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...

The external doesn’t define you

It’s that first glimpse of the external that we define someone. Tall, short. Young, old. A description becomes our initial definition. It’s only the surface we define. I would have been in the third or fourth grade when my family went to visit friends. They must have been business acquaintances because I don’t remember another time we were together as families. I clearly remember being in their backyard where their...

This risky, uncertain life: Embrace it

Embrace today the now the unknown uncertain Embrace failure new things trying the learning Embrace making a mess letting it go reaching out reaching for more Embrace the parts of you that don’t fit that are awkward and a singular beauty Embrace grief its loss that was full full of hope joy promise Embrace it because it moved you, stirred your inner being and filled you with life. Embrace the...

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...

Are you living life in the slow lane?

I merge onto the interstate, making my way past the slow moving vehicles traveling at a crawl to the far left lanes, the fast lane. I push past those traveling at 65 mph….oh, how they creep along! Other areas of my life mimic this need for speed or lack of patience. I try to avoid the checkout lanes that look to be slow, bogged down with shoppers with full carts. And...

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...

He isn’t safe, but he’s good.

I was greeted by this notification when I opened Facebook: Your friends want to know if you’re safe. Mark yourself safe. It was the day a man walked into our airport in Ft. Lauderdale and began shooting people. The first time I saw this notification was a year ago when one popped up telling me a friend living in Orlando had marked himself safe in the assault on the nightclub there....

‘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...

Is anyone in control?

It’s enough to make me silence the news. There is fake news, alternative facts and more chaos and confusion that can make you ask, “Is anyone in control?” I thought you had this God. I thought you’re the one in charge. You set this ball of earth spinning but have you walked away? There was a time I thought I was in control. I can still give that impression. When...

Trying to avoid the hard prayers

There are some prayers hard to pray. I don’t pray for patience. Obvious reasons here. Nor do I pray for challenges or trials or difficult people to be in my life. Yet, James tells us to be thankful for these things because they help us grow, or are evidence of our growth: spiritual growth. No, I don’t pray for hard things. At least, not on purpose. Like fire that is...