their new formulas suck). My beloved Costco gave me the only option of Charmin toilet paper.

I stood with my full shopping cart in front of the toilet paper, walked the long aisle to make sure I wasn’t missing another option, came back and wasted precious kid-free minutes as I battled internally with my two somewhat silly resolutions: would I stand for efficiency and not drive to another store OR would I stand against advertisements that insult the American public?

You guys, I totally caved and bought the toilet paper I’d given the cold shoulder to for all these years. Because driving to another store was not worth it. Sometimes efficiency wins.

And you know what, that toilet paper is niiiice. Soft and absorbent. But so help me I will tell those Costco cashiers that I didn’t find everything I needed, that I’d prefer another toilet paper in that store. Cuz those bears are just gross.

well the thing of it is, i have really nice friends

My kids are back in school, and not only are they back in school, all three are in school full-day.


This is the first time in almost 11 years of being a mom that I have seven hours all to myself. And it’s really not all that fab. Molly and I are a little sad about it and she’s been following me around more than usual.


So let’s make a list, yeah? A list of all the reasons it’s great to have your kids in school all day:

1. I can bring my laptop around the house with me so that Leslie Knope and Parks and Rec can entertain me while I clean. Because it’s a sweet show but not exactly kid-appropriate; I can’t have my kids hear Leslie talk about her husband’s butt.

2. I can clean up the living room, leave said room for an hour or five and it’s still clean when I come back.

3. I can eat this yogurt for lunch and not make them any, because I don’t have enough ingredients for four people and they probably wouldn’t like it anyway. And I will probably add chocolate chips JUST BECAUSE I CAN; sugar is bad for kids and it’d be totally rude to eat it in front of them.

4. I can be totally self-indulgent and do this my first morning of school:


5. I can listen to my radio station on the way to and from errands. And those errands take like a fifth of the time they used to.

6. I can exercise in my living room or at the church’s classes or on a walk or on a run with friends.

7. I can pick up and go for coffee anytime.

8. I can take a long shower in peace.

9. I can blog again.

And so, to all my lovely friends who checked on me after my pitiful post on Facebook this morning (“I am so lonely without my kids around.”), there are some good things about the kids in school. I’ll just focus on those.