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When Your Imagined Life is Nothing Like This One

There were so many ways I imagined my adult life would be....THIS is not one of them.
I posted that on my Facebook wall last night. It might have been seen as funny except my choice of hashtags gave me away:
treading water getting nowhere piles of disappointment not many successes worn out and exhausted out of options

I always imagined my life would be thrilling. Full of exciting adventures and people from all over the world. I would dine at Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian restaurants. I would write books, teach English, coach forensics and direct the play. My husband would be charming and funny and not care about gender roles when it came to household chores. He would beg for at least six kids and I would fall in love with him all over again each time I caught him giving good life advice.
I would take photographs and travel the world documenting the people I came across. I would adopt a sibling group of three or maybe four and work on foster care policies because the ones we have aren't work…
Recent posts

The Fisherman

My friend, Amber has been living in Haiti with her family for the past 8 years. She spent most of her time in what I would describe as a more rural area, centrally located in the middle of the country. Then she relocated up north. Way up north. Straight to the heart of the city that God told her to go: Port de Paix, or the Port of Peace. 
It takes anywhere from six to seventeen hours to get from Port au Prince up to Port de Paix. The vehicle will break down. The roads are predominately gravel, or, as one person described it "like the rocky bottom of a dried out riverbed." That was closer to being right.
Port de Paix is a large city with everything possibly wrong with it. A coastal city with too many people, too much garbage and a variety of rogue pigs wandering around. 



There is a beach just a few blocks from where Amber lives and where the Avery House currently sits. 

I let Brody splash around in the water. I figure it toughens his immune system. I grew up makingmud pies o…

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot







The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Oak Savanna Souls

We grew up with 40 acres of woods as our playground. A cool, magical escape from the lazy humid days of stifling heat. We'd walk the lane to the wooded edge and step boldly inside.

There were trees to climb and trails forged by animals to follow. One particular favorite tree had a low lying branch that slung out like a porch swing. I'd sit on that tree limb, the soft breeze slowly lifting my hair, as I sung and made up complicated stories of fairies I was certain held home in these woods.

The woods were exciting and full of things like moss and strangely shaped rocks and vines that held berries I knew I could eat. But the woods also held secrets. Acres you couldn't reach because the brambles and thorns were too thick, refusing you entry even at the exchange of blood.

I realized then that I would never truly know these woods for the simple fact they wouldn't let me all the way in.




The first step to restoring an Oak Savanna is to remove everything that doesn't belon…

The Greatest Challenge of My Week

Last night at our weekly Bible Study, we were presented with a challenge: this next week, really look into a hard truth within ourselves and answer the question, "how do I treat other Christians?"

On the surface it seems like a no-brainer. I love Christ and I love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! One of my most favorite things in the world is to talk about God -- not in the hammering of theological rhetoric but rather of the awe and amazement I feel with God working in my life.

You want to sing together? Pray together? Talk about how awesome God is together? I'm there with you!

I love other Christians and I shower them with my love!

Well....

I mean....

just the ones I like.

Because the hard truth is that lady at my church who is socially awkward and trying to follow her in a conversation makes my head hurt? I avoid her. I don't make it obvious, of course. No one would know that was what I was doing. But the hard truth is, I do it. And I watch out of the corn…

Why I'm Frustrated with the #22 kill Push Up Challenge for Veterans

The 22 kill push up challenge is to raise awareness to the fact that 22 Veterans commit suicide everyday. If you choose to accept this challenge, add a video everyday for 22 days, doing your 22 push ups and calling out someone new everyday to do the same.


The rules are simple: do 22 push ups, every single day, for 22 days. Each day, record yourself and, when you post your video, tag a friend and ask them to also participate in the challenge.
And the challenges - at least according to my news feed - have been readily accepted.

Except I've noticed something else: as quickly as they are initially accepted, they are completely forgotten.
What happened to day 7? Or 12, or 19? Shoot, what happened to day 2?

With every lack of daily post, the message of just give up, it's easier is whispered. And here's the thing: this challenge is to bring awareness to the fact that TWENTY TWO VETERANS SUCCEED IN COMMITTING SUICIDE EVERY DAY. The message through this challenge should scream don&…

The One in Which a Hurting Mama Tries to Help a Hurting Son

I wanted to get out of bed today. I did. It had been my plan all along. But when the time came, I couldn't lift my head. It was too heavy. Thoughts, maybe, or just the anchor of sorrow. Sometimes that happens... everything will be lovely... and then everything stops for no reason. An anchor dropping, the boat trying to continue just gives up.

Tomorrow will be hard. I planned on that. It will be the 4th year of Avery's death. I took the day off of work. It's hard to sit there and pretend to be normal when you're not. It's hard to commiserate with someone bemoaning the fact they can't remodel their guest house when your thoughts focus on an appropriate headstone. (I just can't seem to let go of her wooden cross. I think after her graduating year. The other moms will be shopping for dorm room decor and I'll pick out a rock with her name etched in it.)

Anyway, I planned for tomorrow to be utterly difficult so today threw me for a loop.

It started last night…