“Liza enjoyed universal respect because she was a good woman and raised good children. She could hold up her head anywhere. Her husband and her children and her grandchildren respected her. There was a nail-hard strength in her, a lack of any compromise, a rightness in the face of all opposing wrongness, which made you hold her in a kind of awe but not warmth.” 

Just the other night I finally cracked open John Steinbeck’s East of Eden.  Bekah gave it to me for my birthday (in June!) and I’ve been dragging my heals, reading easier stuff. It didn’t take me long, however, to get caught up in his story.

When I stumbled into this description of Liza I had to reread it several times. Maybe it was just late and my mind was too tired to catch on… or maybe I saw a little too much of myself in her. That  always-right-rigidity hit just a little too close to home.

Who wants to be like Liza?

Respected, admired, proud, and strong— but held in awe and not warmth.

And isn’t that what happens when we insist on being right all the time? When we hint at disapproval by just the way our mouth draws a straight line and we say… nothing? Or just enough to hint at shame?

I think I’d rather be like Jesus.  Faced with prideful and hostile opposition, He spoke grace over His critics. In turn, people all around Him were…

wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips.

Luke 4:22

May He leak some of that loveliness all over each of us who want to be so very different than Steinbeck’s Liza!

From my heart,


GlimpsesIntentional Parents