Sunday, June 21, 2015

the Secret Things

These days I can very often be found wearing ear buds.  I have found to be a wonderful way to boost my productivity-  I chop onions, clean toilets, match up clean socks, edit pictures, and even walk the dog while listening to books.  It's great.  My husband and I share an account and it was his turn to make a selection, so I've been listening to Stephen King's 11/22/63 - a story about time travel and the JFK assassination.  The story's main idea is set on finding a moment in time that changes lives and going back and changing that moment.  It's an interesting thought. Jack and I are big fans of stories of time travel and big-thinking science for that matter so although the book is a little too dark for my liking, it spurs some good conversation.

What would you go back and change if you could?

my dad in the 1950's, top left
 Jack says maybe he wouldn't change anything.  After all, God uses all our mistakes and is in the business of redemption and what if all the mistakes we've made have brought us to this moment- this good moment in time?


But I was thinking less about mistakes and more along the lines of accidents.  I wasn't even thinking about big events in world history like Stephen King.  I was thinking of my life, people I know.  What if I could go back to late October of 2002 and stop my parents from getting in the car that night that Dad crashed into a tree on a dark Texas highway?  I think if I could change any one thing, that would be it.

But then we talked some more about the possibilities and whether or not time was linear or if some sort of multiverse reality would blow our minds one day. But of course only God knows the why and the how and the what if's of this fragile life we live.  The "everything happens for a reason" cliche is too much of a cliche to really settle our big questions.  It just doesn't.  What settles them a little better is what I read in Deuteronomy a few weeks ago- "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law."  (Deuteronomy 29:29) Maybe that's the same idea as the cliche, but really it's more complicated, deeper and more layered than that. There are Secret Things too much for us and it's more than a just a reason, it is a reality and a host of possibilities, all sparked and set in motion by a God that is Love. 

It makes it simple, but it doesn't necessarily make it easy.  Some things have been revealed and some things haven't.  The Secret Things belong to the Lord our God and we trust Him as the small and vulnerable children we are.

Still, on days like today, I think about finding a wormhole to change that moment in 2002 only because I sure do miss my dear old dad. I'd even hang out for years in the late nineties if I had to like King's protagonist did in the 1950's.  But alas, the Secret Things are too much for my capacities, so I'll trust in what has been revealed.  Death to be defeated, everlasting life gifted, and an eventual Reunion.  And though I may tear up thinking about my dad's hearty laugh on this Father's Day, what HAS been revealed is still enough.  More than enough.  It is the Gospel, Good News, for however long the Secret Things remain secret. 

Friday, June 19, 2015



In which little hands raise lemonade stand signs high.

In which I give lectures on the importance of productivity.

In which the days are long and hot.

In which lists of things to do are involved.

In which the garden hose is involved.  

In which kids take late afternoon naps in blanket forts in the den.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

how we family

I was thinking that maybe we wouldn't dance next year.  The drive out to the dance studio lands me and Ash in the car for 2 hours a week- 30 minutes there, 30 minutes back to get Zeke from soccer, 30 minutes back there, 30 minutes home.  It's not cheap and it's not convenient. 

But when my daughter gets in the car after her second rehearsal and tells me with a wistful sigh that her dance studio is like an escape from reality ("I know we should always do everything for Jesus, but you know, mom") where everything is all about dancing for the Lord, how can we not dance next year? 

Theater School of Dance in Bossier City, LA, is an amazing place.  I agree.

Ann Voskamp's idea of family being a verb is spot on.  We family Anna Grace by taking her out there week after week and we family her by sitting through a 2+ hour recital to see her 3 minute performance.  We sit with french fries and chocolate shakes well after bedtime all together after her recital because we family each other and family is always worth it.

With renewed perspective and inspiration, we will family on. 

(And as a side note, it was a beautiful performance, AG!  And we loved watching our friends Jesse, Clementine, and Rosemary, too- part of the family) 

Friday, June 12, 2015

no matter how high

We're flooded here.

The Red River has crested at 37 feet, a level my town hasn't seen since 1945.

I know and love some people with water-filled homes.  I've heard heart-wrenching stories of flooding in Texas that swept families apart and away.  Our fragile lives are just that- easily changed with any one event and we remember our vulnerability when waters rise.

But like the Song says, "Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away."  (Song of Solomon 8:7)

We all know the story of Moses and the Red Sea parting, but Joshua saw the Jordan dry up, too.  Not only did Israel move from slavery to freedom on dry ground, but they crossed into the Promised Land in the midst of water-moving miracles.  These were signs "so that all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God."  (Joshua 4:24)

Certainly, we're in an short blip of time where we experience loss and suffering, but Jesus tells us that He is the Way.  (John 14:6)  He is our Dry Ground.  He is our earthy path from slavery to freedom, from suffering to life eternal.

The waters of this life can sweep us away, but His Love cannot be quenched and we are safe in Him- no matter how high the river rises. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

a salty sandcastley cloudy crashing gift

My mom and the kids made up a beach poem on the long drive home.  Here goes...

The beach smells like warm salty moisture swirling around me (Nana)

The beach looks like a big sandcastle (Zeke)

The beach feels like clouds sewn together (Anna Grace)

The beach sounds like cymbals crashing (Anna Grace)

The beach tastes like lemons and cold fleshy shrimp (me)

We ADORE the beach!

(And I am beyond grateful for this time with my sister's family and my mom! Thank you Jesus!)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

rub a dub

 Rub a dub dub, baby bath in the tub....

...I mean sink.  

my sweet nephew Jackson, 8 months, on our beach vacation last week
"Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundreth of a second."  Mark Riboud