Tag Archives: promises

Flashback Friday 7

Flashback Friday 7

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Flashback Friday.  I’ve recently met several deadlines and enjoyed a few big events, and now find myself in a bit of blissful reprieve for a few short weeks before we jump into the holiday season. So I thought I’d take some time to schedule some Flashback Friday posts.

Today’s post is the very first column I ever wrote.  I showed it to my editor, Sue Hite, at the Chester County Independent and asked for feedback. I thought it was funny, encouraging, and meaningful, but what would Sue think? I sweated it out until she told me to run it on the Obits/Religion page as the first installment of my own weekly column.

Reading it back today, I still think it’s funny, encouraging, and meaningful. I wrote this the year I turned 30. Twenty years later, I’m balancing on the brink of celebrating the half century mark of my life on this planet.

Guess what…

I’m still making the same mistakes.

I think I’m making them a lot less often, and with a lot more grace and style, though.  But  those wayward Israelites still annoy me.

Not My Virtue

Patience is a virtue. It’s just not one of mine. Of course, life has written a daily lesson plan directed at teaching me, but I don’t have the patience to learn.

Last year I decided to read the Bible cover-to-cover, however, I lost patience with those thick-skulled Israelites. Moses must have been sure he was leading a group of toddlers. He had to be exhausted after a day of repeating,

“I told you not to build a golden calf!”

“No, you can’t have chocolate chip cookies, you’ll just have to be satisfied with manna from heaven!”

or “No, we can’t go back to Egypt. They want to kill you!”

“And so do I,” he must have whispered under his breath. His ears probably were burning from 40 years of hearing, “Moses, are we there yet?”

I became so disgusted with God’s chosen people. They just never got it. They made the same mistakes over and over. God punished them, and they did it again. They were brought out of slavery, famine, and the slaughtering of their children. Instead of praising God for His mercies, they turned their backs to him. Rather than publishing the first edition of 101 Ways to Serve Manna, they threw up their hands and said, “We can’t stand another day of freedom and free food falling from the sky, we’re going back!”

The Israelites had their every need provided, but they had no patience for the inconveniences they faced along the way.

Of course, I had to go and have an epiphany – bright, flashing lights and arrows pointing to my head. If the story of my life is ever written, years from now someone may read it and exclaim, “The moron! She kept making the same mistakes.”

The Lord has allowed me enormous blessings, but I stumble over the small stuff and scream in impatient tantrums. I’m still not a virtuous woman in the area of patience, but now instead of shouting, “I can’t take it anymore,” I pray, “Lord, let me learn from the Israelites.”


Flashback Friday 5


I’ve been spending a lot of time hanging out with my two-year-old granddaughter. One day she got my book out and threw it on the floor. I asked her to put it away before we left the room. 

She said, “No.”

I said, “You don’t say no to me. You say yes ma’am. Now put the book away.”

She said, “Yes ma’am. No.”

Close enough.

Kids crack me up. And none more than those in my own family. This Flashback Friday column was first published in the Chester County Independent June 25, 1998. It ends with a perfect example of how my son Geoff has always challenged me.  

Because I Said So and Other Ridiculous Phrases

I’ve never been particularly fond of the phrases, “because I said so” or “because I’m your mother and that’s all you need to know about it.” Rather than instilling a desire to do as the parent says, these words breed anger and frustration. And as I was always quick to remind my parents, God tells fathers “Provoke not your children to wrath…” (Ephesians 6:4a). Okay, probably not a good idea to throw scripture in your father’s face, but hey, I was only in junior high.

I’m the type of person who likes to know why. When someone tells me to do something that seems stupid or unreasonable, I grumble and complain, or just refuse to do it – depending on who gave the order. If the reason behind the request is obvious or explained to me, I willingly proceed. I seem to come by this trait honestly.

When my dad was a young teenager, he spent some time on his uncle’s wheat farm and helped drive truck during harvest. Uncle Amos told him not to touch a certain lever. Rather than explain the consequences, Uncle Amos pulled out Phrase Number One – “Because I said so.” Dad backed that loaded truck into the shed and pulled the lever. As the bed began to rise, pouring wheat all over the ground, Dad’s arm was caught and his wrist was broken. Dad always ends that story with, “If ol’ Amos had just told me what that lever was for, I never would have had to figure it out for myself.”

As a result, my dad was always very good about explaining the rules to my sisters and me. If I couldn’t go to a party, it was a lot easier to tell my friends why I couldn’t attend than to just say my tyrannical father wouldn’t let me.

Throughout my Bible are DC notations. For each direct command (DC) that God gives, He gives a reason. For example, in Ephesians 6:11, He says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The direct command is to suit up in God’s armour. The reason is to protect yourself from Satan. Not too different from my command to my daughter to get out of the middle of the road to protect herself from speeding cars.

Although my children are small, I try to give simple explanations to them. But last week I caught myself using a new version of Phrase Number Two. I looked my 3-year-old son Geoff in the eye and said, “I’m your mommy and you have to do as I say because God said so. He says, “‘Children, obey your parents.'”

He looked right back at me and said, “And you have to obey God.”