Friday, June 17, 2016

Are You A Penguin Mom? Cuz That's Gross.

If I bumped into you at Starbucks or Winco and you got down on your mom jeans-clad knee and begged me to tell you all my advice on education but then I realized I only had time to tell you one thing because I just realized I had to catch a train, then I guess I could sum it all up with this...
Which of these two definitions define how you are teaching your kids to learn...

Definition of regurgitation

  1. :  an act of regurgitating: asa  :  the casting up of incompletely digested food (as by some birds in feeding their young)b  :  the backward flow of blood through a defective heart valve 

Definition of regeneration

  1. 1:  an act or the process of regenerating :  the state of being regenerated
  2. 2:  spiritual renewal or revival
  3. 3:  renewal or restoration of a body, bodily part, or biological system (as a forest) after injury or as a normal process
  4. 4:  utilization by special devices of heat or other products that would ordinarily be lost

Okay. Gotta go.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Benny turned 7 last Monday.  Isn't he cute? 

 He endures being the youngest with dignity, poise and valor, which makes what happens next so earthshaking.  Our move to this neighborhood has been perfect for the kids in every way except for one small thing...the filthy language out there is like a wild west saloon.  It's like every one's being raised by salty sailors.  It's like maybe kids are repeating what their parents might say when they stub their toes.

Anyway, we were just now seated around the family diner table, demolishing our steak bites, fried eggs, roasted broccoli, and rice without anyone saying a word.  I mean we were barely stopping to breathe it was so good... 

...when all of a sudden, Benny says 


Richard. Don't. Look. At. Me.  Must. Keep.  Straight. Face. 

Ben, let's not say that again.

Stare. At. Plate. Until. Composed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eleven Is Like...

If Mr. and Mrs. Rees have 11 children and not one of them has decided to throw out all of their crap before moving out to pursue adulthood and each individual child kept mementos from each year of their life and on average moved out when they were 23 then how many layers of crap is Rachel going to have to go through to find the back of the storage shed?

253 Layers

That’s 253 layers of ballet costumes, batting averages, Nursing school homework, badly written poetry, action figures, favorite dolls, original knock-knock jokes, and lots and lots of black widows that have been the only hands and eyes that have seen all thus crap for years. 

 If I’m going to be elbow-deep in these 253 layers then I get to write about it.  Yes, I am aware that the badly written poetry was from me but I’m still the oldest girl and in charge of everybody and everything.

Each child has three main layers that accumulate all items: childhood, high school, and college, all of which took place while living with our parents.  These layers were layered into cupboards, sheds, closets, and garages as the child continued through life until a human being was insane enough to marry into this hot mess and then the Rees child was gone…leaving the layers behind.  Whatever Rees child was left to take over that recently married sibling’s space was then free to move all of those layers to a different closet, shed, cupboard so that the unmarried sibling could continue layering his/her layers until another insane person came along to whisk him/her away.  I think the system worked great up until about the 200th layer.  It was then that we could have opened the Massive Museum of Art and Artifacts of Three Decades of Reesdom and made plenty off of the ticket sales. 

It’s all under control now.  The big sister is here to rescue the remaining Rees babies from being crushed by the impending landslide of 253 layers of “really important memories that I just can’t throw away.”

I’m like a ghost-buster but only for Reeses. A Rees-buster.

The question is, who cares about my stories? 

Don’t you know anything?

A storyteller never cares if you want to hear the story.  A storyteller just tells stories to whoever dares make eye contact.  We think, “They’ve made eye contact.  They want a story.”  It’s the same instinct that the people who sell stuff at mall kiosks have.  I know you know what I’m talking about.  I got my storytelling from my Grandpa Rees.  You can’t escape until Grandpa and I said The End. 

So, you want to hear some stories?  Like you have a choice.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Our One Step Process of Choosing a Church

Lots of people have asked me this, knowing that I went to one church for almost twenty years and then had to move twice and find a home in another church.  I have been ruminating on this post for about three years now.  How do I make it profound, poetic, and powerful?

Oh my gracious...

Why do we overcomplicate what God has made so simple?  This is going to be none of those things because, quite frankly, the older I get, the simpler God's plan becomes to me.

Finding out God's will when I was 18...ten steps at the minimum.
Finding out God's will when I was step: just be faithful.
Figuring out marriage when I was 22...ten steps at the minimum.
Figuring out marriage when I was like Jesus.
Figuring out what church to go to when you overcomplicate life...20 steps, visiting 20 different places, trying 20 different times.  Worship too loud, worship too stuck up, pastor too trendy, pastor too legalistic, people not friendly, people too nosey.
Figuring out what church to go to when you keep it simple...hopefully just a couple of tries and then you stay there.

We have one must-have and it's this:

Look at all that GLORY.

Do they open the Bible and teach directly from the Word? Do they do this verse-by-verse and line-upon-line?  If they don't, it is so easy to pass over the uncomfortable passages, context, background and leave out the entirety of God's Word.  Psalm 119:160 says that "The entirety of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous judgements endures forever."  This is a nonnegotiable for my husband and I. After that, who even cares!  If a pastor is teaching the sheep the entirety of the Word of God then the entirety of the sheep will be serving and loving the body of Christ.  

Richard and I have both been on the worship team and love, love, love music. I told him what I was hoping for in church worship when we were moving to Washington a couple of months ago.  He reminded me yet again that that would be great to be able to belt out Phil Whickam songs in just the perfect key for my now alto voice but it's all about the Word and if it is being preached and growing in the hearts of the sheep.  

Ask God to give you a content heart.  Choose a church where you are being taught the entirety of the perfect, infallible Word of God and don't be so picky about all the other stuff.  You can worship God whether there is an organ pounding out "How Great Thou Art" or one guitar dude singing "Open the Eyes of My Heart" really off key.  (You can certainly pray that someone will step up to lead worship that can sing on key if you're a person that can tell the difference :) You can come with a heart ready to serve and love others and not be so utterly selfish and offended when you feel like they aren't completely serving you.  

See?  Super simple.  I love church.