Wednesday, October 30, 2013


A week ago today, Nate's dad was placed on hospice care at home.
Dad has been living with Parkinson's disease for many years.
Since Malachi's arrival sixteen months ago, we have seen Dad decline, so rapidly that at times we can't quite believe the changes as they are occurring.
Taking care of a baby (especially at my age) is tiring, but as I watch Nate's mom and all five of her kids care for Dad, I can see that what they are doing is far more exhausting.
Yet they are all doing what is needed, especially Nate's mom, day in and day out, not knowing how long this season of caregiving will be.
And knowing that at the end of it, a different grief waits for them. For all of us.

I have so many pictures of Dad with his grandkids. These days I'm not taking as many, because he doesn't look like himself. This shows him relatively strong, walking the breakwater at Two Harbors with my boys.
It was taken during the Tall Ships event on the North Shore in the summer of 2008.
My favorite memory of Dad from that trip was when we all stood in line for four hours to tour the ships.
The hordes of people patiently waited their turns, obediently outside the barrier fence.
Suddenly, we noticed that Dad had drifted (drifted is the best word for it, he moved slowly yet deliberately) across the border and was now inside the viewing area. No one was about to stop the distinguished-looking guy leaning on a cane.
He encouraged us all to join him, and I think he was genuinely surprised that we didn't.

That story kind of sums up his life.
He grew up poor on the North Shore of Lake Superior. He and Mom met while in college, and while they raised their big family, he plowed through years of schooling (while working full-time) until he eventually earned his Doctorate from the University of Minnesota.
He was not deterred by the setbacks of his youth, or by nay-sayers. He quietly kept proceeding till he reached his goal.

It wasn't hard to see that he got great joy from his grandchildren.
I cried a little when he qualified for hospice. But I cried much harder, I was just a faucet of tears all day long, when Mom told me that he had called out the grandkids' names during his agitated sleep.
The thought of him thinking of his grandchildren, as his memories swirled during the dark hours of the night, brought home to me the fact that they are a treasure to him.
With grandchildren, there are fewer expectations than there are with children. When they spend time with their grandparents, it's a pure gift, because they don't feel obligation.
They only feel love.

I have noticed, during this terribly difficult year, that the gift we get is not always the gift we ask for.
We asked for healing, and we got more disease.
We asked for peace, and we saw with the increasing dementia an increase in anxiety.
We asked for restoration, and we received time. Time to spend with a man who hardly knows us anymore.

But it's been a gift to see my husband and his siblings as they care for Dad alongside their Mom.
It's been a different kind of healing, a special grace.
I wouldn't wish it on anybody. I wish Dad could have had twenty more good years, and that my baby could have the memories of Grampa that our other kids took for granted.

Today we're heading up to their house, as we have on most Wednesdays this year. I'm so glad now that we've taken the time, even though some days the baby was hard.
We will probably find Grampa more dim than he was last week (he had a few bright moments, laughing at something Anna Kate said), and find Mom a bit more worn-down (she's always had more energy than any of us).
We don't expect much. We take the day as it is given.

Grampa and my girls in 2007.

Grampa and Gramma at the Fourth of July parade, 2007.

 This song has been a great encouragement. Notice the last word is "rejoice."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Straight to the Heart (and a recipe for Anticuchos)

 My adventurous mom with Malachi.

Yesterday was (for us) full of adventure.
My friend Jamie had invited me to a Women of Hope event to benefit TreeHouse, a local teen ministry.
Our church has been involved with TreeHouse for years, although I haven't heard as much about it recently, but I didn't know what to expect. I had put off finding a sitter for Malachi, vaguely hoping that Nate could be home from work on that day. Suddenly the 24th was upon me, and I had to send out a desperate mass text to friends asking if anyone could watch him. No one could.
But my Julia came through. She usually does. It was her free day at school, and so I dropped Anna Kate and baby Mick off to hang out with their big sister for a few hours.
On the way to Julia's college, I called my mom and dad and invited them to have lunch with my kids. They lost no time (typical of them) and were soon on their way from Red Wing.
Meanwhile, the luncheon was lovely.
For starters, the guest speakers were Gabby Douglas and her mom Natalie, and a TreeHouse teenager named Jozee.
Hearing Gabby tell her story, and listening to her mom's perspective (she saw her daughter for just 30 seconds after Gabby won her individual all-around gold medal), made me unaccountably weepy.
I am often unaccountably weepy. But here was this young girl, who left home at fourteen to train for the Olympics, having no idea if she would ever make the team.
And here were her sisters, cheering her on. And her mother, who had $35 in her bank account when she found out her daughter was on the U.S. Gymnastics team.
But Gabby was full of talent, and she had her family to give her courage when hers ran low.

Then the TreeHouse girl spoke. Jozee doesn't have Gabby's kind of family. She has the same tooth-grinding determination, but she's had to survive by her own wits. The support and love of her mentor at TreeHouse probably saved her life. The mentor told Jozee she was of great worth. She seemed fragile and tattered as she told her story, but she sounded brave. I think all of us in the room sorrowed with her, and rejoiced with her. Peace be on you, precious Jozee.

I thought, it's all about the heart. The heart that we are given at the beginning, that beats regularly at just a few weeks' gestation, and does not stop until we draw our dying breath. Our heart is what He is after.

My son is in his first year of med school, and the students have cadaver work. (I hope this isn't too much for you. I find it fascinating). I asked him if they started slowly, with fine physical details like skin and muscle layers.

"No," he said. "We pretty much dive right into the pectoral and start with the heart."

Start with the heart. It's apparently the best way to begin knowing the mysteries of the human body. It's the place that Jesus wants to know us. He created us the way He wanted to, beautiful, with delicate details and invisible wonders. But when he wants to change us, or heal us, or jolt us back to life, he goes for our hearts.

So that was my day. I returned to Julia's college to find my girls, my parents, and my baby in the Student Center, waiting for me. They had had a fabulous time. The baby had been somewhat terrible at first, then slowly cheered up. We hugged all around, and then we parted ways.

I went to prepare supper, and for the only time all year, because a cow only has one heart, we had true Anticuchos. When I was growing up in Peru, the local cooks would come to our jungle center and set up a barbeque. All day we smelled the astounding fragrance of these marinated beef kabobs. Now I wonder, Why did it take all day? Why did we have to wait so long before we could buy and eat? I can't figure it out, because these only take about three minutes on the grill.

But it's a lovely memory: the lake, the pequi pequis chugging slowly through the water, the smoke and mouth-watering goodness of anticuchos wafting from the shore.

(Made with regular beef, these are delicious and not quite so alarming. Anna Kate said our meal was "morbid." Nate said it was like something out of Fear Factor. But we ate them all.)

Beef Anticuchos

(We buy half a cow, so we only get half a heart. This recipe is for way more meat than I had, so I didn't use all the marinade).

2 1/2 lbs. fresh beef heart, cut into thin strips
1 cup red wine vinegar
4 T. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground pepper
1 tsp. salt
5 big garlic cloves, crushed and peeled and chopped
2 T. fresh parsley or oregano
4 dried chiles (I used a combination of red pepper flakes and chipotle peppers)
1 1/2 cups oil, divided

Blend all ingredients except the oil in a large bowl.
Take out about half of the mixture.
Add 1/2 cup oil to the remaining mixture to make a soft paste.
Stir the beef strips into the marinade.
Allow to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

To reserved spice mixture, add remainder of oil for a basting sauce.

Thread beef onto skewers.
Place on grill.
While the meat grills, brush with marinade.
The recommended brush is made with shredded corn husk, which works great if you're on a picnic, since you can later toss it.
(I used a silicone grill brush).

Allow fire to flame over the meat as you baste.
Cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Best when served alongside corn and potatoes. I was pretty scattered last night, so we didn't have good side dishes. We ate butternut squash soup, anticuchos, mashed potatoes, and rice, all in succession since nothing was ready all at once.

Half a beef heart. I admit this made me a bit queasy.

Marinating beef.

I wish you could smell these. Finicky feelings would vanish, and you'd gobble them up, just like we did.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

How to Make: Heat Socks

I promised you a post on heat socks, so here it is, even though I'd rather blog about yesterday. The day dawned dreary, but that was beside the point. I got a good night's sleep, Julia was home, and my daughters watched the baby while I went to my church for Bible Study. We're not studying the Bible though. Instead, we're going through a quiet little book by Ruth Haley Barton called Sacred Rhythms.

After hearing Ruth's teaching about Elijah in the wilderness, and the time and the solitude he needed in order to be restored, we had a half hour of silence. Silence. No music. No chit-chat.

I found it so difficult to be still, and focus my thoughts, and enjoy the calm. I wanted to check my phone.

Then we met as a small group. I already love my group.

I appreciate studies at my church, because we are trained to listen without interrupting. This discipline is good for both the talker and for the listeners. It's so restful to know you are going to be allowed to finish your thoughts. And it is relaxing when you know, as a listener, that no response is needed. Just listening is all that is required.

But maybe you want to know how to make heat socks. You will need:

Cotton fabric, about 1/2 a yard (ticking works well)
Feed corn (I get mine at the Anoka Feed Store on 2nd Avenue)
Lavender, if you like

My current heat sock is about 18" x 10". I also have two others that are smaller. At times, I have one on my sore shoulder, one on my sore sciatic nerve, and one draped over my sore left ankle. It's a sad creaky mess I'm getting to be.

Cut fabric to desired size, two equal pieces (about 10"x18" is great for feet).
Place right sides together.
Stitch around three sides, about 1/2 inch from edge (both long sides and one of the short sides),
leaving one short side open.
Zig-zag around the sewn edges to limit fraying.
Turn fabric right-side out.
Fill bag with feed corn. (Fill bag halfway. That's about 4 or 5 cups of corn for a large heat sock). You will want to sift the corn through your fingers a bit to get out the chaff.
If you like, add about a tablespoon of lavender.
Turning raw edges inward, stitch the open end of the bag shut.

To heat the sock:

Place in the microwave for about two minutes. My big sock takes three minutes, but do not let your sock burn. If you do, the whole house will smell awful and you'll have to cast the sock outside to get rid of the odor.

Sometimes I crawl wearily into bed with my cuddly little baby and my array of heat socks, and it's all so wonderful that I don't mind winter one bit. Especially when I wake up with Malachi at one in the morning and the sock is still warm.

(Many thanks to my sister Joanie, who did the research on sock fillers years ago and discovered feed corn was the best option. You are such a handy dandy sister).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Autumn Falls

Today we put away the trampoliine.
We woke up to icy snow pellets, a pale gray sky, and a sharp breeze.
The baby wore his winter coat.

This cold came on so fast, I never had time to take good tree pictures.
These were taken this morning, in the snow.

We made brownies, the house felt cozy, and Julia has a long weekend at home.
But I was sad to see my zinnias frozen dead, and leaves whipped off the trees just at their prettiest.

Only last week we were enjoying a glorious day outside,
a day so perfect that a visitor might have decided to live here forever.

And so it begins. I am never ready for a Minnesota winter. If the days are sunny, the cold outside isn't so bad. We stay in and drink hot cocoa and play games. Last night we played Scrabble. That was an adventure. I was up chasing Malachi, getting him into his jammies, and trying to put him to bed. While playing what we've decided works for us, "Iffy-Word Scrabble." If we can agree to use non-standard words, the game goes much more quickly. 

Trying to play a game reminded me of the old days when our big boys were little. We were so young. We weren't ready to give up on having our free time. I remember once, we decided to throw the football outside (not something I usually long to do, but I wanted to play). The boys were supposed to be asleep, but they must have heard us outside, laughing. They cried in their cribs. For about an hour. While we played in the yard. Without them. It sounds so sad now, but believe me, no harm done.

I hope this finds you with a warm house and a warm heart. Next blog post, I'll give directions on how to make heat socks. They're not socks, they're more like big bean bags, but I love them. They get toasty-hot in the microwave, and they keep winter feet warm and happy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Make and Mend

"The secret of life is patch patch patch." (Anne Lamott)

Something about these cold gray days makes me want to make stuff.
I love to make stuff. It's so gratifying to take iffy materials and create something useful and beautiful.
I don't like to sew, but for some reason sewing produces the best results.
My machine is broken, so these days I'm sewing at Nate's folks' house. That works out well, because I have extra people around to ride herd on the baby so I can get to work.
These pillows were made from the 100-year-old French grain sack that I found at Junk Bonanza. It was from the UberChic booth, the guys who bring a trailer from Utah and almost sell out on the first day. By the time I saw their space, almost all the furniture was gone. What remained was a table piled with French and German grain sacks. I only had $20, so Chris let me have this wonderful old textile at a discount. The original price was $25.

I still can't believe I bought something with red in it.
I don't normally allow any red in my house at all.
Once you let red in, it tends to take over.

I couldn't decide whether to let these old patches show. In the end, they stayed on the inside.

This patch is on the back of the pillow, but I can see it and wonder, Who repairs a grain sack? Maybe somebody who grew the flax and wove it by hand? Such respect.

This is how I decided to display the pillows. The front one is backwards, because that side is more interesting.

The corner of our dining room, when I was undecided about which pillow side I preferred.
I like things very simple. So I'm going to have to simplify that photo cabinet in the corner. It's full of family pictures, especially ones of our big boys. Since we miss them, I'm in no hurry to take away their pictures.

My other project this week (okay, I had totally forgotten how HARD it is to get anything done with a toddler in the house!) was Malachi's whale shirt.
This should have taken mere minutes, but because of my broken sewing machine, I had to stitch it on by hand. I love how it turned out. Whales, lobsters, sails and anchors: anything nautical is my favorite these days. But there's another color I don't like: navy. Everything navy does, black can do better. Except on baby boys. With this little guy, I'm on the hunt for navy nautical clothes. However, this whale needed to be gray. Ah gray. A lovely color.

Julia and Malachi under the locust tree.

To make the shirt:
Find a cheap white shirt or onesie (this was new from the consignment store).
Draw a whale. I copied one from another outfit.
Trace it onto two-sided transfer web, cut it out.
Iron the non-paper side of the whale onto your fabric.
Cut the fabric, using the web paper as your guide.
Peel off the paper backing of the transfer web.
Stick onto the shirt, iron into place.
Stitch around the outside with zigzag (or in my case, laboriously by hand).

Look who can walk!
Once he gets outside, he never wants to come in.
If we leave him alone in the entryway, he escapes to the outdoors.

So that was my week. I have spent a lot of time praying for my three big college-age kids as they endure midterms. I hope this finds you thankful, as I am, for the seasons of life. Even on hard days, we are growing and changing, being mended and being made into something useful and beautiful. All for Jesus.

A little gift for your day: one of my favorite songs from Ben Kyle. Listen to it here.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Breakfast: Oatmeal Crepes

When I was growing up in Peru, I got so tired of breakfast food.
Our options were eggs, toast, puffed rice (with canned evaporated milk, ugh), pancakes, and when we felt creative, crepes.We called the crepes "Panqueque de Huevo," or egg pancakes. They were pretty wonderful.

I thought breakfast cereals were the greatest. I thought I'd eat nothing but cornflakes when I got to the States.
Well, I have eaten a few bowls of cornflakes, and lots of Cheerios and Rice Krispies. But we don't go for fancy breakfast cereals in our house. When Julia got to college, her roommates brought Cap'n Crunch. It was ridiculously delicious, she hadn't had it in years. Anna Kate doesn't even know what it is. We'll keep it that way.
These crepes are our favorite breakfast these days. My husband loves them, they're easy finger-food for the baby, and they're healthy and filling.
We've been trying to cut down on wheat, even whole-grain organic wheat. So this recipe is made using oatmeal. To get a fine, flour-like mill on the oats, use a coffee grinder.

This recipe isn't exact, because I don't measure. If you need exact measurements, an online crepe recipe is your best bet.

Oatmeal Crepes

2 eggs
2/3 cup ground oatmeal (the amount that fits in a coffee grinder)
about 3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Whisk together all ingredients.
I like a thin batter. If the batter is too thick, it won't cover the bottom of the pan.
Add milk if needed to thin batter.

Melt 1 tsp. butter in a crepe pan or a non-stick 10-inch frying pan (on medium high heat)
Pour in about 1/4 cup batter, depending on how thin you like your crepes. I like mine quite thin.
Tip the pan so batter goes to the edges.

The first side takes the longest to cook, about 2 minutes.
Flip crepe, finish other side, tip onto a plate, and garnish as you like. We use peanut butter and jam, or just jam. Fresh fruit and whipped cream taste great, but are way more work.

A sunny morning and two fresh crepes.

If you can find a small whisk like the one on the left, buy it.
This one is from Dayton's (back in the day), they don't have them anymore. It's a wonderful whisk.
You will need to keep whisking this oatmeal batter, as the heavier particles want to sink.

It was difficult to take these pictures with a baby grabbing at the plate.
He ate more than I did.

If you make these and have recommendations about the measurements, let me know!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Mornings

When I stepped outside early one morning,  October seemed to breathe.
A mist curled off the eaves of the house,
and off the striped chairs in the yard.
The sun had just risen, and the vapor that rose into the early light
caught the day's newness.
The gleaming gray fog seemed the freshest thing in the world.

I don't get out into the yard the way  I used to.
Mornings are the best time for gardening, but now a baby needs tending.
My gardens are a mess.
Weeds are thick in the flowerbeds,
and yesterday I found the entire row of chard had been mown down by deer.
I was going to harvest that chard and use it all winter in soups and stews.
These weeks have been so warm that I'm not making anything with squash and pumpkins.
They're starting to go bad, and fruit flies have been multiplying.
Some of the labors of summer are going to waste.
I can't abide waste.

But I do love these sunny autumn days.
We know what's coming.
Every Minnesota winter feels like punishment
by the time we reach the end of it.

One of my favorite bloggers, Summer Harms (in my sidebar),
just wrote about pleading God's promises.
I think a crucial part of that is to plead His promises in the morning.
Our mornings determine our mindset for the day ahead.
As I stumble into each day, exhausted and depleted before it begins,
I need coffee and a bit of time for my head to clear.
The best way I've found is to start the day with a song.

Of course I love the written Word,
and on dozens of difficult days,
my husband and I have read Scripture out loud.
Those words linger in the air,
a blessing and a rampart.

But as the day begins,
I cover myself with the Word through music.
One of my favorites is "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
Another is "How Firm a Foundation."
I love the revival song "Praise the Savior."
I let these words run through my head all day.
I need every shield, every rampart I can get.

Yesterday my friend Amanda posted the lyrics to "Day by Day."
Remember that song? The melody is lovely.
"Day by day, and with each passing moment,
strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in the Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure,
gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure,
mingling toil with peace and rest."

I count it one of my greatest joys that I know these old songs.
They give me strength and remind me of truth.

Here are a few pictures from our Saturday foray to Berry Hill Farm.
Julia was home!
She kept exclaiming over her baby brother,
"Oh my WORD. Oh my LANDS!"
It was so fun to watch her delight in him.

A wild-eyed pony.

Daddy and Malachi.

Eating a honeycrisp apple.

Walking through the maze.

Malachi shared his honeycrisp, a very kind thing to do.

Berry Hill Farm is located in Burns Township, just north of Ramsey.
We love going there. At this time of year they have pumpkins, apples, tractor rides, a maze, farm animals, and a friendly fear-free autumn atmosphere.

From Lamentations 3:22-24
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to  myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.'" 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

When I Am Afraid

This week a remarkable thing happened. My dad told me to google "Shawi," and a church in Denver would come up. This community, Grace Church, has chosen to minister to the Shawi people in the Amazon jungle of Peru. The Shawi used to be known as the Chayahuita. Four decades ago, we spent summers with them while my dad developed bilingual schools and agricultural programs. I didn't know about schools or cows, but I did know that I loved being in the tribe. I loved going fishing with my best friend Norma, catching fish with our bare hands (she did all the catching), and cooking our catch over her mother's open fire. The fish (or sometimes frogs) would be wrapped in banana leaves. No better snack on earth.

I loved traveling from village to village in our open canoe. I loved the smell of roasted plantains and boiled manioc root. I loved walking to church every night, following my mom and little sister along the jungle path, with lightning bugs flashing all around us. I remember the church service, one of our first summers in the tribe, when the words suddenly came to me and I could sing along to every song. That was the summer I was six.

George and  Helen Hart were the translators for the Chayahuita. They labored all their lives, translating the entire Bible and eventually a dictionary as well. They are both in glory now. Helen used to worry about the Chayahuita people, wondering who would minister to them in the future. They are a large population, and they have strong pastoral leadership. And yet. A primitive Amazonian people group is vulnerable to so many outside forces.

So along comes this church. (I did wonder, Why couldn't it be MY church? Sigh.) And they go on missions trips, they encourage and teach and help. They come alongside.

The way God provides for His own is so beautiful. We are all  fragile. We all live in a kind of jungle, with terrors and poisons all about.

When I became pregnant with Malachi, I thought I had gone through the fire of fear. I had beaten back the hot flames. The illness that had struck our family was finally resolving into something resembling health. And then, boom, there I was, pregnant and afraid. It's shocking and humbling, how quickly fear can make me cower. Like a panther dropping out of a tree, it landed on me, and I was undone.

I can't say I battled it well. But I did battle. I surrounded myself with friends who had more faith than I did. They spoke truth to me. I listened to songs that gave me courage. I begged, out loud, for Jesus to take away the fear. I think Jesus is used to this. The Lord is forever telling His people, "Fear not," so He knows that's the first line of attack for most of us.

We welcomed our beautiful baby into the world, and he entered into a hospital culture of fear. Immediately, I was told that his blood sugar was low. He had to be checked out by a neonatal PA. He appeared healthy, perfect even, but we were not allowed to bring him home for four stressful days. It's a terrible truth that this world is bent by nature toward fear and death. When we are tired and confused, it's hard to hold our ground. It took me a long time to recover from that hospital experience. Again, I held onto verses of hope, songs of encouragement, and people who made me feel brave.

So. Back to the Shawi. When I think of them, so apart from the world, and yet in it, I think of the fear they used to live in. All jungle tribes have their distinct cultures, formed through centuries, and the stories are often ones of terror and revenge. But when the Gospel message comes, it does battle against demonic forces. For the first time, the people living in darkness see and experience a great light. Death is swallowed up in victory. My dad noticed something after the New Testament had been given to the people. There, wedged up in the eaves of the thatch roof, where blowguns and machetes used to be, was the Word of God. A new weapon.

I am in a season of joy and gratitude. But I know how life goes, and that fear will likely assail me again. I must remember this wonderful story. Nothing is hard for God. He heals, He restores, He provides. All along, He has a plan, and it is good.

A wonderful pot, the result of many hours' labor. Treasure in jars of clay, is what always comes to mind.

A Shawi man, dressed up in his best finery.

I believe this is a fish kill. The Indians took a local root, barbasco, and pounded it, then placed it upriver from a temporary dam. All the fish in that stretch of river, stunned, floated to the surface for easy catching. The Shawi were resourceful in their quest for protein. This is also a beautiful picture of the jungle river.

In strict division of labor, the Shawi men spent a lot of time making the thatch for their huts.
I never saw a woman doing this task. The women tended the gardens, made the pottery, and wove clothing.

A joyful little girl.

Dr. Dodds is either testing for tuberculosis or administering innoculations. See how the father tenderly comforts his crying child. Sometimes fear is entirely unfounded. And yet, we receive comfort.

My little sister, surrounded by the gentle Shawi mothers and children.

Here I am at about age seven, in native dress. A typical village (with the field strip cleared for landing airplanes) is visible behind me.

My beautiful mom and me, ready for take-off from our jungle base. I always felt safe in those little airplanes. I remember looking down over the endless green jungle, with no other color but the brown ribbon of the rivers. The rivers helped the pilots with navigation.

"The more you sense God's call, the more you will discover in your own soul the cosmic battle between God and Satan. Do not be afraid. Keep deepening your conviction that God's love for you is enough, that you are in safe hands, and that you are being guided every step of the way. Don't be surprised by the demonic attacks. They will increase, but as you face them without fear, you will discover that they are powerless.
"What is important is to keep clinging to the real, lasting, and unambiguous love of Jesus. Whenever you doubt that love, return to your inner spiritual home and listen there to love's voice. Only when you know in your deepest being that you are intimately loved can you face the dark voices of the enemy without being seduced by them."
(Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love)