On Babies, Dogs, and God’s Little Rabbit Trails

I have officially become her. My mother. The one who talked to strangers in the grocery store line about things that were way too intimate and transparent for the general public. She used to talk about herself and others would open up to her. Random strangers would share their woes.

gods rabbit 6“Who are you?” I would think. “Must you talk to every tomato bearing elder, or toddler slinging mum you meet?” I tapped my foot impatiently as if just by her conversing with another human, the grocery lines would come to to a stop like some endless slow moving film.  I rolled my eyes at the need to share her story, or the safe portions of her story, while we stood waiting to hear “May I help who’s next?”

gods little 7Now I stand in grocery lines and look at the person waiting in front of me. The art of sharing my story was birthed by a women who was trapped inside the painful memories of a childhood that formed stories built upon cynicism. Though I could share in the same cynicism from my own childhood (*yawn* who doesn’t have wounds –  my childhood was far better than hers), now I gaze at the person in front of me because I am genuinely interested in her story.  

My story can wait. There may be a divine narrative needing to be encouraged in the stress lines of the face peering back at me. Some much needed mama encouragement as we walk together, image bearers trying to find the place that fills empty, aching, arms.

gods rabbit.jpg 5The reflection I see in the mirror, though it is different from my mums, stems from the same place of origin. Not just familial, but humanity’s. She has passed on to eternity and I have replaced her. I am now her.  Yet, fully me. A snowflake with a similar line here or there. I look like her. Sometimes I act like her. I still occasionally roll my ‘R’s with a remnant of Irish brogue. I am surprised to hear her laughter and realize it’s me. I remember details about her when she was my age. Details that seemed so old to a teenager with a lifetime to be lived. Now I look in shock at myself. I am at her place in life. I am her age. This can’t be me. I didn’t even see it coming. 

God's little 3When did I fall in this hole? When did I become my mother, and my daughter become me? When were my eight toddling wee babes replaced by twelve toddling to teen grandchildren? A family was my lifelong dream. It was all I ever wanted. Farm life. Animals. Family. Homebirth. Babies at my breast. The smell of freshly baked cookies and bread rising. I lived it to the fullest all the while finding the sacred in the mundane.

I have lived my dreams. 

 Now, like Beth in Little Women I wonder why “everyone has to go away.”

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But… “I can be brave like you.” 

We all age. We all gain wisdom (hopefully). We learn that other people have stories, and if we are careful, if we have developed empathy, if we have learned to let go of controlling conversations, outcomes, or our own agenda’s – we can hear the divine narrative written on the pages of other image bearers.

My story is completely unique from anyone else’s. Everyone else’s is completely unique from mine. We run into trouble when we try to jump in with the, “I understand what that is like, I…” comments. No, you don’t know what it’s like. I don’t know what it’s like for you either. We are all snowflakes, and snowflakes can’t be imitated. One of a kind.

gods little 12We aren’t comfortable in the silences. We feel threatened by stories. If I tell my story and rip open the flesh, separate the ribs, and expose my heart, it makes you feel insecure in the divine narrative woven throughout your own story. You don’t like the blood and guts. You want tidy, non-offensive, unchanging, and fully clothed. Beautiful. Serene. 

gods little 8My whole life was centered around raising my babies. I home-schooled, they married and lived nearby so that even the grand-kids became part of my day. Friends lived with us, stragglers came on weekends. It was a full house. 

One day, all of that changed. I thought I would be the old lady who had tea with my daughters while I helped them to can the abundance from their gardens. They would borrow books from my extensive home-school library and pick from my home-school career brain. The library has been mostly given away to the parents now carrying on the home-school legacy. Only one has a garden.

The rabbit hole is full of twists and bends. I was blinded to what was ahead. 

They had a divine narrative being spoken into their lives too and we can’t always predict the story line. It is their story line. It’s God narrative for them. 

gods little 9

(c) Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Yet, I find a space to cuddle in white fur. I have always loved dogs, but they made space for nursing babies and became “Nana” to my wee ones. Now I find myself developing the kind of companionship I had with fur before I knew the love of a child at my breast.  I have become one of those people. I have more pictures of my dog on my phone than my grand-kids. I text them to Dave and we laugh over becoming “those people.”

Dog’s love is as reckless as God’s in a creation not creator form. Our new little doggie girl was abused before she came to us via a rescue group as a “foster.” Slated to be euthanized, Big Fluffy rescued her and she landed with us. She would cringe if we reached too quickly towards her. She blinked her eyes waiting to be hit anytime our hand came near. My heart melted as her tail continued to wag, despite the obvious past inhumane treatment.  We “fostered” her with no intent of adopting her, but the day someone was interested, Dave closed the deal and she became ours.

I imagine Jesus must feel like that as he reaches for us at times. We wince and back away from Him, told the lies about a God who is more interested in our mistakes than our redemption.

daisy

Anyone who has experienced abuse and neglect will tell you that they remember forever when they were delivered from it. Maybe it was a day, maybe it was a season – the timing is different for everyone. There is a then and now. In Christ – there is a then and now narrative that plays out in all of our lives. Our little Daisy (who we call Piggy) is living out a then and now narrative in her little life. We see it as our little while love ball blossoms into our protector, keeping us from all harm. She shows her gratitude for being saved in how she loves. 

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She has her own redemption story – from the brokenness of man’s irresponsible and unkind folly, into redemptive life. We are the caretakers of God’s creation. Dominion means care, not abuse.

My Masters of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, has a concentration in “children at risk.” One big rabbit trail in my living intentionally dreams. It’s one big rabbit trail that I travel completely alone. No kids, no husband, no partners. Just me on the road down the Divine Academia Lane. Piggy sits faithfully next to me as I write papers and read endless amounts of books. I am completely engrossed and completely alive.

My prayer is that the knowledge I gain will better the lives of little image bearers and their moms – that I can make a difference. But I really hope to expand my own depth so I will see more of Christ and less of my mother when I look in the mirror. Less of me. I witness a broken world and a church that often is more concerned with self-preservation than laying down their lives.

gods rabbitI have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. It’s more like Jesus. 

From babies, to strangers – maternal healthcare, children, infants, orphans, refugees, broken, bleeding… The world needs the love of God. They need to see the Jesus that lived. The Jesus that went about doing good and healing (and rescuing) all that were oppressed of the devil. Not the one that promises cars, money, mansions, and a perfect life if you have enough faith and “declare it.”  Not the one who turns a blind eye of fear to the plight of refugees, orphans, widows, the marginalized, or people from other religions. 

The Jesus who rescues them and who died that they may live. That’s the Jesus I wanna live like.

Jesus declares he is the way the truth and the life. He declares only Himself. He declares the Kingdom of God is at hand in Emmanuel.

Gods 14Jesus says, “Hey, follow me.” I have something really perfect written just for you. You are part and parcel of this divine narrative. You may not always like where I have to go. Sometimes it may even hurt a bit. There will be rabbit trails and sometime you may get lost. But don’t worry, I will never, ever lose sight of you, even if you fall down the rabbit hole. The only drink that will make you smaller is the one that makes me increase. It’s my magic potion of living water. Drink it with joy and it will reveal the divine narrative that I have written just for you.

God's Rabbit trails 2I have to the drink the potion. It’s time to grow up and leave home.

 

Valentine Hope; Broken Hearts Made Whole

The other day I was actively listening in a conversation with a woman who referred to a happily married couple as, “… so deeply in love, they never fought…” As I was offering support at the time, I tucked the comment away in the back of my mind.

Valentine’s Day is all about happy, romantic, perfect love, right?

valentine 2Dave and I celebrated thirty-two years of marriage yesterday, February 14, 2015, “Valentine’s Day.” This past New Year’s Eve, we celebrated thirty-four years of being together. Thirty-four years is a pretty long time. We are both in our mid-fifties – I have officially spent more of my life with Dave, than without him. I know my life with him, and can’t imagine it without him.

Not because we have had a peaceful, perfect, never fought kind of life, but because we are so intertwined; it is actually quite the opposite. We have been to hell and back several times – often pulling the other along behind us, and at times pushing each other up front.

More often than not, we have regained our directional compass and attempted to shield each other from the flames.

We have fought our way through our share of tough times. Always in love, always friends, and always holding onto our faith in God and each other, we have walked through dark and painful years, loving each other fiercely, and fighting each other passionately. We have momentarily questioned if we had what it takes to make it through to the other side of the chasm of pain and find lasting joy in each other again. We wavered in our faith that God was enough; that our love was enough.

When we first met, I was a young, single, mom, in the middle of a divorce. He was just one of those truly kind guys that represented the Law of the Prophets he had been raised with, even though he wasn’t embracing his Christian heritage at that time.

valentine 3He was moved with compassion for my daughter and me. He helped us when we needed it, and I feel madly in love. (He will also say, “there was something about your dark hair, big brown eyes, big smile and your  personality that made me fall in love with you.”)

I thought he was a god, my knight in shining armor come to save me from a loveless life. For the first seven years we were married, we never fought. I adored him and did everyone in my power to make him happy. We were best friends and he took care of me and our children with everything he had.

During those first seven years we became Christians, in an extremely legalistic cult, and life began to change. There was no shortage of people to point out what the bible said about submission for wives, and spiritual leadership for men. Simply put – I was not submissive enough, and he was too respectful and kind. We started to feel the strain on our marriage as I struggled to become someone and something I was not, and my knight in shining armor wasn’t living up to the Patriarchal mold that was expected.

valentine 1Then we lost our son – not only did we face the loss of a child, but the traumatic death of a child. Anyone with knowledge of traumatic loss would understand the statistics for divorce surrounding the death of a child are extremely high. Add in a spiritually abusive cult, lack of support, PTSD, repressed grief, feelings of shame, guilt, and performance based spirituality…

It was a recipe for disaster in all of our relationships.

Yet, here we are thirty-four years later, more deeply in love than we have ever been, not in spite of the dark and broken times, but because of them. Holding hands in victory over the darkness. ValentineThe scriptures are filled with the sufferings of Christ as the means to make us more like Him. Human relationships are the very place where we are the most challenged to be conformed to His image. They are also the place we witness the unconditional love of Christ in a tangible human; in the places of touch, speak, smell, feel, be.

Relationships are where grace takes form, not just as a theological concept, but as a spiritual reality. God became flesh and dwelt among us to reveal the reality of grace. Marriage is the place we express unmerited favor towards a human as God daily expresses it towards us. Marriage is where we attach, and work out our own rejection, past wounds, and human frailties, by reflecting on who we are in the mirror of the one who owns half of our soul.

And before God who owns it all.

cropped-fall-views-saranac.jpgYesterday Dave and talked about the many sufferings we have endured together and if we regretted having experienced them. Though both of us acknowledge we wish that our children had not been hurt by our difficulties, we embrace the work of grace that God has performed in our lives and our marriage as a result. We no longer fight, we love more, we understand forgiveness.

We can say like Paul,

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”  Phil.3:8

Light always shines the most brightly in the darkness. We have witnessed the light of God in each other as we struggled through dark caverns; we have affirmed the light as we joined hands to navigate the tunnels. We have carried each other when the journey was too much for either of us to bear.IMG_1590 (3)The dark times are just a fading glimmer in comparison to the knowledge of Christ we have gained. Our marriage is a testimony of strength, enduring love, and the power of Christ. We come alongside others who are struggling not because we can say that we have always had a wonderful marriage, or had it all together, but because we can say, We feel your pain, we’ve been where you are. Don’t let go.”

Wounded healers wearing Valentine colors.

St. Valentine was a Catholic priest who disobeyed Roman law to marry couples in secret. Rome liked to have single soldiers or polygamists at that time believing they made better soldiers if they were not worried about a young wife at home. St. Valentine was eventually executed in a horrific three-part torture and execution.

Love that is forged in the fires of life becomes unbreakable iron. Two separate hearts can be attached together by string, or wood, or simple metal strapping and it will hold together as long as it is not tested – as long as it is not put under too much pressure; but intensity, burning, searing, crushing, breaking  – fuses us.

bio both black and whiteYes, we have fought – we have fought the fight of faith and we have won the battle. We are stronger. We are unbreakable. We are friends. We are lovers. We are soul mates.

We are one.

We are a chord of three strands.

We have discovered the depths of God’s love manifested in our lives.

Everything good in my life is because God gave me a soul mate to reflect His ways, to stand with me and be conformed, to love with my whole being.

“… for better for worse, for richer for poorer, till death we do part.”

If You Give a Homeschool Mom a Cookie

IMG_6257…she is going to want some Irish Breakfast Tea to go with it.  When she makes the tea, she will think about where it was  imported from and research the geography. While researching about Ireland, she will get sidetracked to tell the children about St. Patrick… St. Patrick will make her think about the Irish Potato Famine, leading to pondering cooking some traditional Irish dishes…

But one day she will be retiring from her lifelong career as a homeschool mom and will need someplace to channel all of that energy…

…Especially when her children range in age from 15 to 35 and homeschooling and mothering has been her life. Especially when she starts having yard sales to get rid of all of the extra homeschool curriculum. Especially when the educational toys and games and science kits, and microscopes all are placed into the hands of a younger homeschool mom with kids at her knees. Especially knowing how many years of long hours and overtime a devoted husband and father worked to provide all of those homeschool needs.

We have had thousands of books – thousands. We still have a gazillion.

give a homeschool mom…Especially knowing that the children are now in the hands of God – twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, as adults. Some of them even have their own children to fret over – ten grandchildren now read many of the books I once read to children who were snuggled up next to me.

My adult life…

It’s all I’ve ever known,

and sacrificed for.

button bay fam picture

It’s always a bit of a shocker to me when people assume because we have always been a single income family we were well off. Quite the contrary – we always did and gave out of our need, not our abundance.

Only because I happen to be married to the most self-less man I have ever known. Hands down. He has never spent more than $2,000 on a car for himself, and he drives them into the ground. I have never known him to shop for clothes for himself in 33 years, and he only buys new shoes when I drag him.

IMG_6261His adult life…

It’s all he’s ever known,

and sacrificed for.

maine family photo

Adding to our already large family by international adoption. He drove a 900 dollar car then, Sam is our $24 carrot kid.  Cars or kids. Dave is selfless.

sam wiht panda

Over the years a number of people have come to visit, and ended up staying a while. They found “Papa” Grubb to be accommodating, and our home a place that welcomed those in need of place to find some love and hope.

CHRISTMAS USEToday he sold the last of his farm equipment – some electric fencing and miscellaneous tools. It’s only seven years ago that we bought our first cows, and five years ago we added the sheep.

It was our dream, some day, semi-retirement property. My father had helped us buy it. He planned to move in with us.  A gentleman’s farm where we could feed our children, and eventually make a small profit to supplement the little retirement we would get from a failing IBM. Thanks to my fathers generosity combined with David’s selflessness, I had a horse of my own for the first time in forty years, the girls had ponies. We had finally achieved the life we had always dreamed of, even if most of the kids were in their teens by then. Dave still drove old cars. My father died three days before he moved up.

Curve ball 3Then IBM began the layoffs and life changed for us – starting over – again -like so many others who have been hit by a failing economy. No more retirement – we used that to feed the kids and farm animals.

farm

No social security for me – I never worked long enough outside the home. I was too busy with volunteer work, 4-H, ministry…

It’s a different life we are leading now – empty nest – empty barn – empty pockets – and sometimes, broken hearts.

Broken but never empty.

Our hearts are somewhat broken with a brokenness I don’t regret, but they are also very full. Full of love. Full of children, full of grandchildren. We have so much to be thankful for. We have so many rich blessings.

With brokenness comes an appreciation for life, love, and God that cannot be attained any other way.

My hope sometimes falters as I channel all that homeschool energy and love into trying to build a ministry to help others who are in pain – locally, in Haiti, in the Philippines, in India – wherever I have been asked to go.

It’s such a big task and it is out there. 

It is not in here with my children snuggled next to me.

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It’s a bit scary out there teaching, speaking, training, and deploying to foreign countries to help others.

IMG_9791It’s really scary doing it without Dave.

Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is stepping out to do the things you are most afraid of but the most needful.

It is me at God’s knee – a child again – with no choice but to trust walking along a new path. A path that has been carved out by many years of testing, accepting, changing, and trusting. A path that calls me to follow my Father as His adopted child and let him hold me. A path that lets go of the years I have held my own children. A path that learns goodbyes are never forever,

and forever is eternal.

SAM First homeA new future.

If you show a homeschool Mom where there is suffering, she is going to end up a Missionary Chaplain. As a Chaplain, she is going to want to an airline ticket to go to where the suffering is. To get there, she will need to buy an airline ticket. Needing an airline ticket will inspire her to sell her homeschool things. Selling her homeschool things will remind her that everthing comes with a price.

Thinking of the price will remind of Jesus and how great His love for us is.

His love will remind her that it’s time to put away the cookies; true and lasting joy comes when we carry the cross.

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ATTENTION former homeschool moms.

There is still a place for you as a caregiver to your community, your church, or the nations. Contact me if you’d like to learn more.

http://www.compassionatereach.org

Kids Drink Half the Glass, but They Refill It

In the midst of a time when our family was going through one significant problem, loss, illness, or difficulty after another, a very wise woman said to me, “I guess when you have eight children you should expect more trials.” Though at the time it wasn’t really what I wanted to hear, I knew there was truth in what this pastors wife had witnessed over the years of mothering a church, and praying through all of it. Praying-hands-with-bibleSo here I am – large family and ten grandchildren, three son-in-laws and a daughter in law later, not to mention extended family and some close friends that are like family, noticing I always have someone in my immediate circle needing prayer.

I understand why older women and men prayer more – besides (hopefully) entering into mature disciples of Jesus – the retired crowd generally has more time and larger circles of people requiring a bended knee.  If not more time, more time to choose to pray. 

Just last week, I was reminded of Martin Luthers quote,  “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

Life is full of disappointments, misdirection’s, loss of dreams, changes – enough to cause a person to want to give up if you focus on the “have nots” instead of the “haves.” It is the glass half empty – glass half full principle.

GlassHalfFull-thumb-480xauto-3821I admit it – If someone at my table was drinking that,  I would look at that glass and think of it as half empty, and take it to the sink to refill it.

And yet…

I usually only fill my own glass halfway up. Unless it is my “required amount of drinking water” glass, I prefer most beverages in small quantities.

It really is one more thing that depends upon perspective.

Some of the “glass half empty people” like me tend to see the needs that are up ahead, instead of the just the blessings of today.  I see the person who needs a refill much more quickly than I see my own need to refill. I want to know that the future is somewhat secure and when it isn’t (which it has been far from for the last 5 years) I want to do something to make it better. I want to plan.

I want to dream again. I can’t live without dreams of a better future. It is in my makeup. Joseph was a dreamer and they came to pass. I will hope…

My glass feels half empty since the kids left home.

I should  have more time to relax – instead I have less.

I should have less worries about my children, but instead I have more. I have my children’s children now. I add them to my worry list. To my pray without ceasing list. To my burdens.

They drain the glass quickly on almost a daily basis no matter how far away they are. It’s not their fault. It’s mine.

If the glass were filled with my love, it would drain empty every time I have to say good-bye.

dont make me cryEvery time I know one of them – child or grandchild is sick, or hurting; when life thrown them a curve ball and they miss the pitch. I don’t ever want to see my kids strike out. I know how much it hurts. So the glass is frequently half empty – life drains it.

But my oh my, they sure know how to fill it back up again.

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So when you are tempted to look at someone who has a glass half empty attitude, remember you don’t know what life events may empty it.

Besides, they may be  the person who will instinctively know just when you need a refill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Me pousser sur la balançoire!”

“Push me on the swing!”

Henri and Janette Levaufre

It was a huge swing made from two telephone poles. Henri Levaufre worked for the telephone company as an electrical engineer laying lines in Periers, France. I imagine that is where the poles came from. At the age of eleven I could stand upon the swing seat and pump it until the swing was horizontal to the ground causing slack in the lines. It didn’t matter that it was a significant fall to the ground. Sometimes I could implore the oldest, teenage son, Christian to push me so I could remain seated and reach otherwise unattainable heights. They would try to stop me as I came pummeling through by catching me in a blanket stretched tightly from one side of the swing to the other by his younger brothers. “Me pousser su la balancoire Christian! S’il vous plait!”  Please I would beg. Most of the time Christian would fold and push me – this handsome young Frenchman who I adored.

It was 1969 and we were there to visit Henri who was just beginning to host American veterans of the 90th division. The 90th was the division that liberated that particular area in France when Henri was 13 years old. I visited them twice, once with just my parents, and once my older sister Maureen accompanied my parents and I.  Maureen was married at the time but had never been able to travel as a child.  (Maureen celebrates her 50th wedding anniversary in a few weeks.)

My father was a decorated WWII veteran who was a medic in the European theatre. He was also at the invasion of Normandy Beach on D-Day. During my father’s funeral in which the usual military delegation attended, there wasn’t any roll call as they usually do.  I was told he was the last survivor of the 90th division WWII vets.

 Henri has devoted his lifetime tohttps://i2.wp.com/www.90thdivisionassoc.org/images/jpgs/Web%20mural.jpg honoring the lives of soldiers on both sides  of the battles beginning with the Americans. In his mapping out of the fox holes and battles of that area, he found pieces of artillery and other debris, including  German remains and dog-tags, making him an instrument in bringing closure to the questions of a family whose son had been missing for a very long time. When we visited he had a small museum in his basement. From what I understand that was the beginning of a much larger public museum now.

Henri has since been to the US many times and honored by former president Reagan, as well as a long list of honors including the official 90th European representative. I know my father continued to see Henri over the years,  but for the most part that was kept a secret from me due to the family dysfunctions between my separated parents, and estranged brothers. No information was safer for all concerned – or so they thought.

As this blog goes along with the book project I am writing about my life of healing from trauma, childhood memories are a part of that healing. I often think about my fathers reactions to situations and his probable case of traumatic stress as many WWII veterans and civilians must have dealt with.  There are so many stories of the children of WWII veterans who remember harsh discipline and anger in the 1950’s and 60’s. Maybe unresolved traumatic stress was a culprit. Maybe not. Maybe just fallen humanity.

Today, in thinking about my father,  I found myself looking up Henri. I discover that he has written a book and I ordered it from Amazon. I saw my fathers name mentioned in the book and want to learn whatever history may still be available to me; I want to learn more about the 90th division as a part of my heritage and the heritage of my family. I pass that history on to my son Elijah who served in the Air Force, my son Levi who is getting ready to join the Air Force, and my son-in-law who was regular Army, now full time National Guard. It is a family legacy I am proud of.

You can see or order the book here:  

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0972733027   

As a result of looking up Henri’s name, and a little further digging I was able to find him and begin a dialogue with him via email, now at 82 years of age.

Sadly, my father died just two months prior to the books publication which means the men who fought for the liberation of Perier would never see the book that honors them. The way of most heroes – they never know they are heroes until after their death.

So today, my blog honors the men of the 90th division who lived and died for the cause of freedom; and to Henri Levaufre, who made a difference in showing them all that what they fought for had a greater purpose, and that they will never be forgotten.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”    John 15:13

Note: I hope I can take David to meet Henri someday soon while he and his lovely wife are still there to greet me; and to see the places that so deeply influenced my father, my family, and a nation.

 

 

 

 

The Inevitability of Change

Life and Loss

Levi at age 13, and Comar now deceased.

Life is fluid. God designed us to be continually moving forward and changing. There is a commercial on television for an arthritis medication that states, “A body in motion stays in motion.” So it is with our spiritual bodies – we need to keep moving forward to grow in grace – to be more like the One who has called us by name.

My kids used to get “growing pains” when they were young and though I never recall having such a thing – David said he got them as a child as well. My growing pains have always been more emotional than physical bringing about a different kind of growth. Even as a child I had to face if I would let the pain and hurt get me down, or if I would survive and still love. God created me to choose love – it is to Him I give thanks for loving deeply.

The picture above is my youngest biological child, Levi, now age 18.5. Levi is enlisting in the Air Force in July and this picture remains one of my favorites of Levi and a devoted companion; Comar was killed by a car when he got out of our home one night 4 years ago. It is a stark reminder of how fluid life really is as I face the prospect of my youngest biological child leaving very soon; a new era is about to begin and quite honestly, I am simply not ready for it. We still have Samuel at home who will be 14 in June, but the raising of our large biological family has come to an end and life has moved on without me – ready or not – here I come.

So, this new season comes with many changes in life, in ministry focus, ministry name, direction, physical health, a few more (OK, MANY more) wrinkles and gray hairs. The bible tells me that with gray hair comes comes the hope that the burdens God has given me for the church in compassion and transparency will be a blessing to others. That this second season of my life will be one where I can continue to serve my children as they serve their children. Maybe God will even grant me long life and I will get to see my children’s, children’s, children.

And if I can handle the new format – a new WordPress to be able to journal my life’s tapestry that may just encourage some other woman out there that God has a purpose and plan for your life amidst the changes.