Peculiar Treasures: Looking Closely, and Slant

Can you guess what this is?

I’ll admit it – I’ll be amazed if you get through this week’s Peculiar Treasures and don’t think “Wow!” or “Well, I’ve never seen that before!”

Sure, you’ve seen snowflakes, but how about magnified 50, 000 times (like the one above)? Or what about the stars and galaxies photographed recently by NASA? Or an iceberg flipped upside down?

Then there’s the luminosity of brides and wedding guests, sharing care one pizza slice at a time, and Bratz dolls getting a make-under and playing as real little girls. Maybe we can all slow down a little, to get some love and life advice from our elders, and watch rain in slo-mo.

Have a look at waiting over five years for the right diagnosis, finding a possible cause of addiction, and some economic reasons for girls to aspire.

This week’s First Draft Poetry is penned by Sandra, inspired by the pizza pay-it-forward piece:


it’s harder
to act
like you don’t

it’s easier
to pay forward
when someone else

Any thoughts or first draft poems on today’s links?

The Cost of Leisure

IMG_0300When I told people that I was taking my children to Hawaii for the week of Christmas, reactions ranged from admiration to disbelief to jealousy. I generally tried to temper things with the caveat that my children’s father grew up in Hawaii, so we would be visiting family and friends, and that trips to Hawaii have always been a somewhat regular part of our family life. We hadn’t been over there for three years, and a trip to Hawaii seemed like a better family Christmas gift than more physical objects that would just clutter up the house. I spent a year saving and planning, but still felt a bit of guilt at the extravagance of such a vacation up until the moment our plane landed in Honolulu and we walked out into the warm, tropical air. Continue reading

Jesus is My Word

Each new year I have a cluster of friends who choose a word. A word they will focus on for the upcoming year.

I first noticed this trend when I was in the throes of babies by the double. People I admired were choosing words like see, lift, simplify, breathe, accept. I loved their words. I wanted one. But the only word I could think of then was survive. And the drowning, muffled ring of it didn’t set right. So that was that.

Two years later, I considered it again, but my brain had no space for it. It felt like one more thing. As 2015 bobbed in, however, I watched my five children toss balloons and blow streamers, and thought, maybe this is the year.

Maybe I should choose… a word.

My long-time friend and young women’s leader, Cristie, always chooses a word. She is a radiant, happy woman who still drops by with an unexpected gift, cares about staying in touch, and lives a consecrated, joyful life. Twenty years ago, she let me sit on her bed late at night and talk with her (and her husband) about big life decisions, boys, marriage. This year she made a number of darling bracelets for her daughters and friends who chose words.

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Just before January she posted her word. It was listen. And with it she posed a question. What will your word be? 

I thought about it for a week. I tried on words others were using. I tried being original. I tried being deep. I tried and tried and tried, but nothing fit or felt right. I needed so many words. Yet no single word seemed to possess in its meaning the salve I searched for. Continue reading

How Women Make it Work


I’m looking for advice here: how do women work while still raising a family? Is it possible to have a dual income family without a nanny? If you are a working woman, how do you do it? I realize it’s typical to place questions at the end of a post, but my mind is churning and I thought I would get yours started as well.

As a mid-twenties MBA candidate, I am entrenched in studying corporate America and figuring out where I fit in the grand machine. Or, to put it more precisely, figuring out where my family fits in the grand machine. With my family currently comprising of just my husband and myself, the question is fairly straightforward. My concern is with how the answer will change when we eventually expand. I grew up with a “traditional” family: a working father and a stay-at-home mother. (I use the word “traditional” with reservation–I realize that there is no standard mold for a family and what might be thought of as typical for me may actually be far from the norm.) I loved having my mom around while I was young. However, I am not sure if her path is necessarily the one I want to take. To figure out what options will work best for my family, I have combed online articles, sought the advice of female business professionals, and talked at length with my husband.

Continue reading

I Have a Dream

I have a dream that one day we will reach a critical mass of Zion-prepared people and the Lord Jesus will return in glory to live and reign here with us.

I have a dream that my children and my grandchildren and their children will inherit a healthy earth, that they will be freed from the tyranny of sin, free to grow in righteousness in a peaceful, joyful world.

I have a dream that one day I will talk with my Lord face to face, that I will learn all truth, line upon line, directly from the Source of Truth.

I have a dream that the church I love will one day be truly perfect, that everyone — of every gender and race and social class — will find a welcoming home, a place to rest and contribute, to love and be loved.

I have a dream, a powerful dream, of the celestial world, where my Mother and my Father reign in all perfection and glory, a celestial Home where I belong.

I have a dream of a marital partnership that mirrors our Parents’, to which we each bring divine power and tenderness, and with which we  further the work and glory of our God.

I have a dream that every soul on earth and in heaven will come to know who they really are, that they will each embrace the grace of our Savior and come Home.

I have a dream, an impossible dream, that Love and Truth and Mercy will prevail, that humankind will finally find within themselves the divine spark that makes us beloved sons and daughters of God, the spark that once ignited and fanned, flames into glory, one precious soul at a time.

I dream the impossible. And I believe . . .


What do you dream?