Thursday, May 23, 2013


MASSIVE Kleenex alert for this one.

Not much commentary to add here except to say that life is about choice.  You get to decide if you are gong to buckle under the pressure or rise above it.

Choose wisely. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Repaying Kindness

Over the years I have been in many conversations regarding the goodness of people.  From the homeless, to people at the churches we've attended, to the person behind me in line, people have very distinct opinions about how others have treated them, which leads them to generalize about how the population treats one another.

I tend to run toward the Pollyanna version of people because, despite what the media wants me to believe, their "overwhelming evidence" to the contrary, I still see people as striving to assist others, do the right thing, and generally be good citizens.

In reading this article, I felt a great deal of reassurance that my viewpoint of people is not lacking.  At least for this man-customer, there is a need to fulfill his obligations, repay kindness, and be an upstanding citizen who won't let a good deed go unnoticed.

Quite fittingly, he remains completely anonymous.  And the restaurateur, still as generous as he was all those years ago, is still giving of himself, offering a free glass of wine if only this stranger will return to his restaurant.

This is the filter through which I choose to see the world.  This is love in action: people carrying each other's burdens, being kind when it isn't warranted, and repaying kindness even when there is no expectation.  This is the goodness that I know God intended for our world.

This is the kindness of Heaven, come to Earth.

Thank you, Lord, for rays of hope in the midst of darkness.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hitting Bottom

Have you ever wished away the days in favor of an uncertain future only to find yourself realizing that you missed out on the present?

Pined for a simpler time in the midst of difficult circumstances to discover that the worst of times were actually the best for you?

Life is complicated and complex and ridiculously hard at times.  It is tragic and ugly and hair-raising in spades.  But, it is also beautiful and elegant in all its messiness.

Lately, it has been my secret wish to find all the answers to the why questions that have built up in my mind over the years.  So many of those answers would unlock doubts in my mind and release fears and anger and frustration.  Some answers need to come from other people.  Some need to come from God.  Some need to come from within myself.  Yet, I've found myself too tired, uninspired and emotionally unprepared to dig deep.  I would rather skim the surface than peer below and find the answers. 

I have been feeling an incredible sense of loneliness for the last several weeks.  Though surrounded by people, I am not connecting;  I find myself consciously dis-connecting.  I just want to be and be left alone.  This is selfishness:  a build-up of relying too much on me, of wanting to isolate, to keep people at bay because I don't want to be hurt.  It is unhealthy and I know that.  Breaking free of it is another story altogether, though.

With my isolation came my nemesis:  food.  The old, familiar, comfortable cravings reared their ugly head and I was more than happy to oblige.  The sneaking around, the hypocrisy, and the hiding came right back into my life.  And with it, the weight.  The pounds I shed over Lent are back, like an unwelcome guest that wasn't invited to the party but you don't know how to kick to the door.  They seem to have chosen my upper arms as their breeding ground and are having way too much fun giggling around there.  Now that I am clearer-headed, I see the irony of isolating and eating:  though no one sees what you are doing in the "dark", they see the effects of what is happening and "see" what you are doing.

Gym?  Exercise?  What are those?  They have been dropped from my vocabulary for an entire school year.  I'm pretty sure leaving them behind was the first step toward isolation.  

I had a come-to-Jesus with myself in the shower over all this today and am heading back to Weight Watchers online in the near future.  And, praise God, my neighbor wanted a follow-up to the summer kids' triathlon training I did last year.  So, over the next nine weeks, I will be training and working alongside at least four kids who are a quarter my age (minus a few years) for a 5K in August.  I'm jumping out of the fire into the proverbial frying pan.  Maybe my arms will succumb to the heat? 

So, here I am on the mend.  Baring my scars for you to see.  Wishing I had had the sense to turn to my friends and family to pray me through this.  I'm heading upward.  Funny thing is that I hadn't realized, until I hit a softish bottom this morning, that there was anything really wrong.  Deception is funny like that, isn't it?

I keep hearing "Woulda, coulda, shoulda" in my mind.  Those are the Devil's playground.  And, finally, I feel like I've got his number again.  So I'm kicking him to the curb.

I'm ready to face life again.  Ready to put myself out there.  Ready to feel healthy and able to do this thing called life with no regrets and no pining and no looking back and chiding myself.

This is a good day to be alive.  This is a good day to start again.  This is a good day, period.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

(I went to search for a particular verse to end this post and looky what I found...brought tears to my eyes...
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17)


Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Sometimes I create a post because I want to be able to remember something the kids said.  Sometimes I just know people will crack up when they read about what happens when four penises converge under one roof.  Other times, I want to be able to look back and say "Wow.  That really happened.  Thank you Lord!"

This is one of those posts.

It has been a banner week for Hoo.  He took first place in sparring and second place in forms at a local Taekwondo tournament.  Tonight his soccer team took the championship trophy home.

The kid kind of popped out of my uterus primed for manhood.   He loves everything manly:  guns, sports, meat.  So, it is no surprise that he has tried almost every sport known to humankind.  If someone suggests that he would be good on a team, he jumps at the opportunity to try it out.

So, when Mike and Hoo were discussing next steps (ie:  what sport are you going to conquer over the summer?), Hoo made sure to be extremely to the point about what was coming next:  nothing but Taekwondo.

He is going to eat, sleep, breathe, and practice nothing but forms and sparring. 
He is going to get not only a college scholarship to be on the Taekwondo team, he is going to do it while he is practicing Taekwondo for the Olympics.  And if one Olympics is more than most can expect or wish for, he is going to exceed that by going twice.
Finally, he is going to retire early, after his second Olympic experience.

Y'all.  He is dead, stiff-as-a-board, serious.

And something in me says he just might do it.
And, frankly, that scares me.

So I'm praying that his dreams will come true, that he will accomplish what he sets out to do.  If that includes the Olympics, great.  If his dreams shift, fine.  If we have to pay for college, OK.

I'm trying not to worry that he might be isolating himself from the friends he has made on the sports field.  I have to hope that his outgoing spirit will keep him from losing touch with the sweet boys he has come to know.

Time will tell. 
God will be Hoo's guide and ours.
We'll know what's right as the decisions have to be made.

And, in the meantime, we will have one super-cute karate kid on our hands.

Wax on, wax off, Hoo.