I've moved!

I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


word of the day: tradition \trə-ˈdi-shən\ the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction

 I came to a realization about myself this holiday season: I don’t love tradition.  It happened on Thanksgiving.  I was sitting at the table looking down at my plate of turkey, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, bread, cranberry relish, and mashed potatoes.  In that moment, I realized that I could do without all the foods on the plate.  Except for the mashed potatoes.  Because anybody who knows me knows that the way to my heart is with a well-cooked potato.

 Everything was cooked to perfection.  Everything was delicious; I just decided in that moment that the traditional holiday meal doesn’t have the same allure as it once had. 

 I suppose that probably makes me sound like somewhat of a scrooge, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it since.  As Jake and I look forward to Holiday seasons to come, I look forward to writing my own traditions.  Things our children will remember in the future and tell fondly of as they sit around the table reminiscing.  But in my mind’s eye, those traditions look different every year.  It’s a Christmas dinner with a big pot of soup one year and eating at a tacky diner the next.  It’s a Christmas morning where presents are opened immediately upon waking while the next year we wait until after the enormous breakfast feast.   It’s more about family and what each year has brought and less about the things we do just because we’ve always done them.

 Jake and I stepped out into the non-traditional this Christmas and ventured to the world of the Bed & Breakfast.  We decided to make the most of our last Christmas sans kids, and I’m so happy we did. 

 We left Christmas Eve and traveled to Plano, IL.  We pulled into the Homestead Bed and Breakfast early evening and enjoyed every moment until we checked out the following morning. 

 Hindsight, I suppose it was risky to choose to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with complete strangers.  I suppose we could have chosen a B&B with awkward hosts, but thankfully we were welcomed in like we were old friends.  Mary Kay and Chet made Bed and Breakfast believers out of us although I’m not sure we’ll ever stay at another.  They set the standard pretty high.  They cooked us delicious food, made us feel right at home, and offered us a bed that I think Jake will talk about for all the years to come. 

 It was non-traditional.  It was exactly what we needed.  The only thing missing were the mashed potatoes, but luckily my in-laws had left-overs that I have been consuming like ice cream.    

 As I look forward to Christmases to come, I look forward to the constants: family, laughter, card-playing, and gift exchanges.  But I also look forward to the unpredictables.  The things that only each year can bring.  The things that keep us on our toes and make each holiday season something worth remembering.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


word of the year: normal \ˈnr-məl\ a.) conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern b.) occurring naturally

 2012 has been one for the record books, but I’m starting to feel like I say that at the end of every year.  As I think back on the four years that Jake and I have been married, each year has brought us something new.  Something that has altered our perception of “normal” and changed the way we’ve always done things.  When all is said and done though, I always find myself thinking, “Hasn’t it always been this way?”  That’s the nature of newness though, I suppose, and I always like to take time at the end of each year to reflect upon the things that have become our “new normal.”  To update the people we love about what exactly we’ve been up to.

 I was reminded this past year, more than a few times, that Jake and I have different perceptions of “normal” as he continues to drag me out of the cozy comfort zone I create for myself.  We spent three weeks in West Africa in June—an experience that is hard to put into a brief summary.  For us, it was a great glimpse of the beauty and hospitality and love that exists in a place with little hope.  A place where people consider you family after a 10 minute conversation and will spend what very little they have to make you feel at home.   We are beyond thankful to have been able to write the experience into our own story.
 A week after we got back from Africa, we traveled to New Orleans to work on staff at the Evangelical Free Church’s national youth conference: Challenge (in which I think Jake was slightly pulled out of HIS comfort zone).  We spent a week with walkie-talkies glued to our ears as we helped keep track of thousands of high school students.  It was quite a different vibe than our three weeks in Africa. J
 This fall, Jake started his second year at Des Moines University. He’s still busy studying for test after test and looks forward to the rotation phase which comes next year.  Everyone wants to know he’s going to specialize in, but the jury’s still out on that one.  I know that once he decides, I’ll nod my head as though there was never any other option.

 I’m enjoying my third year teaching 9th grade English in Ankeny.  Each year becomes a little easier in the swing of things, and I’m thankful to have a job that allows me to do so many things that I love all at once.  I wouldn’t choose anything different.
 And then there’s the issue of the third stocking that hangs by our Christmas tree.  The stocking that’s a bit smaller than the other two and reminds us daily that this normal isn’t going to stick around.  The new normal hits in June when a baby arrives to shake things up a bit.   Are we excited?  Totally.

 That’s 2012 in a nutshell.  From world travelers (did I mention we also got to stand underneath the Eiffel Tower?) to parents in a 12 month span.  Change is always the constant, and we continue to be thankful to serve a God who stays the same.  Who promises to meet us wherever the new normal takes us.  Who calls us to love above all other things.

 May that love reach you and your families this Christmas season!

Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  For behold, those who are far from you shall perish; you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.  But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.                                                              Psalm 73: 23-28

In case you were wondering, Ginny's doing fine too.