07 January 2008

moving day

It's official, folks. I have a new home.


It's a blog and website rolled into one. Fancy, huh?
Sorry to make you change your blog readers and all that jazz, but it'll be worth it. I love my new site. It's hosted by bible.org. I can do so much more with it--like dedicate pages to my speaking and writing for people who are interested, like more easily manage my sidebars and content and look and feel. My husband (who is multi-talented) designed my banner for me, and my friend Christina (who's painting happens to be featured in January's Glimpses) designed that cool logo (it's the one that's on the top of this blog as well). Aren't I lucky to be in the midst of such talent?

So try it out. Let me know what you think of the new digs. Don't forget the "a" in www.heatheragoodman.com. It's from my middle name. Anne. With an e. ;)


I don't know if you guys have been following the news of what's going on in Kenya the past week or so, but things have gotten bad. You'd think we were watching footage from Rwanda or Sudan.
The story has gotten lost in the U.S. due to the Iowa caucus and some woman getting stuck in an elevator for a day or two, but it's a serious situation. Kenya has been peaceful for about 30 years, so the reactions to the latest elections has come as a shock. The U.S. news is downplaying it. My blogging friend, Heather Jamison, a missionary in Kenya, has uploaded a video montage of what's going on. Also, to read her perspective on it, visit her blog or read her thoughts here.

In lesser news, my new blog/website is almost ready! I'm working on it today, so expect news tomorrow that I have a new home! (Sorry, I know this means updating Blog Readers, but it'll be worth it!)

04 January 2008

This Year's Theme Song

If you recall, last year, my theme song was Jamie Cullum's Twentysomething. I turned thirty during the year and was enjoying my last moments footloose and fancy free.
Now is my first full year (or should I say fool year?) as a thirty-something. You know, it's not as bad as I thought it'd be, although my husband, Chris, has this notion that now that I'm thirty, I'll grow up.
Joke's on him.
But the new year has begun. It's 2008, and besides resolutions and prayers, I need my theme song of the year. The year before last year was La Vie Boheme from Rent.
It would probably be inappopropriate to choose a song from Sweeney Todd.
So I need some suggestions.
My favorite type of music: Broadway, jazz, crooners (i.e. Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin), Brit Rock, Oldies, U2 (yes, I just gave them their own classification).
So what do you guys think?
Oh, on being thirty--I've noticed all of the sudden that my hands look like my Grandmother's. That's okay. My grandmother had the softest hands. My mom does too.
Update: Just heard the song "Born in the 70s" by Ed Harcourt. Good possibility. Except for its reference to the land eel. And in some version there's a last line I don't like.

03 January 2008

The Cleaning Fairy

The cleaning fairy missed my house.
I thought I had scheduled her for after our New Year's shindig. It's the busy season for them, so you have to call in advance. And being the considerate person I am, I even put away the leftover food before going to bed after the party.
But two days later, and no fairy.
Coffee cups and punch glasses and wine goblets and plates and trays litter my kitchen counters and my table.
Where have all the fairies gone?

02 January 2008

Mused Literary Journal

My story, Mumbai Baby, is featured in the Winter Solstice 2007 issue of Mused Literary Review. This story is close to my heart because it's the second short story I wrote in the beginning of my journey (although what you'll read has been through numerous rewrites!), and the first story I loved.
It's an online journal, so feel free to hop on over there!

01 January 2008

The Most Difficult Prayer

Matthew 11 has always been a difficult passage for me. John the Baptist, a faithful preacher for the Lord, is in jail for his work for Christ. In his cell, he begins to wonder, perhaps even have a shade of doubt. He sends his disciples to ask Jesus, "You are Christ, right? I mean, this isn't for nothing?"

Stop. This isn't the difficult part. In fact, this part comforts me. Even John the Baptist had his doubts. Maybe we should call them semi-doubts. He's not renouncing Christ. He's not taking back his message. But he needs some reassurance.

Jesus answers his question. "Yes, John. You can trust me. You will be blessed because of me." Which is a serious thing because imagine facing God and being wrong about a thing like that.

But then here's the disturbing part. Jesus waits until John's disciples leave before bragging about him. Jesus tells the people around him, "You see this John? He's one of the greats! Heck, his mom should be downright proud. She raised the best around! He fulfills prophecy. Pretty cool, huh?"

Why did Jesus wait for John's disciples to leave before saying this? Who more than John needs a pick-me-up right about now?

Jesus answered the question about who Jesus is--the Christ. But no more. No pats on the back. At least, not right then. Hold fast, John, Jesus said, but then he reserved his greatest words for after the time when John would hear them.


You see, I'm an affirmation person. I need--no, I should say desire--those words of affirmation. "Good job" goes a long way in my world. It's much easier to serve when you hear that. I hate cleaning house, but if my husband notices the spic and span, it's worth it.


Which brings me to my hardest prayer.

Lord, make me insignificant.

Did I just pray that? Yikes!

Just the facts: the pride in my life, well it's big and dark and ugly. Sometimes I think it looks beautiful. I like to fool myself. Sometimes I think it's light, that it carries me like Rudolph carries Santa.

But that's not true. It's gnarly and cumbersome and heavy.

And it has to be dealt with.

So, Lord, make me insignificant.

I hate praying this prayer. It scares me. I always hoped I'd be significant. I grew up with Bach and Mozart and Beethoven, and I hoped I'd be one of them.

Sidebar: this past year, I turned thirty. It wasn't pretty. From the day I turned twenty-nine, I dreaded the next birthday. Something loomed about it: at that day, I would officially be insignificant. What could I point to in my life and say, "I did that!"?

Turns out, I'm not great. But we've covered this before. And then again.

Today is January first, and our heads turn to New Year's Resolutions (or Revolutions, as they say in the Blue Lagoon). This isn't exactly a resolution. How does one resolve to be insignificant? It doesn't mean to stop everything I'm doing. At least, I don't feel like God's telling me to stop what I'm doing. So I'm starting with a prayer. It sounds simple. "I pray I'll be insignificant." But it's the most difficult prayer I could pray.

31 December 2007

January's Glimpses

Some of you have noticed the sign-up to your right (or is it left--I still haven't figured out my right from my left) for my new ezine, Glimpses. A monthly publication delivered right to your email (see? I can do salesman! or woman, rather), this ezine shares glimpses of Christ in His people's stories, in art, and in the Church.

This month, I interviewed Jen Kliewer, who with her husband and little girl lives in Philadelphia, sharing in the poverty of their neighborhood and sharing Christ's love with the people around them. I also have a painting by artist Christina Kieffer that portrays the fight between the spirit and the flesh, and a short devotional on what it means to be the Body of Christ, one of my favorite metaphors for the Church.

The ezine is free, and when you sign-up you'll receive a copy of "Reel Studies: A Study Tool for Bible Stories," a resource designed to guide you in your study of Bible stories. It includes a look at structure, characters, setting, and imagery.

Beginning in February, there'll be a free giveaway every month, and I have some great gifts lined up for you!

In the meantime, I have some things on my heart I've been praying through. Today I have to clean house for our shindig tonight, but tomorrow I hope to share what's going on.