Sunday, January 10, 2016


I've moved! You can find me now  here. Blogger has been good to me but I'm loving the classic, clean lines of wordpress and so I'm setting my tent there. Oh, and the first part in the series is now up over there too. Hop on over and drop me a line :)

Saturday, January 9, 2016


“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis

As I prepare this series, I'm feeling like an anxious mother, wondering if this thing she's birthed will be understood, and if she even fully understands her own content. The awareness of my own life and the struggles I experience seem 10x bolder as I attempt to make them viewable for others.

This has been birthed over several years, as I watch women struggle with weak desires and low expectations. Easily satisfied with the far-too-little that is expected of us, we are surviving, and not thriving. Some of us want more, and some of us don't even know if we should.

Wherever you are, and whatever your context, this is for you. I'm nervous too, because I've seen many a blog mercilessly slaughtered, because people took offense at slight details, or refused to see it because it wasn't their experience.

Please hear my heart, and know that I want the absolute best that our Father has to offer for each of His children.

The first post will be up tomorrow :)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New Series Coming Up

Chalk it up to the new year, or to recent conversations with kindred spirits, or to thoughts and ideas simmering in my head, but I have Writers Itch and hope to have a new series on Vibrant Womanhood on the blog soon. I've had some response on one of my last posts on the bit about  Mennonite women being less interesting conversationally than the men, and I plan to revisit that in this new series. I am currently doing a study of different facets of womanhood and so while a lot will be for the ladies, I also plan to write a post for the guys as well. It might also involve a guest post too.... so stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Fighting against Morality Wars

I would first of all like to remind my readers that in our society, we no longer desire people's heads when unpopular ideas are given.

And since I have refreshed your minds on this important fact, I present what may be controversial and uncomfortable to some of my readers.

I'm sitting in my chair, stirred, grieved, and shaken by what I've just read in my current read: Searching For God Knows What, by Donald Miller. I know he's controversial, and I can't support everything he says, and I think he should be read alongside A.W.Tozer or somebody in his league, but he makes three staggering points in this book, and for those, I can recommend the book. I may do a more thorough book review later, but what I'm squirming under today is his serving up of morality wars.

He talks about his radio interview with a conservative host, where he is asked to comment on the homosexuals taking over America. After some initial confusion about what the host was talking about, here's his response.

"Here's my position: As a Christian, I believe Jesus wants us to reach out to those who are lost, and yes, immoral-immoral just like you and I are immoral; and declaring war against them and stirring up your listeners to the point of anger, and giving them the feeling that their country, their families, and their lifestyles are being threatened is only hurting what Jesus is trying to do. This isn't rocket science. If you declare war on somebody, you have to either handcuff or kill them. That's the only way to win. But if you want them to be forgiven by Christ, if you want them to live eternally with Jesus, than you have to love them. The choice is yours and my suspicion is you will be held responsible by God, a Judge who will know your motives. So go ahead and declare war in the name of a conservative agenda. That's what militant Muslims are doing in the Middle East, and we don't want that here."

I again want to remind you that about that head thing.

I guess I got weary and frustrated by the conservatives who are waging morality wars in our culture, stoking peoples emotions, working people up, trying to show their right-ness. And who are doing nothing about some of the problems they are warring over. For example: Planned Parenthood and those videos.

It's so easy to sit back and sign the Defund Planned Parenthood Petitions and feel self-righteous and angry in a Godly-kind of way. But what if those of us who are grieved and heartbroken about these precious little lives would get involved in our communities and do the very think that PP is doing in a very sick and depraved way, offer help and support to ladies who think they have no other option? What if we would get out there with compassion and help the homeless and the lady struggling with another unwanted pregnancy? And better yet, what if the Community of Christ Followers would reach out to those committing these heinous acts of murdering babies, and share the message of Good News and Redemption? Which would be the most effective? After all, what did Jesus do? Set up scroll petitions for Defunding the Debauched Tax Collectors? Work His followers all up about how unfair and wicked they were? Sitting down and eating with them with redemption in mind shouldn't have even been in an option by our standards today.

Miller also talks about the "us versus" them mentality, overflowing in war rhetoric. He suggests that this war rhetoric is not the methodology that came out of Jesus' mouth nor that of His followers. And he finally quotes: "If we are preaching a morality battle without Christ, and using war rhetoric to communicate a battle mentality, we are fighting on Satan's side. This battle we are in is a battle against the principalities of darkness, not against people who are different from us. In war you shoot the enemy, not the hostage."

We misunderstand the hostage for the enemy in many situations today. And sometimes the line is blurred between the two. I'm not here to judge between them. All I'm saying is pity, and desire for reconciliation with their Maker should be greater than anger in most situations.

I'm not undermining the fact that sin is sin. I know that. Jesus knew that. But yet his approach to sinners was so vastly different than what I see today. His desire was relationships and in these He would insert Truth, and people would have to make a decision. Some chose Him, others chose themselves, but they all had the privilege of knowing Him, and eating at His table,and sharing His life.

Is that asking too much of us?

Vicki, hanging onto her head

Monday, August 17, 2015

On Why I'm Not a Writer

I heard the pleading in their voices, and saw the deep longing in their eyes, "Please update your blog," they begged.

Over-exaggerated to be sure, but some of you have been strongly hinting. So here's new reading for you and it's titled, 'Why I'm Not a Writer.'

Sure, I can string words together and make pretty, funny little sentences. I can make you laugh or cry, or stir some other emotion in you. And,

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 92 Pics
image via Pinterest

As a two year old, I enjoyed concepts and words that were much bigger than I. There is a tape recording of me asking my mom to babysit my child while I go to the hospital to have a C-section.

I've always liked words and the art of putting them together to make beautiful things. Of evoking emotion and creating mind pictures.

But that doesn't make me a writer. 

I don't really enjoy writing, and only write when I can't help myself, which is about twice a year. I don't even journal consistently. 

I spent part of a week at Faith Builders in PA and when I was there, I felt a little spark. I quickly ran for my notebook and pen and started an allegorical piece about a campground. I felt a thrill as I chose and re-chose words to fit the narrative. The thrill of new ideas and old words coming together on paper to create something new. Maybe there's hope.

Part of the problem is lack of material. Or lack of the right kind of material.

The material I have would raise a firestorm and I'm thinking the fire probably wouldn't be worth it.

But since you insist on knowing, they would be along these lines:

Why Multi-Level Marketing Products Work

The Truth About Multi-Level Marketing Products

Why Mennonite Men are More Interesting Conversationalists than their Female Counterparts, and How This Problem Could Be Helped

Singlehood- and the role of the Unmarried in our Churches

Why Apple is Better than Android.

Just kidding about that last one. 

You see what I mean? I have enough ammunition to fuel a sewing circle. 

Maybe when I grow up, I'll be a writer and write on worthy topics with such passion I can't help myself. Until then, you will probably see me only occasionally on here.

Peace~ Vicki

Thursday, June 18, 2015

:: Little House ~ Big Dreams ::

For a few months now, my sister Kelly and I have been praying and thinking deep thoughts about our future. We sensed something was on the horizon, but didn't know what. The story is long and bizarre, but I can simplify it in one sentence: We are renting a house.

It should probably read: WE ARE RENTING A HOUSE!!!!!! Those are the truer emotions about it :)  Our landlords are good friends of ours- an older couple, and I know they will take good care of us and we hope to return the favor.

We are so excited about all the possibilities contained in the walls of this home. We envision it full of laughter and guests and yummy foods and ministry. We've already had a great deal of company in the nearly 3 weeks we've been here,and decided we need to pace ourselves a bit. We both love to host so that works out well. 

We want this place to be restful and inviting. A place for our local girl friends to come and hang out and talk about life. A place for church families to drop off the children for a date night out. A sanctuary for others involved in ministry who need a breather or a bit of encouragement. We have big dreams for this place!

This was in the works for a couple months before we moved in, so you can imagine where Kelly and I were early Saturday mornings :) We got a great deal of stuff from yard sales and flea markets, which was wonderful, cause we really like to be frugal like that :) Saves more money for jaunts around the world (she's flying to Australia on Sunday).

So I present:: Our Nest::

The dining room is lovely and has lots of natural light. Funny thing is, we rarely eat in there. We usually eat in the living room. The table and chairs cost us a whopping $25 at a yard sale and we were thrilled!

The living room is a sanctuary, and we spend a great deal of time in there. It also has beautiful, big windows that let in lots of light.  

We joked that we wouldn't feel at home until our books were unpacked so that was one of the first things we did. We are both avid readers and our books make our home feel complete. 

Kelly's room. Obviously these are works in progress but we love them. The hardwood floors throughout the house are gorgeous!

My room. I naturally gravitate toward blues and grays and love the cool, restfulness it portrays.

 The bathroom initially was our least favorite room in the house, but our shower curtain made it all better. Is it weird to like a shower curtain so much? :) 

And last but not least: the kitchen.

The space is perfect for two people and I like how everything is an arms length away. We are having so much fun cooking and washing dishes and just all the domestic things that ladies get to do. It's a bit of a learning curve though, because we both work full time, so we're trying to find quick, economical and nutritious ways of eating and it's kinda hard! I'm not interested in eating out of cans and boxes for convenience, but it's taking a bit to remember to get meat out and prep ahead of time when we can. For dinner tonight I made breakfast pizza and that was yummy and quick. 

This part of the house is not being used too much because of the high heat and humidity, but during the spring and fall, you will likely find us out on this screened in porch a good bit.

That concludes it. It's not perfect, but it's perfect for us. And we are excited about our future here in town.


Most of the photo credits go to Kelly. She captures beautifully with the lens.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Revisiting the Bookshelf

It feels strange, this coming back to my blog after such a long time and after so much has happened and so much life has been lived. It feels like there isn't much to say at times, or when there is, I don't have the where-with-all to write, and so it sits quietly. Of course, when I do have the occasional brilliant thought (ha), it is when I'm up to my elbows in dishwater, or in the sandwich line or somewhere else that I can't get it written down. And then when I re-visit the same thought later on, turns out it wasn't so brilliant after all ;)

Spring is here! I bought a fluffy bunch of hydrangeas this morning to celebrate. Greenery is returning, along with fresh energy and the assurance that God hasn't forgotten us in our winter brownness and deadness.

I have enjoyed the long winter evenings and have gotten a good bit of reading done. Nothing completes a day like a chapter of a good book, or a few favorite lines from somewhere.  Here's evidence:
These books have to be among my favorites, which might explain why I revisit them so often. I bought Freckles at our local thrift store for $.25. I may or may not have happy danced in the aisle and totally turned the rest of the bookshelves up-side-down in case the person who gave away such a find may have given more of the same sort. A little exaggerated maybe,but I was supremely happy for a few hours. Gene Stratton-Porter writes with such soul, and such feeling and her books are some of the few that make me cry. For example:

Doesn't it do something to you? Mother-hunger. Something most of us never feel because we never experience its absence. The themes of these books are so true, and so pure and honorable without being priggish or stuffy. Real manhood and womanhood are celebrated in their wholesomeness and unaffectedness. That last word isn't actually a word but it wants to be there so it stays.

The next two books are good reads as well. I blogged before about these, but I want to bring attention to them again. When Jesus Came To Harvard is heavier reading, and I had to consult the dictionary numerous times, and there is some theology that I am not sure about, but it is still worth reading. The author taught an undergraduate class on the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, and the book is about his experiences in class as they walked through Jesus' teachings and revisited His life.

 My book is all marked up with question marks and high-lighted lines, and even a grammatical goof :) 

I highly recommend the other book to anyone who is interested in apologetics or rubs shoulders with people from other religious worldviews. It is the story of a young atheist lady who met two happy, friendly Bowheads (these girls wore the ridiculously large hair bows of the 80's). This is her story of living without God and her unexpected encounter with His Presence, and how it changed her. It is engaging, interesting, educational and extremely well written. Be my guest and read it, please?!

And to be honest now, and to talk about a book that I wasn't so fond of, meet:

This is an extremely popular book. A poll from last year showed that it was the second favorite book of American readers, just behind the Bible. It was set in the South, back in the Civil War, and I frequently see memorabilia or references about this. When my sisters and I were in Charleston, our historic carriage tour took us past a Rhett Butler home. A few years ago, part of our vacation rental was decorated with Rhett and Scarlett. Clearly, this is a popular, well-loved story. I picked up the book one evening and read most of it that night. In literary terms, it has some value. The fact that Scarlett (the main character) was a southern belle and was not beautiful, but was loved for her keen mind and spunk, is noteworthy. And I understand its value with the civil war backdrop and the excellence of the writing. The plot, however left me both sad, and a bit mad. 
Basically, Scarlett is in love with a man (Ashley Wilkes) who is to marry his cousin Melanie (because that's how the Wilkes' did). In retaliation and to get his attention, Scarlett marries Melanie's brother, and shortly thereafter becomes a widow as he is killed in war. She then marries two more men, the second of which is Rhett Butler, a fiery, determined man, in whom she meets her intellectual match. Through all of this she makes Melanie's life terrible because she still is in love with Ashley Melanie is nothing but kind and sweet in return and on Melanie's deathbed, Scarlett realizes she really isn't in love with Ashley after all, but her very own husband, Rhett. By this time though, Rhett has grown tired of her whims and isn't sure if he still wants her. And the story more or less ends there.

Some observations:
I see enough heartbreak across the headlines each morning to make me feel heavy, without reading a fictional work of the same sort. Scarlett intentionally wreaked havoc with many hearts, nearly wrecked another marriage, and wasn't happy in her own. She wanted everything she couldn't have, and carelessly trampled others in her quests for love. Why do Americans appreciate this? Why is she so popular? Melanie should be the hero for her selflessness and love to a lady who was bent on undoing her.

There is some racial slang and epitaphs that I can not approve and do not wish to read.

Scarlett bore 3 children, none of which she loved or wanted. She was disappointed to learn she was pregnant. I can't celebrate even the fictional life of someone so self-centered and whose value of children is so low.

I could write more, but this was more on my throw-across-the-room-into-the-trashcan pile than- to- be read again.

That is my honest and candid review. I would love to hear your thoughts on this book, even if they are totally different, or on any others. I would also love to hear suggestions on what to read after this book comes:

The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

And finally, a parting shot of my favorite pencils. I think maybe Freckles was originally written in something similar? :)

Catch y'all later.... like maybe 9 months :)