This Where the Nonsense Turns to Makesense

..A large family working to perfect our sweet skills: Loving others, making an impact, parenting on purpose, living simply, and embracing sarcasm.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Jennie Allen wrote a book that is jacking up my boundaries, my ease. I have spent a year in a job I have thoroughly enjoyed, but if I am honest, I haven't loved everything else.

My house? Train wreck.

My kids? They could give Oscar the Grouch a run for his grumpy money.

My husband? I almost don't recognize him, but lets leave his mustache out of this.

My hair? No. Too soon to talk about this one.

I don't know why we honeymoonize everything. I looked at the wrong things when I thought going to work full-time was no big deal. As it turns out, I didn't get to stop being a full-time wife or a full-time mom when I became a full-time teacher. Instead, I went from strict priorities to "if I could just find a minute to drink some water or exercise or snuggle my babies".

This life is getting stupider by the nano second and I have no one to blame but myself.

I haven't worked out in a month. I don't have time.

It's been weeks since I wrote in The Book. I don't have time.

Bible reading? Here and there, but I am so tired I can't convince my eyes to stay open at the same time.

Confession: I haven't washed my sheets within this month. I know I need to. But, you guessed it. I don't have time.

I want to be radical. I want to follow Jesus and mean it. I want to be willing to say ANYTHING when Jesus whispers "Shontell, I see you. What will you do for me?"

If I am tired, I want a life to be changed because of it.

If I am drained, I want salvation to be the cause.

A quote from Anything, " from this point on things are changing. I am living for the moment when I will face you. I want to get to heaven out of breath, having willingly done anything that you -God of the universe-ask…anything."

"Praise The Lord. Holy Crap"-Ellie Grace

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Linking Up With The Gypsy

Type for five minutes flat without editing on one topic. Today, that topic is Friend:


My friends, the girl in the PNW and the other girl currently living in Vegas, keep me company all day long. I like it. Tonight, the southern most friend sent news that her contractions were getting closer together. Now, normally we group text, the three of us, and it's all a lot of nonsense (which I am clearly a fan of) but this is real news. After I get off of work, I check in with them only to find they have left me the present of no less than 50 texts. usually more like 75. Can you even imagine how many we will generate if one of this tri-fecta is in labor!!? I am only slightly excited.

That's a lie I just made up myself. So, friend. Right now. I ode to you and your new little peanut. We will be praying. I will be sleeping restlessly. I will be dying to know if my baby birthday guess was right. (I chose the last week of April). Word to your mother.


Monday, April 22, 2013

In my bed

My belly feels like there is a rock sitting in it. I blame the coffee. It was super strong. So naturally I drank two cups with a sugary muffin on the side. Why do I do it? In the wise words of Dr. Seuss, " don't ask me, go ask your mother".

Tonight is family night. We celebrate Mondays by giving it a funny name and watching the Cosby Show. Taco Tuesday doesn't work because we already have Partridge Family guitar Tuesdays. So instead we have Taco Tuesday Monday. It's the same really. Only different. I can't explain things.

I just know I want my belly ache to quit so I can eat spicy rice with a substitute of ground turkey for beef. And I want zero negative repercussions. Which have nothing whatsoever to do with percussions. It should. But it doesn't. I can't explain it anymore than I can explain why my heater keeps coming on when the thermostat clearly reads OFF in big offensive letters or why they keep making Land Before Time movies.

It's not like we didn't like the first one. It was great really. It's just that maybe it's time to let that one go. There are other story lines. Step to as to writing one.

My stomach is making funny gurgling noises. I think I am hungry. Don't try to make sense of me. Just love me through it and make me a sandwich. With a banana on the side. And a bottle of water. And a Kit Kat.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Earth Day

I love the Earth. I really do, but this holiday is so obscure. We teach it in school. Usually we plant things. Which I think I will do with my students tomorrow, but I sort of feel like Ricky Bobby on Talladega Nights when he is giving his first interview and he doesn't know what to do with his hands. His race was brilliant. Well played. Fast even. But what comes next?? I hear you Ricky.
I guess we could talk about how to take care of the Earth, but kindergarteners aren't supposed to learn about recycling and what not. That's a first grade lesson. I don't want to steal that teacher's thunder.
Maybe we will talk about words that rhyme with earth. Worth. Firth. Birth. Ew. That got awkward fast.
Ok. I have no choice. I am running short on time, and it's clearly an emergency situation. I will have to hang out on Pinterest during church.
Anyone else find themselves in this situation? No?? Just me?? Hmm.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Rule: Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt “Jump” with no editing, tweaking or self critiquing.

Jumping. I jump. I jumped. I am jumping. Am I? Sometimes I don't feel like a loan reed. I want to, but then I remember I am small. But do I jump like a small person? I love two year old jumpers. They are so full of excitement, they build the anticipation, but then they jump and their feet don't actually come off the ground. I hope I don't jump like a kid. I see my direction. I could sort of fall into it. Stumble. But I want to live with purpose. Is it purposely or purposefully? Purposefully. I am sure of it. Here I go.





 Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Things That Don't Come Naturally to Me

  • waiting.. for anything
  • keeping quiet for lengths of time
  • exercise. Today I wrangled 13 kindergarteners and a bus full of elementary kids for some time at the "zoo". Shouldn't this count? I think I just made my own point.
  • Love for cleaning. Oh, sure, I want it to look clean. But in the same way a meal cooked by someone else always seems to feel better going in, I feel better going into my house when it has been cleaned by another.
  • skirts. Although I see their attraction (ease, cute factor, etc.) there are problems in their general make up (wind, wedgies, unshaven legs, etc.)
  • girls. I don't always get them.
  • doting. I am so unfamiliar with this term, I don't even know if I spelled it correctly. I am going with it. I watch some parents at school who are so obliging and willing with their kids. This is usually the point when I lean down to my own child and say, "Go get your own lunch box out of the car. I didn't leave it there. I have my lunch right here." And to further prove the validity of my words, I hold my lunchbox in the air in an obvious fashion until my child asks me politely for the keys. Mean? I know what you are thinking. What a bully. Well, I am anti bullying, to be sure, but I will ask you to revisit our group when that doted upon child is looking for a Kleenex and realizes our school bathroom doesn't stock them. 
DUS (doted upon student): I need a tissue.
Teacher: Ok, you can go to the bathroom and get one.
DUS (leaves and comes back, clearly still in need of a tissue): I couldn't find one.
Teacher: Did you go into the bathroom?
DUS: yes. But there aren't any.
Teacher (speaking slower by the second):  Hmmm. Was there something ELSE you could have used as a tissue?
DUS: uuuum...I...hmmm. I don't know.
Teacher: Please think. Think about what you see and what you use the WHOLE time you go in the bathroom. What could work?
DUS: I.... (chirp. chirp)
DUS: oh. ok. Can I get some toilet paper?
Teacher: doh!
True story.
I am the way I am. It's for the children.

I am not the teacher in this representation. And no children were harmed in the making of this story. The DUS remained remarkably clueless, and I inwardly apologized to my own child that one day she would be running the country next to this clown.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Anything? That Seems Like a Lot

I awoke just now to rain on my window pane. I don't live in Seattle, so it's easy for me to say I love it. It is 3 in the morning, and I have been listening to this Nevada downpour for an hour. That's a big deal here in the desert.

I want to just lie here and soak it in like a sponge, but my mind wanders in a million directions. Some prayers. Some unsettled business. Some reminders of what needs to happen from my to-do list. Some mulling over of the books I just finished.

I want to, but I can't turn of all the thoughts. I am thirsty for water. I am thirsty for more. Of everything.

My husband is not home and I miss my big kids. Two are on a mission trip and one is living life in Southern California with some friends. They will all be home by Friday, but that seems far.

Ten caterpillars are morphing into butterflies in my classroom. Right now. I am worried they will turn before my students can come back to see it.

Teenagers flash through my mind intermittently. I pray for them. You pass through my mind, my friend and reader. I pray a blessing on you. It's ok if we haven't met. It's best if we have, but I pray either way. Be blessed.

I can't find my cards. Over a year ago, I outlined my entire book on twenty index cards. They are my secondary most important resource to writing this book. And I cannot find them. Please say a prayer on that one for me. It's giving me a belly ache.

All of these thoughts, but really I keep circling back to one.

I pray about my future. I think it's changing. There is a need that warrants filling. And God is unsubtly dropping hints. Smooth. Normally, I would say this isn't for me, but the fact that I am so vehemently doubting my ability for God to use me in this space says otherwise. Like Moses.

"You've got the wrong guy. Teenagers?" I say.

"Yes. They like you. You are weird, but relatable." He says.

"But, I am an adult. Aren't I supposed to be scared of teenagers? They can be weird. Oh. Er. I see. But they come with face piercings. Uh. Hmm. I see. But I want to be liked. If I boss them they won't think I am funny anymore." I stammer.

"They don't need a peer. You are WAY too old to be their peer.," he says with a smirk.

"Thanks Lord. That's nice. I feel good now."

I can almost feel his shoulders shake to hide His laughter. He adds, "they need someone who isn't afraid to love them as they are, where they are, and who won't be afraid to tell it to them straight. They don't need bossing. They need Me. They need a leader to sympathize with their problems but hold them accountable to love others more than themselves. Their focus is all wrong. They need someone to give them a little shove because right now they feel like they can't make a difference. But you know better, and I want you to tell them."

"Lord, I don't want to be Moses. I don't want to say 'you have the wrong guy'."

"Then don't," he says simply.

"Ok. Protect my relationship with my own teens. I don't want them to feel like I am butting in. I don't want them to feel like I am invading their space. They are my priority over other kids."

"Just tell them that. Be Frank. He's great."

"Funny. Ok. Use me. I'll do it. Show me what it looks like. Show me how. When. Because I think it's going to start small. As do so many good things. I feel myself jumping the gun heading to the end of rather than the starting point."

"Pray. Just ask. And, hey. Ask each day. Not just once. There's a lot to talk about. If this is the only time we discuss it, you'll miss things. I will show you along the way. In my timing. For I know the plans I have for you. Did you catch that? I KNOW. those are the important words of that sentence. You are saying it wrong. Your emphasis is on the plans instead of me. Be willing. Be here. Everyday. Look for it. Be the part of Moses who did it afraid, but he did it still. Are you willing?"

I should pause and see if it's true, but I just say it, " Anything. Lord, I will do anything. You loved me first. You love me still. You love me when I am a total spaz. I will do it afraid. Anything."

Beginning the first Saturday in May I will be leading a book study on Jennie Allen's book "Anything". We will read a couple chapters each week, and meet back here to discuss what we get out of it.

If you are local, we are meeting at Starbucks on Saturdays at 8:30 each morning. Books are available at your local Christian bookstore or through

Begin now by asking yourself, "What are you willing to do for God? How big? How scary? How self-sacrificing?" Bring your answer May 4th.
Contact me for further details.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Specifically Speaking

Sometimes I get so convoluted with words and noises and confusion that I don't hear what's being graciously whispered into my ear repeatedly. I know He is whispering, but I can't make out the words. I know what you are thinking. "She hears voices? I am out."

But the truth is sometimes God will talk, and if we catch him mumbling, it's probably because we are too busy and focused on all the wrong things to take a minute and ask for clarity. Not just clarity. Confirmation and understanding.
So, he's been mumbling (aka I haven't been listening really) and it wasn't until I spewed advice that I realized where I heard that awesome advice before. God said it.

To me.

Right in my ear.

And I didn't comprehend his words, only that he was speaking.

So not only am I a bad listener, but I also do not obey. And I steal God's advice for myself and pawn it off with a straight face like I am Dr Leo Marvin looking for a ground breaking new book (please watch What About Bob. It's for the children).

I am full of it.


Happy ending? Today is a good day to start tuning in and looking up.

Just try it. See what you notice. Tell me what you hear.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Nonsense- It's why you are here

So why don't I just lay it all out there:

A) I want Stephanie Meyer to finish writing Midnight Sun. I don't care if she publishes it; just send me my own copy. I don't need a cover. I need more than 12 chapters of life from Edward's point of view, that's what I need.

2) My kid and I are taking another kid and another lady to a Women of Faith for teens conference in Roseville this weekend. I am so excited I may forget to do anything else. We leave Friday. We get to go to the movies, too. We are watching The Host- a Stephanie Meyer production.

3) I like salad. I don't know why I don't eat it more.

D) I am procrastinating taking a shower. It's not that I don't want to spend time with you. It's just that I have not combed my hairs in two weeks. I have washed it, but I just towel dried. This makes sense with my hairs. Not yours probably, but with my sweet fro, I don't need to comb it all the time. I would never comb it if I could get away with it, but the longer I wait, the more helmet shaped it becomes. Just trust me on this. It's science.

6) My heart hurts when little kids don't have food.

F) My heart stutters a little when I see a bald little brown boy. It's not something I am doing. It's something my heart is doing. Dear Lord and Mike Brewer, I really think I need a tan kid with the ability to grow a sweet fro. Send a boy and a girl; I don't mind. But make them mocha, and make them love me. The end. Oh, and make them potty trained.

and 11) I miss you people. I miss being here more. I miss your comments and your sassy remarks. I miss sitting on my computer scrolling all your blogs with my coffee in hand. Spring break is coming. At one point we will be down to two children. Call me crazy, but it's as if the clouds are parting to allow me to catch up. My heart feels happier already.

 NOTE: the author and finisher of this nonsense recognizes that these pictures have little to do with the topics at hand (or not because they are nonsense) and more to do with who she was thinking of at the time of this publication. If this disturbs you, follow her. See that button? push it. Push it real good.

Mrs Hannigan

I am pretty sure she is standing over my shoulder.

She's God's number one on my case of whines and whimpers.

God wakes me up because people need prayer or I was supposed to do something midday, and I opted to postpone that plan, and God woke me at night to fulfill it. To which I whine "but it's in the middle of the night." Then I hear Mrs. Hannigan mumble and mock over my right shoulder "but it's in the middle of the night".
Yah. She's drunk still when I picture her (am I the only one who didn't know she was drunk? I literally thought she liked to stir and drink her bath water).

Anyway. I mulled and chatted. Prayed and read. And. Awesome. It's not 3a.m. Anymore. Now it's four. I am wide awake.

I should go write. I should go read my bible and finish up my bible study. I'll probably stumble to the bathroom and read my book (not in the bathroom. Once I get back in bed).

I could take a shower and comb through this beast of a hair do.

I would clean something, but that sounds awful.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Story of my life.