Thursday, September 22, 2016


A few weeks ago, Clint asked me if I'd listened to any of Malcolm Gladwell's podcasts.
(I hadn't.)
He and Max have listened to the ten part series called Revisionist History, and seeing I've enjoyed (and often quoted) Malcolm Gladwell's books, he thought I should give em a go.

(Malcolm Gladwell, who, for the rest of this post will be referred to as MG), wrote Tipping Point, Outliers, Blink among others. I do love the thoroughness of his research on topics I didn't know I'd find interesting.

ANYWAY, the ninth podcast in the series (and you don't have to listen to them in order) is called Generous Orthodoxy and it's about Mennonites.

You can listen to it here.

The inspiration behind his talk was a letter written by Chester Wenger, a 96 yr old American Mennonite pastor, living in Pennsylvania, titled An Open Letter to My Beloved Church.  
It was published in The Mennonite, which is an online magazine for another branch of the Mennonite denomination.

I'll post an excerpt here, but if you have time, click on that link above and read the whole thing. The reason he wrote the letter was to address the issue of homosexuality. One of his eight children, a son, is gay. When it became legal to do so, in response to his son and partner's request, Charles married them in a small private ceremony. And in doing so was stripped of his credentials.

  • When I reported this event to Lancaster Conference leaders, they responded with grace-filled pastoral listening, while acknowledging that what I’d done was out of step with established credentialing agreements with other Mennonite Conferences. Afterward the LMC credentialing committee met on Sept. 10 and retired my credentials and I am at peace with their decision and understand their need to take this action.

  • When my wife and I read the Bible with today’s fractured, anxious church in mind, we ask, what is Jesus calling us to do with those sons and daughters who are among the most despised people in the world—in all races and communities?

Watch MG on Colbert:


So much to think and pray about.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. People who think.
2. People who communicate well.
3. A God who has infinite patience and love for us in all our brokenness.



I'm part of a focus group for a study on chocolate. 

My first assignment?


Here's your first fun assignment to upload on Day 1.  

'CHOCOLATE & ME' - it's a slice of your life as it relates to chocolate and the role it plays in your life.  

I would like to get to know as much as I can about you in the context of chocolate.  I want to know what makes you tick when it comes to chocolate.  I'd like to know what you like, what you dislike when it comes to chocolate.  What is the CHOCOLATE EXPERIENCE all about for you?  You can think about chocolate moments, chocolate brands, chocolate formats, what works for you and what doesn't.  Anything that has to do with you and chocolate. 

Often, pictures speak louder than words!   

I will ask you to begin by creating a 'VISUAL STORY'.  The image(s) you use in the 'story' will get across WHO YOU ARE IN THE CONTEXT OF CHOCOLATE.  
As you create your visual story, ask yourself, "Does my story reflect who I am when it comes to chocolate?  Does it show the role chocolate plays in my life and how it makes me feel? "What do I need to show so that someone who does not know the 'chocolate-me' can get a sense of what makes me tick when it comes to chocolate?" 

Here are a few thoughts of inspiration to get you not be limited by them....

Capture your favourite chocolate
Capture a chocolate moment
Capture the role chocolate has in your life 
Capture what chocolate means to you 
Capture how chocolate makes you feel
Capture the setting where you consume your chocolate
Capture the imagery and mood associated with your chocolate time
Capture any chocolate eating rituals you have
Capture any chocolate gifting rituals you have
Don't stop at these suggestions - they are just some ideas to get you going - let your imagination take you to wherever you need to go to 'show' the story!!

You can include any combination of your own pictures, as well as images from magazines, online images, etc.  Feel free to use caption words and phrases to bring your 'Chocolate & Me' story to life.  If you prefer, a short video clip of up to 2 minutes also works.  



Finally. An assignment that I am fully equipped to write, as, ahem, I AM a bit of an expert on this topic. 

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Friends who know I'm a perfect fit for this market research group.
2. That I live in a world that does contain chocolate,
3. A stunningly beautiful last day of summer.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Best Friends, ever.

When you need help getting ready for a rehearsal dinner; its helpful to have friends who were raised on farms.

We (and I use that term loosely; it was mostly them) made 9 pies and had the kitchen clean in 75 minutes.

I am a blessed woman.

Rehearsal dinner's dessert is done.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Apples.
2. Friends.
3. Maxine's kitchen.

Shalom friends,

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Someone in Dubai ...

... googled some words and ended up at this post from Aug 13, 2012:

You know how sometimes your mind dwells on ...
... things or people that are missing in your life?
Or conversations that have left you sad?
Or frustrating situations?
Or disagreements that ended unfairly?
Or hurts and hangups that remain hurtful and hang uppy and disappointing?

Yeah, well, if you're unemployed and live alone, there are a whole lot of hours in a day when the only voice you hear is the one in your head. And if you don't control that voice, holee hannna, is it ever easy to get in a rut, listing all the crap that is wrong with your life. It's becoming a struggle not to dwell on sad things these days.

A few days ago, I posted this on facebook:
Instead of worrying or reliving sad memories or getting anxious about tomorrow, think on THESE things:

Today, after the closing ceremonies, while sitting out in the backyard, I wanted to stop my inner voice from filling my soul with sludge, so I started writing a list of things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

The list is in my prayer journal and I hope to need to add to it every day.

Here's what I've got so far:


  • God loves me.
  • He is continuing the good work He started in me.
  • God loves Clint, Max and Drew and is continuing the work He started in them too.
  • God's promises are all true.

  • Praying instead of worrying is (the) right (thing to do).
  • Families are right. Family units were God's idea.
  • God's word is right. It's never wrong.

  • The water that comes straight from my tap; it's pure. 
  • My dad's love for my mom.
  • The joy of the Olympic athletes. 
  • Delphiniums.
  • Hydrangeas.
  • My kids' faces. 
  • The house my dad built for my mom.
  • The moon.
  • My truck. Oh yes it is. 
  • Greeting cards filled with nice words.
  • Max's willingness to share his story at detox centers.
  • The apology I recently received from a friend. Whoa. Such transparency and vulnerability.
  • Diamonds and pearls.
  • Well-written books.
  • Meryl Streep's ability to act.
  • The way God uses colors and textures so creatively.
  • The way that God designed oceans to have breezes.
  • Guys who get their One Year cakes (for being 'clean')

As you can see, I got stuck on 'noble'. I guess I don't really know what the word means... because I think a nobleman = a royal family member. So I supposed I could have put Wills, Kate and Harry's names in there, but somehow that seemed wrong.

So I just left it.
Then I read today's devotional ...

All your children will be taught by the Lord, and they will have much peace. Is 54:13
"Never underestimate the ponderings of a Christian parent. Never underestimate the power that comes when a parent pleads with God on behalf of their child. God listens to thoughtful parents.
Praying for our children is a noble task. If what we are doing is taking us away from prayer time for our children we're too busy. There is nothing more special, more precious, that time that a parent spends struggling and pondering and praying and pleading with God on behalf of a child."

... and proceeded to pray for my kids. " ... protect them from evil and harm. Speak to them clearly; enable them to hear and recognize your voice. Help them surrender their will to You. Guide their footsteps, direct their paths. Bring friends of YOUR choosing into their lives - friends that challenge and love them. Friends that help them see You more clearly. Send your messengers of Good News into their lives and enable them to embrace it. For Your Glory, may Clint, Max and Drew be leaders of men into Your kingdom..." etc

and I prayed for those couples that I know are pregnant
and I prayed for those couples that I know are engaged
and I prayed for those couples that I know are newlyweds

and I prayed for my daughter-in-laws and their families

and I prayed for my mom and my dad. (This isn't getting any easier. My dad is asking my mom if he couldn't please come live with her, he loves her and he'd be 'good'. Then he said, he'd been thinking and thinking and realized that maybe she was trying to get rid of him, by leaving him there.

Oh dad. I'm so sad that you're so broken. Heart disease, Parkinsons, Dementia, and Stroke.
And I'm sad that it's so lonely, living in a nursing/care home.
And I'm sad that you don't understand any of this.

And mom? I'm sad that you are in such pain. I'm praying you will feel relief today.)

Whoa. And just like that I'm sad again. I tell you. I have got to Stop Thinking.

ANYWAYS, it wasn't until just this moment, while I'm typing this out, that I noticed the sentence in the devotional: "Praying for our children is a NOBLE task."

Really? It is?
Well alrightly then.


  • Praying for your kids
  • Praying for your parents
  • Praying for your parent's friends
  • Praying for your kids' friends

Three FIVE things that I'm thankful for:

  1. Cake night tonight at Max's NA Meeting. I'm thankful for these guys who are committed to living in recovery. I'm thankful that they support and care deeply for each other. I'm thankful that family relationships have been restored. I'm thankful for their transparency in sharing their struggles and victories. I'm thankful for their dependency on a Higher Power. I'm thankful for the 12 Steps Program. I'm thankful for each guy that shared this evening.
  2. I am thankful for the Olympics. And the way it promotes not only excellence in athletics, but a global warm feeling. We are all connected. What happens on the other side of the globe, matters to us. Yay, Uganda for winning the Most Important Gold Medal. What is happening in your country? Do you need help? What can we do?
  3. I am thankful for musicians. Seriously. Who doesn't love music? 
  4. I am thankful for the cool night air. I love sitting here, beside an open window, and feel the breeze on my face. 
  5. I am thankful that God is patient. 


2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.


(I needed to be reminded of this today. I'm spending waaaaaay too much time worrying about things like houses, and weddings, and MOG dresses and colons and cancer and To Do lists and November and shoes and showers and appointments and lost photos and broken laptops and broken fridges and car repairs and budgets and projects and people and)

AND someone from Brooklyn New York found their way to THIS post from Feb 7, 2009:

Extremely Well Envoweled

That is true of my name and of most of my Scrabble games.

Check out this site.

Enter your name.
Based on the alphabetness of your name, certain observations will be made.
These are mine:

54% of the letters in your name are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 1.8% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are extremely well envoweled.

People with this first name are probably: Female. So, you are constantly overcharged for beauty products. 

Origin of first name: Hebrew - Meaning: Gracious, Merciful

Your personal power animal is the Blue Tit 

Your 'Numerology' number is 8. You are motivated by material success and have an aptitude for business, managerial and financial matters. This comes through your uncommon discipline and persistence. 

According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.25% of US residents have the first name 'Jane' and fewer than 0.001% share your surname. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who has the same name as you.

What is a Blue Tit? I'm assuming it's not cold boobies.

Secondly, I am not motivated by material success. I am motivated by sheer responsibility to keep myself and my kids housed and fed. And, hello? I am the most undisciplined person on the planet. Just look at me.

But I like the comment regarding my vowel laden name. On Friday I got a call at work, where I was to sign up for a free ministry resource. He asked me to spell my name and I thought I was doing it slowly, but he said, "Whoa, you have to repeat that. I got lost in the vowels at the end."

And I said, "I know. I am extremely well envoweled."


He was speechless after that.


ramblin'andie said...
I think a blue tit is a bird?

Acoording to this site, I'm a Man's Woman. Reminds me of the time I went to Crazy Bobs and he told me I was "loaded for bear". uh. Okay.
shannon said...
I like my results... Except maybe for the hyena part. But I mean, I don't know that it's inaccurate...

Origin: Celtic
Meaning: Wise One

3 Things You Didn't Know:

1. Your personal power animal is the Aardwolf Hyena

2. Your 'Numerology' number is 4. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are practical, tenacious, traditional, and serious. You are well organised and have a strong work ethic.

3. According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.215% of US residents have your first name and 0.0001% have your surname. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there are 1 Americans who go by your name.
Anonymous said...
Origin: Hmm, we're still working on that.
Animal: Yellow bellied weasel (that's just rude!)

WHAT? I'm rewriting this for you douchebags (ha ha Jane)
Origin: 9th month of the year
Animal: Leo the Lion. No, uh, something princessy. Unicorn!

raych said...
*dies laughing*

Extremely well-envoweled, Jane?

Loaded for bear, Andie?

I think I just peed a little.