Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Times They Are About to be Changin'

Oh, my.

It's been THAT long since I last posted?!

Forgive me...again. I've been pondering why I seem to shrink from this portion of communicating and have come to the conclusion that I need to break this blog out a bit wider. To allow myself (and your comments in response) to cover a broader gamut of thought, opinions, advice, humor, and over all personality.

So that's what I'm going to do in the next few weeks.

Set up a revived blogging spot by which you and I can talk shop. Confer. Opine. Pontificate. Laugh so hard we (nearly!) wet our pants. Okay, so some of you may choose to opt out regarding that. So be it.

Nevertheless, the goal is to meld the varying aspects of life, faith, kids, relationships, failures, dreams, questions, convictions, marriage, and everything else that makes up this life--our lives. And to get through it together.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Thoughts on a Tabloid Mom's Story

Just finished reading, Through the Storm, and I appreciate and commend both Lynne and Lorilee Craker for filling it with informative reality-check content.

Reality Check: Lynne wasn't some whacked-out Baby Jane stage mom. (But you sell more tabloids if you say she is.)
Reality Check: Lynne never "cashed in" on either of her daughters fame. (I never knew she was a school teacher and ran her own successful daycare until the book. Yes, Britney built her the home she now lives in but last time I checked LOTS of wealthy and famous children had done that happily for their parents).
Reality Check: Lynne made choices she regrets. (Well, what mother or father among us reading this blog hasn't done the same thing?)
Reality Check: Lynne was, is, and will continue to be a Christian whose faith weaves in and through the multiple dynamics of her life. (This seems to be a tough pill for the world to understand and some Christians to accept).
Reality Check: Lynne loves her children.

Lynne didn't do everything right. Heck, none of us have! She admits to passivity and blind, naive, trust with manager types which you and I will probably never see the like of. But through the real and very public storm of her life and children's choices she proved to be One Tough Mother strong.

Here, I'll let Lynne speak for herself (page 164), after refusing to bend to family and Jamie Lynn's managament team's pressure to send her (Jamie Lynn) to a Christian-based residential facility in Tennesse...

"I cannot do this," I said. "This is not what she needs." To say I was raked over the coals would be like saying Louisiana is a tough muggy in July. Jamie, especially, did not mince words, yelling and ranting and accusing me of being co-dependent, among other things. But those lions could roar all they wanted--I would not budge...Standing my ground was not easy. I'd been so passive in so many ways for so long, letting managers and agents and executives decide the paths my children would walk. Not any longer. Not while I was still their mother."

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mother Prayer

Please read and pray for the healing of Stephanie, a young mother fighting one tough battle for her life. Who among us reading this can do so without tearing up and drawing our little ones (and big one) closer to our sides and heart? If you have a sister who loves you like this...stop reading and pick up your phone or drive over to her house and tell her how much you love her.

If, like me, your relationship with a sister (or sisters) is unconventional or perhaps strained or non-exisistent, it's okay, bow your head (as I am doing as I type) and give thanks for what it is and who they are. It is what it is I often tell my children, but I'm learning as each calendar year rolls around to give thanks to God for everything and everyone He has allowed to shape me.

Family rarely resembles the cheesy shows from my youth nor the irreverent and shameless caricature crap emanating from the "New Kind of Family" channels illuminating the family rooms of our home. Rather, family with all its glorious and gut-wrenching highs and lows is the petri dish of the holy and difficult; the mundane and self-less.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Some Thoughts

I can't believe it's nearly the end of October. Ugh. I really don't know how those of you reading this post who blog and work and parent and travel and carry responsibilities in a dozen other areas find time to do even the simple essentials.

I'll be cruising along when I realize a month has gone by since I last spoke with my online comrades. Or fixed a home-cooked meal. So I'm going to settle into a routine today and tomorrow and do my best to post a quasi-profound missive her at One Tough Mother Talk.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Time, The Grand Equalizer

Okay, so I'm totally addicted (in the most healthy of ways, mind you) to Facebook and all those other networking connects online. My kids think I'm weird and granted, they have a point, as I squeal out time and again from my office computer, "Oh, my gosh! I can't believe I found ....!"

In the past four days, I've talked with Jeff A. whom I first got to know in 1982 as a seventeen-year old girl desperate to find a way to stop living a double-life as a Christian(i.e. drinking like a fish on weekends and telling jokes, admittedly funny jokes, that would make a sailor blush).

I got a chance to do just that while working with Jeff, one of the "old" adults (um, he was probably all of 24 or so) on an organizational team for an area-wide youth rally in Moberly, MO. This was an opportunity to put my actions where my faith was supposed to be and I dove in for all I was worth. A couple of years later I saw Jeff at Hannibal LaGrange College and then, like so many people in our lives, he went somewhere with his family and that was that.

Fast forward 26 years... a quick facebook search...and there's Jeff with his still beautiful bride Sherry and their now grown (and married) sons. Like me, Jeff has a few pigment-challenged hair follicles on his head. Laugh lines. And I'm sure more than a few stories of failure and success. But as I look at the photos he posted, all I could really think about was the multiple pure expressions of love, affection, joy, and faithfulness on his face. He may not "look" 24 anymore and heaven knows I threw off 17 a long, long, loooooooong, time ago, but in the grand scheme of life, we stand equal.

A bit older.
A bit wiser.
And thankful for the faithful love of our family and Savior.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Okay, viewbies, head over to facebook and look me up. Invite me over. Or knock on my cyber-door. I'm really enjoying this communication avenue and look forward to seeing your face and reading your comments.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Greetings and salutations from the 75.7% organized office of my Chicago-land home office. All the bookshelves are filled (Priority #1 upon our arrival) and I located my old school, 3-ring binder with actual paper, speaking schedule two nights ago. Books and media inventory are all accounted for and a few pesky online orders which slipped through internet server cracks (hmm, are there cracks in space?) have been filled and shipped out for delivery.

Happy sigh. What a whirlwind it’s been as we packed up belongings and memories of fourteen years and settled into our new space in the bustling suburbs of Chicago. Par for Barnhill-spawnling course, the kids fearlessly sprinted out of their “major life change” starting blocks: Patrick is attending school and playing soccer for Harvest Christian Academy, his transition was seamless and he’s loving the food choices provided at lunch (is there anything more important to a growing 5’11” 13-year old boy?!); Kristen is soon to begin her junior year at Argosy University located nearby in Schaumburg—she’s looking to complete her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Community Counseling; and Ricky Neal will put down academic stakes for two years at community college and then transfer to Liberty University for a degree in Political Science.

Meanwhile, Rick continues to work downstate while actively pursuing Human Resource employment within the Chicago-land area. He’s already mastered the art of the Metra & Amtrack and I’m counting down the days until details allow him to be home with me and the kids.

As for me? Well, my brain and spirit can barely contain the “this-is-so-right” assurance of following God’s leading in all these things. It’s an unshakable settled knowing of being dead-center where you need to be. No doubt some friends and family may still think me crazy but this all came down to "Put obedience where you say you say your faith is," crazy.

I’m evaluating (and re-evaluating) numerous details regarding the direction of my writing, speaking, and responsibilities within the community of faith of Harvest Bible Chapel. This fresh start has me examing a myriad of motives, goals, longings, and "in-the-light-of-eternity" considerations. I'm not at all sure what the end result will be but I rest knowing I don't have to. All that is required of me, yet again, is to obey.

Radio opportunities seem to be just upon the horizon and everything in me still aches and bellows (okay, I’m so not low-key when it comes to my passion for radio) for favor with producers, financial sponsors, entrepreneurs, and anything and everyone who desires to bring radically refreshing radio to Christian women everywhere.

Radio doesn’t care how much you weigh.

Radio doesn’t sum you up based on a clothing label.

Radio doesn’t form a cliché.

Radio doesn’t show wrinkles.

Radio allows women to get down to the basics of life.

I’d appreciate your prayers regarding this all-consuming passion. I can’t shake it. And I don’t believe I’m supposed to. If I’ve learned anything—if there’s anything I know to be true it is this: It is God who is at work in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. So I rest and smile; recalling the timeless Eric Liddell quote, “When I run I feel His pleasure.” Indeed, when I work in radio I feel His pleasure.

P.S. I'd love it if you'd send me an email and let me know the kind of radio-podcasting that you'd like to hear. So much of the "evaluating" I spoke about a few paragraphs before has to do with finding out what YOU like, what YOU need to grow in faith and life.