Showing posts from April, 2020

Make Yesterday Jealous

I met Debbie in college English. We had at least a dozen books to read and twice as many papers to write, and she somehow kept a great attitude about it all. 
She’d traveled to college from her sunny home state of California, and even the Pacific Northwest rainfall couldn’t defeat her smile. Ever.
We only shared the one class, but we ended up sharing the next couple years talking about life and where the future would take us. 

She had her own car, which made life so much easier for me without one. We did our grocery shopping together, and at her insistence we’d would go to fancy dress shops—just to try on clothes we never could afford. 
At this point in history there were no selfies, because there were no cell phones. But I have her goofy smile forever tagged in my mind. 
She always liked to say that she wanted to make her yesterday jealous because of the fun she was having today. 
It was on one of our fancy dress-shopping trips that she told me about her dad. 

She’d been a high school seni…

Day One

I’ll never forget the pediatrician’s look when she came to my bedside after the birth of our son. It was the morning after a midnight emergency delivery in our small rural hospital. 
She said she’d done all she could. She held her hands out to demonstrate that he’d been lifeless. I looked into the doctor’s eyes, trying to get a glimmer of hope. 
Yet, our baby boy had lived through the night—breathing on his own.
She said it would be one day at a time. She was careful with her words—giving a dose of reality along with the hope that with time we could see improvement.
I tried not to replay the doctor’s words in my mind. Specialists came every other week to look at the subtle progress he might be making. They showed me techniques to encourage body movement and develop eye contact. Whenever his head was turned to the side—which was most of the time, I was instructed to gently place my hands on his head, and move him so he could look me in the eyes as I talked to him. I spent hours this way. O…

Off The Grid

We’d already driven almost two rural-road hours, when Mom slowed the truck and began looking for some sort of marker. 
She stopped and then turned into a lane barely wide enough for the truck. Tall trees formed an impenetrable boundary on both sides.
We drove another 20 minutes, barely creeping along. I mentioned more than once that I could walk faster. Mom said nothing.
In a slight clearing, Mom pulled the truck into a grassy spot and turned off the engine. She announced, “Now we hike.” 

We each carried heavy backpacks that Mom had brought along. I confess, I did mutter about carrying what felt like rocks uphill. After an hour’s hike, I sniffed some wood smoke. Then a bit further I spotted a small cabin. On the porch were three smiling faces.
Welcomed inside, it was as if this small family had known me my whole life. They were genuinely interested in hearing about the future plans inside my 17-year-old head.
Around the wooden table we shared a meal featuring their garden veggies,…

Encouraging Rocks

Right outside my cabin, beneath a cedar tree, I’ve used beach rocks to spell out four-letter words of encouragement. 

Throughout 2019, I spelled things like play, love, soul, sing, free, kind, nice, and able.
I had no idea that 2020 would have me spelling words like heal, care, pray, give, and cope. 
But here we are.

I can be thankful for the solitude that keeps me safe.
I can appreciate the essential stores that remain open
I can pray for the medical teams that sacrificially work.
I’m living with less but discovering that it really is more.
I could sink low, but it’s so much better to rise.
I can read.
I can talk, type, and make a thoughtful post.
I can share what is true.
I can choose to be calm.

God knows each need and He will never rest.
I don’t need to fear; God is near.
And having Him here is truly what’s best.

Good. Have. Look. Help. Hold. Glad. Hero.
There are so many four-letter words reminding me to live well.