Thursday, January 29, 2015



I love movies.  Matt would be hard pressed to find an evening in or out where I wouldn't rather pop in a movie or plop down at the theatre and get lost for a little bit in the drama.  I'm not sure how I would answer the question of what my favorite movie is but there are a few that have stuck with me for one reason or another.

One of those is the movie "Unbreakable" directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Bruce Willis.

It's not a life-changing plot by any measure and it presents with a very unlikely story of a man that has hidden superpowers which in fact, makes him "unbreakable".   The sequence of the events leads the audience to come to hope and eventually embrace that there is a real life possibility of a superhero (and villain) that live among us outside of your classic comic books.

The reviews were mixed back in 2000 but I walked out of the theatre with a sense that I understood myself a little better than I did before I went in.  I so deeply related to a scene in the movie and in a way, it reassured me that while I would never be a superhero, would very much "break" if presented with a strong enough opposition and am no were near as cool as Mr. Willis...

 I did have a calling.

About halfway through the movie, David Dunn begins to accept what his little boy knew all along, that he had the ability to sense evil and go forth to correct it for good.  He dons a security cape, steps into a train station and simply stretches out his hands to allow people to bump up against him and reveal their personal depravities.

As one person and then another rush past him, he becomes suddenly aware of what they have done and is bombarded with the pain and concern of the actions of each offender.  Eventually, he decides to act on behalf of the victims of one particular perpetrator and after an altercation, saves the day.

So, what does this have to do with me?

For as long as I can remember, I have had a keen sense when someone is hurting or in pain.  Whether it is a good friend or stranger sitting alone at the cafe, it was almost like I could read faces and feel chemistry.  I never told anyone about this...(I wouldn't call it a gift)...."ability".  It's not something that I can help or ignore.  There have been times when I have been deeply entrenched in my own struggles and sorrows and yet, still, I am aware of the emotions of those around me.  I'm often nauseas after certain events like a funeral or a visit to an airport where everyone is saying good-bye and I'm completely drained and worn out after a full Sunday at church.  Raising my children has been challenging in this regard because I have learned them so well that it only takes a little red in the eyes or slump of the posture and I know that something is wrong.  When they are sick...almost unbearable.

If you've ever been hurting and shared that with a group and then gone home and thought to yourself, "I am so sad.  I know all of those people seemed concerned but now they are back in their houses with their own stuff and not even thinking about me."-you're wrong.  I would be the one in the group that is not only thinking about you that night but well into the rest of the week.

This is very handy for keeping me up-to-date on my "thinking of you" cards when someone is going through a trial!

Lest you read this and think that I am bragging, I can reassure you, I'm not.  There have been many, many days and events that I have wished that I would have tunnel vision.  That I could shake the dust of another's hardship off my boots and come back home in freedom to relax.  

The biggest irony, and I know it probably doesn't seem ironic to most, is that God has opened my life and my heart to Biblical Counseling.  I know...makes sense, right?  Person who is aware of pain and hurt should be helper to people in pain and hurting. 

 I don't know.  It seems-not fair, sometimes.  Shouldn't this blessed ministry go to someone stronger, with thick skin, who can balance their help and their home with much more wisdom?

I guess this is on my mind because I meet with several people a week, young and old, couples and singles and I'm coming off my last appointment.  I also lead a crisis accountability group on Tuesday nights for some dear women who have long since become sisters in the faith and share with a transparency and genuineness that would knock your socks off.

After my sessions, I take notes to keep myself updated on each case and this involves reliving the hours again.  

Tonight I got called on an emergency visit to a woman who has miscarried and is suicidal.

So many hurting people.

My memory sees all of their faces from this week, their tears and heartaches.  They fall and they get up again with God's amazing grace but their knees are still skinned.  They have unanswered questions that I have to encourage them to leave unanswered at the feet of Jesus.  They have been victimized, abused, abandoned, and betrayed.  They are stuck in habits that are terribly hard to break and a darkness that seems overwhelming.  All of this, and I haven't even gotten to church this Sunday!

I feel like David Dunn and I'm in the middle of a battlefield...I don't need a cape because I have the armor of God and as person after beloved person brushes up against me, I am intimately aware that life is hard, people are desperate and I am completely inadequate in the process.

At the end of Thursday, when I drop exhausted in my bed, I only have one hope...

There is a Messiah and it's not me.  

There is a real life Superhero and He came 2000 years ago and He is acquainted with our suffering.  His arms were outstretched for us and continue to reach toward us as we, second by second, depend upon His mercy and grace.  He is everything.  He is sufficient.  He is enough.  

I don't resent my special ability much anymore.  I'm pretty sure I will die much younger than my peers and have been known to pop a prozac or two on most days.  My emotions are frazzled but God's Spirit gives me the supernatural ability to rest in His sovereignty over the lives of those in my path and to be able to laugh and sing and dance for joy that I have such great hope.

And the memories of the faces that have surrounded me this week and every week are treasured.  They remind me that life is about something bigger than myself and my small problems.  They cause me to cry out to God in the middle of the night.  They make me love when I want to protect myself.  They urge me to keep going because the time is short and laborers are few.

Unbreakable, I am not.  

Abundantly pardoned and utterly dependant in my brokenness...definitely.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Fight


Every morning is the same thing.

I wake my 16 and 13 year old up at 7am for school.

I don't want to do this.  I, myself, would rather stay curled up in bed... No, I would even forfeit that and launch head on into a crazy day that I've had not much sleep for, at a neck-bracing pace if only I wasn't forced to daily participate in

 "The Fight"

Josiah hates school.  I could thesaurus that word and come up with several colorful, hostile terms to try to create for you his emotion but HATE covers it (and Josiah would not think describing school at any length would be at all worth it!).

Really, the kid does not like school.  It's a great school, good teachers, easy classes, lovely girls but all of these give little balm to my son who would prefer to never think and stay within his 4 walls with his 4 people and draw quietly.


He does.

So, this morning was quite the same and I'm writing this in part so that  a year from now I can look back and, Oh please, Lord-let it be so-Josiah may have changed his ways.  Grown out of this special phase he is in.  Please.

He met me bedside to see why it was that I was looking at the Commercial News instead of up and suffering as he was.  I got up.  Then he wanted to tell me how much he'd like to skip and how I should let him do that every once in a while.  I said no.  Then he explained that if he didn't skip that he would have to come home this afternoon, do a bunch of homework, go to guitar lessons and then spend the rest of the night at Bible study and so there wouldn't really be an "evening" for him to enjoy.

I told him that I was looking at having the have the same busy day along with cleaning the house, teaching at said Bible study and cooking for the family.

He then, with great compassion, said that that was another good reason to skip because...(and don't miss this)...there was so much to be done around the house and he could help me.

Oh brother.

I left him to complete his morning rituals and as I was trying to get the stinking cowlick on the back of his head to lay down, I looked at him with the last shred of patience that I had and said, "Well, you are very handsome."

His retort....

"I've never seen a handsome prisoner before they locked him up in jail."


You win.

(BTW...he's clearly not aware of what's "trending" or he would have seen the infamous picture of Jeremy Meeks and realized that in one, tear shaped tattoo, his whole theory was blown!)

Monday, January 26, 2015



Been up since 4 taking my dad to a doctor's appointment in Indianapolis.  Still no definite answers but I am clear on one point:  I don't do 4am well.


So, in the interest of keeping this short and sweet but still fulfilling my commitment to write something every day, I will say that I have been impressed and amused by some of the words that people used in my life the last few hours.

Samuel said "inept" this evening.  Great word and while I wasn't sure he even knew what it meant he did use it in a proper sentence by describing himself as "socially inept".

This statement is only partially true and was used in reference to how little he addresses his Aunt Stephanie at school despite being in her classroom every day.  I feel this probably has something to do with the fact that she has actually changed his poopy diapers and kissed him a bagillion times on his giant, baby forehead but none-the-less...he must speak to his dear, old Auntie.

To say that he is inept in having face to face conversations with the opposite sex would in fact be an extreme understatement regarding eptness.  I blame that on texting.  I further blame that on the fact that I bought him his phone and pay for unlimited texting.

I'm learning to embrace parental failure.

The aforementioned Aunt Stephanie also used the word "tawdry" tonight to describe a past action of hers.  I have not heard this word in ages and it made me smile.

Just for the record, she has in fact never been tawdry in her entire life and if she has been in secret, behind my back, then I certainly am not responsible for teaching it to her!

Unless I did.

I'm furthermore embracing best friend failure.

Until tomorrow.....

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sitting next to her


First...It's always nice when your husband comes into the bedroom early in the morning, quietly sits down beside you and then goes on to tell you that you actually almost killed the whole family as they slept last evening because you left the oven on all night from the batch of cookies you made at 7pm.

I've only been speculating but I'm pretty sure I can now consider it academic.

OCD. Cured.

Today was my day of the month to go see my girls at the Nursing home. I love them. Shirley and Mona are my pals there and I'm very concerned that Shirley is going to break a hip running to me when I get there and at the same time-LOVE IT so much.


I will do this.

I will daily journal on my blog because handwriting in a journal makes my fingers hurt and I hate my penmanship.

And because I always fail at the "diet resolution".

I will do this.

It's so much easier...


My youngest memory as far as I can tell was of being picked up by my father from my crib. I specifically remember feeling completely safe as he carried me to the breakfast table for pancakes. Alright, I don't exactly know it was pancakes but it was morning and we were headed to the kitchen and pancakes make me feel happy...much like my father's embrace.


First, I don't want to forget that Josiah told me the other day that (after having to be away for the night with my dad at the hospital) he hoped I was coming home that night because it was very boring the night before without me. Maybe one of the best mom compliments I've ever gotten.

Today, I talked to my dad on the phone. He is ill. We don't know why. He is unable to do the things he wants to do. I'm proud of my brothers and sisters. They are all picking up the slack and without complaint as each feels a great debt to my father for his years of support and love.

My dad hates it. He feels like less of a man. Like life is stealing his dignity.

I told him that I loved him and that at 40, I find myself reflecting more than anything else. Time is slipping through my fingers. I want to slow it down so I don't miss a thing. He may think I missed it but I didn't. All of the money and time and sacrifice and fears and patience that he has had with me....he's never once asked me to change. He's always loved me just as I was. I'll always remember.

And then I cried. Mostly because I'm a daddy's girl but even more because I'm not guaranteed how many of these "talks" I'll get with him. I feel blessed that it is so easy for me to tell him that there's nothing I wouldn't do for him, no distance I wouldn't go to be by his side if he needed me, no words I wouldn't say if I thought it would even remotely let him know how much he is treasured.

It was a good talk.


I never want to forget to say the things to the people I care about while they are in this land of the living. All of those fleeting appreciations that pass through your head and are quickly repressed with more immediate tasks or conversations. I don't want to leave this earth with anyone I love wondering...