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Showing posts from June, 2017

On giving up dreams and having your skin ripped off

One of my nieces sent me this video of a Liberty University Convocation address a few years back. The speaker is Phil Vischer.

Who, you may ask?

You may not know the name, but you most certainly know his work. He's the creative genius behind Veggie Tales. (Let's all sing a little of "Oh, Where Is My Hairbrush?")

Mr. Vischer is certainly one of the best known animators ever. He certainly was very financially successful.

Until he wasn't. (Go ahead; watch the video. It's worth your time.) Let me just say that Mr. Vischer found out that his plans and God's were wildly divergent.

At one point, Mr. Vischer references this passage from C.S. Lewis' The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Eustace - a very unlikable boy - was changed into a dragon. He finally, after a very miserable time as a dragon, allowed Aslan to help him:


Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was …

Don't open that door!

Growing up, my older sister had a "Mystery Date" game. I have no recollection of how it was played, only that, at the end of the game, you had to open the door to reveal your date. You wanted to get one of the handsome guys, dressed for a day at the beach or a formal dance. You lost if you got the "dud."

My other memory of this is that my sister rarely let me play the game, as I was "too young." This meant I had to sneak into her room and play by myself. I guess that was better than nothing. (By the way, I'm sorry,  Michele,  for trespassing.)

Dear Husband and I visited some friends from college a few weeks back. We were discussing all of the traumas I/we have had to deal with over the past year and a half, including losing our house. In many ways, it's been a blessing to have the apartment we found, and being relieved of the burden of too much stuff.

I didn't realize until I was speaking the words out loud, but I really did not like our old …

Looking through the wounds of Christ

I enjoyed lunch with a friend yesterday. I've known her and her husband for some years, and they are both delightful people. However, we rarely see each other, as he is busy with his ministry and teaching, and they live quite a distance. However, they are in Grand Rapids this week, and she reached out to me: Would you like to have lunch? And I did!

In the course of conversation, we spoke of our children - who are all adults now, but our children, nonetheless. My children have had many challenges, and she shared that their youngest was also an addict. They tried all the things you're "supposed" to do, but eventually just had to tell him to leave the house. He chose a treatment facility, and since then has lived what his mother calls a "vagabond life." They occasionally get a phone call, a text, and email. That's it.

Is he clean? They don't know. Is he where he says he is? Shrug.

Then she said a remarkable thing: "I learned that I have to look a…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …

Old men with a lot of money say selling children for sex is fun and profitable!

I realize the title of this post is quite blunt. Trust me, it's much nicer than the ads you'll find online on Craigslist and Backpage. There, you can order up your choice: a 15 year old virgin? Sure! Want to spend some time with a 12 year old dressed in lingerie? No problem.

I know it seems incredible, and the thought of such a thing makes most of us want to turn away. Disgust. Horror. How can this be?

Please watch the movie, "I Am Jane Doe." You'll get a front row seat to the battle that is raging in our courts and on our computers. You'll hear from victims, parents of victims and attorneys fighting to make sure we are not a nation that tolerates the sale of children for the sexual proclivities of adults. You'll even hear from a former pimp who helps law enforcement by educating them about pimps. (I'm sure this man cut a deal with some court. He made my blood run cold.)

Who will you NOT hear from? The old white guys who live in big houses, who may n…

Just hangin' out

I'm trying to remember when I had time to work. Honestly, I've been so busy!

Dear Husband and I spent the weekend Chicago-way to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend. She's a foodie, and we got to experience this incredible restaurant. (I had a goat cheese tart I refused to share.) We spent most of the weekend just hangin' out. And that was just fine.

I really have been busy. Dark-haired daughter just got a job, and we are navigating the early days. I've been chauffeur. And that is just fine.

The State of Michigan has wanted some of my time, re' unemployment. Actually, that was just fine: the lady that helped me today was very pleasant and helpful. Not what one expects from a government employee...

I'm helping a friend promote his book, Broken Mary, and his website. He is actually a former DJ, who was on a local rock station for many years; Dear Husband and I were big fans. Now, he's moved on (not necessarily willingly!) to a different role: helping…

Time is getting short

''I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear: I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go. 

Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever. 

Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.'' ~ BrenĂ© Brown

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be still

Be still. Rest.

Those are the two thoughts that came to me at Adoration yesterday. As you may have guessed, being "still" is not one of the weapons I usually carry. Blessed to be Irish, "still" just isn't there. "Talk" - oh, that I can do in my sleep (and often do, as apparently I can't get enough in while I'm awake.)

But "still?"

Several people close to me have suggested this as well. It is a time to rest. So, I will. I've made a mental list of things I've been wanting to do and people I've been wanting to spend time with. And I'm making plans.

But that isn't exactly "still," is it?

No, "still" means quiet. Downtime. Not keeping oneself busy, even with good things. "Still" means to be listening intently, even when it's quiet. "Still" is when the soul opens, the mouth closes and God makes Himself known.

I have writing to do. I'm going to make that a priority. But I …