Posts

The Greatest of All Friends

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About nineteen years ago I showed up at the house of a stranger because the guy I was dating said his friends were having a Game Night. We played Catch Phrase. When it was his turn he started describing the word we had to guess in order to win the point:  "My girlfriend has these... they're small... they're not very big..."  And everyone started guessing various body parts except the obvious one as he kept going on and on about how small these were and they're not big and by this point people are awkwardly looking at the ground whispering things like collar bone and ankle even though everyone was thinking breasts but no one wanted to be the jerk who said it.  The word was mounds . I left that night bound and determined never to see any of those people again.  Except the hostess stalked me like a crazy person and basically demanded that we be friends whether I liked it or not. And that's how Kim became my best friend in the entire world. Because she forced me.

I Want to Live A Very Boring Life

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I want to live a very boring life.  I want to wake up on Sunday mornings knowing we'll always stop at Starbucks before the morning service and always get there ten minutes before it starts. I want our bills to be paid on time.  I want to go grocery shopping like it's the most fun we'll have all week. I'll grab the chai latte concentrate, you'll grab the package of cookies and wink like you just got away with something big. We'll both stop at the butcher's and pick the meat you'll be grilling on Saturday night. I want to go to baseball games where you'll be excited but not obnoxious and we'll high-five when the grand slam gets hit in our favor. You'll grab a beer and bring me back a Diet Coke and nachos because you know that's gluten free. And you'll stop at one beer because you don't need to get wasted and you need to drive home. And I'll stop at one nacho dish because those things are huge.  I want to walk in the evenings wit

The One in which I take my Father for his Covid Vaccine

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I got a voicemail the other day from the hospital saying ‘since you’re the contact on record we just want you to know your Dad can get a Covid vaccine.’ I ask my Dad if he wants one and he practically jumps out of his Lay-Z-Boy. (Not an easy task.) ABSOLUTELY he wanted one! So I call the number back, have to complete a 15-minute auto-response survey pressing buttons 1 or 2 before being transferred to an actual human being who sets the appointment. They tell me the Elkhorn and Burlington hospitals are way backed up and he’ll be dead before they can fit him in ; however, there is a new site in Milwaukee at the Advocate Aurora Health Care Center in Walker’s Point like THE. NEXT. DAY! I think to myself, ' huh. Walker’s Point. An hour away – how bad can it be?' and sign him up. I announce he has to wear a t-shirt and bring his ID and face mask and that we're leaving at 8:00 am today to get his Covid vaccine. The man is absolutely giddy with excitement. Until this morning when h

Child, You Have My Full Attention

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Our one constant growing up was arguments revolving around excessive alcohol consumption. My father would be the "fun guy" out with his friends after work and during the weekends, then get to that tipping point and head home to finish things off. We experienced the downside. (The part his drinking buddies weren't privy to.) He wasn't the "fun guy" for us. He was critical and angry, annoyed and distracted. He would come home to "fall asleep watching tv" (pass out). In fact, unless he was yelling, there was very little interaction. My father's choice to regularly over-consume meant poor financial decisions that affected us all. My mother had to carry the brunt of responsibility raising us children while working full time and a part time job. (She had to make up for the money being spent at the bars and liquor stores.) Any hope for a sense of self worth was distinguished through his constant criticism. No matter how well we did in any particular a

Stop Thinking the Answer is Moving in with Him

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Our society puts a lot of pressure on girls to look a certain way. Those tall boots you bought last season need to be replaced with ankle boots for this season. Your hair needs to be colored because your natural color isn’t enough. Your nails need to be done, your make up perfect, and your pictures on social media will be dissected so you need up to date home d├ęcor for the background. You need a new car and a new phone and a new purse. That’s a lot for one young person to afford. Somehow you’ve got it in your head that if you just move in with your man (or some guy you start dating), he can take care of the rest: the house, the utilities, yardwork, the groceries, etc. On top of that, he should take you out for dates regularly because you’re young and you don’t wanna be a loser sitting at home. Besides, what’s the point of getting your hair done if no one gets to see it? This is an incredibly selfish way of thinking. You have the dream of the house and car before you have the vision of

Re-Evaluate Your Rough Day

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Job not going right? Feel unappreciated and overlooked? Spill coffee on your new cream colored tights? Hair look ridiculous? Sister mad at you? Mother-in-law hate your guts? Boyfriend forgot your birthday? Car trouble? Missed a doctor appointment? Loose filling in your tooth? Dog run away? Mortgage company misapply your payment? Speeding ticket in a known speed trap? Neighbor's garbage cans out for the third day in a row? Can't get those concert tickets last minute? The holiday "it toy" completely sold out? Coworker throw you under the bus? Client humiliated you in a very public meeting? Teacher called you in because of your kid's behavior? A simple misunderstanding morphed out of control? There's a whole culture watching you quietly: we're the Mama's who have experienced a level of rough that frightens you. We're the ones you say, "I wouldn't be able to live..." after hearing our story. We hear your complaints and read your posts and

The Eighth Year

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Eight years ago I paced alone throughout a house wondering where my daughters were. An inquisitive 3-year old boy as my shadow. I remember feeling so utterly alone.  I called their phones. I sent texts. I posted on Facebook. I called my sister. I called the police. I called my mom. I drove to the church. I called the police again. I walked in circles. I panicked. I prayed. I answered the door. And my world went dark. I broke down. I broke apart. I broke empty. I broke completely. I broke alone. Then I lifted my head and let God in. There has been countess blessings and so much incredible joy from sweet friends and absolute strangers! So much goodness! My heart swells just thinking of it all! The Avery House in Haiti. The 19 Days. The Avery Step You Take 5K. To this day I still meet people who say, "wait - are you Avery's mom?" Her story and her love for Christ has reached the hearts of people from all over. How could this be possible except for such a good, good God?  And