Blue? Yes. Unshakeable? Yes on That, Too.

March 31, 2014

Some days my heart is heavy because of what’s out there:  headlines about unpreventable tragedies, headlines about the preventable ones, loss, abuse (of power, of trust, of drugs, of people) … But some days my heart is heavy because of what’s inside it. Sometimes it’s blue.  Today is one of those days.  They don’t come around that often, but they come.  I used to fight it, but I’ve learned as I’ve lived and grown that it’s okay to be blue now and then because you know what?  God made all the colors, all the emotions.  Jesus wasn’t happy all the time, and...

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Oil Change

March 27, 2014

It’s been staring at me a while.  The ‘Change Engine Oil Soon’ message is there when I turn on my car.  And it has been for, oh, about three weeks.  It’s there when, out of habit, I glance at the display behind the steering wheel to check the temperature.  (Turns out my habits don’t break as fast as Pavlov’s dog learns.)  It’s there when I want to check the odometer.  I’m starting to think it’s going to be there until I actually – hang with me here – change the engine oil. Something about seeing it today, though, made me think...

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Over the Over. I Want More.

March 26, 2014

The weather isn’t the only thing that goes in seasons.  So does life.  Life seasons just tend to have different themes, none of which is affected by precipitation. There’s the “where did they hide my paci?” season followed by the “where did I put my blankie?” season.  Then it turns to “where did I put my homework?” followed by “where did I put my car keys?”  Soon after that comes the “where did you put his/her paci?” season, after which comes the “where did you put your homework?”  Then it’s “where did I put my car keys?” (this one repeats itself...

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March Madness, Texas Style

March 20, 2014

There are many things I love about living in Texas, and today is reminding me of one of them:  spring.  The joke in Texas is that we have only two seasons – winter and summer – but the reality is that we have all four … it’s just that two of them – fall and spring – tend to have shorter shelf-lifes than the others, which tend to go on for eternity … especially summer. It is a stunningly beautiful day, the kind of day that makes you want to throw all caution and all responsibilities to the wind and run...

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The Face of the Heart

March 19, 2014

And the lessons keep coming … Our six-year-old son, Brent, has this habit of licking his lips to get crumbs away, and sometimes he does it so many times in a row that he gets a raw spot in the form of a semicircle about an inch under his bottom lip.  When it gets to that point, it takes a while to heal.  It hurts him, but what hurts far more than the raw and scabbing flesh are the comments people make to him about it and the questions they ask.  “What is that?” “What happened to you?” “Is that chocolate?”...

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Lesson Learned … again

March 18, 2014

Sometimes when I sit down to write, God has just given me some lesson through the kids or through some truth He's revealed in nature, and He'll give me the words to type to communicate that to a wider audience.  It never ceases to amaze me how often He speaks through whatever haphazard circumstance just happened around here or through whatever Scriptural insight He just laid out for me in neon and how many people can identify with it. Sometimes, though, I think He wants me to be quiet and listen to what He wants to say to me.  Not just...

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His Name Is Latyr. He’s Mine. Sort of.

March 6, 2014

His name is Latyr.  He lives in Sénégal, 5,240 miles from us in Dallas right on the other side of the vast Atlantic Ocean – and a world away in so many other ways.  But he is with us all the time. Yes, he calls another woman ‘Mama’ and another man ‘Daddy,’ and that’s OK.  God didn’t give me the role of being his mother.  No, I never held his hand on a long walk or taught him how to read or watched him kick a soccer ball.  When he draws his pictures that he sends to us, and he has...

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This One Is For You, My Friend

March 5, 2014

Her eyes were sad when I passed quickly by her this morning, and I wished for time to sit with her.  The car behind me wouldn’t have liked for me to stop in the middle of the road, though, and she had her hands full as she got out of her car to head to the next thing. “You doing any better?” I asked. She couldn’t say a word, but the look on her face said plenty.  It clearly isn’t just her hands that are full these days. The load that showed on her face made me want to stop everything and run...

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The Billy Joel Bible

March 4, 2014

A couple of years ago, I came across my third-grade confirmation Bible.  The church gave them to all third-graders, and it was my first Bible that (a) was my own (b) was the complete Bible, not just kid-tailored re-tellings of actual Bible stories. I remember it being a big deal.  My brothers had received theirs years before when they were in third grade, and so I had seen the ceremony when the Bibles were passed out to all the 8- and 9-year-olds.  My folks hyped it up, and really when it was my turn, it was incredibly special to me …...

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LENT? More … and Not So Much

March 3, 2014

Lent starts this week, and I have to confess my utter dislike of it. OK.  I just typed that, and the lightning hasn’t yet struck my brain and body in half, which means that God knows what I mean to be saying, and He’s graciously going to let me live long enough to explain.  (At the end of this post, though, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether He’ll continue in that vein.  I better start explaining.) It’s not something against Lent itself; it’s really against Lent the way we’ve come to observe it in America – and most of the rest of...

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