Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Girl's Night Out

I have to start this post by saying I've never had many girl friends. Girls can be silly, petty and mean. Especially before the age of 20. I've always gotten along better with boys. I had lots of male friends growing up. They were cool, comfortable and straight forward. If you smelled bad, they told you. If you looked stupid, they told you. If you didn't do anything about it, they noogied your head until you did. No gossip, back-biting or petty stuff. Just truth and consequences. I could deal with that.

But through the years, my friend dynamics have changed. I still have some wonderful male friends but now I have a few, really close girlfriends. I treasure them. We treasure each other. I also have an extended group of ladies, whom I consider friends. We have much in common and enjoy get-togethers on a more cyclical basis. And then, I have my TwitterChix!!

Twitter is this social media phenom that makes you share your life in 140 characters or less. It's all the rage and the cool kids are doing it. Just kidding, it is an amazing connection tool. It's breaks down the first meeting barriers. No nervousness, no pre-judgment, no supposition. By the time you actually, if ever, meet someone because of Twitter, you've already been conversing. You, in essence, "know" each other. The conversation just continues, not awkward, not stagnant, just friendly. And then, the Tweet-Up happens!

This is an event, promoted through Twitter, by connected twitterers, that allows the conversation to move to the face-to-face realm. I've been to three. One just for moms and sponsored by Metro Family and Malena Lott, one full of Chocolate and Jewels, sponsored by Samuel Gordon Jewelry and Fat Daddy Sweets and then last night. No sponsors, just Chix!

Last night, we got together for a Girl's Night Out at Iguana in Midtown. 18 Chix, all ages, all walks of life, all stages of life gathered around a common table and had an absolute BLAST!!

We ate $1 tacos, for it was $1 Taco Tuesday and we talked! LOUDLY, boisterously, and constantly! We laughed...from the moment of recognition ME: "Hi, I'm Glynis Crawford" OTHERS: "OH, YOU'RE Glynis Crawford!! HEY!" to the very end of the evening after the group photo, lots of hugs, goodbyes and the rains came down.

It was an amazing evening. I love these gals. They have supported me through transitions, wished me great days for my upcoming Africa trip, encouraged me to share when I get back and made space for me in their lives. We have had numerous conversations on all sorts of topics, they have expanded my horizions and opened my eyes to a bigger, beautiful, diverse world. I hope I have returned their kindness, their energy and their generosity.

I think the next half of my life will be marked with LOTS of girlfriends. I'm excited about that. I am blessed.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Two Quick Thoughts on which I'm Ruminating

"I bring my void here for filling; it is my poverty God needs. With my want the Lord builds palaces."

Kilian McDonnell, from "A Place to Hide: Light On," in Weavings

"Lord, let me know clearly the work which you are calling me to do in life. And grant me every grace I need to answer your call with courage and love and lasting dedication to your will."

Saint Meinrad Prayer Book "Vocation Prayer"


Don't send me to Africa

I remember when I first became aware of missionaries and their work. I thought it was amazing that people could feel the calling of God to go share His good news with people in other lands who had never heard of Him. I did not feel that call.

Usually a missionary would come to our church, talk about their amazing adventures and trials, we would take an offering and sing "Here Am I, Send Me" out of the hymnal. I always remember singing kind of soft because the thought of God asking me to go to Africa scared the living daylights out of me. I didn't want to go to Africa. I didn't want to be sent. I wanted to stay here and support those "other" people.

When my husband and I began supporting Reaching Souls International, for the first time, missions made sense to me. Supporting and training National Missionaries to reach their own people for Christ was brilliant. They have no language barriers, no social issues, they can't be kicked out in times of political unrest and the message will go on. Plus, for a minimal amount of money ($100 a month) they are supported in a middle class lifestyle allowing them to be in full-time ministry. I could support this, I wanted to support this, and I wouldn't have to go to Africa.

Then about a year ago, my life changed. I was working for a great organization, but the demands on my time were excessive. Weekends and evenings on top of 40 hours a week was more than I wanted to continue to do. My alzheimers dad was needing more attention and I wanted more of a life. One day, my husband had lunch with a friend. He told my husband they were looking to fill a position on staff and wanted to know if hubbie was interested. He was not, but only because it didn't fit his skill set. But it did fit mine. The position was at Reaching Souls International. I submitted my resume, did my interviews and soon had a new job. And I still didn't have to go to Africa.

But my heart changed. I started listening to the stories of those who had gone. I started catching the vision and understanding their passion for the lost and dying in Africa. I started doing research and understanding that the average life expectancy in many African nations is 42. 42!! I'm dead already. What if I had never heard? What if no one had come to tell me that God loves me? Jesus died for me?

When did my heart change? When I stepped out and said "Not my will, but yours be done." And then I met Freywell.

Freywell is African and one of our in-country leadership. He is one of the most joyfull people I have ever met. His smile lights up the room. His presence brings joy. Then I met Emmanuel. He's young and on fire for God! Then I met Paul. He's older, wiser and so driven to see his country changed for God.

And I knew, I wanted to go to Africa. Here am I Lord, Send Me. I want to see, to touch, to witness, to sing, to love, to share, to cry and to walk the dirt these people walk.

SO, I'm going. I leave Thursday for Mombasa, Kenya and my prayer is God will so move in and through me, I will never be the same. Send me to Africa, I'm ready to go.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Watching the bubbles

I heard on the radio this morning that part of disaster training is plunging the participants into a pool of water attached to a heavy sled. They are taught to free themselves, remove their visors and then wait. To orient themselves, they are taught to relax and watch the bubbles before they begin to swim. Bubbles always rise. Then they follow the bubbles to the surface.

I wish I had known this in the 5th grade. 3 times a week, I would go the YWCA to take swimming lessons. I already knew how to swim, but it was during 6th hour and swimming was more fun than whatever I would have been doing at school. They taught us to swim, dive, haul people out of the water, etc. It was kind of like a junior lifeguard program. Part of the diving was learning how to go off the low board and the not-so-low board but there was one other board there too.

See, here's the deal. I don't really have a fear of heights. Falling is a different story. But peer pressure has an interesting effect on me. I either find much pride in being the only resistor or I fall willingly into the crowd, another lemming perched on the precipice of disaster. This day, it was option number two.

I'd been diving off board number one and two for most of the weeks we'd been going to the Y. Tuck your head, hold your hands up, roll off the board with just a slight jump. Got it. But board number you've-gotta-be-kidding-me was a no go. Until, everyone I went to class with called out "Let's all go!" One by one they lined up, willing sacrifices to the high board god. One by one they climbed up the ladder and somehow, I found myself with a very bad case of team spirit. "OK, I'll do it!" Cheers went up, little legs went up, we all went up the very tall ladder.

Once I reached the top, there was no going back. Too many behind me, too much pride to sit and cry, so I walked out to the end, tucked my head, put up my arms, didn't look down and just jumped. It was like slow motion, I heard someone yelling..."tuck in, tuck in", I felt myself falling, and I opened my eyes just in time to realize I was going to do the world's biggest belly flop. POW!!!

I hit the water flat. Everything stung. I couldn't breathe. Somehow, I rolled over, saw the lights (and not only the ones in my head) and floated up. I didn't swim, at least I don't think I did. I couldn't move really. I got to the edge without help, I guess I was moving at this point. No lifeguards had jumped in. And I sat.

I can proudly say, I jumped off the high board that day. I can also say, I have never done it since and won't ever.

But what if I had been prepared? What if someone had actually taught me how and how not to jump off the high board? What if someone had told me to tuck into a ball or go feet first and once I hit the water, to watch for the bubbles?

How much of life do I run into, unprepared, get the wind knocked out of me and never try again?

I'm much less likely to do that now, but it doesn't mean I don't. I think my walk as a christian has been much the same way. I dive in head first, belly flop, stop breathing and retire. The problem is, I dive in without reading the manual. God has given me a great head's up in His word. Everything I ever need to know is in there. But I have to stop, look, study, listen and prepare...and then jump knowing the leap is a leap of faith.

So here are my prayers.

"When I called you, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted." Psalm 138:3

"When you pass thru the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass thru the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk thru the fire, you will be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." Isaiah 43:2

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of the, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

He knows when to jump, which direction the bubbles are going, and I'll keep my eyes on Him.


Friday, July 24, 2009

What's in a Name?

All my life, I've both loved and hated my name. Glynis. It's unique to be sure, but as a kid I never found it on a pencil, those little license plates or a keychain. It has both plagued me and set me apart. I almost always spell my name in conjunction with saying it. "What's the name on that order?" "Glynis. G-L-Y-N-I-S."

I find it interesting the numerous responses I get when someone learns my name. I also enjoy the numerous misspellings. Most people respond by saying it's unique, beautiful, interesting, or they just look at me with a blank stare. It has been spelled Glynnis, Glennis, Gleyniece (my personal favorite), Gleynis and the list goes on.

So what really is in a name? My name means "Of the glen". Wow, world changing potential there! When we chose our daughters names, we just liked them. We had no idea names could mean something. Way before baby name books were popular. Or we were just clueless.

I have a dear friend who recently changed her name. At some point in her life, she became aware that the name chosen for her represented someone who eventually caused great pain in her life. Because of who the name represented, my dear friend was reminded every time she thought of her name of the pain. So she set herself free from the reminder, she took a new name. A name she chose because of the wonderful things it represented.

Makes me think of this scripture...Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." and this one...Matthew 1:21 "She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he is the one who will save his people from their sins." and lastly...Phillipians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;"

A name can be a powerful thing. Something that defines us, identifies us, sets us apart. Jesus' name has the power to save, heal, redeem, comfort, rebuke and surround with love. Call upon his name and he will meet you where you are. Call upon his name and he'll give you a new name, new heart, new life and a new future.

What names are you calling yourself these days? Is it time to change your name?


Thursday, July 23, 2009


I have had several unexpected moments today. All of them have warmed me inside and I wanted to share them with you.

Hope you enjoy them too.

Shouldn't all weddings start this joyously?

Next is the story of a young man, T. Abandoned by his druggie, alcoholic parents, trying to finish high school, work, support himself and dream of going to college. An unrelated gentlemen heard T's story, felt compassion and gave him a truck. He has also promised to keep an eye on this young man and help T go to college. Just because he can. Wow.

The last one is this...TRON

I LOVED this film as a kid and I am SO looking forward to seeing this movie.

It's been a good day.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm hearing this word a great deal recently. We have missional communities at church, professional communities, communities we live in, even a Twitter community. I do love Twitter...

Anyway, I'm going to a different community than I've ever been to before. A community where orphaned children live on the streets. Support themselves by whatever means necessary. Surrounded by another community where adults either ignore, support or exploit these children. Surrounded by yet another community of government officials who turn a blind eye to the suffering of their people to line their own pockets and care for their own needs. Surrounded by a much larger community, called the world, who sometimes notices, sometimes helps, sometimes chooses to look away.

I'm going to this community for a short time. I hope to be effective while I'm there. I know they will leave an impression on my heart for the rest of my life.

I will come back to my community changed forever. I hope I'm ready, willing and able. But I rest in the knowledge that in my weakness, God's strength is made perfect. 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."

What do your communities look like?


Monday, July 20, 2009

By our love...

I read this scripture today, 1 John 1:8 "If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

Let me start by saying I come from a family that loves to judge others. Gossip abounds. They sit on their fat hineys, making comments about people's weight, place in life, etc. They are not rich, they are not famous, they are just plain, ordinary people. Church people no less.

That is where I sometimes draw the line. Church people -- Christians.
Not always equal.

I see many people walking in church doors, sitting in their "assigned" seat (or at least their expected one), listening to the music, the preacher, the prayer and walking back out. Going to lunch, being rude to the hostess, not tipping the waitress or better yet, leaving a Bible tract instead. Going home, starting all over again for the evening service.

I also see many people walking in church doors completely broken, repentant, ready for something else, something new. And you know what, God meets them there. Right where they are. Lifts them up, embraces them, challenges them and surrounds them with other Christians who know exactly how it feels to be loved.

Here's the deal. They will know we are Christians by our love. 1 Corinthians 13 states that pretty clearly. "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal."

I look at life this way, I am a christian, it's not something I do. I believe in the One true God, I believe he sacrificed his only son Jesus Christ as provision for my sin and I believe his Holy Spirit resides in me to be my counselor and guide. I also believe and acknowledge that without God, I am nothing. I'm a noisy gong, a clanging symbol because God IS love. I am incapable of true, unselfish, fully engaged love without him. I also believe I have been forgiven much. And as much as I have been forgiven and will need forgiveness in the future for I am human, I do not have the right to sit in judgment of others. We each have our own sin.

Some of us wear it literally, I turn to food instead of God. I celebrate with it, mourn with it, pass time with it. Some of us wear it secretly. Some of us justify it. But we all carry it with us. My sin is no different than yours. I will not judge you, please don't judge me. That is God's job and his alone.

So here's my plan. Let's all navigate this thing called life together. Let's embrace each other, accept each other, support each other, share with each other, and truly, wholly love each other.

Jesus did. He ate with those who were despised, he touched the untouchable, he made friends with the unreachable, he walked with the dejected, defiled and debilitated. I am hoping to absolutely emulate my Savior. No proclamation needed. The Bible has already been written and it doesn't need my help, only my action.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." 1 Corinthians 13:7-8


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

old tapes

We all have them. Things said to us, done to us in the past that replay themselves in our present. I have erased many of the tapes from my life. I hope you have as well.

It gives me great comfort to know that there is a purpose for me. I'm not just some random gathering of molecules. As an artist, each piece I create has purpose, vision. Some are just for joy. Some are for a specific person or purpose. Like this one, it's for Lisa. She loves these colors and vintage things and birds. I hope she likes it.

I want to share with you something I read this morning. Hope it blesses you.

God's Signature by Max Lucado from In the Grip of Grace

"Before I made you in your mother's womb, I chose you." Jeremiah 1:5

With God in your world, you aren't an accident or an incident; you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God.

One of the finest gifts I ever received is a football signed by thirty former professional quarterbacks. There is nothing unique about this ball. For all I know it was bought at a discount sports store. What makes it unique is the signatures.

The same is true with us. In the scheme of nature Homo sapiens are not unique. We aren't the only creatures with flesh and hair and blood and hearts. What makes us special is not only our body but the signature of God on our lives. We are his works of art. We are created in his image to do good deeds. We are significant, not because of what we do, but because of whose we are.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

I love to tell stories...

I was reading a friend's blog, thanks TootieD, and she tells good stories.

It reminded me of a story from my 14 year old days.

We had come to Oklahoma City from Farmersville, to celebrate the holidays and see friends and family. During one of our days here, Mom decided we would all go see Mrs. Pace in Elk City.

Mrs. Pace was a dear, elderly woman who had known my mother since her teen days when they worked together at the Children's Center in Bethany. We had grown up visiting Mrs. Pace in her little house where the candy dish always held lemon drops and it always smelled of hand lotion and face powder. We would sit, listen to the grown-ups talk, hear the stories and the news updates and eat lemon drops. Mrs. Pace would always tell me how pretty I was and remark on how much I'd grown. She was a sweet lady and even as kids, we didn't mind the visits. Did I mention the lemon drops? :-)

Anyway, on our trip to Elk City this one winter day, we loaded up the 56 Ford with all three dogs, 2 parents, 2 kids and we headed out. But not before we had prettied ourselves up right. We all put on our Sunday finest, I remember my outfit well. I was 14 after all. SO, I had on my jeans and a lovely blue sweater. I had on my best copper and blue eye shadow and my brand new rabbit fur coat. (Didn't know the details of rabbit fur coats at the time, all I can say is I'm sorry little rabbits I didn't know.) And we set out.

As always, the dogs were excited to be traveling. Jenny and I were in the back seat with Brenda, our little black furry mutt, Snoopy, our cartoon dog look a like and not the brightest dog we'd ever had and Maggie, mom's soul mate and our half shepherd/half chow family guardian.

As if Maggie knew a storm was coming, she roused and jumped to the front seat with mom. About that same time, Snoopy started to whimper. Then he started spewing and not from his mouth. POOP! shooting everywhere on everything. It didn't last long but the coverage was significant. Once it stopped, Snoopy was happy. Wagging his tail, running back and forth...yes, you can imagine. Dad pulled over as quickly as possible and we all bailed out. Discovering the extent of the damage, we did the best we could with the towels we had on hand and finished our journey to Elk City.

Mom was the only one in the car unscathed by the explosion, so we dropped her off at the nursing home and the rest of us went to the nearest carwash. This was my dad's solution. So in December in Oklahoma if you had passed the carwash that day you would have seen 1 child, 1 teenager, 1 man, 3 dogs and one car all bathing in the carwash. My rabbit fur coat...well, it was never the same. Snoopy got that high colonic he'd been craving. We all got a good power wash. We were only slightly damp when we returned to visit Mrs. Pace.

She didn't seem to notice and even in the nursing home, she still had lemon drops. We had a nice visit, we listened to stories and heard the news, and we enjoyed the lemon drops.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Half as much and more than plenty.

Several things have recently collided in my life to make me aware of one very important thing. If I had half as much, I'd still have more than plenty.

Now before you jump and run, hear me out. Really...I'm applying this to one area of my life. Food. For now.

We've all heard that America is fat. Oklahoma is fat. Well, here's the honest truth, so am I. I don't eat tons of junk, I don't eat tons period. But I do eat more than I need...obviously.

I've been struggling with it for some time. Not too seriously or I wouldn't still be struggling, but thinking about it none-the-less. I'm going to Africa soon. There are overweight people in Africa, but it's because they live on rice. They have few choices. I don't struggle with a lack of choice or availability. I could do better.

And then it hit me, seriously hit me. Food poisoning. Threw me out of the eating game for 48 hours. It was gross, painful, and eye-opening. I think my stomach shrunk two sizes that day. Very Grinchy...

But what it did was allow me to say no. No I don't need to finish that plate, I pay for it either way. No I don't need to have seconds. No I don't need to feel guilty about it. Grandma isn't watching and Dad didn't fill my plate for me. I'm not being wasteful I'm being wise.

So I'm eating half and I'm hoping this sticks with me. So far so good. I feel better when satisfied only and not stuffed. For all you thin eaters out there, I know this is not new news to you. But for some of us, there is a huge learning curve to be mounted and overcome.

And...I am an overcomer. So much of my life is witness to this.

So here's to the Full Years to come with only half. I know, sounds crazy, but it just may be the answer, at least for me.


Thursday, July 02, 2009


Impossible for a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage. Impossible for a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage. And four white mice will never be four white hourses. Such fol-de-rol and fiddle dee dee of courses. Impossible! But the world is full of zanies and fools who don't believe in sensible rules and won't believe what sensible people say.. and because these daft and dewey eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes impossible things are happening every day!

And today was one of those days.

I'm a rose colored glasses, pollyanna kind of gal. I love happy endings, laughter, spontaneous singing and I believe the potential to be the best you can be really does exist in all of us.

My hope and faith was renewed today. I moved my 70 year old alzheimers dad into a nursing home. He went willingly, peacefully and seem relieved. The nursing staff was very friendly, very helpful. The home is comfortable and welcoming. From the chickens in the courtyard area to the tiny finches in the TV room, life abounds in the place. Something I never expected in a nursing home. Something I was thrilled to find.

I hope you never have to face what I did today. But if you do...

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I felt the love of the community surround us today. I am grateful God held us all in the palm of His loving, almighty hand.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Moving Day

Tomorrow I put my dad in a nursing home. I know lots of people do it, there are some good homes out there, and sometimes it's a necessity. This is one of those times.

But I honestly never thought this would happen.

This is just not the way my family does things. We grow old, we die. Very few of my extended family have lingered with an illness that required 24/7 care. If they did, they were married and at home.

My great uncle Grady just died. He was 97, still lived in his own house, played golf 3 times a week, mowed his own lawn and bowled in a senior's league. (They had to put him in with the 70 year olds cause their weren't any other 90-somethings playing and he still beat them).

My grandma, my dad's mom and Grady's sister, is 93 and living in a retirement community. She is still in charge of the world, always right and if you don't believe me, I'll give you her number and you can call and ask.

And then there is dad. He's 70. Because of alzheimers, his journey will likely end in this nursing home. Alzheimers is nasty. It has stolen his mind, his memory, his golden years. It has stolen the future I always thought we would have with him. I'm feeling relieved, cheated, joyful, guilt-ridden and just plain mad.

If we can spend billions on any given day for any given reason, WHY can't we find a cure for this heinous, dream stealing disease. Did you know that there are diagnosed cases of alzheimers in children as young as 6? SIX!!!!

I promise to do something. I do not want to see families lose loved ones before their time. I do not want to see dreams die. I do not want to believe this can't be stopped.

For tomorrow, I'll move my dad. I'll cry my tears. I'll try to make him comfortable in his new surroundings where he will be safe.

But watch out future days, I'm coming for you.