ImageDetritus: detritus (pronounced dee-try-tus) is non-living particulate organic material (as opposed to dissolved organic material). It typically includes the bodies or fragments of dead organisms as well as fecal material. Detritus is typically colonized by communities of microorganisms which act to decompose (orremineralize) the material. In terrestrial ecosystems, it is encountered as leaf litter and other organic matter intermixed with soil, which is referred to as humus

Somedays, I feel like everything is falling apart around me. From the hem of my favorite jeans, to my relationships and house. Not in a cataclysmic  Typhoon kind of way—just in a late fall – decay laden kind of way.

My stress level rises and swirls like leaves in a November wind. My whole family is struggling to manage school, work, their own stresses, relationships, along with the ever present potential of my husband’s cancer. Somedays it’s really rough. I cry. I struggle. I fear. I pray. I think. I blow up. My kid’s stress comes out in tummy aches and separation anxiety. I worry if my husband is drinking enough water. I worry whether his cough is really a cancerous explosion yet to be confirmed. I worry how this is all affecting my college kids. I worry about the future. I pray for friends going through their own types of detritus. I think about the tragedy in the Phillipines. Somedays it just feels like everything is turning to crap or being hit with crap. (Sorry- that’s the nicest way I can describe it, at the moment.)

Not all the time. But- some times. Not usually for whole days…. but moments. Because: I’m human, I care about my family and we are facing changes and challenges that are beyond our control with outcomes known only to God. Whom I both trust- and fear. Trust because I know he has our best in his plan. And fear- because- as a parent I am painfully aware that our best may not be exactly what we want. It may not even be close

Yesterday, I took a few minutes to go outside and take a walk. (Actually- I probably went for a trespass. I have n idea to whom the land near my kid’s school I walked on belonged to. Oopsy.) I thought I was leaving the detritus behind me. I had my iPod and was listening to some of my favorite worship music…. (Third Day, Mandisa and a side of Plumb, than you very much.) Instead of leaving the detritus behinds me— as I walked through that little plot of woods- I found detritus EVERYWHERE. It was under my feet and was literally falling on my head as I walked.

As I walked (Stumbled, tripped and wandered around- actually.)  I whined (prayed) and worshipped (sang horribly and loudly but also whole heartedly) I noticed something. I noticed beautiful ivy growing among the rotten leaves. I noticed a beautiful crust of white snow over fallen leaves. I noticed the beautiful contrast of un-cluttered tree branches against a china-blue sky.

and then I noticed a decaying mattress topped with leaves and other detritus of fall.

And I became thankful. Not for the disgusting mattress- but because I realized the symbolism.  It hasn’t all been crap. It’s not all falling apart…….

Like the mattress- there have been beautiful places of rest among detritus.

Every day, no matter how bad- has held moments (however brief) of beauty: A meal shared. A hug. A friend’s text. A quiet moment. Reading scripture and finding new refreshment in it’s truth. Opportunities to give and share with others when I feel like a leaf pile after the neighborhood kids have finished with jumping in it. (I don’t know about your neighborhood, but leaf clean up seldom is competed after a good leaf pile jump-attack here. Here the leaves are just smashed and tossed to oblivion. We call it: mulch. we’re green like that.)  Somedays- mulch is all I have to offer others…. but it’s enough. Like truth telling, and knitting for a friend, or caring enough to check on someone…. it matters. God does much with little. As I walked, I realized they haven’t all been the bouncy flouncy canopy bed of my 6 year old dreams….(which I finally did get and loved, FOREVER.) But they didn’t need to be. They just needed to be soft places to land in the middle of the mess.  Like that mattress in the woods.

Maybe today- you’re feeling like your life is surrounded by detritus. Maybe today, you feel like it’s all too much and it’s all a bunch of crap. I want you to know, you’re not alone. I get it. But stop. take just a minute and look around….. what beauty can you find in the detritus? Some relationship that’s starting to grow? Some peace that you can’t explain? The ear of a tired friend – that listened to your hurt as an offering of mulch, cause that’s all she had to give?  Then you’ve found mattresses in the woods too. Take a moment to see them. Maybe even take a walk.

Now…. can you see the branches against a brilliant blue sky and know that the leaves will return? That’s hope.

It’s what I was reminded of yesterday.. and what I pray you find today, Even here.

Dear Lord- somedays I just feel like everything is crap. rom my body to my home- you know all the details…all the detritus. Lord- help me to be a soft place for others- even in my mess and help me to appreciate the places of rest in the detritus…. even when they seem to be an old mattress in the woods… I love you lord- I don’t understand you…. I don’t always like what you allow- But I love you- and in you I find hope and rest. Thank you, Lord for being even here- amen.




I was fine, until I tried to move. Then pain shot across my shoulders like a lightening bolt in a July thunderstorm. It feels like there is a bungie cord stretched just beyond it’s limit, holding my head and arms captive at risk of a sudden “POP!” followed by  a breaking of the cord,  that will send my arms in opposite directions and my head shooting up like a rock-em-sock em robot.

“Maybe, I slept wrong.”  (Sheesh, I’m a perfectionist even in sleep, now? Is there even a right way to sleep?”

“Maybe, I did too much yesterday.” ( I have no idea how what I do everyday could suddenly become too much..”)

As I wrapped my hands around the warm coffee cup and sank into the couch this morning- I realized the truth: I’m experiencing  Empathy Exhaustion. I’ve spent so much time thinking about how the kids, parents and teachers all feel- felt in the mess, agony an aftermath that is Sandy Hook, that my body is screaming a pain-filled response.  How do I know?

I recognize the signs…

  • I’ve caught myself clenching my jaw, almost non-stop. (TMJ- it’s my first line of defense stress symptom. It’s like my body tries to clench out the stress… FYI? It doesn’t work. Just hurts.)
  • There has been a stiff- tightness across my shoulders up my neck and into my head since last week. I thought it was the weather and my stupid spinal arthritis… (I am approximately 1.2 billion years old in dog years. At least- my body is…:P)
  • My stomach has alternated between… well.. let’s just say fits and starts…. for days.
  • I’ve had a low grade headache for days.

It’s not all from Sandy Hook. I’m not that compassionate. I’m selfish… and well- distracted and conflicted.  It’s also- the Christmas Crunch. The battle between stress and joy and time pressure and financial pressure and the struggle to keep my mind focused on the real meaning of Christmas… all rolled into a giant stress wad the size of Texas. Not to mention the almost constant “Breaking News” induced- mini panic attacks.

All of which creates tension. Tension that today- demands attention.

If I don’t manage this tension better- I’ll be good for nothing. Not my family. Not my friends. Not my todo list or those in Sandy Hook. (As if I actually can do anything to make their pain less…)

This morning- I waved goodbye to my youngest with less fear but more pain, than yesterday. The feeling of vulnerability and helplessness is toned down a few notches- reason and trust are speaking louder to my fear. However, my body is screaming for something…..(The cookies I gave it at 2:00 A.M. while tasty- didn’t do the trick.)

I think it needs a break. So, I called an audible. Instead of the wrapping and housework that my todo list demands- I’m going on what I call- a camera walk. (Confession- I’m a photography nut.It’s close to creating art as my fine-motor challenged self gets)  It’s a way that I can re-focus my eyes on world around me and find the beauty in the simple creation. It’s a way for me to connect with God.  A camera walk- just involves me- and my camera- taking a walk and taking a fresh look…. at the world and capturing what I find.

It’s amazing how your perspective can change with a macro or zoom lens attached…I’m also:

  • Turning off the TV. I don’t need to keep feeling that PLOP of my heart dropping every time “News” breaks…. (Funny how often the news is old……) I’m turning on music that fills my soul…
  • Putting away my laptop. Today, I don’t need to constantly check my “feeds” to see how friends are doing or responding… or not doing or not responding….(Being all judgey- judgey- can wear a girl OUT.)
  • Taking a long hot shower. Without rushing.
  • Spending time listening to God- not barking out orders and questions to Him….
  • Checking my lists and crossing things off that just. Don’t. Matter.
  • Making soup for dinner…. something warm and filling and comforting.

It feels kind of self indulgent to do this. It’s almost embarrassing to post such a frivolous list for the world to see. But here’s the thing- if I don’t do these things- my body will continue to rebel. It will get worse. I’ll end up curled up on the couch with an immobilizing migraine. I’ll end up at urgent care because the physical pain is crippling. I’ll end up snippy and snotty with my family because the tension I feel is snapping out where ever it can….

Not good.

There is nothing to be ashamed of. Today- I’m taking care of momma- so momma can take care of everything else.

Tomorrow- I’m joining in prayer with moms all over the world- to pray for the moms of Sandy Hook and every mom who’s struggling with the impact of the unthinkable becoming real.

Why? Because I’ve taken enough flights and [half] listened to flight attendants enough times- to know that before I can help someone else with their oxygen mask….. I need to properly adjust my own.  MOPS is a place that cares for moms. Every mom. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, afraid, in pain…..or just plain want to do something… anything to help the mothers of Sandy Hook….

Please join MOPS International- in a Moms’ call to prayer- tomorrow- Wednesday, December 19 at 9:45 Central time. I’ll be there.

Moms Call to Prayer- MOPS

So… what are you up to today? How are you feeling? Are you seeing any signs of stress in your body? Your mind? Your spirit? What are they?

How are you taking care of momma, so momma can take care of: everyone? I’m starting with prayer….

Dear Lord— my body hurts. My heart hurts. Honestly? I feel guilty for even expressing my need to take care of myself, when so many others are in incomparable pain. But I know, that in order to do the next thing, and the thing after that…… I need to take care of myself. Please help me see you. Help me release the tension and trust you even more. Help me be a light in the dark….by recharging the battery of my heart-with your presence. I love you Lord- amen. 

We were 15 minutes late. Which- while it is  typical of being- well: me. Is  NOT what you want to be for your husband’s first appointment at radiation.  Talk about heaping extra stress on yourself when in an already stressful situation. Oy. However- you do your best when trying to get a kid to the bus and still manage to put on enough makeup to not scare the cancer patients.

Or maybe it was because we really just didn’t want to go.

Walking (like a ridiculous race-walker in pumps because the 12 seconds I saved running from the car to the oncology/radiation center’s doors makes the difference between living and dying. Forget the doctors. We have speed.) into the oncology/ radiation center is yet another slap in the face of cancer- denial. Even though it’s about getting well- it still stings.

Late or not- the staff was great and we only waited a bit for our appointment. (Weird- you never see doctors running in late cause they feel so bad…. yet- they are always: late. But- I digress.) It’s not necessary to go into medical jargon- but suffice to say we’re moving on to the next steps required to kick prostate cancer’s butt.  We’re ready to fight and are thankful we have a God who both “gets” us to our cores- and loves us- in addition to friends and family who love and support us.

However- a slap in the face of cancer denial- also makes you feel… well… a lot of stuff.


  • Moments of panic. Because while we know God is both good and in control and has the power to heal- he doesn’t always.
  • Moments of overwhelming sadness. Because talking to your kids about their Dad having cancer- just. sucks.
  • Moments of uncontrolled giggling because of the irony of a “siemans’ CT scan machine being used to detect prostate cancer….(Say it out loud. Think about it. I’ll give you a minute…;)
  • Moments of  being afraid to make a decision about care- because: DUH. We aren’t doctors. I Don’t WANT A CHOICE. Just tell us what will kill the cancer!!!
  • Moments of overwhelming love for the superhero-survivor that is my husband.

Sometimes all at once.

Especially when you walk out of yet another consult appointment, feeling like your head will explode due to fear/ stress and choice of treatment overload and have to wait while he gets his photo for his official “I’m a cancer patient” get out of everything free card. (Still don’t know what that was about- but seriously- they had to take his picture before we could leave.)

My neck and jaw and head felt like molten lead as I plopped into the nearest chair to wait for his glamour shot. I wondered if my brains could leak out through my ear for just a split second. For another second I kind of wished they would… cause the THINKING about cancer is almost as bad as the HAVING of cancer…. (i.e. the stress sucks. I’m not just talking about ME– I’m talking about my husband….we’d both like a lobotomy to help us cope- k? Thnx.)

Which is about when my glassy, overwhelmed eyes landed on this:

Which looks suspiciously like this:

My inked reminder that God is with us….

In pain. In beauty. In Peace. In fear.

Even Here.

And I knew he was.

Dear Lord- thank you for being with us in this cancer- I hate this.. but I love you— amen

Funny things about being a mom and having surgery (Or maybe just funny things about being me and having surgery..) :

1) Surgery means pre-surgical nesting. (I had no idea this existed- but the evidence is under my bathroom sink. I HAD to clean it out. No- I do not know why.And- if you looked under there- you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Bathroom sink vortex of crap. Thats what it is.)

2) I have washed every piece of laundry that wasn’t currently ON a person. Including a few things that were already clean, and I would have stripped my family naked and washed what they were wearing… but that would have been too awkward, even for me.

3) I may stay over night at the hospital-  I am packed for a week. Just. In. Case.

4) I have spent more time trying to figure out how to get my spanx on over an incision than is healthy. Bottom line: Won’t be happening. OY the muffin top  and bundt cake butt shall make their presence known.

5) Surgery involves wardrobe issues:

  • What shoes will I be able to wear post op? (slippers? Slip ons? )
  • How the heck will I put on my undies without bending my leg? ( I guess I’ll figure that out)
  • My non-mom jeans will not fit over the incision without jeans may- but I’m not going there. :( (planning on: yoga pants, yoga capri’s, comfy shorts.Oh and I don’t do Yoga- so sue me.I need pilates pants. Just sayin.)

6) Surgery involves beauty dilemmas:

  • The hospital says: no makeup. Umm whatever- I’l be wearing mascara and some lipgloss and maybe a little concealer and blush. If I die- My family will need to identify my body. No make-up- no recognition. If I don’t die- I will have to look at myself… wouldn’t want to give myself a heart attack. (Ok it’s not really that bad:P)
  • No deodorant? That’s stupid. But, I’ll comply- it’s their noses, after-all.
  • I painted my toe nails. They didn’t SAY I couldn’t…. they are fuschia. (I’m wondering if they have to check the circulation via  nail color… oopsy too bad)

7) Surgery involves scheduling dilemmas:

  • My family prefers that I work this into their schedule… , the doc however- has her own schedule and she’s the boss.:P
  • Hubby may need to travel Thursday- Friday… umm we’ll see about that. I may be so drugged I won’t notice if he’s gone…
  • Friday, Noah has his school Halloween party- as a party helper mom- I suck. I did however, buy the ice cream cup things and will do my best to take them over… or send them in his back back so they can melt….but hey- I’ll have DONE IT.
  • Halloween is Sunday- no clue how I’ll be feeling by then. My college boys suggested I be the bionic bride of frankenstein-wear shorts-and let the scar show. (I love those boys.) For sure- I will be the drugged mom passing out candy on the porch…prolly not the only one- but it’s a first for me:P
  • We set a deadline of Oct 29 for the book proposal to be sent to my editor… This is the first writing deadline I’ve ever not met. :( It will go out as soon as the drugs wear off and I can think clearly. I’ve had to focus on getting through the cancer scare and get ready for surgery. Sometimes our plans have to change. I hate that.

8) Surgery involves frustration and fear:

  • I am not a fan of pain. I am about to have some, possibly alot. It’s weird to know that in advance. Also: it sucks.
  • I am already frustrated by my inability to do what I normally do… (I’m a mom- I do everything…. can I get an amen?) Surgery will make it worse. For a while. Not a fan of that, either.
  • Everything says I’ll be fine by this time tomorrow- but what if I’m not? (let’s not go here for very long…. but I’m human.. and my brain does…. it makes me pray more and hug my husband and kids more…)
  • My youngest is afraid… I hate to see him afraid, but we can’t avoid this…(the fractures have gotten worse) we need to get through it.  And we will.. together.
  • Worrying about my kids while I can’t be home….(yes even if they are big hairy men.. I’m still a mom.)

9) Surgery involves:

  • Needles. (I’m phobic- have written about it- use the search menu… not fun.)
  • Blood. (Contrary to my sometimes sparkly appearance.. I am not a vampire and don’t like blood. Squick.
  • Pain- which is NOT the enemy- but sometimes feels like it is.*
  • Public nudity. (ish) I mean really… why can’t they get black wrap dress-style surgical gowns?  So I wouldn’t feel like my business is on display and I could have some shred of dignity as they use a drill and screws to implant hardware into my leg????? I mean black would go better with silver… justsayin.
  • Scars. Most of my scars are invisible… this one will be visible:( bummer. But part of my journey.
  • Shaving my legs. I don’t even get to wear heels or a great outfit. (Which are the usual requirements for shaving them… :) LAME.

10) This surgery also involves:

  • people who love me and my family and who will help us get through this with dinners and help and their presence.
  • The hope of healing. Being in pain since the end of June has really sucked-  I’m ready to be healing, if not healed.
  • Really good drugs. I’m the daughter of an addict- I try to avoid all addictive meds to head off potential gene-pool snafus… but dude- when surgery’s involved-I’m the queen of meds.
  • Recovering. Getting better.
  • Time to think. (once the drugs wear off.)
  • Time to knit.
  • Focus. Having surgery brings your priorities into perspective.
  • Change. I’ll now have a bionic (ish) leg. How cool is that?  Looking forward, I’m exploring new exercise options… biking has potential… but we’ll see. The doc said I could be running again in a few months…. If I don’t over do it… which apparently I have trouble complying with…
  • All the  ingredients of living a better story… according to Don Miller...”a character, who has to overcome an obstacle to get what they want…” I want to walk without pain.. I want to run again. Forget that- I want to dance! I have to overcome fear (of surgery) doubt, trust God, rely on others (ouch, I ‘d so much rather be the helpful one)  and take the next steps… with the book proposal.. whether they are taken on crutches or not.

I’ll see you after the surgery- appreciate your prayers;)

*** Pain is not the enemy- A quote from a good friend and brilliant counselor and pastor— pain has a place in our lives- it is necessary (keeps us from doing more harm, and lets us know when something is wrong) and also is part of the healing process- it’s not something to try to avoid at all costs….

“dear lord- I’m not the only one facing surgery right now… I’m not the only one with fears and frustrations and doubts… I pray that you’d bring your peace and healing to all those in need- and that we’d each live a better story by walking through our painful times instead of trying to avoid them…sometimes pain is the obstacle we have to overcome….I pray for all the details….  I love you lord… oh .. and please make sure they do the LEFT leg… ok?  Going through all this on the one thats fine would seriously tick me off… amen…

** For new readers- I’m having surgery for stress fractures that happened while running- at the end of June.. It’s been a long, painful summer. They’ll be placing some hardware in to make my tibia behave;) I’ll be bionic!

Don’t worry.  I’m not posting a limerick….  There really IS a crooked woman: me.

I remember the day I found out just how ‘crooked” I am:

I stood in line with 50 other pubescent girls. We giggled  and talked to avoid what awaited us at the end of the line.  “The examination.” We’d heard rumors about what it was like and what it could lead to. After unhooking your bra and slipping up your top, you bend down touch your toes. The school nurse, standing behind you, then looks at your spine. In most cases she then sent you on your merry way. UNLESS-  your spine is crooked.  Then you got “a note” to take home, and another note sent home.  (In case you hid the first like a bad report card.)

If you recieved “a note” it led to doctor’s appointments and possibly a huge, uncomfortable brace.  Worse yet: it could lead to surgery.  We were being screened for scoliosis.

I was lucky. (bad luck, is luck, I suppose.)  I got a note.  And a Doctor’s appointment. And a complete bone study. (Think: x-raying everything… along side a metal ruler..)

The verdict?  I’m crooked.  But not crooked enough to have it straightened out. No surgery or bracing.

Just crooked. I still am.

I have scoliosis.

What does that mean?  For the most part, not much. Only when there are pictures to hang or things that need to be straightened is it a problem. Then, we game we like to call: “Is this straight?” Wherein I “straighten” pictures on the wall and then ask my family if they are straight.   They then tell me how much to tilt it in the other direction until I get it straight.  If no one’s home when I need to hang something.. it’s a little like decorating via pin the tail on the donkey.  I look, line things up, then close my eyes and aim for straight.  I never hit it.

I’m crooked.

Not only is my perspective is skewed literally, it’s also skewed, figuratively. See-I  think I know how things should be.  In my life, in my family, in ministry and work… I think I have the answer to the question “Is this level?  Does this look right?” The problem is, I (usually) don’t.  I hate to admit how many times I’ve been surprised when God comes behind me (or before me) and  arranges things in a way that look crooked to me.

I stand there confused and questioning: “Are you sure that’s right?  Shouldn’t it be a little to the right? It just doesn’t look right to me..” Yeah.. I question the God of the universe about his plan….It may be as simple as a timing issue or as complicated as God not healing someone I care about, when I believe he can… or when a means of provision or path just makes sooo much sense to me and yet- God says “a little to the left.”

I’m in one of those place today.. a place where I THINK I knew how things SHOULD be but God has a different plan. Today.. the best I can do is remind myself.. “I ‘m crooked, What seems right to me may not be.” And then maybe.. sit on my hands and do my best to to “straighten” into crookedness the work that God is doing…and this is what he’s ALWAYS doing:

“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’ “[a]

J.R.R. Tolkien once asked the question What if there existed a place called Middle Earth, and What if Middle Earth were under threat? Every good story begins with some form of this question, and so does every life.  by-Don Miller,  you can read the rest of the post here.

What if…..

The question has haunted me.  Or maybe, it is my answers that haunt me.

tracey solomon says:

  • What f I just submitted the book proposal and it got published?
  • What if my basement was clean?
  • What if I let go of my past and moved into my future?
  • What if I exercised instead of complaining about my size?
  • What if my dream, IS God’s plan??

To each of my “what if’s” I withheld an unspoken “what if”…a fear.

  • What if I submitted the book proposal and it never got published?  Would that mean I’m not supposed to write?
  • What if I left the basement messy?  What if I don’t really CARE about my messy basement? Does that make me a bad mom?
  • What if I don’t know what pain the future may hold, and am afraid to face it? I know the pain of the past.  It’s familiar, in a sick way-it’s almost comfortable. ( At least: it’s predictable. and I can visit it at will.:P)
  • What if  lost weight and became “visible” again?  (umm yeah, being a little “fluffy” makes a woman kind of invisible… it’s true. I am wonder woman with invisibility powers!- also women judge thin women harsher..imo.. it’s not fun. Yes. see? I have issues. )
  • What if my dream is NOT God’s plan?  What if I made the whole thing up and am actually, just crazy?  What if it IS.. and I can’t handle it?

What if.. I stopped thinking so far  ahead and just did the next thing.  What if I took one small step in the direction of a what if… and that led to the next and the next and I found the answers along the way?

What if I lived loved and lived the adventure of my “what ifs?”

You know what?  I think, I just did.

And now– here’s the “what if” of my heart….

What if women took risks to connect in honesty, truth, respect and love?  What if we did it regardless of background, differences, prejudices, fear and insecurity?  What if we did it anyway, and what if, one at a time, two at a time, ten thousand at a time…we changed the world????

Well.. I don’t know the answer to the what ifs… but I know I want to find out.

What are the “what if’s” of your heart?  What are the unspoken things that hold you back from taking a step in their direction?

You are not alone. We can face the what ifs- together.

What if our what if’s are meant to bring tension to our faith and  exercise it and change it from dead, to living as we test them with our actions?

18But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

19You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,”[e]and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

25In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?26As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Edited because seriously- this is the next thing I read….apparently John Acuff is also haunting me… well- or God wants to be very clear today…if you have dreams and what ifs… please go watch this video.

“Come on mom, were going to take off my training wheels!” Noah exclaimed, peeking out from under his flame covered- Bakugan bike helmet.

“You mean, now?” I asked. Secretly hoping I’d have time for a tranquilizer, or maybe a few deep breaths before facing yet another inevitable” letting go” moment and milestone of childhood.

“NOW!” He shouted.

“Let me get the video camera” I stalled.

“It figures.” I said, picking up the camera from right where it belonged. (That, never happens.)  Reluctantly, I went outside.

When I saw his Bakugon topped grin, I let go of my insecurity.  “He’s ready.” I said to myself. I could see it in his determined eyes. I made eye contact with my husband.  I didn’t say a word.. but “You better be able to keep up with him.” Was none the less, clearly communicated.

He did.

Like all kids learning to ride, Noah wobbled. He teetered.  He pedaled like mad.

My heart swelled.  HE DID IT! (and he was ok! Whew.)

As Noah made another pass along the sidewalk, my college son came driving up with lunch.

The reality hit me. If I blink, the one driving up with lunch, will be Noah.

Today, I’m working to savor the time I have with my boys.

Today, it’s training wheels.. tomorrow?  Drivers Ed.

I’m an egg-squasher. From “way back”.

It started in my Grandpa’s “Secret Garden”….

Grandpa’s yard was incredible. There were raspberries growing in a huge prickly sweet- hedge and a tremendous garden plot full of yummies.

When I spent the night there- my grandpa and I would get up early, go outside and “work in the yard.” (Well.. Grandpa worked, I picked flowers,  ate raspberries and ran from bubble bees!)

One morning- Grandpa called me over to the mulberrry tree in the back corner of the yard.  He stood tall, in the sun, with his hand stretched out to me… holding something tiny and blue….

It was a beautiful, perfect, tiny, blue robin’s egg. I gasped as he  handed it to me. Grandpa said: “Be careful— go and show Grandma!” I was amazed and afraid. It was beautiful and delicate. “Should I be trusted with it?” I wondered. (I was – possibly a little less than gracious.)

I determined I would  be trust worthy with this treasure.

I closed my hand  around the egg to protect it. “I won’t drop it Grandpa, I won’t!” I said over my shoulder.

I it tightly as I ran.  All the way across the yard to the door-wall.

“I made it! I didn’t drop it!” I said to myself, jubilant.   But, something didn’t quite feel right. I peeked into my hand.

Tears filled my eyes at the sight of my treasure.  I hadn’t dropped it. That was true- it was  even worse: I’d squashed it.

I felt like a murderer. I cried. My Grandpa told me- the egg had already met its’ demise before I had ever seen it.   It didn’t matter what he said, I was the one with the broken shell and goo in my hand.

I had loved it – to death.

I wish I could say learned to have a gentle grip that day.  I wish I learned to hold things without squashing them.  I didn’t. (more…)

The cold crept up though the granite boulder I sat on. It seeped through my well-padded backside and settled into my spine.  Cold, clumsy, fat and scared is how I felt. The sun had barely risen and held no warmth, except a promised one. I pulled my hoodie tighter around my growing stomach and turned the pages of my bible in search of comfort.

What I found was about as comfortable as the granite I sat on.

1 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

Not, what I was looking for. I was pregnant, hormonal and afraid. I was looking for peace. DUH. Instead of peace- the doctors phone call haunted me:

“Your tests came back with soft indicators for Down Syndrome, you need to make an appointment with the genetic counselor.” In that instant,  I’d lost peace. Instead of wondering about my baby’s gender, I was now afraid my child would die. I was afraid my child would struggle. I was afraid he’d be rejected. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I wondered where God was.

I wanted my excitement back. I wanted my peace back.

Instead, I opened the page to see God tell a man to kill his son. I kept reading. I saw a man lay his beloved child on a cold rock and lift a knife to kill him.  Fear and anger welled up in me.

I hated Abraham.

“That altar is cold! Is he nuts? Where Is Sarah? I’d kill him if he was my husband. THAT’S HIS BABY! Would he really do it? What an idiot.” (Umm I maybe actually think like this, am I the only one?)

I slammed my bible and walked back to the camper. If this was the comfort God was offering- I didn’t want it.

I let the door slam as I entered. I wanted everyone to be awake with me in my misery.

It didn’t work. They snored on.

Trying to shove down the anxiety I felt, I started to clean. I grabbed a shopping bag to put it away and out fell a blue, silk edged Winnie the Pooh blanket, I’d bought for the baby. Tears filled my eyes.

I imagined myself holding my baby in the blanket, I imagined the blanket never holding a baby.  I imagined the blanket draped over a tiny coffin, and I imagined it wrapped around a tiny Down Syndrome baby.

I wondered if Sarah had a blanket for Isaac. I wondered how Abraham had overcome his fatherly instinct to comfort and care for his son, to lay him on a cold stone altar.

“Maybe he didn’t.” Was the response. (It was either God or my imagination, but I heard it.)

“The Bible LIED?” I asked. Kind of hoping it had.

“Maybe Abraham didn’t lay him on a stone altar, maybe he lay him on my lap. Maybe you should lay your child there too.”

I was pretty sure Abraham wasn’t the only crazy one. He had a new neighbor in crazy-ville: ME.

I let the words sink in.  Not an altar, a lap. A fathers lap. I wasn’t convinced.

“In your lap? I can’t. I have to take care of him.” I replied. (Once you’ve gone to crazy-ville you may as well stay a while. )

“I will. I already AM.” Was the reply.

“I can’t let go.” I answered.

“Neither can I.” Was the reply that brought me back form Crazy-ville.

The truth is I could let go, if I really tried, and if I really trusted.

That day didn’t end my fear. But, it did become a place to return to, like the rock on the beach I’d sat on,while searching for comfort. Only instead of coldness creeping up my spine, it brought warmth. It brought peace, and yes, comfort.

On a lap, not an altar.

God hadn’t promised everything would be alright.   Instead, he met me where I was, and gave ME a warm lap to crawl into, a place where I could lay down my little one. Not a cold stone altar, but the lap of a loving father.

He didn’t change my circumstances, but he did change my perspective.

I don’t know what you’re feeling today, maybe you’re afraid, maybe you are angry, maybe you have read that same story and wanted to put the beat down on Abraham, like I did.  I’m praying that God will meet you where you’re at, and show you what you need to see, whether (like me) you like it or not.

Dear Lord- I pray that you’d constantly remind me to trust you.. that you’d constantly remind me you are not a cold hard, judging God but a loving father, into who’s lap I can climb and find peace.  I love you Lord and pray that you will meet each one that comes here, right where they are. Amen