Jackson Five Friday: Summer Hiatus

Hey Friends,

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day.  I hope you lavish the moms in your life this weekend with love and appreciation.  I have not been with Will and the boys the last two Mother’s Days.  I was thankfully with my own mother, but I am looking forward to Sunday, relaxing in my very favorite spot with my four handsome men.

I started writing this blog in August of 2008.  In ten years I’ve posted over 600 times.  It’s one of my very favorite things to do.  You know how beavers just have to gnaw through stuff otherwise their ever-growing teeth would just get too long?  That’s how I feel about writing.  It is a compulsion that keeps me in order.  If I didn’t write, I’d hardly know what I even think — writing is how I process life.  But one of the coolest things about writing a blog for ten years is the treasure of memories.  Since I write to an audience, instead of in a journal format, I tell stories that assume the reader knows nothing, or next to nothing, about my life.   I could not have foreseen the tremendous blessing this is for me personally.  It means that with a couple clicks I can read stories that I have zero recollection of — hilarious tidbits of my own ineptitude, hysterical stories about the boys, and spiritual insights I am always prone to forget.  I can read how God has provided for me and loved me through good times and bad.  So here’s some advice: choose a format you feel comfortable with and keep a record of your life.  Lists are good, but storytelling is better.  Your future self will thank you.

Every summer I take a hiatus from social media, but this summer I feel particularly called to be more present in the moment and I want to devote more time to some longer writing projects.  If you do not already follow this blog, I would invite you to do so.  It is just a matter of clicking the follow button on the bottom of the screen.  I will post here with links to new material when it’s available, but other than that if you need me, call me.  Shoot me a text.  Knock on my door.  Have a fabulous summer and thank you for reading.  I am honored and humbled to know that some of you have been reading this blog for a decade!

Here’s a wonderful Psalm about remembering all that God has done.  I hope you’ll meditate on it this summer.  Maybe you’ll even use it as a writing prompt.  How has God crowned you with love and compassion?  How has He redeemed you from various pits?  How have your transgressions been forgiven as far as the east is from the west?

Praise the Lord, my soul;
    all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
    and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
    and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all the oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses,
    his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
    slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
    nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
    or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
    so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the Lord, you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his bidding,
    who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
    you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
    everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.  Psalm 103 (NIV)

With Love,


Jackson Five Friday: How I Know I’m Getting Old

Hey Friends,

I am getting old.  I know this not merely because I am not blind, but because of some other tell-tale observations.  No, I don’t suddenly find pop music abhorrent — I love it as much or more than ever.  With the widespread influence of Earth Wind and Fire touching everything from Bruno Mars to Pharrell Williams, blaring the radio in the minivan has never been so fun.  And truly my knees have sounded ninety for a very long time.  But more than wrinkles, cataracts (literally), aging joints, or going to bed by 9:30 most nights, a trusty indicator of getting old is one’s list of pet peeves.  Truly, young Kristie hardly had any pet peeves.  But the list has grown.  I’m halfway to full crank.

I’m irked by all of the following: (1) people walking slowly in front of me; (2) failure to use a turn signal, which in Tennessee is honestly an epidemic; (3) Mommy-bloggerisms like “Full Stop.” and “So much THIS.” (4) people who post a picture of “Other person and I.”  In my old age this drives me bananas.  Would you ever ever say, “This is a picture of I?”  No, no you wouldn’t!  The grammar is the same no matter how many people.  I am the grumpy grammar mom who corrects via text.  “Hey, can you pick Jack and I up at 3:30?”  I respond every dang time with “Jack and me.”  It’s like people think using “I” sounds more sophisticated or something.  I’d much rather stick with the informal but closer to grammatically correct “Can you pick me and Jack up?”  Cut it out with the over I-ing already!  It’s like a contagion I want to stomp out but can’t get ahead of.

But my biggest pet peeve is sitting at a restaurant and having servers take items I’m not yet done with.  I know I could stand to lose quite a bit of weight, but yes I do in fact want to finish my salad.  And I do want that last balsamic glazed brussel sprout.  I cannot even tell you how much I love eating every last piece of margarita drenched ice.  I want to lick every morsel of salt off the rim and crunch the limey goodness of every single cube.  I don’t know if it’s a local thing, or a generational thing or what, but I have watched servers, without asking, unapologetically whisk away all these things and more.  The problem is I’m a huge fan of the movie Fletch and that leaves me totally defenseless in the face of this culinary injustice.

If I say something akin to “I’m not finished with that” I have this scene flash before my eyes.


So I can hardly ever bring myself to say a thing because I’m terrified of coming across like Mr. Underhill.  So I just watch half full plates and glasses fly off the table speechless and peeved, and since I waited tables for years in college I always tip well.  I couldn’t not.  But for those of you in the restaurant business, please for heaven’s sake, start training servers to stop the aggressive pre-bussing and unless the plate is licked clean, don’t make any assumptions.

So how about you?  Do you find your list of pet peeves growing with age too?  And if so, what are they?

But by God’s grace I’ve learned to cling to  this proverb:

A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

It is astounding how widely applicable this proverb is.  It is to my glory to overlook an offense — pet peeves are actually just an opportunity to practice.  The more I can implement overlooking little offenses the better prepared I am to overlook big ones.  It’s like lifting weights — I am building my offense-overlooking muscles.  At this rate, by the time I’m fifty, I’m gonna be buff.

Have a blessed weekend overlooking offenses big and small. It is to your glory after all. And while you’re at it have a couple of steak sandwiches on the Underhills!

Love to YOU,