Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

Oh Deer….

Happy Tuesday!

Hope you are keeping warm – spring is coming…I promise!

I am sharing another thought that cropped up in my mind as I am mulling over this sermon series from our church.

(Side note…here is the link if you want to listen to the series

As I mentioned yesterday, I have strong tendencies to worry and can elevate a small thing into scenarios that are Oscar worthy as my mind spins and adds to the worse possible outcome of a situation. 

One memory of an anxiety attack that just screams about the futility of me worrying as I orchestrate how things are going to happen still stands out in vivid detail in my head and thankfully makes me laugh at the absurdity of my angst-habit.

Our Sarah was actively involved in all things musical throughout her schooling and so every year we made the trek to Charleston for some competition thing.

We usually made it a family trip but this particular year Russ must have been with John for a game and I drove Sarah down by myself. 

We had the Tahoe and somehow when the whole event was over and we were ready to leave the parking lot, I decided to just pull forward since the car in front of us had backed out and with all the cars leaving at the same time, it seemed safer to do so.

Except for the fact that I had forgotten there was a concrete curb separating the two slots. 

As the Tahoe clumsily traversed the block, I cringed and Sarah gasped and there was nothing to do but continue forward and get the back wheels over it and then stew my way out of the city and on to the highway. 

I fretted about what I would have done to the tires…the alignment…any metal underneath that I may have scraped…how could I be so stupid…how could I respond to Russ’s question as to what the heck was I thinking…if worry was knit stitches, I had a good sized afghan going as we made our dreaded way toward home. 

However all of my worry and anxiety and fear of damage incurred was abruptly interrupted as Sarah called out “Deer!” and I saw Bambi’s mother stare through the windshield into my eyes and then a gentle poof and we began to lose momentum and an odd smell filled the inside of the car. 

I pulled over and we got out to observe that we no longer had a front to the Tahoe. 

The grill was gone, the headlight on Sarah’s side vanished, the innards were exposed and steam ascended as various liquids dripped…and we began the process of calling dad to see what our next step should be. 

As we sat in the dark marveling that we had just killed a deer and wrecked our car and her violin was still sitting nice and safe on the seat behind us and we had experienced not even a jerk from the impact, Sarah said…well…at least we don’t have to worry about that little alignment issue. 

Oh  my gosh. 

I still laugh. 

Sure it was a nasty deal to the car but thankfully we were safe. 

And come on. 

You have to see the humor in the irony of how futile all my worry was in the long run of that day. 

And Jesus said…don’t worry about tomorrow…tomorrow will have it’s own worries…or in my paraphrase…don’t worry about driving over the curb and wrecking the alignment because tomorrow may bring an encounter with a large mammal and you will lose the whole front of your SUV….

His grace is sufficient.

Sufficient when we jump a curb and sufficient when we hit a deer. 

When worry becomes a magic charm….

Are you working today or is President’s Day a holiday in your world?

We are kind of both today.

It is a holiday but Russ had to go in for a while to do some things so I am semi-holiday mode and semi-regular day mode which means I am still in my pj’s but have started the Monday laundry chores.

We are in the second week of a short series called “Be Anxious for Nothing” at our church and I am taking it to heart so at least for a few days…and maybe the whole week…we are going to visit this a little bit.

I come from a long line of worriers who wish they weren’t.

My mom used to send a weekly letter…typed margin to margin…front and back…in quadruplicate…to my sister, my aunt and her husband, my uncle and his wife, and to my family.

It updated us on all the details of every day the past week including food eaten, appointments kept and places and friends seen. 

I am not kidding. 

Every. Week.

At the top she often penned a handwritten note with an encouraging verse or quote that basically said to let go and let God handle things…but the letter was filled with anxiety and worry. 

Typed line after typed line. 

Bless her heart.

And yet, so often I have done the same. 

As I have been working through the material for this week’s study, I faced the question and concept that was shared in the sermon this past Sunday.

Based on an article in Psychology Today, our pastor explored the theory that we somehow along the way in our lives begin to assign to worry the capacity to actually keep us from the thing we are worrying about. 

I am certain there are some easy-breezy folks out there that shake their head at the insanity of such an idea ..but I am one who nodded her head because it resonates deep within me. 

I can pinpoint in the development of my own perspective on navigating life that around the age of ten, I started to notice something. 

I was in fourth grade and living in a smallish town in Kentucky. 

Neighborhoods were linked together with fairly safe roads for a kid to ride her bike and as I began to be given more freedom to head off on my own for an afternoon of play, I found that some days my mom was not at all concerned where I was and other days she would need me for something and would begin calling for me to come home. 

Besides the capacity to worry, we Ploch/Lochner descendants are blessed with voices that carry a country mile so if I was out of ear shot….I was too far from home. 

If she had tried to rally me and I didn’t respond, the result was that she was full of angst when I returned.

I had “worried her sick” and the consequences produced a large amount of guilt in me as all maladies for the next several hours or days could be attributed to my being out and about and not letting her know where I was.

So I would begin to worry and check back in to see if she had called for me…and she never had. 

All was well.

She had been sewing or cleaning or doing whatever she did while I was traipsing around the neighborhood and I could go back out and be free for awhile. 

Except I wasn’t free. 

Because just like the report in that magazine, I began to connect that my worrying was somehow the magic charm that kept her from being upset with me. 

If I was carefree and having fun exploring the creek with a friend, that was the time I didn’t hear her calling…but if I fretted and kept a low-level guilt on the back burner while I played…that seemed to be the ticket. 

And it became a life-long pattern.

Worry – and everything will be fine.

Don’t worry – and face the consequences which are usually quite heavy.

I am not blaming my mom for this.

I probably would have been wiser to learn the discipline of time management and making sure I was working within her expectations for checking in, but instead I made a magic charm out of “worry.”

In an odd way, worry became my little g-god….and it’s been a hard habit to break. 

But praise my Big-G God…He is always in the business of helping me grow up. 

How about you? 

Is there any way that God may be trying to get you to see that you have allowed a little-g god like fear, dread or worry to replace Him on the throne of your heart? 

It is time to grow up and obey God when He says….

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.

Philippians 4:6 The Message

A heart of gratitude <3

Good morning!

I have been using this week on the blog to write about ways I want to love better by following Christ better  <3

I am one of those people who loves Valentine’s Day just because it’s fun to watch little kids bring home boxes from school full of little paper cards and sweet treats. 

It’s a day where you can simply show some love to friends and family in whatever small way you like and all the pink and red brighten up where the cold of winter has started to wear us down a little. 

I had some ideas to wrap up the week, but here I sit and all I have is just a funny story from last weekend…so all deep thoughts of love aside…enjoy a slice of our life <3

Last Saturday Graham received a $5 off certificate to Meatheads for passing the ball well at his basketball game. 

We had planned to take everyone out anyway to grab a bite so to Meatheads we went. 

$60 later and with our tummy’s full of meat and fries…our laps full of crumbs…our faces full of ketchup and our hearts full of love, we piled in cars to head back to the house where daddy would be just getting home from work and we could wave our bye byes and head home. 

Graham opted to ride with us and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I did what I always did when our own kiddos were little and I made it a point to say “Thank you Papi for the delicious dinner.”

Graham quickly caught the tide and chimed in with his own thank you.

This kid though.

He knows how to be funny and my my…I do love funny.

After a sincere thank you, and with perfect comic timing and an accurate impersonation of me..

 he added…

“And we should all be saying, ‘Thank you, Graham, for earning a free dinner so we could all go out and eat.’”

We laughed with him, but as I mulled that over in my head I did have to think how like me. 

God does all these incredibly kind and amazing things in my life and I do one little tiny good thing and think how the world owes me for my graciousness…I am cracking up here, but seriously….

Don’t we do that?

Ride along on God’s abundant grace and mercy and hold up a $5 off coupon as we feast at His overflowing table of love? 

Oh from the mouths of babes.

Let’s all stop a minute today and just thank God for all that He has done for us. 

Let me help you…this is from the Valley of Vision; a book of prayers credited only to “the Puritans”…

“I thank thee for personal mercies, a measure of health, preservation of body, comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food and clothing, continuance of mental powers, my family, their mutual help and support, the delights of domestic harmony and peace, the seats now filled that might have been vacant, my country, church, Bible, faith.”

As I read that list, I think how rarely I stop and thank God for many of those things.

Let’s put our coupons down and express our gratitude to God. 

I hope you have a blessed weekend. 

You are loved <3

Monday <3

Did you watch the Super Bowl?

I kind of did. 

Maybe I am getting old, but I felt like I had to think too hard to figure out the commercials and it really wasn’t worth the effort so I didn’t. 

I kind of miss the days when the point of an ad was to persuade me I needed to purchase some M & M’s or order a pizza from a certain place, ASAP…. and not trying to get me to buy into a whole mind set and ideology that comes attached to the product. 

Let’s face it. 

I live in the middle of corn and soy bean country, work out my salvation with fear and trembling on the daily and have no regular contact with the celebrity energy that makes me a tad uncomfortable since I can’t understand most of what they are saying. 

So whatever they were advertising last night…I don’t think it was geared to me. 

And that’s okay because I am working on a knitting project that requires some concentration and there was nothing on the screen to distract me…including the game. 

Actually, most of our current culture and political decisions and popular themes are not geared to me and I do not plan to go out and start a campaign or develop a ribbon to put on the back of my car to make people aware of it. 

I wake up many mornings with a heavy heart for this nation and the direction we are headed and I pray. 

I pray hard for mercy. 

I pray hard for eyes to be opened and for wisdom in a world that is upside down. 

Remember how I confessed a sin of prayerlessness last week?

I realize it has taken awful things to get my attention. 

This is a pattern we see throughout Scripture. 

Things are good…people get comfortable…we start thinking the good stuff was all our doing…we forget God…He lets us have the control and power we think we are due…and we fall flat on our faces. 

Because we make lousy gods.

On Sunday after we took communion, the praise team sang the song “Remembrance”

With heads bowed in the soft lighting, our spirits filled and nourished with the bread and cup, I listened to the words. 

I will remember..and when I don’t…oh please remind me. 

In a noisy world where everyone is trying to get you to buy their agenda, there is One who reaches out with nail scarred hands and says…

Come to Me…you who are weary and burdened. 

Partner with Me and you will find strength for the journey and rest for your souls. 

Sounds super to me <3

Buried Treasure <3

Happy Friday!

I have been pursuing a bent to purge this whole month and I am actually sticking with it.

As I pull out the innards of various cabinets, drawers and boxes we packed for our move…ahem…two years ago…I am unearthing all kinds of treasures. 

A couple of days ago I found my old blackberry phone.

Let me pause here and just share that I LOVED that phone.

I was a whiz at typing and without autocorrect and Siri’s surly personality I managed to communicate effectively and my phone didn’t micromanage my life.

I also loved the record feature because when ideas for writing came it was super easy to just click on that and record my thoughts. 

These are treasures from my heart back when all I sent was this email once a week and I looked for things to write you all to encourage you that God is personal in our lives. 

Today I am sending you the typed transcript of one of my “meditations” from May 13, 2012.

It’s still relevant right down to me being late to class and hoping I can get my copies made. Every. Sunday.

Okay as I am rushing to church and I’m thinking that I may have to ask somebody to make the copies of our lesson for me for our class.

And I am thinking when you need somebody to do something for you, the person that you ask a lot of times isn’t the person who can do the best job. 

Like my thoughts right now aren’t “I want to find somebody who is the best copy maker.”

Because that’s not who I am going to be looking for. 

Who I am going to be looking for is someone who loves me, who will do it because they love me, and who will do it because they believe the notes for our class are important. 

Somebody who I can entrust them to, who I know will get them to me and who will not be upset or mad with me that I am imposing on them.

They are just going to do it. 

They believe in what I believe in. Like Lisa Peck is who I am thinking if I can catch her. 

And if they can run a copy machine or not isn’t even an issue. 

I can either tell them real quick what they need to do or I know they will find someone who can help them get the thing started up. So they can get it done and get the copies to me while I get the class started and the prayer requests covered. 

And I’m thinking that’s how Jesus is.

When He asks us to do things it’s because He trusts us that we love Him, that we are going to do it, that we are committed to the same cause He is. Not because we are the “best” at what it is, but because we can be entrusted with His mission.

Because we are passionate about it, too; partly because He’s passionate about it and partly because we love Him and so we really are passionate about the same things. 

I am adding this footnote to my message from 2012…whatever you are doing today…cleaning up macaroni and cheese from the floor for the ten billionth time…taking a phone message down for a boss or co-worker who took the day off….writing…fixing hair…prepping people for surgery…whatever…do it as unto the LORD

Do it with the knowledge that God has entrusted YOU to be doing what you are doing. 

Do it well, my friend. 

Do it well. 

It all matters <3