Kids Say the Darnedest Things…

pict0460I’ve been sick for the last several days. While I’m feeling a bit better today, I still sound like a 70-year-old Marine who began smoking in 5th grade. Maybe for that reason, or maybe just because, today I feel like having a little fun at the expense of myself and my fellow children of God who comprise the Church in the southeastern US.

Please understand: the Lord commands my utmost reverence and respect. However, I am afraid I do not hold the same degree of esteem for church jargon. We are a funny people, and for my part at least, I am often amused at the absurd things I will say in a thoughtless moment.

Besides, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, someone else will (and probably already is).

If you’re likely to feel wounded by having your pet phrases picked on, I suggest you do not read any further. If, however, you find merriment in poking a bit of fun at jargon in general, I invite you to join me.

Who knows? Maybe laughter will turn out to be the best medicine… or maybe it will trigger another coughing fit. Either way, I find it much more fun to laugh at myself than to brood over my bruised ego. (Actually, there are a whole host of things that are more fun than that… but there’s a story for another day).

So without further ado, here are a few phrases that have given me a grin or a giggle in my years as an adult experiencing Southern churchy lingo for the first time:

1. We covet your prayers.

I’m sorry, but this one gets me every time, probably because the tenth commandment explicitly tells us not to covet.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
(Exodus 20:17) defines covet thus: “to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others.”

**Note that for my purposes here, I am conveniently ignoring the other part of the definition which states covet can also mean “to wish for, especially eagerly.”**

OK, ok… I know that in Exodus 20:17 and its kin, the prohibition on coveting is specifically directed at a selfish desire for the belongings and personal relationships of others. Still in light of the Tenth Commandment, I tend to find something a trifle humorous about coveting prayers.

I guess in my (rather twisted) mind, the phrase translates roughly, “I have an extravagant, inappropriate, and consuming desire for your prayers regardless of whether you wish to offer them or not.”

2. Bless this food and the hands that prepared it.

The first time I heard this phrase offered up in sincere supplication before a meal, I could not stop my poor, immature mind from wondering, Why only the hands?

Maybe it’s just me, but this phrase conjures an image of hordes of cooks gallivanting around the Southeast with naught but their hands blessed…

Yeah, it’s probably just me.

Still, if I am among those who prepared the food, I would very much appreciate it if the requested blessing might perhaps be extended past my wrists. I may even covet it, but I’ll have to get back to you on that…

3. Jesus hung out with sinners.

Seriously, think about this one for a minute.

The reason this one cracks me up is because in all honesty, it is simply a paraphrase of John 1:14 –

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)

During the years He spent walking the earth both before and during His ministry, Jesus did not have an opportunity to hang out with anyone but sinners.  Saying, “Jesus hung out with sinners,” is the exact same thing as saying, “Jesus socialized with humans.”

And lest we forget, while He did associate with sinners, He also managed to keep himself sinless. It’s kind of why we need Him as our great High Priest.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:15-16)

Feel free to share some funnies of your own!

Lightly Worn Former Homeschool Mom for Hire

On the final day of the first week of school, I have come to the conclusion that yes, my homeschool career is (at least apparently) officially over.

For the last 16 years, I have served many functions. Head Chef. Sous Chef. Prep Cook. Domestic CEO. Founder of the Davis Academy, where I have also served as Guidance Counselor, Principal, Teacher, Administrator, Curriculum Coordinator, and School Nurse. Dog Trainer. Part-time Gardener. Chief Dishwasher. Maid. Chauffeur. Author. Photographer. Clown. Dictator. Personal Shopper. Prayer Coordinator. Assistant Feral Cat Tamer. Party Planner. Social Media Stalker (a title assigned by my teens, whom I confess to stalking). Sunday School Teacher. Back-Up Mom.

Question: How exactly does one form a resume from such a conglomeration?

Answer: You don’t. You write a silly post like this one.

Instead, allow me to highlight some of my accomplishments.

I make food from scratch; ie – I make pumpkin pie starting with an actual pumpkin and a bag of flour. I firmly believe recipes are meant to be general guidelines and use them as a springboard. Sometimes I measure things, but not always. I do not understand the purpose of boxed cake mixes.

I am a nerd.

I can multi-task but have learned not to do it too often. I would much rather be fully present in the moment than parcel out my attention in so many slices that no one gets a full share. The older I get, the more I value satiety and quality above teasers and the illusion of productivity.

I have written, but not yet published, two novels. I love playing with words and secretly hope to make a living at it someday.

Once upon a time, it was believed by three little people that I had the power to banish stinging insects and diminish the fearsome intensity of a thunderstorm by my mere presence. Now, there is some debate among the same three rather tall people whether or not I can successfully navigate a trip to the local grocery store.

I frequent the local grocery store. I have friends there.

I love God above all else. I really do. He will always be a priority. If that is unacceptable to you, I would not make a good employee for you anyway. But know that honoring Him is what fuels my desire to do my best at all endeavors, and my standards are higher because I cannot reach them on my own. That is why He is my priority.

I am trying to learn Hebrew but making painfully slow progress.

My husband is my best friend in the entire world, though I have been blessed with many close friends. The only secrets I keep from him are yours. He knows more about me than anyone else, and I tell him more than he wants to hear (except for your secrets, of course). The poor man has suffered through more blow-by-blow narrations of my day than any human should ever endure, and he has done so it with unbelievable grace and patience. I love him, too.

I love kids of all ages. In my mind, I have more children than the three I gave birth to, and I genuinely love each one. I enjoy hearing the things they tell me, and I still have 90% or better of all drawings and cards they have given me through the years. These are some of my most treasured possessions.

I have worked with two-year-olds in Sunday school for many years and have been delighted to hear how they repeat what they’ve learned at home. Bible stories like Abraham and Goldilocks and Bible verses like, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind… and all your neck,” are apparently among my most memorable teachings.

I have no idea where Goldilocks is in the Bible. Maybe she’s in Second Nebuchadnezzar.

My dogs usually obey except when they don’t. I have a sneaking suspicion that the former feral cat who now lazes beside me may have actually trained me. But he catches and eats flies, so I don’t care.

I managed a homeschool for 10 years, which involves selecting, purchasing, and modifying curriculum; planning; scheduling; teaching; grading; coordinating a variety of activities; providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner; training kids to help clean up; becoming exasperated and redoing the clean-up; patience; patience; patience; and learning that I really can NOT do anything apart from the Lord, especially be patient.

And all that after I selected “teacher” as the very last thing I would choose as a career in high school. Good one, Adonai. Good one.

My children survived and are doing really, really well in private school.

There may be more, but I have detained you long enough… and it’s time to go to the grocery store.