In His Arms

Today has been one of those days where I just want to curl up in some big strong arms and be completely weak for a moment. Or two.

On a day when we are celebrating Benjamin’s preschool graduation, I am consumed with the future and all its uncertainty. At a time where I want to be present because these special moments are so fleeting, I am consumed with someone’s past blunder that is being dragged into my future. And the deep cuts of the loss of Colin and Madeline will be felt forever, but the tragic story of those scars could be closed if our justice system had any teeth.

The boys and I could be saved adding the insult onto the injury if people would be willing to own their consequences, and not be willing to bury the truth with distraction.

These are the times when I ache for the physical presence of someone who made me feel little and shielded and cherished. To help give me the strength to continue extending forgiveness and mercy and grace.


Fathers Day

This day should not involve a visit to the cemetery for 5 & 6 year old boys, but that is what they wanted to do. 

We made a good team you and I. The “winning” is not as easy without you here, but I am giving everything that I have; and we haven’t lost yet.❤️💔

No Trophy for Tragedy

With all the pain, suffering, and tragedy in this world I am amazed at how much credit it gets. One can scroll through their Facebook newsfeed or Pinterest to pick up such pearls as “Stars can’t shine without darkness.”, “The hardest times lead to the greatest moments.”, or “Adversity is opportunity disguised.”

And all of these statements are meant to comfort those in the midst of great trial or depression. To be the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who is moments away from giving up. Personally, I have no desire to give justification for my trials. And as I was scrolling through pages of motivational memes on Google, it hit me that there is an unsung hero in all these cute proverbs. Something which, in its absence, leaves each of these mini pep talks meaningless. And that missing truth is love.

Struggle and pain without love is just the birth place of bitterness. Sadly, we have all witnessed this horrible reality, and at worst lived it. And the fact is, adversity does not deserve the credit. Suffering and loss are not the great gurus of personal growth and character development.

Love is. Sacrificial, unrestricted, relentless, autogenous, merciful, and steadfast love. Love that flows in to and out of. And when it is tangibly demonstrated, in grand and subtle ways, it can turn darkness to light.

The predictable text each night checking to make sure you are ok. The understanding at coffee for unexpected tears. Patience shown for a little boys outburst. The persistence to keep reaching out even after another ‘no’. Flexibility extended because you are a new single parent. An army of people committed and ready to carry you, day in and day out.

THIS is what allows us to walk through tragedy. THIS is what love looks like when it is lived out. And THIS kind of love, is the reason why the “Hardships prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” claims have any relevance.

Parenting Confessional

Parenting well, is hopeless at the best of times. This is something, that after over six years on the job, I can state with certainty.

And these aren’t really the best of times.

The other morning as I was getting ready upstairs, my morning rituals were interrupted with screaming and crying from the play room. For the most part my boys enjoy playing with each other, their closeness in age and this past summer’s events have drawn them together tightly; but they are brothers and will fight as passionately as they love.

As I listened to their words and accusations, I was immediately struck by one thought: I need more love and grace in my relationship with my boys. The conviction of that thought was instantaneous, and there was no hesitation in my guilt.

Now I don’t believe that every bad thing that my children do is all my fault, but I know that my example and my attitude bear a lot of weight. I have the influence to set the tone in our home, and the power to change it as well. Even when I think that I am hiding my feelings, it amazes me at how Emmett and Benjamin will pick up on my impatience, indifference, or intolerance. And, whether they realize it or not, then turn around and demonstrate those emotions to each other. It devastates me to watch them hurt one another; and I realize it is often I that has taught them the undesirable skills of how to best do that.

Then I am struck with equal parts frustration and exhaustion. Wondering how am I supposed to do this on my own. As it is a two man job; two very strong, well-paired, healthy, rested “men”. Cue the flood of overwhelming inadequacy while I allow myself a momentary pity party.

Next I thank God for everything He has given me and I go downstairs. I get on my knees, I hug my boys, and through tears I humbly apologize for my example. I remind them that this is not the way that we treat people. We may even brainstorm better ideas and solutions to the woes of that moment.

Lastly, we take turns forgiving each other, and THAT is when the hope comes.