The Spirit and a Tribute

I love the United States military. I worked my first campaign at age four, donning a Jack Kemp t-shirt and a winsome smile. I was the girl in college who had American flags and pictures of Ronald Reagan on my walls.
So when Colonel Williamson, the LCMS Chief Mission Officer, suggested that The Lutheran Witness feature an article about how to share the Gospel with those Armed Forces members returning from war, I said, “Not just one article. The whole issue!”

Marine Week, St. Louis, 2011

 A colleague and I flew down to San Antonio, Texas, and met up with the Rev. Michael Schuermann, who served as photographer and his lovely wife, Katie Schuermann, who was a reporter of the most inquisitive and sensitive kind. We baked in the Texas heat, met men and women who serve our country in ways we could hardly process and sat at the feet of the chaplains who cared for them. Emotionally, it was exhausting. Theologically, it was profound. Fundamentally, it changed all of our lives.

Seeing that August Lutheran Witness—bearing the stories of the men and women we’d met, hearing from the chaplains who fight their own battles but never fail to pronounce God’s Words of forgiveness and peace—arrive in the mail from the printer was one of my memorable moments. Getting a first-hand look at how the Lord cares for and about His people in uniform was humbling. It changed everything. It made me proud to be a Lutheran, proud to be an American, proud that my church has men whose vocation is specifically to care for those who care for them. It turned everything on its end.

That’s why, when I received in the mail today, a flag flown over Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for 9 minutes and 11 seconds on Oct. 31, 2012, Reformation Day, I cried. For the flag, for Chaplain Daniel Gard, for the LCMS, and for our Lord, who truly does all things well, thank you.

“This is to certify that the accompanying flag of the United States of America is presented to The Lutheran Witness. Let it be known that this flag was flown proudly over Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on October 31st, 2012 at 2300 hours for 9 minutes and 11 seconds. This flag is presented to you in the spirit of patriotism and as a tribute to those who lost their lives in terrorist acts on the United States of America and to those who continue to fight in the Global War on Terrorism.”

that’s happening

My parents are going to be guest bloggers here, y’all. Strap yourselves in.

A pastor recently asked if my dad and I had considered writing a book on how fathers can raise assertive, confident Lutheran daughters. And if that wasn’t enough, “Sprinkle it with some of your mom’s recipes,” he recommended.

This is the kind of thinking I can support.

Everyone who’s met my parents loves them. My sisters and I have the kind of mom and dad that our friends wanted to hang out with. They’d invite themselves over, not to see us, but to sit and chat with our parents. It was a lonely life: our parents surrounded by adoring fans while we girls sat glumly in the corner . . .

I may be remembering that incorrectly.

Our parents were, admittedly, unique. (Did you know you can’t say “pretty unique” or “very unique”? This public service announcement brought to you by English majors everywhere.)

For instance, my dad is the kind of dad who:

  • Pretended to toss us in lakes when we were fishing
  • Would put us in the bucket of his Bobcat, raise it up, and pretend to tip it like he was going to dump us out on the ground
  • Pour water on our tents when we were camping while growling like a bear (We screamed like we were having our fingernails ripped out every time.)
  • Made us cry learning to drive stick shift.

But he is also the kind of dad who:

  • Made us do family devotions every night, even when we were not-so-secretly rolling our eyes
  • Drove 13 hours when one of his daughters was having a meltdown (That was me, by the way. Yeah. I was the one melting down. Me. Right here.)
  • Tells us often how much he loves our mom, how beautiful she is, how he can’t imagine live without her . . . and that’s after 35 years of marriage!

My mom is the kind of mom who:

  • Threatened physical harm when I tried to serve fruit to guests in a piece of Tupperware
  • Got thissssss close to washing my mouth out with soap on several occasions (She didn’t have to actually act on it. The threat was plenty.)
  • Almost strangled me when I threw a very large wooden toy at my sister that left a gigantical red mark on her bedroom wall

But she is also the kind of mom who:

  • Listens to me talk for an hour straight with plenty of “uh-hums” and “I knows” and never tries to weasel extra comments in
  • Tells me to keep trying when I complain that I totally destroyed an attempt at homemade donuts . . . for the ninth time
  • Claims to love it when I give her Christmas presents whose wrapping looks like a third-grade art project

My sisters and I love to talk about our parents. We remember the times they were tough on us, when they encouraged us and when they drove us so crazy we could hardly handle it (like that time they confiscated my sister’s music because it had the word hell in it. Hey, go easy on them. They liked James Dobson at the time.)

And the good news is that with some future impending blog posts, you’ll get a chance to see the inside of all the crazy awesome that is the Dorr family too. Stay tuned, everybody. Stay tuned.

never listen to your sister

sponges 6 My sisters came up with this great (read: crazy ridiculous) idea to make these pom-pom flower decorations for a party my middle sister was hosting.  

My oldest sister made these this year for her daughters’ room and swore they were incredibly easy to do.

“Oh, they’re so cute,” she said.

“Oh, they’re so easy,” she said. sponges 1Blah.

Blah.

Blah.

Never trust a party planner when she uses the word easy.sponges 2

Feel free to call me the next Felix Baumgartner because I was about to orbit into outer space at this point.

Maybe I have that backwards.

Whatever. It was clearly not working.

And this was after my sister and I both spent a good ten minutes trying to fluff this stupid ball.

We fluffed and retied and twisted and crumpled. Meanwhile, my brother-in-law sat in the corner and laughed at us.

So finally, when we could take it no more, we gave up.

Because that’s what we do.

But as soon as we did that, we had an even better idea.

Decorations?

No.

Garbage?

No.

Evil stepsisters bow?

Yes, please.sponges 5I think you can agree that . . . yeah . . . we pretty much nailed this one.

sponges 4[3]