It happened again on the weekend.  I was asked that dreaded question, “What do you do?”

The lindyhop scene around here is 80% university students, and there is built into them the idea that people are either studying or working, generally to quite a high level. It is largely inconceivable to them that a person of any intelligence or opportunity would simply be a housewife.
But it isn’t just them; the question comes up almost every time I meet someone new, and when I see someone again after a few years.

Keeping house is no small thing, and I honor its rewards which ripple out from that home to friends, family, and to the wider community.
Yet it is not an occupation that brings much esteem, therefore I try to direct conversations away from this aspect of myself. I hate being asked that question!

Perhaps I will take up limericks and haiku so I can reply, “I’m a poet.”




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A great quote from Joy is:

The language in my most painful poems can get kind of raw.  One of the first such prayers I read to a group had the word “shit” in it.  This man came up to me later and said, “I didn’t know you could say ‘shit’ to God.”  My response was, “God already knows what you think.  Uncensored prayer is saying what you think to God, no matter what.”

I always found it odd when people didn’t realize that nothing can be hidden from God. If you’re thinking it, He already knows. Why not be honest and pray it?

Here’s one from her book, Uncensored Prayer

Why can’t I lay this down?
Why won’t I?
This addiction to the past,
the obsession to retain the hurt that haunts me,
causes me to perpetuate self-condemning action
that mutates from vice to foe,
that keeps me chained to all I hate
and claim I long to leave.
And yet I practice like a pro
receiving praise from no one,
no reward, no promise of relief
while I hang on and hang myself
with what I hate to lose.
You have promised power to free me,
all the help I need to heal.
What’s wrong with me?
Am I proud or stupid to choose death over life?
I fight deliverance like it’s the bad guy
who stalks to take me down.
I’m miserable, embarrassed, angry at myself
and yet here I am – a life-long fool
enmeshed in a mess of my making.
Why don’t you do something, God?
Zap me like Paul;
take me away where I can’t hurt myself.
Intervene in my destruction,
haul me off to heaven – the land of the free –
where I will sin no more.
What if I never grow beyond this trap,
my self-imposed exile from grace?
What if I’m never able to trust you enough?
I want to but can’t;
every attempt is short-lived,
fraught with frustration as I cry to you,
“I’m sorry” once again.
What kind of child am I to act this way,
repenting without belief that it will matter in an hour
when I know I’ll fail again, and yet I keep trying.
Does that make sense?
You stand with open arms;
in fact, you hold me close and whisper love
that somehow isn’t enough.
I see these Christians
who tell amazing tales of salvation at the brink.
I long for this so bad it hurts like hell
because it doesn’t happen for me.
I know I hope or I wouldn’t seek it,
wouldn’t try to grasp this grace.
You say I can’t do it, but you can;
my best will never save my soul.
You say you came because I couldn’t come.
You sit within my pain and it hurts you, too.
I see your eyes – compassionate and kind –
but what about those who want to trust, but can’t,
who long for love, but lose?
Can you help someone who can’t do their part
to believe and just let go?
Am I stuck with half a heart
to serve you with the whole of me?
Where’s the hope for me –
divided and doubting deliverance once for all?
God don’t leave me like this;
don’t let go of me.
You put up with Peter and Thomas –
prime examples of un-likely disciples.
You say you won’t abandon me,
but please God don’t abandon me.
I’m the least likely to succeed at this;
please don’t give up on me.



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quoting from What Alice Forgot:

“Alice had only been listening with one part of her mind. She was busy thinking about the concept of forgiveness. It was such a lovely, generous idea when it wasn’t linked to something awful that needed forgiving.”