Published in the Rains County Leader on January 30, 2018:
It’s said that confession is good for the soul, but for a writer, it can also make a good story. Like all stories, though, this one is best told from the beginning.
Back during the holiday season, when the weather was just beginning to get cold, I stood in my closet one morning looking for a jacket. Finding a jacket was not the problem, but finding the right one was proving to be a challenge. I don’t remember exactly what I was wearing that day, but according to my rather limited sense of fashion, whatever it was required a black jacket. The only one I had was too light weight for the forecasted temperatures, so I had to settle for a wool work shirt from David’s Navy days. He outgrew it long before we met, but he kept it around for sentimental reasons. It fits me quite nicely if I roll up the cuffs, and it’s a dark enough navy color to pass for black, so I took it off the hanger while I hosted a mental pity party about my lack of heavy jackets. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 30, 2016:
I don’t do change very well. I don’t know if that’s a result of nature or nurture – in other words, I don’t know if I was simply born with a natural aversion to change or if I have developed that aversion because very little changed in my world when I was growing up.
Not that my childhood was boring, but it didn’t involve a lot of variation. When Mom placed furniture in a room, that’s where it stayed. Dinner meant one of a few familiar menus, and family vacations usually included a week in a cabin on Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. That kind of lifestyle gives a solid sense of stability and security, but it doesn’t offer much opportunity to learn to deal with change. (more…)
Kitty made her third and highest trip into the black gum tree outside our dining room window this week. When I went out to feed her Sunday morning, I heard her faint meowing, but I couldn’t see her, hidden as she was in the thick leaves.
I interrupted David’s shower with the news. “Kitty is in distress, and I can’t find her.”
By the time he made it outside, I had located our little adventurer, and we spent the next hour or so craning our necks and giving her advice as if we expected her to understand what we were saying. (more…)
My granddaughter Zoe spends more time thinking about spiritual matters then the typical six year old, but having a mother who is a minister and a father who is a Christian author has informed her theology at a young age. Three years ago, when asked what God looks like, she answered, She has a big, beautiful face. She also announced that Jesus likes birthday parties, and after a Good Friday service she said that her heart broke into two pieces for Jesus. I hated the thought of her feeling so sad, but the fact is that broken hearts are a part of life. (more…)
My church hosted a marriage conference last month, and Ryan Dalgliesh of Higher Rock Ministries was the speaker. Ryan is a strong Bible teacher, but he also illustrates the application of biblical principals by sharing contemporary illustrations and personal stories. With his permission, I’m sharing one of his parenting stories from the biblical husband and father section.
When Ryan’s oldest son Asher was sixteen months old, he was moved from his crib into a toddler bed. The first night started well enough, with Asher bedding down without protest. The anxious parents paid close attention to the baby monitor, listening for sounds of distress. What they heard instead was the patter of little feet as Asher filled his new bed with Hot Wheels, lots of them. Ryan went into the bedroom, explained that cars didn’t belong in the bed, removed the offending toys, and tucked the toddler into bed. (more…)
Caregiving often seems like a long and lonely road to nowhere. Even those who have a strong support network have times when Mom is insisting that you stole her sewing scissors, Dad is wandering around the house in the middle of the night, or a beloved spouse is afraid or in pain, and the few moments of respite earlier in the week are nothing but a dim memory. The strongest among us sometimes buckles under the weight of feeling alone and forgotten, but God never forgets, and He never leaves you alone.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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Christmas involves a lot of decisions: which friends and relatives to visit or to invite, which family favorites to put on the menu, and which loved ones to put on the naughty list and which ones go on the other list. Today, on the first day of the New Year, most of the visitors have gone home, most of the leftovers have been eaten or thrown out, and most of the gifts have been put away. Still, there are decisions to be made. (more…)