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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tacos! Tacos! Get Your Tacos

Overheard today "You've got such great ideas for staying connected with your kids."
This might be the best compliment I've received in ages. 

JT is the supervisor. Obviously. Today's taco Tuesday was a success. How could it go wrong really? 

Good food. 
Good people. Solomon's butt in the air drawing a sombrero wearing JT who is jumping over Mexico holding a Corona. It's just a win win.  

Families. Singles. Teens. Tweens. Toddlers. Teachers. Preachers. Rifle shooters. Football players. Soon to be graduates. Chalk and ice cream. Not in the same bowl. 
This and a whole lotta love makes Tuesdays my favorite night of every week. 
That and the left over refried beans.

This didn't start off as a ministry. It started as a Tuesday with food. Tacos are our thing. What's yours? What can you use to reach people for Jesus? 


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Yes, Sometimes God is Mad at You

It's true. It says so right there in the Bible. 

There's a PC thing we do in this world that makes us gloss over that which ruffles us. But I've never been accused of being PC- sometimes they call me Kramer, and sometimes it's just me putting my foot in my mouth, but usually it's because I take God at his word. 

There's a nasty gray that appears when black and white merge. It's best we don't camp there. 

When Joshua, who has obeyed and worked and led and prayed and done so much to follow God's commands to the fullest, reaches Ai he's feeling good. There's no denying that God is on his side because he made an entire city collapse before their eyes. Jericho met its match in a people walking in circles and shouting and trumpets. When God can do something like that he can also know when we've sinned. Especially when we keep it hidden. 

When we sin God is sad and mad. Believe it. " the Lord was very angry with the Israelites." Joshua 7:1

Then Joshua does this thing we all do. I do. He starts complaining and blaming God "why did you even bring us here?!"

Then the lord, our lord, Jesus before he was here on this earth, God in his fullness, he does what a lot of parents do when their kids sin and then blame the parent. He speaks loudly in exclamation marks. !!! 
"GET UP!" 
He doesn't speak quietly or in a calm uplifting voice when he says," why are you lying on your face like this? Israel has sinned and broken my covenant!" 

He tells Joshua to quit belly aching and make it right. There is sin in this camp. By all means spend a minute asking forgiveness. But then repent and fix it. Don't sit around heaping on shame. That's not from God. He convicts so we will draw near to repentance. 

There are no mixed signals here. God gave direction in his covenant. They disobeyed and then complained. Oh if I could just not relate to this pattern so easily. 
I'm working on it. And while I wait, I know that I don't have to feel shame when I screw up. That's the beauty of God's grace. He heaps it when I even just side glance toward him. When I look him full in the face with my junk he says, "you're mine. You're all mine and you can do better. I'll help." 
I love how he loves. I want to love like that- to be angry but never stop loving, not even for one second. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

How Big Is Your Brave?

I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Your brave? Is it where you function? God says "this" and you say "yes! Watch!"  

Or does your conversation sound more like me and more like Moses? All the reasons I didn't hear God properly. All the  ways we aren't right for the job. All the ways we will fail. 

As it turns out my brave is considerably underdeveloped. God gives me marching orders, and I'm rooted to the same spot, unable to take a step. This isn't who I want to be. So my shoulders droop and I wonder why God ever thought to use me. 

I'd like to say I'm all done being this way, thus sparks the muse to write this post. But really, I'm smack dab in the middle of it. I've only grown enough to know it's a problem. 

But it's something, and I'm grasping on. I'm terrified of so many things. But I'm standing. And you know what I'm finding? God is good with it. 

He meets me. He doesn't stand on a mountain and say I can only have a piece of him if I can make it to the top. He doesn't withhold. Instead he keeps layering me up. Like me with sarcasm at the end of an especially hard day, he lays it on awfully thick. He's punchy with grace and patience. 

When we confess with our mouth that we aren't enough, it makes space for God who is. So let's be done beating ourselves up for being scaredy cats. Instead let's take Joyce Meyer's advice, and do it afraid. 

What is it that you've been too scared to do? Where is your brave needing to bulk up in muscle? I would love to pray for you, friend. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sleeping With The Enemy: there's harm in flirting

Most times it's happening for hours or days. Even weeks. Before I realize it's happening. The flirting. 

I'm not talking about flirting with men other than my husband. He's the winner and he's all I want. I'm talk about flirting with satan. 

I do it. I flirt with satan. 

I don't start my day out planning this. In fact, I try to start most days planning the exact opposite. But it happens. For me it's in the little things. 

I've been a Christian for over 3 decades. I don't struggle with quitting drugs or drinking an amount called acceptable. I don't hang on to bitterness and try to sabotage those who do me wrong. I've worked through my approach in all of these. My sins are little, but they are great. 

They are many. Each of these are small. Not an outright advance. Just a flirt with the enemy. 

Things like being a little too lax when it comes to caring for my home. Being on my phone too much. Throwing out a retort when my kids are annoying me. Spending more money than I planned and keeping the packages in the car because my guilt keeps me from bringing them inside. (Just kidding, Handsome. I never do this). 
How about paying for a gym membership I don't use like I should? Would you call that sin? I would. 
We are commanded to be good stewards of our resources. And it's fine if I don't go to the gym. But maybe I need to reevaluate my membership. 
Here's the thing. These are seemingly silly. These are things that could be fixed in about a second if I just chose the right side of the road. But they are flirts. 

Suddenly one little flirt leads to another and what was so far outside of the realm of possibility is suddenly one step to my right. I went a rude remark of irritation to full blown yelling at my kids. Saying words that cut instead of build. 

I went from irritated about a messy house to self indignation because why is it my job to clean? Why do I have to do this?? I work all day. I make dinner. I. I. I. 

Whoa. Where'd you come from? Selfish much? Yes. I am. And it gets nastier with every flirt. Because suddenly we look around and we find we've been sleeping with the enemy. 

Draw a hard and fast line, friends. We don't flirt with the devil. We pour out love. We serve with Jesus's heart. We chase what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable! 
Philippians tells us to think on these things. Be changed. God is for you. You've got this. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

I Can't Be An Animal Person

It's 4:23 and I'm sitting in my classroom with eyelids as heavy as a baby elephant after a thanksgiving feast. That's of course if elephants celebrated thanksgiving. I'm convinced they would if they knew about it. 
I'm also convinced I am not a dog person. I'm not a dog person or a cat person or an animal of any nature person. 
And it's not because my heart is black. It's because my body breaks out in hives and my throat gets the funniest not so subtle tightening sensation when I'm near animals. 
Today, I was standing in the front office minding my own beeswax when a lady we work with walked her service animal in. And while I'm so glad for the happiness and support this animal will one day bring to his owner, I was not at all happy to see him. 
He sensed it. I'm convinced he looked in my soul and deciphered my allergies. And then he just leaned over and licked me. Just like that. Lick. On the back of my leg. My long skirt brushed aside and he made contact with my skin. 
I've been rubbing myself down with lavender oils and heavily medicating myself with Benadryl. 

Also, I've been slurring my words and blinking quite slowly. 
~Nonsense the Drooler

Friday, May 13, 2016


Winners, winners, eat yo dinners! Last week we announced Ms. Ashley Taylor a winner of Lara Izokaitis' latest edition of CATERFLY. Joining her this week?

Kelly DeFaria Bradley, you are our second lucky winner of our book ensemble, complete with prayer journal, a fancy pen, and for hoots, a Starbucks gift card! Congratulations! Thank you for playing along, and I hope you LOVE your book set. Contact me so I can get your deets!

And, because it's Friday, and I just absolutely love this day. And because this week my agent said she was in heart with my first book proposal, and followed it up by asking me for a second. And because this night will include salsa and s'mores. I have decided to name a few runners up.

You know you're a winner if your name is:

Lalita Cole
Danae Lear
Angela Moen

Congratulations to each of you. Be blessed. Be confident. And be defined only in who God says you are.

We've Got Some Really Big News

It's true. I am totally up to something, but God started it. SO many of you know parts of my story because you have walked with me, encouraged me, and prayed with me as I attempted to navigate this funny little side job as a writer. When I opted to sit back and take a break, you encouraged me to get back to it.

You've been friends to the Nonsense. Raise your hand if you've been a blog follower from the beginning. Do it. Seriously. Maybe I will send you a little thank you. For real. Be man or woman enough to admit it, and you might be the happy recipient of some weird but sought after present. But really, I want to say thank you to each of you. Go ahead. Line up. I've got hugs to go around. Because this is big news. Really big news. Like. Our life is changing news. 

 A few months ago, I finally admitted I was scared of failure. I was keeping my writing on the hobby level because then I could be safe and there was no chance of rejection.

A couple months ago, I raised my hand in front of our church. The whole lot of you. And admitted as much with an ask to nudge me toward Mt. Herman's Christian Writing Conference. You did. So I did. I leaped. And guess what. I leaped right into the arms of an agent and a couple requests for my book proposal.

I can't get enough of this picture.

Did you hear me?? I've been signed with an agency. I've been given the gift of a writing deadline, and I mean that with my entire whole complete self. Because writing deadlines mean you are going places.

If you were here to celebrate me, I would give you a smoothie machine. Better yet, two smoothie machines. (Anyone know what movie that's from?)

Thank you. Just thank you for letting me drag you along on this journey.

What's next? Well, I am writing not one, but two book proposals. (To go with my two smoothie machines.) As soon as those get turned in, my agent does her thing.

In the meantime, my job is to show as much heart as I can on this here blog. Want to help? My publisher asked me to increase my traffic. Sure. Let me get right on that.

Well, actually, YOU can get right on that. Share this post. Share all the blog posts that make you laugh out loud, spit your coffee on the floor, and/or make you so annoyed you want to punch a chipmunk. That's it. Just one little share.

Then, just hold on tight! This is going to be a really fun ride!!

DON'T FORGET! Drawing today! Look for me to announce the winner tonight! Don't miss out on your chance to win.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

One Day I Will Meet My Children

We don't always talk about it, but Handsome and I have babies we've never met. Three of them. We've grieved and we've processed over the span of two decades, but 19 years ago we had our first miscarriage. Three months later, this little princess announced her presence when my favorite jeans no longer fit.

We reveled in her. We praised God for this gift. It felt like redemption. 
I couldn't help but feel like God was back on our side. I didn't realize how wrong this thought was. All my hope was in the wrong thing. 
She was two when we got pregnant again. It wasn't planned. And it shook me. I was 11 weeks along. We heard a heart beat and our doctors assured us that all was right. All my faith hung in their words. My hope was in the wrong thing. 

We went through it all again. The telling our friends and family. The trying to get the word out to the church, so it wouldn't hurt when they asked how I was feeling. 

Months later, we were floored when we heard the doctor say, for the third time, we were losing our baby. This one would take surgery. This one wasn't as simple. This one wasn't supposed to happen. We made it past the dangerous time. We finally exhaled our fears of losing another one. I was banking on statistics. 

I never asked God why. Until now. I was so broken. My husband struggled with how to support me, and I was no help. I didn't know how to help myself or what I even needed. I was devastated. And not only from losing a third baby. I hurt because God was revealing to me that my hope was in the wrong thing. I knew better. I knew God. 

God isn't only God when he heals me or when he allows us to keep our babies here on Earth. He's God when he takes them to heaven too early, too. 
He isn't just God when he takes them quick and early if he has to take them. He's God when he chooses to take our babies well into the second trimester as well. 
He's God when we hurt and he is God when we heal and when we love and when we live and when we soar and when we break. 
I was broken. Shattered bits. It was as if I could look down at the pile of me. At my loss.
Two boys and a little girl- although we are going off of what we feel God told us about their genders. The doctors were guessing. 

It isn't something you get over. It's something you learn to make part of your story. Even more, our story is something God has used countless times to bring comfort to other couples facing the same loss. I can't begin to say the miracle this is. 
When you lose a baby, you are changed. Even if that baby was only growing in your belly for two months, three months, four months. It's a loss and a grieving process only a loving God can walk you through. 
When we finally get to the point where we grieve our expectation and open our devastated grip, we move from grief to over-come. We are overcome. 

We find all our faith is in one basket. 

He's the well that won't run dry. He's the one who promises to take our mistakes and hurts and the terrible and break them down to their simplest bits and not reuse them. He makes them new. He makes them filled with life and able to bring healing and glory in his name. 
Our babies, whom we've yet to hold, have already helped other women. God is using their stories to bring hope and light and life. 
I love how my Jesus works. 

Boaz James
Henry Elias
Victory Faith

Happy Mother's Day, babies. I am your mama. One day I will meet you and it will be perfect.


Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Duct Tape on My Rainboots

Recently I wrote Beth Moore a letter. In it I said, "I'm not baptist, but I think an 'ooh glory' slipped out of my mouth at one point." It happens.

My hair is braided so I feel more in touch with my baptist sisters. Ask my friend, Hannah. I said "ooh glory" and "aks" to her both in one day. She's not baptist- she's a wonderful shade of Carmel Mocha that I can't achieve if I try, but God has blessed her with beauty. He blessed me with the jokes. We each have something. 

I'm reading through Joshua 7 this morning. He's just instructed the Israelites through yet another insane only God could do this miracle. God said march around this city. Yell stuff. Blow a horn. Watch. I'll make it fall down. And that's just what happened. Right after that, one of the guys in the camp stole from the people's treasury. He coveted and stole a rainbow robe and some jewelry. He took a bar of gold and some silver. 

Joshua. This guy. Am I right? Every time I read his story, this great great great great and on grandpa of mine, I find myself sighing so heavily and then an "ooh glory" slips out. 
Joshua figured something was wrong when he began losing what should have been an easy win. 36 of his men dead. He fell to his knees in prayer all day. Not some of it. All day. "Ah, Sovereign Lord..." He cried out. 
He asked for direction. He sought truth. "Why did you even bring us here!?" This last part was too far. 
At the bottom of it, Israel had sinned. Then they complained and blamed God. I do this. Ooh glory do I do this. 

In the Greek translation "ooh glory" can mean "God, please get the glory for my stupidity, complaining, and terrible choices. Work these things together for your glory. 
Sorry I was lame. Again. And then complained to you about my natural consequences. Again. And sorry I doubted that you are able to AGAIN get me past this. Again.
Sorry I ask you things and then ignore your words like you're my dad and I'm about to turn 18 and feel like I just need to try it. And thanks for sticking with me as I climb through those consequences. Oh and thanks for letting me question you without being offended. And for free will and my own thoughts. But thanks for always always saving a spot for me right snuggled next to your lap. I see where I fit. I see where you've saved a seat for me. Just. Thanks."

It's a loose translation. It's like duct tape on my Rainboots.


Friday, May 06, 2016

Why We Don't Listen to Christian Music

bet we could get into a contest over who had a more bizarre childhood. Sadly for you, there's no way I can lose this game. Sadly for me, I always seem to win this one. 
I grew up in the ghetto. Not just a regular ghetto. A multicultural ghetto in Vegas with a basketball hoop and a commercial water fountain in my backyard. A basketball hoop in my backyard and a recording studio where my garage used to stand. Legit. Recording studio. 

I have memories of splicing reels to edit recordings I made of myself. I remember turning on the strobe light and setting the record player to spin Bonnie Tyler on repeat. Most days there was a strobe light to accompany the fully mirrored wall. 

We each took an instrument, my brothers and me. Sometimes we would jam, and usually we are unplugged, but it didn't matter. Music was deep in us. 

Any sort of music walked through our recording studio. Our friends, the Demmans, owned a recording studio, so when we weren't in our little garage, we were there. Even more music walked through their doors. Mama Demman taught me to sing, and it's a gift I've cherished forever. 
It's a passion most of my children have picked up. 

More than that, it's a skill they've worked hard at. Elijah currently is learning the acoustic, bass, piano, and cajon. Layla Grace gets a tune in her head and can't stop until she's mastered it on the piano. Sam and Addison are the next Sonny and Cher with their singing. Izzys the master of voice, music playlists, and lyrics, and she's always good to jump into whatever kitchen musical I throw out there. Its not that they are amazing musicians. Not one of us is. 

It's that music is a major part of who we are as a family. We can't do dishes without it. I won't be shocked if ever The Squirrel tells us she needs an exit beat before she agrees to do her chores. And I'll be even less surprised when one of my kids just gives her one. No hesitation. No questions. Just a beat to move on to.

It's things like this that keep our music selection broad. I love worship music. So much it feeds my soul more than any other part of a church service. I could steep in a worship service like a sweaty tea bag, except it's the music diffusing in me. Not the other way around. The words. The intimacy. The talented musicians. Steeped. 

There's this funny question that comes up with many parents I talk to. "Do you let your kid listen to secular music?" I understand what these parents are getting at. And I can even guess as to why they are scared for their kids to journey outside of what some guy somewhere calls Christian music, but I have to tel you, friends. This is off base. 

What IS Christian music? If you mean worship music, then, no. Emphatically I don't only listen to or insist my kids listen to worship music. Nor do I make them take "secular" music and change the lyrics to talk about God. 

We do have some boundaries in what we listen to, because I fully believe the Bible when it tells me what I put in is what will come out. But I don't throw a blanket negatory good buddy over any genre. 

My iPod holds country, worship, rap, folk, hip hop, EDM, classic rock, and even Christmas. (Of course there's Christmas). My thoughts are this. 

I am a Christian. I am a teacher. I work in public school because it's the lost to whom I am called. God has used my faith and prayer and allowed me to share more encouragement than I ever did in a private Christian school. 

Does this mean I am a secular teacher? If I don't talk about God when I am loving my students or counseling their families is my work worldly? Do I HAVE to say I am here to love you because of Jesus's love for me for it to count. Nope. No way. 

That's the Holy Spirit's job. I am called to be a teacher. God has gifted me in this skill just as he has gifted countless musicians, accountants, doctors, writers, and trampoline makers. 

We have music in our pores. All music. I will always encourage my kids to be mindful of lyrics and wise about what they allow to contribute to their minds. But we will honor God through using our gift of music and celebrating everyone else he has gifted as well.