Edenridge Press

Sticks and Stones…but Names…

There’s a lot of things I don’t remember.  A lot.

But I do remember the sing-songy sound of

Sticks and stones will break my bones,

But names will never hurt me.

We must have sung that a lot when I was in elementary school. I still remember the third-grade pitch, rhythm, and melody in my head.  It must have been the second most-sung song after the diddies we jumped rope too.  M,I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, P, P, I, and so on.

But who knew I’d remember one name I was called in third grade.  One name which has colored by life, determined decisions I made, products I bought (or my mother bought by the car load), how I felt about myself, or what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

One name.  Spoken by a kid who, I’m sure, has absolutely no recollection of ever saying anything to me.

One name I chose to embrace as defining me.  One name I still have to work through – even these many years after third grade.

Third grade – at the tender age of nine – the year I began my menstral cycle!!!  What gives?

I must have been a hormonal wreck because my face immediately exhibited, for all the world to see, a polka-dotted pimple effect.

One morning, one bad morning, when no amount of Clearasil could conceal my mess of a face, the boy who sat in front of me called out to the whole class, “Hey, look at Ruthie.  She’s UGLY with all those pimples on her face.”

That’s all it took.  One name.  On one morning.

Yup!  One name.  One time.

Do you remember something somebody called you – one thoughtless name – or an often repeated statement – when you were in third grade?  A name you’ve never forgotten?  A name you’ve had to work through?  A name which has defined you to yourself?

If you’ve had a similar experience, could you email me or reply to this post with a

Yes or No   If a name or a statement was said to you

Yes or No   that you’ve had to spend some time working through it.

Just gotta’ know.  No details necessary unless you want to share.

Love, Ruth

Ruth Vander Zee
Journey of Faith

We All Get By With A Little Help From our Friends

Writing a book brings to the surface almost every personal insecurity I knew lived in the nooks and crannies of my heart and a few I never even knew I had.  I wondered who in the world would take the time to brew some coffee, sit in a chair in the middle of the hecticness of life, and read what I wrote.  It felt like sheer arrogance to think that I had anything to say that would bless someone.

But I love to write and so I write.

And then Quentin Schultze at Edenridge Press said he loved the book and would publish it and Matt Plescher told me he was honored to spend hours designing it and creating a beautiful book jacket.  That was sooo encouraging.

Readers read and commented.  My Bible Study group went through the book with me and helped me see what needed changing and what communicated.  My husband encouraged me saying, “This is good stuff.”

And then Quentin asked Mary Darling and Caryn Rivadneira to write the forward and preface.  I have never met or spoken to Mary.  She co-authors books with Tony Campolo and teaches communications at Spring Arbor University.  Caryn is the daughter of my dear friend Cathy and is an author of some pretty amazing books. Check out Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down.

When I read what they wrote, I was blessed.  They encouraged me.  More than they’ll ever know.

And that’s the point.

In every insecurity, we need friends.  We need friends to come along beside us.  To encourage us along the way.  To help us put one foot in front of the other.

And our friends need us.  That’s one reason we are where we are. To come alongside those who plop into our lives in the convenient and inconvenient times.  To encourage.  To help them put one foot in front of the other.

Right after I sent out a facebook announcement on Woman Meets Jesus, a dear friend wrote to say that she and her husband are going through the most unexpected hurt, disappointment, and betrayal they NEVER expected.  She said she wanted to go throughmy book with a group of friends.  Friends she has already gathered because she knows she can’t go through what she’s going through alone.

So thank you to all my old friends, my new friends, and some friends I haven’t even met who are helping me get by.

Love, Ruth

Ruth Vander Zee
Journey of Faith

Ruth Vander Zee

Ruth Vander Zee
On our journey, I believe Jesus desires us to be our authentic, child-of-God selves.

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Ruth Vander Zee
How Jesus encourages, empowers and equips women on their personal journey of faith.
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