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...

There are always alternative facts

Our son was at the age where he was losing the last of his baby teeth. He was also at the age of uncertainty of a tooth fairy. He was leaning toward believing this was another fable parents told their kids much like the more famous one about, well, you know…..the fat guy in a red suit. Jonathan called out to his dad one morning. The tooth still under his...

Transition ahead: Slow down!

She wanted to sleep in but sleeping in for me means 7, maybe 7:30, not 10. I pulled out the art supplies, tried to entice her in learning to draw a butterfly with a few lines when she said, “Can I paint?” Yes! yes, you can paint. This will be good. This is what I envisioned for the week she’d be with us during her spring break. We’d spend a couple...

I thought faith would be easy. It’s not.

A friend sent me a free trial of one of the food services. They sent us all the ingredients and recipes for three lovely meals for my husband and I. All I had to do was prepare it. The first recipe included a clove of garlic and called for a mortar and pestle. What? Why would I have a mortar and pestle? Another recipe called for lemon zest which meant...

Squeaky wheels and birds in bushes

My father-in-law knew all the idioms that have become American Proverbs. The squeaky wheel gets oil. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t cry over spilt milk. You have to know when to which. I didn’t always understand them or how they fit but he seemed to pull one out for every situation. Do you remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember...

We’re on a mission

The organization we’re with has a purpose statement for the area we’re assigned to. We have an overall mission statement but in our singularly focused area of ministry, we also have a statement defining our purpose. It says, in part: “The primary purpose of an Adult Rehabilitation Center is the spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation of men who have undergone a process of disaffiliation from those significant ties, which enable individuals...