An Embarrassment of Flip-flops

‘Tis the Season. Of cheese graters and power sanders on the gnarly heels of women everywhere. Of pedicures and fresh nail polish. Of creams and lotions. And of flip-flops and sandals.

I went for a pedicure with The Jobnnie when she was home for spring break in March. We were in between snowstorms so it was only fitting that we allow ourselves a bit of pampering. A pedicure was just the ticket. And I thought we’d just grab flip-flops on our way out the door. Except… I could not find a single pair of flip-flops anywhere. Not a one. Not in my closet. Not in the garage.

How could this be?

Well… When it was snow boot season, we put all the boots in easy reach. And I, being logical, tucked all of the warm weather foot gear into the boot bin.

And we found them ALL today. Right where we left them. Because I was putting winter boots away and…


You know how there’s collective nouns? A murder of crows… a herd of cows… and I’ve decided it must be an embarrassment of flip-flops.



It wasn’t in the plans for our senior pastor to come down with some form of the Maryland “plague.” Nor had I planned on preaching tomorrow. As I did some chores and cooked dinner this evening, I meditated on the verses for tomorrow’s service. I read her manuscript (which is wonderful) and now it’s time to refocus and make it God’s Words through me…

It is a wondrous thing to have just spent the last day with some wonderful clergywomen. We listened, talked and dreamed. More will come from our time together in the days and weeks to come. But for now, my focus turns to the sermon prep I need to do.

I am not worried nor anxious. There is a sense that God has brought me through many twists and turns to come and partner with this congregation and be a part of what the Spirit would do in our corner of Christendom.

As I sat with Scripture tonight, I stopped to re-center, breathe and remember…

… deep breaths

… long talks

… friends on this journey

… Christ at the center

… the Eucharist shared with loving hearts and hands


What God can do next will exceed my expectations.

Holy Spirit, come.


Breathe. Even when it hurts. Just breathe. 

There is laundry to do. Dishes. Vacuuming. Dusting. Reading and studying. A book review (which really must get bumped up on my priority list!) The list is actually quite long, and just a wee bit annoying.

Being productive by striking things off my to do list was not what I needed to do this morning. Instead, I put on my gardening shoes, walked out into my muddy yard, and enjoyed some moments of beauty. The birds were singing their heads off. The violets were peeking out beside newly sprouted grass. And my grandmother’s peony bush shows the first signs of blossoms!

A week ago this area had snow showers. Today I don’t need a jacket, and I’m swatting at gnats.

The headlong, crazy rush of one week into the next is almost overwhelming. And while I have plenty more yardwork left to do, the most productive thing I did all morning was to sit on this bench, breathe, (and sneeze!) and hear the sound of God’s love deep in my heart.

Find a moment, grab a moment if necessary, and just breathe. Be. Beloved. 


-Mischief Managed

I solemnly swear I am up to no good. 

Dear political telemarketers,

I understand that you are volunteers. And that you are motivated to get your candidate’s name out there. But you make it far too easy to prank you…


It all started when I read the caller ID: “Republicans for Tdump”

(Feeling snarky, I think to myself, “Ok, I’ll play!”)

Me: Hi! Thanks for calling! Hold on while I connect you to your party!

[I hum fake on-hold music*]

*(Would have been TOTALLY believable until the cat meowed LOUDLY…)

Me: Hello? Hi? Hi? Hihihihihihi?

Poor unlucky caller: ummm HELLO?

Me: Hello? can you hear me? hi? 

(I repeated this until I felt merciful, then talked as if I were talking to someone in the room with me…)

…I don’t know… Caller ID says it’s Republicans for Tdump but I don’t hear anything…

Poor unlucky caller: Hello? Ma’am?

Me: Oh good! Yes! Hello? Hello?

Poor unlucky caller: yes!! HELLO!! (Without taking a breath, he launches into his spiel…) Well, as you know the Presidential Primary is coming up. Can you tell me who you’ll be voting for for the Republican nomination for President?

Me: oh yes! Bernie Sanders!

 Poor unlucky caller: [silence]

Poor unlucky caller: ummmmm [silence]

Poor unlucky caller: ok ummmmm next question… 

Of the following candidates, who will you vote for? Ted Cruise, Donald Tdump or John Casing? (Yes. I know they’re spelled wrong. Just playing with the data mining robots.)

Me: [quickly and with great enthusuasm] Jeb Bush!!!

Poor unlucky caller: [silence]

Poor unlucky caller: unmmmmm 


When I felt the giggles coming I just hung up… I’ll do better next time.:)

Feel free to play along at home. I need to go now and adjust my halo. 
Mischief managed. 

Set Free? Indeed!

SET FREE! Created at Twinbrook Baptist Church, Rockville, MD. (Photo credit Rev Deb Vaughn)

What holds you back? 
What habits seem to be unchangeable? 
What situation seems impossible? 

My answer to those questions would be different from yours… But this I do know:

A life in Christ, freed from the weight of guilt and sin and death is pretty wonderful. Even on the hard days. Even on the most tiring, frustrating days. Even when the answers to prayer are “no” instead of the much prayed-for “Yes!”

Set free! 

That’s the message of the resurrection! (Can I get an Alleluia?)