Showing posts from 2015

The Mirror Has Revealed ...

I'm here in the school where I teach, and my kids are practicing for the Christmas play. They are very good at this. Our directors really direct. Our singers sing. The actors give it their professional best, and it amazes me how kids can so outperform their adult counterparts.

Am I being fair in saying this? Well, our shy kids are doing their part. Our quiet ones are pushing their volume levels with dedication and focus. Our clowns are settling down and playing their parts with reverence. And when it comes my turn to read through Luke 2:1-16, there is reverent silence.

Now, when was the last time you stretched yourself beyond your ordinary limitations? When did you try to reinvent yourself and do something totally new -- without shoring up your courage with some type of caffeine, alcohol, or drug? These kids are here day after day, and they are creating a play that will share Jesus with the world around them. What are you doing to make that happen?

I'm sorry if I sound confron…

Telling on Myself

Years ago, I worked on a website for my husband called It would feature his collections, which were amazing and rare. However, I worked long and hard, and then I gave up. Here's a post I wrote where I recommit to finishing it:

"I am the kind of person who doesn't mind a huge task so long as I know it'll eventually be over. And I mean over! But I also have a tendency to run away from tasks that involve a neverending process and no actual end. For instance, housework does not actually finish. It's an ongoing cycle. I'm learning now, however, to appreciate the process even when it leads to no end.

Today, I want to embrace the process of working out this website. has been quite the site and it has taken so much work. And then, hours into it, I see dozens of typos, instances of just plain bad writing, and incomplete links. I can't see excellence, and I'm completely unable to see any end to this. It's t…

The Real Kosher Jesus

I wrote this book review in 2012, and it's still true.

We all know, or should know by now, that Jesus ate kosher, that he probably "spoke phlegm" like the Dead Terrorist would say, and that he was Jewish. So I thought I was somewhat ready for this book I got. It's called "The Real Kosher Jesus" and here's a link to it, where I've already submitted my review.

It turns out that this guy is really relate-able. I like him. He's a genuine guy. And he's also a Doctor of something-or-other. He's smart, interesting, and seems to have a fun, good personality. So though I started the book expecting to be bored to death. Now, I'll admit that since I like action stories like Ted Dekker, I was forced to adapt to a slower pace. But it's a good book. With some awesome information.


Mislabeling Yourself in Relationships

I am improperly identified on all of my paperwork. What I mean by that is that my daily name, Stephanie Orsini, and my legal name are different. Lack of properly identifying myself the first time has left me misidentified permanently. When people see a name on paper that is essentially not my name, they get confused. What should be a  regular conversation has sometimes become a long, candid explanation of why I never use my real first name -- it was the dog's fault, by the way.

But what does this have to do with dating? You hear, "Try not to seem too eager. Play it cool. Don't wear your glasses. Put on this outfit, not the kind you usually wear." On and on, the advice goes, and when we're done getting ready for a date, we are already completely mislabeled. The person we are dating has no way of knowing who we really are.

How can true love find us if no one sees us for who we are? We're primped, shined, and stuffed into clothes that we would never really wear.…

If Dishes Were Wishes

I've been home all this summer. Each summer as a teacher, I've planned to get a job. So far, I have never managed to do it. Somehow, it never worked out and I've stayed home. Yet, instead of becoming like Martha Stewart and demolishing all my domestic strongholds, I find that life keeps getting complicated and I end up doing very badly at keeping my household neat and orderly. My kitchen floor, for example, looks terrible. Oh, and don't even get me started on my sink. It's always full of dishes!

This entire school year, I've told myself that I'll finally get the house in order this summer. I've told myself that summer time is the ideal period for setting up a system by which I'll finally be able to keep up with the house all year. Now, summer is here and I'm exhausted by this heat. I can barely move, and I can hardly think. It's hot, hot, hot. And I'm really not having fun.

I've been practically immobilized for a month. Now, this sec…

Consider the Cost before You Marry

Note: This blog is not a fully edited, smooth piece of writing. Rather, it's an emotional journey that isn't always linear or orderly. 

Everything that you want in life will cost you something. Or as you'd say in Spanish, "Todo tiene un costo." In fact, the most important things in life will cost you the most. If it is worth having, most of the time it costs you more than you have. 
Let's talk about kids, for example. Who has the energy, determination, and the mental stability to handle raising kids? Honestly, most of us don't have what it takes. Kids require all of your love, devotion, patience, energy, and they need something from you all the time. Yet, there is nothing more wonderful than a child. We would endure any pain or suffering for them. 
How about a marriage relationship? By the way, I'm aware that in today's society there are all types of couples and not everyone is married. I choose to write about my own experience in this case, and I am…

Elisabeth Elliot's Hug on Hold

If you and I have ever talked, then chances are very good that I mentioned my struggles in one area or another. I've learned that I should boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. In other words, I tell you where I'm lacking and you see how awesomely God works in my life in spite of my many failings. I'm lazy about moving around. I'm messy. I like to play too much, as so many of my students have told me. I can be rude.  I am often mean when I'm angry. I don't give people a chance to talk. I talk too much. I hate cleaning. I don't want to walk the dog unless the weather's perfect. I am sometimes obnoxious. 

Elisabeth Elliot just passed away, and she was my opposite. Where I'm ruled by my passions, moods, and often my feelings, she was ruled by common sense and self determination. If God was the director of her life, she would choose to do what he said. If there was work to do, then she would do it without whining. There …

Why kids matter

There's been a trend in our society for some time now -- to allow the experts to deal with the kids. I  get it. It's really hard to imagine that for one bad move you make, a child's entire future could veer off course. You begin to think that at least by putting his or her training in the hands of the expert Bible teacher, the expert school teacher, the expert educational TV writer, or the expert child care provider, they will at least stay normal like everybody else's kids. And considering the possibilities, that's not all bad. Right?

But this month, I've read about some extraordinary kids who spend their days practicing for spelling bees. I learned about kids who created fundraisers that provided medical help to children all over the world. A homeschooler I know has a world class surfer of a son. One public schooled boy stood in the doorway greeting every student who came through the doors -- did I mention he was a newcomer?

My kids weren't ordinary growi…