A Birthday Party at the Commune

Happy Birthday Hippie Style

Happy Birthday Molly! 9 Years Old. Wow.

Okay, so it wasn’t a commune. It was a campground. But when the birthday girl is wearing a bathing suit with peace signs and hearts on it, the cake is decorated to look like a tie-dyed peace sign, and everyone shares a bathroom, a campground has a definite commune vibe.

My daughter had a slumber party.  There was a pool, a lake to fish in, swans and ducks to feed, a fire to roast marshmallows over, and a cabin to make bohemian bracelets and watch movies in.  It was a pretty good birthday party.  Only 4 girls showed up instead of the 7 she invited, but that was fine by me.   I had help, but I don’t know if we could have handled an extra three girls and still maintained our sanity.

The weather was perfect.  Not humid or too hot, which is a minor miracle for June in Savannah, Georgia.  The girls had fun and my friend and I had a pot of Starbucks coffee, our laptops to get some Camp NaNoWriMo writing done, and we even got to watch a movie that didn’t feature animals or mermaid Barbie.

Oh yes.  A cake picture.  Molly wanted a peace sign.  A tie-dyed peace sign.  As usual, I didn’t put as much effort into my kid’s cake as I do for others (bad mama).  It turned out okay but my son was spot-on when he said, “It’s not your best.”  At least he’s honest (the butthead.)  The picture quality isn’t great, either.  As usual, I forgot the camera (bad mama) and had to take the picture with my crappy phone camera.

tie-dyed peace sign cake


No, she’s not a hippie.  She’s a normal 9yo who has been bitten by the fashion bug known as Justice.  You know the clothing store–an explosion of glitter, peace signs, hearts, and too short shorts.  I don’t allow the shorts but the tops and dresses are okay.  She adores it.  Good thing, because she got $75 worth of gift cards to spend there.  She couldn’t be happier.

Somewhere in the last year, my baby grew up.  She looks older (thanks to bangs), is an expert eye roller, and always has a smart-butt comment for everything.  If she’s this lovely at 9, I can’t wait to see her at 15.  I can feel the gray hairs sprouting, just thinking about it.


Walking With Purpose

As anyone who’s read this blog before knows, I am a Christian.  I’m not preachy or “in your face,” because, quite frankly, I find that annoying, not to mention counter-productive.  I prefer to live my life in accordance with what I believe and love my neighbor as myself.  I don’t keep my religion a secret but I’m not going to beat anyone over the head with it, either.

But (you knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?) sometimes, something comes along that feels like it was just for me.  A sermon or a Bible verse that speaks to me about what I’m going through at that exact moment.  Giving me an answer before I even knew how to word the question.  This post is about one of those times.  I hesitated sharing it because I know some people don’t want to hear it.  Then I realized I was being dumb.  What if I have a reader who needs to hear it, too? 

A few months ago, Dawn, a friend of mine, sent me a note on Facebook.  It was what I needed at exactly the right time.  I asked her if I could share it on my blog and she agreed.  I wrote an introduction and a response.  I didn’t feel good about it, so I didn’t publish it. 

I was looking through some drafts, wondering what to post, and came across this.  I needed to read it again.  I know why it was wrong a few months ago.  I was trying to add something to it when it wasn’t at all necessary.  It was perfect, as is.  Dawn had already  said it all and said it better.  I hope you find it as encouraging as I do.


Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to HIS purpose.”

This is a verse we all have memorized or at the very least have heard quoted many times. People use it as comfort for others who are going through difficult times and to some who have been through many trials, it can almost become a cliche’. Through tears and forced smiles we internally roll our eyes and wonder “where is the good in THIS situation, GOD? Where is the goodness for ME?”

This is when we need to closely examine the verse and look at those last few words. “who are called according to HIS purpose.”

It’s been 9 years since my husband got his degree and joined the military. He has his “career.” I worked hard to help him get through that. We’ve been through trials of our own: a transition into the “military lifestyle” that is more different than most people realize, the birth of conjoined twins, life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and then their death 6 months later, the adoption of two children with special needs from foreign countries, the diagnosis of our oldest biological son with Asperger’s Syndrome are all just part of our story. Through it all, I knew that God had something “good” for me but when the dust cleared and everything settled down, still I struggled. I struggled with who I was. I was a 30 something “stay at home mom” with no degree and (in my mind) no value beyond wiping noses, finding lost shoes and cleaning up messes! I needed God’s wisdom for the quiet time in my life just as much as I did when I was going through those hard times! This is when new light was shed on this verse. There’s so much value in the first part “God works all things together for good” but who is that for? “To those who love God.” OK I love God. CHECK! but I started thinking: Am I “called according to HIS purpose?” What *is* my purpose?

As I prayed and sought an answer from God, I began to realize that God’s purpose for this season of my life is to be intentional with my children; to raise them in these few years that they are mine to find God’s purpose for THEM! Not only is that “OK” for me right now, it’s PRECIOUS and VALUABLE! In a society where so many children are cast aside, I have a greater calling.

I want to challenge you today. What is God’s purpose for you? Have you found it? Are you walking in it? If so, have peace! Because HE will work all things together for your good!