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Giving up, Giving in, and Getting Up Again

“I feel like your identity has become your illness. It’s like you’ve given up and given into it. I married a fighter. Where is she?” Ouch. Nothing like a romantic marathon date at the Melting Pot to give my husband and I the space to speak the hard. Amidst the four courses (of delightful breads dipped in beer infused cheese, yummy salad, steak and lobster soaked in succulence and a chocolate ecstasy that I am sure must have been invented by the angels) we planned, we reminisced, we cried (okay, I cried), we laughed a little, we fought (ahem, ... Read More »

You Look Great!

Some days it’s hard to get out of bed. Other days I fall into bed at 8 p.m. and sleep until the alarm goes off. Fatigue is a constant reminder. Some days my left leg is tingly or the left side of my face is numb. Other days a rash appears below my knees and turns my feet red with spots. Sometimes I just ache with joint pain. These all are reminders that I have an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s Syndrome (pronounced show-grins). Probably one of the most challenging things ... Read More »

The Tree in My Backyard

There is a tree in our backyard. Under the tree is a large mulched area where my kids play. This mulched area includes a swing set and a small plastic log cabin. There is also a row of large pavers running through the mulch, providing a trail for my kids. My kids play under this tree for hours each day. The branches and leaves on the tree hang low enough that when they are playing under the tree, I’m sure they feel like they are in their own little hideout, ... Read More »

How to be a Good Parent

It occurred to me the other day, “Do my kids have any idea how clueless I feel in my role as their parent?” I mean, I pretty much have the basics down in terms of keeping them fed, clothed and bathed (well, pretty much we do have our days), but there is so much more to parenting than just Maslow’s lowest physiological level of needs. Do my kids know that their father and I are basically just making this stuff up as we go along? Do they realize that when ... Read More »

When a Friendship Matters, Remember to Go

This week I had the opportunity to hang out with one of my greatest friends. Zach and I have been friends since our second year of college. We lived together in college and then again with a couple other buddies post college. Zach and his family have been living in Cambodia for the last couple of years so we haven’t seen each other in awhile. It was so good to reconnect again. We have always had a very honest friendship, but the “complaint free world” series we are now discussing ... Read More »

The Best Time To Stop Complaining

This past Sunday in my sermon I shared a challenge: what if we tried to go 21 days straight with no complaints? It would be a spiritual practice designed to transform how we speak and think. On Monday night, a member of the church emailed me to say that the “complaint-free world” challenge was too much given that the Eagles new offense was a running and passing nightmare for the Redskins. The fourth touchdown broke him. All you could hear was the snapping sound of his purple bracelet. Earlier that ... Read More »

Sustaining Community

I had dinner with friends the other evening. There were four of us, all women, not related but connected somehow through the mystery of sisterhood. We sat on the porch with the ceiling fan on, trying to cool the air, the crickets singing and the sun setting as we talked, and talked and talked. What is it about community—loving community—that is so sustaining? Why is it that I leave full of gratitude and a satiated feeling of blessing? We laughed a lot that evening, but we also talked about the ... Read More »

Confessions From a Former Bully

My son starts first grade this week; he is excited. He has about 1,000 friends, and I’m not a very good social coordinator so school is really his best chance to socialize and be with everyone. Much to the dismay of his teachers, no matter who you put my son next to in class, he will find a way to strike up a conversation with this person. He loves to talk, and he loves people, so everyone is his friend. Everyone has a chance with him. I love this about ... Read More »

At the Center

I have spent the last few days at a conference in Richmond. One of the topics discussed was Understanding the Mission Field of the Church. I had a really powerful moment where I thought about the mission of Floris. One of the things that we talk a lot about at Floris is that we are a church in the center of our community. Years ago I wrote a paper for a class about the history of Floris and what I realized was that Floris has always had a desire to ... Read More »

Being Human

I used to go to the gym during the day. When I worked part time this served two purposes: 1) I was able to work out on a frequent basis and 2) my kids loved the kids club designed for them. It was a win-win for all involved. My kids and I enjoyed this routine for more than two years. It was comfortable, predictable, and nice. And THEN I started working full time, and time at the gym was the first thing to go. I knew I should be going ... Read More »

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