Read More Stories!

Angle of ReposeLast night, I finished Wallace Stegner’s lengthy masterpiece, Angle of Repose. I set it down and contemplated what a privilege it was to have time to read. I read a lot of books, a lot of amazing books.  Because of the sheer length of my booklist, if your book is not well-written, it will be quickly discarded.

I have pages and pages of highlighted quotes, notes, and references from my favorite wise non-fiction writers (Krista Tippett, Parker Palmer, Richard Rohr, Brennan Manning, Frederick Buechner & David Brooks come to mind – all highlights of last year), but there is something different that happens when I read a great novel. While non-fiction works tend to ping around in my brain and sometimes sift their way into the deeper places of my heart, stories just march right in my heart’s front door. What is it about a story?

We are all living stories. God’s story telling confounds me sometimes. Bible stories, especially the most ancient ones, can pull up confusion and even revulsion. But I do believe God is the grand storyteller, and a story weaver in our lives. He created us in his storytelling image – story is quite literally in our DNA.

Written story stands apart from any other form of storytelling. I was staring at a page in a real book – printed on actual paper. The font was small enough to challenge even my 1.75 readers (I love my Kindle). I took off my glasses so I couldn’t make out the words, and I noted that the vast majority of the page was white. All those tiny black letters probably took up 10 percent of the space. And it struck me – that’s what a satisfying novel does – it’s leaves us space to bring our own stories, our personalities, and our circumstances with us into the reading. No one will leave Angle of Repose changed in the same way it changed me, for no one else brings what I do to all that white space.

Characters are filtered through my life’s characters, whether I mean to or not. Their faces, their voices and smiles and joys, the way they move, their successes and failures take on unique forms in my mind based on what I know. So each novel, if it is written well, becomes customized to my soul.

I have a hard time remembering Jesus’s specific theology from his sermon on the mount, but the parables stick – I often think of the lost sheep, the woman desperately hunting her coin, the scene where the prodigal son is at last spotted by his father, the struggling seeds, the grumbling workers – these are the things that inform my spiritual life automatically.

My point is made. We should all read more epic stories. Maybe one day I’ll even write one. Every time I finish a remarkable novel, I wonder why I don’t read more! Here are a few of my favorites from the past few months. Please take a moment to comment and tell me a couple of your favorites. Or connect with me on Goodreads.

Wallace Stegner:  Crossing to Safety and Angle of Repose, Ann Patchett: State of Wonder, Fredrik Backman: A Man Called Ove, Marilynne Robinson: Gilead and Home (these probably top my list), Kristin Hannah: The Nightingale, Adam Johnson: Fortune Smiles, Wm. Paul Young: Eve and Cross Roads, Frederick Buechner: The Storm and Godric, John Steinbeck: Travels with Charley.

Your turn…

The Only Why That Matters

This is a letter to my son, but as I wrote this, prayed this, over him, I found myself praying it also over my own heart and over the hearts of many friends, so it seemed appropriate to post it here.


Dear Son,

It’s the day after coming home from our amazing, long vacation – I have had that vacation in my mind since the summer before you started high school, and I have no regrets about the money or the time we spent. Other than the obvious privilege of enjoying the mountains for 3 weeks, one of the biggest blessings was watching you just be you – no classes, tests, applications, matches, work, pressure, or alarm clocks. No striving. Just you – doing, being, treasuring the time, challenging yourself on that mountain bike WAY beyond my personal comfort zone.

I found myself celebrating the man that you are – your courage, your curious mind, kind heart, occasional quirkiness, the big, deep laugh to go along with your brilliant, nuanced sense of humor.

Coming back to reality – the land of “S T U U U F F!”, as you guys hollered out in the car when we crested the hill into Amarillo, my heart struggled. This STUFF makes me feel burdened and a little dead inside sometimes. That mild despair deepened when the reality of your upcoming departure hit me afresh when I walked in the door. This morning God tenderly helped me sort it out.

Why are we here? There is only one WHY that matters.

This world pretends to have big dreams for you, but sadly, the world’s dreams are deceptively small and slippery. In our constant conversation throughout high school regarding college entrance and scholarships, I am afraid I let my own heart adopt some of those dreams for you as well. My reading this morning took me to 1 Timothy chapter 6 – your namesake, Timothy – that was my first signal that something good was coming. God reminded me what His dreams are for you.

From The Message translation, starting in verse 6: A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. (I could almost stop right here because there is so much in that one sentence! Being yourself before anyone is a minor miracle, but being yourself before the loving, perfect, creator God? Wow.) Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough… Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after. But you, Timothy (David), man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life – a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.” (This last part made me think of you and your friends at camp this summer.)

Striving for money is like having a boat anchor around your neck in the middle of an angry ocean. It will take you down. You have heard the phrase, “What you own owns you.” And it’s true. Food on the table and shoes on our feet – those are words to remember. Another thing you will be soon tempted to own is debt, and there will likely be times, for a vehicle or a home, where this is your chosen path as we have at times. But remember that it gets a piece of you, so stick to that food and shoes image as much and as closely as you can.

You are pretty darn smart and heading off to study smart things with smart people. If you can frame your pursuit from day one with the idea of using whatever you learn to honor God and help others, you can take your studies as far as He leads you. You have the beautiful freedom to consult your heart instead of consulting only your future bank account.

My favorite prayer book is called The Valley of Vision. Here is a portion of the prayer that “happened” to be next in line today – reminded me that God is faithful to tie things together for us when we listen.

“LORD OF ALL BEING, There is one thing that deserves my greatest care, that calls forth my ardent desires, that is, that I may answer the great end for which I am made – to glorify thee who hast given me being, and to do all the good I can for my fellow men; verily, life is not worth having if it be not improved for this noble purpose. Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind! Most men seem to live for themselves, without much or any regard for thy glory, or for the good of others; they earnestly desire and eagerly pursue the riches, honours, pleasures of this life, as if they suppose that wealth, greatness, merriment, could make their immortal souls happy. But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these! And how miserable ere long will those be that sleep in them…”

Our society is obsessed with standing out and being special. I buy into that at times with myself – trying to figure out what my grand contribution is supposed to be. It’s not that my brain, my writing, or my art are unimportant. They are simply unimportant in the traditional thinking about success. Followers, viewers, and listeners do not define the value of my contribution! The only measuring stick for any of it is whether or not it answers the “great end” for which I was made – glorifying God and doing what good I can for my fellow man.

You have grown up in a strange land, a land of excess, of sameness – a land where many spend as much on their vacations as the average citizen makes in a year. You have also been observant enough to realize that these riches do not make people happy. If anything, they are distracting and dividing. C.S. Lewis says, “Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is “finding his place in it”, while really it is finding its place in him.”

You have not had much of a place in the high school social strata (thank goodness). It might be tempting to “find your place in the world” as you swim into friendlier waters. My hope is that you find your mission to the world instead. If, along the way, your journey includes a sizable paycheck, find ways to remind yourself who it truly belongs to. (Food and shoes, food and shoes…)

So you and and your gifted brain – go try to figure out how nanobots can cure cancer, or help design some brilliant machine that improves eyesight or a medicine to end Malaria – OR – maybe one day you will find yourself doing some job just to put bread on the table and shoes on your kids’ feet – and your GREAT END will be to love your family well and show kindness and compassion to whatever coworkers you are thrown together with. Our measure of what is great and what is important must be constantly brought back to God’s measuring stick. It is absolutely the only one that will matter in the end.

You will leave this world one day with only your soul. No penny, no person will take that particular journey with you. So, fill your soul. Listen to your heart. And don’t forget the first words that Paul uses to define the righteous life for Timothy. He starts with “a life of wonder”. Such wisdom! The wonder of creation, of science, of poetry and beauty – wonder will always lead you back to the God of Wonders!FullSizeRender (6)IMG_7234

So, when you catch yourself slipping into the sticky web of the world’s idea of success, get outside or read something amazing. Break the cycle and come back. Find the “rich simplicity of being yourself” before the God who made you and loves you – beyond your wildest imagination – exactly as you come.

Of course, a letter of this nature from a Mom of my nature, must end with a quote from my favorite.

“Power, success, happiness, as the world knows them, are his who will fight for them hard enough, but peace, love and joy are only from God.”

~Frederick Buechner

Love, Mom


Bringing Nature to You

Open this link and let me give you a gift. I am learning yoga (sort of), I’ve downloaded my deep breathing app and am contemplating a more serious practice of meditation. I am not switching religions or running off to a commune. I simply find that the more time I spend quieting myself, the more joyful and efficient I am when I’m back on the move.

The exercises and techniques are all fine and good, but the best way for me to find this calmer state is to be in nature. My brain seriously never stops. It’s tiring. The only time I can completely relax and stop thinking is when my senses are immersed in the outdoors. Topping the list is picking up shells at the beach; next best is the mountains or forest with my camera. I will look up after hours of wandering and realize I did not have an anxious or serious thought about anything.

And if that sounds like as waste of time, what happens next is magical. For even though I am not experiencing conscious thoughts, my brain is doing far deeper work than usual. I emerge from those times with new melodies, new words, new connections. But as a busy Mom of 3 kids – those times in nature are often few and far between.

I heard Krista Tippett’s interview with Gordon Hempton on her On Being podcast – here’s the link: Silence and the Presence of Everything. I was mesmerized.  I then went directly to Gordon Hempton’s lovely webpage: I put all of his soundscapes in my cart, purchased them, and gleefully watched as the zipped files popped into my e-mail inbox.

I imported them all into iTunes and have them set to play on a loop. As I type this, I can close my eyes (thanks to whoever the nutty lady was that taught me to type in high school) – I am deep in the forest with a soft rain falling – there is a steady, low hum underneath with the occasional drip from the leaves, distant bird calls, and oh, the tree frog just joined in.

Of course, I’d rather actually be sitting in the forest feeling the rain fall on my head. But, alas, I have a voice recital to attend, and 1,000 words to write and chores to do. So, I have imported a little nature and will vacuum with my good headphones on. Just having this on in the background slows down the cadence of my breath and I naturally take more air in and let it all out.  My body responds with no effort on my part.

So, there’s your gift – skip Chick Fil A and spend a few bucks supporting Mr. Hempton’s important work. Do all the steps – download and import everything, make a playlist, put it on your phone and computer, and press play. You’re welcome.



An Excellent Reading List

100 or So of my All-Time Favorites

Sorted by genre, in no particular order…

Novels and Stories:

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Godric by Frederick Buechner

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (whole Kingsbridge series)

Fortune Smiles by Adam Johnson

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

Hawaii by James A. Michener

The Alchemist  by Paulo Coelho

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Howards End by E.M. Forster

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (everything by Jane Austen)

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Elenor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


Science Fiction / Fantasy / Mythology:

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Wrinkle in Time Series by Madeleine L’Engle

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy

Cross Roads & Eve by William Paul Young

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

His Dark Materials series and Book of Dust series by Philip Pullman

Ender’s Game (whole series) by Orson Scott Card

The Passage by Justin Cronin

Circe by Madeline Miller

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis



A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene

Finding God in the Waves by  Mike McHargue (science and memoir)


Wisdom and Poetry:

Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon

Devotions by Mary Oliver

Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

Healing the Wounded Heart by Dan Allender

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Teaching a Stone to Talk by Annie Dillard (and Maytrees)

Walking in Wonder by John O’Donohue

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

The Pocket Pema Chodron by Pema Chodron

Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship by Coleman Barks

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith

Spiritual / Christian:

Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

Telling Secrets by Frederick Buechner

A Grief Observed, The Great Divorce, and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Love Does by Bob Goff

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen (also The Way of the Heart)

Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr (also The Divine Dance & Breathing Under Water)

A Hidden Wholeness by Parker J. Palmer

Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor (also Leaving Church)

Acedia and Me by Kathleen Norris

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

Disciplines for the Inner Life by Bob and Michael W. Benson

Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home by Richard Foster

A Way other than Our Own by Walter Brueggemann

How I Found God in Everyone and Everywhere: An Anthology of Spiritual Memoirs edited by Andrew M. David and Philip Clayton

Learning the Vocabulary of God by Frank Charles Laubach

Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle


History, Biography, Memoir:

A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Night by Elie Wiesel

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

On Writing by Stephen King

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

Educated by Tara Westover

If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie


Mystery series authors:

Dorothy Sayers

Agatha Christie

P.D. James

Patricia Cornwell

Scott Pratt

Louise Penny

Nevada Barr

Stephen King

Enjoy is An Action Verb

Make your life enjoyable.  Out of all the words spoken at my son’s commencement speeches, these are the ones that stuck. I wanted to stop it all for a minute in hopes that those words would soak into the hearts of the graduates a little deeper than all the noise about success and grit and the like.

The smart and wise young speaker, Jordan Griffin, alluded to finding this enjoyment in relationships, work, learning, & play. When he got to that specific line, the J-O-Y in the middle of that word jumped out. It occurred to me that this is our difficult calling – to enjoy this life in its moment-by-moment entirety. Finding JOY is a choice.

“Enjoy” is derived from the Latin word “occupo” – the same root that gives us grasp, seize, take hold of. Enjoyment when seen through this lens is far from the passive, just-happens-to-us, stumbled-upon thing we make of it. It is something we choose and seek and start, something we can lose, something we must find again.

How do I do this in the repetitive circumstances of my ordinary days? Do I cherish the meal that was shared and hope to share another one tomorrow as I rinse the dinner dishes? Do I contemplate the new birdsong I heard on my walk as I fold the socks that I wore on the path?  Can I notice the multiple shades of green in the grass I mow, or rest in the occasional pauses, appreciating the quiet and comfort held in my breath?

For if I can habitually find enjoyment in these cyclical and routine happenings, find meaning in what I am tempted to call tiresome or mundane, how much easier would it be to treasure the moments of lying close to my husband, of laughing with my kids, petting my dogs, filling my bird feeder while the cardinals chirp their thanks above my head, or chatting with the marvelously singular people in line with me at the grocery? Maybe I will marvel at the unique hazel sparkle of my daughter’s eyes when I wipe her tears, or dream of what her passion might accomplish when she slams the door in my face.

Enjoyment is not forced on us, or handed to us. It does not scream out from the kitchen broom or computer keyboard. It does not separate itself from the pain of loss or the shame of mistakes, but it there all the same. It is waiting to be sought, pried out, noticed, and accepted. It is under my fingertips as I type these words – it is the sensuous feel of tapping lightly on my thoughtfully designed Mac keyboard; it is the surprise at the words that tumble out of my often-wandering and spaced-out brain.

This I know for sure: the only way I will seek joy in the midst of life’s tumultuous tragedies is if seeking it has become second nature to me when the seas are calm.

I make my life enjoyable by fully occupying the space and the time I am in right now, by fully occupying and appreciating the body that holds me there, and by connecting as deeply and kindly as possible with the lives I intersect. Awake, my soul, and enjoy!


Saturday Shadows


The world took the life of Jesus on a Friday. He defeated death on Sunday. But there was a day in between. On that day, reality sunk in. With shock still clinging, friends were scattered to the wind; they were in the dark, and they were alone.

I have friends living in extended Saturdays – seemingly unending Saturdays. Some of them believe Sunday is coming, but there are days when they wonder. Their personal Fridays – troubled kids, long-term illness, severe depression, broken relationships – came crashing down out of nowhere.

When you are wandering through Saturday’s dark valley, Sunday often seems like a childish dream.

Saturday is a terror. Dark curtains cover the windows; food has no taste; feet feel as heavy as our hearts. The mitochondria in every cell feel starved for energy. And even if we experienced the same trauma, the awareness of our uniqueness isolates us – there is no one who can fully understand our own particular pain pathways because no one is us.

Reminding your Saturday friends that Sunday is coming is a bit like skipping down the hospital hallway singing “It’s a Beautiful Day”. Probably better to softly join them in their Saturday for a while.

Your presence might remind them that there was a once a Thursday, even if Sunday is currently beyond their imagination.

Grocery Store Gut Check


I love my H.E.B. grocery store. It is ridiculously enormous – even for Texas. I imagine it would shock the socks of most people coming from another country, or even a big U.S. city. It is like our S.U.V.s and Ford trucks – loud, colorful, and too big for our own good. On the weekends, along with a dizzying food selection, this store also provides me with some fascinating people watching.

This past Saturday, I parked at the back of the also-gargantuan parking lot, snagged one of the last shopping carts, and headed into battle. Even with aisles as wide as most people’s living rooms, it was a challenge getting around. From the moment I exited produce, I was moving opposite an older-than-me gentleman, passing him on every aisle on our westerly adventure across the store.

This guy was fantastic. I watched him, crowded aisle after crowded aisle, gently guiding traffic, inconspicuously moving carts of unsuspecting aisle hogs, reaching the top shelf for little ladies and making funny remarks to his fellow shoppers, me included. He was ahead of me in the checkout line, hamming it up with the cashier and the tiny, tattooed, purple-haired high school girl bagging his 2 carts worth of groceries. He hollered to us, “Ya’ll have a good one!” on his way out.

Of course, he was parked directly across from me when I finally completed the trek to my car. When I finished unloading and turned around to find the nearest place to stash my cart, he was standing there waiting to snag my cart for me. I often grab people’s carts as I am walking by if I can help, but he made a special trip to the back of my car.

After that, he climbed into his big, old truck, well marked by the political stickers of my least favorite politician, and lit up a cigarette. 

My heart just sank – and not because of who he voted for. I asked myself, “What if I had seen him in his old truck with his political display, sucking on that cigarette, before I SAW him – the REAL him – in all his glorious action?” Ugh. I realized that I would have immediately viewed him differently – probably as less educated, possibly even as less kind. And he was an amazing person who had added real joy to my day! When on earth did cigarettes become associated with lower human value in my broken head – a head that struggles with plenty of addictive behaviors of its own?

I have read several things written by talented authors this past year in and attempt to better understand the racial tensions that continue to simmer in this country. I have come across the word microaggressions almost daily. Here is a simple definition of microaggression from Google: “a statement, action, or incident regarded as an instance of indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group such as a racial or ethnic minority.”

I don’t walk out my door planning to discriminate against anyone, but I probably do it without realizing it on a regular basis. My hope is that the rest of this week – the rest of this life – that I will remember my kind HEB smoking buddy when I interact with anyone who is a little different than me. If I would let one lousy cigarette cloud my judgment so easily, imagine what other unintentional judgments have escaped my attention.

“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen” – John Steinbeck


For now, I am thankful for a lesson learned, and thankful for the kindness of strangers. My eyes are at least opened a little wider.

The Customized Caring of Jesus

Birds of the AirI was reading in John (The Message version) this morning. I love how Peterson’s phrasing gets me to look at passages in a fresh way. I read about several of the miracles – the official’s dead daughter, blind men, the woman who touched his robe, demon possessed, etc..

Then, that chapter ends and in the last paragraph I saw this: “He…healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, his heart broke…”

A couple things struck a chord with me. First is how he used very particular methods to heal each person. He could have been like the evangelists on T.V., slapped everyone on the forehead and spouted, “Be healed!” Instead, he took each case on its own and found creative ways and specific words to tend to the wounds of each individual.

It says he “healed their bruised and hurt lives”. He wasn’t only tending to physical needs – this implies he was dealing with heart pain, anxiety, grief, abuse – you name it.

I think He (meaning the God-man Jesus, not just some out-there, big, invisible God) is still doing stuff like that today – even though we aren’t experiencing it as directly.

If you have a bruised and hurting life right now, Jesus looks upon you the same way He did that crowd, and His heart aches for you. He is there for you in a specific way with a healing of singular design. I have no idea what that looks like, but I hope that one day you will be able to look back on your time of pain and recognize His hand in its mending.

“Our glory is hidden in our pain, if we allow God to bring the gift of himself in our experience of it.”     ~Henri Nouwen

This might feel distant or hard to believe if you are stuck in the muck. If so, just tuck it away in a brain file so you can find it later.

Christ Among Us

Christmas – Christ among us, taking on our form, knowing the touch of our skin, our little blip of a world as viewed through our eyes, choosing to live life time-and-place bound, feeling our losses, our celebrations, our hopes, our deceptions. It is a wonder beyond description, a mystery beyond explanation.fullsizerender-1

It was The-3-in-1-United who understood, who understands, the full meaning of what happened that night of His birth, when the cornerstone was thrown into the center of an infinite ocean. The ringed waves of His love and His life-giving grace continue to spread through all time, to all of us.

I went through much of my life unable, unwilling maybe, to connect to God in the form of a man. Too vulnerable, too messy, too frightening, too weird. But I live in a human body with a human brain and a human heart. And trying to know God while boxing off that part of Him left me cold, confused, and often doubtful.

Although I could never adequately explain this in words, there came a point where I needed the tangible, palpable love of the human part of God so much that I could no longer live without it. And at the moment of that realization – there He was. I immediately understood that He had always been right there waiting.

Even though I know my physical skin did not rest in His hand and the tiny bones inside my ear did not vibrate to the sound of voice, it felt that real. Maybe it was that real in some dimension I do not understand.

What I do know is that it was Jesus who met me in my desperate hour. It was that Christmas baby grown, gone and raised again. It was the Son of Man, my Savior. He was and is Emmanuel, God with us, then, now, and forever more.

Why I Avoid Taking My Daughters to the Grocery Store

fullsizerender I could post this image and shut up, but I’m a writer, so I’ll comment briefly.

I actually L’dOL when I saw that Real Simple magazine in the mix – PEACEFUL SEASON?! As long as you don’t stand in grocery store lines contemplating just how far your body is from what it evidently is supposed to be.

I have 2 beautiful girls, 14 & 11, at the time I’m writing this. Short of starving themselves, living in a gym, and possibly undergoing plastic surgery, they will never look like the women on the covers of the magazines.

I had the delicious thought of taking a can of spray paint and skipping down the aisles covering every last bare butt, perfect breast, and veneered smile just to make a point. I’m tired of it. Aren’t most of us tired of it? I wish I knew how to stop it.

I would like to start a petition among all the women in our nation – sign it and agree that you will not ever again spend a pretty penny on a magazine with an airbrushed cover promoting a false sense of beauty, creating shame, or identifying women by their body parts. Because you know what? If people weren’t buying these magazines, they would no longer be staring at us every time we buy our eggs and milk.

Anybody with me?