Love, Jim Dale style


Here’s something true: my dad loves me. I know this because he says: “Cortney, I love you.” 

But my dad also says other things like “Cortney, have you gotten your oil changed in your car lately?” “Cortney, you need to get your oil changed.” “Cortney, why haven’t you gotten your oil changed, yet?” “Cortney, if you don’t change your oil every 3,000 miles you’ll have to replace your engine and you don’t have the money for that.” “Cortney, if you take care of your car, it will take care of you.”

Everyone has their neurosis. In his line of work, my dad meets a lot of people who’ve lost loved ones tragically on the road. His own father was a trucker who saw 47 of the lower 48 over the hood of a big rig. 

Dad doesn’t take safe travels for granted. So when I feel like I’m being nagged at for maintenance on my car, it helps to remember that it’s all dadspeak for, “I love you. I want to keep bad things from happening to you.” 

The Bible presents God in this same light sometimes. “Do this. Don’t do that.” It helps to remind myself that God is not petty and controlling. Instead, a lot of it is Godspeak for, “I love you. I want to keep bad things from happening to you.” 

Sometimes love presents itself over concern of a 1997 Honda Accord. And, yes, I just got my oil changed, Dad. 


From Mother Theresa


“The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith.
The fruit of faith is love.
The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.”



It’s graduation season. But this might be the one to really make me cry. There’s somewhat of a big age gap between my little sister and me- 8 years. Which means I can distinctly remember holding her on the day she was born, remember the day my parents broke the news that they were pregnant and there were months before that when I suspected/prayed/hoped that I could get a little sibling. And now that little precious is taller than me (I’ve had a few years to get used to that) and as ready as she can be to break out on her own.

Here, in random order, are 9 reasons my little sister is remarkably awesome.

1) Her hair. Women pay a lot of money to get what God gave Paige for free. Blonde, curly, thick. And Paige smartly doesn’t mess with it too much.

2) She can do this:

Please do not try this at home. Paige has the training, equipment and cringe-worthy calluses to make this possible. 

3) She is a certified lifeguard.

Do you have a life? Paige can guard it. Certifiably.

4) She tells me about new music. Most of the current bands that I love, I know about because of her. The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Matt & Kim, just to name a few. When she was just three I taught her all about the Beatles, so she’s just probably returning the favor.

5) She’s a role model. At our church, there are approximately 5,382 children who adore Paige and her best friend Rachael. Really, in these kids’ eyes, Paige and Rachael might as well be celebrities. It’s really adorable, and Paige and Rachael live up to the hype in the non-cheesiest way possible.

6) She is a good friend. This one sounds really generic, so let me expound. She has found a way to love people because of who they really are, not despite of who they really are.

7) She likes what she likes– nothing more nothing less. How many teenage girls do you know that got fully wrapped up in both Twilight and Star Trek? And Avatar? But I don’t like that last one because I still have my vendetta with James Cameron.

8) She is my wink coach. Mere months ago, my wink looked like a twitch or a spasm on one half of my face. Now with her help, I’ve advanced it to cartoonishly flirtatious. I’m hoping I can master the elusive subtle wink by the end of summer. Paige is less hopeful.

9) She puts up with me as a big sister. I take clothes from her closet without asking. I use her razor. I call her to drive me home when I’ve only had 2 glasses of wine, but want to play it safe. As an older sister, I feel an obligation to just drive her crazy sometimes.

If you’re not feeling jealous that Paige isn’t your sister, you should. What do you like about Paige?

Paige when she fit in my arms. 

Quote Corner


from Dostoevsky:  “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in sight of all…But active love is labour and fortitude.”