Literal Parker


Parker: So, dis season is Fall. Den it transforms into Winter. Den what?

Me: Then it is Spring, and then it is summer.

Parker: So, Fall transforms to winter. Winter transforms to Spring. and Spring Transforms to summer. And summer transforms to fall.

Me: Wow. Yes, right. That’s great buddy.

Parker: When is Christmas.

Me: Christmas is in Winter.

Parker: When is my birthday.

Me: You birthday is in Spring.

Parker: Oh, I’m SO excited.

Pause about 2 hours.

Parker: I can’t believe it. Today is fall. Tomorrow is winter and Christmas. And den the next day is Spring and my birthday. And, den it’s summer.

Me: Oh, no buddy. That’s not right.


Me: I’m so sorry. Maybe I didn’t explain very well. Each season is like 3 months. Um, about 90 or so days. Each season is long.

Parker: (Bawling)

Me: Oh no.

Parker: Well, change it Mommy! Fix it. Change it right now!

Me: I can’t change it, bud. I’m not in charge of that stuff. Only God is.

Parker: (more crying).

Me: (ugh…this sucks…poor guy).

Pause about 30 minutes

Me: Let’s pray before we go into school.

Parker: I want to pray today.

Me: Oh, great!

Parker: Dear God, please fix it so that winter is tomorrow. Amen.

Me: hahahahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahaha


Creatures are stirring


About 12:30 this afternoon, I heard a loud noise coming from our library room. And, I saw a HUGE animal in the fireplace. Our neighbor had lost a cat, and I honestly thought that’s what it was. I grabbed a flashlight and shined it through the glass fireplace windows to get a better look at the cat. Then SCREAMED in horror, because it was not said fluffy cat…but a squirrel. A huge, rodent…knocking on my fireplace glass. I am not Jesus, if you stand at the glass fireplace door and knock… I WILL NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT open the door for you.

I called Vince from the car and told him we had a squirrel trapped behind the glass doors and that we were LEAVING until he came home. I was not going to be stuck in the house with a rabid squirrel knocking at me all day. I put Preston (our dog) up just in case he got out and bit him and gave him rabies. No one wants rabies for Christmas. I took Parker to school, planning on being gone. AWAY. Squirrel free. All day.

I came home to put some presents in the attic, and NOT go inside…yet curiosity got the best of me, and I kinda had to go to the bathroom. So, I peeked inside and to my TOTAL HORROR the fireplace glass was OPEN!!!! And my Christmas Town village was knocked off the piano, broken. And a lamp was broken. And the stocking was no longer hung by the chimney with care. And ornaments were everywhere. And, a movie was knocked off the TV top and ornaments were down from the tree. I started yelling to myself, “HE IS HIDING SOMEWHERE IN THE HOUSE, AND I THINK HE IS IN THE TREE!!!!!” I started screaming again, and ran outside and called Vince. He calmly told me to go open all the doors and maybe the squirrel would run out. And he laughed. He was thinking this was pretty funny, at the office and all.

I screamed opening each door, I tell you, and imagining the squirrel hiding under a piece of furniture and biting my ankle. I know this sounds ridiculous, but for real, I was so scared. It’s like when you are in a haunted house and you KNOW someone is there, it scares you even more…because they are HIDING!

I got back in the car to calm down wondering if I was going to spend all day in here. Then school calls, and poor Parkie is throwing up. For the LOVE! This day! So, I hop in the car and get Parkie and Reese, and now we have to go home… because where are you going with a puking kid??? That’s right. Back to your rabies house.

Reese, being the big brave 8 year old that he is says he will sit in the living room and watch a movie and watch for the squirrel, while Parker and I hide in the back. I called my neighbor Kellie and told her my whole sob story. Luckily, her husband, Austin was already headed home from work, so she volunteered him to come check under my furniture so I could at least touch my toes to the ground before Vince made it home.

Austin came over and looked under and behind everything, and then went over to the tree. Starting very cautiously at first, he stood way back and shined the flash light in. Then as time went by, he got braver and braver saying…”I just really don’t think he’s in here Joanna. He must have run out while you were picking up the kids. But tell you what. I’ll give the tree a good shake, just to be sure.” Then he shook the tree, and EXACTLY like Christmas Vacation, the squirrel came FLYING out of the tree. I mean flying!! At me!!!!!! I screamed like a mad woman jumping on the couch. Austin was yelling “Sh8%” and “Stop screaming. Stop screaming!” Preston was chasing the squirrel and crashing into the window. At that point I ran out the front door. You get to a moment where you just run. Ya know. I won’t mention that I didn’t grab the kids. Because I just ran out. Every man for himself.

Austin, preston the dog, and Reese chased the squirrel back into the library room where the squirrel ran across the piano as they made a makeshift blockade. And then the squirrel ran out. And Reese and Austin slammed the door. And everyone was sweating. And out of breathe. And I stopped screaming and came back inside. And Parker played Wii the whole time and still doesn’t know what happened.

Hallelujah. Holy Squirrel. Where’s the Tylenol.

Cold Coffee Club – Beginnings

I have a false expectation of mornings.  To me, they were designed to be slow.  For piping hot coffee to be sipped.  For journaling.  For reading my Bible as I snuggle jammed children hugging stuffed animals.  For robes and slippers.  For soft lighting. Music.  My golden retriever at my feet.  Where I am the master of time. I smile, victorious as I declare , “We will not exist in frenzy.”


I wake up to jammed children in my bed.  Feet on my face.  I quietly roll out of bed, as if I’m avoiding a land mine.  One small step, and everyone is awake.  I grab my glasses, my torn quilt, my Bible, and tip toe into the living room.  I make a cup of coffee.  I sit.  I breathe in.  Ready to spend time with Jesus.

And, then the dog is pawing at the back door.  He needs to go out.  I open the door and the alarm sounds.  Shoot…I forgot to turn it off.  Kiddos come rushing in.  Happy.  Delighted that it’s time to be awake.  Breakfast needs to be made.  Juice poured.  Cartoons on.  Homework checked.  Lunches packed. Shoes found.  Time to go.  The bus is here.  Hurry.  Hurry.  Where are your pants?  Why is the dog wearing your jacket?  Where is my coffee???

It’s cold.

Time.  It has defeated me.

But, it’s in this…in the chaos… that Jesus calls to me.

It’s as if he says, “Hello my daughter.  You are being invited to join the club. A club of mothers and fathers. A club of professionals. A club of hurting hearts. A club of  bad decision makers. A club of rejects. A club of desperate people looking to seek me in this life. The requirements are short.  There are no dues.  No progress reports.  Just one thing is required.  Your heart.  Your whole heart.  Are you in?”

I pause.  Yes, my heart cries.  I am in.

We are all being defeated by something.  That is life.  I can join the club.  I can seek Jesus with my whole heart in the midst of frenzy.

And, you know what..I can even buy a Yeti.

So friends, grab your Yeti, your reheated coffee, your old quilt…and let’s invite Jesus into our everyday. Into our pain. Into our failures.  Into our struggles.

Will you join the club?  We accept everyone.