Please Don’t Cry

One of my daily liturgies is to open an email from BibleGateway to see what God might be saying for the day.

Today, on the 4th anniversary of Gordie’s home-going, I am surprised-but-not-surprised to find that God was thinking of me and wanted me to know.

Today I read:

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. (Romans 12:15)

IMG-4762

With all that God has going on in the world – pandemic, stife, poverty, riots – how is it that he could remember today, sit with me awhile, lift the heaviness from my heart?

There is a story that always gets to me, as it reveals that no matter how much we might feel we are forgotten or overlooked – God is always there, willing to identify with us.

Shortly afterward, Jesus left on a journey for the village of Nain, with a massive crowd of people following him, along with his disciples.  As he approached the village, he met a multitude of people in a funeral procession, who were mourning as they carried the body of a young man to the cemetery. The boy was his mother’s only son and she was a widow. When the Lord saw the grieving mother, his heart broke for her. With great tenderness he said to her, “Please don’t cry.” 

Please don’t cry.

Jesus, doesn’t this passage imply that you were crying?

For clearly it says His heart broke for her. 

Just like when your friend Lazarus died, and you knew – you knew, just like you knew here, with this son – that you were not going to allow him to stay dead – even then, you wept?

Why? 

Was it because, in that moment, you could see not only this widow’s grief, but all the future griefs of this world – all the deaths that were to come, all the future mothers and brothers and sisters and friends who would mourn as they carry their loved ones to the grave?

Could you already see mine?

IMG-4763

But wait.

Then he stepped up to the coffin and touched it. When the pallbearers came to a halt, Jesus said to the corpse, “Young man, I say to you, arise and live!”

Immediately, the young man moved, sat up, and spoke to those nearby. Jesus presented the son to his mother, alive! A tremendous sense of holy mystery swept over the crowd as they witnessed this miracle of resurrection. (Luke 7:11-16)

IMG-4761

Alive!

That is what we need to remember.

Although the immediately for my son looked much different than the widow’s – just as it may be for the  thousands and thousands that will die today, and tomorrow and the tomorrow after that – we can trust that our Abba-Father is infinitely willing to identify with the tender and particular of both our mourning and rejoicing.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid – please don’t cry – you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

I Would Have Been Back Sooner

I thought I had this grief thing down.

Like delicate china, I’ve stored the echo of my son carefully wrapped in the back of a cupboard: close enough by, but not so near at hand as for daily use.

unnamed-1

I can manage it better that way.

VlKnaX9jSXqM%mJ7bav+5A

Take it out on my terms, when I’m good and girded and able to handle the fallout from it, because, well, you just never know where it’s gonna go.

IMG_4553

Giving grief its time and space is vital and healthy, but there are instants when it finds you unsuspecting – naked & exposed – and justlikethat you are back on that day, that couch, that lonely Planet Pain.

13010671_1103385199702980_3856797487909874782_n

Today, I was just looking to get outside. The mountains are closed, so I thought I’d take a road walk, look at spring, watch the water sparkle, get away from the screens and the COVID for a while.

Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 9.23.02 PM

I wasn’t really even listening, the sky so sweet and blue, when through the earbuds came a song I’d never heard before, a line: Are you singing with the angels, are you happy where you are?

IMG_4550

Then it hit me. TobyMac. Lost his son, just this past October.

IMG_4545

One thing was certain – I couldn’t stay on the road. Had to escape. Not expecting that, no I was not.

The forest.

IMG_4546

This month, Gordie would have turned 26.

unnamed-2

April 24, his April 24, was a very good day in a month when lots of very bad things seem to happen. The Boston Marathon bombing. The Humboldt bus crash. Columbine, Chernobyl, the Titanic, the fire at Notre Dame.

Of course, I knew it was coming, this frozen birthday of his; of course, I was already preparing.

So when TobyMac began crushing my heart with Why would You give and then take him away and 21 years makes a man full-grown, 21 years, what a beautiful loan, I tucked in fast to the trees and wondered how it was that April had already arrived, before I was fully ready.

Nothing to do now but let it come: all those lost years flooding out of my face until I found myself literally lost in the woods.

IMG_4549

Where did all those signs come from? And how was it that I never noticed them before?

Around and around I went in my head, feet looping the paths, up and down and around obstacles, until I forgot which way was out and had to pull out a map on my phone.

FhQLsdwtTU233kh1btr0PA

Are you happy where you are?

IMG_4555

Where was I, exactly?

IMG_4551

A place where life was bursting out of dormant shells and the ground itself was weeping.

IMG_4547

Lost for a moment, but believing in a way out.

IMG_4556 2

It’s not possible to outwalk heartache here on Planet Pain, but we have this hope.

IMG_4557

Isaiah, that cranky prophet, tells us so.

Of Jesus, he writes:

He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. (Isaiah 25:8)

Face-wiping seems like blasphemy in this current crazy of sanitizer and masks; it is such an intimate act. I’m puzzled as to why I would even be crying when I finally meet my Lord.

29bc7fcb7d7aebbcd845b7283a69581f

Until then, for what it is worth, here is what I have learned so far in the years following a traumatic event as a student of Grief 101.

Year 1 – Brutal. Be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much.

Year 2 – Brutal, times two. That baseball-bat bruise has changed color, but don’t be fooled: you have push deeper, but the wound still festers. You realize he really is never coming back.

Year 3 – There is light. Some normalcy. When sorrow leaks out, you guard it, carefully. Disbelief resurfaces.

Year 4 – Here is where I find myself. Thinking: how is it that I can now feel joy, laugh and sing and sometimes even forget. Then, an ambush. It’s okay – you know whose you are, and He knows you.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me… all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139: 1, 16)

IMG_3749

All the days. 

IMG_4127

All my days, all your days, all of my son’s days.

IMG_4136

As I head into Year 5, I realize could not have forestalled Gordie’s death any more than I can my own.

Screen Shot 2020-04-18 at 9.44.56 AM

But we can trust Jesus, this Man of Sorrows, acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3)

incredulity-of-saint-thomas-1602

What seems like a lifetime later, I finally pop out of the woods, grateful for grief and the release that follows.

IMG_1024

Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful son.

Under Construction

We were talking today in my online church community group about how we are now, in our personal quarantines, a lot like the Apostle Paul, who spent much of his adult life in prison.

If he wasn’t being beaten by rods, stoned, or shipwrecked, you could usually find Paul locked in some dungeon somewhere writing letters to his beloved churches and occasionally being sprung from behind bars by an angelic encounter.

The man certainly led an interesting life.

14430870_f520

(Image from Owlcation)

I adore Paul’s writing.

I often pray this passage from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians over my children:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

IMG_3540

Amen indeed!

I like to go back to passages of Paul again and again –  Romans 81 Corinthians 13, and one of my favorites, Philippians 4  – and each time that I do, I find new treasure I hadn’t noticed before or a nuance from his words that leads to a deeper understanding of some truth. I know I could do this the rest of my life and never plumb the full depths of his beautiful scripture.

unnamed

The other day, I was in Ephesians and I came across this:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

IMG_3827

The school where I live and work is currently constructing a new center for the arts. It’s a massive project that will result in a massive building which will, in turn, allow us to offer our boys ways to grow and create and expand in ways previously unimagined.

IMG_3497

This past fall, when one of the gigantic beams was ready to be raised, everyone in our community gathered around and signed our names on it. For as long as that building stands, a record of us will be tattooed on its bones.

I thought about Paul’s words – that we are members of his household.

Built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets

Christ Jesus is the chief cornerstone, that is, the focal point, the place where the building begins and from whom the building garners its strength.

It’s a structure made up of us, his children, and every one of us is either a brick or a board or a nail or a door – and together we become a holy temple, each of us doing our part to make space for God to live by His Spirit.

IMG_3953

I thought about the process of construction.

It’s terribly messy, to be honest: piles of steel and wood and glass, traffic cones and cigarette butts, blowing plastic, canting port-o-potties, trailers and fencing and buckets and mud.

Is that us?

Constantly being added to, adjusted, straightened – wobbly and skeletal, marked by tool and time and trial – relying upon one another floor by floor as we reach toward heaven?

Without that first stone – our Jesus – the building would topple. We would topple.

I am so grateful we have a patient Savior, a kind and loving foreman who doesn’t look at all of our mess and think – that will never amount to anything.

Too many holes. Not enough shingles.

We may be constantly under construction, but even so, we are His holy temple where He has chosen to dwell.

IMG_4020

As we bide our time, like Paul, in isolated cells, I pray that we will consider the critical role we play in girding those around us.

Brick by lovely brick, the One who can do immeasurably more than anything we could possibly ask or imagine will shape us into His cherished and enduring edifice.

A Future Nostalgia

I once won a national championship with a baby in my belly.

IMG_3898

At the time, I hadn’t known I was pregnant. It was too early for morning sickness and my hockey gear still fit.

In Duluth, Minnesota, there is an arena on the shore of Lake Superior. I drove by it recently, and the memory of that tournament years ago came billowing back: standing shoulder-to-shoulder with my teammates as the national anthem played, sprinting back to the hotel before the championship game because I had forgotten my contacts, skating with a reckless abandon that predated motherhood.

I have been a mother now for going on 27 years; my recent trip through Duluth, past that old rink, and on to Superior, Wisconsin, was to watch a son play the game that I love.

IMG_3925

At the time of that tournament, so long ago, it would years before he was born. Now, his oldest sibling, that baby in my belly, has a child of her own.

IMG_3900

I cannot shake the nostalgia.

IMG_3905

For it was here, on the other side of that great lake, where my family lived for years.

IMG_3904

Snow fell there at Halloween and did not stop until Easter, banks piled higher than the cars, roads a treacherous hardpack where snowmobiles raced in the night.

IMG_3903

Huge freighters tooted good naturedly to one another as they chugged up the St. Mary’s River, one block from my open window, where I sat nursing my babies or reading them fairy tales.

IMG_3921

We would tuck into strollers and roam the Soo Locks, where big ships would pass through on their way to Detroit.

IMG_3915

“Look,” I told my little blondie the first time there. “See the boat?”

IMG_3930

“Where, Mama?” he asked, puzzled. “What boat?”

IMG_3919

His tiny perspective could not behold the wall of steel gliding by, stories high, and judge it “boat.”

IMG_3914

I needed to remember, wanted to recapture, those days decades ago on that wild, windy lake.

One baby, two babies, three babies, four.

Tugging those littles in a wagon to the beach, bathing them in a kiddie pool in our driveway upon return; pre-school skates with other mommies, hands laden with toddlers and strollers and snacks; days devoid of mobile phones and college bills and worried weariness.

So much has happened, so much has come and gone.

IMG_0145

Why do we ache for the past?

IMG_0157

Surely there were troubles then, heartbreak and conflict and pain?

IMG_3908

Does my old body long for its former might, my old brain wish to remember only the ease, my old soul believe that there is only more loss ahead?

IMG_1853

I looked in the mirror this morning and was startled by the face staring back at me.

IMG_3758

When did I get so old? 

Recently, I have been waging a war against a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; I know it is unlikely I will ever stand again at a blue line and hear the sweet chords of an anthem play. I may never be able to run more than a few miles at a stretch or sleep unperturbed through the night.

Although I am fighting back with diet and determination, the outcome, as all things earthly, is not assured.

IMG_3933

Could it be that as I look up at the steel wall of the uncertain years ahead, my perspective needs to change?

IMG_0054

Am I – are we – nostalgic not for what is past, with its twisted tableaus and rosy reminiscences, but for what actually awaits?

IMG_3920

The apostle Paul had much hope to offer in that regard, for he tells the Corinthian church:

We are convinced that even if these bodies we live in are folded up at death like tents, we will still have a God-built home that no human hands have built, which will last forever in the heavenly realm. We inwardly sigh as we live in these physical “tents,” longing to put on a new body for our life in heaven…So, while living in this “tent,” we groan under its burden, not because we want to die but because we want these new bodies. We crave for all that is mortal to be swallowed up by eternal life. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4

IMG_0163

I groan, longing to don this God-framed body like a beautiful dress, silken and soft, aeolian, the color of butter or kittens or foam from the sea.

IMG_0169

And this is no empty hope, Paul continues, for God himself is the one who has prepared us for this wonderful destiny. And to confirm this promise, he has given us the Holy Spirit, like an engagement ring, as a guarantee.

That’s why we’re always full of courage. Even while we’re at home in the body, we’re homesick to be with the Master— for we live by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. We live with a joyful confidence, yet at the same time we take delight in the thought of leaving our bodies behind to be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:5-8

It’s been a rough decade for many of us.

We cannot possibly know what 2020 holds and beyond, but we can trust the Father, who has told us that of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:7

Ever expanding, ever enlarging, the eternity ahead tugs at the one nestled in my heart, nostalgic for that great and glorious prize, the promise that has yet to be fulfilled for we who believe.

An Unexpected Parade

I wasn’t expecting to be in a parade today.

In fact, I was only trying to donate some old clothes to Savers, but that is not how things turned out.

Sometimes we welcome the unexpected; sometimes we decidedly do not. I’ve found, however, that there is always something to be gained when life surprises us.

Always.

This morning, I left church at the usual time, that is, when it was over: I needed to get rid of some clothing and shoes the lads no longer needed, so I headed over to the mall, fully anticipating to ditch and drive.

I had a house to clean, a lawn to mow, and I wasn’t about to be sucked into the vortex of exchange: dropping one of bag of things only to shop for another.

When my boys were little and we lived on the Upper Peninsula, we had a tradition every summer of driving down to St. Ignace to attend an antique-and-tricked-out car parade.

download

I think I loved it as much as they, all those shiny machines meticulously, lovingly restored. We would sit on the curb and eat ice cream and watch them glide by, content in the simplicity of the moment.

Car-Show-768x305

Later, whenever we would see a similar car out on the high-and-byways, one of us would yell “Parade car!” and all would try to grab a glimpse before it hurtled past. Sometimes, stuck in a car seat, a boy would miss it, and I don’t know who felt worse, him or me.

To this day, my youngest can point out a Bentley or an Audi-aught-whatever or a turbo-charged something-or-other in a lane of traffic going the opposite direction at 70 miles an hour. He’s an auto-savant, and no number of Top Gear episodes watched with him can catch me up to his skill.

I do still appreciate a good parade car, though, and so was pleasantly surprised when, turning the last corner to Savers, I saw a whole parking lot full of them, including my favorite, the Mustang convertible 1964 1/2.

ebay429209

Gawking, I obeyed the waving policeman and drove through the intersection worried what it might mean for my mission. It became clear soon enough.

Lining the mall road on both sides were families much like my own way-back-when, waiting for the special cars to parade past. They blocked the entrance to the drop-off for Savers two layers thick, and I didn’t have the heart to elbow through and make those little ones lose their coveted spots.

To my surprise, as I continued to drive down this lane of fans fully intending to get out of there before the mayhem truly began, they began to cheer – to wave – to stand and applaud.

I was confused.

Surely a small black Jeep with 100,000+ miles and covered in a thick veneer of New Hampshire dust didn’t deserve such accolades.

And indeed it was so: I looked in the rearview, and saw a man bedecked in an American flag onesie astride a Harley with ape-hanger handlebars positioned to start the parade.

Ohhhhhh.

They weren’t cheering for me; they only wanted the parade to start. It’s what they came for, what they were expecting. And I certainly couldn’t blame them: when you sit all morning out on the hot asphalt waiting to see a 1947 Studebaker, a 2016 Jeep just doesn’t cut it.

www.tedisgraphic.com

I gave onesie man – and the crowd – a big wave and headed home with two big bags of unwanted apparel still sitting in my perfectly ordinary, non-parade-able car.

I hadn’t thought of those St. Ignace parades and the little-ness of my boys in quite some time.

Two of them are men now; one is gone. Their sister is about to make me a grandmother, and I’m both so-ready and not-so-ready for that marvelous miracle.

Briefly being in that parade was a gift, totally unexpected, one that brought me to tears as I considered its weight.

I am blessed with children. I love them ferociously, unwaveringly.

I seek, if not to love, at least to understand, what they love and join them in their loving. Their little-love of parade cars moves me today as much as it did back then, as much as their first-loves and adult-dreams continue to keep me on my knees.

IMG_3331

We are caught in the middle.

I wasn’t expecting to lose a son, or his father, or all the things that one loses when one lives a long-enough life.

IMG_3931

And yet, the hope that remains tethers us to the crazy impossibility of God’s promise: to be together, again, for all of eternity, ten-thousand-upon-ten-thousands of years – life, life, and more life, forever and ever with a perspective that sees what we cannot see now.

IMG_3307

Hallelujah.

 

 

 

 

 

On Borders

The Princess reminded me recently that she has always lived in a state that borders Canada: Maine, Michigan, New York and now the beautiful Northeast Kingdom.

This week, she and her hubs took me across the border to the tiny town of Stanstead, where we walked through quiet neighborhoods admiring the stony architecture and manicured lawns.

Of course there was a rink.

IMG_3134

Everything was so orderly, including the street we drove down later which had Vermont homes on one side and Quebec maisons on the other. No one seemed concerned that two countries were literally sharing the same asphalt, telephone poles, and drainage ditches.

Crossing back and forth between Canada and the U.S. was peaceful and calm, cars lined up in the queue patiently waiting their turn, people politely answering the Custom Agents’ questions, passports methodically reviewed and found sufficient.

It got me thinking about borders.

IMG_3137

Borders are everywhere.

IMG_3146

Borders are necessary.

Sheep need fences or they will wander off and be torn apart by wolves. Worse, one errant sheep can cause the demise of a whole flock as lamb after clueless lamb follow the leader to their doom.

IMG_3147

Staying within a given border is critical for a society to function.

IMG_3145

Speed limits, postal codes, environmental regulations – these all exist to keep us and those around us safe.

IMG_3150

Sadly, our family knows all too well what happens when you go outside the lines.

IMG_3148

If indeed good fences make good neighbors, as Robert Frost observed, why do we fight so hard to bash against them, try to hurtle over them, tear and slash at their protection?

It seems as if all we do these days is push against each other’s borders demanding that the other side either join us over here or stay over there and leave us alone.

I’m not sure when everything became so complicated.

When I was little, I loved to wander in the woods, adopt stray kittens from the farmer’s hayloft up the street, wrestle and run and raise a ruckus.

IMG_3140

I wanted to be a boy, but when I told my mother this, she simply said, “You don’t have a penis. You cannot be a boy.”

Sometimes the greatest kindness is a no.

I went on to discover that I could be a tomboy and a girly girl, all because my wise mother set for me a border of common sense. By affirming who I truly was, she gave me the freedom to explore all of the complicated me-ness that wanted to be known.

IMG_3144

As an athlete, I am concerned that one day, women like my daughter will not be able to qualify for the Boston Marathon because borders were erased and we could not get them back.

IMG_3139

We need borders.

God Himself gave us borders, 10 rules for living that, when followed, make for a happy and well-balanced life. 

Recently, I have been praying a dangerous prayer.

Fatigue, self-pity, and indifference had worn me thin, and I wanted to get back to a place where walking with God was my highest priority.

So I prayed: Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Be careful what you wish for.

Did God send me ease, a pat on the back?

Nope.

Things actually got tougher, which made me press into Him deeper, which caused me to see myself clearer, which made me want to cringe and cry.

Jesus called this the plank in your own eye (Matthew 7:3), and mine was the size of a redwood. I wanted to point my finger at that person or this situation, to blame something or someone outside of myself for my own wretched faults.

But here’s the thing: God, the author of perfect borders, did not leave me where I was; He, the Shepherd, led, and I, the reluctant sheep, followed Him back to inside the fence where there truly was good grass and freshclear water.

I am reminded that God is a loving Father who wants to keep us and those around us safe.

He’s not surprised when we push against His boundaries, but He is firm.

He is willing to teach if we are willing to learn.

Go

Moving is brutal.

This is not a new revelation for me, as over the last 3 decades, I have switched locales more than the Bedouins.

As an adult, I twice moved from Connecticut to Providence and, once in Rhode Island, moved apartments twice more before finally settling into my first married home. Maine and Michigan were next, and, while in Michigan, I moved from a rental home to a split level, all the while accumulating children and belongings.

Following that came New Hampshire: 2 moves in Henniker, from a cramped dorm space surrounded by hostile party-ers, I mean, college students (they resented the loss of their common room, now occupied by toddlers and pre-schoolers, whose schedules were wildly incompatible with their own), then to a Cape my family and I occupied for only 8 months. I lost the shade to a favorite lamp there and, unwilling to give up the lamp or buy a new shade, I boxed up the lamp and ultimately reunited it with its shade – 2 moves later.

From Henniker, the fam moved into a 5-bedroom in Durham with a deck, a yard, and a pool; a year later, a fire forced us across town to a rental (it had a skating pond! and bears!) while wrangling with our insurance company to repair our gutted original home. When they finally complied, it had been beautifully restored, but had somehow lost a bedroom.

Post-divorce, I was forced to sell this wonderful place – my best friend lived two doors down – and split my time between a tiny 2-bedroom in Raymond and my work/dorm apartment in Canaan.

In the midst of all that, I also chose to live for six months in a tent with a squirmy 10-year-old, a different place every night between Georgia and Maine.

Let’s just say I’ve moved a lot.

And while I realize there are people who do this routinely their whole lives – Coasties, for example, or serial killers – let’s just say I’m ready to stay put for a while.

This past week, I moved yet again, across campus, this time into the first floor of a spacious farm house that my school owns. It looks out across a wide expanse of field and is bordered by woods on one side and a clear mountain stream on the other. There’s storage for my bikes and gear, lots of tall windows, a screened-in porch.

My personal Promised Land.

This last move, however, was the one that almost broke me.

Nothing really prepares you – not even multiple previous moves – for the chaos of switching spaces.

IMG_2905

I enlisted the help of many for the big day: my son and son-in-law, handsome Samsons who can throw couches around like confetti; my brother Rick, the one with the truck; my daughter who, despite being half-way through her first pregnancy, lifted and dragged like a champ; my son-in-law’s two sisters, 11 and 16, sturdy Georgian girls not intimidated by a box of books; my colleague from across the quad; and two of my students and their mom, who were kind enough to show up during their summer vacation in the pouring rain. *

I’d like to say I managed this eclectic group with grace and kindness, but the ugly truth is, I was impatient and snippy and completely overwhelmed.

IMG_2891

Furniture arrived, rain-drenched, before I could decide upon a final resting place. Unlabeled boxes had to be dug through to know where they belonged. The newly-installed rug was christened by traffic, and not in a good way.

Despite being barked at by me, my helpers remained optimistic and energetic, hauling things back and forth and up and down, until at last all that remained in the old apartment were the cats and the litter box.

IMG_2896

Cat, actually. We lost one for a while.

91831-004-B9F68253-1

I am comforted in remembering that the story of God’s people is one of constant movement.

Abraham, faithful father of nations, was told by God: “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1)

So he went, not knowing where he was going or what he would find there. But he knew God, knew His heart.

Abraham trusted that God had a purpose in uprooting him, and that the magnitude of the blessing that awaited him would far outweigh any inconvenience.

And so, too, must we trust. We never know where God might move us, but His placement is always secure.

My pastor reminded us this Sunday of the profound goodness of having a roof over our head. 150 million people on planet earth do not have a home, and 1.6 billion live in subpar housing.

What can one person do in the face of such crisis?

A lot, actually.

Sponsor a child.

Help build a home.

Feed the poor.

If all of us do something, even just one thing, we can raise roofs for the needy across the street or across the globe. Be their neighbor.

IMG_2912

I’m happy to be settled into my new place. I’m guessing it will take the rest of the summer to unpack and get things in order, the way I like them.

IMG_2904

I’m hopeful that this long season of moving is over, and I can rest for a while, secure in His placement but willing to go, should He need.

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Will bring her into the wilderness,
And speak comfort to her.
I will give her her vineyards from there,
And the Valley of Achor as a door of hope;
She shall sing there,
As in the days of her youth,
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt. (Hosea 2:14,15)

 

*To Rick, Caleb, Maddy, Hannah, Eden, Trish, Caden, Spencer, Pat, and Owen: thank you and I’m sorry.