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Dear Diary – I just walked by Hubby’s desk (aka our dining room table) and I heard him say, “32 45 56”. He better be talking about airplane parts and not my measurements.

Dear Diary – If insecurity or feelings of inadequacy were a lipstick colour, mine would have been harlot red Thursday evening. I headed to worship team rehearsal with an oppressive sense of impending disaster. This would be my second time using tracks and we had a new team member. I was afraid I’d look unprepared despite having spent a large amount of time trying to figure out why the music and the tracks, and the bells and the whistles, didn’t quite add up! I thought I had it all figured out along with copious notes, but as I pondered, panic set in. I couldn’t remember a thing. What was my name? Who thought I should do this?

I arrived on time, with head held high and a plastic smile on my face. I hate plastic smiles. I’ve wished I had taken drama in high school because it’s fun to pretend to be other people. But it’s not fun when you’re you pretending to be you.

If rehearsal were a plated dish, it would be described as “rustic”. It was a little rough around the edges. But the great thing about working with a team is that I have others to rely on. I may be “leading” but the burden isn’t entirely mine. Yes, they rely on me to do my part, but I still had time work it out. I also had time to ask God to help me work on that harlot red insecurity. It’s really not my best shade!

You deserve the greater glory, Overcome I sing
By Your love I am accepted, You’re a good and gracious King

CityAlight, Good and Gracious King

Dear Diary – On Saturday I met with a group of women at the church at the ridiculous hour of 8:30. I know, not so ridiculous if you’re a morning person, which I am not. I’m not a night person either. More of a 20 minute gal in middle of the day, but I digress. We watched some videos (in a darkened room – very dangerous) and then broke into smaller discussion groups. Even though we don’t know each other well, it was an opportunity to be honest and vulnerable. On the way home, I realized I have missed that.

For an assignment in college, I had to ask a few people who knew me, to list 10 words to describe me. More than one person wrote “naive” and it made me angry. I didn’t want to be seen as a sheltered little girl. I was, by this time, a Mom training hard so we could have a good life. Or maybe I was confusing naivety with vulnerability. I lacked armour. It’s probably why the arguments and words cut so deeply in the early years of our marriage (the first 15 were the hardest). I’ve since developed armour, and I hate it! I hate feeling fake. I hate feeling brittle and hard. I hate being guarded all the time, because I want to be open and honest with others, and with myself.

It was always my prayer whenever I spoke at Ladies’ Morning Break, to be genuine, and when I was, I felt peace. That opportunity, along with so many others, was stripped away by the pandemic and the empty space it left behind echoes loudly at times. It felt so good to share my heart. It felt so good to be trusted with another’s heart. Perhaps that’s the thing that the pandemic stole the most…not just time with family and happy memories, but a part of our soul that connects honestly and openly with others. Every time we left the house, our bodies were vulnerable. But every day we stayed home, we became vulnerable too.

This Saturday, I’ve been asked to speak at a ladies’ morning at my new church. I’ll be honest – I’m nervous. There will be some ladies there who know me, who know just how far off the beaten path I can go! They’ve already learned to accept that. But there will be new ladies too, and I’m not sure what they’ll think of me. Will I make them laugh? Will I scare them? Will I get called into the pastor’s office?

I guess….wait and see!

Dear Diary – You know how I feel about online shopping. It sucks. Imagine my surprise when 2 packages arrived, intact and early this week. But the happy feeling couldn’t last. Yesterday I checked the status of the next package to arrive. It said it was delivered. Hmm…nothing on the porch. So I went to purolator’s site, It said delivered, but when I dug deeper, one page said it’s on a truck and another showed a map and that truck hasn’t been anywhere near my town. I called and entered my tracking number. That number wasn’t recognized. I thought I’d be on hold for the next week, and they’d answer in the middle of the night. I’d be asleep and have to start again. I did finally get an answer but Tim wasn’t much help. They swear it was delivered, even though there’s no photo record like before, and the GPS on the truck is “unclear”. I will have to wait to talk to a “trace specialist” and go from there. I don’t know which I hate more: stupid people in the mall or online shopping!

Dear Diary – I learned a long time ago that if you feel you look good, it will bolster your confidence. Saturday I subjected Hubby to the monthly “what do I wear to lead worship “ parade, which is really just my version of a walk of shame. It’s not really that I’m vain; it’s that I’ve seen the unflattering angle of the cameras and with the added covid poundage (which I still say really started piling on and bringing friends when my doctor changed my medication. But what do I know?). Everything shrunk in my closet; nothing fits well. Including things that fit 2 weeks ago. Even my little black dress is too little, and I’m not talking about the little one. I’m talking about the one labelled XL!. The only items that haven’t completely betrayed me are my high heels, but my body screams when I contemplate wearing them.

After nearly an hour, with my closet in complete disarray, I had it narrowed down to one pair of pants, 2 tops, and one plaid mumu. I reluctantly paraded for Hubby. I say reluctantly because there have been misunderstandings before that led to meltdowns and chocolate, and chocolate can’t help me now. I’d probably worry less if the other musicians were less pretty and I was less neurotic. I don’t wish them ill, and for all I know, despite their calm, polished exterior, they may be as neurotic as me and spend an hour in their closet trying to stuff sausage into manicotti tubes too.

Dear Diary – Mom and I have commented lately, that there seem to be a lot of ads for pad and leak-proof undies for women of a certain age. Do all women leak? And do these leaky women all run around their houses in their bras and panties, admiring themselves in full-length mirrors? I avoid mirrors like a vampire avoids the sunshine.

One day, an ad for leak-proof undies came on, and Hubby commented, “do they have to zero in on old lady’s butts and cottage cheese cellulite”? To which I replied, “yeah! If you wanted to see old lady’s butt, all you have to do is ask me to bend over”!

Dear Diary – I will never learn. Watching baking shows is dangerous because it inspires me to try new things, and the results are not always a raging success. Once I’ve even messed up rice krispy squares! So, in my delusions of grandiose praise from my guys, I set out to make hand pies.

I made my pastry Tuesday evening. The hardest part was trying to get the grated butter off my fingers, and deciding how much ice water to add. The pastry wasn’t as smooth as I wanted, but I didn’t want to overwork it and make it tough.

Wednesday afternoon, I made my filling. The recipe was for a louisiana hand pie and used lots of spices, including a creole spice. I don’t like spicy food, nor do I have any concept of what might be in a creole spice mix, so I improvised. I threw in a bit of this and that, and smidgen of something else, until it smelled good to me, and I tossed the whole mince to cool in the fridge.

I was dreading rolling the pastry. Afterall, that’s what separates a pie from a pile of seasoned ground beef and the plate! So I gave myself plenty of time to play Minecraft before I started so I’d be very zen.

I didn’t play long enough.

The pastry was more like pizza dough, even after resting in the fridge overnight. The more I tried to roll it, the more gluten it produced, and the more spring-back it had. Still, I managed to wrestle 9 meat pies from it. They were ugly, but they were delicious!

True love is like butter. There are no substitutes for the real thing!