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Setting Goals No One Sees

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

“I will not be where I am forever.” I spoke those words aloud into the sterile hospital room where I sat in semi-darkness. Monitor lights blinked, beeps sounded, and answers vanished. It’s nice when ah-ha moments are born out of inspiration and excitement, but sometimes such moments are birthed in deepest desperation and despair. Perhaps those are the most pivotal of them all. My daughter, once a vibrant twenty-six-year-old mother of two didn’t respond to my declaration into the quiet night. She couldn’t. Paralyzed by a mysterious brain stem lesion, her ability to walk, talk, and move had been stripped months ago. Postponing death while praying for life took all who loved her through an endless tunnel of blind corners, cruel and disheartening. At each turn the road seemed blacker than the one behind. Hope like a reoccurring mirage...

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Who is that Baby in a Manger?

Posted by on Dec 25, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

Every year, of my childhood, the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, Christmas pageant practice began. The characters were the same every year, the players different. We sat in wooden pews, lines of grade-schoolers, and waited for the announcement of who would play Mary and Joseph. The revelation always sparked envy, admiration, or vanity. The angels came next, then the shepherds and wise men were named. Sometimes even animals had parts with costumes of sheep, cows or camels. A living star shone above a wooden shed built and carried into the sanctuary each year. Herod, the bad dude and his evil cohorts had parts too around a throne big enough for ten kids. The leftovers made up a choir of children who jostled and joked throughout every practice. There were robes for the shepherds, crowns for the wise men, wings and...

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Train Up a Child

Posted by on Nov 13, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

In the small town where I grew up, “turning out” was a big deal. A person turned out right when they got a steady job, got married, had a family, and stayed in the same church in which they were raised. It was the formula hovering over each parent, judging their success or failure. Nothing fueled gossip or categorized social strata as much as how offspring turned out. “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6; NASB). On four Sundays, my husband and I dedicated four different children. I remember each occasion. I also remember feeling uncomfortable with my parenthood visible for all to see and sensing that I was inept at the task. Our first child, a baby girl, cried (aka screamed) all the...

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Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Posted by on Oct 8, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 6 comments

Charity bounced into the kitchen. Two braids swung behind her. Her black Italian school uniform covered mismatched pants and shirt. The hidden kaleidoscope of colors was her way of nose-thumbing against the system’s imposed social equality. It was hard to stand out in a standardized sea of black robed children. But not our child. Oh no, Charity was the only one that sported a Chiquita banana sticker stuck on her forehead. “I’m starting a new fad,” she told me. Her blue eyes sparkled. It was hard to appreciate her excitement with that white sticker smack dab in the center. “Oh, I see,” I said, wondering why the only American in the entire school needed to brand herself as different. “Everyone will want a Chiquita banana sticker like mine,” she pointed one finger at it then carefully felt around its...

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Hold My Hand

Posted by on Sep 11, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 6 comments

“Mommy?” Charity whispered into the dark still night. “Hold my hand.” I felt the soft skin of her little hand slide smoothly into mine. It fit perfectly, like it was meant to be there. The connection reached straight into my mommy heart. Together we picked our way through the rocky path toward the warm light of the house window. Conscious of that little hand warming mine I thought how soon she would grow out of this dependence. Will I know when the last time comes, I wondered? Will I know when she is too big to reach for my hand? Will I notice? Perhaps it will take a dark night like this before I’ll realize my hand is empty, and I’ll wonder how long it’s been since her little fingers curled into mine. Years passed. It was a night...

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Church is Kinda a Big Deal

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in A CHERISHED FAMILY, Blog, Inspiration for the Journey | 0 comments

A longing in our souls for God begins early. It flourishes in a child as it does in adults when watered by His Word and nourished within the body of Christ. Church is kinda a big deal. The boy Jesus, as part of Israelite tradition, made the journey from His home in Nazareth to worship in the temple at Jerusalem. Anticipation of coming worship moved throughout generations. Families responded with joyful singing, one in heart and purpose as they made the trek. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God,’ the Psalmist penned in a congregational song. Psalm 84:2 (NIV). I wondered about such deep desire to assemble together within a church body when little children hung all over my body. Joseph and Mary joined in one...

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