About striving, being good enough, and failing

I know, I know.  It’s been a month since I last posted.  I meant to be more regular here.  September is my crunch month, so I have a legit excuse.  Since mid August, I have:  Read the rest of this entry »


People who bear God’s thumbprints

There are people who have the unmistakable stamp of Grace, the thumbprint of God, on their face and their life. Read the rest of this entry »

Back to a family of four

We’ve had my sister’s son Nate staying with us the last few weeks. We took him home with us after our visit in NC, and he worked with Uncle Kirk on the airplane projects. He made fittings, and did various manly things with power tools. He also made us his special fabulous chocolate cake, and a big batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, which is sitting in my freezer at home, waiting to be baked into cookies.

Tonight, I am sitting in my sister-in-law’s living room, having hugged Nate goodbye and sent him off in my brother-in-law’s plane with Scott and Kirk flying. They dropped Nate off at an airport in Indiana, where his dad was waiting for him. Kirk and Scott are back, so the nerve-buzz of having my husband gone in a small-airplane and out of contact until he lands is worn off. And I’m missing Nate. Read the rest of this entry »

I love a good funeral…

I played the piano this morning for a funeral at church. Dolores H., an apparently VERY old lady whom I had never met, but who had attended our church for years and years, had finally slipped the surly bonds, as it were, and there was only me to play for the commemoration. Read the rest of this entry »


A friend walked in today just as I was hanging up from an intense phone call regarding an earlier, MUCH MORE INTENSE phone call. The earlier call had been hanging over my head for 3 weeks–I needed to call and speak plainly to someone about issues that I cannot put into a public blog. I’ve been a craven coward in making this phone call. I mean seriously, terror-stricken beyond all rational thought.

My husband left for the morning, taking children with him, so that I would have the space and the quiet to make this call. I spent a lot of time on my face, begging God to give me the courage I did not have to say hard and unwelcome things. And as I prayed, I realized that part of my difficulty lay in the fact that I believed that I could and should exit this conversation having made everything all better. That by the time I finished the call, my friend would have realized the truth of what I was saying and committed to taking the action I recommended, and would be headed to the health toward which I am trying to point her.

And I realized that that is basically a belief that I am God. That I can fix things for people and they are fixed. That I have a responsibility to make them understand and obey the truth. That I know the truth.

And so I confessed that sin. And I made the call. It went okay–there wasn’t a whole-hearted reception of the things I said, but also not rejection. I didn’t throw up or die. The phone call ended with a mutual expression of affection and good-will. I hope and pray that my exhortation will have some effect, but know that I have said what I needed to.

And as I was reporting all this in the second phone call, my friend walked in. I finished my call, and turned to greet her. Her first words were, “Trying to save the world?”

“No,” I answered. “I had to repent of the idea that I COULD.”

Role model

Entry for June 13, 2006
“I want to be George W—- when I grow up,” my husband says to me. Read the rest of this entry »

Woman Seen from the Window of My Husband’s School

She stood out in the parking lot of the school, arms thrown wide to the sun, waving willow switches, and talking continuously with someone I could not see. It was clearly a conversation–she pointed and gestured toward the dumpster, looked back to see if she was comprehended, and waved her willows again. Read the rest of this entry »


T had a hurt foot, and we’d discussed soaking it in a bath using that mysterious box in the medicine cabinet.

“Mom,” he said, “maybe we should soak it in E-possum salts.” Read the rest of this entry »


Ian, putting on his brother’s clip-on tie: “Mom, Tobin must be a pastor, because he has a TIE.” Read the rest of this entry »

A Marriage Observed

I see them every Monday morning at the gym: a tiny little couple, some flavor of Asian, wrinkled, ancient, moving carefully. He is no bigger than she, though she appears to have retreated into the silence and confusion which claimed my own grandfather. Read the rest of this entry »