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Though I walk through the valley…


Bear with me here. I’m processing stuff.

Life kinda sucks.

I’m learning this. As I journey into the world of fibro-myalgia, I have some days when I am ready to learn all I can and try anything and everything to get better. Other days, I feel hopeless. “Is this what the rest of my life will feel like? Well thpppppbbbtttt!”


Then I heard this the other day. It wasn’t even directed at me, just a random meme on the internets. “Everything happens for a reason.”

This one goes right in my round file, next to “G-d doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I don’t know who first said that, but I call shenanigans. Where’s the glory in that?

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9a

“I am weak, but He is strong.”

Telling someone they can, and should, handle everything that comes their way is cruel. It heaps on guilt and doubt, about their strength and about their faith.

Also, telling someone that everything happens for a reason. Equally cruel. I’m not saying some, or many, things don’t happen for a reason. The Bible is full of this. Banishment from the Garden, the Flood, Tower of Babel, wandering in the desert for 40 years!

But in some times, or many times, we will never know the reason. Questioning and searching for reasons can be torture as one tries to figure out what possibly they have done wrong and how to make it right.

I’m also not saying good things don’t come out of pain. How about being sold off by your brothers, being falsely accused and spending time in prison, then rising up and saving your entire family and your people? But would telling Joseph when he lay in that cistern made him feel better? “Don’t worry. There’s a reason for this, besides the fact that your brothers all seriously dislike you and some hate you.”

This world is full of pain and grief. Diseases that cripple and destroy, natural disasters that take all you have, people with evil intentions stealing your possessions, your security, your innocence, maybe your life.

Why? I don’t know.

What I do know is that we are not alone. We are never alone. Even in the darkest times, He is with us.

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4






Now that I have your attention…

Whoa. This has been a rough couple of months.

I’ve been dealing with some unexplained pain over the last few years, which now has been diagnosed as fibro-myalgia. Which I think must be Greek for “body hurts”. And I have to be honest. It sucks. On a side note, don’t look up ‘ouch’ in Google Images unless you have a very strong stomach.

I tried to not have it. Any time I would be extra sore, or extra tired, or extra what-the-poop-is-wrong-with-me, and start worrying, I would think, “Nope. Not gonna happen!’

Mom's artwork

Mom’s artwork

My mom has been dealing with fibro-myalgia for around 20 years. And she rocks it! She has owned and ran a tea house with a friend, she spends time with her grand babies, she is a very talented actress in local theater, and creates stunning works of art called ‘quilts’. And, during the week, she is the revered ‘keeper of the records’ at one of the best pediatric practices in all the land. (That’s for Dr. Gorilla)

doctor gorilla

For the most part, I dealt okay with things for a few years. Though I probably complained way too much. It’s one of my flaws. Being a whiny wimp.

But after going back to work last year, things started to go downhill. I was hoping a summer off would make it all better and I would start the school year off with all my life points. But, alas, I did not collect enough life packs. Can you tell I have kids who play video games?


The school year begins and the pain starts getting worse and I am exhausted.

Then my beloved Papa passes away, back home, half a country away from me.

Then Mom and Dad visit, which is definitely a good thing, but I pass on wonderful germs and Dad gets really sick.

All of these stresses help produce a re-emergence of depression symptoms. So I go to my doctor and get to switch medications, which is a physical and emotional carnival ride of it’s own.

(Mental health soap box: There are often very strong views on both sides of the medication for mental illness argument. Some people use it, some people do not. Always communicate with your doctor on these issues. He or she will weigh the benefits and costs with you and help you make the best choice for you. And never stop taking medication without talking to your doctor first. Mental health issues, from mild to severe, can be very upsetting. After all, the mind is the control center of the body! But it is still part of the body and can sometimes be hurt of sick, just like any other part. 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. Take care of your whole body, mind too!)

Now, here I am today, the middle of October, unable to be in the classroom, and applying for temporary disability.

I feel like a rug has been pulled out from under me.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been down here, on the floor. I never really stay for long. There is so much to do! I can’t be down! There are classrooms to manage, boys to wrangle, a house to clean, and more volunteer opportunities than you can count! So up I go, sometimes slowly, with a little limp, and maybe a groan. But I have. to. keep. moving.

Not this time. I need to be down for a bit. And it’s possible my health has me in a sort of a headlock, pinning me down and shouting “It’s time for a time-out!”

flowers and grass

Whatever the reason, I am here and things look a little different from down here. And it’s not so bad. There are flowers here, close enough to smell. While I’m here I can look up and see the shapes in the clouds, I can feel the grass, I can hear so much. Actually, it’s so quiet, I might actually be able to hear my body, and I think it’s telling me to slow down. Hmm, I wonder how long it’s been saying that?  I want so much to live my life with intention and awareness. Is it possible I haven’t been aware of a darn thing?

One of the cool things about having ADD is how much you notice. Everything distracts me, so I often notice little things others may not; small flowers, a rabbit nibbling on the weeds, SQUIRREL!

Is it possible I’ve been so distracted by everything going on me, I have tuned out a very important person? I am always here, always with myself. So why haven’t I been listening TO myself? I’m sure I would take it as a great compliment, I love to talk.

I think I’ll listen right now, and have a power nap. Who’s with me?!

Oh, right. Me!

Deep Questions


I have heard (but cannot find the study, so take it with a grain of salt) young believers attending non-Christian schools can cause them to question, and maybe lose their faith. I suppose, then, attending a Christian college would only serve to strengthen that faith. But my college experience seemed to bring up more questions for me about faith. Not my own, necessarily, but faith in general, and about what we believe. Such as, “What if the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, to worship as we feel led, to speak of our religious beliefs (and to be tolerant of others’), what if these freedoms have only served to water down the message of the gospel of Jesus?”

“And what about this ‘pocket Jesus’ trend, the ‘Jesus genie-in-a-bottle’ mentality. ‘(Poof!) What d’ya need? (Poof!) What d’ya need? (Poof!) What d’ya need?’ (Not so much a Disney fan as a fan of the late Robin Williams.)


The idea that He is only here to grant our wishes only serves to emphasize the toddler-esque, egocentricity of humans. Not to say He doesn’t provide what we NEED. The 23rd Psalm is a great picture of this: “The Lord is my shepherd…”  But let’s get a little perspective here, people. It’s not all Mary’s little lamb with snow white fleece. No! Sheep are dumb, so dumb, and completely helpless. They cannot defend themselves. And sheep are GROSS! They certainly cannot clean themselves. Stinky, muddy, stuff stuck to the wool.

dirty sheep

Dude, what’s that? What do you have stuck in your wool?”

“I don’t know, but the shepherd will take care of this, he knows what we need.”

I find it incredibly humbling to think of myself as a stinky, helpless sheep, needing the shepherd for everything! Particularly humbling to think of a shepherd snipping certain little (ahem) nuggets off your fluffy behind.

Admittedly, these deep questions didn’t start with college. One particular question I remember from childhood. I wondered if we would have to answer on judgment day for driving. (I still wonder). This was before texting, y’all! The country roads out to Grandma’s house often had something on the road. A skunk, a raccoon, a deer L.

What were we doing? We were charged with taking care of the earth. But in our hurry to get here and there and everywhere, we were taking out innocent animals! Are we going to get in trouble for this?

Imagine this child growing up and (gasp!) hitting a dog. Sure it was running down the middle of my lane, in the dark. I tried to miss it (luckily no one was coming the opposite direction or this may never have been written). With this question still in my mind, I was devastated.  I commanded it, in the name of Jesus, to stand up and walk. I am not kidding. No zombie dog jokes here, people. But sometimes our prayers are not answered.

Even with some of these questions, my faith stayed pretty much the same, simple and straightforward. It was like having a little puzzle. Everything fits together so neatly and it looks exactly like the picture on the box.

Ane them, about a year and a half ago I met someone. A wonderful scholar, an energetic teacher and a dear friend. I love teachers like her. Someone so passionate and excited about the subject, it’s contagious. You cannot help but soak up some of that knowledge.

And do you know what he did? She gave me more puzzle pieces. A lot of pieces.  And no picture on the box. My little puzzle is only part of the whole. There is more.


Good thing I LOVE puzzles.

And this has led me to some new questions.

“Who was Jesus in the conversation of his time? To Israel? To the Gentiles?”

“How can one fundamentally believe the Bible unless one understands the context(s) in which it was written?”

“How do we reconcile the crucifixion in a religion which believes human sacrifice is unacceptable?”

“What is death and where do we go/what happens?”

And this one, last night, in conversation with my husband: “Do angels have wings? And what about halos? I don’t remember anything in the Bible about halos.


(But give me a tiara and I will rock that!)

Fortunately, I am not the only one trying to put together this puzzle. I have a few friends gathered around this table with me, trying pieces this way and that.

And as we pray for guidance in this endeavor, we also give thanks for our freedoms, freedom to gather, freedom to study and dig deep in to the word of God, freedom to have these conversations.




I’m Baaaack!


I’ve been contemplating this post for some time. I wanted to return to you all, but just couldn’t figure out HOW to come back. Jumping right in, as if I had never been gone? No, it doesn’t seem right. Maybe the best way to return is to tell you where I have been.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalm 23:4a

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

The last few months have been a journey. A journey into the deepest darkest parts of my being and back out again.

Some of you know my family went through a big transition this last year. After living in the Northwest for my entire life, my husband’s job offered him a transfer to the Midwest. After much discussion and prayer, we moved across the country in July of 2013, far away from our families and all we have known for our entire lives.

And if you watch the news, you may also know about the severe winter the Midwest experienced. In Oregon we got “snow days”. In the Midwest we get “it’s-so-cold-you-cannot-be-outside-longer-than-5-minutes-without-frostbite days”. Ouch.

What you probably don’t know (unless you are my personal friend or family, which is probably 90% of my readers) is my lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. Fear is my almost constant companion. I have learned over the years how to “be my own therapist”, talk myself down when I feel my fears trying to take over. After a dark, cold winter and spending the holidays away from extended family, I felt myself falling into that deep dark valley. By the end of March I had to make a choice, take medication, or go to the hospital. (I am aware using medications for mental illness, for that is what depression and anxiety are, can be a “hot” topic. For me, they work, combined with therapy, exercise and diet.)

In the state I was in, blogging was not my first priority. Taking care of my boys, my husband, my home, and most importantly, myself, was of the utmost importance. I also felt I could not encourage you as I want from this place.

I am quite happy to say I am in a much better place today. Along with pulling me out of the muck and mire, we are also working on my own ADD. (Being a mom with ADD, raising boys with ADD/ADHD…a little chaos is natural.) I am so thankful for the many friends and family who have prayed for me and came along side me during this experience.

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” Philippians 4:13,14

I hope I may continue to encourage all of you as I share my experiences, my thoughts, my great adventure.


O Holy Night: One Interpretation


Tonight, as many of us are wrapping gifts, stuffing stockings, making treats, and spending time with friends and family, we are probably listening to Christmas music.  Some we know very well, some not so much.  If you go to a Christmas Eve service at a church, you may sing loudly (and hopefully more on key than I am) for a few carols, but quietly wing your way through others.  With so much going on, shopping, baking, get-togethers, general busy-ness, I worry we simply skim through these songs, not truly thinking about what we are saying.

Tonight I want to share with you my meditation on a favorite hymn, though honestly, I don’t think my words here can truly convey my emotions here.   I do hope you will take the words of this song , or any of the other great Christmas songs we listen to every year, and focus on it, line by line.  Listen to what it is saying.  Can you hear it?  Can you feel it?  What a joyous occasion!  What a great night!  There is a buzz in the air!

o holy night

Oh holy night!

As in “devoted entirely to God or the work of God; venerated as or as if sacred; divine”  “For the Lord our God it holy. “ Psalm 99:9

The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Even the stars are rejoicing!  The savior is born! “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.  And his name will be called Wonderful, counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah :6

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16,17

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

In all of us there is that hole that can only be filled by God.  But we are separated from Him because of our sin.  We have pined for so long for that relationship with Him.   “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King!  What a relief, what a heavy burden has been lifted.  Our sin has weighed us down, but now there is hope, a hope of freedom, a hope of peace, a hope eternal.

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices

Imagine, being in the middle of the field, it is dark; there is no one around but the sheep and your fellow shepherds.  Then the sky is filled with light and angels are TALKING TO YOU!  “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” Luke 2:14.

Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Devine: adjective: related to or coming from God; supremely good; heavenly.   It was a divine night, a holy night, a heavenly night.  Quietly ponder on this for a moment.

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace

“Love your neighbor as yourself” Mark 12:31a. Keep in mind, this doesn’t just mean the nice neighbors. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27, 28

Tis the season of giving, but we are called to love all year long: 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days a year.  No, you don’t get a day off on a Leap year.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease

So poignant now, probably just as so when this was written, and on that holy night.  So many are hurting; oppressed by so much: illness, addictions, fears, relationships, prejudice, legalism, sin.  But these chains are broken!  We are free!  So…

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name

…we praise Him, on this night, this divine, this o, holy night.

O Holy Night (one of my favorite versions!)

A Servant’s Heart



I’ve been thinking a lot today about having a servant’s heart.  It all started this morning during a presentation about ordaining women.

You see, the new church we have been attending in Illinois has been discussing some changes over the last year.  The overseeing body for this denomination ordains women as elders and pastors, yet this church, being much older than the organization, does not.  It was proposed at the annual meeting in the beginning of the year, to consider amending the constitution of this church to include women in these leadership roles.

Unless I am a member before February, I will not be voting. Honestly, I’m still right in the middle on this one.  The church has invited a number of speakers to share on both sides of the topic.  And I believe they have all done a great job.   Being raised in a church where only men were the elders and pastors, I’m a little more comfortable with this way of doing things.  Yet, the arguments for ordaining make a lot of sense as well.  But this post isn’t really about women in church leadership.  This post is about having a servant’s heart.


In the presentation today we were introduced to the Hebrew word “ezer”.  This is used in Genesis 2:18 “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper (ezer) suitable for him.”

This is that concept of “helpmeet”, these complementary roles of men and women. But this is not the only place we see this.  Here are just a couple:

Deuteronomy 33:29 “Blessed are you, O Israel; Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, Who is the shield of your help (ezer) and the sword of your majesty!  So your enemies will cringe before you, and you will thread upon their high places.

Psalm 33:20 “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help (ezer) and shield.

Wait a minute?  ‘Ezer’ used for both women and God?  Wha?

I know you’re thinking, “where are you going with this, MamaFoster?” and “When does the ‘servant’s heart’ come into this?”

Right here.

God is awesome.  No, Awesome, with a capital A.  He is omniscient, all powerful, majestic, the Lord of lords and the King of kings.

But He’s also this:

Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet John 13:5

“so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ fee, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:4,5

Jesus led by serving.  And He served in love. And we are commanded to do the same.  “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” Ephesians 5:21

Which got me thinking…

What would having a servant’s heart look like in my life?

In my relationships with customers?  In my church? In my marriage?  In parenting?  In friendships?

My prayer tonight: Lord, create in me a new heart, one which serves others in love.


Love Notes from God


love note

As some of you know, we have recently made a huge move, from Oregon to Illinois, 2,000 miles from our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and friends.  And I have been feeling a little homesick.  OK, I have been feeling a lot homesick.  We have been told the first year is the hardest, and I expected the holidays would be the most difficult.  There are traditions and events we have participated in for years.  And seeing the pictures and announcements of these on Facebook makes it just a little bit harder, even if we are starting new traditions in our new home.

The other night I was really feeling low.  Besides missing my family, our #2 was having a particularly hard week.  Oppositional behavior and anxieties were a bit high, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted.  I needed to get away.

Later that evening, when I stepped out from the store into the brisk evening air, I saw tiny soft flakes falling from the sky.  Snow wasn’t on the forecast, this was unexpected.  And sweet.  I thought of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  I had this feeling God was telling me, “I am here”.  As the cold flakes alighted on my face, I felt a peace.  Even though everything was a mess at home, most of my time being spent on work or #2’s needs.  Even though many friends and family are so far away.  I felt peace.  It was a little love note from God.

And who doesn’t like to find a little love note?  A little “Thinking of you” in the lunch box; “Have a good day” on the bathroom mirror; “I love you” in a pocket.

The Lords love notes just look a little different.  The crisp yellow leaf on your doorstep at the beginning of your favorite season; the song on the rainbow you just needed to hear; the unexpected call from a good friend; the rainbow in the middle of a storm; the magical snowfall on a lonely night.

What love notes has God left for you?

A Lesson in Thankfulness

A Lesson in Thankfulness

I was having a little trouble feeling thankful this holiday season. In November, the month of Thanksgiving. When everyone is posting daily thanks in their statuses. Not that I didn’t do this. I have much to be thankful for. I have beautiful sons, a warm cozy house, an income, friends and family, a sweet kitty.

Sissy Kitty

But I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling of discontentment.

You see, there are some things I want.  And I don’t have them.  Not really object to be held in hand, but that doesn’t matter.  I was a pouting preschooler.  I want!  I want! I want!


As if this whiny attitude wasn’t bad enough, I just had to add something else.  Jealousy…maybe?  You see, I know someone who has some of these things I desire.

The question of ‘maybe’ is one of semantics.  And one which I played with for some time.

Let’s take a look at the words: jealous, covetous, and envious.

Jealous is wanting something rightfully yours.  “Jealous for his wife’s affections”, “Jealous God” (He’s not whining about wanting your mocha!)

Coveting is wanting something not yours, but not necessarily to deprive another.

Envious is wanting something not yours, and wanting to deprive another of it.

I can tell you I was not envious.  But I cannot with certainty tell you I was only jealous.  I did not desire to deprive this person of what they worked so hard for.  And it could be possible to someday have them too.  But were they mine?  I was feeling discontent.

So I prayed.  I asked God to take away these feelings.  And I asked for forgiveness.  For my feeling of jealousy, for my feeling of discontent.  And yet they lingered still.

And then He spoke.  On the way to Thanksgiving Eve service.  Although I only had two of my guys with me, I am so glad His words to my heart can drown out a van full of boys!

He reminded me of a few things:

When I was a teen, I thought my testimony wasn’t “cool”.  Other kids spoke of the Lord pulling them from lives of abuse, drug use, promiscuity.  I had been raised in a believing home, ,with wonderful, caring, involved parents.  I was a “good girl”.  Poor grades and a potty mouth at school were as bad as it got.  My story was booo-ring!



And He spoke to me.  This is His plan, not mine.  He gave me this family, He wrote my testimony.  Witnessing is telling what I have seen and what I have heard, how I have experienced the Lord working in my life.  And that is always awesome, because my God is an awesome God!

Then I was a young mom.  And somehow this idea formed in my head, one must be quiet and mousy to be a Godly woman.  Anyone who knows me, know I am not mousy, and I am certainly not quiet.  Pretty much just the opposite.  I laugh loudly, I overshare, I am in-your-face!  Always the social child, “a delight to have in class”, but a little too talkative.  I was once reprimanded by the elementary school librarian, AS AN ADULT, for chatting too loudly with the other parent volunteer.  How could I ever be be quiet?


I have a loud laugh!

And He spoke to me.  He made me, and He doesn’t make mistakes.  I am His creation, complete with an outspoken manner, a need to be social, and a crazy laugh! Again, this is His plan, not mine.

Present day: I am the mom of five beautiful boys.  One of our boys has special needs, so much of my life centers around them and our home.  Anything we do has to be measured against how it affects this child’s needs.  Some days are smooth sailing, it almost seems as though they are all typical children.  Then there are the days when his needs are all encompassing.  And I think about the things I would like to do outside of the home…work outside the home, go to grad school…but cannot.  And I start feeling discontent, jealous, even resentful.

And then He spoke to me.  This is where He put me.  He gave me these boys, and He gave me to them.  And maybe those things I want might happen one day, and maybe not; and that’s ok.  Because this is His plan, not mine.  His will is that we “be thankful in all circumstances”.  Not just when things are going our way, when we get what we want.  That’s easy!  But thankful when we aren’t getting our way, when we aren’t getting what we want, when we don’t understand.  And this is hard.


On that evening, on the drive to Thanksgiving Eve service, God answered my prayers.  He reminded me of who I wa:, His child! His creation!  He lifted away the feelings of discontent, of jealousy, and He replaced them with joy, and the peace that passes all understanding and a spirit of Thankfulness.

Happy Monday, People!



It’s Monday. Know how I know? I know because I found B’s gym clothes on the laundry room floor this morning, after he left for school. I know because I realized J didn’t have lunch money, after he was on the bus. I know because while getting T and C out of the car at the elementary school, we realized C’s backpack was still at home, even though I was sure I had picked it up myself. Ugh. It’s Monday.

Why does Monday get such a bad rap?  Is it because we would rather sleep in like the weekend?  Is it because various items such as backpacks, jackets, and half of each pair of shoes has gone missing since Friday?  Maybe it’s because we have to deal with a job or people we would rather avoid.  Maybe it’s because it’s the furthest from the next weekend.

I must confess, I rather like Monday’s.  After a crazy weekend with the kids, I have the house to myself.  I run around like a tornado getting it in order (and getting my exercise), then I have a quiet afternoon.  It’s delicious.  When I was teaching, Mondays  were fresh and new.  It was a blank canvas on which I painted my week.  Usually things are so orderly, goals set, lists made, and I’m off!  Friday’s are the days which are disappointing.  Not all the goals are met, I have lost steam, and the boys will be home all weekend…how will I get the rest of my list checked off?


And then I pass by the chalkboard near the front door.  There is a verse I wrote to encourage my husband on his way out the door in the morning.

“This is the day the Lord has made.  We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

This day.  Monday.  He made it.

And the other Mondays.  And Fridays.  And all the other days too.

And we WILL rejoice.  Not I SHOULD rejoice.  Or I FEEL like rejoicing.  I WILL.  As in I choose.  I choose to take the focus off of me and how I am royally messing this day up.  I choose to make the focus on Him and what He made.

Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say rejoice. Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always. 1 Thessalonians 5:16


Now I feel like dancing a jig on my front lawn.  On my way to drop off the gym clothes, the lunch money, and the backpack.  And when I’m at the schools, I will make sure I say “Happy Monday, People!”  And I will mean it.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover


tattered book

There I was, in the middle of Walmart, getting supplies for tonight’s fish fry. We are learning fish fries are the thing to do in the Midwest on Friday night. Fish on Friday. A religious habit morphed into going out to the bar with your buddies after a long week of work. Ours will be at home.

So there I was, lost somewhere in my grocery list, when ‘he’ appeared, snapping me out of my shopping fog.  I had to bite my lips to keep from laughing.  It wasn’t so much the saggy bottom ‘gangsta’ look he had donned…I have seen a number of young men pull this off without a waddle.  Not this kid.  In order to keep the jeans perched in place below the hips, one must take a wide stance with knees slightly bent.  Then sort of swing from side to side as you step.  Never mind running, he could barely walk.  It took me a moment to recognize where I had seen this gait before.  Anyone who has cared for children in diapers know the walk I’m talking about.   It’s the toddler’s “there’s something in there that I’m trying to run away from” walk.  The realization made it worse…I think I can faintly see teeth marks in my bottom lip.  As I watched him walk away, I thought “What some people will do to look good.”

saggy bottom jeans

This is exactly what it looked like!

Then I remembered the heels in the donation box.  Very stylish, but my little toes don’t like them.  And the closet full of clothes.  And all the boots!  (I love my boots!) 



 DaddyFoster says if I want to buy anymore clothes, I must donate some first.  

 What else do we do to look good?  Makeup, the latest clothing fashions, body art, jewelry, even surgery.  My great, great grandma used to change into a nice dress and do her makeup and hair before she could go to the grocery store.  We dress to the image we want to convey.  What this young man wore to the store was intentional.  It might not be what I would choose, but it wasn’t a mistake.  He put on these clothes because he was going out into public.  What did I put on before I left the house?  A long colorful skirt with a pink shirt.  Even a bit of mascara.  And I couldn’t pick just any shoes, they had to be my favorite flats (not to be confused with the favorite boots, the favorite sandals, or the favorite dress shoes).


Why is our appearance so important?  What does it matter to us so much?  It matters because of our perceptions of others.  What do you think about the woman with ill-fitting clothes?  Or the man with missing teeth?  The mom with unwashed hair, towing three grumpy kids through the grocery store?  How about the boy with saggy bottom jeans?  What do you think of the man in a suit?  The mom with her workout clothes on, makeup and hair perfect?  The super athletic neighbor?  What do we assume about people?  And what do these assumptions tell us about their hearts?  Nothing really.  But it does us a lot about our own hearts.  It tells us about our own insecurities, or own blindness, our own….”issues”.  It tell us about our assumptions of ourselves, and how that may extend to others.  (If I assume having missing teeth makes me less of a person, does how do I feel about others with missing teeth?)  And it can open us up to breaking those stereotypes.  (I am an educated person with missing teeth, therefore others with missing teeth are intelligent, educated people).

I wonder if that young man would have ever guessed wearing saggy bottom jeans to Walmart would inspire a woman to question her assumptions?  Keep up the good work, kid!