Tag Archives: fear

Why I’m Glad School’s Out

I don’t know about you, but this year I’m ready for school to be out. 

fountain in burlington vt

one step at a time

Last year, I feared summer. Really what I feared was the loss of the school routine. What would I do with my son every day, all summer long? This year, that fear’s been replaced. Trumped by thoughts of the children lost at Sandy Hook and Plaza Towers.

I want my child home. With me. Where I can see him and hear him and hug him and know he’s safe. 

Truth be told, he’s probably not much safer at home than he is at school. I can’t protect him from all the dangers in the world any more than his teachers can. It’s just that these days this worrisome hesitation pulls at my heart when I send him off in the mornings. I kiss him goodbye knowing there are parents who did the same and never saw their children alive again.

I admit it. I’m powerless against murderous shooters, wanton bombers, natural disasters, accidents, and illness.

please drive slowly

we love our children

What’s a Momma Bear to do? 

The best I can. That’s what I’ll do. While he’s in my house and under my care—while we’re together—I’ll do the best I can and ask the sovereign God to help me trust Him with the rest.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

I can’t listen to this song without crying, but it fits the post. In My Arms by Plumb.

Parents, do you find yourself holding your children tighter these days? 


Filed under family & friends, life

House Rules

This blog is like my house, and it’s time to set the House Rules.

house rules, here comes the fun

here comes the fun

You’re invited to visit. I hope you come by often and bring friends with you. We throw a mini party here with every post. All guests are welcomed to comment, regardless of their viewpoints.

Last week, some comments on my first syndicated BlogHer post got a little rowdy. The BlogHer community manager chose to delete several of them because they violated the BlogHer community guidelines.

In the meantime, I held all comments in moderation on everyday epistle to prevent a similar fiasco here.

While this protected my site from trolls, in a way it also punished legitimate readers who faithfully and respectfully express their views here. Those readers will be happy to know I’ve lifted the stricter comment approvals.

But I still want this to be a safe place to agree to disagree.

Following BlogHer’s example and friends’ suggestions, I’ve written community guidelines for this site. They’re available in the top menu under House Rules.

Ten things you should know:

1. There will be a diverse group of guests in my house.
All sorts of people read this blog. I want everyone to feel free to respectfully comment if they choose to dialogue.

2. There will be discussion about many different topics, including some you may consider controversial.
This is my place to write what matters to me without editor or client changes. God and country are important to me; those topics will appear in the mix of posts.

3. Sometimes there will be disagreement.
It’s unrealistic to believe we’ll all agree about everything. This isn’t Parrot Island. We have to engage in civil discourse concerning matters of disagreement if we ever hope to reach solutions for the challenges we face. Go ahead and state your case, just mind your manners as well.

4. There will be civility and grace.
If you can’t play nice and respect the intrinsic value of the humans involved, you need to go elsewhere.

house rules, do not block

do not block

5. There will be no profanity.
This is a blog, not a bar. Think of another word to use or expect your comment to be deleted.

6. There will be no bullying.
That means no personal attacks, mudslinging, name-calling, direct threats, implied threats, stalking, harassing, posting of personal information that doesn’t belong to you or has nothing to do with the topic being discussed, libel, defamation, blatant misrepresentation of another person or group, violations of privacy, or links to profane or pornographic material.

7. There will be no spam whatsoever.

8. I determine what is unacceptable here, and I’m not limited by the House Rules.
As the sole owner, content creator, and community manager of this blog, I reserve the right to change the House Rules and to remove unacceptable comments at any time and without notice.

9. A word to trolls.
If you are a troll, you may comment if you abide by the House Rules. Otherwise, your comment will be deleted. And if you send me hateful tweets, I will block you so I do not receive your messages.

house rules, olive & kickin

olive & kickin, as seen in Asheville, NC

10. Don’t like the rules?
Find another site with different rules.

Some of you may think this is harsh, self-aggrandizing overkill. Does a small, personal blog really need community guidelines?

I wish you were right. But last week’s experience prompted Momma Bear to law down the law.

This is my house. I will not allow it to be destroyed by abusive comments or overrun by trolls. Play by the rules or exit the party.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Psalm 5:11 NIV

The only Overkill here is by Men at Work from 1983, a very good year.

Have you ever been afraid to express your opinion?
What impact did that experience have on you?


Filed under America, blogging, writing & reading


the day after the storm

It’s been a week since we experienced our first Kansas thunderstorm. Think Dorothy in a giant, echoing dishwasher.

Last Thursday night, we were nestled all snug in our beds when out of nowhere came the strong wind. Bellowing thunder. Rain whipping against the windows. Four paws pouncing on my back.

The paws belonged to my dog. Her least favorite thing in the world is a thunderstorm. (Her most favorite thing in the world is rotisserie chicken.)

Our bed was damaged in our recent move to Kansas, so my husband and I are sleeping on our mattress and box springs on the floor. Kind of like camping.

This arrangement gives our small dog access to our bed. When the thunderstorm hit, our terrified terrier was glued to my side, trying to burrow under the covers.

It’s not easy to sleep that way, unless you’re like my husband who can sleep through anything.

forward march

Not me. I laid awake in bed, holding my dog, listening to the sky rattle and hum and shake and scream.

As I shared in Moon Walk, where we live in Kansas is flat and mostly devoid of trees. Nothing but God and ground and sky. Thunder echoes and booms like tympani in a large, empty room.

Nothing to buffer the wind. No gusts either. No chance to clear the hair from your face or adjust your vision. Kansas wind is sustained, constant, relentless.

Rain flies horizontally across the prairie. It attacks the house. A smattering of bullets against the siding.

“Jeff, do you hear that?” I whispered. “Should we go to the basement?”

The sounds reverberated, bouncing to the earth and back to the sky then down again. Angry and loud.

In my mind, I knew this was just a thunderstorm. It was not tornadic. It could not hurt me inside my house.

Even if it was tornadic and plowed my house to the ground—even if it killed me, it could not destroy me. Easier to write those words now than to remember them in the storm.

drying out

Storms are like this. They seem to erupt out of nowhere. They are no respecter of persons. None of us is immune.

Storms may devastate, frighten, hurt, and kill. They can last minutes or decades. Afterward, it may take years to rebuild.

But in Christ there is a place storms cannot touch. A place sealed and safe.

And there is a Person present in the storm. He stands beside us in the suffering and terror, even in death.

God, help me remember this because I know I will forget.

Next time the sky tears open and rages against me, next time I tremble, remind me You are with me. There is nothing to fear.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” from Isaiah 43:1-3 NIV

Never Let Go by The David Crowder Band.

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Filed under faith, life