24 February 2012


In the past, Lent is not something I gave a whole lot of thought to.  I grew up in a denomination that did not focus on Lent and while I occasionally gave something up, I never fully embraced the opportunity Lent presents to draw closer to God. 

"Draw near to God
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8
In recent months He has been drawing me closer into his healing embrace.  I wrote recently on drawing near to God and it continues to be on the forefront of my thoughts this Lenten season.  That is why I chose to throw myself unabashedly into this thing called Lent and into the arms of my Father and give up something I depend on each and every day...caffeine. 

I am on day three without my BFF caffeine and this is the first day I can think coherently enough to write something.  I wasn't much fun the last couple of days (just ask my dear son), but this morning I awoke feeling clear-headed and headache free. 

As the days draw us nearer to Easter and I continue to draw nearer to God, it is my hope and prayer that He will change me.  I've felt stuck for so long, trapped in bouts of physical pain and cycles of depression.  It's been three years since my hysterectomy set me free from the physical pain but the ongoing emotional  struggles continue to hold me back.  I've made so much progress but I cannot do it alone.  It is only in throwing myself into His arms that I've begun to find healing.

In this time of Lent as I continue to lean into Him, I hope to move past the things that grip me and into the life He has for me.  I'm ready to let go of who I've been and step out in faith. 

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14

Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead.  What a beautiful thought to carry with me this Lenten season as I draw closer to my Lord.  I was not created to live in bondage but to live in Christ.  God is bigger than my bipolar and He created me for more.  I will always need to be proactive in managing my emotions but I'm ready to move past being controlled by them.  That is why I am giving up caffeine for Lent.  In fact, I just may be giving up caffeine for life.

16 February 2012


Lately when Kelly has an evening meeting I've been trying to make a habit of turning off the TV and soaking up the quiet but last night I kept the TV on.  Now, it's no news that the comedy selections available do not rate too high on the moral compass and last night was no different.  But it was pretty funny, so...I watched it anyway.  And I laughed.  A lot.

I happen to be the mother of a boy with an unusual quality in that he tries very hard to avoid exposing himself to anything inappropriate.  I've always stressed that he should be very careful what he puts into his mind because once it's there he can never get it out and my cautious son has taken it to heart in a very literal way.  I am so thankful for that, even when he turns it around and shines a light into my own heart. 

Since Isaac is not a great sleeper and it frequently takes him a looong time to fall asleep, last night he caught me.  He's seen the previews and heard me comment that he should NEVER watch that show.  He informed me in no uncertain terms that watching this particular show was inappropriate for me as well and he doesn't want to catch me doing it again. 

It struck me as funny, this child of mine scolding me, taking the role of parent.  But he was right.  There are some things that may be okay for me as an adult that he may not be ready for but if I'm honest with myself, there are many things that aren't good for any of us regardless of age.  Just because it's funny and I needed a good laugh does not justify it.  I thanked him for reminding me of that. 

Ephesians 5:4 has this to say on the matter -
Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes--
these are not for you.
Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

I guess it doesn't get any clearer than that!

13 February 2012

How we met...

The wedding of my friend was in January, the January after I graduated high school.  I couldn't go to the rehearsal because I still worked at the restaurant and Friday evenings were difficult to get out of, but no matter since my role as guest registrar would not be too difficult.  I could not have known the path I was about to cross.

Saturday morning dawned white with snow.  I breathed a prayer of thanks that I had invited a dear childhood friend to accompany me, for he had a truck and he knew how to drive it.  I had a car, and when roads were white with snow I did not know how to drive it. 

I was shown to my spot and introductions were made.  Two ushers, one a peculiar stranger, uncomfortably friendly.  The other one, the quiet one, with dark hair and dark eyes holding a hint of familiarity, although we had never met before that day.

After the wedding I made small talk with my childhood friend and chatted with my former classmates and searched out the gaze of his dark eyes.  I barely knew his name but when our eyes would meet again and again, I knew him.

At home, my father glanced at the wedding program and asked me if I'd met him.  My father knew him?  Yes, he'd coached my little sister in the BB gun league and she also knew him.  My heart sped. 

Soon after, I talked with a close friend and I told her I had met the man I was going to love.  The man I was going to marry.  I knew it when I looked into his familiar eyes again and again that wedding day.

Spring came, followed quickly and slowly by summer.  On vacation with my family in July, the short walk to the beach took me right by the fire station.  I knew he was a volunteer fireman, I knew he designed firetrucks for his job, and I knew little else.  I had not seen him and I'd thought of him every day since that day in January.  I knew with absolute certainty that one of two things was true.  I was either going to marry that elusive, dark-eyed, almost stranger, or I was losing my mind.  I hoped and prayed it was the former; I was afraid it was the latter.

As summer was coming to a close I found myself still working at the restaurant and still thinking of him.  One evening as I sliced pies and tossed salads, I thought about my life.  I was tired of waiting around for what may never be.  I decided then and there that I was done pining for my non-existent boyfriend.  If he ever showed up, well that would be fantastic, but in the meantime I intended to enjoy this freedom that comes with independence while it lasted.  I stayed long after my shift ended talking with my work-mom, all the while completely oblivious to the end of my freedom and the beginning of my future. 

Eventually my boss turned the corner and told me I had a phone call.  It was my father inquiring as to when I would be home.  He went on to say someone had called for me and would soon be calling back.  That I should hurry home.  That I would not want to miss his call a second time. 

I didn't miss his call and I wasn't losing my mind.  In September we'll be married 15 years and this past month marked 19 years since I first looked into his familiar dark eyes.  Half my life with the one who feels like home. 

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetheart.