Dress Like a Princess

A few years back, I asked  a former student attending a Christian college if her school had a dress code. She said yes. I was waiting to hear a long list of what could and could not be worn on campus. Instead, she told me their policy was just seven words: “No crack in front or in back” I laughed. Because the images that popped into my head were pretty funny. But, seriously,  does it matter what you wear? Do Christians really need to dress differently? Or is that just for those strict ultra-conservative folks who want to suck all the fun out of life whenever they can? Here’s what I think: how we dress is important. It reflects who we are, how we think of ourselves. Teens express themselves by what they wear: are they hipster? sporty? artsy? preppy? But here’s...

In Favor of Arranged Marriage

As a mother of three – two teenage girls and an almost-teen boy – I think the practice of arranged marriages should be reinstated. Forget the fact that my husband and I wouldn’t be married if that practice had been in place when we were dating, nor would any of our friends. Or our siblings. But whatever. I am a parent now, not a young person looking for my soul mate. So back to the topic. I will explain my reasons using bullet points. Because no one can argue with bullet points. Here we go. Why the practice of arranged marriages should be reinstated: I want to pick who my co-grandma is going to be. I mean, seriously, I have some friends who would be terrific grandma’s! We could go shopping for baby clothes together, we could take the little tykes to the zoo...

When the Worst Isn’t Really the Worst

Recently, I watched a documentary about the Roosevelts. In it, several biographers affirmed something amazing: had Franklin D. Roosevelt not contracted Polio at age 39, he would not have been prepared to be President at age 51. What that disease did for him was teach him to overcome incredible difficulties and connect  to other struggling Americans. Those lessons informed his decisions as he led the country out of the Great Depression and into World War II. What seemed like a tragic event in his life was really a gift. I thought of Joseph in the Bible. He, too, had tragedy thrust upon him. Several tragedies, in fact. Yet God used those tragedies to prepare him for a leadership position that saved his people. I have seen this in my own life – on a much...

Let’s Talk About Sex

Teens today are having sex. A lot. Studies indicate that at least half of all teenagers are sexually active in high school. Personally, I think that number is conservative. It is as casual a part of many relationships as the goodnight kiss was back in the “old days.” It isn’t a stigma, isn’t embarrassing,isn’t shameful. It is considered a natural part of adolescence, necessary, even beneficial. Those who disagree with this view of sex are seen as ridiculous prudes. We are mocked on TV shows, movies, even Broadway musicals. “What is the big deal?” They say. It’s a primal need, an itch that needs to be scratched. Monogamy in general is hopelessly out of fashion, even within marriage. So abstinence before marriage??...

Judged

When I teach characterization in literature, I use Edgar Allan Poe’s classic, “The Tell Tale Heart”. The narrator in that story starts out by saying, “I’m not crazy!” He repeats that throughout the story – as he’s recounting, in graphic detail, how he murdered, dismembered, and buried the old man with the “evil eye”. He says, “I’m not crazy!” as he talks about stalking the old man for EIGHT nights, watching him sleep, laughing at how he scares the old man, and pridefully explaining how he committed the murder. Readers of this story all agree that the narrator is, in fact, crazy. We don’t care what he says. His actions prove otherwise, and we all listen to actions more than words....

What a Year!

2015 was a BIG year for the McGee family: BIG birthdays, BIG move, BIG changes. We started out 2015 knowing we’d need to move, but not knowing where. I prayed…and prayed…and prayed that we wouldn’t have to leave Florida. That’s home! Our friends and family are there, the familiar is there. We love it. At the end of January 2015, Emma and I celebrated BIG birthdays: 16 and 40, respectively. We were gifted with the ability to go to NYC for a long weekend. We were blessed to go with some of our closest friends. It was an amazing weekend. If you HAVE to turn 40, I highly recommend doing it in The Big Apple! (for more about our trip, read this blog post) By March, no jobs were opening up in Florida, so we had to open up the...