For so long, the majority of us have suffered from deep thirst—the kind of soul-thirst that longs for real peace. But in our desperation to change the way we feel, we’ve often been willing to take whatever love and happiness we can get.
Zac died today. If you don’t know who Zac is, don’t feel bad. I didn’t know who he was either until I bought him from the pet store the day before Ellia’s 7th birthday. The truth is, we’re not very responsible pet owners so I’m surprised Zac the blue birthday beta made it as long as he did.
I had a bad weekend. I felt defeated. I felt smaller than I have in months. It was easy to give in to feelings of shame and failure. But in my quiet place of defeat, God offered a moment of clarity—I’m alive, I can think, feel and jump, usually without peeing my pants, and I can keep working to do what I want to do in this world.
Lent is kind of a big deal in our house. Sometimes I think Brett’s the only Baptist dad making his two and four year old say Lenten prayers. For Brett and me, Lent is like Christmas– we spend time thinking about what we’re going to lay down and what we’re going to pick up. We think to past years‘ Lenten seasons, laughing about failed attempts to give up soda or pick up prayerful rock climbing.
We need to think about Lent because the journey toward the cross is a serious one– and we’re right to allow it to house great anticipation. Moving toward the cross and the resurrection is a move toward the core of who we are. It‘s as if we’re cutting through the external story of discipleship to get to the real authentic truth of life.
Brett’s out of town on a mission trip. Owen’s struggling with a sleep strike.
So I felt like the girls and I really needed our pre-sleep prayers tonight.
“I want to pray first!” they said simultaneously—and they yelled this phrase over and over in the hopes that the other would back down and agree to pray last.
The situation escalated til both girls were convulsing and crying and the yelling worked its way up to a high-pitched, hysterical sobbing whine.
I calmly told them to shut it.
Owen had an oncology appointment today. Before every oncology appointment, he has an ultrasound to check out the growth of his liver tumor. This procedure usually takes 15 minutes. But today, the time in which it took to take all those pictures of his insides was the emotional equivalent of two days.
“You can teach what you know, but you will reproduce what you are” -- Christine Caine
A few days ago, Ellia made an autobiographical cereal box. I loved it. Anytime we use recyclable trash for homework purposes, I’m on board.
She named her cereal Elli-O’s. Obviously.
The rest of the box was covered with her dislikes and likes, hobbies, favorite author and musician (currently Stephen Sondheim, which I would argue is not a normal choice for a 7 year-old).
She wanted her cereal to be about who she is and how she lives. So additional to her favorite color, she wrote on her box in gold Sharpie the three lies she doesn’t ever want to believe:
- I am what I do
- I am what I have
- I am what other people say about me
Katie is one of my best friends from seminary. She’s a real life sunshine-y care bear. She’s passionate, deeply kind, and every time I hug her I get glitter on my soul. I recently got back from a two-week stay with her in Florida. On a particularly rainy day during my visit, she came home from her job, noticeably non-glittery and emotionally spent.
“We had a memorial service today,” she said flatly. “I mean, who has a funeral at work?!”