When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

There’s grace with the abandon

I have a tight schedule this morning. I need to pick up our kids from Miami from a cruise they’ve been on and traffic is…well, it is. My first thoughts were I’ll have to abandon this week’s Five-Minute Friday. Because, really, 5 minutes? There are rules for this free-writing frenzy. Rules that I often abandon. I don’t set a timer but were I to guess, I’d say it’s closer to...

Delighting in the strength around me when I’m weak

Tell me the story simply, As to a little child, For I am weak and weary, And helpless and defiled. It isn’t the body that is weak but the spirit. Tired and weary as the old hymn says. Made weak from the news, real and fake, weak from uncertainty, and even weak from caring. But I take heart in the strength of Jesus. He puts others in my life to...

‘Breathe In – Breath Out’ repeat

He’s up at 4:30 a.m. I cover my face with his pillow trying to hide my eyes from the edges of light around the door. I sculpt a small opening where I can breathe. I’m given to overthinking, the kind that breeds anxiety. This gives way to hiding my feelings because what good Christian admits to worry? Doesn’t that mean we aren’t trusting God? Yes, I’ve wrestled with that a bit until...

The goal is to connect

The granddaughter had a new game. The goal is to connect different configurations of colored squares to make a complete line. Strategy isn’t always useful when you don’t know the next hand you’ll be dealt. You have to work with what you’re given. And I’m hooked on it. It’s not complicated and gives you opportunity to learn from your impatience or over-thinking. If only real life connection were this simple....

Self-care: taking time to enjoy life

Mama didn’t raise me to be a cook. No, she scooted me out of the kitchen putting paper and a box of crayons in front of me to make her work easier. I wonder if she knew the seeds she was planting? That I would embrace the making of all kinds of art, the art she also enjoyed.   From coloring books and crayons to clay and chalks, pencils that...

You’ve Got Mail!

We can expect our mail to be delivered in the afternoon. Our regular mail carrier, Jerry, tucks envelopes and ads in the white mailboxes that line our street. They all are neighborhood standard, all looking the same. It’s a wonder he gets the mail in the right boxes. I grew up in a time where the letter e didn’t precede the word mail. I grew up struggling to decipher handwritten...

Even Though We Fail This Test We Pass

“THIS IS A TEST. THIS IS ONLY A TEST. IF THIS WERE AN EMERGENCY YOU WOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO…..” The harsh noise came from my smart phone jarring my focused attention: HURRICANE WARNING This wasn’t a test but an alert that our area was under a hurricane warning. We’d been upgraded from the watch and should now make preparations for the likelihood of hurricane force winds and several inches of...

Learning to accept help is learning to be humble

Big are small, heavy or light, we carry the load alone. We are proud Do-It-Yourself-ers. No help needed, thanks. People have been quick to offer a hand. They see my hands full and the call comes out, “Need some help?” No, I’ve got it, was my typical reply. I was the boss. I could carry my load too. That’s what I thought I was showing. I thought I was letting...

Win or lose, It’s Your Choice

You lose. When you don’t weep with those who weep, or mourn with those who mourn… You lose. When you don’t dance with the dancers and laugh at your clumsy moves, when you don’t sing your off-key harmony with the singers… You lose. You lose when you don’t stop and listen to a child or old person. You lose when your life is rushing and never slowing, when it’s there...