Monday, June 29, 2009

why our parish is staying: the diversified parish

I explained in this post why my husband and I are leaving the Episcopal Church (TEC). It’s pretty straight-forward: TEC is heretical and we’re not, and there’s another Anglican home for Americans now.

Where it gets weird is the reason that the rest of our orthodox parish isn’t leaving with us. Our parish has come up with a novel plan, and I have to be honest, when I first heard about it, I didn’t believe it. But before I tell you about the novel plan, let me give you some background.

Our parish is a pretty unique one, in being full of both young and old, and full of life. About thirty years ago, it split in half over women’s ordination (I think – I wasn’t around, so I’m going by what I remember being told). Our parish is made up of the people who stayed. Then, ten years ago, there was an influx of young people from the local Christian university. My husband and I were some of the first of them. This greatly increased the size of the parish, especially when many of us young folk (as young people do) got married and started having kids. (Lots of toddlers and babies at our church; it’s great.)

We’re also one of the few (the only?) orthodox parishes in our diocese. Our bishop tolerates us, but won’t ordain our candidates for the priesthood (with one exception).

It’s also a parish with a lot going on – a very strong music ministry, lots of devotional groups, a book group, an artists’ group, food outreaches, etc. And people are amazing about helping their fellow parishioners when there’s a need. Our family’s seen it ourselves when we had our long hospital experience last year – so many people visited and brought meals or helped watch the kids. I’ve seen other people here help each other with housing, with food, and with many other things. That’s the very healthy side of our parish, and if everyone seems to put a lot of value in that sense of community, I can see why. It is valuable.

So, when the point came when a big group of people (at least thirty or forty of us) realized that something had to be done in response to TEC’s heresy, the problem was that there was a strong feeling that whatever the response was, we had to make sure that we didn’t break up the parish.

You can see the problem already, right? If not breaking up the parish is The Most Important Thing, then our response to TEC’s heresy is going to be dictated not by theology but, in a real way, by sentiment.

I have to stop myself here, because I want to make sure this is understood: even though I think that valuing community over theology is a wrong ordering (church community exists because of theology, and not the other way around), I want to make it clear that the community that’s being held up here really is a good one. I don’t agree with the mistake they’re making, but I understand it. As someone who knows she’s losing that community, I really understand it. As Chesterton said, the way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost. In that way, I think I understand the value of our community more than anyone who’s getting to stay. I’m already in mourning.

I guess what I’m saying is that our parish’s novel plan came into existence because of something real, community, even if that something real isn’t the most important real thing.

So, what is the plan? The plan my parish is currently going with is called “a diversified parish”. The plan is to have those called to stay Episcopal stay Episcopal, those called to be Anglican (i.e., join ACNA), join ACNA, and those called to become Catholic become Roman Catholic. So far, not so weird, right? We should all go where the Lord calls us.

Here’s the weird part: the plan is to have everyone go affiliate with his planned denomination/church branch, but then stay right in our TEC parish and all worship together.

So the Roman Catholics? Will be attending mass at a church where they can’t take communion. The ACNA Anglicans? Will be under a TEC bishop. The Episcopalians? Well, actually, for them, nothing changes.

It’s been said that this is a plan that will appease everyone’s conscience, because those who can’t stay in TEC won’t technically be in TEC. In reality, their names will not be on any TEC parish roll, but they will be worshipping in a TEC church, tithing to a TEC church and under the spiritual authority of a TEC bishop. Which, I think, is still being in TEC. So, we’re being offered a church that won’t be our church except that we’ll be using it like it was our church – and what was the point of “leaving” again?

It’s even harder for the Roman Catholics, because they can’t even lawfully take communion at our church.

I understand that this “diversified parish” plan comes out of the desire not to lose even one person from our parish. Again, it’s a laudable desire. But it becomes less laudable when its elevated out of its proper place.

The problem is that it ignores fundamental theological differences. I hope and trust that someday, when Jesus comes back, the divisions between us all will disappear. But today, I am being dishonest if I say I think the Pope is the spiritual head of the church on Earth. My Roman Catholic friends are being dishonest if they say they assent to the 39 Articles. Sure, either I’m wrong or they are (or maybe both). But in the meantime, it behooves each of us to act in accordance with our best reasoning, trusting that God gave us our minds in order to use them. In the end, we will each give an account of how we used them, and how honestly.

I think that this “diversified parish” makes us all act out a lie: it makes us all act like we agree with each other when we don’t. I’d rather they be the best Roman Catholics they can be while I am the best Anglican I can be, because this would be honest Christianity on both our parts. Furthermore, how can we ever really discuss our differences and come to agreement unless we’re honest about what the differences are?

(I would note that my friends who disagree with me would point out that there isn't any confusion in this unity, because no one is pretending that the Roman Catholics aren't Roman Catholic, or that the Anglicans aren't Anglican, etc. And, again, I agree that no one is lying about it in their words - they're being very above-board and honest about the plan. Again, I'm referring to a sort of self-deception about whether the plan actually does what they say it does, not any kind of active lack of honesty.)

I’m very afraid that this “diversified parish” is making my parish just as disastrously inclusive as the rest of TEC.

As someone called to leave TEC, this plan does not “satisfy my conscience”. As long as my parish is in TEC, and I am part of my parish, I am part of TEC. Calling myself an ACNA member while attending a TEC parish is living a lie, no matter how comforting the lie is. How can I have my heart in one place and my body (and money) in another without being fundamentally divided?

Again, I do not say that the members of my parish who are endorsing this plan are purposeful liars. I know them. They are being above-board with their plan; in fact, my understanding is that there is an article coming out about the “diversified parish” within the month in a major media outlet. (Actually, that’s why I’m blogging about it now; I refrained before because I hoped that the plan might change.) I don’t think there’s any deliberate deception about what the plan is; I just think that the plan itself is a sort of self-deception. It’s telling ourselves this wonderful thing: “There is no difference between being R. Catholic or Anglican or Episcopalian – not one great enough to keep us from all existing together in one parish”, in hopes that if we say it often enough, it will become true.

I think that saying it doesn’t make it so. In many ways, I hope I’m wrong, because I love my parish, and I don’t want it to self-destruct. I still hope (hope, hope, hope) that my parish will find its way clear to leave TEC, and to leave it all together. I hope their glorious dream – of holding this good community together – is indeed possible.

But I think there is a problem in saying, “TEC isn’t right. ACNA isn’t right. Only we are right.” I think the question to ask is, “why us? Why us hundred or two hundred people, out of the entire Anglican world? Why do we think we are the only ones who have The Solution?”

So. That’s the weird reason that we’re one of the few people out of our orthodox parish who are leaving TEC. Because everyone else thinks they can leave and stay at the same time. Again, I hope they’re right. But I think they’re wrong.

And I know it’s not over yet. I still have hope that we can all leave together, the Lord willing. But right now, it’s really, really weird.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s. I should also add that there's a group of people in my parish who are planning on leaving, but are trying to leave more slowly, in order to make a way for more people to follow them. Adam and I are planning on leaving at the end of the summer both in order to participate in a local church plant and because when we felt called to leave, we felt called to leave this year. I hope great good things for my friends who are trying a slower method - they may well have the right of it, and we'll be at our parish through the end of the summer, so who knows? Maybe we'll get to help them.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Type Tests and Writing

Well, I just took a Myers-Briggs test (again), in preparation for type-testing my characters. I found (again) that I’m an INFJ. I always forget what my middle two letters are, though I’m sure about that I and that J! but it’s been pretty consistently INFJ, and when I read the description, it fits. It’s almost a relief: oh, okay, that’s who I am. It’s okay that I prefer time alone, it’s normal that I think very, very hard about all the people I know, and try to make sense of why they do what they do. It’s okay that I have a few very close friends, and am not attracted to the social butterfly stuff people tell me I should be attracted to. It’s okay that I think that every. thing. matters. And matters gloriously.

(Also explains why I'm so very interested in the whole world, but so very reluctant to share myself with it.)

I was taking the type test today, though, not to find out so much about myself, but to find out more about the main characters in my work-in-progress.

And, after taking the type test myself, I realized that the best thing to do would be to take it again, twice, once answering the way my hero would answer, and once answering the way my heroine would answer.

I’d thought that I’d just scan through the 16 type descriptions, and see which ones looked most like my characters. But I think I might find it better by actually going through the test as Thomas, and then as Eve.

It does sound like a lot of work, to go through all those questions as somebody else. I want to say, McCoy-style, "I'm a writer, not an actor, Jim!" But I think it'll be worth it.

By the way, it’s interesting to see that people who are my type, INFJ, are often writers. The other things they often are? Psychologists, religious leaders, or librarians. Which I thought was kind of cool, because when I’ve contemplated grad school, the two things I often thought about doing were going for either my Psy.D. or a Masters of Library Science.

It used to be that whenever I attended a college graduation, I felt sad, because I wasn’t graduating. I love school. Love it. But at the last graduation I attended – my brother’s – I didn’t feel sad. I finally realized that I was going after my advanced degree. That pursuing a career as a novelist – all the work and research and networking I’ve been doing – is the equivalent of working on a grad degree in my chosen field. The only thing is that my degree isn’t going to come in the form of a hood and diploma; my degree is going to be my name on the spine of a book.

It’s scary, because there’s no guarantee I’ll get there. And I’ve always thought of myself as the type who goes for the sure thing. But the truth is, for me, if I’m going to spend the time on really going after advanced studies, it’s going to be in writing, and not in psychology or library studies. So the reason I'm doing it is because it’s the only way to get what I want. Despite the chance-y nature of the thing.

It’s weird to be surprised by the fact that you’re a risk-taker. I never thought I was.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s. The other really weird thing about the Myers-Briggs test is that my husband is my exact opposite: an ESTP. Moreover, where my I and J are my strongest categories, his strongest are those middle two letters: the S and the T. Where I'm middling on my N and F, he's middling on his E and P. I think that's very funny.

Friday, June 19, 2009


First off, I've realized that my past post probably made no sense, as the map I linked to wasn't a permalink. Oops! You can see what I mean though if you go to Google maps and type in that you want to go from Rouen, France to Spain. I was going to have my hero make a short rowboat journey from just off the coast north of Rouen down to Spain. Because somehow I thought that since Rouen was further south than Calais, it had to be pretty close to the border with Spain. But, um, NO.

I promise, my U.S. geography is better. :)

Anyway, onto the links! Here's this week's good reading 'round the Web:

Square Peg in a Round Hole has some stuff to say about fasting that isn't pretty, but is very honest and good to read, I think. Amazing how the disciplines reveal our weaknesses. Also amazing, I think (though it sure feels like it takes too much time, sometimes), is the way God comes in and is strong in our weaknesses.

Here is a list of your 20 basic romance plots. I think my favorites are #'s 1, 2, 5 & 6. What are yours?

"Weird Al, Stealth Musicologist" - always fun when someone who's good at what he does is recognized as being good at what he does.

I forget where I saw this linked, but these "8 Ways to Find Motivation at Home" are great. Especially the "eat your frog" tip.

And while we're on tips, here's Tips for surviving (and thriving!) in the baby/toddler phase from Jen at Conversion Diary. She's had four in five years; I had four in four years. And I'm nodding along to just about everything on there. She puts things so well.

They're reissuing more of the wonderful Betsy-Tacy series! Including "Betsy and the Great World." Yay!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Geography is the mother of strategy

As I mentioned, I'm researching my next book (and to the commentator who asked, yes, I have written a couple of books, but no, I haven't published any yet), and - as I think I also mentioned - it involves learning a lot about France. Even though my hero and heroine are English, the book starts on the road to Calais, just before the Peace of Amiens breaks (and the adventure ensues).

Anyway, I'm plotting and researching at the same time, and sometimes my plotting gets ahead of my researching, leading to entries in my notes like the following:

-Um, just looked at a map. Can NOT have CRD plan to get in a fishing boat in Rouen, and get out to sea and just “drift closeish to the coast of Spain, then get out and row for it” Would be a very long swim.

Yeah. Nothing like a geographical blooper to take your reader from the "willing suspension of disbelief" to "unwilling gales of hilarious laughter at sad, misinformed author".

Glad I caught that one at this stage in the story-writing! :D

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

even if there isn't any Narnia

I haven’t written a lot of specifics about our church situation, but I have some friends, I think, who don’t understand why we’re leaving. And even if they don’t end up agreeing with me, I would like them to understand.

I suppose I’ll start with the big reason: the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA) isn’t Christian anymore. It does not, as a whole, uphold, teach or defend Christian doctrine. The biggest and most newsworthy example, of course, is its stance on homosexuality. To that I say: though I’m not surprised that it’s a sexual sin that ended up being the big deal (sex is like that, very personal, very all-emcompassing), the point is that any sin would do. Once you start saying that sin is not sin, you do people who are tempted to that sin a great evil: you keep them from God.

We can’t come to God without repenting, and when you tell people their sin isn’t sin, well, they can’t repent of it. For example: I’m prone to sloth. If I had priests who constantly told me that diligence isn’t really something to shoot for, that God didn’t expect me to be quick to obey Him, etc., they would keep me from repenting and confessing when I fall into sloth. And that would keep my heart far from Jesus. In effect, that’s what the leaders of ECUSA are doing when they lie about homosexuality being sin: they are keeping people from Jesus. That is the problem. That is the grave evil.

(And, I hasten to add: repentance isn’t all we need. What we really all need is the great grace of our Lord, who responds to our slightest movement towards Him, eager to forgive us and heal us. Of every sin. Of any sin. He does this. He is amazing. Praise Him.)

There are other things, things that don’t hit the news as often. The leadership of ECUSA regularly sues the pants off of other Christians. They fudge about the resurrection. Etc. These are big deals too, but I think fewer people outside of ECUSA know about them.

In my own parish, our candidates for ordination have been denied ordination. Why? Basically, because they are Christians. Though many in my parish argue that the larger problems of ECUSA “haven’t come in the red doors”, I would argue that in this, they have. Those called to holy orders have been denied the right to exercise their vocation; for them, at least, it is inside the red doors. For the rest of us . . . well, I might have a good priest now, but if my diocese won’t ordain Christian priests, what will my children have?

For a long time, my husband and I stayed Episcopalian because we saw no way to be American Anglicans without being in ECUSA. ECUSA was the Anglican church in the States, so we stayed.

But now, there is ACNA – the Anglican Church of North America. This is an amazing work of God. How often do scattered churches come together? Never, to my knowledge. ACNA is a coalition of all of the break-away orthodox Anglican groups in the States, and they are forming a new province. They’ve come together, are working through their differences, and are making a place for faithful Anglicans in the States. It is a heroic effort, worthy of song. That is where we want to be.

There are folks in my parish who say, “well, it’s not ready yet. It’s still in formation. We’ll wait till it’s done.” I understand that. After all, I didn’t decide to leave till this year, because I didn’t see all those breakaway groups as a place to go. But if there comes a time when such a movement hits critical mass, the time is now. And if you don’t think it has hit critical mass, don’t you want to be one of the people who help get it there?

As I write all this, I have to make something clear: I love my parish. Not least because it is the place (the people) who taught me to love Anglicanism. I wouldn’t know about the Book of Common Prayer without my parish. Wouldn’t know about the church year. Wouldn’t know the theology of the 39 Articles. Wouldn’t know the beauty of the liturgy. I am deeply indebted to my parish.

It is because of all the things I’ve learned in my parish that I am leaving my parish.

But “leaving” is putting it badly. As I said: I love Anglicanism. As far as I can see, it is the best expression of the Christian life. I want to remain Anglican. But if I stay in ECUSA, I won’t be in an Anglican church. I won’t be in a Christian church.

The truth is that ECUSA has walked away from Anglicanism. They’ve chosen to leave, and I dare go no further with them. The question is not, “are you staying with the church?” but “how far away are you willing to go with them before you turn around and come home?”

Yes, ACNA could fail. Maybe it isn’t the thing I hope it is. But here, I will say with Puddleglum, “I want to live like a Narnian, even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What I've Been Reading, Part II

Part I was here. :)

I’ve been reading a lot recently, but my to-be-read list is still sadly long (and growing). Right now I still have some homeschooling books on it, and a few fiction books (I want to try out Stephen Lawhead’s new Robin Hood series), and a lot of research books for my novel, and I still have a stack of Christmas gift books to work through. But here’s what I’ve read since last time:

-The Partner – Grisham, John – This was used as an example of – I think – tension in the Donald Maas book I read. Great read, really interesting how the whole plot sort of works backwards: you know what he did, but not why, until very close to the end.
-The Riddle of the Reluctant Rake – Veryan, Patricia – This one I read because someone recommended the author to me as a good Regency author. Truthfully though, I didn’t like it that much. It seemed incredibly well-researched, but too full of too many not-well-fleshed-out characters. I think it might be a good read for some, but it just didn’t float my boat.
-Local Custom, Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve – Another Liaden book, one of the weaker ones. Too much passion and quivering, not enough adventure.
-Quiver – Spinner, Stephanie – Speaking of quivering . . . this is a quick read, but interesting. It’s a YA retelling of the myth of Atatlanta. The dialogue between Apollo and Artemis, though a bit contrived, was very fun.
-The Moon’s Shadow – Asaro, Catherine – Tried this out because I’m always interested in finding a new sci-fi author, and one of the back-cover blurbs compared her to the amazing Bujold. So not Bujold. Again, well-written, but the villainous culture was just so very villainous and repulsive, and the heroes were not super-noble enough to make up for the very despicable villains, if that makes sense.
-The Last Queen – Gortner, C. W. – the story of Juana la Loca, one of the daughters of Isabel and Ferdinand of Spain (and sister to Katherine of Aragon). This was fascinating, but so very, very sad. Reminded me somewhat of Philippa Gregory, but possibly more realistic and therefore more depressing. Also, even though the author was trying very hard to make Joanna the Mad sympathetic, her obsession with her queenhood was hard to identify with, and (being a mom of four young ones), I kept wondering why she didn’t fight harder to get to be physically near her many children.

-The McGraw-Hill Homeschooling Companion – Saba, Laura and Gattis, Julie – skimmed this one, heavily. Very useful over-all guide. Nice and simple, not pushing any one theory particularly, just a practical introduction. Honestly, just what I needed at the time I read it.
-Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement – Joyce, Kathryn – Wow, this was an interesting one. Definitely with the read, though it was easy to identify places where her bias made it impossible to fully understand certain theological ideas. Still, I think she largely came to some good conclusions – the extremes of the patriarchy movement are not good. I think it is, in the end, a problem of elevating the roles of the sexes above the gospel. Sure, men and women are different. But if you make those differences the focus of your life, as opposed to making Jesus the focus of your life, you’re going to end up really screwed up. Which this book amply illustrates. (This is not to say I think understanding gender and gender roles is unimportant. It’s very important, and I think husbands are not interchangeable with wives, nor fathers with mothers, etc. But there is a difference between the celebration of glories of God creating us male and female that you tend to see in, say, the pages of Touchstone, and the dour and scary legalism you see in the extreme cases Joyce’s book. Though a few of the people she portrays aren’t as nutty as she thinks they are. I think.)
Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense – Guterson, David – I lost momentum with this one, and skimmed the end. But it was interesting in that it was the point of view of a dad who both teaches at a public school and homeschools his own kids.
Inside Napoleonic France: State and Society in Rouen, 1800-1815 – Daly, Gavin – I skimmed the parts of this that didn’t contain the information I was interested in. And I wouldn’t recommend this dissertation to everyone. But for me, this in-depth study of Rouen was exactly what I need as background info for my novel. Subsistance crises, conscription troubles, maritime matters, Catholic royalists, Napoleonic bureaucracy . . . fascinating.

The Lady of the Lake – Scott, Sir Walter – I read this in bits and pieces over several months, so I lost the narrative thread a few times. But it was great. First Scott I’ve really read, I think, and oh! You can SEE the scenery when he describes it. And some of the characterization is awesome. And the reveal of the true person of James FitzJames at the end – beautiful!

Monday, June 8, 2009

you mean it's not suppertime yet?

This is in the crockpot right now, and it smells sooooooo good.

In other news, I just spent the kids' quiet time working on my next book, and my hero is shaping up to be quite the interesting fellow. I thought for awhile that he was an aristocratic smuggler, but turns out that he's a candidate for holy orders (second son and all), who doesn't really want to take the plunge and get ordained because A) he enjoys Oxford too much, and would rather just keep on with his nice academic life and B) he's a deist, and has enough intellectual integrity that he doesn't want to take his vows knowing he doesn't believe what he's saying.

Of course, he gets quite shaken up very early in the story, and as the story continues he is quite broken away from his pleasant life and and comfortable convictions, and put into much nastier, tighter conditions than he's ever been in before. Forced to face foe, death, truth and, of course, true love. It's gonna be awesome. I'm getting so excited. I totally want to read this story and find out what happens.

Of course, I've got to write it first. There's the rub.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

p.s., yes, I know how enamoured I am of the phrase "of course". I ought to do find-and-replace for it in all of my work!
p.p.s. that and "quite".

Thursday, June 4, 2009


First, a bit more on saris. Check out this YouTube video made by an Indian-American, encouraging non-Indians to wear saris. Especially interesting were the comments; all the ones I read that were posted by Indians said that they were pleased when they saw non-Indians wearing saris, because they took it as a compliment to their culture. Cool!

I have some Texan relatives. They tend to tell stories about blowing things up. This story I found involves chainsaws AND dynamite. Enjoy, folks.

Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary is quickly becoming one of my favorite bloggers. Check out some of the amazing stuff she's posted just in the last week or so: a post on celebrating Trinity Sunday as a family (this Sunday, folks!), then there's this one on a spur-of-the-moment nature study of pill bugs, and then this tour de force, wherein she explains the theme of her blog, and speaks beautifully of the church year, family life and the rhythm of the seasons.

Here is a post about the liturgical color of Ordinary Time: green. Fr. Blake notes:
It is therefore a sign the Kingdom of God, all those references to growing shoots, trees, vines in the Gospels, to its quiet unnoticed growth, it is also the sign of fucundity and and of life.
I also appreciate his short addendum on why bishops wear amethests. Is it irreverant to enjoy it as a hundreds-of-years-old running joke? Christians have great senses of humor, I'm telling ya.

And this is not nearly all of the reason why we are leaving the Episcopal Church, but it is part of it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

not that we're supposed to spend tons of time on our hair and clothes . . .

. . . after all, St. Peter's pretty clear about that.

But you do have to wear clothes. (A little girl at my church once made this very clear to me. "Good morning," I said to her, when I met her on the church steps. She looked at me very solemnly, and returned my greeting by saying: "We MUST wear clothes." "Yes," I agreed, "we must." Her dad, standing behind her, explained, "She wanted to wear a swimsuit to church today. We explained that she couldn't." "Ah," I said.) And you do have to keep your hair out of your face.

Anyway, there's a lady at my church who wears salwar kameez every now and then, and looks stunning in them. I complimented her on the bright red one recently, and she explained that she finds them on eBay. Well, I had a bit of discretionary money, so I looked on eBay, and found some, but was then very distracted by the saris. Ooooh, saris.

So I ordered a couple of cotton saris. I already have a very fancy silk one, which I've never worn, since I didn't have a shirt to go with it. Discovered in my eBay searches that most saris "come with blouse" which means that on the end of the long sari is a panel of fabric that you're supposed to cut off and sew into a blouse yourself. Found out my lovely silk sari did indeed have such a panel, and even had a sticker on it that said, "comes with blouse". Yep. So I cut off the panel, and I'm planning on sewing it up sometime after I finish my sister's birthday dress. (Um, I'm sewing my sister a Jane Austen-style dress for her birthday. There's a ball she wants to go to.)

Anyway, I ordered a couple of cotton saris. I figure if they work well in India, they'll probably be perfect summer-weather-wear in SoCal. And since I am so very white, I'll just wear a tank-top under them till I manage to make the requisite blouses. I hope no one is offended at a non-Indian wearing saris - they're just so beautiful, and seem so very sensible. I'm going with imitation being the sincerest form of flattery on this one.

I told my husband, "Instead of being the homeschool mom who wears jumpers, I'm gonna be the homeschool mom who wears saris."

So that's the clothes. Now, the hair. After chopping my hair off last summer, in desperation over heat and twinfants, it's finally long enough to braid again (yay!). I love braids, because I can do them once, in the morning, and then my hair stays put all day long. Plus, pretty! I like braiding my hair in a crown, and I can do a modified version of that at this point, so I'm happy. It's easy to tie a scarf over too, if I want to.

But what I'm really waiting for is hair long enough to do this:

Wow. Check out the rest of her videos too. I love it!

Okay, so there's the vanity post for, I hope, the year. Braids and saris. That's my plan for beating the heat this summer.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

pretty simple, in the end

We've talked a bit with our kids about how we're leaving our church soon, and going to a new one, so that it doesn't come as a huge surprise to them when we go. My poor Bess is very sad about leaving her friends, and asked us why we're going. We had to explain what bishops were, and that the bishops were telling people things that weren't true, were telling people that sins weren't sins, and that these lies were keeping people away from God. That it was wrong to keep people away from God. Finally, Adam summarized: "They aren't obeying Jesus."

Bess went from sad to astonished. She said, "But . . . you have to obey Jesus!"

From the mouth of a four-year-old.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell