Thursday, July 31, 2014


I had an interesting perspective at Beth Moore's Living Proof Live conference back in May. My special seats afforded me a clear view of wires. Lots of them.

Can you see the two thick bunches of cables coming down from the ceiling? There must have been at least three dozen individual cords in each bunch. Each of the cable ropes connected up to the ceiling, and then fed into the blue cage. You can track the cage across the arena ceiling at the top of the photo. The cage then opened just above the center stage, where the ropes were freed. The ropes then dangled to the stage and were plugged in somewhere below the stage.

Who, I wondered, is in charge of making sure everything is connected? Looking to my right, I found this guy.

Okay, there’s always someone behind the scenes, right? We know he’s done a great job only when we manage to forget he’s even there.

Prayers are a familiar go-to response when life goes poorly. Kind of like when one of the wires gets unplugged.

But what about when life goes well? Could I still remember who’s behind the scenes, keeping all the cables connected properly?

I woke up. Early. God did that.

I have a bed to sleep in. Comfy. God did that.

I have food in my fridge. Plenty. God did that.

I received another annual “we analyzed your mammogram results and there is nothing wrong” letter. Relieved. God did that.

My husband is the love of my life and best friend. Always. God did that.

My children continue to bless my life. Abundantly. God did that.

I can read the Bible. Anytime. God did that.

I can pray and connect with God. Again.

God always does a great job behind the scenes. Even when I’ve forgotten He is there.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cleaning the Inside

Any fellow coffee lovers out there? Like you, I’m constantly on the search for the perfect cup of coffee, every time. About a year ago, I rediscovered the beauty of the electric percolator…you know, the kind my parents used when I was young. I enjoy the traditional drip coffee makers and also the Keurig single-cup appliances, but when a friend gave me a cup of coffee made in her percolator, I was hooked. My coffeepot was on its last leg, and when it died, my next model was shiny and silver.

After a year of using my percolator, day after day, sometimes twice a day, the inside was—ahem—black. My coffee, like my heart and the words that come out of my mouth, can get bitter with long-time residue left unattended.

It was time to clean the inside.

The tiny quarter-sized well at the bottom of my percolator was impossible to reach, let alone clean. Yes, I tried scrubbing. But as with most coffee makers, the stains became permanent. I considered a popular vinegar method to clean it but was skeptical because I didn’t want the taste of vinegar mixing with my beloved cup of coffee.

Then I tried another method: the dishwasher soap method. I took a dishwasher tablet, placed it in the pot, added boiling water to the top and let it sit for a half hour. The coffee stains practically removed themselves from the inside of the pot and my coffee tastes delicious again. The reason my coffeepot is sparkly clean now is not because of my efforts, but because of what I used to clean it.

This reminds me of the bible verse where Jesus speaks to the Pharisees about cleaning the outside of the cup and dish, not the inside.
Matthew 23:25-26
25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

I am making efforts to clean my attitude about eating healthy---again. I am always making these efforts. But the question is:

What am I using as my cleaning product?

The only thing that works…the only thing that EVER worked…is daily prayer. It’s the ultimate dishwasher tablet. Not Dawn, not Cascade, but Prayer. The residue of life’s leftover gunk in my heart practically removes itself when I do this. My heart, like my coffee, becomes better, not bitter.

What’s your version of the ultimate cleaning product?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pound Cake Prayers

In my prayers the other day, I started by asking God for help in managing my food choices. Again. God can and will help me with this, I know. I’m using food as a drug to avoid difficult emotions. Yes, I’m aware of this. Yes, I still do it. And so I pray again.

God, I know you can help me deal with food these days. Help me to eat healthier and make better choices. Thank you in advance for being there for me. Oh, and help me not to eat the batter for the pound cake I’m about to make.

I make a mean chocolate cake, smooth butter cookies, crisp pizzelles and to-die-for anise biscotti. Nana would approve with a smile, a hug, and a cup of espresso to go with the cookies. But pound cake? Its secrets to baked perfection elude me.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are special techniques to pound cake. Room temperature ingredients. Measure properly. Beat the batter for no less than twenty minutes. Check the oven temperature. I reread the page of scribbled notes I took while watching my mom bake yet another perfect pound cake. And I followed my notes and special techniques perfectly.


Time to try those prayers again. Time to get raw. What is it I really want to say? I heard it suggested to sit still long enough as if a butterfly could land on my shoulder. And so I sat. And sat.

God, I don’t know if I really want to stop eating. The food helps me to deal with life, y’know? I’m stressed about my daughter’s headache today. I don’t want to panic or overthink it, but is she okay?

Is it okay that I’m afraid sometimes?

I want to let go and let You be in charge. I’ve taken care of myself and everyone else for that matter for so long that I don’t know how to let go.

What about my son’s college plans? Will he make the right choices? Will he get in? What about the finances?

What about my husband’s health? Will he stay stable?

What about my schedule? Am I doing too much? Too little? Am I good enough? Do you love me? Do you even hear me? How do I know you’re here, God?

Maybe, just maybe, the pound cake didn’t turn out to help me avoid eating it.
Raw. Perfect for prayers, not for pound cake.

How do you get raw with God?