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Friday, June 26, 2015


There are two types of people in the world…. Broken people, and broken people who don’t recognize their brokenness. Those who walk in Christ should know they are broke, after all Christ died for it. What I fear is, many Christians believe they have moved beyond their brokenness. I spoke with a friend about being broken. We talked about how easily it is to look around and allow our insecurities to tell us we just don’t measure up. The enemy is quick to use others to re-enforce those negative thoughts until we feel defeated. I had a close friend a few years ago who said to me…. “I don’t even know if you are saved!”   I didn’t measure up to their level of spirituality. If you are at a low point in your life, that is not the kind of encouragement you need. News flash!!! God uses broken people. In fact, I’m not sure you can be used by God until you are broken. Looking back on the life of Paul, God did not use him until he had been broken. Ironically, Paul’s brokenness came in the form of blindness. Before his physical blindness on the road to Damascus, Paul was spiritually blind. I don’t think that is a coincidence. I encouraged my friend, not to buy into the lie that everyone has it more together than they do. Sometimes the more someone “appears” to have it all together, the more broken they are. Some are better at hiding their brokenness than others. They feel more spiritual in a cloak of wholeness than they do in their brokenness… I used to feel the same way. These days I’m very honest about my brokenness. It is a constant reminder of God’s mercy and grace. It gives me compassion for others and keeps me from puffing out my chest in judgement and self-righteousness.  At the foot of the cross, the ground is even and we are all broken. His blood ran down the cross to cover our brokenness and our imperfections. When he looks at us all he sees is his refection, not ours and that is good news.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Unfathomable Love

The door to The Refuge apartment complex opened and I was greeted by the smiling face of my oldest son. After a quick hug, a friend of his who frequently joins our Sunday family time, walked by and gave me a quick hug. In the hallway,  3 women, my daughter-in-law included, stood around an open closet. As we approached, I saw my grandson and another toddler exploring things inside the closet. It was a communal toy closet. Levi was sitting on the floor gnawing away on a Darth Vadar toy. The toddler turned and jabbered to Levi in typical toddler gibberish. My daughter-in-law looked at us and explained that he had his own language. I sat on the floor and watch as the two interacted and practiced the art of "sharing", which is so difficult at that age. Levi finally looked up and gifted me with a sweet smile. This child has absolutely no idea how thoroughly he is loved by his LolliPops. My hands lay quietly in my lap, but my fingers itched to pick
him up and kiss him all over. Another part of me could have just sat there all day watching him learn to interact in his environment. Is it just me, or is watching your grandchild the most mesmerizing experience in life? Sometimes I feel guilty because when Levi is in the room, everything and everyone else fades into the background.  Nothing exists but him. Is that a bad thing? I lay in bed at night and wonder what kind of relationship we will have. Will he know me.... I mean really know me? Will he come to look forward when he hears LolliPops is coming to visit? Every fiber of my being prays that I have a relationship with him that I did not get to have with my grandparents. I was one of dozens of grandkids to grandparents who were already elderly when I was small. Being one of many, I intentionally desired for my kids to have a closer relationship with my parents. What will the future
bring for lil Levi and me? We were in town for my son's birthday/Father's day. We loaded into our cars and headed for the restaurant. Levi is a good natured guy, but he is also a busy little bee. We take turns walking around with him while we eat. Staying in one place is not his idea of a good time. When it's my turn to walk with him, I go to the front of the restaurant and we look outside at the people and cars. He studies everything intently. A restaurant worker caught his eye as she changed the liner of the trash can. He stared so intensely, I swear I could almost see and hear the little gears in his head, taking it all in and figuring it all out. When we got back to our seat, his mom gave him a little piece of tomato. He sucked it into his mouth and began to gum it. When he swallowed it, he looked at us with a great big grin, knowing that he had done something amazing and looking for the reward of our happy faces and cheers. he would wrinkle up his little nose and make funny faces as my heart did back flips and summersaults. It took every bit of restraint to keep me from standing on my chair to announce to the restaurant, that they were in the presence of greatness which also happened to be my grandson. I knew such behavior would not have been looked upon favorably by my children, so I just sat there and took pictures, hoping to capture the moment... The expressions... The wonder... The joy! When we got home from our visit, I thought about how he is like a sponge,  soaking everything up, taking everything in, filing everything away, processing every sight and sound like a massive mother board from some advanced civilization beyond my imagination. This must be how God feels about us... If his love for us is half as much as mine is for this child, then it is beyond my comprehension and grows with each passing day. It... is..... Unfathomable.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Life Made Simple

29 years ago today, we welcomed our second child, our first son into the world. Little did we know how much joy he would bring not only to our lives, but to the lives of everyone he comes in contact with.   He lives his beliefs out on a daily basis.  Never underestimate the power of change when it begins in your own life. Rather than follow in someone's footsteps, he would rather forge a new path., and it has been a joy to watch his unique approach to life made simple. I can't wait to see where his journey takes him in the next 29 years. May that be as full of laughter as the first 29. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Daughter, My Hero

The third week of June is always a busy week for us. My two oldest children's birthdays fall on June 15 & 17th, with Father's day usually the same weekend. Today is my beautiful daughter's birthday. The day holds sweet memories.  The feeling of her bursting from my womb in a tidal wave of water and blood. The memories of that first cry and watching her search for our voices as we caught the first glimpse of nothing short of the miracle. The joy didn't end in the delivery room. She captivated our hearts from the moment we knew she was on her way into this world. She was a tenacious toddler, strong willed and independent. Those qualities have served her well as she has conquered her fears, traveled the world in an environment not for the weak of heart. She served 9 years in the Navy, facing each and every hurdle with the same tenacious nature she had as a child. Her strength and courage is a quality I can't hep but admire. In so many ways, she is my hero, but in every way she is my daughter and I couldn't be more proud of the woman she has become.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Flying Monkeys and The Wizzard of Oz

 I am not a "car" person. Until the release of the New Beetle, a car was simply a common necessity much like having a toilet in your home. I had always wanted a Bug and when they came out with The New Beetle, having a cyber green one was at the top of my bucket list. I loved my little green Bug so much that it was literally duct taped and zipped tied together when we pushed it to the car lot to trade it in. With one exception, every car we have had was kept until there was nothing left of it. I fell in love with the Nissan Cube the first time I saw a commercial. It was the first car we've ever bought when we weren't actually looking for a new car. We happened to be in Tulsa for a friends wedding and I talked my husband in to going to a dealer to see if they had one. They did, they had
one and only one. We took it for a test drive, and I refused to be removed from behind the steering wheel leaving my husband little options than to buy it.  I am not a good car shopper. It's not very Christian like to say I hate car salesmen, so I'll just say I would rather be waterboarded with acid then to sit in a room with a over zealous, fast talking car salesman. When they tell you that they have to take your counter offer over to the manager... Do they think anyone actually believes them? Where do they go? Do their offices have hidden cameras and microphones like a FBI interrogation room. The "I'll take this offer to my manager" line reminds me of the wizard  behind the curtain on the Wizzard of Oz. When they leave the room with the manager excuse, my eyes automatically roll to the back of my head. I can hear my mother telling me to stop making that face of it might freeze.
Yes, I put car shopping right up there with being chased by flying monkeys on the Wizzard of Oz. It makes me wish for ruby slippers so I could click my heels together and it would be over already. Ratty looking Toto and Kansas doesn't look so bad after a day of car shopping.  "There's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Collective Grief

Grief is a sneaky little minion that doesn't play fair. You can be rocking along, when out of the blue.... BAM!!!! It's got you down beating the snot out if you. Earlier this week I ran to the hospital to pick up the medical records for my MVA. The parking lot was full so I was forced to park in the outpatient surgery lot. I didn't think a thing about it until the sliding glass doors opened into the waiting room and the cool air hit my face bringing with it a flood of memories. Memories of our last thanksgiving, Christmas caroling that silly "I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas" as her and Dad stood freezing on the porch. her last birthday and the day after New Year's Day when I decided to call into work and take a personal day. I went over to Mom and Dad's, crawled into bed with her and lay next to her all day long. That was the best day ever. Too many losses in too short of a time. I tucked my head, counted the tile beneath my heels and told myself.... "I will not lose it, I will not lose it." What the heck? You simply cannot prepare for those "Gottcha" moments. The same thing happened today when I walked into the church for a funeral. The second I walked through those church doors (my church doors), here it comes again. It doesn't just bring back my memories, it brings an understanding the road others are walking down as well. I know that loss is part of life, but sometimes it just seems unacceptable. There are days I wish I had a calloused heart, one that felt no loss and wasn't moved with compassion for the pain of others. It was weird for my family, but for a few years after my accident I could sit through the saddest of funerals, movies, or whatever and be the only one not moved. If I ever doubted if that part of the brain has healed, doubt no more. It's like a collective grief for all that was, all that is, and all that will be.