22 November 2017

4 Random Things

1. My mother always hung dried, pressed autumn leaves on the kitchen cupboards every fall (and paper snowflakes in the winter). This year I wanted something fall-and-festive too, but was short on ca$h and too lazy to go shopping for decorations anyway. At the risk of making my kitchen look like a kindergarten classroom, I hung up some inkjet-printed colored leaves in honor of fall. And you know what, it actually does make it feel more like fall. The edges are even starting to curl up, just like real leaves.

2. If you like apple pie filling but don't want to bother with making a pie, frying apple slices in a pan with butter, cinnamon, and a spoonful of honey is just as good and a whole lot quicker. Mmmm....

3. My Gmail username must be very similar to a lot of others; I get emails sent to me in error all the time. I've gotten RSVPs to my four-year-old daughter's birthday party in Mullaloo, Washington, reminders about tax rates on my vacation property in Palm Beach County, an invitation for me and my wife(!) to attend a poetry reading at Western Michigan University, and a notice of limited warranty updates for my Jeep Cherokee, among other things. A couple weeks ago an itinerary for a trip to France landed in my inbox, and I guess it synced to my Google calendar even though I deleted the email. So this weekend my schedule was pinging me with reminders about my upcoming stay at the Marriott Opera Ambassador Hotel on Boulevard Haussmann in Paris. If only...

4. There's a scene in the 2003 version of Freaky Friday where Ryan says to Tess, "You put the kids first. That's the way it should be." Then there's the scene in almost any sermon you'll ever hear about marriage and family where they'll tell you that's wrong -- you should put your husband or wife first. (Suck it up, kids.) So. What's the answer? Whom should you treat as more important, your spouse or your children?

To be honest, I don't believe this is a question that deserves to be asked. It's faulty, because it begins with the assumption that members of the family unit are fundamentally in competition with one another. That's not the case in healthy families, or at least I don't think it automatically needs to be case. I am open to correction on this point, but I don't see anything in Scripture that makes a clear case for either the spouse or the kids to hold default "top priority" status. What we do know is that God is supposed to come first, and if He does, then we'll love each other and put others' needs before our own. Sometimes you'll have to put your kids first, especially at times when they're sick or struggling. Sometimes you'll have to preserve "alone time" with your spouse and tell the kids that you'll be available for them later. The point is that the specifics of how "love your neighbor" plays out practically are largely up to us to work out. We actually have a lot of freedom in this regard, when you think about it.


  1. What if I like pie crust?Should Injust bake a stick of butter...I miss your pies!!!!—Stella

    1. If you like pie crust, I guess you just have to make one :)