Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Just Post It!

The truth is I'm never quite sure what I'm supposed to do in this space.  Is it meant to be a place for a platform?  No, I don't think so.... I'm not much about platforms.  Is it a place where I can lay out my angst-ridden thoughts.... where not so many will see, but I'll feel like I got 'something' off my chest anyhow?  Ah... no.  Too much of that happens in social media without enough pay-off.  Should I find that ONE THING to write about?  My niche?  I don't have a niche.  I do too many things not-very-well, and my interests are all over the place, so that knitting blog will have to wait.

I think what I've settled on is .... focusing on what IS, instead of what isn't.  For sure, my household is a happening place and there's lots going on there.  We live in an amazing place and we do some pretty cool things and we love some awesome people.  My day-to-day life really does give me enough material to work with here.  I'm sorry I ever lost sight of that when it came to the electronic journal.  I really like sharing my life with other people, and when I see sweet pictures of friends (and even strangers!) sharing the beauty of their mundane I want to raise my hand and say, "Me too! Me too!".

So here are some pics get us re-started:

The sunset view from a favorite cafe
19 Years!

Learner's Permit
a dog that watches TV
First College Class
We send love

She studies

We adopted a grown up

We are keeping it real over here-- still homeschooling.  The kids participate in Classical Conversations, where I am also a tutor in the Challenge Program.  Samuel started at PCC-- for Spanish only at this point.  He's learning to drive-- help us.  Greg continues to enjoy working for Columbia-Threadneedle, and we are ever so grateful for this.  Both kids swim for a local swim club, and we are well into the short-course season, so lot's of racing ahead.  We welcomed our dear friend, Lydia, into our home and she makes her home with us now while she figures out what comes next.  Samuel is practicing his sweet fingers off preparing for his Level IX Syllabus exam.  SG is growing up too fast, focusing on school and swim, while dreaming about sea lichens, coral reefs and other such ocean wonders.  We are involved in our church, but that looks much differently than it ever did before.  It's becoming, we realize, less and less about ourselves.  Huh.

I could go on and will, but in little snippets, as that is such a fun way to make memories last.  :)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015


As the new-ness of the school year begins to wear thin, the bustle of it remains thick and daunting like the dense fog of an early fall morning.  And like so many leaves scattered and littering sidewalks and yards, so are my thoughts.  I've never been one to claim attention deficit, but surely I must exhibit something very close to it just now.

But flitting ideas and concepts do nothing to further my cause of domestic stability, redemptive education, family connection, and even more foundationally-- worship.  Like anyone, I have demands on my time that refuse to bow to lesser distractions.  There are meals to plan, shop, and prepare for; a husband to love both in thought and in deed; children to nurture, disciple and educate; family and friends to connect with and pray for; neighbors to befriend; a world to serve and witness the gospel to; beds to make; carpets to vacuum; bathrooms to scrub; furniture to dust; a yard to mow and groom; a dog to feed and walk; chickens to tend and care for; a garden to plant; marketplace business of buying what we need and selling/giving what we don't; college classes, drivers ed, Bible studies; a part-time job that blurs into full-time-most-of-the-time; a God to know and worship and serve.

My list is not exhaustive nor is it especially  more involved than anyone else's.  It is much, though, and yet... I can feel a lot of burden and unease over all that I am NOT doing.  I've fed no widows or orphans lately.  I've not rescued any refugees or busted down the doors of any human traffickers. Ive not even invited my hurting neighbor over for supper yet.  I have met small needs as they have literally bumped into me on an ordinary day:  a phone call here, a prayer there, some grocery money, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on.  By the measure of need, it's not enough.  I wrack my brain considering which of, and how many of, my priorities are superfluous.  How much of it all is dusty chaff?  Some days I don't know and this, too, is distraction.  At the end of myself, with no slack left, I see the answer.  I am not enough.  I do not do enough.  The things I do are, maybe often, the wrong things.  If I'm not careful this is where condemnation could creep in with feelings of guilt and shame at every blog post I read, or sermon I listen to admonishing me to be someone I have not yet become.  The weight of this judgement is suffocating, or at least it would be if it were, indeed, judgement.  But there is a big difference between judgement and exhortation, even if the difference is only in how you perceive it.

And so, at the end of myself is not a bad place to be after all.  The exhortation here is that, yes, I am not enough -- nothing new there.  My God has always been enough and that has been the moral to every story ever told, including mine.  For now, I am still hanging on to my house is suburbia and carting my kiddos around to their various activities.  I'll not be selling all my worldly goods and going to work with Doctor's Without Borders or Mercy Ships,  or enrolling in Law School so that I can work pro-bono in the name of social justice.  I'm not dragging homeless people off the streets and into my home and I'm not strapping an Uzi to my back and fighting ISIS.  And maybe none of those things are enough either, and maybe that's the point.  So I'll keep on in the way I know and trust God to bend my way as He sees fit.  He'll speak, and I'll hear, even in my lame, quotidian faithfulness.
Just now, He's telling me to go pick my kid up from youth group.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Seeing What Needs to be Seen

"...but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away."
                                                                                         ~ The Apostle Paul

There is a liberty that comes from having right perspective.  In a world full of broken people various circumstances and relationships are often like so many pieces of shattered glass fanned out about a walking path-- annoying at best, dangerous at worst.  Our perspectives are quickly skewed by that which bucks against our ideals.  We see according to our natural tendencies.  The glass is half full, half empty, or missing altogether.  It is in this way we see what we want to see.  We measure another person's worth, and even our own, based on limited vision and ignorance.  We are Pollyanna or we are jaded.  Either way we are too often wrong.  There is a liberty that comes from having right perspective.

How can you know someone who is so flawed is also so beautiful? It would be so much simpler to act on only half-truth.  Pick a side and align your loyalty accordingly.  Ah, but we are not all good and all bad.  We were born in sin and in the Imago Dei at the same time.  Such contradiction finds its existance in every single soul.  And so you pray to see what needs to be seen.  When you see the whole truth -- not just the part you are hard-wired to respond to based on your personal tendency-- you align with the whole truth. You see with truth and grace.  And so you don't put limits on the future of a up-till-now wayward child.  You humbly give your difficult boss the credit for her great ideas... because she's hard to get along with, yes, but she's brilliant too.  And when your friends tell you they would have walked out a long time ago?  You stay.  

By God's grace you see past the obvious and through the veil.  This is mystery, and it is miracle.

"So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord.
And the Lord-- Who is the Spirit-- makes us more and more
like Him as we are changed into His 
glorious image."
     2 Corinthians 3:18


Friday, September 11, 2015

Writer's Block Undone

I'm here.  At our library's patio table, in 90 degree heat, listening to the jolting ruckus of construction trucks on the street below.  It's been something like three years since I've blogged.  The kids are inside gathering research for history papers and debate.  They are big now, the kids.  A lot has happened in three years... too much to catch up on.  We will just have to begin again with where we are now.
I know there's a lot I'll write about in this space.  This was a good space to share who we are and what we're up to.  I had good reasons to let the blog(s) sit dormant for a few years.  Someday I'm sure I'll share more about that right here in this very space, but today is not that day.

What I will say, is that story is important, even when it's just my own.  It's taken me a long time to understand that.  It's taken a long time for those words not to feel indulgent and self-absorbing.  Each of the last years since moving out West, I have been blessed to be able to go back East and visit with my family.  Some of the most precious times of my year are funneled into the short spans of time I have gotten to sit with my daddy, in matching rockers, on a back porch overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains.  We usually have our Bibles, devotionals and coffee on a table inbetween us.  Sometimes we don't even talk much.  It's communication at it's finest.  I have learned many great truths and habits of character from my dad.  I could fill pages and pages with all he has taught me.  Maybe someday I will, but for now I will leave you with this:

It's never too late to start.

Daddy on the porch.