Monday Musings on “September” day…

Do you remember the 21st night of September?
Love was changing the minds of pretenders
While chasing the clouds away…” – 

One of our favorite movies is “Dan in Real Life.” (BTW: if you haven’t seen this one yet, it is time. And if you have seen it, it is time to watch it.) And one of our favorite scenes in the movie is the “family workout on the front lawn” scene where they do some Jazzercise (?) to Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “September.” (Stop, click on the link, & dance! You’ll thank me later.)  I needed that today.


I’m finding myself sending out a lot more “Help me God’ quick prayers lately. Feels like we’ve been “knee-deep in the proverbial alligators” for a while & it is only getting more intense. Also, I’m thankful for the Psalms. Just about every day, I find one in my daily reading that says EXACTLY what I want to say/pray… & so I make it my own & pray/read it.


Had a conversation with a 20something the  other day & realized that the majority of my “pop-culture” references (stories, analogies, & the like) are older than they are… which can really undermine the whole point of the analogy.

On that note, I turned 51 on Saturday. That probably has a lot to do with the previous observation. I’m contemplating starting sentences with “Back in my day…” (Not really. But I could.)


I have a confession – I am a serial book collector. And I currently have a stack of new (to me) books that I haven’t read; that stack continues to grow & (sometimes, like today) that stack seems to be looming over my desk like an insurmountable peak that will never be climbed. Over the years, I’ve tried to self-impose a moratorium on all future book buying until I thin the herd of current selections. (BTW – the new stack always has competition from my “old friend” books; you know, the ones that you re-read every year or 2? That stack isn’t shrinking either.) Inevitably, I hear about/read about a book that sounds SO interesting or good that I just have to make an exception for the book. And I buy it. And I put it on the stack.


A few of my favorite books to re-read:

  • Tom Clancy’s “Jack Ryan” & “Jack Ryan, Jr.” series
  • Conan –Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” collections
  • Pretty much anything CS Lewis, but especially “Mere Christianity,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” & “The Space Trilogy.”
  • Same for JRR Tolkien, though “The Lord of the Rings” is my favorite of his.
  • Same for Eugene Peterson – I love to re-read, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction,” regularly, as well as a handful of his other classics.
  • Jerry Cook’s “Love, Acceptance, & Forgiveness,” “The Monday Morning Church,” & “A Few Things I’ve Learned Since I Knew It All.”

What are your “go-to’s” for re-reading? What are your current reads?


Waking up & being able to see across the valley is underrated. Here’s to the fires in the vicinity (all of them actually) getting under control. The smoke can GO AWAY, post haste. Please & thank you.


I love talking to my elders (those who have a few years more experience & life under their belts.) I love getting their perspectives on our current difficulties, & hearing how they’ve experienced life disruptions (similar to the current one) at various times in their own lives. Inevitably, I come away encouraged, strengthened, & more resolved(?) to keep on keeping on.


A rainy day or 10 right about now would be greatly appreciated. (With no thunder & lightning, please.)


I’m discovering, more & more, that intentionally (& daily)  practicing gratefulness & thanksgiving has a way of completely shifting my outlook on life… for the better.

Happy Monday to you –

Taco! Taco!

For the last 5 or so Labor Days, theBean & I have rented a cabin at Lake Tahoe & then invited our kids & their families to come up & experience it & the Lake with us as their schedules allowed. We were inspired by the movie Dan in Real Life – (this is a must see. If you haven’t seen it before: WATCH IT! If you have: WATCH IT AGAIN. So good.) Anyway – we rent a cabin because it’s a great way to have ‘our’ cabin at Tahoe without the cost & upkeep of owning a cabin at Lake Tahoe.

One of our great joys over the last couple of visits to our cabin has been the anticipation we all experience in the week to 10 days preceding the getaway… as well as the fun of telling the grandkids about Lake Tahoe, the cabin, time together away, etc… Who cares if they have little to no understanding of what it means to “go to the cabin” or what “Lake Tahoe” is. They can sense the excitement we’re feeling & they want it too. Whatever “IT” is.


Which leads me to this afternoon: I was helping theWeez get MilaJoy & BrodyBenson to her car after a long, fun day at preschool. MilaJoy was crying & resisting leaving. Initially, I thought it was because she wanted to go with her Gram (favorite person on the planet. Of course she is.) Then, I heard MilaJoy saying “Taco! Taco!” & I thought to myself, “Oh, she’s hungry & she wants to eat a taco. Me too Mimi. Me too.”

But then theBean interpreted MilaJoy’s words: she was saying “Taco” but what she meant was “Tahoe.” After hearing all the stories about the cabin, the Lake, the swimming, the fun, she wanted to GO to Taco. Because even if she has zero clue what Tahoe is, what it means, & what she’ll do there, she knows that her favorite person (people? I can wish, right?) is going to Taco & if Gram will be at Taco, MilaJoy wants to be at Taco as well. I had BIG laugh at the sweetness of it all, & said a BIG “Thank you!” to Jesus for His provision for us in this season of life.

And then I sensed God talking to me. It was like He was saying, “Mila doesn’t have a clue about all that the destination of Taco means, but she knows who will be there, so she wants to go, & she wants to go now. She KNOWS Taco will be great because Gram will be there.”

To me, THIS is what childlike faith is – a belief & trust that the One I love & trust more than any other is inviting me to come with Him – to be with Him, even if it means I don’t have all the details of what it means to go with Him. Faith & trust reveal His invitation to be a good one, because HE is good & He is working things for good in, through, & around us.

And that is really something.