I got nothing clever for four. :-)

It’s hard for me to think about what I want.  Seriously.  I spend a lot of time thinking about what needs to be done, but not so much thinking about wants.  But here goes.

1.  I want to be sitting on a beach with lots of sunscreen, good friends from all stages of life, and  wonderful seafood.

2.  I want to always remember just how much I have.  Sometimes I may stress about paying the bills or whine about not being able to do everything I want, but I have so much more than I actually need.  Those bills I’m paying mean that I have working transportation for my family, a home for my family, medical care, plenty of food, cell phones, satellite tv, more clothes than we can manage, and the ability to go and do most of the things we want to do.  

3. So I want YOU to help me remember all of that when I do get whiny.  My life may not be “perfect,” but it’s pretty good.  Yep.  I want my friends to help me be who I claim to be — a grateful believer in a God who loves and saves.  When I’m less than what I should be, hold me accountable.  (Remember that I’m a big fan of being both honest and kind so I might fall apart if you just lay into me.  Being gracious goes a long way.)

4.  I want there to be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes within Caleb’s lifetime.  I don’t want him to have to live with this forever.

5.  I want to see Emily walk by Christmas and be back on flag line next fall.  I want her to have a day when she doesn’t have to think about what she’s doing with her feet and legs and she can just do it.  I want her to not have to wonder how many pain pills are left on the prescription or if she’ll be able to manage her pain level without the use of medication.  I want her to remember the important lessons of all of this: what real friends do, what it’s like to be a patient, and how much we need people during life crises.

6.  I want a housekeeper because I don’t want to have to spend my little bit of “free” time doing housework.  I’d rather spend it with the people I love.

7.  Like Atticus Finch, I want to be the same person at home as I am on the street.

Third time’s a charm — maybe

See?  Here’s where it starts getting personal.  Eight fears.  This is the stuff I don’t really like talking about, but here goes.

  1.  I’m afraid of not being ___________________________ enough.  You can fill in the blank.  Good enough.  Pretty enough.  Smart enough.  Strong enough.  Thin enough.  Nice enough.  There are lots of things that could go into that blank and make a true sentence.  Whatever it is, in the back of my head, I’m pretty sure I won’t be or do enough of it.
  2. I have a pretty grace-based approach to life.  Trust me — if I told you just how extensive I believe God’s forgiveness is, you might have a problem with it.  However, the raised-around-legalists child in me is afraid that when the next world does come (and I really hope that this world is not all that we get!), that I will find out that all of those narrow-is-the-road-and-few-there-are-who-choose-it voices will have been right and I will wind up on the wrong side of things.  So I guess I’m afraid that grace is not as inclusive as I think it is.  Because of that, I really don’t talk about how wide I believe it to be.  I suppose I’d rather stay within the lines (and encourage others to as well) than take the chances.  Better safe than sorry, I guess.  But really — it’s not out of a desire to do what’s right.  It’s out of fear of being wrong.
  3. So there’s that.  I’m afraid of being wrong.
  4. I’m afraid of standing before God without all of my family.  That was really the one thing I’ve ever wanted in life — to bring my family — the ones I chose, the ones I brought into the world — with me when I finally see Jesus face to face.  The thing is, this is SO much about other people’s choices, and I can’t control other people’s choices.  Shoot, some days I can barely control my own, so this is where my head says, “God’s grace will cover it all,” but now I must refer you to Fear #2.
  5. On the lighter side, I’m afraid that we will never find the two missing van keys that have disappeared during our recent adventures in and out of hospitals. 
  6. I’m afraid of the long-term health effects that Type 1 Diabetes will have on Caleb.  It’s no walk in the park, you know.  Yes, it’s manageable, but it’s also a very serious illness that is not predictable and can cause pretty serious long-term side effects even with good management.  You can do all you can and it can still throw you curve balls.  It’s different every day.  And crazy every day.
  7. I’m afraid of being poor.  Of not having enough.  Of not being able to take care of my children.  I realize this is a total lack of faith, but when you’ve been a one-income family and you lose that income suddenly — more than once — it’s hard to shake that fear.
  8. And I’m afraid that no one actually reads this blog.  Then I post something like this, and I’m aI’m afraid that they do.    

Two’s Company

Nine loves!
In no particular order, here are nine things I love:
1.   Ideas.  I love learning and teaching and just talking about ideas. 
2.   Peace, but  not at the cost of honesty.  I’d rather hash through a problem and find some resolution, but I think that conflict can be resolved with kindness and gentleness.  I think it’s very possible to be kind and honest at the same time. 
3.  I love being a mom!  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and as you already know, I have large amounts of internal conflict over being a WORKING mom, but seriously — if you ask me to define myself, one of the first things I’ll say is, “mom.”  
4.  Uhm, yeah.  Enough said.
5.  Regina!!  I know I’ve written about Regina here before, but I really do love Regina so, so much!!  Some of the best people I’ve ever know have come into my life because of Regina.  I have been incredibly blessed by being a part of this wonderful group of women over the years. 
6.  Uhm, yeah.  Enough said. 
7.  I love musicals.  I love musicals.  I love musicals. I know they make no sense whatsoever (who bursts out in song when life is hard? or good? or confusing?) but there’s something about musicals that just make life better.  
 8.  I love beaches and traveling.  I love traveling to beaches.  I love just plain old traveling and experiencing new places.  I love visiting cities and feeling their different vibes and personalities. My favorite North American cities are Chicago and San Francisco.  
9.  I love church.  I do love church buildings, but I also just love CHURCH.  I love the people, love the function, love what church is — a group of messed up people, trying to do what they can to help each other get through this crazy life.  I love that we are saved by God’s grace and love and not by our efforts to do the right thing and that absolutely anyone can be church because God has granted salvation to anyone and everyone.  No strings attached.  Just grace and acceptance and forgiveness and love.  
Yeah — those are things I love.  There are more, of course, but I do love those.  How about you?

Trying to get back in the groove

I think I’ve told you about my friend Taylor. She’s pretty cool and I love her blog because it reminds me of how much we have in common, and that makes me happy.

I think I’ve also told you about my desire to write more about me. This isn’t an ego trip, but a desire for some accountability in areas that I don’t usually share with people.

I don’t know that this is the time to focus on me, but it does seem to be the time to start writing again. Taylor found a 10 Day Challenge that will hopefully spur me on.

Day 1: Ten Secrets

1. I miss working in a public library. I miss having a job that’s more about books and less about research. I would miss Harding students dreadfully, though, so I’ll most likely stay where I am for a long time.

2. In my heart of hearts, I’m still a stay-at-home mom. I play the part of well-adjusted working mom pretty well, but give me a few days at home and I don’t want to go back.

3. I’ve learned a lot about controlling my temper through writings that draw from Buddhism. The eastern focus on calming your spirit and staying in the moment has helped me control both my tongue and my soul.

4. In recent years, I’ve become a worrier. I think it’s because my children are getting older and I realize that even when you do your absolute best as a parent, your children will still make their own choices and they may not be the same ones that you would make for them.

5. More days than not, I feel very unequal to my task.

6. SAHM desires aside, I really wish I could get my PhD. Since I work in higher ed and I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, I just feel like I should. And I do love school. I would be a student forever if someone would pay me to go to school.

7. There’s still a part of me that not only wishes I didn’t have to work, but honestly resents the fact that I do have to. I don’t like being/feeling resentful, so I try not to to allow this part of me to surface.

8. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar make me angry. So does Kate Gosselin. In fact, people who put their families on tv and don’t expect it to have a negative effect make me angry. (Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus, are you listening?)

9. I am not a Republican. Neither am I a Democrat and I don’t plan to ever be either one.

10. Since I do have to work (can you tell there’s a lot of conflict about this?), I really, really, really, really, REALLY wish I could be a fulltime minister. For a church. With Bible degrees and everything.

So, maybe all of that was surprising to you and maybe none of it was. Since I’m a pretty up front person, I had a hard time thinking of 10 things I thought most people wouldn’t already know.

Next time? Nine loves. That one should be easy.

Life, Interrupted

A month and a day ago, our lives came to a crashing halt.


My daughter Emily was in a serious car accident. We spent 10 days in Children’s Hospital, during which she had 3 surgeries. We spent 10 days at home, then went to UAMS for a five-hour procedure on her foot. We stayed there a week and came home. We’ve been home for one week.

No, she wasn’t driving. No, the driver wasn’t texting. No, no one was under the influence of anything.

It was just one of those things that happens sometimes, and Emily bore the brunt of the collision.

If this is new information for you, you can read more details at Emily’s Caring Bridge site.

This has been terrible, but God’s people have gotten us through it. From the beginning, we’ve been aware of the presence of the prayers and the love of others. Within a couple of hours of the wreck, prayers were being said around the world.

God’s people do amazing things.

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