Tag Archives: blog challenge

I’m drowning in unwritten blog posts


So, I’m so insanely behind in my blog challenge that it’s just unforgivable!  My life has been a bit crazy– summer time is always the busiest time of year for kids’ pastors.  And then there’s Christmastime.  And Easter.  Well, let’s just say it’s been crazy!  Last week I led a Musical Theatre Camp for kids–it was fun, and crazy, and our performance was a comedy of errors.

Just imagine one of our stars stopping in the middle of the performance and screaming “There’s a GIANT spider on the stage!” while her fellow actor scornfully says, “I hardly think this is the time to discuss spiders.”  And then there was the time all of the actors forgot what they were supposed to do and stared at me in confusion as I mouthed “Exit.”  Only they didn’t exit, they just stared at me.  And my mouthing became a whisper, became a stage whisper, became a full voice, became practically a yell as the entire audience laughed and the kids just stood and stared.  Or then there was the actor who missed her cue to bring out a tray of appetizers, so we went on with the scene.  Only, two scenes later she decides now is the time for appetizers.  And I shoo her offstage.  Then she tries again in her next scene.  And her next.  Until finally she yells at me (from onstage) “But they told me to.”  Ahh . . . such awesome memories.

Anyway, if I’m picking up where I left off in the blog challenge I’m supposed to write about the best thing that happened to me this year.  I’m not really sure I could point out one thing that has happened so far.  So instead, I’m going to cheat and go with the best thing I’m hoping to happen to me by the end of 2013.  I’m hoping to get my foster license, and maybe even my first kiddo.  And I’m on the road!  Last night was my first foster class.

It was an interesting experience.  Our room was jam-packed, and we looked like a diversity in foster parenting ad.  Mostly there were young to middle-aged white couples.  But there was also a black couple, a gay couple, a lesbian couple, a single parent black mom, an older newlywed man whose wife is already certified, and me–the single white girl with no kids.  I’ve heard from many others that only about half the class will make it to the end–the rest will drop out along the way.  I’m trying to guess who will bow out before the end comes–does that make me sadistic?

Anyway, one of the things that I didn’t expect was just how many of these couples are looking at fostering as the road to adopt children.  I think every couple in the room was seeing this as a way to “expand their family.”  And of the seven straight couples,  four of them were led to fostering because of infertility.  Some of them still carried a lot of deep pain when talking about not being able to have a child.  And although I can appreciate how much pain that would cause, I also wonder if they are ready for what fostering really means.  I wonder if some of these couples have chosen foster-to-adopt because it’s a lot less expensive than private and international adoptions.  Now, I firmly believe more people should be fostering and that it is a fantastic thing to do.  But I wonder if parents who are still grieving their own inability to have a child are prepared for the challenges of fostering–not least of which is operating in a world where Plan A is always to return the child to their birth family.

What do you think, internet world?  Has anyone been in this situation before?


Blog Challenge: Day 14


The challenge for Day 14 is to share what you collect and why.  I’m not much of a collector–at least not in the knick-knack kind of way.  But there are two things I do collect.

I am a passionate collector of books.  Now, I don’t mean I’m a high-brow, rare first edition type of collector.  Although that would be great, and I do have some pretty old books.  But I love reading, and so I am constantly buying books–hardbacks, paperbacks, e-versions–doesn’t matter.  I can never have too many books.

I also collect nativity sets from around the world.  I love how unique they are and how they are such a beautiful visual expression of a culture and a people’s understanding of God.  Unfortunately I didn’t start collecting them until after I had already traveled to about 13 countries.  That was really unfortunate timing.  So, although I don’t have a ton of nativities from other countries, I’m always looking to add to my collection.

What about you?  What do you collect?

Blog Challenge: Day 13


Today the challenge is to write about the meaning behind my blog’s name.  This is a fun one!  My blog is called Murphy’s Law Translated.  That’s because if you were to translate Murphy’s Law (Anything that can go wrong, will) into real life, it would look something like my life.

I have the most ridiculous things happen to me.  Seriously.

There was the time I flashed my church.  (Did I mention, I’m a pastor?)

And the time I was physically attacked in the middle of a worship service.

Or the time I got cooties.

And of course, the worst day ever.

My life could be a sitcom–for reals.

Blog Challenge: Day 12


Today’s challenge is to write about the moment you’re most proud of.  This is a tough one for me because I can’t honestly think of a “moment” I’m proud of.  I can think of decisions, choices, periods of my life . . . but a single moment?  I don’t feel like I’ve ever really had an epic moment.  Of all the things I’ve done that I’m proud of–none of them happened in a moment.  So, I guess I’m going to cheat on this one.  Instead I’m going to share what I am proud of.

I’m proud that I’ve chosen to pour my life into making a difference, sharing God’s love, and doing what I love– instead of choosing a job based on how much money I would make or what great benefits and perks I would get.  I’m proud of the fact that sometimes I’ve even raised money to live on so that I could work for free doing something I believe in.  I’m proud of helping bring positive changes to kids lives–whether that’s through child sponsorship or becoming a foster parent.

And now I feel a bit awkward, like I’ve just been bragging on myself.  So . . . let’s call that a wrap.



Blog Challenge: Day 11 (Many days late . . .)


So . . . . I’m a bit behind on my blog challenge.  13 days in fact.  “Holy crap, how did that happen?” you ask.  Don’t I have anything to say for myself?

Well . . . first there was Mess Fest.  Where I led kids in 3 hours of crazy, messy, wacky games.  And then I let them torture my by pouring 12 Bags of Doom on my head.  Bags which contained . . . 12 raw eggs, 11 packets of oatmeal, 10 cups of gold fish, 9 cups of popcorn, 8 cans vegetables, 7 cans of applesauce, 6 boxes of cornmeal, 5 bottles of chocolate syrup, 4 bottles of mayonnaise, 3 cans of whipped cream, 2 bottles of vegetable oil, and 1 bag of feathers.

This is what I looked like when I was finished . . .

Mess Fest



Needless to say, I was exhausted the next day.  Like, could barely keep my eyes open.  Then on Saturday I had to be at work early to lead a training, so it was an 8am-8pm kind of day.  Sunday I had four services to teach, run a few errands, head home to pack, drive to Buffalo, and then wake up at 3am on Monday morning.  3 A.M. All that so I could catch a flight to California.  I spent all last week in Anaheim for a conference, which was great, but pretty non-stop.  In between our 12 hour days I was working on writing a sermon.  I got back into town late Friday night and then preached four times this weekend. So Monday I slept a lot, went to dance class, and then got a ridiculous migraine.  So . . . crazy couple of weeks.

Anyway, the Day 11 blog challenge is your Top 5 Bucket List Items.  Yikes, I have no idea.  I don’t want to be held accountable for these as my Top 5, because I haven’t put a lot of thought into it.  But, these are five things I definitely want to do before I die (in no particular order):

1.  Learn to play the guitar.  I started once, but then I got the opportunity to move to the Middle East and so I stopped.  Can’t wait to start again, just need to get a guitar first.

2. Play the role of Jane Eyre, in the musical version.  I’m pretty sure I was born for that role.

3. Travel to places I haven’t yet been: Italy, India, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, England, Mexico, Canada, South America, and so many more.

4. Learn to sew.  I’ve just always wanted to be able to do this.  I’m convinced I could make the cutest crafts, and it would be super handy for Musical Theatre Camp!

5. Return to the Middle East.  I’ve been twice, and lived there for a year.  I love it there!

6.  (I know I’m not supposed to have 6.  Sue me.)  Become a foster momma.  ;o)

What are your bucket list items?

Check out my friends Karla and Liz as they are taking on the blog challenge too.  (And doing a much better job of keeping up!)


Blog Challenge: Day 10


Today is a much more fun challenge to write about–what I would do if I won the lottery. Wow, that is such a wonderful thing to dream of. Sigh. Probably will never happen. Especially since I don’t play the lottery. But let’s say I won a ton of money somehow –like more than I can imagine. Here’s what I would do.

First, I’d give to my church. I believe that our world can be changed through local churches, and I want to be a part of that. Plus, I believe it’s a way that I honor and obey God. So, I’d give there first.

Next, I’d get out of debt. Most of my debt can be summed up in two words: STUDENT LOANS. Seriously — I have about $60,000 of student loans left to pay off. And I’ve been paying for ten years. I do have a few other debts, but they pale in comparison. (My combined credit cards have a balance of less than $1,000.)

Third, I’d put some money into savings. I’m not very good at savings. And by not very good, I mean I suck. My retirement fund is almost non-existent. I would put some money aside in savings that I couldn’t touch for years. Lock it up man.

Fourth, I’d splurge a bit. All those things that I’ve been missing, but saying no too. A pedicure and a massage . . . ah, it’s been over a year since I’ve had either of those. A nice camera. A day of shopping. My dream dining table. Dining out. Going to NYC and seeing tons of Broadway shows.

Fifth, I’d splurge on the ones I love. My niece would know a whole new level of spoiled. My foster kiddos would be living large. My family would get some amazing tokens of my affection. My friends would enjoy some pretty sweet gifts, as payback for putting up with me and the bad habits I talked about here. I’d take a huge trip somewhere exciting and bring along as many of the aforementioned people as possible. We’d party in Fiji or Ireland or somewhere amazing.

Sixth, I’d buy a home. One big enough for me, my future foster kiddos, any family that wanted to live with me, and guest rooms for my friends and family. I would also have to set aside money for all the things I’d never be able to do (or want to do) in that home–like shovel snow, mow grass, fix broken pipes, replace leaky roofs, etc.

Seventh, I’d travel. I LOVE to travel. All over the world. And take as many people with me as I could.

Assuming I made enough money that I no longer had to work (and hey, if we’re dreaming, let’s dream big), I would still like to do my job, but do it for free, so that my church could use the money for other things. (Like creating the best kids ministry budget ever!)

Finally, I’d like to research charities and donate to ones that are near and dear to my heart–things like finding a cure for cancer, ending domestic violence, helping kids, building bridges of understanding between people in the Middle East and the Western World, and helping women and children in third world countries.

That’s my dream. What’s yours?

And check out what Karla would do if she won the lottery!


Blog Challenge: Day 9


Today’s challenge is to write about your least favorite childhood memory.  For me, this is easy.  Not because the memory is easy.  It is my most painful memory, and this is perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever written.  But it’s easy in the sense that I don’t have to figure out what to write about.

When my dad turned 40 we threw him an “Over the Hill” birthday party.  Everything was decorated in black and featured tombstones with the letters “R.I.P.”  I have a photo of him standing in front of a cake, me holding his hand, while pointing to the tombstone with a goofy smile on my face.  It was all a great joke.

Until a few months later when he woke up in the middle of the night with what he thought was a migraine.  A migraine so terrible he told my mother to either shoot him in the head or take him to the ER.  That night our lives changed.  We learned that he had brain cancer and had six months to live.  And bad memories started piling up on each other like stinking garbage in the dumps of Rio.

There were memories of him seizing on the floor in our kitchen, while I sat by his head, watching helplessly.  Memories of him trying to carry my baby sister down the stairs in our home–we were all so terrified he would drop her, but none of us wanted to tell him he couldn’t hold his baby girl when every time might be the last.  Memories of a hospital bed being rolled into our living room as a makeshift bedroom was erected next to the front door.  Memories of well-meaning hospice workers handing me ridiculous books about kids who had leukemia, which I read diligently and catalogued under terrors that my father would endure.  Memories of us four kids being split up and sent to different homes to live as six months stretched into eighteen months and my mom dashed between work and the hospital an hour away that had become his new home.  Memories of visiting him in that cold hospital room when he looked like a different man.  When he could no longer speak.  When he didn’t even know who I was anymore.

But the worst memory, the memory that still haunts me, is that day my pastor sat beside me on the porch swing at his house.  I was staying with him and his family, and he was getting ready to leave for the hour long drive to Peoria where my father was.  He was going to visit dad and wanted to know if I’d like to come along.  I was playing with his daughter and I was having fun–escaping, for a few hours, the pain of being daddy’s little girl when daddy no longer remembered who you were.

“There’s no pressure,” he said, “you can stay here and play.”  And I so I choose to stay, and for a few hours I forgot about the pain.  I filled my eleven year old head with dolls and toys and other nonsense.

That day my father died.

That day when I choose not to go, when I choose to have fun . . .  That day was my last chance to see him, to hold him, to tell him that I loved him and I would always be his little girl.  That day I made such a cheap, meaningless choice.  And it is one I can’t seem to forgive myself for.


You can read about my friend Karla’s memory here.