Monthly Archives: July 2012

BlogHer Syndicates Chikin Post

You are the best readers in the world.



You displayed grace (and some of you restraint!) for last Thursday’s post about Chick-fil-A. Whether you agreed or disagreed with me, you kept it dignified. We want everyone to feel welcomed and respected here regardless of their views.

Today I’m excited to share with you that my post about Chick-fil-A is being syndicated on BlogHer.

According to their website, BlogHer reaches 40 million women each month. I’m honored, thrilled, and terrified to be published there as a syndicated writer.

Please go to BlogHer to see the post and consider leaving a comment. Whether you agree or disagree the issue at hand, I know you’ll comment with dignity and respect.

Syndicated on

Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or since last week, you are an encouragement to me, and I am thankful for you!

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live Him. You’re deeply rooted in Him. You’re well constructed upon Him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 The Message

The Proof of Your Love by For King & Country.

Start living it. Now go see the post on BlogHer!


Filed under blogging, writing & reading

Parrot Island

“A room full of parrots is no good.”

That’s what my friend Wading Across said in our discussion here about trolls. Hadn’t heard it put that way before. Hadn’t heard the song Somebody That I Used to Know until recently either. The comment and the song stuck with me.

parrot by rotorod creative commons license

scarlett macaw, image by rotorod, creative commons license

Admit it. We subscribe to news sources slanted toward our beliefs. We listen to commentators we like. We friend people on Facebook with the unspoken expectation they won’t offend us with their status updates.

We block or unfriend them if they do. We leave snippy comments or stop reading bloggers when they push it too far.

Creating a room full of parrots is a piece of cake. Imagine an island.

Welcome to Parrot Island! Your feathers are lovely. Your feathers are lovely. Your feathers are lovely! Margarita? Margarita? Don’t mind if I do. I do. I do!

Conflict is not my thing. I like to read and relate to folks who see things my way. The world’s all warm and fuzzy when people agree with me.

I don’t have to venture very far offshore before I’m troubled by the other side’s point of view. The surf. The waves. The water. Where’s the drop off? How far does it go down? Is there riptide? Who lives across the water?

Beyond the hype, beyond the labels working or stay-at-home, conservative or liberal, Christian or atheist, gay or straight, there’s a person. And possibly an opportunity.

Another writer with a razor sharp wit. We could spar over dinner. An old classmate who seems like a sibling now. We share years. A stranger who savors mint tea as much as I do. Pour me a cup. Or not.

I may never become best friends with the person on the other side, but we can still be polite. We can agree to disagree. We might even learn something.

flamingo by rotorod creative commons license

I am not a parrot, image by rotorod, creative commons license

Don’t get me wrong, dear readers. I treasure every sweet comment you keyboard as I’m certain do most bloggers.

People thrive on being in community with others who share common interests, goals, and beliefs. It’s unhealthy to remain in relationship with those who abuse you or trample your boundaries.

But I wonder if Wading Across was onto something when he said the folks benefiting the most are those who read all the positions. You know, the ones taking it all in. The ones listening.

And I wonder if their thoughtful comments of agreement or disagreement serve to promote understanding.

Novel concepts, listening and understanding. Might come in handy as we enter the heat of election season. Easier said than done of course. Because birds of a feather flock together.

Care to leave a comment? Don’t mind if I do. I do. I do!

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Romans 12:18 NLT

Island music with Bob Marley and the Wailers: Stir It Up, little darling.

 What do you think can be gained by sharing and listening to different opinions? What can be lost?


Filed under America, blogging

Why I Will Eat Mor Chikin

Syndicated on

This post was syndicated by BlogHer on July 30, 2012.

The ruckus over Chick-fil-A raises the question: Who’s behaving like the hater here?

Chick-fil-A president and chief operating officer Dan Cathy’s recent comments in Baptist Press should come as no surprise. The company is privately owned. In 45 years of existence, their restaurants have never been open on Sundays. They’ve always supported a traditional, Biblical definition of marriage and family.

Chick-fil-A drive thru

drive thru

“We intend to stay the course,” said Cathy in the article. “We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

So, let’s see. They haven’t changed their religious views. They aren’t refusing to serve people who disagree. We’re free to express our beliefs in this country.

Why the uproar now?

Chick-fil-A’s charitable donations were being criticized before the Baptist Press published their story. When Cathy reiterated his long-held convictions, in a religious publication mind you, Chick-fil-A critics were poised to pounce.

Cathy was labeled homophobic. Activists boycotted. Boston’s mayor banned Chick-fil-A from the cityThe Jim Henson Company broke ties with them.

Another commentator wants public schools and sports facilities to stop doing business with Chick-fil-A because they support families through non-profit groups that share their beliefs. Are you kidding me?

Attacking a successful company is unlikely to change anyone’s mind. It won’t help the economy either. Plus it’s mean.

My affection for J Crew clothing is well-documented in this blog. The company contributes to causes at odds with my values. Last year J Crew president and creative director Jenna Lyons left her husband of nine years and the father of her son for another woman. Not a decision that lines up with my faith.

I suppose I could stop buying clothes from J Crew, write nasty grams on their Facebook page, insist they be thrown out of malls that have received tax breaks, and start picketing their stores.

But that would just make me a bully who’s missing out on some mighty fine fashion, now wouldn’t it?

Chick-fil-A cow at family event

family night meet-and-greet the cow

Chick-fil-A uses their resources to support and care for families in ways they see fit. That includes contributing to non-profits that share their beliefs.

Speaking from experience, that also includes family activity nights at their restaurants, refreshing beverages for free, and politely carrying trays to tables for mothers like me who have their hands full. Besides, the food is delicious.

I don’t hate gay people. I don’t believe the Cathy family and their franchisees hate gay people. I don’t plan to stop eating at Chick-fil-A anytime soon. I understand if your convictions differ. You can stop eating there if you want.

You’ll be missing out on some mighty fine chicken if you do.

But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. from Joshua 24:15 NLT

The Chick-fil-A Song by St. Louis comedian Tim Hawkins with a new verse for Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy.

Will you eat mor chikin? (Please mind your manners or your comment will be deleted.)


Filed under America, faith, food & farm, life

The Lie of Having It All

It’s morning. The entire day is ahead of me. Already I know there won’t be enough time to accomplish all I want. I bet many of you can relate.

Ladies and gentlemen, we can’t have it all.

power mom sign

power mom, as seen at Brookstone

This idea that we can excel at work, be happily married, parent effectively, exercise strenuously, volunteer wholeheartedly, entertain, invest, maintain an orderly house, grow our own food, cook gourmet meals, train as concert pianists, and blog on the side is unrealistic, wouldn’t you agree?

Work-life balance is a human condition, not a women’s issue. 

Men struggle with this, too. I don’t mean to leave them out of this discussion, nor do I mean to ignore single people or those who aren’t parents. However, the debate over work-life balance for moms gathered new steam with Anne-Marie Slaughter’s recent article in the Atlantic Magazine.

Slaughter’s post, combined with the July 16th announcement naming the pregnant Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo!, sparked a flurry of commentaries in The Huffington PostHarvard Business Review, Christianity TodayThe Christian Science MonitorForbes, and the like.

Our time, strength, and resources are limited. We have to pick and choose. There are opportunity costs.

Years ago when Rosie O’Donnell was adopting another child to add to her brood, I was struck by the honesty of what she told her audience one day on her show. She said although we may see her as having it all—as a celebrity, businesswoman, author, activist, philanthropist, fundraiser, and parent—what we see belies what happens behind the scenes.

Rosie said she has help. Lots of help. And money. Lots of money. Her situation is different from that of her viewers.

First Lady Michelle Obama Official Portrait

First Lady Michelle Obama official portrait

Today the same could be said of Marissa, Angelina, Gisele, Giada, First Lady Michelle Obama, and other high-profile moms. That’s not to criticize or suggest they don’t work hard. It’s simply to state a fact; their situations are vastly different than most women’s.

What are you called to do? Pick and choose that. Pursue it with passion. Kick the rest to the curb without guilt. Resist judging when others do the same in their lives.

Comparing ourselves to the unrealistic and untrue standard of having it all is unfair and self-destructive. It kills our motivation and contentment.

In the end, all any of us really have is what God gives us today. Will we trust it’s enough?

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8 NIV

Today by Newworldson. Sweet song. So God, what You wanna do today?

What do you think about work-life balance?
Can we have it all?


Filed under faith, life, women's studies

BlogHer ’12 Tips

I’m excited to be headed to my first BlogHer conference next month.

New York purse

look! it’s me & Ella in New York!

Decided to go on a whim. Not sure how it happened. One email led to another, and soon I’ll be on my way to New York City.

I’ll be an itty-bitty blogger among the big guns at the BlogHer conference. Martha Stewart is a keynote speaker. THE Martha Stewart. Somebody pinch me.

The last time I was in New York was 20 years ago. Now that I’ve lived in Chicago and St. Louis, I’m ready to make strudel out of the Big Apple!

Lucky for me I’m rooming with two wonderful women who make killer strudel in real life. Katie Pinke of Pinke Post and Nancy Grossi of The Wife of a Dairyman are gracious to pull me in at the last minute.

Amy Heinz

Amy Heinz, Using Our Words

I look forward to meeting other online friends at BlogHer like Leah Beyer of Beyer Beware and Amy Heinz of Using Our Words and Disney Baby. Amy’s been to BlogHer before. She was kind to answer my most burning questions:

Q: You mentioned business cards are a must. I have a very simple business card, and I’m worried it won’t be flashy enough. Do I need to redesign and reprint cards?

Amy: No doubt whatever you have is fine. A simple card with your name, blog, and website is plenty. A lot of sponsors will collect cards so they can email you. I highly recommend being sure it’s really a brand or prize you care about before dropping your card in a bowl.

Q: What do you do at this conference? Do bloggers just go around meeting each other, exchanging cards, and talking about their blogs? I better get my 15-second interview answers ready!

Katie Pinke

Katie Pinke, Pinke Post

Amy: Last year they opened with an activity where you had 30 seconds to talk to people and exchange blog info. I probably got to about 10 people. It’s really smart to have a 15-second description. There are other opportunities for meeting people like meals, smaller sessions, hallway chats.

Q: Are you expected to read and follow all the bloggers you meet? What’s the etiquette?

Nancy Grossi

Nancy Grossi, The Wife of a Dairyman

Amy: You’ll meet a lot of people. Too many to follow them all. I recommend giving yourself a system. Put a dot on the cards of people you meet who you think you’d be most interested in reading and following. Make notes about your conversation with each blogger on their business cards.

Q: I signed up for the Thursday sessions. What are they like?

Amy: I haven’t been to those, but my friend who went Thursday last year loved it. I think it’s great to get there early and dive in.

Q: Can I choose which sessions to attend at the big conference?

Amy: Yes, you can go to whatever you want and pop in and out of the sessions. It’s very low-key. Some sessions are really popular. Map out what sessions you’re interested in beforehand on the schedule.

Leah Beyer

Leah Beyer, Beyer Beware

Q: This is the most important question. What should I wear?

Amy: It’s business casual. Be yourself and be comfortable. I usually bring casual dresses because they’re so comfortable and easy to pack.

During the day, wear layers and comfortable shoes. It can be really hot outside and really cold in the conference rooms. The sponsors alone take up multiple floors, so there’s a ton of walking, just within the hotel.

For evening parties, wear cocktail attire or a step up from daytime dresses.

with love from New York DKNY

with love from New York

Q: Anything else I should know?

Amy: It’s fun to dive into a world where people think what you do is really cool and oh-so important. See you soon!

Thank you, Amy. Read more from Amy at Using Our Words and Disney Baby. And be sure to visit the blogs of all the talented women featured in this post.

A gracious woman gains respect. Proverbs 11:16a NLT

I can see your face in All the Right Places, by Zach Heckendorf. Smooooth.

What tips do you have for getting the most out of industry conventions like BlogHer?
What are your must-dos when visiting New York?


Filed under blogging, family & friends

BlogHer Spotlight on Food Fright

when pigs fly

pigs fly

Short post to share good news.

This afternoon I got word Food Fright is featured in the BlogHer Spotlight.

I’m surprised, tickled pink, and grateful the BlogHer Green editor Heather noticed this post.

Please click to BlogHer to see:

Food Fright: Too Much Misinformation?

Tell ’em Aimee sent you. Oh, and that’s not me in the photo. I have no idea who it is, but I believe that’s some kind of squash pictured with her. Now you’ve got to click over to see this!

Quite coincidentally, we’ll be talking more BlogHer news in a post scheduled for tomorrow. See you back here in the morning.

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits. Psalm 103:2 NIV

Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Just a Ride, by Jem.

Click ‘n share.

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Filed under blogging, life, writing & reading

The Parable of the Toner

Clinique Step 2 Skin Type 1

step 2

Riddle me this. What does toner do exactly?

Not the laser printer kind. The skincare kind. I know it’s supposed to exfoliate. Every skincare program includes it. But it’s way too harsh for my very dry skin.

I tell the whitecoats at Clinique I won’t use their Clarifying Lotion toner. I’ll skip Step 2 in the 3-Step.

“Oh, no! You can’t do that!” they say. “You just need another formulation. You must exfoliate with a Clarifying Lotion in Step 2.”

Must. A small but mighty manipulative word.

There are skincare lines that boast of a kinder, gentler exfoliation. A-thousand-points-of-light toners, smelling of orange blossoms and chamomile. Might as well splash cold tea or rose water on my face.

Seriously, what does toner do? Is it necessary when an occasional 7 Day Scrub does the trick to get rid of dead skin cells?

Daily cleansing and moisturizing is what my skin needs to be healthy. Like confession and restoration. Toner is optional. Like legalism in a bottle.

very dry to dry

very dry to dry

It’s an added step. An upstanding thing to do perhaps. A requirement by those who added it. Usually does more harm than good. Absolutely not a deal breaker to get the desired results.

I don’t want to get by with less than what I need or less than what’s best. But I don’t want the unnecessary, heavy, drying burden of add-ons either.

I can’t earn salvation with add-ons. I can’t earn salvation with faith plus add-ons. Faith alone brings salvation and inspires actions of courage and obedience. There’s no earning to it on my part.

My time’s too precious to succumb to legalism. My skin’s too dry to use toner.

Then Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

You tell me I’ve been made Free, by Dara Maclean. Sing it, sister.

Have you ever encountered legalism? How did you let go of it or have you?

Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated to promote Clinique, nor do I mean to pick on them. Personally, I like and use Clinique products. Just not the toner.

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Filed under faith, humor, women's studies