Lost wasn’t on the map

My husband is the adventurer, the explorer. He wants to climb mountains and hike trails. I want to take photos of both. We enjoy the outdoors but our approach is different. Last summer we were on a trail off the Blueridge Parkway in North Carolina. It promised waterfalls and mountain vistas. We got unmarked trails, muddy paths and the sound of distant traffic that mimicked the sound of water. He...

Writing summer in pencil

Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. – Mary Oliver Summer has us in its full embrace. The traffic is lighter, the beaches are less crowded and the humidity is soaring. This is the quieter part of the year in South Florida. Schools are out making the daily commute less congested. Snowbirds are back north making parking at the beach easier. The sounds come from kids...

A little story about freedom

Our sneak peak of summer starts with a Memorial Day at the end of May. Some get a day off work, the kids get a day off school so we pack up the minivan and go to an overcrowded beach or theme park. We fly our flags, march in a parade and salute our veterans and sing let freedom ring. Less than two months later we have the biggest freedom...

The Pathway of a Brokenhearted Friend – Linda Stoll

A relational breakdown starts slowly, almost imperceptibly. Something isn’t right but you can’t quite put your finger on what’s out of kilter. A dark cloud drifts over the friendship and refuses to leave. A subtle shift emerges, its unspoken message rather clear. Idle words cut deep. Eye contact becomes non-existent. Texts go unanswered. Plans get cancelled with the wave of a hand and vague, hurtful excuses. Something disquieting is floating...

Great Expectations?

Sometimes I have to pause and ask myself, “What’d you expect?” Answer: I don’t know, but not this. I never expected to be married at 20, our first baby at 21 and second at 23. I never expected to find ourselves in full time ministry as, what I joke, was my husband’s mid-life crisis. I never expected my parents to divorce or my mom to have Alzheimer’s. But I did,...

My momentary attack of brave (and hoping it stays)

I had a sudden attack of brave last week. The day I turned…six oh. (That’s much easier to type.) It’s left me now, that brave person who decided to face real life and not pretend. The me that wondered how will I do this in a way that conquers my fear, the me that had an ounce of determination to just do it! I posted this on Instagram: Today, not...

Have you become too familiar with the noise?

We travel regularly for our work. We’re in hotels several times a year and we hope our room will have an a/c we can set where the fan continues to whir. We’ve had rooms where its constant hum lulls us to sleep only to awaken in the middle of the night to harsh silence. It seems an odd contradiction but you know what I mean. It can be hard to sleep...

When housework makes you think…too much

I still look for it to be hanging there next to the broom and sponge mop I don’t use anymore. Then I remember and grab the Swifter and fasten a dusting cloth to it. Do you remember dust mops? Do you even remember rag mops? They were nasty to use, reaching down to wring the thick cords of fiber with your bare hand, wringing out all of that dirty water....

When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...