Category Archives: 9 TV & Movies/Books & Entertainment

It’s About Time

Time-travel movies are plentiful and I’ve just seen a new one I really like!

I have made a list {quelle surprise} of time-travel movies I generally like. There are soooooooo many out there, but I am not all Science-fiction/Fantasy loving. So, my husband will say I have left off at least 50% of the “really good ones.” But it is my list, in no particular order. Maybe you’ve seen some of these, too?

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life – Well, I mean. George Bailey. He gets to travel back in time and see life as it would have been without him. If you’re ever feeling sorry for yourself or thinking your life doesn’t matter, this movie brings perspective. One of my all-time favorite movies ever!
  2. The Lake House (2006) – I totally, romantically like this movie even though it stars Keanu Reeves (cute, but not a fav actor) with Sandra Bullock (who is wonderful). However, though I have seen it countless times, I still don’t totally get how they did it. There are things still hanging up in the air for me about the storyline. But I choose to suspend disbelief and let my heart get woozy by the fact that, though living two years apart, they carry on a romance via letters they leave in a mailbox by the lake.  How cute is that? Words on paper, people! I love letters…Plus the dancing scene with Paul McCartney singing in the background. Oh, yes!
  3. Groundhog Day (1993) – This movie actually makes me nuts, because if you have seen it once, you have seen it a couple dozen times, if you know what I mean. But Bill Murray is pretty awesome in it and everyone should see it once or…20 times, whichever. All the same.
  4. Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – The classic Dicken’s story is at its’ finest when the Muppets are involved. Don’t judge me.
  5. The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) – This movie. This movie.  Well, I wanted to adore it and I sort of did, but I have to admit to my confusion, too. When his wife sneaks out to go have sex with him in another time so she can get pregnant and he is jealous when she returns that she went to have sex with him when he didn’t want her to – well, you can see my dilemma. Confused. But I have the book (my mother, of all people, gave it to me) and maybe I’ll read it and understand it better?
  6. Back to the Future (1985) – Probably the most successful time travel movie ever, don’t you think? Michael J. Fox was amazing and engaging, as he tends to be. Just a classic.  Reminds me that it’s time to share it with my grand-boys.
  7. Somewhere in Time  (1980) – Heavy on the beauty, a period piece  set in the early 1900s and thick with romance starring the very young and totally gorgeous Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour.  It is a tragic story, death by heartbreak. I don’t know if I’ll ever watch it again.
  8. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) – This is the only Star-Trek type movie I ever liked. It was funny, with the original TV cast saving the whales. My Star-Trek loving husband was happy I connected to it and I still quote it frequently. “Computer? Com-puter???”
  9. Frequency  (2000)- A Science Fiction THRILLER, it thrills, for real! And has Dennis Quaid, which is some kind of wonderful. I have to admit, I do not totally get this whole storyline, either, but there is this father-son relationship-thing that is so sweet. Really good watch.
  10. Field of Dreams (1989) – Oh my goodness – I almost forgot this one. Kevin Costner + baseball = YES! An all-time favorite movie of mine because of summer and baseball and Iowa and dead baseball players showing back up. I love when the Kevin-character takes a walk in a small town and meets “Doc.” SEE IT!

I just found a new one for the list: About Time (2013)

Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy in About Time

“A new funny film about love. With a bit of time travel.”

about time the movie promo

I love it.  I LOVE it. The actual travel mechanism/storyline is the least sophisticated, easiest explanation ever and is more of a sweet twist to the story rather than a huge thing to be explained. Rachel McAdams, who was, indeed, The Time Traveler’s actual wife is in this and though I thought I’d find it problematic, it wasn’t. It is totally its’ own story, which is sweet and full of love and caring and relationship and gentle joy-of-life and watching over people you love and letting go when it’s time.  See the trailer:

The whole cast is endearing, the music is FANTASTIC and the greater message is so right on.

I’ve tried to live every day as if it was the final day of my extraordinary ordinary life. -About Time

Here is one of the songs I loved.

 Oh see it, really! About Time.

Thought-Collage Thursday // Song is My Native Language

amelie belle at pre-school

Nonna – can we put the music on?”  Amelie asks me so sweetly every Thursday morning when she arrives for pre-school.  We talk about pushing the big, rectangle button on the surround-sound, then carefully lifting the lid to place an LP on the player.  Then we lift the lever, place the arm over the spinning vinyl, and lower the lever with great care.  Then we lower the lid and after just a bit of crackling,  the dancing begins.

She loves the process, the steps to using the turntable.  She speaks them softly as she reverently plays a record, today: The Fabulous Fifties, last week, some Andy Williams.  I am trying to expose my grandbebes to older, American classics in music, for the new they will always find.  So I start them on 40s love songs and 60s Motown.  As they get older (like Gavin and Hunter), they want to hear the Footloose album or a song like “The Night Chicago Died.”  But it is all “old-timey” music to them.  :)

Hey – remember the 80s?

Well, as I may have mentioned before – I barely do, but not for the “usual” reasons.  I was just busy having babies and tending to my little family back in those days.  Movies?  Music?  Who the president was?  I can hardly recall (though my huge hair and Desperately-Seeking-Susan wardrobe was fantastic).  But our friends, Mary and David, invited us to a show last weekend with a B-52s cover band called, Hey Lady.  It was an all-80s music extravaganza, even with the openers, The Retrosonics (I could sing along with a lot of their music – they were great and the lead singer is the sister of another set of great friends: Joel and Marj).  But I had mostly missed the B52s the first time around.  Ha.

hey lady

Two things became very clear to me: I really AM  from the 1970s and I need that red wig!

I don’t drink and I don’t dance (I want to – just…can’t…dance, that is), so I was out of my element, but Mary has promised we’ll go back on Karoke night sometime – because I DO love to sing!

The keyboard is currently in the living room, where I plunk and play and sing a little most days

I have hit that horrible age where every song has a memory and I burst into tears at the drop of a hat or the gentle turn of a melody.  It isn’t because the memories are sad or bad, but just because I wish I had held every moment of life a little closer and more reverently.

Now I play a chord and sing a line and I see a person or place or time in my mind’s eye.  And I cry because I am so grateful I got to live it and know the people I know and to have loved them.  And my heart is full now because understanding seems to come with age.  Not one day is unimportant.  Do you hear me?  Not one.  The tears are just the overflow of a heart that can feel, that risks feeling, more and more as time goes by.

So just let me cry when I sing.  I am that age now.


For today’s #throwbackthursday ::  Highland Park Church of God in Des Moines, Iowa.  My mom was the choir director and she started it while I was about 7, at which time she taught me to sing alto.  In fact there was a whole alto section, Rhonda Sable being the rest of it, but nonetheless – there were parts.

Junior Choir 1968 j

This picture includes all 5 of us, my siblings and myself.  I am the girl in the back row clear to the right.  While the choir had been going for a year by this time (practices on Sunday evenings at 6 pm, while the YPE (aka Young People’s Endeavor, now more commonly known as Youth Group, except with some way more hip title) met upstairs.  But in the fall of 1968, when we got our poncho-robes and bright-white bow-ties, we were certainly at the zenith of our junior choir career.  Good times.

Back row, left-to-right: the late Lonny Sable, Brenda Smith, Sharon Smith, Wesley Sable, Rhonda Sable, MOI! //  Middle row, left to right: Timmy Rodgers, Timmy Moslander, Debbie Bettis, Joey Moslander, Rebecca Sable, Darryl Sable.  Front Row, left-to-right (the junior-est of them all): Tina Slight, Laurie Rodgers, Dana Mitchell Moslander, Tami (alias Tammy) Moslander, David Bettis, Carol Bettis and the late Ramona Whorley.

Which brings me to this question:  Where has all the harmony gone?

What is up with all 5 vocalists onstage singing the melody these days?  I miss hearing harmony?  Part it out, people.

Beautiful music makes the whole world go around!  Who wants to sing with me right this second?

Music on a Monday // Bill Withers Mellow

Is it crazy to say that, especially after watching this documentary called Still Bill on Netflix 2 years ago, I wish to remove all my living room furniture (which creates a beautiful reverb with the high ceilings) and put a grand piano there (and a really good guitar nearby) and have Bill Withers come and play and sing while I just sit in the corner and cry like a baby?

Yes, I am aware that was all one sentence.

Sorry.  Take a breath.

bill withers

Bill Withers quote from the movie (on working towards your dream):

“It’s ok to head out for wonderful, but on your way to wonderful, you’re gonna have to pass through alright.”

I started liking him way back in the early 70s when I just heard his songs on the radio, like, “Ain’t No Sunshine,  and “Lean on me.”  But I didn’t really know what he was about.

But now, I get his music and what a rare talent he is and there is nothing like his simple, but deeply soulful music for the melancholy side of me.  The man writes love like my heart feels it.  His voice just sort of fills the room while his poetry pours out slow like honey, but much sweeter.

I love him.

My Bill Withers Spotify Playlist.

Hello Like Before

Whatever Happens

I wish he’d tour again.  Oh my goodness – I’d go!

bill withers mixed tape

The big hits are, there, too.  But “Family Table” makes me think of my parents and supper at 5 every night during the 60s and 70s.  And the first songs, like, “Hello Like Before, ” “Whatever Happens.” “Memories are That Way,” and “You Just Can’t Smile it Away,” well, I can get lost there.  I sorta made you a mixed tape, Spotify-Style.  :)  These are the mellow ones.  Bill.

Thought-Collage Thursday

Ok….so more technical problems…today is actually Saturday (March 1), obvi..but I wrote this Thursday.  *sigh  // ANYHOO-such profound thinking to follow…ha!

Throwback Thursday

I noticed recently that #throwbackthursday  (as in hashtag-throw-back-Thursday) is picking up steam.  It’s the chance for everybody to post those hilarious old photographs of themselves way back in the day.  I can TOTALLY do Throwback-Thursday today because I have been scanning old family photos and oh, man – did I find some doozies (of OTHER people, of course).

The Moslanders, my family-of-origin, #tbt

moslander 1976

Ross the Boss, Mrs. Moss and all the little Landers, 1975 @ Robert, Louisiana (I’m the oldest.  I was 16 here)

moslander 1988 nov

The Sunday after Thanksgiving in 1988 in Hobart, IN (Southlake Church of God).  Two words: shoulder pads!

Thirteen years later, we were all married, I had 5 kids (ages 2-9) and Tami had not grown an inch in height since she was 10 years old.

Meanwhile, I’ll call this Thought-Collage Thursday because that is what this blog is, anyway a collage!  :) 

I think I’m being followed.

fbi wi-fi

Seriously, everywhere I go, when the Wi-Fi options come up on my phone, there is always an FBI Mobile or FBI Van #7 or some sort of FBI vehicle around.  I am pretty sure I am being watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Why?  I do not know.  If anyone questions you about me, send me a coded text to warn me, will you?  Thanks!


I have this {I own it!}, the Willie Nelson – His Hits and Finest Performances album distributed in a Reader’s Digest collection in 1987.  A former co-worker gave it to me just because I have a turntable (or “record player,” as they were known while I growing up!).

willie nelson album set

And while it is packed with all the great songs you already know by Willie Nelson, there are so many great treasures I had never heard anywhere until I got this.  53 great songs on 5 LPs.  Seriously, his rendition of “Let it Be Me” is the best I have ever heard of that gorgeous tune – and it has been sung by every. body!

Any song Willie Nelson sings, with that unmistakable gravel and sophistication actually just sounds more authentic and true than anyone else who ever attempts that song again.   A little raw and wholly soulful, he owns any melody that comes out of that talented heart.

Other songs he covers that I would totally encourage you to try out on iTunes or Spotify:  “Without a Song,” “Stardust,” and “September Song.”

February is (almost) over.

I am surprised every single year at how quickly it is gone.  Every year.  You’d think I’d know by now that it is going to happen.

hello march

Speaking of things I should know

When I take a drink and sort of miss my mouth…and dribble down the side – I am always appalled.  Occasionally when I am eating, I bite my tongue.  How is it 50-some years down the road I haven’t totally mastered these things, having practiced SO much?!

My Jesus, I Love Thee, verse 3

I love old hymns and find restoration, when I am frazzled and shredded by life, in just singing them.  Modern worship is wonderful, but I am drawn to lyrics deep and timeless, to melodies that have been sung by voices before me and which will still be drifting heavenward long after I am gone.

William R. Featherston wrote the well-known, “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” as a poem when he was somewhere between 12 and 16 years of age.  How does such a young man know how to communicate such depth of love?

I was playing the keyboard and singing this song the other morning and the 3rd verse caught in my throat for a minute as I wondered: Will I love Jesus as much in my death as I do in my life?  Because I love life, too, really.  And what if I am not happy with the whole death process?  Will it make me love Him less?

But as suddenly as I questioned myself, I realized, we’re already dying anyway.  Part of our living is dying.  And if I am loving Jesus wholly each day in my living, then when I step through the door  of death from this realm, and actually see Him face to face, Oh, yes.  I will be loving Him more fully, more truly than I have ever been able.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,

And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;

And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,

If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

Adoniram Gordon added a melody to the words in 1876.  And William R. Featherston died at age 27 never knowing his words would become a hymn of the deepest devotion, sung around the world and included in almost every hymnal for years to come.

 Live Stream Ransomed Heart Event!

live stream simulcast

1) Get the book and read it!  2) Sign up for Live Stream HERE  3) Saturday March 15, 9am-3 pm…4) While you wait, enjoy archived events from Ransomed Heart Ministries.

 That is all for today.  Enough.



With me

But “Immanuel” means “God with us,” and it’s more appropriate now than ever. Standing on the mountain in His resurrection body, ready to go back to heaven, Jesus said something He’d never said before: “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

He is with you right now, as you read this. Fix your eyes on Him.

The light of Christ surrounds you.

The love of Christ enfolds you.

The power of Christ protects you.

The presence of Christ watches over you.

Wherever you are, Christ is.  ~ Anne Ortlund, Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

wherever you are, christ is

His light, His love, His power, His presence – right where you are, right now.  Wow!



You Can Thank me Later

This was supposed to have been Thursday’s post.  Technical problems.  :(

A misc. gathering of tips and truth-nuggets that will bless your life.  ;)

Oh goodness…it happened again, didn’t it?  I went so long between blogs I am chattering away!

Plus, I have been experiencing technical difficulties.  Where is the blog-fairy when you flipping need her, I want to know???  Anyway – here goes…

avocado to guacamole


TIP:  Holy-guacamole! My best Kitchen-Tip-of-the-Week (or maybe the year…since I don’t actually ever share kitchen tips)

Because I may or may not actually be in the kitchen very much these days.


If you happen upon a 4/$1.00 avocado sale, you must take advantage, you just must!  Even though avocados don’t “last,” they can be mashed and frozen for Guacamole at a later date.  And you should be eating regular and copious amounts of guac.  Really.  You should.

And – when it is time to cut them in half all at once during that 3-minute window of perfection and you have a mountain of avocado halves in your biggest bowl to smash – attack with your handy-dandy pastry blender.  In just a few seconds, no kidding – seconds, you’ll have perfectly prepared avocado.  You can leave it chunky or blend until it’s creamy smooth, but the pastry cutter works so fast you’ll wonder what happened!

And speaking of avocados, I saw this hilarious thing on Pinterest last week and I actually for real LOLed!

not yet avocado print

TIP:  Hanging up now.

I always {at least try to} turn my phone notifications completely off when I am in a meeting or with anyone who means anything at all to me.  At least I believe in that.

But lately, I’ve been getting really sloppy at this, because – well, isn’t everyone else checking their phone round-the-clock these days?

The truth is, I have found I can actually turn it off or put it away for 90-minutes and it’s a proven fact I am not really that important anyway.  The universe goes right on spinning and the world doesn’t fall apart and the few texts and calls I may miss without my eyes on my phone haven’t been life or death.

I don’t mind turning my phone off and just leaving it off for people who warrant my time to begin with.  And I really feel warmly towards people who do the same for me ~ a surprising sweetness to my heart.

telephone rotary

TIP:  My Favorite TED Talks

First of all, I super-duper love TED Talks.  I have been exposed to some really fascinating ideas and seen things in the world I didn’t even know were happening, buildings I thought were only fantasies, possible solutions to world problems that have awed me – what a time to be alive!

TED “is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, under the slogan ‘ideas worth spreading’.”  – Wikipedia

The talks were meant to bring together people from the three worlds of Technology, Entertainment and Design, thus TED.

The problem with TED Talks, according to Professor Benjamin Bratton, who actually used the TED Talk platform to slam the TED Talks, said TED more likely stands for “middlebrow, megachurch infotainment,” and he believes that the 18-minute or less talks are way over-simplified and are “making our best and brightest waste their time—and the audience’s time—dancing like infomercial hosts.”  Yes.  maybe.

To me, though, they are like magazine articles or short papers.  I learn maybe a little something, get my mind expanded, discover valuable information I can use.

I watched the whole Chew on This Ted Talks series twice on Netflix and found it fascinating, as the various speakers sometimes even contradicted each other on the topic of food, supply, world hunger, the moral issues for carnivores and vegans.  I liked that it made me think about what they were saying and helped me form opinions about food issues in the world in these disconcerting times.

I admire intelligence and thoughtful propositions.  And even though I totally believe and see life much differently than many of the speakers do, most of them manage to enlarge my awe of God and confirm my delight in His Word and all He is and will ever be.  Because ideas come from the Father of Lights!

ted talks

So here is a list of 7 TED Talks I like in no particular order.

You should check them out!


Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement {CLICK HERE TO WATCH}

This one is seriously one of my favorites! It’s barely over 3 minutes long, but has been viewed by almost 3.5 million people.  I got such great understanding about the strength of what I bring to organizations I work with by watching this.  I love innovative, courageous, visionary people, I’m drawn to them.  And when I spot them, I want to be on their train, breathe the air they breathe and bleed the blood they bleed!  :)  And I bring courage for others to hop aboard, too.  I am a Deborah to a Barak, I’m Barney Rubble to Fred Flintstone, I’m the Lone Ranger’s Tonto.  This video actually helped me see that my leadership role in being a first-follower  is vital, not secondary.  I love cause and vision and being in the middle of creative chaos.  Visionaries are the most exciting people on earth and getting to be a propeller as a first follower, I am finally understanding, is my life’s work.


Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work 12:20 {CLICK HERE}

This guy can tell a story and this talk just makes me laugh, a really fun watch!  He is a psychologist exploring the idea that instead of working get happy, happiness will actually increase our productivity.  The idea of  “Escaping the Cult of Average” that we’ve been creating through science is awesome!


Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action  18:04 {CLICK HERE}

This is one I just watched recently.  I knew it!  We do things, we believe things, we buy things, we give our lives to things from the inside out.  This is about the heart and soul of WHY.  I don’t live by reason alone (though I use my brain fully), I follow my guarded heart…

Above all else, guard your heart,  for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4.23


Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are  21:02 {CLICK HERE}

We know body language is “readable” and you can tell so  much about a person’s frame of mind from it, but I love that the research shows it isn’t just about reading what is, we can actually power-pose to create a completely different reality, encouraging ourselves through our own body language.  And it is very simple!


Jane McGonigal: The Game that Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life 19:30 {CLICK HERE}

She is a gamer.  I didn’t think I’d get much from this one, but she makes a great case for the good in games and relational connectedness through them.  It gave me great hope for my grandchildren’s futures, as we watch interaction becoming more and more digital, or cyber or whatever it is?  :)  This talk comes with a bonus – potential to find healing through a game AND you get 7 1/2 minutes added to your life just by watching her talk!  No kidding!


Jill Bolte Taylor: My Stroke of Insight  18:44 {CLICK HERE}

Mama mia!!!  This one is fascinating!   This is a woman who is actually a real-life brain scientist and who got to experience and study her own massive stroke as it happened.


Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability  20:19 {CLICK HERE}

More than 10 years ago God began to reveal to me how wholeheartedness, a characteristic I loved reading about in the life of Hezekiah, was not another word for workaholism, but actually the antidote to working oneself to death.  I bet God wishes I had wholeheartedly pursued more understanding about it.  I do.  But I never forgot and wondered…I use the word “wholehearted” a lot (as a user name on many websites, and it’s even my personal email name), but it still seemed mysterious to me.  In the middle of the night earlier this year, I felt compelled to discover something new about wholeheartedness, just sensing it was time to flesh out the next thing about it, and ran across this woman {what a delightful surprise}, this TED Talk and wow – LOVE!  Brene Brown says all the things I am still trying to find the courage to say.  Shame sucks.  Being wholehearted is being courageous and having the courage “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.”  This TED Talk, well, it has helped my daily existence on the earth.  I’m even in a book-club reading Brene right now.  :)  WATCH!

That’s enough TED Talks for today.  But there are more.  Oh yes, there are!  :)

The Gifts of Imperfection - Let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are (your guide to a wholehearted life)

Brene Brown on being a wholehearted person of “ordinary courage” from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection

TIP:  How to get dancer’s legs

Amelie spent the night here last weekend with her big sister, Averi, and her cousins, Gemma and Guini.  And the girl can plie like there is no tomorrow.  So can Gemma.  Where the rest of “us girls” dance and giggle and maybe are a bit silly, Gemma and Amelie are serious dancers and have the muscular control and beautifully proportioned legs to show it!  We danced last weekend!  Gemma said, “Oh Nonna, I’m so tired, but this music just keeps me dancing!”

Last night Amelie Belle stayed here all by herself for the first time ever, because, as she told me, “I’m a big kid, now.”  Soon to be four and fiercely independent, yes – she is a big kid now.

For over an hour, all the way until she said, “I’m sleepy, Nonna,” she danced and twirled and plied and swooned and swished.  She loves getting to go to the record player, which happened to have a Perry Como album in place, to lift the arm and set it carefully down.  She finds having control over the volume of the surround-sound quite intoxicating, too.

And so she dances.  And dances.  And dances some more.  And in between dancing, she walks about on her tip-toes and maintains her dancer’s form, a ballotté here, a cabriole there and those little, tiny 3-year old legs are stronger than strong.

granddaughters twirling feb 2014

Blurry, because that is how dancing is.  :)

First thing this morning, after a pancake breakfast with Poppa my Tiny Dancer asked, “Can I put the music on?”  And Perry crooned to his band while she, up on her twinkle-toes, stretched and swirled and penchéted about the room and her strong, little muscle-y legs lifted her in a fancy-flight of joy.

Do you want to know, now, how to have dancer’s legs?  Dance, my sweets.  Dance and dance.  Dance before bed and the first thing upon rising.  Walk on your tip-toes and pretend you are the best that ever was, because soon you will be.  And with strong, beautiful dancer’s legs, too.

amelie's book

The Tiny Dancer, pre-school with Nonna



The Lost & Found

I once was lost, but now I’m found

feeling lost

In her book, Becoming Myself ~ Embracing God’s Dream of You*, Staci Eldredge says that on our journey to becoming who we were really created to be, we get lost now and then.  I know that is true, because I have been lost several times.  Each time I gather my bearings and get set back on track,  I think it will never happen again – I’ll never be that far away from where I should be again.

“The road of life is filled with many tempting parking places.” – seen on my high school music room chalkboard…I may have been the person who wrote it there

I thought that was a hilarious quote when I was a teen-ager.  But it hasn’t been the parking places that have gotten me off-course so much as my need for speed and the desire to get a move on – even before I know where I am really supposed to be going.

I got lost in the late 80s, then again in the early 90s (really lost).  I got slightly off course in my late 30s and ended up in outer Siberia in 2006!  And {true confession} I have been trying to find my way back to civilization in this most recent year or so.  I got lost.  Again.

And so – I LOVE this, yes, I do.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”   Luke 19.10 NLT

And I think of those paintings of Jesus with that one lost lamb in His arms and I realize I have always thought that meant He’d come for you before you were one of His actual followers, but then – you better stay in the flock.  I thought each sheep got one pass for being found.  Now I know – He comes and finds us every. single. time.

jesus and the lambclick image for source

His eye is on the sparrow – and I know He watches me

Not too long ago, in a time of deep soul-searching, pain and regret, I was questioning the love of God at all for me.  Why would He, how could He (?) when I can make such a terrible mess of things, hurt people I love the most and somehow manage to ruin His entire plan of salvation for the whole earth by my ineptitude?  (ego, anyone?)…I was having one of those snot-filled, Bible-clutching, for-such-a-worm-as-I moments declaring my utter worthlessness to God.  My thought was – well, He is surely finished with me now.  I won’t have more chances, He’ll discover what I always knew – I wasn’t worth saving to begin with.  I have let Him down, for good.

Oh, it was ugly.

Suddenly, a very clear picture was in my mind.  I won’t say it was a vision, except that I can still see it vividly and  I do feel the God of the Universe imprinted something into my heart for good.  I like to share it so my friends can remind me when I start feeling melancholy and sorry for myself –  when I go off-track again.

Here is what I saw, in full-color:

A mom with a toddler entering a Target store.  She puts the toddler on the floor for just a second with the instruction to stand right there while she gets the seat ready and cleaned and hoists her bag into the back of the cart.  The toddler looks at her and down the aisle.  And of course – that baby girl takes off down the main aisle between Health and Beauty and the grocery side.  The mom calls out, the little girl looks back,  but keeps going, passing aisle 6.  I see the mom disentangling her hand from the straps she had been preparing in the seat for the little girl’s safety.  I see customers strolling nonchalantly in front of her as she tries to break free and go.  The little girl looks back, passes aisle 7, then aisle 8, then darts to the left.  But the mommy knows exactly where she is, for in spite of all going on in that store, even though people were in her way – her gaze never lifted from her tiny treasure who was running madly down that store  aisle.  That was her girl, her baby and she pursued with gusto.

And I saw that scene in my mind’s eye and with it came the understanding.  She had told that baby girl to stay right near her.  But when the little one took off, she did not say, “Well – that’s fine.  If she is not going to obey she can just go then.  I am going home.  I don’t need this.”  No – the mom watched, and stayed focused, never losing sight and went to get her daughter.  I think of the old hymn,

“O Love that will not let me go…”

Sometimes we do run out ahead.  Sometimes we take off like a bat out of hell to go do good things, things we think will please God and we have darted to the right and then to the left and then when we crash we think we’re alone, but the loving gaze of the Father has been on us all along.

He imparted to my heart that day – where are you going?  I’ll go there.  If you turn right, I’ll turn right.  If you go left, then I’ll follow you left – I am not going to lose sight of you.  I have got you in my sights regardless of which way you go.  Where do you want to go, Jeanie?

Scandulous, I thought!

Even if I make my bed in hell

My heart was pounding with this image of a small girl and her mommy in Target – wondering if I had concocted some imaginary view of Almighty God to make myself feel better, but His word confirms this for us:

Where could I go from Your Spirit? Or where could I flee from Your presence? If I ascend up into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol (the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning or dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there shall Your hand lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  Psalm 139.7-10 AMP

I love how the NKJV translates verse 8, “If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.”  Talk about a love that does not let go!

So, be encouraged…

Feeling lost?  Did you get a great idea and take off down the aisle trying to move mountains for the Kingdom and finally end up in a place you can tell you don’t belong?  Are you through trying to justify how you got here and willing to admit that your personal GPS failed you and you need directions?   Can you admit you are desperately, wholly lost and need rescuing?

I have so been there.  So just stop for a minute, and listen.  He has not wiped His hands of you.  The scar remains – the signifying mark of His dying and undying love for you.  He has not cast you into utter darkness for disobedience and He totally, completely knows how to get you back to the narrow road.  You are just lost.  Listen:

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30.21 NIV

And just like that! *snap of the fingers   You are found.  And that is some pretty amazing grace.

{{Learning to trust Jesus, learning to love Him because He first loved me, Jeanie}}

becoming myself staci eldredge

*CLICK HERE: Becoming Myself ~ Embracing God’s Dream of You, is available for Kindle for only 99-cents through February 19, 2014.  Get it! 

Colorado on Ice

out the winter window

I am freezing here in Colorado!

ice crystals on branches ice crystals one morning

Ice crystals on all the trees.  Pretty.

It is like we are living in the Disney Frozen movie!  Perhaps partially because today I’ll be fashioning a 3-foot “Olaf” combination cake/Rice-Krispie-Treat for Averi’s 6th birthday celebration and there just happens to be a 4′ backdrop painting of Olaf here, too, courtesy of Grand-poppa!  So besides actually being beyond-believable COLD, Olaf is hanging around my house.

015 olaf

{Big Frozen party Saturday!  Because Averi is 6!}

038 olaf backdrop

Um, The Broncos lost.

Gavin and his bronco chalkboard

But didn’t Gavin do a nice chalkboard, anyway?

And I don’t like football anyway – how did I get sucked in to that horrible game?  But Payton Manning seems like an honorable athlete.  Here is a win, though – my friend Pearl carved a snow sculpture in her front yard before the game.  Cool, huh?

pearl younger's bronco snow sculpture 2


So Donald Miller opened {this} can of worms the other day

“I Don’t Worship God by Singing.  I Connect with Him Elsewhere.

“It’s just that I don’t experience that intimacy in a traditional worship service. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of sermons I actually remember. So to be brutally honest, I don’t learn much about God hearing a sermon and I don’t connect with him by singing songs to him. So, like most men, a traditional church service can be somewhat long and difficult to get through.

“So, do I attend church? Not often, to be honest.”

And when I read it, I thought, “You crazy guy – do you know what you’ve done???”  Because it doesn’t matter how many years of perfect gold star attendance pins you’ve earned, if you’re not showing up regularly now,  there will be trouble!

perfect sunday school attendance pin

His post got more than 400 comments , a follow-up post from Mr. Miller, himself and several other bloggers chiming in on the topic.  These two are thought-provoking responses I read (but oh my goodness – there are many more out there):

Mike Cosper wrote about “Donald Miller and the Culture of Contemporary Worship” and this is a true saying, I know it.

“…Miller, like so many others, has said, “No thanks. Doesn’t work for me.” And in this sense, I don’t blame him. But his solution is no less tragic. His new liturgy will orient his life around himself or around his work, and these masters will be as cruel and disappointing as any mega-church or celebrity pastor has ever been.”

Jonathan Leeman (The Gospel Coalition) wrote an open letter, “Dear Donald Miller” and made some strong points without just launching an attack, thank-you!

“And here’s where the rubber meets the road: I don’t know how we can say we love and belong to the church without loving and belonging to a church.”

Finally, here is Donald Miller’s follow-up: Why I Don’t Go to Church Very Often, a Follow Up Blog where he answers some of the more critical comments with thoughtful explanation.

I will tell you I have stood firmly on both sides of the topic, depending on whether I was full-time church staff, honestly.  Yes, honestly.  I can make a great case for the importance of the Body of Christ not neglecting the regular gathering and meeting together for the purpose of encouraging each other (Hebrews 10.25-26).  But I have also been a part of local churches that could have been summarized, when I finally got honest with myself, with Paul’s cutting words to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 11.17)

“Your meetings do more harm than good.”

Now you know I was born a church girl.  You know my very first sentence, spoken freely and repeated with glee hundreds of times was, “I’m gonna go to church!”  And I think we (me, too) especially, us Western-Church types have botched it so badly.  We have made a law of church attendance, idols of pulpit-people and rock stars of worship bands, practically enacting a shunning if some one doesn’t thrive on a steady diet of programs and personalities.   We’ve beat people with the church-attendance-is-the-test-of-righteousness bat or we’ve produced slick services meant to entice and lure them in with our “cool.”  And maybe we have missed the point completely of the gathering – meaning we may actually be doing things wrong to begin with?

“His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church…

From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4.16

Nonetheless, while I find myself in a church-search currently, these words by Anne Ortlund in her book, Love Me with Tough Love, compose a life-guiding question (one I have asked myself many times over many years) in light of the way the New Testament describes what the Church was, and how it worked at its’ inception.   And the answer to it is important – way more important than just where you are on Sunday mornings at 9 o’clock!

“Have I placed myself so deeply within a living, functioning local body that I myself am functioning in all these ways, and so living as a well-rounded, healthy, contributing member of the Body of Christ?”


Something to think about, yes?

Retweeted by Jeanie Rhoades  02.03.14

T. S. Harris?@T_S_Harris· Feb 3  “The animated Church inhales God’s power and presence and is then able to exhale the embodiment of the risen Christ.”  @lensweet #mrinow


A deal you should not miss out on!

becoming myself staci eldredge

Hurry-just 99-cents for Staci Eldredge’s Becoming Myself: Embracing God’s Dream of You {click here}.  SUCH a deal!  Get it.  Read it.  Them come to  my house and watch the video series she put together because Ransomed Heart sent it to me!  Yayyyyy!  Who is in?

Amelie Belle’s Progress Report

She knows how to pack her own lunch box.  A+

amelie's lunchbox

She works hard.  A+

amelie hard at work

She makes her Nonna happy.  A+

amelie school days

In super “cool,” but slightly warmer news

We have been able to use our fireplace much more often this year.  Usually we just don’t because it’s too hot.  But this year?  Very nice.  Toasty.

See?  THIS is what happens when I don’t blog for over a week.  It all comes crashing out in a tumble of odds and ends.  Whew. 

The End.


The American Dream

Mr Blandings Builds his Dream House

Muriel Blandings: I want it to be a soft green, not as blue-green as a robin’s egg, but not as yellow-green as daffodil buds. Now, the only sample I could get is a little too yellow, but don’t let whoever does it go to the other extreme and get it too blue. It should just be a sort of grayish-yellow-green. Now, the dining room. I’d like yellow. Not just yellow; a very gay yellow. Something bright and sunshine-y. I tell you, Mr. PeDelford, if you’ll send one of your men to the grocer for a pound of their best butter, and match that exactly, you can’t go wrong! Now, this is the paper we’re going to use in the hall. It’s flowered, but I don’t want the ceiling to match any of the colors of the flowers. There’s some little dots in the background, and it’s these dots I want you to match. Not the little greenish dot near the hollyhock leaf, but the little bluish dot between the rosebud and the Delphinium blossom. Is that clear? Now the kitchen is to be white. Not a cold, antiseptic hospital white. A little warmer, but still, not to suggest any other color but white. Now for the powder room – in here – I want you to match this thread, and don’t lose it. It’s the only spool I have and I had an awful time finding it! As you can see, it’s practically an apple red. Somewhere between a healthy winesap and an unripened Jonathan. Oh, excuse me…

Mr. PeDelford: You got that Charlie?

Charlie, Painter: Red, green, blue, yellow, white.

Mr. PeDelford: Check.

I thoroughly enjoyed it again.  It isn’t the greatest of all Carey Grant movies, but it has some of the greatest moments.  :)  Borrow from your local library!

mr blandings

Wanted:  Anyone who owns at least 40 acres, a house with good bones, a barn or two plus an assortment of interesting out-buildings, a couple of horses and some farming equipment (a great big tractor is a must) want to trade me for a suburban house in a small city just 20 minutes from the heart of Denver?  Comes with a few garden squares, a pool pad, 3-car garage, and really {extraordinarily} nice neighbors.

Thought I’d ask just in case I am living in your dream – because YOU are living in mine!

Let’s trade!   :)

Good-bye, Mr. Kincaid

Dave Madden played Reuben Kincaid on the Partridge Family 1970s TV Show

dave madden

If you have been around this blog much, you know I loved my Partridge Family when I was a pre-teen/barely-teen.

So my sister actually texted me words of comfort about the passing of Dave Madden yesterday, the actor who played the Partridge family’s longsuffering manager on the TV sitcom from 1970-1974.  He died the same day as the Professor from the 1960s show I loved to hate,  Gilligan’s Island (Russell Johnson-he was a gorgeous man).


Oh my goodness.  Reuben Kincaid up against the impish, red-headed 10-year-old Danny Partridge just made the show so funny.  I was hoping to find a short clip of one of their conversations and this was the shortest I could find.  And yes, it still does actually make me smile, probably even laugh.

I really think this musical-family show was his best-known role, but for many years following the end of The Partridge Family I recall hearing Dave Madden’s distinctive voice in commercials and voice-overs.   Here is a Partridge Family song featuring Mr. Kincaid.  I really want to own that orange, floral-print dress.  I do!

Farewell, Reuben Kincaid.  Thank-you for all the laughter.  Rest in Peace, Dave Madden.  Rest in peace.