You took me to a valley, a deep, dark, ominous land. You pointed the way and asked me to go through. You made it clear that only I could walk through it, alone, but you weaved character and stamina of heart together with thread and twine of pain and hope. The twine seems so harsh and hard, rough, painful as it cuts into the heart beating flesh, but the thread is fine, gold laced, with soothing salve that brings peace with every beat.
It is velvety soft, but iron clad, happy yet sad, good and bad, all at the same time.
And now, You tell me:
Go now through the dark place. I will not carry you, nor walk for you, for you alone must take the steps. You must both descend, and climb, the rugged trail. Know this, however, know that I number your steps as I do your days. You lift your foot. I’ll light your path. You take the steps. I’ll guide your way. Continue reading The Valley Waits
Welcome to the family! Welcome to the world! At six months old now, you’re learning all kinds of things!
Even before the gender reveal party, when your mama pitched a baseball to your daddy and he hit the ball that exploded blue, we were waiting on you! You’ve been loved from the beginning!
There’s so much ahead of you! You’ve already grown like a weed the last six months and now you stare in people’s eyes when they hold you and start smiling and laughing. You’re even working on turning over! Soon you’ll be doing all kinds of things!
It’s funny how it will all seem so extraordinarily slow to you, but so incredibly fast to the adults in your life! In fact, the longest year of your life will be when you turn 15 and waiting on your driver’s license. Then, it will seem like forever before you graduate from high school, become a legal adult and then turn 21.
Don’t begrudge those years, Easton. They are full of fun, adventure, life and memories!
After you reach those milestones Easton, and every other one in life, time will start to fly by faster than you can possibly imagine! Continue reading Dear Easton,
Joseph and Mary watched baby Jesus sleep. He stretched, smiled, then let out a little complaint as Mary removed a piece of hay scratching His neck. His little face relaxed into deep, silent night sleep.
His eyes moved back and forth in rapid eye movement sleep. Sometimes He smiled when He dreamed. Sometimes deep agonizing pain came across His face.
Mary asked, “What do you think He’s dreaming?”
Without looking away Joseph whispered, “I really don’t know.”
There’s no guide-book on how to parent the Savior of the world. The immensity of raising a son, who’s also the Son of the Living God, is beyond comprehension. They really didn’t know what to do except the things that were in front of them minute by minute.
The sleeping newborn was completely, physically dependent on His parents, but there was so much more. How could Mary and Joseph understand that as they smiled upon their sleeping child, He smiled upon them? How could they fathom their dreaming baby was hearing people praying to Him at that very moment? How could they know He was dreaming in human form, but in God form knew everything? Continue reading Baby Jesus Dreams
Saturday was the annual Christmas parade down town. We found an open curb on the brick street to sit on for a front row view. It was about 6:30 PM, so it was dark, but well-lit with street lamps. Directly across the street a pickup sat in a driveway with the tailgate down. Several adults, all apparently related, were sitting on the tailgate, in lawn chairs around the back of the truck and on the curb ready for a bird’s eye view of the parade that would be starting soon.
About 10 minutes before the first lighted float crawled by, an “unofficial” Santa slowly walked up that side of the street. He looked the part too — real white beard, red suite, black belt and boots, big belly. The “official” Santa always rides the last parade float, so this guy wasn’t the “real” Santa! He was a wanna be Santa, but he was convincing, even for a certified Santaologist.
To the poster child of cuteness little girl sitting on the tailgate, it didn’t matter one iota. To her, this man dressed like Santa was totally, completely and absolutely, the real deal! Continue reading Wanna Be Santa
Shake the desert sand out of your shoes. Get the pebble out of the toe. There’s a mountain to conquer.
It’s not too big or tall, not too steep or too rocky to be settled. It can be done. No matter what the circumstances, it can be conquered. There is a way. The size of the mountain is not as much of a limit as how we think about it.
There’s always fresh challenges, additional issues, new problems. There’s always something different that starts to make the mountains look the same.
I want the green, lush valley of rest, where gentle breezes and bubbling brooks wind their way through the trees and flowers. I want the easy path instead of a hard climb, the gentle road, not of the stony trail, but that’s not how it usually goes.
Climb anyway. Continue reading Climb The Mountain
True story — It was Thanksgiving Day and he got up ready for a day of family, feasting and football, but something was bugging him. He couldn’t get a co-worker who had been in the hospital and hadn’t worked for a month off his mind.
A crazy idea kept bouncing like a rubber ball in his head. He kept feeling like he was supposed to buy bags of groceries, including a turkey and all the trimmings, for the man and his family.
He dismissed it several times, but couldn’t shake the thought. A little later, the man’s wife needed something at the last-minute from the grocery store, so he loaded up two of his young sons to go with him.
At the store the thought was stronger than ever, so he grabbed a buggy and started filling it with canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, a turkey, milk, flour, eggs, the whole works. When his sons asked why he was getting so much, he told them they were about to give the food to someone. Continue reading No Logical Answer
Hurricane Rita was going to blow in a few hours later and I was shutting down the hatch. My four sons helped and I was about through when I walked in on them in the garage. They looked guilty. Figures.
I was hurrying so I didn’t ask why they had a life jacket, rope and a new 8’ x 10’ vinyl tarp. I should’ve done a mental stop, drop and roll, but there were just bigger fish to fry. Besides, the next day I’d find out during the peak of the hurricane.
Ever since they were little, Blake, the oldest, has come up with ideas for his younger brothers to try. Jared, the second born would usually pass on the idea, but instead encourage Todd, the third son, to try some scattered brain idea.
Sometimes Todd volunteered. Sometimes they talked him into it. Sometimes he was blackmailed into some wild, half-baked scheme, most of which (surprise, surprise) dealt with some sort of danger or peril.
Regardless how outlandish, or in this case, hazardous it might be, Todd usually tried their brain cramp scams.
Blake had an idea — a homemade parachute, powered by hurricane winds, to make Todd go airborne! Continue reading Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!
It’s not about lifetimes. It’s about moments.
No one intends to forget the taste of life known during their early years. Yet as the earth rotates and circles the sun, life gets busy, rushed, stressful. We tend to brush aside today for what seems more important, making it to the next paycheck, planning for retirement or just getting through today.
It’s easy to lose sight of the road we’re rolling over now and focus on the mile marker of the next destination. In hindsight, it’s a tragedy to bypass today for tomorrow, assuming tomorrow actually comes.
When life’s sun begins to set in the Western sky, human nature ponders more moments of the day. Moments tend to become more precious. The mind begins to wander, wondering what was forgotten, downplayed or just missed altogether in the past. Life goes so fast.
No one on their deathbed asks for their 401(k) statement, primps in the mirror, or looks just one more time at a problematic carpet stain in the hallway. We want people. People we share life with. People we love. Continue reading Today’s Firefly Moments