Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear Intercessor by Angie Valli

Dear Intercessor,

Hope for me.
When I have nothing left and cannot go on.

Hope for me.
That I might remember what it feels like to be hopeful.

When I am depleted and dry,
When I am drowning and drunk,
BE my strength and remember my good.
Wish I could be better,
Know that I can.

Hold me 
Because I am heavy-
In my heart
In my head

And I am dying-
In this scotch
In this pipe
In my sin

Pray for me
And let me sleep on the wings of your faith
So I can be close to God in this moment.

Don’t let me go
It is lonely in the dark
And I have no hope for myself.
Let me borrow from you.
Strengthen me with your will
So I can be strong and safe.

Speak for me
When I have no words
That I might believe-
In myself
In Love
In second chances

Note from Angie:
I would not be where I am today if there had not been people who have spent countless hours speaking to God on my behalf. It is because of God’s love and their love and obedience to Him that I am even alive. Intercessory prayer is no joke. Sometimes people can’t speak for themselves or don’t know how. When we pray for others, we not only speak for them, we hope for them. We show them what hope looks like and this is important because some people have never seen it. I pray that my faith is strong and plentiful because there may be some who need to lean on it as I have leaned on the faith of others.

Monday, February 24, 2014

5 years blogging

The 100th post. 

I need to thank you because half of these posts come from all of you.  Each intrepid guest bloggers and reader have kept me writing, have spurred me on and I thank God for you every week.  So, congratulations to you and to me for making it to 100!

5 years ago I watched Julie and Julia and said to my husband, “I’m gonna do that!”  “Learn to cook?”  he asked hopefully.  “No,” I replied. “I am going to chronicle a year of my life, maybe even longer. I need some sort of theme though.  Some sort of focus to this journey.”  

We thought about it for weeks.  I decided I wanted to get serious about writing.  So, my goal was to blog until I got published.  That first year, I met so many wonderful people around the blogosphere.  I wrote about all sorts of things.  It got hard to think up things I felt were blog worthy.

4 years ago  a couple of things happened.  First, I got freaked out that readers might think I was unstable and totally crazy. Second, I got terribly sick during my first pregnancy.  And so, after only 40 mediocre posts I shut it down.   

Regret is one of my biggest fears.  I’m not sure about the 3 silent years.  In some ways I do regret my silence.  I would be so curious now to look back over the things that have happened, the ways I have changed:
-We had to move within a month because our old apartment was not de-leaded.
-We were given the opportunity to live in the most incredible 3 story house with friends and a saintly landlady.
-David and I went to 12 hours of natural child birthing classes
-I had my first child in a birth center and was home less than 12 hours later.
-I struggled with severe postpartum depression.
-Friends, family, coworkers and even strangers helped me look to God and find hope.
-I went back to work full time while my incredible sister-in-law came to live with us and watch my baby boy each and     every day.
-I found out I was pregnant with my second baby.  
-I almost lost her 2 times, I was in the emergency room, bleeding, grieving and yet somehow each time they found a heartbeat.
-She was born 5 weeks early, in a hospital with several doctors to catch her and see if she needed to go straight to the NICU.  But I got to hold her.  She was 6 pounds, beautiful and perfect.
-I went back to work, job sharing with a dear friend.
-We decided I was going to try and stay home full time with the kids for a year.

And somewhere amidst all that life the blog started back up.  I don’t worry about being blog worthy anymore.  I just write...and giveaway stuff when I can.... and invite all of you to share your talent and thoughts here...and I love it!  

I’m hoping for at least 100 more posts.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Malden Reads Kickoff Celebration

 Last year I didn't even know what it Malden Reads was, but since getting involved a few months ago I've become all about it.  I can hardly wait to see who shows up to the Opening Celebration tomorrow night, to discuss the book and of course to draw a winner for this blog's Malden Read's book giveaway!  Here is some information that I wish I'd read 4 years ago when the program began:

"All are invited to Opening Celebration 

The entire city is invited to enjoy an evening of culture and community 
at the Malden Reads 2014 Opening Celebration 

The free event will bring a mix of food, exhibits and music 
to the library’s historic and elegant Converse Memorial Building.

Now in its fourth year, Malden Reads is a grassroots program that seeks to build community through the shared experience of reading a good book and exploring its themes together.

Malden Reads will host a series of literary-themed events this winter
and program co-facilitator Anne D’Urso-Rose said 
the Opening Celebration is a great time to connect with the program and get involved.
“It’s really a wonderful night of community,” she said. “The historic wing of the library is such a beautiful setting and we always have a great turnout. People have the opportunity to meet their neighbors and friends, learn about this year’s book, and connect with some of the community groups that do such great work here in Malden. It really does tie together the two main goals of Malden Reads, which are to promote reading and build community.”

The featured selection of Malden Reads 2014 is "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." 
Written by science journalist Rebecca Skloot,
 it’s the true story of a woman whose unique cells revolutionized medical science, 
even though the donor—who died of cancer 60 years ago-- was essentially forgotten by the health industry.
Major themes of the book include economic injustice, ethics of modern medicine, and extraordinary contributions from seemingly ordinary people. 

 In addition to learning more about the featured selection, guests at the opening celebration are invited to: 

• Enjoy food samplings from local restaurants, desserts, and soft drinks.

• A special presentation in the Ryder Gallery that will be hosted by City Council President Neal Anderson and will feature a dramatic interpretation from the book by Malden High School drama students
There will also be musical performances and readings from the book.  

• View exhibit tables from local community groups that related to the themes of the book and tie into the flavor of Malden’s own community.

• Take a guided tour of the beautiful historic wing of the library.

• Obtain information about the Malden Reads program
including the newly printed Calendar of Events brochure and fliers for upcoming events and programs.

 You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site."

Monday, February 17, 2014


Well, for my second ever giveaway I have something special.  It's a brand new book!   I have been volunteering for a program called Malden reads. 

And not only did I get a special copy of the book of the year but I also got to write my first ever press release.  Here it is:

Date: 2/14/2014
Mayor Christensen Discusses HeLa Cells
Malden Celebrities Host Malden Reads Book Discussions
MALDEN, MA- Don’t miss the first event in the Malden Reads’ series of “Celebrity Book Discussions” with Mayor Gary Christensen on Monday, March 3rd at 7pm.  The discussion will be held at the Exchange Street Bistro.  It is free but space is limited so attendees need to sign up at the Malden Public Library.  
In praise of the book, Malden resident Dan Ko said, “I love a good true story, especially when someone’s able to give voice to the voiceless. That’s exactly what you find in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. You’re invited into an amazing tale that might never have been told.” 
The discussion will engage ideas and themes from the 2014 featured selection “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot.  This year’s major concepts include: Tissue Harvesting, Genetic Research, Standards for Ethical Research, Impact on the Lacks family & descendants, Ethical Standards of Journalism, Intellectual Property Laws,  and race relations in the 1950s and 1960s.
One major theme of the book is the necessity of being aware of what is going on locally, nationally and world wide, including scientific research, health care issues, and medical ethics.  Participants will also share about the importance of close family relationships, especially during the hard periods of life. Discussion will also deal with the ability to be critical of information received in this time of information overload.
Even for those who haven’t finished the book or joined a book discussion before, all are welcome to share their thoughts and comments and to hear what others around the community have to say. 
Organized by community groups, city leaders, and residents, in collaboration with the Malden Public Library and Malden Access TV, Malden Reads invites the community to read the same book and participate in a series of events related to the book’s themes.  
For more information about the Malden Reads, the featured selections and upcoming events, visit, follow us on Twitter @MaldenReads, like us on Facebook or join our mailing list
 - ### -

Ok, and now for the fun part...THE GIVEAWAY!!!!
This Thursday night at 6:30 Malden Public Library is hosting the Malden Reads Opening Ceremony!  To win a free copy of the book there are 3 important steps:
#1. Go to the opening
#2. Have a good time
#3.  Comment below on what was your favorite part of the evening
Thus, everyone gets some free food, supports a neat cause ...and the lucky winner will get a copy of the book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."  

Good Luck:)

If you didn't make it last night, you can enter by commenting on what you like about the concept of "Malden book."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The "great" things in life by: Rochelle Stewart Rubino

There are many moments in the life of a stay at home mommy that can feel mundane. Sometimes it can feel as if you accomplish nothing – the kitchen you just cleaned up after lunch is dirty yet again because, well, the kids need to eat dinner. At other times I’m praying to the patience gods to help me get through another bedtime routine with a toddler who loves delay tactics, a nursing baby, and a husband who works late.

But then there are moments like this:

When you stop and realize how lucky you are to not only have two grandparents who are still living, but that your children are able to get to know their great grandparents and can play real games with them, creating memories in their young little minds…That… well that is just a true blessing.

Today the game of choice was nap. Not nap for Gianna, no, just the act of putting everyone else down for a nap. Though Gianna is no longer a fan of napping, she does enjoy putting people to bed. Often, she’ll do the same routine we do – book & prayers, then a hug, kiss and lights out. Today, she assigned each great grandparent a spot on the bed, plus a place for herself and the two baby dolls my grandparents keep at their house for her to play with. After nap, she gave them 10 minutes to sit in the TV room and then it was back to bed. My grandparents, the willing participants, played right along and enjoyed it too!

Even though my grandmother probably forgets we were there (she suffers from dementia), in the moment she was extremely happy that we were (at one point, when Gianna’s behavior towards her little brother was a little fresh, I threatened leaving immediately, to which my grandmother cried, “No, don’t leave!” I assured her, without Gianna overhearing, that it was indeed only a threat.).

So when the mommying moments (yes I invented a word) can be tiring, especially during the winter doldrums, I try to remember the small moments throughout the day that remind me why I’m so happy to be exactly where I am, doing just what I’m doing.

You can check out more from Rochelle at: 

Monday, February 10, 2014

My Confession of Love

(Letter to my roommate continued)
...I got a call on my very new and bulky cell phone the day after I got home to the East Coast.  I listened to it so many times that I remember the exact wording, “Hey, it’s yo boy Dave Lauda..I’m just callin’ to say hey and see if you got home okay. Call me back, aight?”  It took about two hours for my adrenaline to subside enough for me to call him back.  It was his twenty- first birthday and he had called!  Just to talk.
I called him again the next day, and he called me the day after that.  I was so excited to tell you and Liz all about it when you came to visit in July.  That was an awesome trip.  I loved visiting New York and Boston, staying up late talking.  I was dumbstruck when Liz told me he had been our friend’s date to her work party the week before you guys came out.  What? I knew it was too good to be true.  There was no way he would even consider dating me, I was, as usual, the friend, and I was sure he was going to tell me all about him and this other girl and have me counsel him through it.  It seemed my lot in life.  I wasn’t going to take it this time though.  No, I couldn’t fake it with him and pretend that I wanted him and her to live happily ever after, no matter how perfect they both were.  
A few days after you and Liz flew back to Colorado he called me. I think we were talking about how his roommate Ryan had stolen his towel and how he’d had it with communal living in the ministry houses.  I was listening but my mind was not engaged, I just kept thinking about how we could be so close and he just goes out with another girl and doesn’t even mention it.  The whole conversation I kept waiting for it to come up, but now he said he was at Osh and he had to go. I made up my mind to call him back.  This is pretty much how it went, “Okay, so I know this will probably ruin our friendship and make things super awkward between us, but I hope not.  I know how much you value honesty in people, so I feel like I better just stop beating around the bush and get to it.  You see, well, I am so happy to be your friend but since the day I met you I’ve liked you and wanted to go out with you.  So, I just figured I should put that out there so down the road you aren’t like, ‘Hey, I had no idea you had ulterior motives,’ and stuff, so yeah, talking to you has been the highlight of my summer but I guess being real and honest is more important than me getting to hear your voice yeah...”

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Can't Pay the Rent - Anna Paddock © 2012

Today's entry is a lyric called "Can't Pay The Rent".  This is a 98% true story.  When times are tough in the city, I really do recommending living in a convent!

Can't Pay the Rent - Anna Paddock © 2012

Here's the situation, I was walking through Hell's Kitchen
I didn't have a cent, I couldn't pay my rent
So I was praying and thinking of where I could live
When I spotted a convent, and I thought
Maybe the sisters will let me in

Breakfast is at seven, wasting food's a sin
Curfew's at eleven, Sister Hilda lets you in
Bedroom's got a window, but keep those curtains closed
Workers 'cross the street shouldn't see you changing clothes

Well this will suit me perfectly, where's the dotted line
I'll try to follow all your rules, just show me where to sign
No, I wasn't raised Catholic, but I'll say the rosary
Long as I don't gotta take a vow of celibacy

But I can't pay the rent, so I moved to the convent!

Bike goes in the courtyard, keep your music down
Alcohol's forbidden, no cigarettes allowed
No one in your bedroom, always lock your door
Stay on floors 1 thru 3, don't ever wander up to 4

I wasn't used to all the rules, I needed an escape
Found a piano in the basement, a Steinway
I'd practice every morning, but the sisters like TV
Fuzzy soap operas compete with the piano and me

But I can't pay the rent, so I chose to stay in the convent!

But you see I've got a problem, cause I really love this guy
He lives just down 10th avenue, I bike there every night
Curfews are a nuisance, he quickly takes the hint
Buys a diamond ring and asks me to marry him

Still don't have a cent, but I got someone to pay the rent, so I moved out of the convent

But if you don't have a cent, you're a city girl with a gent, and you can't pay the rent
Go on and move to the convent!!!

The link to this recording can be found here:
Like me on Facebook or for real here:
Other updates:

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Fear in My Face

I was sure that I could not make it through another night without sleep. I simply could not.  It had bee 5 days since my son had been born and I had gotten no more than 2-3 hours each night.  It wasn’t just that he woke up to eat, my husband took turns giving him a bottle, no it was all in my head.  My mind was spinning from anxious thoughts about all the things that could tear this new baby that I loved beyond measure, from me.  I was SO scared.  I felt panic the minute I began to doze off.  “What if he stops breathing?”  “What if David drops him while feeding him the bottle?”  “What if I lose touch with reality and can’t take care of him?”  

I was a mess, I needed to sleep but it was simply impossible.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not go on.  The panic was sneaking up on me again, making me want to vomit with worry.  I woke my husband up and began crying, “I can’t do this,” I said.  “I can’t.  I’m not meant to be a mom.”  He sat up and hugged me.  “You are a great mom,” he said.  “You are doing fine.”  “Well, I don’t feel fine,” I snapped.  “I feel like I’m dying.”  I couldn’t think of a single thing that would help.  “Will you pray for me?”  I asked him half heartedly. And so he prayed, “Dear God, please help her to relax and be able to fall asleep.  Please take away her worries and fear.  Show us what to do/Amen.”  I still was on edge but I lay back down and fell asleep for a few hours.  The next day I called my doctor.  I told him that I couldn’t sleep, that I was at the end of my rope.  I was losing my mind.  
He saw me right away, adjusted my medications.  I talked to my therapist, she helped me combat the lies that daily attacked my confidence and will to live.  And through it all I prayed, I prayed like my life depended on it because in a way it still does.  

And I did the thing I thought I could not do...I slept.  I ate.  I became a mom.  But I did not do this alone.  I could not do it alone, as desperately as I wanted to be self-sufficient.  I needed others.  I needed God.  And I still do.  When I nag and complain it is only because I am forgetting that when I was stuck in the mud, messy, crying and unable to get up I did not pull myself out.  I forget that I needed help.  And when I needed help you gave it, even if you didn’t know it.  You: readers, students, friends, family, the love of my life and God himself.  Thank you.  I could not have made it without you.