Taylor Mathews

If you don't know that name yet, you soon will.

Two days ago, I got to meet Taylor Mathews and his family.  I KNOW!!  Precious, precious people.

I didn't get a picture with him because we forgot our camera, but it's okay because I have a feeling I'll be seeing him again. We're hoping to bring him in for a concert here some time in the not-too-distant future. Oooooh, I hope, I hope, I hope!

He ended his set with this song. I couldn't have been happier!  
[insert absolute delight paired with captivated here

I was decaptivited is what.
Decaptivited by that voice!


The Sunday Six: Sase

Sase : Romanian

Welcome! Welcome!
I'm tho happy to thee juithe!
Let'th get thtarted! 

And in case you have not been formally introduced to the illustriousness that is Dave Barnes at Chreethmathtime, please click HERE.


Three cheers for
tights, leggings, and fall shoes!
Come quickly cool weather.  Hasten thyself!

I fancy myself a girl who loves to take walks.
I can't say for sure how I know this about myself,
for I haven't had much opportunity for the activity,
but I just know in my knower,
that this is just the type of place I love walk in.

Le sigh.

My favorite cool weather scent in all the land
(that I know of, of course)
is Coco, Mademoiselle. 
If it tasted as good as it smells, I'd drink it.
Fo. Sho.
I haven't worn a watch in years, (years I say!) but when I saw this,
for the first time in the longest I WANTED a watch.
I wanted this watch.
You know my two favorite days of all the seasons?
The first real Spring day after the misery of cold, wet Winter.
The 2nd? The first real Fall day after the misery of
One of which is just around the corner!
Yippity Skippity!

The first cool snap hits and I'm like a philly!
I want to go outside and get to buckin' and jumpin'!

Running.  I've put off getting back to it all Summer, because well, while I love running, I also love not dying, and also, I was giving myself time to heal from Ankle Incident of the Summer of Twenty Ten.  A.I.o.t.S.o.T.T. for short.  With cooler temps on the horizon I think it's time I kick it back into gear.  I'm looking forward to the fresh air and the sore calves. Bring it!

And that is how it's done.

Have a Happy Sundee!
...can't wait to read yours!



This week is my 6th week posting The Sunday Six.
That makes it some sort of Anniversary Of Sorts.

(channeling Dave Barnes)

Tho, ath my gift to juithe (you) I am making Thee Thunday Theex available to juithe,
to play along with me.  The fun, it thall be thared with juithe, all of my frienth!
(roll those r's people... they're meant to rolled.)

Prepare thyself and be ready to link up on Sunday, if you should like to play along!!

Invite you frienths!
Thee you Thundayth, alright?
(roll the r's) 

(the Dave Barnes)


I Just Had To Tell You!

You might be asking, 'Does this post really need two pictures?'  And I might be replying (in my best Minnesotan accent), 'Oh you betcha!  Youuuuu betcha.' 

(and shaking my head in the affirmative

Listen. I was introduced to something today by my precious friend Angela who is most definitely my bosom buddy because what else do you call someone who shares this sort of magical secrecy with you!?  What I have learned is nothing short of revolutionary.  Revolutionary!  I do not overstate.

What is a Tim Tam?, is the first part of the lesson (if you don't already know).  A Tim Tam is a morsel (created by Australian geniuses), so saporous, so divine, I am astonished it is even to be found this side of heaven.  It is layer upon layer of motherofpearlthatisdelicious! is what.  What you do with it is even mo' betta!  

If you wanna do it right, get you a cup o' coffee...  

Let me digress here and say this:
I don't typically like sweet stuff with my coffee.  
I find it sort of ruins it for me. 
I prefer coffee alone, 
and just plain ole' milk with my sweets,
thank you. 
That being said...

Get your coffee.  Now take a cookie and bite off one small corner.  Turn it around and bite off the opposite corner on the other end.  You're bitin' off "catty corners" is what it is.  What you have just made is a diagonal straw.  Oh yeah.  You heard me.

S. T. R. A. Dubya.

Now. Dip one bitten corner into your coffee and DRINK through the other bitten end.  You will die. Yes you will.  And then, then (as was instructed to me) you must immediately cram that cookie into your gob hole. 

Will you feel like a 7 year old girl? Yes you will. 

Will you love it?  Does Jesus love the little children?

You have no idea the marvelous surprises that await you! 
(I bet Mr. Arnott would agree with Mr. Wonka on this one.)


Ya feel me?

Boy, one of the most easily misconstrued things in writing is tone, huh?  I mean, who's with me?!
Just think of how quickly things can get out of hand on email or heavenhelpus, texting.

So today, I want to talk about tone.
(It always makes me feel like a teacher when I say that... Today, class... 
now all I need is a broken off jambox antenna so I can point to stuff on the "board".)


I just read this article on how to build your blog's voice, and it asks a question that I can't quite figure so I'm polling my people, and my people is you.  The one reading right now.

Yeah das right.  You.

What would you say the tone is here?
What does this page feel like, and sound like?

My aim is at interesting and friendly; a smattering of light and sassy here,
a dose of pensive and reflective there. 

Earnest. Whimsical. 

Not bossy, conceited, stabby or critical.

So when you read, what is that you hear?
Help a sista out, please and thank you.



I just finished reading Serena Woods' Grace is for Sinners.
If you haven't read it, you should.  And you'll probably want to subscribe to her blog, too, because it is the shiz.
I read the last page of her book and went back to the first, to read it again.
As someone who sometimes hoards grace, I need this stuff tattooed on my soul.

hoard - to gather or accumulate in a hidden or carefully guarded place.

disclaimer: This is not an official review of the book.  
Reading it has gotten me thinking, and these are my thoughts.


A change in our way of thinking is always radical and deliberate.

Some ways of thinking are especially difficult to relinquish.  For instance, I find it unsettling -- it makes me very uncomfortable -- when people do things I've deemed unacceptable. What I want to address here today is not the behaviors, but how I treat the people who do the ones on my Dirty List.

I have people in my life that I've actively disapproved of and withheld grace from.  Scripture is very clear about not conforming to the world.  True.  Yet it is also clear that while we are to be hard on sin, we are to be tender with sinners.  I have blurred that line, not knowing how to keep the two separate, forgetting that the highest law, thereby my highest responsibility, is not eradicating sin from the church and keeping my life sanitary.  It's love.  Extravagant love.
[ Wake Up from Your Sleep ] Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.  Ephesians 5:1
I have not loved extravagantly.  What I have done is feared extravagantly.  I have self-protected extravagantly.  I have judged and hurt extravagantly.   I have put "healthy boundaries" before extravagant love.  (There is a place for healthy boundaries, but they're not to be abused in the interest of self-protection.)

I've been afraid of other people's sin, fearful that by mixing with them I'm condoning the sin or worse, that I'll catch it, so I've kept a "safe" distance... like my own sin is less detestable.  I'm ashamed of that; of drawing the line where God has not.  If God has not seen fit to change their hearts who am I to judge them?  Who am I "helping" by being the voice of a "solid Christian", using my words to make it harder for them to find their way back to him? Their story is not over yet, but He knows it all.  He wrote it. It's not my job to "protect his name".  He's a big boy.  He can fight his own fights.  See because when he fights, he doesn't damage people.  When I fight "for Him", I do.

Clearly I have my hands full with sins of my own. Enough to keep myself busy with my own plank.
"Don't pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It's easy to see a smudge on your neighbor's face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, 'Let me wash your face for you,' when your own face is distorted by contempt? It's this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor."  
Matthew 7:1-5 

 Too often I think we, God's Fan Club, have twisted Scripture.  We read "as iron sharpens iron" and we think that's license to be assholes to each other.  I think that when we've had a long track record of self control and good behavior, we're worse.  We relish getting to watch someone "get what's coming to them".  We're the prodigal son's brother.  Maybe you haven't been... but I have.  I grew up hearing a relative always saying, "every dog has his day".  There is a part of our fallen nature that loves to watch sin destroy someone.  And then we shake our heads and say, "so sad, what a shame", when really nothing pleases us more to see their sin punished.  Grace for us.  Punishment for them.  But is that the heart of God?  Does he enjoy watching someone ripped to shreds by sin?  Even their own?

Changing my way of thinking is no clean break.  It is messy business and to keep myself on the right path, I have to continually remember that Christians don't sin because they want to.  
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  Romans 7:18-20

There's more to it than what I can see; things are not as they appear.  God is sovereign in all things, at all times.  His plan is in action, right now, even in "them", just as it is in me.  Why do I give myself more grace than I'm willing to offer them?

What if, instead of hoarding, I really gave people the same grace I crave?  
How would my treatment of people change 
if I followed the higher law of Do Unto Others?

God isn't accepting applications for people to point out why other people need Jesus. He already has someone handling that department.  The Holy Spirit.  And his name is not Jodie.

As I write this, I don't wish to come off as a know-it-all.  I still have hard questions.  I do. I still get tangled in my thoughts. I miss the mark, and I will again.  But ultimately, who am I to say where God is, or isn't?  I cannot hear what he whispers to your heart just as you can't hear what he whispers to mine... and I don't go around blabbing it.  So maybe, just maybe, what he says to you is your own special secret, as much it is mine when he speaks to me.

God didn't take me on as one of his because I am such a good girl.  A good mascot.  Even today as I write there are things in my life that I struggle with... things I feel mastered by and thirst to be freed from.  I know that God is working in me, that he is in this struggle with me, proof that the presence of sin is not equivalent to the absence of God.  And as I struggle to get free, I am highly offended when people "help me" along the way with comments like, "I thought you were quitting that".  A taste of my own medicine maybe...

I need grace and space to breathe.  Grace to be where I am in my struggle.  I need you to be gracious, and God to be God. And I would think you need the same thing from me. 

Lord, help me to freely give the same freedom you've lavished on me.  
Help me Jesus, to not be a Grace Hoarder.
In your strong and holy name,  Amen.


The Sunday Six: Fünf

And isn't that fun to say?  Fünf
I like it.

In the words of the great Willy Wonka...
on we go!

Books.  Good ones.  Read any lately?
(I have.  I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.)

Tree houses.  I want one.  Comme la.
Who do I need to contact about procuring this?

My dream job is to be a unicorn.

(Oh, like yours isn't?)

(Women be shoppin'!)
Found me a AWESOME sweater this week.
If you know me, you will be sick of this sweater by January because I plan to wear it OUT.

five (fünf)
Speaking of shopping, look at this dress.
I think I'm in lurve.
They call it the Classic Dress.
(They are not very creative in the Naming Department.)
Also I wonder, does Classic mean Expensive?

The Grace of God.
It is assaulting my mind right now.

Happy Sunday, y'all!


An Effective Title Would Fit Nicely Right Here

My brain is swamped.

A tract of wet, spongy land.

And for good reason, as you'll soon see.

Last year, we home schooled for the first time.  God let us in on that little nugget in late July.  LATE JULY.  As in, pert near August.  You know, the month when school starts.  AARRGGGH! For days, all I day dreamed (and night dreamed) about was curriculum.  My head was wrecked.  But you know God, he's a fan of the 11th hour. 

This year, he did it again.  (See?  Big fan.)  We're still home schooling, like I knew we would.  (It was made real clear to me when I said yes that I was saying yes to two years.)  (Now that we're doing what we're doing this year, I'm pretty sure it'll be more than two, but I believe He knew that was all his tender little girl could shake on at the time.)

Late in July, I sent out an SOS in the form of an email to my sister-in-law because I was in need of some HELP ME! in the home school department.  She was all excited because she was doing something different this year and she "just knew" it was "up my alley".  Why?  Because it focuses heavily on Grammar, and writing.  So I was all, "Woo to the Hoo"! 

It's called Classical Conversations.  For detailed information, you can follow the link, but let me just tell you the part that snagged me.  By the end of the year, my kids are gonna be really smart (thereby validating that I'm doing something right).

And also, by the end of the year, I am going to have a really solid Elementary Education.  I'm really looking forward to it.  Don't quiz me now, but in May, I'm pretty sure I'll even be able to find things on a map and such as.  And name all the POTUS's.

I might even qualify as a contestant on Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

Yeah.  I'm 'onna go 'head and lock that in.


She's Still Gettin' Schooled in Slang

Coins slip through holes in the bottom of his wallet and clank clank on the floor.

"This wallet stinks.  I need another one."

As he says it, she walks in from another room, up to where he's standing.  "It does?"

Disgruntled... "Yes."

"Let me smell it."


The Sunday Six: Fire

Again with the Norwegian.  What?  It's cool.  

Speaking of cool, [and that is what I call a successful segue],  I'm ready for Fall.  Also, with an October birthday right around the corner (subliminal message), pleath excuthe while I thop mythelf thilly!

(It is gonna be really hard for me to not write the rest of this post with a lisp. I make no promitheth to behave mythelf.) 

one, two (buckle my shoe)

Take a gander at these puppies.  (Puppieth!) Are they not delight-filled?  These would make my dogs happy.  Real happy.  
1. (source)  2. (source)
I really like the whole look this girl's got going on here.  The layering of the short sleeve over the long.  Real nithe.  Real nithe.

four (fire) 
Skinny Jeans.  Another thing I thought I could never love.  It's like I don't even know myself.  I still don't actually own a pair (sob!) -- not so sure I'm the right shape for them. The question being, am I too thick for the skinny?  Who knows... But I think I could love these... I do have a super big crush on them.


This clutch.  I don't often (mostly never) have occasion to carry something this fant see,  but if I should need one, this is the one I should very much like to have.
Okay, so let's see now,  I've got the jeans, the shoes, the bag and the cardigan.  All I need now is someplace to go.

For a long walk in this lovely Wood, for example, in which case I'd go with shoe option #2.  
 I fear though, that a walk of this kind may render my clutch useless.   
Unless of course I find a baby hedgehog!  
(And of course I would in a wood as lovely as such a one to house such a tree!)
(And such.)
...and when I do, I'll need something to bring her home in.
 The clutch!

Truly, you don't expect I could resist such a face as this, do you?  
Could you?
I really need a hedgehog now.
By the way, hérisson is how you say hedgehog in French.
I think that's what I'd name her.

Happy Thunday, Lovelieth.
xo, Jodie


Fakebook Status Update


You know the hardest thing about being vegan?
It's not eating all of the vegetables, as you might imagine. 

It's the part about not getting to eat meat.  And cheese. 

Oh, and meat and cheese together.  

In the shape of cheeseburgers and such (as).

That's why I'm only part-vegan.  

I cheat every weekend (with all things carnivorous).  

And also every morning (half 'n half in the coffee).

I blame my blood type.

I hear the first Type Os were hunters.

Can't fight City Hall.


The Sunday Six: Trzy

Trzy is how you say three in Polish.  Or at least that's how you spell it.   Just for fun, I will "number" them each week in varying foreign languages. I'll go with the scientific method of choosing whichever one sounds the coolest.  We're gonna get our learn on.  Boom. Educated.

You're welcome.

Or should I say, Du er velkommen.


Onto business.

Sometimes I like to dress like a young lass.

Some other times I prefer to dress like a Meir Meir. [If you don't know what a Meir Meir is, it's French for Mom Mom which essentially translates into Maw Maw.]

It's why my heart loves these both so equally and so much.

one, two [buckle my shoe]

Picnik photo editing.  Have you tried it yet?  It's how I edited those two photos (and created my cute little Sunday Six thing, which I also lurve).  Fun + Free.  (2) pts to Picnik!

Jazz for Kids.  I was initially taken with the cover because well, I'm a sucker for good packaging.  Sometimes a package is the best thing about a thing, but not this thing.  I tried to find a way to let you hear some of it, but there is nowhere on the internet to do that.  I scoured, I promise.  Nothing.  Kids love it.  I love it.  That's what I call a happy marriage.

This Leigh Nash lyric:
It takes years for rocks
to be made smooth.

Amen sister.

Weekends!  My little family is all together and we relax and do fun things... like sitting around kenching and yamming with our friends.  I hope you've enjoyed yours as much as we've enjoyed ours.  Sincerely, Jodie



For a while now I've been trying to put into words why I've been away for so long.  This year has been long and lean for me.  In terms of seasons, I'd call it a hard Winter.  My posting was scarce because I didn't know how to talk about it.  I just couldn't find all the right words.  Fact is, I'm still wrestling with that.

About 30 weeks ago, give or take, I started a process of digging and dredging up wounds and hurts and bringing them to Jesus.  The work has been both grueling and beautiful.  It's been both ugly and a buoy.  I'm learning how to pray in a way that brings those parts of my heart and my sin to the cross.  In alot of ways, before going through this tunnel, those were just words.  Now they are life.

The setting was a small group of women.  Strangers at first, friends at last.  There could be no other way for me except to walk this out in a public way, having to be seen and known. By people.  The risk was high because what was seen was difficult to show, but Jesus gave strength for the journey and continually showed me that great grace was (and is) covering me.  Being found out turned out to be freeing.  [I've exhaled a bunch this last few months.] I think I'll be treasuring this time for years and years and years.  I imagine myself sitting with some of these women in Heaven, talking and laughing about this time, hearts bursting with thanks and love.  Seeing it my mind, it makes me smile.

Over the course of my life, I had set up memorial stones in my heart.  Most of them places I held onto to remember against God.  Places he left me unprotected, prayers unanswered, disappointments and hurts piled one on top of the other, forming a heavy rock in my heart and fake smile to hide behind on my face.  Because I didn't want to talk about it.  I wasn't sure how to talk about it.  How to tell people that "I'm so mad at God." I spent the last year talking about that, telling on myself and exposing my ugly.  I spent a year being publicly angry, in a bad mood, wondering if it would ever lift.  The hard part wasn't being mad because I'd been raging for a really long time anyway.  The hard part was having to let people see that I was so angry and so broken in so many ways.  One of the most valuable things I learned, and there are many, is this: I can be where I am, without pretense, without falseness, and I'm learning to be where I am without despair because I'm learning that my pain and my being in a "bad" place is not a death sentence, and it's not something I did wrong.  I'm learning to take my grief and bring my lament to Jesus, and let him have it.  Uncensored. I'm learning to pray prayers with teeth.

This year, the Holy Spirit has put his finger on many things.  One of the most recent is expectation, and how my expectations have been my undoing, the thing that has robbed my life right out of my hands.  The thing that has rendered me incapable of enjoying what I have, unable to see past what I thought my life should be like.

I turned 30 this year.  We reached 8 years in our marriage, and this marks my 10th year of being a believer.  Big milestones, and each one came heavy-laden with life-long expectations of what I thought my life should look like by now.  My hopes and my reality didn't meet, and I hit a low, the likes of which I've not seen in years.  Going through this tunnel, orchestrated by God, my life went dark and the pain only increased, and I became even more angry, more sad, more crushed, but I pressed in and pressed on, and now I'm seeing alot more light.  I'm seeing myself being changed, inch by inch, and I don't feel so hopeless anymore.

Something I'm yearning for right now is to find my own voice, especially here, writing out my life and my heart.  I've wrestled with insecurity and it's caused me to walk with a limp.  I've wished to be wise like ___, witty like ___, funny like ___, popular like ___ and warm like ___.  I've struggled, feeling like my voice wasn't good enough.  Those fears have crawled all over my skin... thinking myself not enough, and hating the obsessiveness of searching for earthly fame.  So I'm purposing to not slip back into that place.  To not try to cover myself with that protective shell, but to instead look to Jesus to tell me who I am... that I don't have to seek fame here when Heaven already knows my name.  When I really see that, that really is enough.

When I was in my 20s I envied people in their 30s because they seemed to hold something that slipped through my fingers.  I had no idea how they got there, but I knew for sure that I wanted it, and wanted it bad.  Even now it's hard to articulate, but I think what I was vying for, was that they knew who they were and they were just being that.  I think I'm getting there.

I think I'm getting there.


The Sunday Six: Edition 2

Are you excited? I'm excited!
Okay, here we go.

I tell you, I never thought I could love booties at all, but I was so wrong about me. My heart beats wildly when I look at these.

The ruffle on the backside kills me.  I swear, I would wear the soles right off of these bad boys. 

Well it's easy to see why anyone would be over the moon for these is what I say.  They have such an Eliza Bennett feel which is precisely why I need them.

These are aptly named three-six-five booties.  It wouldn't hurt my feelings to have to wear them 365 24/7, I can tell you that right now.  (Again with the Eliza Bennett but how could I not love a shoe that has the power to make me feel so much like her?!) 

Bow barrettes.  Aren't they the best?  I hope I'm never too old for them because I don't ever plan to stop wearing them.  And these ones are only a buck fitty for a set of (3).  Can't beat that with a stick.


You know what else I'm really enjoying right now is Swagbucks.  I just earned my 2nd $5 Amazon gift card.  Second one in about 2 1/2 months.  Ten American Dollars.  Do the math.  Now I can scratch a title or two off of my ever-growing book list and make room for new ones.

I love y'all!  The fact that you come here at all and participate and say nice things to me... I tell you what,  y'all are the best.  TOP SHELF!   xo, Jodie