Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Archive for the month “January, 2018”

Rest. It’s Part of the Program.

I love naps.

All kinds of naps.

I don’t mean to boast, but I’m actually quite gifted at napping.

Short, power naps.

Long, hibernating-like-a-bear naps.

Those sleepy hours just after lunch.

Or, 10:30 a.m.

What? Sometimes I eat lunch early.

At night, conditions for sleep must be perfect. Sound machine. Total Darkness. Temp at 68 degrees, exactly.

During the day, the dogs can be barking, children bickering and I can have a spotlight aimed right at my face and if it’s 2:00, I can nap.

Strangely neither of my kids liked to nap.

As some kind of not-even-funny joke from the Lord, Coulter quit napping at 2.

I still have nightmares of Barney singing in my dreams because a 30 minute DVD was my only hope for a nap.

He also didn’t sleep through the night until he was 2.

This, obviously, not my fault. Some mothers are just more prone to camping out in a crib, curled up in a pretzel from which my back has never recovered, than others.

In our culture of go-ness, naps are considered lazy.

But I have one word for you.



Ok that’s two words.

Is siesta Italian?

One of our trainers used to say, “Rest. It’s part of the program.”

And it is.IMG_3518

God, in his infinite wisdom created a 6-1 pattern of rest when he created us.

Rest. It’s part of the program.

We’re all wired differently. I get that. There’s the “I will rest in the nursing home” group and the “I will rest at 2” group.

For the record, I’m in good company. Margaret Thatcher (although apparently she only slept 4 hours each night so maybe not a good example), Eleanor Roosevelt, President Bush (the first one), Albert Einstein, J.F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton.

Hmm. Seems my fellow nappers are mostly in politics.

Maybe I really should run for president.

My campaign slogan:

“Get over yourselves and just be nice already.”

Kinda catchy, don’t you think?

As a mom, I’m already very good at saying it. I’ve nailed the tone and inflection and I’m sure that America would listen.

Speaking of bickering children have you seen that idea on Pinterest where you put two bickering kiddos in one t-shirt until they can get along.

Well. Here’s what I’m thinking. The next time our elected officials act like children and threaten to shut down the government, I say let’s put ’em in a t-shirt.

Opposing sides must wear a single shirt until they can come to a compromise.

Seriously. My platform is getting stronger every day.

Maybe they’re all just tired. And cranky. They need naps.

And Jesus.

Maybe you’re not a napper. Maybe a cup of tea and a good book. Whatever it is, remember that even our Almighty Father rested.

Are you tired?

Rest. It’s part of the program.








My ex-husband used to think it was weird for people to call themselves comedians. He believed that it was up to the audience to decide if they were funny. Basically, if you were a bank teller, you could call yourself as such, but if you make people laugh for a living, you need to let other people decided if you are, in fact, a comedian.

I am a writer. I’ve always been a writer but it’s more official now that I’m on Amazon.

BTW, my book is on sale for $13 right now. I’m not exactly sure why. These things just happen.

I’m also a speaker. But much like the comedian it’s complicated.

Women are invited to speak all the time. They are speakers.

Inspirational speakers. Motivational speakers. Christian Speakers.

But if you just up and decide one day that you’re going to become a speaker, people respond kinda funny.

Like, what are you gonna say?

The first time I knew I was good at public speaking was a last-minute emcee gig for a local pageant. I was in college.

My sorority sister, Courtney looked at me. Stared me straight in the eyes and said, “What ever you do, don’t try to be funny. That’s the absolute worst.”

So when people started laughing I knew I was in trouble.

But I wasn’t trying. And I’ll never know for sure if they were laughing with me or at me.

At my book signing over Christmas, my High School creative writing teacher was referring to my book and said, in passing,  she didn’t realize I had ADD.

I only mention this because I didn’t either and yet it explains so.



I’ve scheduled three speaking engagements.

The first, at my own church. I presented a proposal and they said yes.

There was controversy over my use of the phrase “what the hell?” but I can be very controversial like that.

The second engagement was my Sioux Falls church. We laughed. We cried. We worshiped.

The third engagement was supposed to be Sunday. Yesterday. When I was driving back from our family vacation.

Did I mention the undiagnosed ADD?

For the record, I let them know the second I realized my mistake and also for the record,  it wasn’t really my fault.

As you know, nothing rarely is.

It goes like this:

We take a family vacation in January. The kids are with their dad all summer and family vacations are difficult.

Ya know, since it would be awkward to bring their dad along.

My step-son, in his wisdom and maturity suggested that we should take it over Christmas when everyone is already on vacation and out-of-school and while this is a very good idea, it will never happen.

I’m allergic to going places on holidays where it’s very people-y.


Usually it’s the last weekend in January but apparently the last year in January is also Lutheran school’s week and there was considerable drama over a missed spelling bee.

She will never again have the opportunity to be the 2nd grade spelling bee champion.

So when I agreed to the speaking gig, my head was remembering a vacation a week later.

Because, duh! We moved it up a week. No missed opportunities this year!

And then, because this is my life, it got moved to February.

The spelling bee.

Any who.

Speaking engagements.


After the event in Sioux Falls, several women came up to me and said the exact same four words.

“That was my story.”

“That was my life.”

I sat down with one woman. She was crying. I invented the ugly cry, so I can just go ahead and tell you.

It was ugly.

On her beautiful face.

I listened. I prayed. I ached.

As I was leaving, a dear friend said, “You’ve found what you’re supposed to do.”

Yes! I totally have. Like, for real.


My story. I didn’t live it to just bury it. Bottle it. Store it away. What a horrific waste! I lived it to share it.

I know there are women who need to hear it.

Who want to hear it.

Who want to hear that they are not alone.

I can’t call myself a comedian because I was married to my ex-husband for fifteen years and it just feels wrong. But I can tell you that I’ll have you laughing.

And I can’t call myself a speaker because apparently it takes more that 2 actual speaking engagements and one failed speaking engagement to make that true, but I can tell you that I’m a good story teller and bless my heart, has our dear Lord ever given me some stories to tell.

And so I will bless your heart and you will bless my heart and we’ll tell our stories and we’ll tell our truth and we won’t be quiet or proper or precious.

Well, maybe a little bit precious.

Originally, I thought I’d schedule a speaking tour to promote Pearl. What I know now is that I’m scheduling a speaking tour to promote


Here are the details:

1. I’m funny.

It’s rarely on purpose.

2. I have undiagnosed ADD so I will occasionally lose my train of thought, and that’s when you’ll get a very special, and unplanned pearl.

The kind that if my Mother were there, she’d be like “dear baby Jesus, I cannot believe she just said that.”

Like when I accidentally shared in my book that I don’t wear panties.

3. My filter is broken and I have no desire to fix it. You’ll get the truth.

4. I love Jesus.

5. I love Bill Clinton. There are people in this world that love Jesus and Bill Clinton. You need to know that.

6. I’m considering running for president. Mainly, because. Well. Why not?

7. I’m free. As in there is not cost. Which sadly reminds me of the southern term, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” which I’m fairly certain was the south-of-the-dixon-line-way of telling us not to give away.

Ya know—our milk.

And for the record, I didn’t. 🙂

Anyway, I will not be charging for my events. At least for now. At least until other people start calling me a speaker.

Until Jen Hatmaker calls and asks me to go on tour.

8. I will travel. I will travel to different states. To tiny towns. To your town. To all the towns sharing my love of Jesus and wearing my Bill Clinton for governor t-shirt. My husband will be wearing his “my wife rocks” t-shirt because.

Well. He loves me.

I’m kidding about the Bill Clinton t-shirt, although I do still have it.

I’m not kidding about the “my wife rocks” t-shirt. We waited in line for like an hour after Kirk Cameron told me all I needed to save my (already failed) marriage was to quit watching porn.

Or maybe it was the man that was watching porn. And there was a love dare and I dare you to try it and not lose your mind.

9. I will talk about marriage and divorce in and outside of the church and I’ll get on my pulpit and make sure that our sisters feel loved and supported and that the womens’ hospitality committees far and wide add “bringing casseroles to women going through divorce” to their list.

Sally J. broke her ring finger on her non-dominate hand and we had email sign-ups for days. Who can cook for Sally, the committee pleaded?

For the love.  Can she not just stir with the other hand?

I am a terrible person.

10. I will tell of Him. I will sing his praises. Literally. I sing too. I know, right? This just gets better and better.

But I’m usually better if someone sings with me.

Divorce statistics are the same inside and outside the church.

We need to make marriage great again.

Sorry, that was me being terrible.


Dang it, I can’t stop.

We need to allow hurting women to tell the truth.

So. Ya know what?

That’s what I’m going to do.

To book this non-comedian, not-yet-speaker to your church, women’s event, community event, rodeo, pie-eating-contest, wait—

Please email myra.katherine@yahoo.com

Or shout-out on Facebook.

And I will make this promise.

God will be glorified. Fo great things he has done.





Season of Love.

When I was younger I loved December magazine issues.

People. Time. Cosmopolitan.

Yes, I read Time Magazine.

Well, I did.

And I loved going through the top-ten lists, remembering the big stories, the big movies, the big whigs and the big deals.

I loved reading about other people’s lives.

I don’t remember making a conscious choice to quit. Maybe it was becoming a mother and giving up small luxuries like reading and being informed.

Maybe it was becoming a single mother and giving up small luxuries like magazines.

Maybe it was simply becoming. My becoming.

My no longer needing to remember what other people had done. Had worn. Had said.

Maybe I started caring about my own life more than others.

Or, I don’t know. Maybe I was just tired.

But for whatever reason, I stopped.

I also stopped making resolutions.

And for a while I stopped hoping. For different. For better.

For anything.

In 2011 I heard a woman on the radio encouraging her listeners to ditch resolutions and, instead, choose a word.

One word. I can do one word, I thought. And immediately the most random of dancing words popped into my head.


What in the actual heck.

By the way, this was well before the one-word revolution. Before everyone was doing it.

Basically, I started this entire movement. Me and my illuminating.

It’s kind of like when Al Gore invented the internet.

Or not.

Anyway. Be careful with your word. I became far more illuminated then I ever cared to be. And once you’ve seen the light—


The problem is now it’s popular and I don’t want a word.

I want to go back to resolutions.

Being resolute.

Resolving not to be better, but to do better.

Not to become healthier but wealthier.

That was a joke. I like rhyming.

And money.

The challenge with resolutions is the hot pressure we put on ourselves to change.

Speaking of hot pressure. Insta-pot. Yes? No?

Yesterday I made a huge pot of soup. It’s soup weather. Cold.

Crazy cold.

The kind of cold that freezes your garage door shut, and results in completely un-helpful outbursts blaming your ex-husband for the weather.

I was so excited for our soup. Probably more excited than one should get about soup but whatever.

I lift the lid. No steam. And that’s when I see it.

Apparently, you must plug-in your slow cookers for them to work.

And that’s the thing with resolutions. I could make a resolution to plug things in.

To put my keys in the same place everyday.

To be less ditzy.

Less blonde.

What? It’s real.

Well, the woman who paints on the bleach is real and that’s practically the same thing.

But here’s the thing. In 2018 I’m not going to miraculously become less “me.” More, you. I’m not going to magically quit doing stupid things like simmering soup on “off” or forgetting to feed my children (seriously? Every day!) or getting my car stuck in the garage.

Y’all. It was stuck. I thought we were going to have to tear the garage down. I panicked. There was an emotional outburst and then there were tears and here’s a bit of advice.

Measure your garage before you buy a car.

Measuring ping-pong tables,  also helpful.


But measuring your life next to others.  We gotta stop that —insert bad word—!

Measuring your life against pages in a magazine, pictures on instagram, well again. We gotta stop that.

One of my favorite ever, ever, ever Broadway songs, cries, how do we measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.

In inches, in miles, in laughter and strife.

In truths that we learned. Bridges burned.

Hearts turned.

What if?

Today is our 3rd anniversary.  Blended family years are calculated differently so technically it’s more like 23.

Five hundred, twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes.

Times Three. Times 23.

And as I reflect on the magazine that is our life here’s what I see.

Year one. I don’t measure up. This is the worst mistake in the history of the world and we are idiots.

Year two. I don’t measure up. But this probably isn’t the worst mistake in the history of the world and maybe we aren’t idiots.

Year three. Who I am trying to measure myself against? For whatever reason, I think this man loves me. In spite of, because of, and ya know, I think I’m the smartest person in the history of the world for saying yes.

My prayer for you in 2018 is that you stop measuring yourself against the world and start measuring in love instead.

And that you will pour a heaping measuring cup of some of that stuff on yourself as well!

Flannery O’Conner is quoted as saying she writes because she doesn’t know what she thinks until she reads what she writes.

Yes. I write because I don’t know what to think until I read what I’ve written.

Measure. That’s my word.

Love. That’s my verb.

This hard mess of a life?


(Did you know that you can google words that rhyme with verb? I know!—


Dang. So precious. And naive. And full-on crazy. But, oh! If you could’ve measured my heart that day—










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