Sunday, November 22, 2009

Beauty and Peace

I went for a jog early this morning. It was a really gorgeous morning in the country. There was a light mist that barely touched my skin as I moved through it but, which left the world in a beautiful silence that I was in just the right state of mind to appreciate. Still, I guided my headphone into one of my ears and pushed play. There was something about being surrounded by the silence of creation that enhanced the music. At once I could hear the beauty of the music and the stillness of the world and it was powerful. The song that popped up on my ipod is one that has held special meaning for me before, but this morning it was new again and spoke so sweetly to my heart.


Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide.
In every change He faithful will remain.
Be still my soul. Thy best, thy heavenly Friend.
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still my soul thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake.
All now mysterious will be bright at last.

(Delight yourselves in the Lord,
Yes, and find your joy in Him.
Be known for your gentleness
And never forget the nearness of our God.
And don’t worry,
Whatever’s gonna come.
Just tell God every detail.
And the peace of God that no one understands
Will come to you.
No, don’t worry,
Just tell Him every detail
And His peace will come to you.)

I began my jog with some heavy thoughts on my mind. Thoughts that come into my mind that I really don’t like to share with anyone else. Thoughts that are born of things I know I can’t expect or try to make anyone else understand. I find myself in that place every once in a while. I often end up frustrated by it and trying so hard to push that frustration away. But this song came on and I found myself before the throne of God, knowing that He was, as always, big enough to handle “every detail.” I spoke to Him there and told Him that I didn’t know if I really had the energy to tell it all today. I’m pretty sure that was okay with Him. After all He knew the details even before I did. I laid it at His feet and I left it there, for Him to “order and provide”. And then I really did experience a measure of His promised peace. It wasn’t an assurance that the markets won’t continue to plummet or that my teenagers won’t make bad choices or even an assurance that faith shaking situations won’t come into my life again. It wasn’t a feeling of wellbeing, or even a sense that I could get through anything with God by my side (though I do know that’s true). It was simply a moment in which I knew beauty. And knowing beauty, for me, is knowing the Creator of beauty. And knowing the Creator of a world like the one I jogged in this morning was for that moment at least, just enough peace to pass my understanding.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Beuaty Will Rise

Warning...long and gratutitouse post follows. Come back another time if you're not up for it. I'll understand. Really!

My personal devotion time today was extremely personal and beautifully intimate. I always hesitate to try to share those kinds of things because God is so specific with us as His children when He draws near and pulls us close. He’s often so specific that I wonder if we can really ever fully understand the things He teaches someone else. Having said that though, my time with Him this morning was profound for me and I can’t help but try to share something of what it meant.

Okay, so I’m a mildly obsessed Steven Curtis Chapman (and family) fan. You really can’t blame me if you know my story. His music has literally been playing in the background and often even the foreground of most of my adult life’s biggest moments. God has used his music to minister to my heart in ways only God and I will ever really understand. But will you bear with me if I try to share just some of what He’s done?
I didn’t realize at my wedding what the words “I will be here when the laughter turns to crying through the winning, losing and trying” would mean to me now that “the mirror tells us we’re (17 years) older ” instead of just 17 years old. But I loved the song and it was powerful even before it was understood.

Later when my cousin and lifelong friend passed away leaving behind a beautifully fragile wife and two incredible children I questioned God at length. I couldn’t begin to understand how this could possibly be meant for anyone’s good. He quieted my heart with the title track of Steven’s Speechless cd. Words like “ I say so many things. Trying to figure you out. But as mercy opens my eyes… my words are stolen away by this breath taking view of your grace.” And “His strength is perfect when our strength is gone” assured me that Maria and the kids would be given what they needed in their sorrow.

Just a year later we lost our precious son, Tristan and the words of With Hope reminded us of the theme God was weaving through our lives and making so real to us that day. “And never have I known anything so hard to understand. Never have I questioned more the wisdom of God’s plan. But through the veil of tears I hear the Father smile and say “Well done.” We know our goodbye is not the end. We can grieve with Hope ‘cuz we believe with Hope. There’s a place where we’ll see your face again.” Just a few months later Declaration came out and every single song on that album seemed as though God had written the words just for me and imprinted their meaning deep within my heart. Those songs and I journeyed for years together and still do today as I process still what it meant to lose my son.

A few years passed and we found ourselves in the throws of adoption. We were looking forward to baptizing our daughters when Steven sang in person, what seemed like a concert made just for them at Life Light that year. When he introduced “When Love Takes you In”, the very song I’d wanted sung at their baptism later that month the tears began to fall so quickly. “When Love takes you in and says you belong here. The loneliness ends and a new life begins. And this love. It will not let you go. Cuz there’s nothing that could ever cause this love to lose it’s hold.” My daughters were in my arms and whatever we were struggling through in that moment slipped away as I was reminded of the way God’s adoptive love was circling us all.

I went through a major surgery not long after that. As I sat through tests and procedures I often had them play my Declaration cd for me. “God is God” became my anthem during the surgery and lengthy recovery time that followed. “I can only see a part of the picture He’s painting.” What a wonderful reminder on those days when my little part was looking pretty dark.

My dad died a few years ago and there was just a lot of personal processing that needed to take place. I was starting to feel a little picked on by a God I knew held only love for me. I was little bit edgy in how I approached Him but Bring it On helped me find my voice. “Bring it on. Let the trouble come. Let the Hard Rain fall. Bring it on. Cuz I’m not gonna run from the very thing that will drive me closer to you.”

Our newest trial is in dealing with the plummets of the livestock markets. Financial strain seems to threaten more than just our pocket books, but this new cd reminds me that “Jesus Will Meet me There.”

See.. I have a reason to be mildly obsessed. I told you so.

Anyway all of this background to bring you to my moment alone with God this morning. I had purchased the new SCC cd and decided to spend my time with God reading the words and the lengthy explanations Steven gave as background to the music on the cd jacket. My heart broke for the Chapman family when they lost they’re precious Maria last year. I wasn’t prepared for how powerfully God would work through this latest cd, even though I knew the newest work would be deeply moving. Songs like “Just Have to Wait” and “Spring is Coming” not to mention “Heaven is the Face” and “I will Trust You” brought me back to my own loss and laid me open before the throne of heaven today. I was reminded in the rawness of this mornings encounter with Christ of the depth of grief. But this music was so INCREDIBLY laced with Hope that it brought me to a new level of healing. To identify with such loss and such Hope all at once was almost too much to bear. The kind of emotion a new realization of God’s truth brings with it can be overwhelming. There’s a line that haunts me still as even now I listen to the music play softly in the background, “ Well I can’t wait to hear your mama laugh the way that only you can make her laugh when you get silly. And I can’t wait to SEE you in her arms and know the wound so deep inside her heart is healed for good.” And “I can’t wait to watch your brother’s face when he can finally SEE with his own eyes that everything’s okay”... Loss and guilt…and Hope.

I sat in the stillness this morning realizing again and anew how powerfully personal and specific God has been in His dealings with me. I’m thankful for the beautiful Biblically based music SCC churns out with each new album. It’s no wonder those words bring such depth and healing. They come straight from the heart of God. Only He could offer those kinds of promises.

I’m so sorry that the Chapman’s have had so much to suffer, but I’m praying it reaches many hearts the way it has mine. I think God wants little Maria to have lots of company up there in her “Big, big house with lots and lots of rooms.” And I’m hoping she’s met a little boy named Tristan. It seems they might have a connection only heaven would understand.

Okay, I warned you. Thanks for letting me spill on and on today. I appreciate your being here.

Now, I'd love to hear about how God's been highly specific for you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Silent Breakfast of the Empty Handed Hunter

Yesterday afternoon my oldest son, the passionate hunter, set out to spend some time in his deer stand. Armed with a bow and a fistful of arrows contentment seemed to beam from his face. This is a kid who loves to be outdoors, at peace whenever he’s surrounded by nature.

The call came an hour or so later. “Mom, I need to talk to Dad right now.” I recognized the shaky but controlled calm in his voice. It was something I could easily recall from all these years as a hunter’s wife. It was the exact voice his father used when a deer had been hit.

Steve and Taylor exchanged a few excited words. Plans were made to retrieve the deer. The testosterone driven inhabitants of our home were giddy with excitement. Taylor told and retold the story of how in his shock of having his first real shot at a buck he had been unable to even pull back his string. Miraculously the buck had turned and given him another chance. All four manboys quickly donned camouflage gear, flashlights and one more round of arrows. Even uncle Shawn came out to join the crew. They searched late into the night. They rose early and searched all morning. The blood trail had run thin. Hope of finding the deer has now run out. A weary hunter and his son sit at the breakfast table even now exchanging only looks of dismay and disappointment as the morning sun spills across their sad faces.

I offer words like; “There will be other deer.” And “ You still have more time left before the shot gun season starts.” I fill their plates with bacon, eggs and pancakes hoping it will nourish more than their growling stomachs. But my efforts fall on deaf ears. This is a place only men are allowed. My son tells me by the look on his face to please find somewhere else to be right now.

It’s hard to be a mom of a man child. I know how little he wants to need me. I understand that this is a necessary process. But it’s hard. It’s hard to love him so much and have my efforts to be a part of his life go more than unnoticed, also unwanted.

I know it will all turn around again one day. I know he’ll get older and realize I’m not holding on anymore and he’ll be happy to spend time with me again. But for now I miss the kid who would so casually say “I love you” and call me “Mamma.” It was just last year that his arms would circle around me in a quick hug most mornings before he left for school as I stood at the sink washing away the remains of his breakfast. “Have a good day Mom.” Trailing behind him as he shoved one more piece of toast in his mouth and hoisted his backpack over his shoulder.

He’ll be seventeen in a few weeks and at 6 foot 3 he is every inch the man he so desperately wants to be. I’m not trying to hold on. Really, I’m not. It’s just that this morning as he walked up to the house, an empty handed hunter, shoulders slouched, head hung low, he was once again a little boy.

He doesn’t like the thought of that deer suffering. He can’t stand knowing it’s still out there. Somehow in the silence the men have this conversation. I can’t hear it. It’s not meant for my ears. And words… words are like shattering a glass with a rock this morning. So I slink away. I sit at my computer and I fill a blinking cursor with words they can’t hear. There’s still that sound of something shattering though. I think it’s just my mom heart…breaking. Phew… parenting can be tough!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I’ve been home sick for the last 3 days. It’s the kind of sick that leaves me too tired to do much more than cross the room but it’s not like I’m puking or sweating out a fever either. This has left me with a lot of time to, well, ponder. THAT can be a very scary thing. TRUST me. I’ve also had a lot of time to observe. I’ve observed what the stress of a late harvest does to my husband’s demeanor. (Try as he may to remain unaffected). I’ve observed what the thrill of the spotlight has done for my daughter. She loves play practice and whatever took place during that time seems to come spilling out of her the moment she walks in the door. I’ve noticed what really fitting in has done for my middle son who has settled well into the social climate of the sophomore class. SO much less angst than there was last year. My youngest daughter revels in the attention she readily receives from her zany comments and silliness. It’s clear to see that being in the seventh grade has rendered her a bit self conscious and unsure of how to act. Thus the crazy Hannah Montana mimicking that, frankly, gets a bit tired. After all if you’re not sure of your identity yet, why not steal someone else’s right? My youngest son has finally broken into a time of life when we all go to watch HIM do things. Football, basketball, speech, band and choir have us pursuing his schedule now and after following along with the four who’ve gone before him, he finally feels he’s arrived. And my oldest son. Wow. He’s almost a man. He’ll be 17 in a month and I can hardly believe the confident and mature individual he’s become. He’s receiving all kinds of praise at work for his efforts and hunting season is upon him. In his world nothing could be more “right”.

All of this observing left me wondering, are we all so reactionary? I would think if it holds true in my home, it probably does in yours as well right? What I’m trying to articulate is that as I look over what I just wrote I realize that we are all SO affected by outside forces. The season of our lives, the input from the people who surround us, our age, our social circle, the activities we’re involved in, the pressures of our work. These things affect us. Of course they do. That’s normal. I guess.

But, it leads me to wonder…if we weren’t surrounded by so much outside stimuli what would our personalities be? Of course, I don’t want to be a hermit. I realize that the lack of stimuli has basically the same affect in that it HAS an affect, but I’m trying to get at something deeper.

We’ve all had those days where we start out feeling good. We have breakfast and get ready for whatever might be going on. We look in the mirror and perhaps for this day aren’t terribly unhappy with the reflection. We make time for devotions and feel empowered and refreshed. All seems right with the world and then BAMM… something happens. A co-worker makes a rude comment. A sibling calls with a family issue. Someone rear ends us in the parking lot. Our mood changes. Our whole outlook changes. And the people around us have to deal with it. Sometimes these things last for a day and other times we find ourselves in a season of affect.

I started to look over my life. I thought about all the components that affect me. I wondered why I gave these things so much power over me. I pondered whether it was within my grasp to remain unaffected. And, I came to the unsettling conclusion that it is not.

There is a girl I’m not sure I want my middle son to date. It looks very possible that it will happen. I know that will affect me. I really want my oldest son to achieve great grades and ACT scores this year as he prepares for school. What he chooses will affect me either way. My youngest daughter lives for volleyball. How tryouts go this January will affect her so much… and via her.. me.

And that’s just a sampling of my family, one aspect, (albeit the largest) of my life.

So as I observe this week from my sickly perch on the sunlit couch I wonder this; “Who is it God intends for me to be each day? Does He intend for the reactionary Cherie, who is so very affected by her circumstance? Or does He intend for something other? I wonder who Cherie really is… if she isn’t who everything else affects her to be?” Hmmmm…it’s interesting.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Scared Speechless

I’ve been asked to tell “my story” to a group of women for a Christmas Luncheon. Over the past couple of years I felt like I had been led to pray about speaking engagements. I was challenged to accept whatever came my way. BUT…. I wasn’t really sure I wanted God to open that door. I suppose that was why it was so challenging. I didn’t exactly make it public knowledge, this leading. I guess I figured I was pretty safe accepting that challenge because I didn’t tell anyone I what I was being led to consider. But it now appears that God… did. And now that He went and opened that door I’m wondering if it would be okay to just close it up again. I wouldn’t just slam it in His face or anything. I would just very gently sneak around the backside and slowly creak the door back closed.

The thing is, I don’t like to speak. I’m a rambler. I tend to really get going once I open my mouth. Give me a mike ( oh my word, I shudder to remember the one time someone gave me a mike) and I will ramble at will incoherently ‘till the guy with the hook comes out.

I do like to write. I suppose that’s partly because when you write and you realize that you’re workin’ up a good ramble, you have only to highlight and cut and phew… saved face.

I know what you’re thinking. Write your talk out … then read it. Yep. That’s a great idea. In theory. But I’ve tried that. I panic and I NEVER look up from that paper. It’s not very engaging.

And then there’s the whole problem of what to say. I mean really!! Sure I have a story. I get that. We all do. But is mine interesting or important enough to hold a captive audience? I fear I’m doomed to stare into a sea of disinterested feminine faces who are all making mental to do lists while I ramble. Who could blame them?

Yes, I hear you thinking. “Wow, Cherie, this is probably supposed to be about God isn’t it? Why are you making it all about yourself?”

I know. You’re right.

Will you pray please that I’m able to do just that?

He didn’t ask me to write. He asked me to speak.

So that’s what I’m going to do.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


“In those days, though, spring always came finally but it was frightening that it had nearly failed.” Ernest Hemmingway A Moveable Feast

We all go through seasons. Right now my children are going through seasons of excitement, of learning, a time when everything they experience is new and thrilling. I have some friends at retirement age who experience a time of contentment and ease right now; a time when life offers just enough leisure to allow a person to enjoy the moments. I know others who are in times that feel unsettled. Great longings seem to go unnoticed; at the very least unanswered by a God who seems, if not removed, uninterested in the desires of their hearts.
I also know those who endure pain in the moment to moment way of persons who know great loss. These are souls in suffering. Hearts in turmoil. They wait in desperation for a spring that seems to “nearly fail”.
I guess we’ve all experienced seasons like that haven’t we? We wait and we hope for things to get better. Do we believe it will? Yes, I suppose as those who’ve become a new creation we do.

And yet.

I was reading A Moveable Feast tonight and became engulfed in Hemmingway’s description of Paris in the last depths of a long, hard, winter ; when there settled over the city a near panic that the desolation of the season wouldn’t end. He describes that time as a time when “it would seem you were losing a season of your life”. As I slid my bookmark into place I began to wonder… “ Is it possible that there are times when the sorrow, or the fear; the pain or the great loneliness is not merely the passage of a season but also the loss of one?
Can a person lose out on the experience of one season because they cannot see outside of the experience of another?
During the time that followed the tragic death of my son I most certainly seem to have lost a season. So many things went on. The world kept spinning in a way that seemed almost to mock me as it said “Surely daytime and night… summer and winter will never cease.” Yet I ceased to experience them. For me I suppose there was a very real sense of missing a season of my life…in favor of… or at least in deference to another one.

And yet.

Tonight, with Hemmingway’s thoughts on Paris still fresh in my mind, I read through the caring bridge sites of loved ones and a new light began to dawn. What if the season we miss out on becomes the defining season in the lives of those we love? What if Friend A’s son’s difficult diagnosis becomes her other son’s defining season in that he learns compassion and understanding first hand? What if friend B’s son’s limited life expectancy and profound disabilities become her other children’s defining seasons in which they learn to lean hard on Hope? What if Friend C’s husbands struggle with sudden and terminal cancer becomes her daughter’s defining season? The one in which they come to know a God who truly is a Father in every practical sense of the word?
Do we all miss out on seasons? Yes. Depression, loss, financial ruin, crisis’ of faith, anger, resentment, pain, sorrow, even unfounded bliss do cause some of us at one time or another to be removed from life.
God seems to have intended a purpose for these times when we cannot connect; when we’re so busy with the work of making new pathways of connection. It would appear that He intends for our absence to be a defining moment for someone else. Most often for someone we love. A season they need to experience. A time that will build in them an essential aspect of their character; an aspect that they will share with the world… and that is needed.
It was a moment of clarity to realize that as I read the journal updates. So easy to see when you’re not encumbered with mommy guilt. When you can just see things as they stand in someone else’s life.

And yet.

If I can see this amazing and beautiful truth in their lives… surely… it stands to reason… that it would be true in mine…. and yours.
Spring did come for me after Tristan died, but not without the sense that I had lost a season. And my kids, my family and my friends may have missed me for a bit but they were being tended to by a God who held all our seasons in the palm of His hand. A God who was intent and purposeful about those moments with them.
There were so many times I wanted to cry out and ask God to just stop the world for a while so that I could go about the business of grieving and not miss out or feel pulled back toward life being lived. But the seasons just kept coming. And somewhere between the falling of the leaves and the piling of the snow there came a peace in knowing that spring too would eventually dawn … and that I would be there to experience it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For a Moment

There are moments in life when you get a chance to do something really extraordinary. You get to benefit someone somehow. You are involved in something important. You witness healing and are able to add something to it. These are moments you expect to be remarkable.

And then there are moments in life when you reach out somehow, with some infinitesimal measure of concern or kindness. You do or say or give something you know can barely matter and yet you do it because it’s yours to do. You feel powerless to offer anything in the face of pain or sorrow. These are moments you expect to be unremarkable.

But sometimes… sometimes the smallest of things become the most meaningful.

And the grandest of gestures seem to pale in insignificance.

The ways I intended this day were not the ways God used. Of course it stands to reason and, in this case is true then, that the things I knew were too small to matter seemed to be used in the most beautiful sense. It’s humbling. It’s so humbling to sit once again in the quietest part of the day and look back in marvel at how little any of it ever had to do with me.

There was “pain in the offering tonight”. But I also got in on “something beautiful”! It was just as I had expected it to be…. only, in reverse.

I guess I sort of get that. If it ever began to depend on me, I suppose I would cave under the pressure. But God will bless what He blesses and withhold from what He withholds. The outcome isn’t necessarily the point. At least it can’t be as far as it concerns me. The point is the obedience. And even though it hurts when all the hard work doesn’t pay off I would risk it all over again. Because sometimes…sometimes the almost effortless thing makes an impact so beautiful, so meaningful that everything else fades away.

For a moment.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Things I learned on a Picnic

I remember learning about friendship at a very early age. In my neighborhood there were probably a dozen kids or so who were our age. Our moms would throw these make shift picnics in the backyards. They would spread ratty old blankets across the grass and lay out a spread of sandwiches, homemade cookies and usually some sort of prepackaged supermarket treat. At first I can remember that these little alfresco dining escapades captured our imaginations and allowed us to dream up grand adventures in which we were pirates eating our spoils on the deck of a great ship or fair maidens trapped forever in a castle by a wicked emperor who would only allow us to eat what grain we could find scattered on the grounds of our beautiful prison. Later though, our little yard picnics became long, lazy afternoons filled with the lively banter or delicate discussion of friendship. We began to share our lives in the well tended grasses of our neighborhood. “You get your mom to make the lemonade and I’ll talk my mom out of the chocolate chip cookies she was making this morning. Meet back here at two o”clock and don’t forget your boom box.” We would meet beneath the protection of the weeping willows that outlined T’s property and spill secrets before the plastic cups and Tupperware containers hit the blanket. Our words were backlit by the drama of the tunes that spilled from the speakers; the likes of Bryan Adams and Madonna.

I had forgotten about those blissful afternoons until the other day when one of my best friends called and asked what I was doing. I recited a litany of duties including such things as laundry, cleaning and cooking when she intoned, “ Okay. Well I just made a great new recipe for cookies. ( This friend happens to be an incredible chef…how lucky am I?). and thought maybe if you had the wine we could sit on your patio and hang out.”

The laundry went undone that day and I’m pretty sure I still haven’t cleaned out the back closet but P and I talked for hours snuggled deep in the bright teal Adirondack chairs on my front patio. We talked over our marriages and shared concerns about our kids. But we delved further still. We talked about dreams we still held for our lives and giggled over a few aspirations we were glad had failed.

As P’s taillights drew slowly away from my house later into that evening I watched, thankful for the grassy backyard picnics of my youth. Our moms gifted us then with what they must have understood would be so important one day… that friendship takes time. It always seemed okay back in the neighborhood to invest time into relationships. I don’t think there were less demands on my mom. I don’t think her time was any less valuable than mine. I think she just chose to value people over schedules. I’m pretty certain that has everything to do with why I can make real and lasting connections with friends today.

We’ve come a long way since those clandestine meetings beneath the whispering willows I suppose. And then again if you call me on any given day, you can be sure I’ll uncork the wine and pull the homemade cookies from the freezer. Pull up a teal blue chair my friend and tell me what’s on your mind.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mrs. Eisenhower's Legacy

Dwight Eisenhower was the 34th President of our Country. He was an amazing leader. “Ike” as people generally referred to him was a war hero during the Second World War. He was a Republican but because of his straight forward and authentic approach to politics he earned the respect of a democratic congress for 3 terms and was able to be an effective presidents even with an opposing party in congress.

I read just a little bit about him in my devotions this morning. The writer of the book I was reading (To Own a Dragon, by Donald Miller) was amazed as he read about Ike’s life. You see Eisenhower grew up in a home with two functioning parents who made it their goal that their children would grow up knowing how important and necessary their role in the family was. Their thought that this would lead their children to realize the importance and necessity of their roles in their communities and for Dwight, even the world was proved true when he became president.

I started thinking about that as I finished my devotion time this morning. I started to wonder if I’ve raised my children with the sense that they are important to our family, to their community and to the world? If I asked them, would they, like young Dwight at age 9 or 10 already be confident enough to agree that they were not only important but essential to our family. That our family couldn’t be our family without them and that God has assigned to them an important task of leadership. Do my kids understand their importance?

Jesus did. In John 3 it says, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in His hands. Whoever believes the Son will have life but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

Why did God say that He placed everything in Jesus’ hands? Because through Jesus people would either come to know God the Father or not.

No, we haven’t been given the role of saving the world from sin. But that doesn’t mean that our role isn’t crucial. If we don’t offer what you have been given to offer the world… which is really just you being you… the world, your community and especially your family will miss out. We’ll miss out on understanding something of Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

As a mother is there anything more precious I could lavish on my children than this beautiful truth? That they are relevent?Eisenhower’s mother puts me to shame in so many ways. For one thing, this woman memorized the entire New Testament. What a beautiful gift she gave to her children in that kind of example but also in being able to call on that kind of understanding when she needed to deal with them in their lives. Also though, Mrs. Eisenhower was fond of this belief; she believed that all the world’s problems could be solved if every child understood his necessity and importance in the world.

I think we shy away from these thoughts because we worry that we’re placing too much importance on ourselves as individuals rather than realizing the supreme capabilities of a sovereign God who doesn’t NEED us to reveal his love or will to the world. Of course this is true. He’s God and He can certainly handle these kind of intricate revelations on his own. But He CHOOSES to use us to do that. When we fail to realize that ourselves or to teach it to our kids we miss out. We miss out and so does our community. We miss out not on being needed by God but by being WANTED by Him. He wants to use our lives to bear witness to who He is. Each of us has a unique and beautiful aspect or characteristic of His to mirror in a unique and beautiful way. If we understood that better. If our children understood that better is it true that the world would be transformed?

I’m challenging myself today to be more effective in instilling that possibility in my kids. I’m challenging myself to believe it myself and be purposeful then in the offering of it to my community.

*** Please no criticisms on the book or author references. I understand your concerns. I’m reading critically. You can trust me.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Art of Legacy

There was a time in my life when I didn’t value the generations that came before me. In fact I suppose that was true of most of my life. Until recently. My thirties have brought with them an awareness of my own life lessons and I suppose a respect for what other’s have learned as well. More and more lately I find myself wanting to soak up another woman’s life stories.

I go to work and listen to my friends there, friends my mother’s age tell me stories of sorority life on university campus in the 60s. Another woman recalls a near death experience as a child. There is a woman just shy of a decade older than me who, 10 years ago I may have written off as too unhip to be worthy of my ear and now I find her stories alive with color and interest.

One of my favorite things about being the oldest of an oldest and marrying an oldest of an oldest is that when we gather at extended family dinners I am privy to the most beautiful collection of women in our aunts. As we sit around the remains of dinner served, forking away at a chocolate cake that sits at the center of the table, we commune. We laugh and we listen and sometimes we cry. I find myself unusually quiet in these moments. Is it because there is something almost holy about them, these amazing women who’ve graced the span of my life? I suppose that is part of it. But I also find myself humbled by the richness of their lives. It is a richness that is built year upon year, not unlike the sumptuous layer upon layer of cake we devour together as we chat.

I love to sit at my grandmother’s side as she tells stories of marrying my grandfather at seventeen because she and he were employed by the same farmer. My maternal grandpa has been in Glory for 26 years now. Grams has been remarried for 8 of those years. There’s a lot of story in that.

My dad’s dad has stories of an entirely different nature. He recalls his time as a POW guard in Italy at the end of World War II. The sounds of captured German soldiers singing “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” still ring in his ears. He is not a man given to much grace, but somehow he found it for those incarcerated men of war. He understood what they could not because he realized they had been given little choice.

Looking back on my own, in comparison, short years on the planet, I realize how many mistakes I’ve made. Most often I’ve learned more from the bad than the good, if I’m being honest. And I suppose that’s okay. Perhaps one day my nieces will share the remains of a chocolate cake at my table and suddenly realize how important my stories are. Maybe not. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far into my thirties, it’s this; Much has been lived and much learned in the hearing of another person’s story. And the choice is up to me. I can listen. Or I can simply walk away. But to choose the latter is to neglect one of life’s greatest gifts; the richness of life not only lived, but shared. Shared across the span of generations. This is the art of legacy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to School shopping...

What mom hasn’t been there? What self respecting thirty something woman of the era hasn’t found herself on her knees in the back to school aisle pleading… “just tell me this darling… have you found a scissors that suits you?”
Before today, I thought I was alone in my back to school agony, but as the dental assistant (my trip to the dentist by the way, ended up being the HIGHlight of my day) asked about my plans for the rest of the day she assured me, laughing as she suctioned, that I in fact am in good company in my back to school angst. She began to unravel a few memories for me of one of her young children whining over the lack of glossy pink folders which would certainly have secured her place with the “in” group, while her son, completely bored with the task of choosing rulers and erasers began tossing a football into a perfect pyramid of elmers edible glue. But our laughter had subsided by the time I climbed into my SUV and made my way sorrowfully to the bank, wondering woefully if I would be required to take out a loan by the time I’d descended the mountain of back packs and made my way through the river of scientific calculators. I withdrew the amount I was hoping would cover the damages and walked sheepishly away from the teller with my tail between my legs. As I opened the door to depart I heard her stifle a laugh as she whispered to the woman next to her “Back to school shopping… poor sucker!” How did she know? I wondered as I gave myself a second look in the rearview mirror, did the terror show?”
I decided to approach my enemy slowly. But I’m afraid the sound may have tipped my foe off. Wouldn’t you know I got the squeaky cart? The bane of mothers of school aged children everywhere. You know the cart. It’s the one that mocks you slowly… at first you barely notice it’s there, but later, when you’ve offered up the last of your patience to the back to school gods it makes that one last annoying squeak and starts to bounce around as you hustle, almost free toward the checkout line and poufff… you finally lose all resolve and become a whimpering mass of whom you once were. I would not succumb to this fate today though. Not me. I am an experienced mother. I have been to this battlefield before. I know all the tricks. I simply lifted the offending side of the cart with my left hand and strode on. Yes, my arm began to cramp almost immediately but I would not be deterred. We stalked by the aisle slowly. My youngest son (the rookie) asked in confusion “Mom, aren’t we going to go down that aisle? That’s where all the back to school stuff is!” My daughters gasp could be heard from the farthest corners of the store. “What?” he asked with fear in his eyes. “What’d I say?”
“She’s just checking things out. SHE’S NOT READY!” One of the girls whispered loudly in his ear.
“No,” I said, eyebrow cocked in steel willed determination. “ He’s right. It’s time. Let’s go in”.
Flanked by my offspring I dove in, hand first for the dreaded list. It emerged from my purse like a beam of light. You could almost hear the foreboding music in the back ground, challenging me… mocking me. My children shielded their eyes but I would not be so easily intimidated. I armed myself quickly with my pen, double clicking for effect, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed the rookie making a movement toward a stack of pencil boxes. “If you value that arm partner,” I ordered with all the authority I could muster.” You will put that hand back in your pocket and leave it there until further notice.”
I think he was beginning to get the point.
Felicity, I beckoned to me, “You understand how important it is that each item goes into the cart in it’s proper order correct. Because if things go in out of order we won’t be able to double check that we’ve crossed off everything on the list. And you know the cardinal sin of back to school shopping do you not?”
“Yes mom,” She answered, fear swimming in her eyes “Under no circumstances should you ever have to return to the back to school aisle once you have left the back to school aisle.”
I didn’t realize I’d been holding my breath until she finished. I exhaled with proud satisfaction. Oh she was going to make a great little back to school mother one day.
I had given Kama free reign over her list. After all, the girl is sixteen, it was time to let her spread her wings. But what I had to do to keep her from her mistakes I’m not proud of. She came around the corner at what seemed to be warp speed this beautiful albeit not very price conscious daughter of mine. I barely had time to intercept the 5 subject notebook as she tossed it haphazardly into the cart. I leapt with catlike reflexes across the classic, washable marker stand and deftly caught the offending pad up in my grasp. “Kama,” I queried in a rather high pitched voice “ Did you check the price on this notebook?” I could tell by the funky and colorful cover that this notebook would be found to be almost twice, if not three times as much as the cardboard, plain colored type. “You have no idea how lucky you are that I was able to catch this back to school blunder.” I anchored my hand on her shoulder as I searched her eyes for some sign of recognition.
“Whatever.” she uttered as she took the book from my hand and sluffed slowly back to the notebooks.”
I turned and saw Felicity shaking her head in understanding.
“We’re not going to win them all.” I worked to reassure her. “What matters is that we protect the contents of this cart.” Her eyes flashed with understanding. It felt good to have a partner in this war.
I’m not going to say that the rest of our time midst the crayons and protractors was without incident. We nearly came to blows over the assignment pads at one point and there was a small incident involving loose leaf paper but I don’t feel that it’s bragging to tell you that by the time I reached the checkout line I’m pretty sure my blood pressure had already returned to normal.
I don’t feel I’m ready to talk about the breakdown I had at the cash register just yet. Perhaps with time.
And therapy.
But alas, we have returned home. The back to school items are piled neatly on the living room floor awaiting their appointment with a intial wielding sharpy, and I have uncorked my favorite bottle of wine.
There is a rumor floating around that a green folder has gone missing. But I know my children are just toying with me.
Aren’t they?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Community, Compassion and the Intent to Understand

I arrived at home last night after spending the evening with two sister friends deep in thought. I thought over the evening. I thought about the topics of conversation, how we weaved our way through deep concerns and important viewpoints to practical tips and advice all the way through to favorite celebrities and weird dreams. We shared moments of rallying support as well as raucous laughter. There were as many moments spent in the deep end of the conversational pool as there were floating around in the shallows. For me the evening defined the importance of community and the blessing of friendship. While I needed to hear and be heard I also needed the relief that comes with a bit of silliness. I needed to understand as much as I desired to be understood. It was reciprocal and in that it was as basely beautiful as it gets.

Steve knows someone who though seemingly deeply woven into the thread of community, despaired enough of his own life last week to end it with the shattering finality of suicide. I was left wondering, how did the the community not see, not pick up on the cues? That thought has been haunting me ever since. Steve had supper with this person the night he passed away and has gone over and over that time again if he missed something, some small sign that would have told him to reach out. Of course that is not a burden that can be placed on Steve or any other person's doorstep. Of course had any of his community known they would have taken measures to stop him. But then the question becomes, how would we know?

As we sat around the table last night, my "girlies" and me I wondered almost aloud, "Would I know if you were desperate tonight? I am your community. I am in the tightest of rings inside your community. Short of being your family I'm the friend who knows and loves you best. Yet I find myself unsure... wondering if I would know." I wonder because I realize how good I am at putting on the act, at wearing the mask. At pretending life is great when it's not. I've never despaired of my own life. I don't struggle with the ache of depression. Yet I know how easy it is to pretend for the masses; how important it can feel to present an "all is well" exterior. I would like to think my friends and family (my community) and I would never pretend for eachtoher but then I realize that there are times I pretend just for myself. Sometimes I think we pretend as a means of convincing ourselves.

In the end I know that we cannot blame community for the kind of instability and desperation that leads one to the point of taking his own life. But I am still left wondering, do we really take the time to know eachother well enough to feel what lies beneath the verbage of conversation? Do we listen with a desire to understand? I'm afraid too often I am guilty of hearing the words without listening to their meaning. And do I speak with transparency? Do I allow community into my suffering and recieve the balm of their compassion as they offer it? After all isn't all of this what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ?

Last night I didn't need to pretend. Last night, as most nights I felt happy and life was lighthearted. And,last night I listened with intent. I'd like to think that Steve's friend's death will remind me always to listen with an ear for understanding and speak with lips of compassion. I'd like to think it will keep me honest about how things are going in my life. I don't know what was going on for TK in his life. And now his community will never have the chance to know.

As far as it depends on me, I don't want to miss any more chances.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breaking the surface

Dalton and I watched a good movie last night. We watched "A Perfect Storm" together. * For anyone who hasn't seen it and wants to WARNING ** this is a spoiler - stop reading now.
It's the true story about a crew of sword fisherman from Maine who've had a run of bad luck on the sea. They set out for their last trip of the season and it's make it or break it time. For some of them not hitting the fish will mean loss of mortgage or visitation with their children. These are hard working guys who have been at it for a very long time for very little pay. They kiss their women and children and head out to the water floating away on promises of better times ahead. Finally after pulling up empty hooks and staring at freezers full of ice with no fish to chill they take a risk and head further out to sea. This turns out to be a lucrative choice. They hit fish and they hit fish big. With freezers full they steam back to shore anxious to "set the market" and greet their families with fistfuls of cash and hearts full of love. What they don't know is that 3 major weather systems have begun to collide right in the middle of their path home and it has all added up to "the Perfect Storm" the like of which hasn't been seen in 100 years. The story ends in tragedy. The movie theorizes that each man says his goodbyes while gasping the last pockets of air from the upturned hull of the ship. Two men, the lead roles of the story, are not so much trapped in the ship as they are assigned to their fate. The captain and his first mate of sorts decide to swim for the surface and ride the waves to their death, but at the last minute the captain decides to recede back into the dark confines of his cabin and go down with his ship.
At eleven years old this gave Dalton much to ponder as he lay in bed last night. He lazily tripped down the stairs this morning and took a seat on the last step. Rubbing his eyes he looked up at me and without so much as a "goodmorning, mom" and just muttered "I hate that 'Skipper' didn't even try to live."
I was struck by the fact that Dalton seemed to miss the obvious. These men were all going to die no matter what choices they made at this point and they knew it. It was clear to them that their location in the heart of a storm that had taken out 2 rescue helicopters and a navy ship in the middle of the ocean they would not be saved. Rogue waves that would dwarf the skyscrapers that dotted the shore line so many miles away had tossed their ship end over end and those who weren't trapped in the ship's watery grave would be drown by it's angy currents and destructive force were they to swim from the ship's confines.
"Dalton," I tried to explain. "He wasn't giving up he just knew that they were all going to die either way."
"Well," he answered simply. "I wish he would have tried."
I realized then that at eleven years old not only is everything and anything possible but almost everything is also worth trying. Life hasn't taught you to fear just yet. An eleven year old heart won't be assigned to a fate, it only sees possiblities.
How often do we as adults let what we believe has been our assigned fate keep us from trying? How often do we size up the situation and deem it hopeless instead of seeing the incredible possiblities? Like these men we've set out to do what we've been assigned to do and come back empty handed too many times. Even our victories are held in check as we anticipate the storm that most certainly waits to take it all away again.
The Glouster fisherman's story is one that ends tragically; and I'm certain that no amount of positive thinking would have saved these men, but that's not really the point for Dalton. The point is that the captain of the ship gave up. There's no redemption there. The best the movie version offers is that the memory of the men live on their loved ones. But we know something more. We have something greater.
I got to be reminded today that swimming for the surface isn't after all an effort in futility. In fact it's an action that says hope is alive. I don't expect to be saved from the storm but I'm not ruling it out either. I don't know what God has planned once I break the surface but I know I want to be here to find out. For Bobby, the moment he sees his surroundings he knows he's still not going to make it but you get the sense that at least he's thankful that he's not trapped anymore.
We all have storms in our lives. And sometimes it seems we're destined to go down with the ship but I think it's important to remember that something waits on the surface of the water. And I don't want to miss that moment when I break through. I don't know what God has planned for the moment after my lungs fill with air but I do know that I don't want to be trapped by my own perception of my fate. I'm bobbing along on the surface of hope ready to face whatever comes next. Rescue or no rescue I want my own childlike heart to be found on the surface... not in the depths.

Thanks Tierney for the encouragement. It felt good to write again:)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kids and Crumbs

I live with a bunch of selfish, self serving, self focused people. I'm talking about the little things. The things that threaten to send me into a rage on the right day at the right time of the month. I'm sure I've explained the whole "Shake your placemat off in the garbage and then bring it to the laundry room" thing a hundred times to the people in my home. Yet, yesterday morning after everyone had gotten on their various busses I found myself picking up after all manner of stages of neglect. There were placemats still on the table filled with crumbs. I found more next to the garbage can. I picked up bits of muffin from the carpet from those who actually made it to the laundry room but hadn't been shaken into the garbage. And then finally when I got to the "towels" laundry basket with those that had been forgotten by their users I found still more, balled up and filled with crumbs. Grrrrrrgh!!! I was miffed. I was more than miffed. I could really quickly launch now into the annoyance of finding size 15 dirty, stinky, smelling golf socks laying next to the computer, or 2 week old popcorn and cans of half drunk decaying pepsi under a bed, or even debate why it is that the men of my home can't respect the women who live here enough to just put the seat down already...but I won't. Because that might bore you and, well, I suppose it really wouldn't do much good for me either.
The thing is this; I realized this morning as I picked up after the instances of placemat disobedience that I can be just like that in my own life. Let me explain. I lined my kids up after school and I asked them to claim their placemat. Those who had gotten their placemats to the laundry room quickly pointed out that "at least WE got ours to the right spot and didn't leave them on the table." And the kid who left it next to the garbage responded "Well I meant to, but I forgot when I put my plate in the dishwasher." (A transparent scheme to get me to notice his obedience in the case of his plate, cup and utensils). I do that too. I compare my sin with others. I don't mind confessing, but I always want God to see that it wasn't intentional and I want Him to notice all the positive things I've done. In the end, it's the kid who's placemat was left on the table full of food who has no excuse. Taylor could think of nothing and so he just had to look at me and say, " Yep. Sorry about that." Somehow then, it's him I'm least angry with.
Kama's catechism lesson last week was about how even our best works can't earn us favor with God, but they are a necessary part of the life of the believer. I tried my best to explain to her what the difference between thankful living and earned salvation is. But I think Taylor is the one who taught me the lesson. I'm going to screw up in this life. And I'm going to do it alot. I'm going to keep on making the same mistakes over and over no matter how hard I want to do the right thing. But when I've realized that I've let God down again I want to be the one who just says, "Sorry about that Lord. I'm gonna try harder to remember tommorow."
I don't know that my kids get how difficult it makes the mornings when I have to be at work. I don't have time for racing through the placemat trail. After all, I've gone through alot for them already by just making them a hot breakfast. Why can't they respect that and be thankful? But do I consider? Do I really consider how it must grieve my God when the stages of neglect in my life leave Him picking up the pieces... after all He's gone through on my behalf.
Thanks for teaching me lessons Lord through the crumbs and the kids in my life. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being a selfish, self serving, self focused person. I have nothing to offer in my defense.
Except Christ. And I'm so thankful God, that He is enough!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

When Regret Isn't an Option

Last night I helped Felicity paint her pinewood derby car. It was fun. We were laughing and the boys were mocking us and I was in that place where you're aware it's a memory that's being made. So I was trying to allow for the imprint of it to be made on my mind and heart. My girls were complimenting my detail work on the car and I said inadvertantly " Yeah, you know some day I'd love to take a painting class. I wonder if I would be any good at it?" Felicity was horrified. "Why do you say stuff like that? You're an adult. You can't become an artist now. You have kids." I was taken back but also reflective. In a sense Fliss was right. I don't have time now to find out if I'm a painter right now. And on the other hand, I don't look forward to my kids being gone. In fact I dread it. I love the running to games and events and concerts that are a huge part of our lives, but at the same time when they leave this home and cleave to their adult pursuits I don't want to be left a shallow shell of who I once was.
In contrast, I've been thinking alot about the past lately. I guess along with the joining of facebook and the finding of and being found by many an old highschool classmate has brought with it some baggage of sorts. You know what I mean. Who hasn't pondered times gone by and found themselves awestruck by the effects of time passage. Our personalities morph. Our values and principals evolve. Positions we once were passionate about relax, and others are fanned from a smolder to a white hot fire. At the same time other, newer perspetives either mute or enhance ideals we once held in high esteem. Everything changes. Everything.
As I look back on who I once was and compare and contrast her with who I am now I see that the path is strewn with choices. Some have been wonderful and others not so much. Even in some of the more distateful decsions though, there has, of course, been beauty. Something of the Grace we believe in shines through. But I wonder....
Knowing what I know about the things that have taken place in my life - that is to say, knowning how I've grown from and through those times; knowing the impact they had on friends or family members, the blessing that was recieved in some cases, or the benefit that was given someone else in others; even knowing that though no positive element (at least not one worthy of the pain invovled) came from some of those moments. I don't see them as regrets. I believe in a God who worked so mightily through all the good and all the bad that I can't classify those things as regrets. The belief in the sovereignty of God won't let me. I don't regret them. I don't wish they hadn't happened. And yet ... some of those memories still cause me to wish I'd done things differently.
My question is this; is there a place between regret and satsifaction when perusing one's own past? Can a person realize their mistakes and see what could have been different without being dissatisfied with how things turned out?
If such a place exists, then for me it looks like acceptance. I'm not talking about words you wish you could take back or actions you are embarressed of. Those are just issues with forgiveness. I know we all deal with that on some level. What I'm talking about is looking back and wishing you'd pursued a dream or gotten involved in a group or organization. I'm talking about the loss of relationships. The opportunities missed. The doors you closed in on yourself. The ones you left open that would have been better to slam shut. When I look back over my life, I don't have regrets, but I do sometimes struggle to accept the fact that I didn't always "take the road less traveled" so that it couldn't "have made all the difference".
The thing is though, we tend to see many windows of opportunity past the age of 25 as closed. We sometimes think our carefree choices are behind us. And sure, the choices carry with them a greater consequence when we're surrounded by marriage and children and jobs and responisibilites. But it would be a sad world to live in if being married with kids meant that all the opportunities in life were over.
Accepting past choices and their consequences has nothing to with embracing the possiblities of what lies ahead. It's good to look back and take stock of what has happened and what the impact has been. But it's just as important to look forward with an attitude toward opportunity. I don't know what doors God will open tommorow, but I do know that this time around I want to walk through as many of them as I can. I know regret, ultimately is a part of life, even when you don't label it regret. And I know when I'm 80 I'll look back on 33 and think "You crazy kid... what were you thinking." But I hope I'll also remember courageously running through doors of opportunity kids in tow, husband closeby! And I hope the acceptance isn't quite as difficult to find.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We just got back home from Brady's ( our 14 yr. old freshman) basketball game. Brady goes to Western Christian, for those of you who don't know. Our basketball program is a storied and strong program. Brady's gradeschool was very small. He was used to being kindof the go to guy last season. Coming to play at Western has been a intimidating experience for him. What amazes me when I watch him play though, is that Brady is just as good now as he was last year. In fact he's better. He's stronger. He's more coordinated. He's more refined. But this year Brady is playing with the best of the best. He dosn't always realize that this will make him better. He plays scared. He doesn't drive, doesn't float above the fray, with his classic leaping abilities. He doesn't shoot or score. This year Brady is passive and ill at ease on the court. The last few games his coach has really gotten on him to start playing his game. With a lot of very strong "encouragement" from Bill, Brady has begun to drive the lane, shoot some three pointers and rebound with that leap of his. It's been fun to watch. He'll stand out there with absolutely no confidence, but his coach screams at him to take the defender on and there he goes, reaching his long arms above the opposition and laying the ball so beautifully in the hoop.

I was watching today, just SO frustrated with him for not engaging in the beginning of the game. For not getting up in there and doing the thing he's been so gifted to do. Before I knew it though, under his coaches extreme pressure, he effortlessly scored several times. Why does it always take so much prodding, so much yelling, so many varied forms of encouragment to get him to do what it seems he was born to do?

And then, it all began to feel so familiar. There are so many times in my life when I feel like I'm all alone out there on the wing with the ball in my hands. I can risk it all and go for the shot, or I can play it safe and pass off once again. The hoop is in view, and I know what it takes to score but between here and there stand several obstacles that so often seem to large to overcome. I can hear my fellow "team mates" encouraging me to go for it; to do the thing the Lord has set before me to do, but like Brady, I opt often to pass. Why? Because fear always seems to stand in my way. What if I don't make it? What if someone "steals the ball"? What if I get halfway there and things begin to close in? I stand there in the middle of all of these super Christians. The best of the best. Surely someone else can do it better. Certainly I'm not the one who should "take the ball". Frantically I look at my "Coach" and always I see him telling me to go for it. Finally I decide that the choice is no longer mine. Like Brady, I begin to dribble, I skirt my first opponent, I sky over the next defender, I bring the ball above my head even as I leap from the wood as if springs were attached to the soles of my feet, and then there is this moment, this moment I'm sure Brady must have as the ball begins to leave the tips of his fingers and he hears the crowd, his team mates, his coach's thunderous applause. In this moment I know the pleasure of a "well done" the knowlege that sometimes being a "good and faithful servant" means taking the risk even when the possiblity of failure factors in, even when I don't end up making the shot. Because in the end of the game the coach wasn't really as concerned about getting those points as he was about the growth of Brady as a player. Seeing Brady develop is the goal far and above how many points he scores in a particular game.

I guess if it really isn't about the points scored, and really is about personal growth then maybe, just maybe, it's worth the risk. Every time.

Monday, January 12, 2009


The thing about resolutions is that a person begins to feel as though they are setting themselves up for failure. How many times haven't you resolved to do something or become something or stop doing something else? How many times have you failed? For me, the resolutions are never very hard to make. I LOVE to make resolutions. I'm going to lose weight. I'm going to stick to my budget. I'm going to manage my time better. I set goals. I have a plan. I'm excited and energized by my new mindset.. my resolve. Yet here I am again, a short 12 days later (yes, that would be the first twelve days of the new year) feeling like a failure. I haven't dropped a pound. My checkbook is a wreck. I'm behind on laundry and the house is dusty. Right about now the giant is definately "reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed." I'm starting to miss the "voice of truth".
I realize most people can hold on to their new years resolutions a bit longer than I have! So...I'm just wondering, can you give me some advice?I could really use it. Right about now I feel as though I'm drowning when I should be walkin' on the water!!