We were poor newlywed college students looking for a way to pass the evening when we had the brilliant idea of popping over to the local mall for an ice cream cone from the fancy creamery. Since money was tight, we decided to get one double-scoop cone and share it, each of us picking a topping. It was going to be the best ice cream ever. We each selected the thing we were most craving and we peered through the glass as the attendant folded our independent choices into a single pile of ice cream on the cold marble slab: fresh cherries and Oreo cookies. It was indeed one epic ice cream cone. Hands down the worst we’ve ever had. It was so bad, in […]
Dear Mom, When you said recently that you didn’t homeschool us because you didn’t think you could, you were wrong. The truth is, you did educate us at home, even though we pursued academics at school. The more I learn about everything involved in the education of a whole person, the more I see how much of my education was shaped by you. You taught me to read before I started kindergarten, and you instilled in me a love for books by reading to me at an early age. You fed me books that stirred my imagination and inspired me. You taught me to pursue excellence in all things, because you knew what I was capable of. You showed me how […]
“You don’t make sacrifices.” I hear his belligerent ten-year-old voice in my head as I pick up another sheet and fold it. “I die daily,” I argue back as I dump the basket of towels and pick up the one on top. The laundry today feels like a slow death. Death by socks. I daydream a little as I fold and stack, fold and stack. How much easier it would be to leave this house every day and move among a world of rational adults who appreciate the contributions I make! How much easier to ship my kids off somewhere so I could pursue lofty goals and dreams instead of keeping house and tending to needs day in and day out! […]
I see the world from my own personal point of view. I know my own story, and I can see the roles other people play in it. But the world doesn’t revolve around me. I play a role in other people’s stories, too. Sometimes I’m an extra–another face in the grocery aisle as a widower goes to the store alone for the first time in forty years. Sometimes I’m a villain–the one who was in such a hurry that I cut off a lady in traffic and made her sit at that long red light twice, causing her to be late for an appointment. Sometimes I get to be an angel–swooping in to someone’s rescue before flying off again. Sometimes […]
There— Do you see it?— There, At the end of the long aluminum guard rail, There At the edge of the tire-tracked gravel Spilled over from the rumble-stripped asphalt, There, In the shadow of the wooden cross Wreathed by silk flowers, There, Among the shards of broken glass A wildflower blooms.
This is my favorite time-with-you of day, These moments just after you wake With the pink flush of sleep Upon your cheeks And the glisten of a tear Caught in the round place Beside your nose. Your lashes bat away the light That brightens blue your slumbered eyes As you up-reach two dimpled hands And sweetly call my name. I pull your tiny frame up Up into my arms and you Golden-nestle softly tussled head Upon my chest And rest Until the siren call of play Sweetly beckons you away And you scramble from my arms To leave.
As I was out with my children yesterday, I noticed the trees in bud along the road beginning to blossom. Half-open pinks and whites heralded the awakening of spring and new life. Joy and beauty bloomed before my eyes. But my heart wasn’t ready to see it. With a pang I thought, “No! Not yet! It’s not time!” The reaction startled me. Every winter I long for spring and I rejoice with the green and gold and dappled things. But it’s mid-February—these things are out of season. And my heart is grieving. Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. Proverbs 25:20, NLT The […]
I am married to a man who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in just over one minute. I’m baffled each time I watch him do it. The moment he solves one part, he begins unmaking it in order to pursue the next level of completion. What I thought was accomplished now looks undone. Once that level is complete, colors get even more jumbled as he puts other pieces into their proper places. It’s a messy prospect. I get a bit squeamish watching it. But then, all it takes is the flick of a wrist… And all is made right again. Whole. Complete. I am that Rubik’s Cube. This process of unmaking and rearranging of pieces is messy. I’m holding out […]
I normally love the bright glow of the late afternoon sun as it falls pleasantly over the countryside and streams through my windows, but today I noticed a harsh reality: the same golden light that brightens the goodness outside also highlights how dirty my kitchen is. I was shocked and appalled to see smudges, smears, and streaks covering the front of my oven, refrigerator, and two cabinets. So appalled, in fact, that I dropped what I was doing and immediately set to work washing off the grime. I knew if I let the moment pass, the light would fade and I’d grow complacent again with the dirt I would no longer see. I wanted to make use of that moment […]
I remember the first time I walked into our latest real estate project. My buddy Scott found a good deal and wanted me to see it. The enormous dead tree lying in the front yard was just a prelude to what we’d find inside. Standing in the kitchen, we felt squeezed by the dark, dirty, depressing space. Most people would have taken one look and passed on this old house, despite the great location in a quiet neighborhood. No appeal was visible to the naked eye. Scott and I, however, saw potential. Yes, potential for profits, but also potential to use our God-given abilities to take something damaged and make it beautiful again. Scott imagined stripping the kitchen, knocking down […]