Imperfect, But His

Once upon a time, there was a wealthy man, very well known and admired in his province. He was older in years, yet not quite expired. He left his workforce in order to do more of the things he enjoyed.


This man also had a son whom he loved exceedingly above all his glorious earthly spoils. His son, though simple in both appearance and speech, possessed a heart ‘made of gold’. He had accompanied his Father throughout his career, and many people knew him for his goodness going beyond the boundaries of common courtesy necessary for being a professional, thus furthering his Father’s acceptance to the crowds.


While walking the halls of his lovely home, this man, known as Gary, became aware of the paintings and portraits that adorned his home. Landscapes of  the mansion and gardens lined the walls of the family room, while portraits of his fathers gone before paralleled the hall, and a portrait of himself as a youth hung nobly in the entrance, proclaiming him to be the Master of the estate.


Upon examinations of these masterpieces, his intrigue soon had him ensconced in a small room on the topmost floor, surrounded by paint, brushes, canvas, and all things a new aspiring artist did not truly know the depth of.  His first inspiration was a plain coffee mug, Simple enough to depict, an ordinary object that brought memories of his days in business. He painted his memories, his favorite flowers and trees, toys from his childhood, his fears, his triumphs.  His values found their way into each and every awkward painting. The end results brought him joy. The inelegance of his first paintings brought guffaws of laughter. His pleasure in his new found hobby increased as his skills improved by studying new techniques.


His paintings piled up, making a small space even smaller. He decided it was time to let them go. One buyer bought the whole lot of them.  This buyer turned out to be a shady character and was soon discover to have modified all the painting to his own interpretation, while using the signature of a sincere man of wealth and renown to sell his agenda.


The generally gentle artist, Gary, was enraged. He quickly recalled all of these pieces, advertising to all of the buyers to either return these paintings and be reimbursed or paint a likeness of his son over the defiled canvas. He destroyed the appalling works that had been wrought over the creations of his own hands and heart. Some brought him demeaning portraits that mocked his sons simplicity, or harsh portraits that bore little to no resemblance of his precious son. These he destroyed with no remorse or reimbursement for the callous customer.


But there were a few who seemed to consider his son as he was, they captured the love in his eyes, the smile at his mouth, or the kindness of his pose. And while not perfect, they captured the true essence of his son. These, he embraced. These buyers were rewarded far beyond the price they had paid for the defiled canvas.


The End


In Honor of Irma, who painted the portrait of Christ upon the canvas of her life. And while not perfect, it was an incredible likeness, and His beauty became a part of her identity.


I will always remember her for her kindness and her acceptance of me. Her wit and vibrant life will always inspire me to do more and be more.


An original story by Lisa Schrock


Note: One of the worst things for me, as a creative writer and a person who thinks in parables, is that I seriously do not know if people ‘get’ my stories. This is the first I have shared online. I do not know what it will mean to you, but I know what it means to me.


Help Mama-Save Baby

I have about five articles in my head that I really need to write. The planned Parenthood drama is really on my mind. It makes me sad, for the babies, for the momma’s, and yes, for the doctor’s and vendors too. These are the people who bring the human race to the level equivalent to animals. Maybe even lower than that. I am a bible believing Christian. By that, I mean I believe the whole of it. Not just bits and pieces to suit my taste, but everything. I believe we are eternal beings, we are loved by our creator, and there is life after death. There is a spiritual realm not seen on earth. But we see the effects it has on humanity, evidenced by the constant struggle between right and wrong. We see the obvious order by which our world was created, and we see the chaos, stirred in by that wiry devastator, trying to bring us all down, down to the destruction that awaits him. Are we merely victims or do we choose our path? Are we choosing the right thing, the way God created things to be, before the fall of man, or are we choosing the things that are wrong, introduced into the world by the angel Lucifer, who is trying to eradicate any goodness there may be found from the face of the earth. Regardless of what we choose to do, have our babies, love our babies, kill our babies, sell our babies or dissect our babies, there is only one answer, and that is to turn to Jesus. Jesus offers hope to everyone involved. We cannot undo the awfulness that has happened and is still happening. But we can be proactive in providing the alternative choice to these women who teeter on the edge of abortion. I have made an outline of what I think would offer Hope, first to our community, then possibly to the nation. It only takes a spark to brighten your corner.   I call it…


Purpose: to do our part to prevent abortions, by offering struggling mothers support and training to keep their children. Figure out the why. Why is abortion so common? Why do we not want children? I suspect every person who aborts her young has a different reason. Whether its fear, selfishness, playing martyr, or forced by other people in her life or any other reason we may find. We need to get to the bottom of it and remove the excuse.

Who: women of faith, teaching classes, providing resources and help to mothers.  Our local community is full of compassionate women. There are so many hidden trials and victories that occur as a child grows. Personally, I would enjoy having a place to go learn parenting techniques, close enough to home that you don’t need to travel, small enough, so all in attendance get a chance to ask questions. Not everyone grows up knowing how to be a mom. Not everyone has a super example of loving parenting. Not everyone knows simple domestic tasks. How wonderful it would be, rather than take it for granted that every one grew up with our good fortunes and heritage, if we could compassionately pass on our expertise to those less seasoned. Remember, knowledge is what we learn from our own experiences, wisdom is the truth we see in the experience and example of others. Make some one wise, share your knowledge.  

What: A program of weekly classes during pregnancy, support during birth, domestic assistance during the Post partum period. Also optional classes that pertaineth to raising children, homemaking, organizing, cooking, nutrition and such.  These classes would be open to any girl or woman interested. A bit like a little college that would teach women who desire to be keepers at home, but do not really know how. It has become so expected for young women to pursue careers, we don’t bother teaching them to live peacefully at home with their children and\or husbands should they choose to do so. There is more work to running a household than what meets the eye. There may also be some who know all things about running a household, yet have no idea how to live peacefully with her husband, or children or family or anybody. A person who is habitually difficult with those around them will be left with a much smaller support group in their natural (familial) setting.

Support: Baby clothes and gear by donation, thrift store open to public with the proceeds supporting the ministry. Mothers who enroll in the program and choose to keep their babies, would receive a voucher to the store for 50 cent(or 50% off) clothes and discounted baby gear to use up to one year, and a bundle of blankets, suits, and socks. Having a boy and a girl, the piles of clothes get quite large. They go through it so fast, I’m tempted to open a baby clothes storage place that operates like a library. There is no shortage of baby gear and clothes.

Where: starting with your church in any small way, then EVERYWHERE!!

additional: I’m a big believer in enabling mothers to keep their babies. I think that should be first priority. However, inevitably there would be times when it may not work out. There are families willing to adopt. And  adoption is also a beautiful thing.

So that was just my idea of older women teaching younger women and younger women with children also being an example of loving caring mothers. A whole community working together to make a difference in the lives of mother’s and children.

Embracing life as a gift from God, and nurturing a life to be a blessing to others…

So, can you see the HOPE?! We can DO things to make a difference! Let’s not sit on our hands while we cry for these unborn babies. I hope you will be inspired.DSCN7849

Pregnant in a Loving Community.

  When pregnant with my first child in 2012, I did not reallize how important it was to have proper etiquette with pregnant women. When my loving community found out i was pregnant, I feel like most people were happy for me and had great intentions. However, that did not keep me from getting annoyed by the constant barrage  of questions and instructions and horror stories. Mentally, I wrote so many articles about the subject, most were laced (no, probably dripping) with sarcasm. I am currently  in the last month of my second pregnancy and feel like I have mellowed out a bit and have gotten over myself.

  Now I feel like I can write about it with a pretty good attitude. I’m gonna start at three months, since that is about the normal time pregnancies are made public. The most common response is a small squeal of delight, a heartfelt comment of being excited or happy for you, and then the questions: ‘How far along are you? When are you due? Have you been feeling okay? Have you been to a doctor? Are you gonna find out the gender?’ After you politely  answer all the quetions, then comes the advice. Take this for nausea, make sure you rest, take this herb, this pill, and this test, don’t go to this doctor, and so many others. And if you haven’t managed to slip out if you are talking to a veteran mother, you will most likely get a horror story. 
   For the most part, I don’t mind the questions until they get to the parts about revealing gender, and doctor\visits and such. I don’t even mind those if you are my mother, sister, aunt, friend, or at least some one I see on a regular basis and actually have a close relationship with.

The first thing  I did after I found out that I was pregnant  for the first time, I went to the local library and brought home every pregnancy book they had. I read about the hippies on the caravan train from California  that eventually settled in Tennessee in the 70`s or 80’s. They had a paramedic on the train, and thier babies were delivered in the family’s bus. When they settled, they formed thier own little clinic with a midwife who made house calls. Baby’s were born in cabins or even outside, with little to no complication. I read all the facts in the mayo clinic book, the ‘What to Expect’ book, I read about the Bradley method, hypnosis, epidurals, pitocin inductions, C-sections, breech, multiple births, any complication you can think of, it was mentioned. I read in the Bible how the Isrealite women were lively after birth, and about the women in communist countries  who are expected back in the field immediately after birth. There are also cultures who take care of thier women, with wonderful customs that cater to new moms.  Some look out for the baby’s health by reccomending not leaving the house for thirty days post partum. Online I read real stories of different women’s experiences in the reviews of a few facilities I checked out. I learned that Kentucky has a high C-section rate at 30% of all hospital births resulting in what amounts to a major operations. In the end, I concluded that a woman’s body was made to deliver baby and based on what I had read, mothers who had no interference, little stress and were in thier own comfort zone were more happy with thier birth experience. I was pretty unbiased and my husband said he would support me either way, home or hospital. The deciding factor for me was actually pretty petty. I sat on the couch in the ‘birthing position’ that was decribed as the normal for hospital birth. Let me say, there’s nothing modest or dignified about it. Then I imagined all the doctors and nurses scurrying about having a party, and I put my feet down and said no no no no no! And thus my decision for home birth was made.(Later discovered not much about birth is dignified, but when your midwife handles everything discreetly and gracefully, there’s nothing shameful about it)

So when people started asking all those personal questions  and discovered I was planning a home birth, EVERYone had a homebirth horror story for me. My family was okay  with it and supportive enough. I think they thought I was a little weird, but my mom birthed six babies in hospitals with no painkillers, so she didn’t think it was gonna kill me. I do feel for all the women who do not have good birth stories in the hospital  or at home. Its no picnic to begin with and I always feel emotionally and physically traumatized  for two months afterwards. I can’t imagine piling any more complications or rude staff\help on top of that yet.

Since I was so diligent in reading all the stories, books and articles I could find, I am now your veteran mother who could talk to you all day about the  pro’s and con’s of this, and the benefit of that.   I don’t like to talk about all the details of pregnancy and labor while i’m pregnant, due in part because I do not enjoy being pregnant or in labor. I don’t mind talking about it when I am not pregnant. I tend to dread the labor and delivery and feel a little claustrophobic  while pregnant.

I have learned from myself how to treat others during this time. If you love talking about being pregnant while you are pregnant, you may not get this next part, but please consider it anyway.

  Ettiquette to expectant mothers:

1. Don’t ask personal questions. All that is necessary upon discovering she is with child, is a simple congratulations. Feel free to smile and communicate that you care for her without pressing for details. If she wants you to know the name, gender, race, of her unborn child, she will tell you. If not, check facebook. If you can’t find it there, I’ll let you in on a little secret. Shh, its none of your  bizness, Sally May. It might not even be that she doesn’t want you to know, but being pregnant is overwhelming enough at times without having to answer the same questions from ten different people at the same social function. If it is really important  that you know all the details, take her to lunch and pay for the privilege.

2. Her baby, her birth. By this I mean, don’t pressure your opinion. Your experience is your experience. She has choices to make that will be her experience, for better or worse. There are pros and cons to most things, hospital or home birth, breastfed or formula, vaccine or no vaccine, scheduled  c-section or unmedicated natural delivery. Circumcision or uncircumcision. Pampers or cloth diapers. There really is not a wrong choice in these, but they don’t always have the same outcome. Encourage first time mothers to make educated decisions. Offer support. If her unmedicated natural delivery turns into a c-section or 48 long hours of labor, she is no less a mother, and does not deserve an I told you so. If she really wants your opinion, she will seek it out, just let her know you are there for her.

3. Save your horror stories for never. Along with all the other overwhelming emotions going on, fear is also present. For some reason, I noticed people especially enjoy telling the ones that involve homebirth or midwives. I believe there are actually fewer injuries sustained in the midwives delivering, than in hospitals, but it seems they make the ‘front page’ quicker. With my first baby, I labored a long long time. My midwives were there for more than twenty four  hours. Looking back, I think alot of it was due to fear. Not all of it, but it sure didn’t help. I was tense and in my mind, I was terrified that  letting go was gonna be worse than holding it in.  New momma’s need to know, they are courageous, and yes, they have the dreaded labor to look forward to, but they can do it, and you really do not need to add to thier fears. For me, labor and delivery was worse than I had imagined, but it was better than I imagined. And it only took about 30 days for me to quit saying ‘never again’. There is something empowering about delivering a baby, after its all said and done. You could have told me that day after to go move a mountain, and I would have said ‘yes ma’am, I can do that! I AM SUPER WOMAN, an I will  tackle that mountain. (Please just let my banana split heal:-/)’ THAT, my friend is exactly what an expectant mother needs to hear. She needs to hear that she can do this, she is super woman, and she is gonna have that baby. The Lord does not give us the spirit of fear, and you, as a friend, shouldn’t either.

4. Keep it modest, keep it clean. To me, being pregnant and delivering a baby is intimate. A very private part of my body has become pregnant from a very private act. Intimate details between me and my husband. Pregnancy, very obviously, bears witness to the love between us. When it comes to our private parts, God has given instructions for modesty and keeping covered. When someone describes thier labor and delivery in detail, it paints a word picture. I know a few women who would squirm with embarassment if the sex discussion would come up,  (Or maybe not exactly embarrassment, but modesty,) deeming it an inappropiate topic, but have no shame in discussing thier pregnancy, labor and delivery in  amazing detail.  Try not to make your word picture too immodest. Most people dont want to imagine you in that position, yelling those words while this and this is goin’ on down there. Just saying… 

There are more ways you can be more considerate and good mannered to the pregnant moms you have the privilege  of knowing. It is very likely they are quite unlike me, and don’t get burrs all up in thier saddles every time they get pregnant, but at least let them decide how much they feel like talking about it. Ask if it bothers them before diving into the extremely  deep and wide conversation  of pregnancy an all that it entails.

  I promise I’m not gonna bite your head off just for being interested in my pregnancy, I just could help but notice the trend toward nosyness and letting it all hang out during pregnancy, so I decided to address it from my view point. Modesty is more than the covering up of body, and caring is more than asking questions.


From the crazy mom with the cool kid, have a lovely day!

HOT Chocolate…

Ever smell something that sends you back in time, conjures images of days gone by? Taste something that makes your mouth water for something specific? Like Dominican bread you can buy for a peso or two. Singing Christmas carols in the middle of the night from the back of a pickup with every bit of 15-20 people on board. Sometimes piling off of the truck and walking up the Pata Susia (dirty feet) hill to sing for a sister in the church. Landing back in someones home for a cup of hot chocolate and pan (bread) dominicano to dip in  your hot chocolate. The evening, starting out with excitement, well wishing, singing, walking, riding,  fun banter among the carolers, someone singing off key, or starting the wrong version of ‘wish you a merry Christmas’, winds down to  gentle conversations, soft guitar strumming and the occasional random guffaw as hot chocolate is served.


So after the little one sleeps, big one interrupts my settling down and arranging and fluffing of the pillows with a random question. ‘Do you want some hot chocolate?’ ‘Suure’ I say with a somewhat doubting syllable in the sure. A little later I hear  the clang of pan and whisk exiting the comforts of the cupboards. PERK go my ears, and next thing I know I am sitting up, throwing my feet out of bed, demanding they carry me to the scene most divine. The man in his boxers with a whisk in hand, concocting and mixing and tasting. I observed as he added milk to the pan, a little cream, cocoa powder, what! No sugar! Sweetened condensed milk will work. Chocolate chips, just a few, and oh what a brew! (I’m not a poet, so the rhyme is an extra treat.)  The aroma wafted up and literally smacked my brain.In that instance I could smell, hear and feel moments that happened long ago. Pleasant moments that drew me in, made me nostalgic, and seriously miss a bread! The texture of it. So I told my husband of my memories as he whisked and poured me a rich hot chocolate.


And then, I took an awful picture, capturing the moment, me sipping the chocolate, the kombucha brewing, the french press awaiting a wash, the dishes that were too lazy to go home and opted to spend the night in the drainer. Yeah.. o wait, I almost forgot about the absurd urge to write about it. I did that, too.

Note: the hot chocolate that was made in the Dominican Republic was made using grated, raw cacao, sugar, milk, and possibly other spices. By using the cocoa powder, and heating the milk, the smell was pretty much the same. The premixed hot chocolate does not smell or taste  the same, just in case you were wondering how looney i must be to be so thrown back by something as simple as hot chocolate.

Have a happy moment, wherever you are 🙂

Sensory Play!

While googling on pinterest (piggling) for things to do with your toddler, I came across some interesting ideas for sensory play.  So after searching for the perfect toys from the toy box, I made some jello and neatly arranged the toys in it and put it in the fridge. After a nice sunday after noon nap, we get out the sensory box.


However, sensory play is not for everyone. I should have known, since this is the little boy who comes running for mom when his hands are the slightest bit dirty. After pushing the toys around by the clean parts of them, I finally offered him a spoon. He had a little fun glopping the jello with the spoon. (The pie plate is there to make it look like I was just casually observing. Which I was, til the pie was gone…) after a little bit, I took the spoon, and he went back to gingerly moving things with the tips of his fingers.


And wiping his hands on his shirt as soon as they got a bit gooey. 


I, on the other hand, discovered hidden treasure. And recued an old angry pirate from the goo pit, restoring him and his loot back to the high seas (aka toybox).




While I had fun, lil jack prefers to keep his hands clean and practice his golf swing. And he has really been intrigued with his books lately.  He’s such a wonderful child.

This blog is not to discredit ‘sensory play’ ideas. Most of them are brilliant if not a bit messy. My son seeks out his own sensory play most days, and I can normally show him the intended use for the items he chooses. He has his own spritz bottle with water and loves when I give him a rag, he walks around spraying and wiping. He knows how to use it. But now, if I take him to a church function, chances are that I will not put jello on his plate, because for him, it is a play thing, not food.


Something as simple as emptying a tissue box is sensory play in my book.

And this is my kinda creative play. They were camping, complete with the pull behind car. It doesn’t get much better than that! Good day folks!

Raw Granola Bites

Recently I tried making granola. One batch turned out great, the other not so much. Truth be told, I ruined a whole batch of not-so cheap ingredients. But what really irked me was that just before I put the granola in the oven to toast, I was eating it raw and thought it was great. Determined to conquer my list of healthy ingredients, I tried again, this time making a snack item instead of a `breakfast` item. Thus I give you…. wait for it….

                                                                                                                              THE RAW GRANOLA BITE!


  Okay, maybe I dramatized a bit. I was really patting myself on the back for these, then I got on pinterest and about 3 different people were blogging similar items.

  You should be able to flex this recipe based on what you have in your pantry on a regular basis. I usually have most of these in my cupboard with the exception of the  sunflower and pumpkin seeds.

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (coarse chopped)
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds (coarse chopped)
1/8 cup of chia seeds
1 & 1/2 cup almonds (coarse chopped)
1/4 cup oats
1/8 cup Artichoke vitae plus
1/4 cup protein powder
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup erythritol
2 doonks (1/16 tsp) stevia extract
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 -1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

60% chocolate chips or cacao nibs as many or as little as you want. Bout 1/2 cup

The nuts and seeds can be replaced with other of your favorite nuts (unless of course, your husband is your favorite nut, please leave him out of the mix) and seeds. The chia seeds tend to get caught in your teeth, they can be omitted if you can’t handle that. The vitae plus can be replaced with more flax. If you are making these for your children, I would try to make adjustments to replace the sweetener with honey. (I am beginning to question the wisdom of using sugar and sugar substitutes unless you really need it to lose weight. If a recipe needs loads of sugar or sugar substitute, I try to stay away from it altogether-When my self control is working.) Pulse the nuts and seeds in a food processor if needed.

Mix all the ingredients together  and spoon out  with a tablespoon or cookie scoop onto a tray, then into the refrigerator until firm. Place in a pretty glass jar to keep handy in the refrigerator.  Or just do like I did and put them in a plastic container.

I have plenty of ideas to fancy them up a bit, cover them in chocolate,  wrap them around a soft chocolatey center, replace chocolate chips with dried fruit, or hire some one to figure out how to make it into an actual granola recipe. Haha.
  As they are, I think they fall in the ‘satisfying’ category if you are following the Trim Healthy plan. I am currently following it loosely, so I did not analyze it to be sure.

  I hope you enjoy these little bites! Have a wonderful day and remember, Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.`