The Middle

I hit my knees in mass one morning with a plea.  Well maybe a strong wish.  Okay a demand.  I got on my knees, looked at the cross and said Je-SUS… fix this and fix this quickly. When you’ve got girls, and I’ve got three of them, there is always something that needs fixing.  A tub drain, a tire, a phone, a flat iron, a curling iron, a curling wand, a stain, a front bumper, a back bumper….a heart.  I said Je-SUS, I don’t wanna do these next couple of years with my middle.  I don’t want to navigate the friends/not friends/back to friends and the tryouts and the study struggle and black heads and the tears for no reason (hers and mine).  I don’t wanna do it.  I can’t do it.  I’m not cut out for it.  Okay Je-SUS, I’m not made to be a girl mom and I’m sorry if you think that after 21 years of being a girl mom that you think I can do this but you’re wrong….Je-SUS.

I am in the middle stage of parenting. I am rounding third with my oldest….only three more semesters of out of state tuition and overpriced rent and ridiculous Kroger credit card charges til she’s an all grown up engineer and I am off the clock.  Nevermind the fact that as 46 year old all grown up people ourselves, my husband and I have to ask my daddy how to light the fireplace every winter and I had to ask my momma what to do because my driver’s license expired.  I’m on second base with my middle.  I know what’s coming because I’ve done it already and that’s how I know I’m not up for it again.  But I know where we’ve been and I don’t want to go back there either…or maybe I do? I could do Kindergarten again, maybe even 2nd grade. But I digress…And I’m on first base with that caboose of mine.  Although I’m pretty sure that one could raise all of us.  I don’t believe in reincarnation but that one has been here before. So my head is on a swivel constantly covering all the bases of momhood, all the time and all at the same time.  

This new song by Jordan Davis “Next Thing You Know” is kind of ruining my life.  One minute he’s in a bar meeting a girl then the next thing he knows he’s got grandkids in the yard that he’s teaching to fish.  And as I hear every word I remember every time I blinked into my own next thing and my heart hurts wishing I could stop the blinking because I’ve got my own girl who’s met a boy, not sure if he’s “the boy” but he’s a good boy and so the next thing I know she’ll be the star of this stupid song and the next thing I know the other two will be the stars of this stupid song and the next thing I know I’m the one in the yard with the grandkids wondering how, why, when and was it enough? So I look to my left and see my own boy from the bar and I look to my right and I see the yard.  And right now I’m in the middle of the stupid song.  The stupid song that I play on repeat on Spotify.  

I have no doubt there is a whole theory in psychology on what Middle Child Syndrome is and why it’s even a thing.  But as most of us moms are basically also doctors without the prescription pads (I mean…can we make that a thing?  Give moms their own Rx pad. Can you imagine the convenience?  With reasonable drug writing powers– antibiotic**but never Augmentin**, phenergan, the pink eye drops, bactroban, and albuterol– that would be the dream).  But I digress…. So as one of those moms I can tell you why middle child syndrome is a thing. Because we don’t focus on the middle.  We’re always just trying to survive the middle.  The middle of anything. It’s oh we’re pregnant, it’s so magical and this child of mine will cure cancer then the next thing we know it’s omg I can’t believe this is my last baby, my last crib, my last booknic, my last tuition check.  And then we had all this stuff in the middle right after two pink lines and right before the last mother of the bride dress (which I will rock all of them by the way).  But what happened in the middle? 

Everything happened in the middle.  Everything happens in the middle.

As Christians, our two biggest days are Christmas and Easter. I mean we really shine on these two days.  Standing room only.  Everybody comes out in their finest linens (or velvets) and we–bring–IT.  The seasons leading up to these days have their own titles– Advent and Lent– when we spend weeks getting ready to celebrate each.  Jesus was born. Jesus died and rose. Trumpets, parties and gifts.  But all the time in between, is called ordinary.  Seriously, as Catholics that is what the middle is called– Ordinary Time.  You know when the churches are not full?  Ordinary Time.  You know what stories and traditions and scripture readings are hard to remember?  The ones between Luke 1:28 when the angel appeared to Mary and John 20:16 when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene at the tomb.  How often do we celebrate the stories in the middle?

It’s like a road trip. Every family starts off on a road trip with such ambition…the games, the snacks, the charged electronics.  And it ends with either vacation or home.  Either way we’ve arrived.  But the middle? That’s where we find out what we’re made of.  That’s where we find out how much we value those vows and does anyone actually sell their kids to the gypsies?  Where does one find a gypsy?  Is there a Waze notification for that? Disclaimer: My parents used to always threaten to sell us to the gypsies.  Not sure I ever really believed they would…til about mile 208 on that 754 mile trip to Disney.  Circa 2016.  I think I mighta-coulda-woulda…but they didn’t have Waze then. 

I sat in my longtime counselor’s office the other day…(when I say longtime, I mean longtime. She confirmed that I am most definitely her longest running client.  I wear it as a badge of honor. I have earned it). But I digress… God made a way in the literal middle of December for me to sit on her couch. I hadn’t been there in over a year. I’m surviving on coffee, shredded cheese and loaded tea in between hand stitching side hems, school meetings and Amazon and Etsy ordering and Target pickups. God decided I needed a tune up I guess. That’s the thing about trauma.  Or so I’m told.  Just when you think it’s all resolved and all the boxes are checked, then the page gets flipped and oh wow we’re gonna deal with THIS chapter now. And you’re right back in the middle of the thing.  The thing that most people think isn’t really a thing for you anymore. The thing that sometimes even you think isn’t a thing anymore. Til you sit on her couch in the middle of December and your brain takes you back to the thing.  And you say it’s never going to go away is it?  No it’s not.  Because it is the thing. It’s the thing that has determined all of the other things–your faith walk, your parenting style, your approach to friendships, your marriage, your world view….your Christmas.

Every Christmas Eve I sit in a pew with my four people and I always wonder what will this life look like next Christmas Eve when we sit in this pew. I’ve been doing that ever since there was just one other person in the pew. When you’re a mom, getting to that pew on Christmas Eve is your biggest accomplishment of the year.  #IYKYK. And moms know.  But it’s from Christmas Eve to Christmas Eve that more happens. Everything happens.  And it’s because of everything that happens in the middle of those two days that we do everything we do until we get to that pew.  How many more Christmas Eves until she is in another pew, in another church (y’all better check on me when that day comes)? How many more Christmas Eves will we drive across town to drive back a few hours later to put cookies out?  How many more Christmas Eves will they all go to sleep under one roof–this roof? When you’ve got a thing–the thing–that apparently never goes away, you know.  You know that you don’t know how many.

Today I sit in the eye of the storm.  Can’t call it the calm before the storm because this Christmas storm has been raging for weeks.  But today is the eye–where all is calm and all is bright (and in south central Louisiana, all is cold)–where nothing is happening.  I look to my left and see the shopping, mailing, lists, cards, traffic, planning, decorating, flocking, and more lists and even more traffic.  I look to my right and see the cooking, dressing up, exchanging, visiting, more cooking, dish washing, more exchanging, picture taking beautiful chaos.  

Today I am in the middle of it all.  Where surprisingly nothing is happening but everything is happening all at the same time.  Because the next thing I know I will only be able to look to the left and wonder if it was enough.  I hope so.  I pray so.  

Merry Christmas.


When did we get so divided?  Was it always like this and I never noticed?  I remember winning an essay contest in junior high where I wrote about what America means to me. I made the local paper.  They took my picture.  I got a $100 check.  I had arrived…until someone wrote a letter to the editor criticizing my 12 year old self and my “white roses and pink elephant” version of America.  So I prepared my rebuttal complete with a request to meet and debate this person, no doubt decades older than me.  And my parents said “Yeahhhh we’re not gonna do that.”  Were we this divided even back then?  

White, black.  Democrat, Republican.  Vaccinated, Unvaccinated.  Trump really won, Biden is really president.  Mask, unmask.  Spend, save.  Stand, kneel.  Prayer, moment of silence. Mandate, choice. Speak up, stand down. The Great Awakening, the Great Reset.  The cross, the empty tomb.   

John 10 tells us that the enemy comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Only. Not one of his tasks to check off of his to do list.  His only task, his only purpose.  He only comes to steal our joy, only to kill our peace and only to destroy our worth. He walks into every room with nothing but a post-it note: steal, kill, destroy.  Then he walks into the next room.  Same post-it note.  

Only…he doesn’t waltz in wearing horns and breathing fire. If that dude walked in my house, I would be the mightiest halo-wearing, psalm-reciting, holy water-throwing, tambourine-shaking Jesus loving girl that the world ever did see.  I don’t know how to speak in tongues, never met anyone who could speak in tongues but I’m pretty sure I could figure it out that day.  Get behind me Satan.  Not today Satan.  Begone Satan…all in tongues.  

But that’s not who shows up.  

Instead, he comes into our schools and tells us to separate the Word from everything else.  And we let him.  We believe him that removing Bibles, crosses, statues, commandments and folded hands from our schools won’t steal generations of innocence, it won’t kill the forming faith of most and it won’t destroy the future.  Only he didn’t come in dressed in red… he came in over the course of years and decades, many times dressed as a she, using words like inclusive, don’t offend, equality.  We can’t upset one who might not know Jesus (yet), so we condemn those that do. So we took our bibles, crosses, statues, commandments and our folded hands and we hid them in our houses, behind our church walls and in our private schools.  And we thought he’d never come for them there.  

Only he did.  

He made us question sound doctrine and long proven prophecy.  He tempted men with unnatural desires and lusts for power then helped them become leaders of our churches for decades upon decades. A young generation who was hurt by them went on to hurt the ones who came next. And it left us with a society who doesn’t trust Church, capital C.   He helped us water down teachings until those teachings taught a set of values with no value.  Only he didn’t come into our churches, lowercase c, carrying a pitchfork. He came in dressed in pretty robes and wearing fancy hats and shiny rings. 

He taught our men to chase a dollar, a ball, a skirt or the bottle…. anything but Jesus.  He convinced them that the desires of their flesh came first.  The desires of their heart last.  Until he convinced them that the desires of their flesh were the desires of their heart. And it left us with a generation of broken homes, fatherless boys and confused girls. Only he didn’t teach them at his Sin Seminar for Men.  He came through the TVs, radios and computer screens.  He snuck into the bars, locker rooms and break rooms.  Then he convinced us women that we don’t need a man.  Anything a man can do, we can do better.  We’re no different than men.  Only he didn’t sell it to us through a 2am loud and obnoxious infomercial while we were rocking and feeding babies all night.  He embedded himself into movements, marches and fashion designers.  The necklines got lower and the hems shorter and he told us that feeding and rocking babies wasn’t enough.  We weren’t enough.  He convinced us to enhance, enlarge and endure.  Don’t cry and work twice as hard.  Pah!!  Show me a mom dealing with two infections on the same kid, middle school social studies, sports and dancing schedules, school and church meetings, a bleeding checkbook, a waning prayer life, early hot flashes, too much laundry and supper she forgot to cook and you think she only works twice as hard?  And don’t tell us not to cry.  We’ll cry if we damn well want to.  Every day if we want to.  But still, he said it wasn’t enough.  And so here we are with 62.5 million aborted babies and almost as many traumatized mothers.  Girls sports that no longer belong to girls because we’re all “equal”?  Our daughters are one Senate vote away from being eligible for the draft (not a fantasy football draft…The Draft…the one that sent 2.2 million boys to Vietnam.  The same draft that sent my own dad to Vietnam, long before he was a man and now long after he still doesn’t talk about it).  And so now we have a generation who think there are 63 genders available to them. Today’s kids think they have a choice in their gender. When God decided to reach down and save humanity, He used the family.  Are we surprised the enemy has now come for the family?  

He didn’t come down (or come up?) with his fire, brimstone and gnashing teeth to fulfill his purpose. The world would have sent him back with his pointed tail between his legs.  Instead he came for the schools, churches and homes. And we let him.  So here he is, post-it note in hand.  Except he isn’t so hidden anymore.  He’s on full display.  

We’re at a precipice, people.  Precipice: NOUN, a very steep rock face or cliff, especially a tall one. How many precipices does God have ordained for humanity? Since I just finished a super informative bible study on just such a topic, let me tell you.  There was the flood.  The tower of Babel.  Abraham, Isaac and the mountain.  Joseph and the famine. Moses and the plagues, then the whole wandering of the desert.  Joshua and Jericho. Then Jesus came.  (Disclaimer: there is a sequel to this study where we learn all about the kings and so I would assume there’s some precipices in there too, but, I mean, I didn’t do that study yet so….we’ll go with these).

Throughout the Old Testament, God has time and time again saved creation from itself.  Then He sent Jesus.  And gave us the choice.  We can choose Jesus, or we can choose not Jesus.  We’re living in the New Testament.  We are at this precipice because of the choices we have made.  With our votes, with our time, with our child rearing, with our spending, with our prayers or lack thereof.  

Why aren’t we telling our men to be men?  Why aren’t we teaching our boys that your job as men is to hunt, gather, and protect?  Protect your families.  STAY with your families.  Stand up for your families.  Lead your families.  And then why don’t we let them hunt, gather, protect, stay and lead? 

Why are we teaching our girls that they can have it all?  Why aren’t we painfully honest with them that you cannot, you will not have it all…at least not the “all” that the world is selling.  If you choose to raise your babies you will miss your rung on the ladder, you will miss the business class trip and there is no money in the raising.  If you choose to chase the dream, you might miss your motherhood window, you will miss a first, and you will miss the field trip. We don’t teach them this so now we have generations of women and girls who are exhausted, angry and confused after decades of life on the hamster wheel. And we shame those who have made a choice to accept it’s either or.  Neither role gets praise from the world.  Only the wheel.  We’ve glorified the wheel instead of doing everything for the glory of God.  Why don’t we teach our girls that whatever you choose to do, do it for the glory of God.  Every nose, bottom or counter that you wipe, every drape you make, asthma drug you sell, child you teach, deal you close, IV you start, or story you read, do it for the glory of God, not for glory from the world.  When we teach our girls this, then they will have it all.  

I am in a season where God has called me to leadership on many levels and has given me task after task to just get this thing and then that thing over the finish line.  I call it my Esther season.  Not to be confused with my Ruth season, my Hannah season, and my ongoing Martha season.  The dream is to reach the Mary season….but I digress.  For a middle aged mom who works in her pajamas everyday until 2:10…I have more meetings than my corporate bigwig mom friends.  And many a night I have sat in the tub, with a glass of bourbon, wishing this cup to pass.  (Not the cup of bourbon but the proverbial task at hand cup– just so we’re clear).  I’ve had to make choices with my time and know that I can’t do it all today.  Or this week.  Or this month.  And some days my kids have gotten the worst version of me.  And those are the days you will never forget.  But you sure hope they do.  And then in one week, one is on the struggle bus trying to understand a social issue that I don’t even understand, and she’s being faced with it on the playground, on spotify, on her very age appropriate shows and she is asking questions that you don’t know how to answer.  And then you have one trying to survive five college courses that you don’t even know how to spell all while she’s six hours away and she’s surviving on loaded tea, coffee and ramen and you are googling tutors and calculating “if I leave now I can be there by 2:00, oh wait we have dancing….and I have a meeting.”  And then.  Then one has an asthma attack–the second one in three years which three years ago landed her in the hospital.  And you find yourself back in that bathroom, this time literally on your knees on the floor praying that this passes.  And you put that child in your bed, on your pillow to make sure you hear every breath in and out.  Then the next day when the reliably smart one texts that she doesn’t feel so smart walking into this exam, you text 16 people to pray at said test time, you say two rosaries and a Divine Mercy Chaplet waiting for the text to tell you she made a B.  The same afternoon the asthmatic one is back to normal (whatever that is).  And you realize that on this day, your kids got the best version of you…the praying version.  But as for that social issue situation, we’re punting that one to the priest.  

The enemy is patient.  He knows that his opportunity comes when we are worn, tired and hopeless.  And now he’s got us where he wants us.  We’re too busy, overworked and stressed to pray so we keep lowering our standards and moving the goalposts on what winning is. But if we can put out an all-call for one calculus test, why aren’t we sounding every alarm for our country and our world.  As Catholics, yesterday we consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the heart of Mary.  The whole Catholic world prayed a collective  “Mary Mother of Jesus, be a mother to these countries now.”  In June we will hear a Supreme Court ruling that may overturn Roe vs. Wade.  For the first time in our lifetime, we have a fighting, highly likely chance of overturning Roe vs. Wade. Where is the all-call?  Votes can be changed until the decision is read.  Why aren’t we collectively praying for the hearts and minds of two or more justices to vote their heart and mind?  What favor might God show upon our land if we stop killing His holy innocents?  

The New Testament is still being written.  These days that we are in were ordained long before Moses put quill to scroll to write Genesis. The enemy is alive and well.  He walks among us.  But he is cast out by one mention of the name of Jesus and his head is crushed by one Hail Mary.  How quickly can we cast him and crush him from our schools, homes and families?  The only thing we have to do is pray.  


Just Pray

This will probably come as a shock, but I am a Conservative.  On top of that, I am a Republican.  Gasp.  White, suburban, college educated, middle-aged wife and mother.  I check the box of that demographic who refused to vote for Trump.  Except I voted for him.  Twice.  (Twice as in two different elections, not twice in the same election as many dead people, cattle and aliens have voted for another candidate…but I digress).  So there, we’ve gotten that out of the way. I am a despicable Deplorable.  Stereotype away **eye roll**.  (Disclaimer: I know that it shocks no one that I lean right.)

So here we sit.  And wait.  Divided, confused and exhausted.  Despite which way we lean.  Half of the country thinks we have a new president, and the other half is waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out yelling “You got Punk’d!” 

To the first half, are you serious right now?  Do you honestly believe this thing is settled?  You know how when kids are little bitty they cover their eyes and think that they are hidden?  If I can’t see you then you can’t see me.  That’s what ya’ll look like.  If I don’t say that there are some serious issues with the validity of this election, then there aren’t any serious issues with the validity of this election.  Seventy-four percent of Americans do not trust the media.  Yet the media says, “hey look over here, our guy won” and you aren’t fact checking that?  In the words of your own candidate…COME ON MAN.

To the second half, get a paper bag and breathe into it.  Get your inhaler, Xanax, and bottle of tequila.  I, for one, am getting the popcorn.  But get it together people.  It is not over.  It is not ending on this note just because Don Lemmon cried and Chris Wallace called it.  Al Gore got his day in court—32 days actually—to investigate the votes of one state.  We’ve got issues in like 6 states.  Inauguration Day is January 20.  We’ve still got time on the clock.  Even I will admit we may still have to choke out the words “President Harris” …. I mean “President Biden” but we are not there yet. 

Both halves need this to play out.  This is the freaking United States of America.  If we do not have a fair and transparent election process, then we are done.  And believe me, I have thought many times this year alone that we as a country are done.  But if we can not open the back of the voting machines and count legitimately, if we are afraid to have three eyes on each paper ballot that’s opened, if we think it’s okay to cover up windows to counting rooms and if we are defying orders from the Supreme Court then WE—ARE—DONE.  My friends, acquaintances and strangers who read this who are on the left, if you are okay to accept the results as the media states them, then trust me, you are on the wrong side of this thing.  I mean, don’t get me wrong I think you are on the wrong side of the aisle personally (*wink wink*) but I do want you to have your vote counted fairly.  Don’t you want mine counted fairly?  Over 70 million people smell a rat.  If your boy won fairly, legitimately, and legally then where is the problem?  There are some very big claims being thrown around—computer glitches that just so happened to flip votes, middle of the night boxes of ballots showing up, rubber stamping blank ballots, blocking poll watchers—if it is much ado about nothing then what are you afraid of?  I mean…. I have watched all seasons of Scandal, House of Cards and Madame Secretary…I know what I’m talking about. 

Minorities and females make up large chunks of the Democratic electorate.  Just a few decades ago neither demographic could vote in elections in this great land.  Why is half of this country dismissing these irregularities?  Why is half of this country willing to sweep what might be a real ugly and scary side of American politics under the rug?  Why aren’t there any patriots on the left standing up to say hey, we want to win but we have got to make sure we have won fairly?  Are there no patriots on the left?  That would explain a lot.

To the decent, Jesus loving, just can’t get on board with some of the social beliefs of the right, never Trumpers but love this country all the same Blue Donkeys (hey—your color, your symbol), small percentage of you that remain,  your country needs you.  You need to want this to be decided legitimately.  If there is any truth to the fact that this election may be a lie, then there is an evil among us that we can only stop if we unite.  Because if they have succeeded in stealing my vote, they’re coming for yours next. 

To my right siders, just pray.  I keep telling everyone who will listen, and even those who aren’t listening, just pray. We need His mercy on this land more than we need anything else. We need Mary’s mantle to cloak this nation.  We need St. Michael to defend us in battle.  We need the light of Jesus to shine onto the darkness.  Open the eyes of those who believe and those who don’t Lord. 

There is only One who knows whose hand will be on the Bible on January 20, 2021.  Just pray. 

God Bless America—left, right, middle of the roaders, may God bless us all.  Except Nancy Pelosi.  (Sorry not sorry).

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way

It’s not supposed to be this way. The memes we have shared about 2020 are too many to record.  Too funny and sadly all too true.  But it’s not supposed to be this way.  We are not supposed to be isolated—oh excuse me—quarantined.  We are not supposed to be hidden and covered—oh excuse me—masked.  We are not supposed to be banned from human touch—oh excuse me—socially distant.  The current state of the world is not of God’s plan.  Which means it is the Enemy’s plan.   God designed His people for fellowship, worshiping, hugging, smiling and for the love of humanity He designed us to dance.

Yet what are we doing?  Our elderly are alone, our kids cannot share a pencil or a high five, our businesses are crumbling due to unreasonable mandates,  and the shelves still don’t have toilet paper.  What’s that deal?  Is the toilet paper made in China?  Why don’t the shelves have toilet paper?  Chaos surrounds us and we have blindly accepted it. 

So I had given myself a month long hiatus from Facebook and the news a while back.  It went into effect on the day my Soul Sista slapped me across the face and told me to get it together.  Disclaimer: She didn’t actually slap me.  I was frantic, rambling, and screeching something along the lines of “The devil is winning! The devil is winning!” while on the phone with her wearing out the floors in my house and porch and then she figuratively slapped me across the face and started yelling back.  I can remember the day vividly because I literally stopped in my tracks in the hallway and listened while she put me in my place—and to be honest I think she enjoyed it a little too much.  But not to be outdone, I got to slap her across the face a week or so later and put her in her place.  And I did such a good job I think she is still there—in her place.  Just like I am still in my place.  Seriously, everyone needs a soul sista to slap around who will slap you back.  I turned off the TV and social media and retreated from current events.  Anything but the news I told my husband—which turned out to be American Pickers—not much better. 

I have been known to overreact a time or two.  Think the worst.  Some may even say fly off the handle (I wouldn’t say that but some would.)  God has blessed me with an abundance of adrenaline to sustain me.  Many things in my life I could not make up if I tried.  And things tend to come in waves.  Usually unplanned waves.  I usually have chaos on top of chaos with a layer of whipped chaos on top with a chaos cherry to finish it off.  And the adrenaline sustains me until it all gets done and it gets done well.  Or not always well but it gets done.  And then my body gets out of fight mode and it goes into flight mode and by flight I mean my energy flies the coop right along with my sanity, ability to reason and sometimes even my voice.  I have been known to have a panic attack on the interstate.  I found myself in an ambulance at a bait and tackle shop convinced I was having a stroke or an allergic reaction to lemonade.  Either way, that’s how I was going out.  I’ve “taken to the bed” three times in my life.  When my son died, my dog died and my oldest moved to college.  That last and most recent one, well that’s a story for another day. I feel things in ways most people don’t feel them.  Which means I see things in ways most people see them.  And what I see, is we need to be scared.

I mean, I’m not scared-scared.  I know Jesus is coming back and I know I’m going with Him.  What I am scared about is when and how much more of this 2020 type of unbelievable-they-said-and-did-what-$h!t-fest will we endure before He either comes back or the world turns right side out again.  If He’s coming soon I’d like to know so I can stop the yo-yo dieting because my resurrected body will be a size 4 anyway.  I’d like to stop stressing about the next 3 ½ years of out of state college tuition we signed up for.  Some days I say Lord, if You come today I won’t have to fold these clothes. Lord if You come today I won’t have mop this dog pee again.  Lord, if it’s before Wednesday I won’t have to learn Unit Two of 4th grade science.  But so far we are still here and the world is still inside out and upside down.  But it’s not supposed to be this way. 

The Enemy has used fear to divide us, isolate us and silence us.  Well silence some of us.  Some are still pretty loud.  We watch the news coverage about Covid.  A third of us are locked in our houses, peeking out of the blinds and driving alone in our cars while wearing masks and PPE like it’s a body condom.  A third are walking around mask-less and licking doorknobs.  And a third of us are looking around saying WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL has happened to this world?  We watch the news of protests being spun both left and right with neither interpretation being complete truth.  And a third of us are in the streets with blow torches and don’t even know what we’re protesting.  A third of us are sitting in our driveways in lawn chairs locked and loaded.  And a third of us are looking around saying WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL has happened to this world?  We watch the news of the weather and see storms and fires and more storms.  A third of us are clinging to our Global Warming (sorry, Climate Change) pamphlets preaching to save the whales, oceans, ozone and turtles.  A third of us are clinging to the book of Revelation and preaching that God’s wrath has come home to roost.  And a third of us are saying WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL has happened to this world? 

I find myself in the latter third.  I find myself saying more times that I can count in a day WHAT IN THE HOLY HELL kind of world are we living in?  And just so I don’t keep you in suspense, that’s a rhetorical question.  I got nothing.  I do know though that we are not created for this world.  We are created for the next one.  But our choices here in this one, determine where we land in the next one. 

I’ve been struggling with shoulder pain for quite a while.  No injury that I know of and I don’t know when it started.  But recently I came to the painful realization that for all practical purposes, I am finished parenting my firstborn. Just to clarify, I know that we are never quite done parenting since I, myself, am still not completely raised given the fact that I don’t know how to manage my own IRA.  But my decisions are my own and such is the same with the consequences.  So accepting that I had gotten my first to this point but now the rest of her life depended on her and her decisions was painful and scary.  And with that acceptance came the sobering realization that I’ve got two more to go.  Two more very young souls to get to that point in their lives.   And not only is the world a very different place than it was when raising her ($h!t it’s a very different world than a year ago), I am a lot older now. Hence the reason I “took to the bed” for the three days now and forevermore known as the Great Depression.  Sidebar: This is why everyone should have their kids close together.  If you don’t have time to think about it you don’t have time worry about it.  In my struggle to find the endurance to keep up this pace and race of mothering, God showed up.  He led me to the Fruits of the Holy Spirit of which I am trying to bestow upon my people, my flock of three.  There are nine fruits and I realized that if we focused on one each week then that would lead us right up to Election Day (the outcome of which I pray more prayers than I know).  So I am explaining to them the context of these fruits—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control—and we will start week one with love and how can we show love, live out love, do everything though the lens of love.  My husband, the father of my children, my other half, one who completes me, my co-pilot in parenting, begins to offer his suggestion on how I can show him love while my two angels ask what love fruit tastes like and where do we buy it and why do we have to eat fruit when we don’t like fruit.  And then it hit me.  I understood where the shoulder pain was coming form.  My family, my blessed blessings, are sitting upon a barge in the middle of a swamp of quicksand, and I am dragging them to heaven with me.  No wonder my shoulder hurts. 

We live in a world of laws and rules.  And we make more laws and more rules and we continue to be more worse for the wear.  We cannot legislate or rule our way out of this one though.  It’s not supposed to be this way. 

Galatians 5:13-15 says You my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge in the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love.  The entire law is summed up in a single command: Love your neighbor as yourself.  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

What would today, 2020, look like if we applied that one rule to everything we say, do or think?  What if we loved our neighbor like ourselves in everything we said, did or thought?  But to do that, we need our neighbor. But right now, the Enemy has us separated, divided, and alone.  It’s not supposed to be this way.  Children are supposed to share snacks and germs.  It builds their character and their immune systems.  People are supposed to smile at each other in Target instead of staring blankly at each other behind a mask.  Families are supposed to gather in pews—in all the pews—and not be banished to the metal building on the side of church because we can’t get too close.  We are supposed to stand up for what’s right and not just what’s right now.  And we are supposed to be able to disagree, agreeably.  

We are not designed to be alone.  Genesis 2:18 says It is not good for the man to be alone so God created Eve for Adam.  Genesis 6 tells the story of Noah and God instructed him to take two of every animal.  Even the lowly earthworm needed a friend.  God sent Joseph for Mary.  God did not need Joseph in order to fulfill His plan for salvation.  But Mary needed Joseph.  

God created us for Him.  He did not want Eternity without us.  Even God—the be all, end all, always was and always will be—did not want to be alone.  Why?  Because it’s not supposed to be that way. 


For Such A Time As This

blog pic esther

When my son died 15 years ago, I became obsessed with all things Heaven and prophecy. Where was he and when would I be with him again? When was this fallen, hurtful, nothing makes sense of a world going to end and we can all be together again? I read the whole Left Behind series in a very short amount of time. I convinced myself I was the real-life version of Chloe Williams–except for the whole beheading part– and with every crisis and world event I knew this was it. End of the world finally thank you Jesus! Is that You coming in on that cloud? Don’t judge. You have no idea what the mind is capable of in the middle of grief. Thankfully I was wrong every time because life since then has been a very colorful, loud, beautiful ride I would have missed. But ya’ll…..look around. What is going on?

When schools got cancelled on Friday afternoon—for one month no less—we all let out a collective huhhhh???? I thought many of the same things my like-minded, same side of the aisle counterparts have thought. It’s political. Election 101: Never waste a good crisis. It’s a conspiracy. Overkill. Hype. Now we’ve got restaurants and bars closed, nail salons, health clubs, dentist offices. My hairdresser is still open though. Thank goodness because I ain’t walking into the apocalypse with gray roots. But when they closed the churches I knew. The devil is living his best life right now.

No one knows which end is up. We don’t know who to believe. We are home bound, home schooling and sick of home. The stock market is crashing. Then it’s whimpering with life. Then it’s crashing. The price of oil is scary. The shelves are empty. Well some of the shelves. There is no toilet paper. But still plenty of liquor. That one I don’t understand. Priorities people, priorities. Regardless of what or who we do believe, none of this is believable. Chaos, disbelief, paranoia, fear and anxiety are the Enemy’s playground.

And all the while I’m trying to get my bearings here on how I’m going to play teacher (no doubt old school style carry the one, borrow from your neighbor, “i” before “e”) while folding laundry and sewing panels, and my husband is Skyping customers….my oldest is a high school senior. And that’s what gives me pause. First grade won’t look much different from second grade and fourth grade won’t look much different from third next year. But you only get one senior year. And all of her classmates who have worked so hard (or not) to get to this point, the lasts, the onlys and the once in a lifetimes are within their grasp yet held just out of their reach. We don’t know what we don’t know but we do know what we’re fearing. So how do I advise her? How do we as parents prepare and console our kids for what might not come? Many, my own included, have played their last match, game or practice, attended their last school dance and their last retreat. Never knowing any of them were the last. So what do we do? What do tell them when we’re all thinking the same thing?

This sucks. It sucks beyond sucking. It sucks sucks sucks sucks suuuuuuucks. Yeah I know sucks is a “bad” word. But when faced with the apocalypse, etiquette be damned. It just sucks. Now what?

God keeps placing Esther in my mind. He keeps placing the passage “…for such a time as this” in front of me. Spiritually throughout each day and quite literally on the notepad page of the day. So why is Esther important? She was a Jewish woman, raised by her cousin, living in Persia who was taken along with about 1000 other women to live in the king’s harem. But because there was something super special about Esther the king chose her to be queen…not knowing she was Jewish. The Jewish people were hated and doomed for genocide, at the hands of the Persian Empire. The very empire Esther was queen to. What should she do? She fasted, she prayed, and she remained obedient. And then she stepped out in courage and asked the King to spare her people, the Jews, and so he did. Any other hottie chosen from that harem would not have fulfilled God’s plan to save the Jews. It had to be Esther. Which meant Esther had to be born when she did, raised the way she was and a looker like none other in order to be in the right place at the right time.

So what is this time that we find ourselves in? I’ve seen the Facebook meme floating around that this class of 2020 was born into the world during 9/11. No other time in my 43 years of life have I seen and felt anything similar to the world today than after September 11, 2001. Twenty-seven days after that day my first born popped out (well I wouldn’t say popped but I digress). The days, months and years that followed shaped how we raised this class of kids. And now at the first crossroads of their young lives they are faced with disappointments that others who have been or will become their age won’t face. It’s not an accident. So why are they chosen “for a time such as this?” I can’t speak for the rest of the 2020 graduates, but I know that my daughter’s class of 175 is a praying class. I know that they are a class that steps up and steps out. I know that two days into their freshman year our state flooded like never before and they stepped up and stepped out into the homes of strangers and gutted sheetrock and pulled up carpet for days on end. I don’t know if you guys will walk across the stage, give the speeches, and throw the caps. I don’t know if my dancer will get to take her final bow, after 16 years of dedication to dance. I don’t know if we’ll all be laughing about these weeks from the beaches of the Bahamas at the end of May. But I know you guys were chosen “for a time such as this.” What will you do with it?

What about the rest of us? The college freshmen who left their dorms to never return. The aging in the nursing homes without visitors. The weddings being postponed. The girls’ trips being cancelled (I mean…. a moment of silence please). Why are we here in such an unprecedented time in our nation’s history? Why is it that our lifetimes were chosen “for such a time as this?”

Again, I don’t freaking know. But what I do know is the devil is living his best life. He’s got the economy on the brink. He’s coating the world in chaos. He’s emptied the churches. The holiest week of the year, Holy Week, the churches will be empty.

What will be our response? We’re stuck at home. With our families. Our schedules have come to a screeching halt. For the vast majority of us, the world has stopped. We are forced to be still. How we fill our time during this time will define our response. Facebook and our inboxes are flooded with novenas and prayer after prayer. The list of things that never get done because there is never enough time has suddenly found ample time. Dinner tables, board games, unread books and unhad conversations are ready.

You know those few minutes on Christmas morning when all of the gifts are open and the stockings are emptied and it’s quiet because the kids are tinkering with their loot? And you just relish it with your cup of coffee in hand before you have to start preparing for the day ahead. Those few moments of still. Or when you’re on the beach–that hour or so when the sun has dipped just enough to cool things off before nightfall hits. Those few moments of still. Or when you wake up way before the kids to say your prayers, make your lists, fold a batch of laundry before the chaos of the morning hits. Those few moments of still.

What will we do with our few moments of still? The devil thinks he’s got us right where he wants us—out of church. But the churches aren’t closed, just the buildings are. We were placed here “for such a time as this” so what will we do? The devil is like the Grinch when he’s got that full sleigh after stealing all of the trees and gifts in town. He’s stroking his beard laughing muwhahahah at his accomplishment. But how do the residents of Whoville respond? They hold hands and sing…unbroken, undivided. The country has been brought to its knees whether we like it or not. So while we’re down there, let’s pray. Let’s pray like our world depends on it. Because doesn’t it? How the world responds to this will determine how God responds to it. 2 Chronicles tell us that if we call on the name of God and humble ourselves and pray, He will heal our land. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus calmed the storms. In these moments of still, let’s pray. Let’s let the devil find us singing together (six feet apart) and let him see THAT as his accomplishment. Esther fasted, prayed and was obedient. What else have we got to do but fast, pray and be obedient? And when the Newer Testament is written, they’ll be writing about us and our stories. Remember it’s Kelly with a “y” not an “ie”.

To my first girl: You have had more disappointment in your 18 years than some 80-year olds. When you were three years old you learned that life isn’t fair. But with every other thing you were told no or not yet, every time you were put in the back row or sat the proverbial bench, you’ve handled it with way more grace than one should have to. So whatever the next two months hold, you will rise. If it sucks, say it sucks. And let it suck for minute. And then rise. Because one day they’ll be writing about you.

So be safe everybody. Wash your hands, stop buying all the toilet paper and stay home. Fast, pray, be obedient. I mean it’s not like I’m scared or anything. COVID19 is not what is taking me out I can tell you that. Now homeschooling my children….that might do it. But I’ll go down in blaze of glory with a rosary in one hand and a can of icing and bottle of tequila in the other.

The Gratitude Attitude

thanks pic

The ordinary moments of today are miraculous answers to long ago prayers.

I wish I could take credit for it, but that nugget of profound divine wisdom came from the brain (and no doubt the heart) of Ann Voskamp. She, along with Lysa Teurkeurst and Mother Theresa are my heroes. Women who have known great heartache and yet continue to dig deeper into their faith and over and over cling to God’s promises like a life raft. Truth be told, I want to have a sleepover with them in which we braid each other’s hair and eat Bluebell Bride’s Cake ice cream (maybe drink wine?) and if I’m being totally honest… Max Lucado and David Jeremiah will deliver chips and guacamole. Yes, I am aware that Mother Theresa is no longer with us. It’s my fantasy. And maybe it involves time travel. But I digress….

The ordinary moments of today are miraculous answers to long ago prayers. 

My girl Ann (I feel like we’re at the point in my obsession that I can call her Ann) wrote a book in 2011 called One Thousand Gifts. Her first book. I read it circa November 2013ish. At the time she was a mother of six children that she homeschooled on their family farm. In a season of humdrum day in and day out laundry, long division, supper and chaos she wrote about being grateful for everything, in everything. It was a game changer for me in my humdrum season of diapers, dancing routes and dishes. I don’t think my gratitude journal got quite to 1000 but it did flip the script on me. I saw everything as something for which to be grateful. Okay, checked the box. Learned about gratitude. I’m all fixed, right? Until the next thing.

Through her gratitude journey she had an epiphany. She discovered and rediscovered throughout the Bible that the miracle, any miracle, was always preceded by thanks. She wrote about “eucharisteo” relentlessly. Which I learned is a Greek word meaning to be thankful. Psalm 50:23 tells us that if we offer thankful offerings, He will show us salvation. Thanks then the miracle. In Daniel 6:10 he prayed and gave thanks three times a day then when thrown into the lion’s den God sent an angel who shut the mouth of the lions. Thanks then the miracle. In Luke 17 Jesus healed ten lepers. Only one came back and thanked Him. What did Jesus respond? “Your faith has saved you.” Thanks then the miracle. Jesus realized in Matthew 11 that cities where He had performed miracles and healings did not repent. In the face of apparent failure, He still gave thanks to the Father. In John and Matthew, we hear of the feeding of the multitudes. Jesus took five loaves and two fish, gave thanks and fed 5000 people and ended up with leftovers. There was not enough–then thanks was given–then there was more than enough. Thanks then the miracle. In John 11 Lazarus was dead and stinking for 4 days. Jesus thanked God for hearing him AND THEN told Lazarus to get up. Thanks then the miracle. In the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, on the night before He died (a death He knew was coming), Jesus gave thanks, broke bread and gave it to his friends. Hours later He willingly suffered things beyond our human comprehension and yet before He did, He gave thanks. And we all know how that story ends. Thanks then the miracle of miracles.

Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “…pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances…” Not sometimes. Not in good times. In all times. Across Christian churches, we all break bread. We all, in some fashion, remember the sacrifice of the Last Supper. The priest, deacon, pastor, brother, minister, padre, man of the cloth, preacher, reverend, or old Parson Brown repeats the words of the gospels “…. he took bread, gave thanks and broke it and gave it to them…” Sunday after Sunday we as Christians start our weeks off in this way. Ann says, “Doesn’t the continual repetition of beginning our week at the table of the Eucharist clearly place the whole of our lives into the context of thanksgiving?” Mic drop.

So here we are in November again and even though Hallmark and Target want us to believe it’s time to shop and falala, God expects us to slow our roll. Which is why He placed Thanksgiving right before Christmas. Yes, I am aware that Thanksgiving is an American holiday brought about by the Indians and Pilgrims…sorry, Native Americans and Persons Who Journey. But somebody had to light the spark of peace for them to break bread (sorry, maize) and God chose the fourth Thursday of November to do so…. roughly four weeks before the birth of His son. Hence, God placed Thanksgiving right before Christmas. Duh. Is there a greater miracle than Christmas? A baby born to a virgin; an event prophesied for thousands of years in great detail. And so, before that miracle, we are to give thanks.

I think we all try. We thank Him for our health, our job, our family, our freedom. Okay we checked the right boxes so can we eat turkey now? Can we shop yet? Where’s the damn elf? But when we sit in the aggravation of our schedules, the tedium of our chores and the debilitating noise of our donkeys (sorry, our children) can we still give thanks?

The ordinary moments of today are miraculous answers to long ago prayers.

Many years ago, one Black Friday evening I sat at a table in a sushi restaurant with dear friends. Through tears, I told them all I wanted was a “wrapping paper hanging from the ceiling fan kind of Christmas morning.” They all had those kinds of Christmas mornings. At the time it was still just Jacob, Abby and me. Lane had gone on home to Jesus and the two littles hadn’t come along yet. We had several years of calm and quiet mornings of very orderly gift opening. Then I would dress my one child in her smocked best and we’d set out to do Christmas. The first year that there was another child to tuck in on Christmas Eve, I remember hitting my knees that night so utterly grateful for childREN to tuck in. And now there are three. And I can tell you that the wrapping paper doesn’t just hang from the ceiling fan on Christmas morning. I find scraps of it well into June. God answered that Black Friday evening sushi prayer in abundance. And every Christmas Eve night I hit my knees in gut wrenching gratitude that there are childREN tucked in under my roof. But that’s the easy part. The hard part is recognizing that the wrapping paper doesn’t just hit the ceiling fan on December 25 by chance. Those kids train for that ALL—YEAR—LONG. The hard part is being grateful for the other 364 mornings. And afternoons. And evenings.

Like the cinnamon toast war. They got punished from cinnamon toast for two weeks. Apparently my complete worth is wrapped up in my ability to make two equally “juicy” cinnamon toasts each morning. I have tried. I have stood over the toaster. I have tested the settings. I have kept the butter both covered and uncovered on the counter. I have tried spreading it with both spoon and a knife, both plastic and metal. They are never both equally juicy. And each morning I am reminded of my failure and I promise them I’ll try harder tomorrow. But the morning that Middle Donkey snatched the juicier toast from her sister’s plate, I knew that mornings in our house would never be the same. I watched Middle Donkey cower on her barstool scarfing it down while Baby Donkey beat her over the head with her dirty and torn Bunny Bear. The ante had been upped and I had to intervene. I declared a two week moratorium on cinnamon toast until cooler heads could prevail.

Or the night of four grilled cheeses. Baby Donkey finally settled on grilled cheese for supper. Attempt #1 had too much cheese. The horror. Attempt #2 had some crusted cheese on the outside of the bread which had re-melted from Attempt #1. How could I be so careless? Attempt #3 I knew would be THE ONE. I was going to eliminate the cheese all together. In the words of my dearly missed Maw-Maw, I’d fix her little tee-nah nah. Until halfway through my effort, my almost an engineer husband said, “Hey smartass, how are you going to get the bread to stick together without the cheese?” Attempt #4 she ate. I can’t duplicate it though because I had already thrown the spatula across the house and the pan in the sink and my almost an engineer husband, the hero that he is, *eye roll*, made an apparently perfect grilled cheese.

Hard to imagine battles fought over Evangeline Maid bread are miraculous answers to any prayer I’ve ever prayed. But to give thanks in all things, means all the things. So Lord, I thank you for ornery, grouchy, finicky eaters. I think???

The easiest thanksgiving prayer ever prayed is the Thanksgiving Day prayer. Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts for which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Box checked. But can we pray thanksgiving prayers every other day? Can we thank Him for today’s ordinary?

The ordinary moments of today are miraculous answers to long ago prayers.





I just don’t think I’m cut out for this whole parenting thing. Motherhood…I don’t think it’s for me. I tried. But now I wanna be a bartender in the Florida Keys. With tattoos. And dreadlocks. Yes, definitely dreadlocks. There are more of them than me. And if you count my adorable 42 year old husband who is still not quite raised and the furry oreo I also tend to, that’s five people (yes the dog thinks he is a person). And somehow in the middle of this chaos God wants me to be still. Me? Still?

“They” say that with little kids come little problems. With big kids come big problems. Well whoever “they” are, they lied. They’re all big problems. And the worry that comes with them is even bigger. “They” don’t tell you any of this in the parenting books. Not that I’ve read any of the parenting books.

Maybe it’s the annual psychotic, Game of Thrones episode every day on repeat, exhausting, when will it end, stop adding stuff to my calendar, I dare someone to plan one more meeting in the month of May that causes me to reflect. When you’re a mom your year goes from August to May. Not January to December. Kids get a year older in May. Despite when their birthday is, they age in May. So that’s when you look back and see all the boxes you’ve checked.

This year, among many other things, we checked brain tumor off the list. Well, let me rephrase. We checked lack of brain tumor off the list. Spoiler alert: Molly is fine. She has asthma. But for a few very difficult weeks, we didn’t know. So I’m sitting in the chair at the hair salon and she had just applied the first brush stroke of color when school called and said she had passed out and was very lethargic. I have the unusual gift of being calm in a storm. I can process chaos like nobody’s business so I was able to very rationally give orders to my husband to go pick her up and bring her to me and we would go to the ER. I was able to calculate that it would take the same amount of time for him to go get her as it would take me since I would have to rinse this color out. And if he went at least I’d have taken care of my gray roots in the process. I mean it was really a win-win situation. We discovered she’d actually had a seizure and what followed were weeks of tests and waiting and then two more trips to the hospital and a lot of fancy expensive doctors. Along with an insurance change smack dab in the middle of it. Little kid little problem? Not quite. We started off looking for a mass and ended up with asthma. Sounds easy enough but it was brutal. And when she looked up at me from the hospital bed with electrodes coming out of her gauze wrapped head and said, “This is the worst day of my life,” I could only think how much worse it could get. And the sight of that helpless child in that bed nearly broke me. I told God you know what I am capable of and this is not it. I am not capable of watching my own child suffer. The next day was the MRI and I laid in bed that morning asking where was this strength going to come from? The pediatrician said “We need to rule out a brain tumor” and that’s what today was. And alllllll of the You’ve got this’s and Just trust God’s plan’s were utter crap to me at that time. Because I know better than anyone that sometimes God’s plan is hard. Sometimes kids aren’t okay. Sometimes there really is a problem with their brain. So I laid there asking how am I going to get out of this bed and do this today? Ultimately she was given the all clear by radiologists, a cardiologist, a neurologist and two hospital stays later we had put the pieces together and we had asthma. I’ll take it. With open arms, Lord, I will take asthma.

In the middle of that my husband’s company sold. When oil pays the bills it’s not a question of if but a question of when the company gets sold. We white-knuckled our way through a few very difficult, confusing and intense months. Many, many porch mornings and afternoons with Lauren Daigle’s “Trust in You” on repeat. Begging Him to move the mountain, part the water and give the answers. And for a long time He didn’t. I would have to just keep repeating “There’s not a day ahead you have not seen”. Some days over and over. And all of the It’s all going to work out’s and Trust God’s plan’s were utter crap to me. Sometimes husbands do get laid off. Sometimes families do have to move out of state. Sometimes there’s not enough money in savings to ride it out. Information and news changed daily. Sometimes hourly. What we needed and what we wanted were two different things and what to pray for was confusing. And for a minute it looked like He had settled it with only what we needed. And it was hard to be grateful for it. So hard that He took it away for a few days. Until I was grateful. It was such a confusing time—waiting for test results, waiting for employment updates, waiting, waiting, waiting. And I wasn’t very quiet in the waiting. I was anything but still. Until he forced me to be. When He dragged me home on Black Friday, in the middle of the afternoon, when I had plenty of shopping left to do…I knew He wasn’t playing around. My husband had to fly out that day to an emergency in the Gulf—a place he hadn’t been in probably a decade—and then He had my new sofa delivered an hour later and pretty much took me by the ear and sat me down in that nook of the corner. Now known as “Momma’s Spot.” We still had no answers on Molly or the work situation but He had had enough of the busyness I was surrounding myself with. So I sat. And I sat there until Monday morning. He drew me to the story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. And to the verse that says “The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.” And then I got it. In a figurative sense (and some days quite literally) I would duck down and cover my head in my arms and sit still. Your battle Lord, not mine.

The hardest prayer for a mom to pray is Your Will Be Done, Lord. We are Momma. We know best. Trusting Him with my children is not a comfortable concept to me. Fourteen years ago almost to the day He broke my trust. He showed me that sometimes it is really not okay. Sometimes He takes children back. Sometimes some things don’t work out this side of Heaven. So as for trusting Him…..He’s having to prove Himself.

Like trusting Him with that 17 year old girl of mine’s wings. She’s so good and smart and beautiful. And obedient and pure and faith filled. And with that, sometimes hidden. We see her gifts and talents and strengths. We know that in His time it will be her time. But can she wait? Will she get impatient and lower her standards, lose focus and toss her goals aside? Can she keep doing the work, making the grades, volunteering the time and doing the good even when she goes unnoticed? So what’s the plan here God? Will college be her day in the sun? Are we storing treasures away and gaining perspective on what’s really important? Because what I see, what I’m afraid of, is a young lady saying what’s the point? Everybody else is or isn’t. Why do I have to do this and not do that? But then….she wins an election and gets chosen for the class. She stands up for herself and gets the A. Okay God I see what you’re doing. So I cover my head and sit still. Your battle Lord.

Like when the 8 year old won’t wear shorts. She doesn’t like the hair on her legs. The blonde hair on her legs. She has noticed that other girls don’t have as much hair on their legs as she does. So she doesn’t want to wear shorts unless she can wear knee high socks too. She’s begging to shave. In the 2nd grade. You find her outside on the porch with a pair of scissors. She is cutting the hair off of her legs. For hours. And all you can think is she will try and swim in leggings this summer. And what will she do in the not so distant future when her legs aren’t the only places she has hair. And it won’t be blonde then! Jesus take the wheel. And she doesn’t like her teeth. Her two front teeth. She asked the Easter Bunny for whitening strips. She has mastered the art of the soft smile because she won’t show her teeth in a picture. So what’s the plan God? Are we building character? Strength and tenacity? Because all I see is a very timid socially awkward young girl who’s going to hide in the bathroom at sleepovers and sit in the car at school dances. But then…she reads at her First Communion mass, in front of a church full of people, standing at a podium with a microphone. Two years ago she ran off stage from her Kindergarten awards ceremony, wailing and sobbing the whole way. Okay God, I see what You did there. So I cover my head and sit still. Your battle Lord.

The 5 year old wants to be a waitress when she grows up. Good thing pumpkin because there won’t be any money left for your college by then. We’re spending it all on Momma’s therapy, eczema cream and Symbicort. The same 5 year old who wants to drive a black jeep with glitter wheels when she’s a teenager. Who asked for “smokey eyes” for her dancing pictures and keeps calling her Nanny to wax her eyebrows. Who has crushes of equal value on an 11 year old, a 45 year old father of two and our parish priest. Who says, “Heyyyyy Handsome” when her daddy walks out in a suit. So what’s the plan here God? Are we crossing our fingers and hoping for the best? That as long as the restaurant where she potentially waits tables doesn’t have a pole we will consider her a success? Or are we fostering confidence and independence? Because all I see is THAT kid other moms talk about who corrupts their little angels. The one who will be hanging out of the window of her boyfriend’s four wheel drive. But then….she receives a Responsible Discipleship award and remarks how “pray-ful” nuns are and she wants to be just as “pray-ful”. And she has a 25 minute discussion on President’s Day about her struggle with whom to love more…God or Abraham Lincoln. Okay God….I see….yeah I got nothing. I have no idea what You’re doing with that one. But I will cover my head and sit still. Your battle Lord.

Yeahhhhh I don’t know if I’m cut out for this motherhood thing. But in the midst of battle, if we’re lucky, He sends us Sista Wives. Not to be confused with Sister Wives. I will share just about anything but I ain’t sharing “that” so let’s be clear. Sista Wives. They’re the friends that make our kids their kids and their kids become our kids. They’re the ones we call to bring this one here and we drop theirs off there. We feed their kids in our car and they listen to sight words in theirs. When it happens to one of our kids it happens to all of us. Because let’s face it, whatever our kids do, we do. In the past year we’ve made cheerleader, won Vice President, been chosen for Campus Ministry class, won the coveted Religion award, played middle school football, high school football, tennis, volleyball, basketball, tumbled, danced, cheered, pep squadded, broken a track record, taken singing lessons, learned to read despite the odds, been on dates, lost four teeth, thrown 13 touchdown passes, made 20 AR goals, made A’s on two Chemistry finals, graduated high school with honors, made our First Communion and NOT had a brain tumor.

Hashtag winning.

We’ve also suffered an avulsion fracture which resulted in two surgeries, dislocated our shoulder twice, bombed a Chemistry test, confessed to cheating, thrown interceptions, had way too much girl drama, quit karate, gotten in two fender benders, had strep throat six times and flu four times, locked our keys in our car twice, stayed out til dawn once, we’re repeating Kindergarten and apparently now we have asthma.

Hashtag still winning. Still. There’s that word again.

I Saw God Today


I really wanted to title this post “I can’t make this $h!t up” or “Are you freaking kidding me?” but I went the more inspirational route.  When I last left my 63 faithful blog followers, my other half was to have surgery two weeks into summer.  A procedure that would alter the plans of our entire summer….the 10 week block of time that my very soul longs for the other 42 weeks out of the year.  And true to form, I threw a hissy fit, cried a bit, shook my fist at the Big Man and then put on my big girl panties and faced it like a Momma.  Three days before we walked into battle he developed a complication that delayed us…indefinitely.  But I got on board with this God.  I made this work in my plans God.  And He said…sorry Queenie, My plans not yours.  It was weeks of delays, other doctor appointments, changed vacations, changed deadlines and shuffled workloads-both his and mine– before we had another surgery date.  The longer it went on and the more summer that slipped away I started to understand the plan a bit. And when I realized how much easier it would be on his recovery with the kids in school, I saw God that day.  Although we’d had a summer of complete limbo, we didn’t get the vacation we’d planned, we still got one and nobody had to miss to a single swim day or a single popsicle.  I saw God that day.

So he comes home from an appointment and he has a surgery date.  And I had given him a choice of dates that worked best for me.  Here, give the doctor these dates and you and he figure out what works best for each of you based on this list.  K?  Thanks.  He comes back with a date….a week before school starts.  Are you kidding me? You cannot have surgery a week before school starts?  You’ve waited this long, you can wait another two weeks.  I know you can do it.  He didn’t agree.  So then, on the porch, God and I had THIS convo:

Dude.  You’re not serious?  The week before school starts?  I’m not even finished uniform shopping.  We have no school shoes.  We’ve got to get haircuts.  Order bows.  Monogram bows.  Kindergarten orientation is the night of the surgery.  We still have 7 days to cram in last minute summer fun and memories.  What are you thinking?  You could NOT have possibly picked a worse day for surgery, after all this time, than the week before school starts.  

To which God very clearly responded….Hold my beer.

Thirty six hours before surgery, while taking out the trash, my beloved got bitten by an ant.  One lone ant.  Not on the toe, or ankle or even the hand from touching the trash can.  One supersonic, tiny ant clearly possessed with the spirit of Lucifer himself went rogue and bit him on his hip one half inch from his future incision site.  Which just to be clear, was covered by clothing.  Two layers of clothing assuming he was wearing underwear that day.  An hour or so after the attack he shows me the bite and I just started laughing.  So I did what any sane wife would do.  I put apple cider vinegar on it, followed by alcohol, followed by holy water.  Duh.  Then at 5:30 the next morning went to a friend’s house and got her miracle cream and put more alcohol and holy water.  And then with our tail between our legs we called the doctor.  He took one look and said “Duuuuuude maybe you’re not supposed to have this surgery.  Of allllll the places to get bit.”  And then he comes home with a new surgery date.  The first day of school.


So there I stood, with my jaw on the floor and in my hand, God’s proverbial beer.  Oh I definitely saw God that day.  In all His might showing me who was boss.  And that’s when I felt completely confident that we had a firm surgery date.  This one was would  stick because the only other less convenient date He could give us would be Christmas Day.

I don’t think I spoke for three days.  Well not beyond the usual nagging and bossing of the donkeys who live under this roof.  Aggravation, confusion and overwhelming dread had set in.  For a mom who’s had the same first day of school drop off routine for 12 years–he drives, I video and commentate, they smile and sometimes cry, then I cry and always smile (when I walk into a quiet house)– to learn that I wouldn’t even see my donkeys that morning kinda broke me.

And then of course they don’t all start on the same day.  But when I realized that my most needy, least confident one would start the day before, I saw God that day.  If ever there was a child who needed her momma to drop her off on the first day of school it was that middle donkey of mine.  My big donkey and my baby donkey would survive their first day without Momma.  Gulp.  My big can drive and dress herself and jumped at the chance to sleep out.  And my baby, well she could run the world with her bracelets on her wrist and a candy in her pocket, flirting her way to power.  So all three got spread out amongst that village of mine and I saw God that day too.  Because the pictures were taken, the holy water was sprinkled, the signs were written, the car ride prayers were said and off they went to 11th grade, 2nd grade, and Kindergarten.

Surgery, check.  Recovery, check.  Awful night in the hospital where no one sleeps, check.  First physical therapy session, check.  Occupational therapy session where they teach us how to survive the next 6 weeks, check.  Wheelchair ride to our car, check.  We get home to settle in before the donkey brigade rides in and we have no electricity so we can’t raise the garage door so we can’t get in the house.  Of course neither of us can find a house key to use a side door so we track down the 16 year old who is far more responsible than her parents and get her key.  We finally settle in and here come the donkeys.  Don’t touch daddy, don’t jump on daddy, leave daddy’s walker alone, no you can’t see daddy’s bo-bo, clear the path right here so daddy doesn’t trip.  We were so careful to keep daddy safe and upright that nobody was watching Momma.  Who tripped over baby donkey and hit her ankle just so on the corner of the bottom stair and hit the floor.  Wailing,  sobbing and screaming the whole way down.  Apparently so much so that 16 year old donkey joins me on the floor and whispers “Momma I’m calling 911 to come get you.”  I stopped her but I did call a friend to take me for an X-ray.  That poor clinic doctor. Bless his heart.  “If it’s broken it’s okay, we’re gonna put you in a boot and you’re gonna see an orthopedist Monday and go about your business. Do you know an orthopedist?” Do I know an orthopedist? DO I KNOW AN ORTHOPEDIST? Matter of fact, I saw one at 7am this morning when he discharged my husband–from-the-hospital.  Same husband who can’t drive for 6 weeks. Husband who needs newborn baby level care right now.  Yessss I’ll just call the orthopedist and then right after that he’s going to call the social worker. It wasn’t broken.  Sprained and bruised.  I saw God that day.

Day two of recovery was baby donkey’s 5th birthday party, which had been scheduled way before  the final surgery date was set.  My only duties were to show up with the co-birthday girl, smile (or try to) and two hours later check the box.  The other co-birthday girl’s momma had handled every detail right down to the treat bags (we all know I don’t do treat bags)…and when all I had to do was write her a check, I saw God that day.  Thank you village.

Our first full week with his new hip did not disappoint.  We unexpectedly saw the doctor on day one with an incision issue.  Then there was a school meeting every night that week for something.  When I got home from meeting number one my oldest tells me, “Daddy is in bed with the covers up to his neck and his teeth are chattering.”  Gulp. That could only mean fever which could only mean infection.  Double gulp. Fever was 100.4.  Paperwork said call at 100.6.  Okay we’re good.  Thirty minutes later we were at 102.5 and two hours later 104.5 and maxed out on meds.  Two calls to the doctor later and we’re still riding it out.  And by we, I mean me because he was not very engaged.  I have walked the floors with four sick kids over the years and am no stranger to fever.  But let me tell you.  A 220 pound 41 year old man, shivering uncontrollably, not speaking very coherently….literally brought me to my knees.  I can honestly say it was the second scariest night of my entire life.  When you’ve got a sick baby with high fever, you toss them in the car seat and head to the ER.  But by 2am when I had a grown man trying to get out of bed and not listening to reason who was a major “fall risk”, I didn’t have many options.  I could not have handled him myself and 911 seemed a bit dramatic.  So I prayed, prayed, prayed and at 5am we were at 100.1 and by 7am we were at 98.9. Okay crisis averted.  I saw God that morning.  After sending my little donkeys off to school I tucked him in all nice and neat into the recliner with the remote and I climbed into bed.  Just to be safe I called the doctor to update them but I let them know there was no reason to worry because the fever had broken.  Just as I closed my eyes they called and said he may have a blood clot and to go in for ultrasound now.  Four hours and no blood clot later I climbed back into bed.  And woke up to find that supper had been delivered and the kids were being picked up from school, fed and dropped off later.  I saw God that afternoon too.

I saw God a lot in the weeks that followed.  And boy did God see a lot of me…and not always my best side.  But what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?  Where’s the barbell because I’d like to see what I could bench press today.  Busy moms, run don’t walk and load the bible app “YouVersion.”  There is a reading plan for everything under the sun.  Most are 5-7 day plans and each day’s readings are short and concise.  Which is about all I’ve been able to devote these days. On a particular trying morning, during a particular trying week, I was on the final day of the study titled “The Warrior We Call Mom.”  My pre-prayer convo went about like this….5:04am: Lord, I’m about done. He’s got to go.  Five weeks of togetherness is enough Lord….he’s healed.  He’s—got—to—go.  And I opened the day’s devotional and it was titled, “Fight the Enemy in Your House”…well Lord I wouldn’t say he’s my enemy per se…but he has got to go. 5:06am The devotional read, “You might be similar to Jael today–a mom who dwells in her tent and is faithful in her own territory, seemingly unarmed and far from dangerous to your adversary…..You may choose to believe that the battle is someone else’s responsibility because you are up to your eyes in laundry…..But you, woman of God, are the secret weapon that God desires to use on the front line.  Jael fought the one battle that would win the war all by herself in her living room”  Okay. God.  Seems kinda dramatic but what are you saying? 

 5:09am: Then the Scripture reading.  And I quote what was given to me in the context in which it was given: “But Jael, Heber’s wife, picked up a tent stake and a hammer and went quietly to him while he lay asleep, exhausted.  She drove the stake through his temple into the ground and he died.”

5:12am text to my Soul Sista read: “I’m pretty sure God just told me to kill Jacob.”

5:12 and a 1/2 am text received from my Soul Sista read: “I just spit coffee all over my phone, please explain.” So I sent her screenshots of what I read and she replied, “Yep.  I think that’s what He said.”

6am text sent to one who is way wiser than me in all things Bible: “So are you familiar with the story of Jael?”  Her reply was, “Yes, the woman who drove a stake through some poor dude’s temple?   What are you trying to tell me?”   So I sent her the screenshots from the study and I said, “You think God is telling me to kill my husband?”  Her reply, which came a bit later, no doubt after struggling between her sympathy for my mental state yet her own fear of being accessory to murder, read “Oh my. I guess there are many ways to interpret that.”

So the next day I pulled out my Bible and read the passage in its full context.  Ohhhhhhhhh Jael didn’t kill her husband, she killed the intruder in her tent.  Ohhhhh.  My bad.  And honey, if you’re reading this….that was close!  You almost not only saw God that day, you almost met Him. (I’m nothing if not obedient) So having all of that “context”, I went back and also read the devotional in the app.  Ohhhhh.  The enemy in our house is busyness, distraction, addictions and it comes through our tvs, computers and devices.  Ohhhhh.

And so now here we are. Daddy donkey got his walking papers  today and more importantly, his driving papers.  We are no longer joined at the hip (literally) and I’ve got my house back.  Fly little birdie, fly.  I saw God today.

We are all fighting battles.  And often times I think I could handle some people’s battles blindfolded.  And I’m sure some people wish their battle of the day was their husband’s hip surgery.  It’s all relative.  But I’m not ashamed to say that the Hip Replacement of 2018 goes down in this momma’s book as one I’m glad to check the box on.  If and when we reach the day where we’re rocking together on the porch, way older and way grayer than we already are, we will no doubt look back on this adventure and laugh.  Not today, but maybe on that day.

And the battles we face today prepare us for the battles that are coming tomorrow.  And he and I…well we’ve already fought some doozies.  We’ve checked more boxes in our two decades than most people check in a lifetime. We are fully suited up and know that this latest one, came as preparation for tomorrow’s. And that battle that is looming, it’s a big one.  But that’s a post for another day.

Disclaimer:  It should be noted that my husband’s life was never truly in danger.  We don’t even own any tent stakes.  I know because I checked. 





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I love my front porch.  The house we built, all began with a front porch.  I really think that I can solve any problem from there.  My front yard is always so pretty…nice flower beds. trees along the road, sloping yard.  (No comment on the backyard with its dilapidated swing set and trampoline, but I digress…) My front door is rustically elegant.  There are two rockers, two swings, and Mary sits out there with me in her grotto. Well I sit, she actually stands. The view from my front porch is so peaceful.  It all makes sense on the porch.  My husband and I sat out there a couple of months ago on a Sunday afternoon and he said We don’t do this enough.   No we don’t.  During Holy Week I sat out there alone, no doubt hiding from my kids, and I thought about Pilate.  As in Pontious Pilate.  So much so that apparently I wrote it in my little notebook I keep with my bible and prayer books yet only discovered the note a day or so ago.  If Pontious Pilate had had a front porch, I bet he would never have condemned Jesus to die.

Other people like my porch too.  We solve a lot of problems on my porch.  We sit.  We rock.  We laugh.  We cry.  Oh boy do we cry.  We sip.  We sip even more than we cry.  It just makes sense on the porch.  I don’t have any proof but I’m fairly certain that Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy wrote “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” on my porch.  Life just makes sense on the porch.

Well moms, we did it.  We survived another year.  When you’ve got kids, time is measured in school years, not calendar years and we checked another one off the list.  I know for me this one was a doozie.  Lots of front porchin’ this year and yet not enough front porchin’ this year.  First grade ain’t no joke ya’ll.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a first grader but oh my word have things changed.  It is going to take me the next year just to recover from it.  Then I get to do it all over again. With Molly.  I wonder what one year of boarding school costs… This year we also had ourselves a driving teenager.  That ain’t no joke either.  There ain’t no worry like a momma’s worry with her first born on the road  kinda worry.  And let’s not forget the traveling husband, the kitchen flood of 2017, my month in the orthopedic boot, the seven year old broken wrist and the two hour round trips to see the healing nun for the four year old’s ongoing skin battle.  But more than the school year, moms…we survived May.

I don’t like May.  For as long as I can remember I don’t like May.  It goes back ohhhh I don’t know, about 13 years to be exact.  And along with the burden of that one day comes utter and total chaos.  But this year I was prepared.  My nearest and dearest were also prepared (by that I mean my closest friends…surely not my family given they’re the cause of the chaos.)  On April 30 one texted and said I’m walking into yoga so I can get my Zen on and I’ll be ready to handle you in May.  On May 1 the other one texted a prayer about handling May.  So I suited up and we did May.  And May did not disappoint.  May showed up with all of its fury and might and gave its best shot.  And more than once May brought me to my knees (literally), throwing a few sucker punches but just as May showed up, God showed up too.

For the third year in row, at the same time each year, my oldest has taken a risk and strived for something.  Being way braver than I ever was at her age, she has put herself out there and reached for something–a different something each year. And for the third year in a row the answer was no.  It’s hard enough to be told no yourself.  Watch your child get a no…all bets are off.  And this year was the toughest.  When she got the news we sat on the porch and cried.  And I mustered up my best pep talk.  You know, these are only four years of your life.  And for some, the best things that ever happen to some kids happen in these four years.  I want so much more for you than these four years.  So if I have to pick for you to soar now or soar later, I choose later.  She dusted herself off and went inside.  Then I got a text from a mom checking on my girl and I learned a little more of what went down that day.  I went and asked her about it and clearly she had held back some of the details of the day’s rejection.  She knows her momma and she knows when the claws come out.  And as the tears rolled down her face as she filled me in, the claws grew about eight inches.  I WANT NAMES I kept saying and she refused.  More often than not she is the adult in our relationship.  So I breathed deeply,  took my cues from her, we hugged and she dusted herself off yet again then left for dancing.  I kept my composure until she turned the corner and I headed for the porch but I kept going.  And that’s when my husband found me bent over the A/C unit sobbing.  Like full on ugly cry trying to tell him what happened and he couldn’t understand a word I said.  Until he did.  A momma bear has claws but a poppa bear has fists.  That poppa bear made three laps around the house with his fists clenched until he could utter a word and when he did, it wasn’t pretty.  And certainly not fit for print in the blog of a Christian mom.  But in the light of day we learned a lot from our 16 year old.  How can kids be this resilient and full of grace?  I wanted to expel, sue or egg somebody.  Talk about a lesson in humility and let it go-ness for the adults.  And the day after that she already had her plan for what her goal was for the next year.  Out loud I said Good for you! You go girl! but inside I whined Seriously? Please nooooo.  I can’t take it again.  I can learn a lot from that girl.  She’s a far better person than me!  And thank you God for that.

In our house, there’s regular school year mom whose rants and handle fly offs are sporadic.  Usually brought on after stepping on a lego or finding dog poop in the dining room.  There’s December mom but caramel lattes and mint Kit Kats usually keep her in check.  There’s birthday party mom who doesn’t do treat bags and orders grocery store cupcakes the day of.  Then there’s May mom.  May mom throws Shopkins out of the car window when she’s heard enough fighting.  She doesn’t even care that “that” one was a limited edition. May mom has been known to reach in the backseat and start swatting at whatever leg she can reach…even if it’s the wrong leg.  And when she’s at a red light during the swatting of the legs, she’s been known to roll down her window–mid swat–and tell the obviously childless guy on the side of her to LOOK AWAY MAN…LOOK AWAY…YOU DON’T KNOW!!   May mom’s head spins around 360 degrees Exorcist style when asked the question “What’s for supper?” before she starts giggling and says “I’m sorry I just can’t seem to remember to cook supper these days…here’s some cheetos.”  May mom passes herself in the hall and crosses herself on the road.  May mom says a prayer over the calendar and tosses holy water on it when she tears off April and then she sings Amazing Grace when she tears off May.  RIP May.

And then there’s June mom.  The angels sing a sweet lullaby when June mom arrives.  June mom grocery shops on a Saturday like she’s got no other place to be.  June mom does the laundry at her leisure, not in a mad Sunday rotation.  June mom sits on the porch til dark instead of just 5:30- 6:00– which is after homework but before baths because June mom doesn’t have homework and June mom thinks the swimming pool bath is good enough.  Ahhhh June mom.  She’s a hoot. A delight to be around.  June mom has all kinds of plans for summer.  Lots of swimming and popsicles, 1/2 price shakes after 8:00 and library story time.  June mom plans to cook hot breakfasts.  June mom bought matching K and J mugs so she and her BFF can drink coffee on the porch all summer long. June mom has a koozie in her purse for afternoons when she sits on someone else’s porch.  June mom plans to exercise and read books without pictures.  June mom is freaking awesome.

Wanna make God laugh?  Tell Him your plans.  Thank you Lord for another survived and somewhat thrived school year.  Thank you that summer is here…it’s gonna be a great one. You shoulda known not to tell Him that in May.  May ain’t over til it’s over.  Because on May 30 you sat in the doctor’s office with your other half and got some rather shocking news.  Nothing devastating, just surprising.  And it didn’t take long for perspective to sink in once the doctor said Look, you could be sitting in an oncologist’s office but instead you’re sitting in an orthopedist’s office.  Gulp. Noted. Could be far worse.  But ya’ll.  You wanna test the limits of the in sickness and in health part of the vows…tell this momma that she’s going to be trying to get a 41 year old man back on his feet all summer long.  Driving him everywhere, catering to his needs.  B-b-b-b-bbbbbut God it’s summer.  I’m pretty sure in that convo with the Almighty I referred to Him as “dude.”  As in Dude, what are you thinking?  It’s summer.  Let’s revisit this around February.  

But now we’re a few days into June.  Ahhh sweet June.  Lots of porch talks since that appointment.  And in the words of Kenny and David, everything’s gonna be alright.  Yes you are going to wake up from the anesthesia (**eye roll that we had to have that discussion**), no I won’t need to cash out the IRA to survive since we’re only dealing with a few bones (**more eye rolls**), I will be the best damn nurse/coach/cheerleader there ever was and get you back on your feet like a BOSS (I’ll even wear a nurse’s outfit if that’s your thing), I’ll handle all of the husbandly duties like yard work and trash and whatever else husbands do…and when you’re 100% back to normal three months later (just to be clear–summer will be over by that point)—insert strategic slight pause on my part before he said, “You will need a break so why don’t you plan on a beach weekend with your friends once this is over.”  There it is.  That’s why I married you.  You get me.  I can do anything if the beach is waiting.  There are three types of people in this world.  There are beach people, not beach people, and then there’s me.  The beach and I are one.  (It should be noted that we will still get to the beach mid-recovery even if I’m pushing him in a wheelchair balancing the ice chest on my head but I’ll have my kids in tow.  And we all know that a week at the beach with kids is actually a week at the pool. But we also all know what a trip to the beach is without kids…it’s why we have kids in the first place.  So we can go to the beach without them.)

It’s June.  I can handle anything in June.   Walkers and all.  He’s got a phone.  He can text me when I’m on the porch.  I’ll come in.  Probably.

To Roar or Not to Roar

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I’m so in love with Keith Urban’s new song “Female.”

Sister, shoulder

Daughter, lover,

Healer, broken halo

Mother Nature

Fire, suit of armor

Soul survivor, Holy Water

Secret keeper, fortune teller

Virgin Mary, scarlet letter

Technicolor river wild

Baby girl, women shine


Keith Urban.  Husband and father to two daughters.  Now that’s a man who knows where his bread is buttered. As a female myself, raising three mini females, my instinct is to whoop whoop Arsenio Hall style when I hear it.  But not in an I am woman hear me roar kind of way.  More like an I am woman and maybe I don’t NEED to roar kind of way.

A few weeks ago two marches were held across our country.  One was the March for Life protesting abortion and the other was the Women’s March protesting all kinds of things.  A year ago I was very vocal about my beliefs on the Women’s March  (I’ve got a mouth on me!) in which I held nothing back about my opinion.  I still don’t regret a word of it.  But this year instead of venting and ranting, I went out and actually marched.  But I marched for Life.  And I brought two of my three daughters with me (my 87 year old middle daughter was afraid it was too chilly, it might rain, the cars might hit us so she stayed behind where it was “safe”).  I’ve marched before for breast cancer and for Down Syndrome.  I’ve marched at my share of Mardi Gras parades with the girl scouts and behind the barricades to the band. And we all know most days I march to the beat of my own drum.  But for the first time I went out and actually marched for Life.  There is no other cause in this world that I feel more strongly about than the Pro-Life cause and it surprises even me that I’ve never marched for Life before.  And it’s not a typo that I capitalize the word Life.   Marching in the rain with hundreds of others, down the city’s busiest street, was powerful.  It was quiet, the only sounds were the voices in unison praying the Rosary.  No chanting, no screaming.  But the message was loud and clear.  Choose Life.

I’ve been pregnant five times.  First came Abby, a product of lackadaisical natural family planning eight months into marriage.  Then came Lane, planned and anticipated.  And after he died 11 months later it took four years to conceive again.  It took many doctor visits, injections and money before we just threw our hands up and then came Mary-Grace, all in God’s time.  Next was “Matthew”, who was very unplanned and very unexpected.  And just as unplanned and unexpected, he went up to Heaven before we got to meet him.  And then came Molly.  Oh Molly.  Unexpected, unplanned, no explanation for how she got there ( I think we passed in the hall), indescribable… Molly.  The Legers…party of 7.

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.  Do we have to legally, formally, presidentially, systematically, or officially be in charge to actually run the world?  We already do.  There is no Life without women (I mean, technically men play a part but come on….their part takes 3 minutes, 7 if we’re lucky and if we’re really, really lucky, a minute and a half).  Who runs the household, the school, the office, the car pool?  Who handles Christmas from the first ornament hung to the last stocking stuffed, dyes the eggs, matches the shoes to the bow, writes the check for the collection, monitors the grades, makes the practice test, plans the trip, coordinates the costumes, starts the crockpot, updates the calendar, refills the medicines and keeps her cool?  Don’t we already run the world?

Keith says…

When somebody talks about how it was Adam first

                Does that make you second best?

                Or did he save the best for last?

Clearly it’s the latter.  God’s original version was not equipped for actually running the world.  Only for pretending to!

The hot topic today is the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.  I have no experience with sexual  harassment or abuse so I won’t even pretend to understand the pain.  But I am having a hard time getting behind a cause that is only a cause now that it has become popular.  I’m having a hard time finding sympathy for women who knew and said nothing because they needed a powerful slime ball of a man to get ahead.  And the women who were affected and not only said nothing but continued to be affected because they wanted what he had to offer to get ahead.  Those were choices.  And now because it has become popular to speak out, those choices have turned into testimonies, creeds and badges of honor.   All of the sudden these women are heroes because they “had” to do what they “needed” to do either on their back or on their knees on their way to fame?  No, they had a choice.  And if that was the only choice in order to “succeed”, then a true hero would have chosen a different industry.  Their choices and claim of sudden victimhood belittle and diminish the real victims of this crime.  The women caught in dark alleys and parking garages, the women and children of poverty stricken countries who are raped and pillaged and those who are sold and trafficked every day.  THOSE women had no choice.   I want to hear the stories of the women who said Nope, not taking that road if that’s how I have to get there.

Sister, shoulder….healer, broken halo….suit of armor…soul survivor…secret keeper…

God has used music to communicate with me my whole life.  So much so that Joy Behar would have me in the padded cell next to Mike Pence.  When we were trying to just keep breathing after Lane died He sent me Held by Natalie Grant during that first week.  This is what it means to be held.  How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life.  And you survive.  Or like a year and a half ago when I found myself very overwhelmed with kids, schedules, bills and an urgent deadline, He sent the songs.  When I was working against the clock to finish a breakfast room for a dear client who was battling cancer, when her husband called to tell me she died before I could finish, He sent three songs in a row about storms then He drove my car to the closest church and planted me in front of the crucifix for an hour.  That poor janitor didn’t know what to do at the sight and sounds of me that day.  When I’ve walked the floor with babies with ear infections, or changed wet sheets at 4:05 in the morning, or picked up a sick child from school the first day back after a 9 day break, or driven the same dancing route 8 times that week, He sends the likes of Trace Adkins’ It Won’t Be Like this for Long or Kenny Chesney’s There Goes My Life.   When December and its insanity hit and I’m running on autopilot, He sends me that first Mary Did You Know and Little Drummer Boy to bring me to my knees.  He uses those not only to remind me of what it’s really all about but to remind me to feel.  To remember who and what has been lost and then remember the promise that it’s not for long.  And if those don’t work then He’ll send me Christmas Shoes and good gracious alive it’s not good if He has to send me Christmas Shoes (talk about question every parenting decision ever made…am I raising kids who will buy their momma Christmas shoes??).  And don’t even get me started on the St. Jude telethons.  Every song, every parent’s testimony spoken over the melody….here you go….here’s my credit card, my social security number, my IRA account passwords.  Take it all.

So when He keeps sending a song about females, He means it.

Sister, shoulder….healer, broken halo….suit of armor…soul survivor…secret keeper….

In a day and age where women are clamoring to be heard, seen, validated, recognized, here is a song about the quieter, unseen, unrewarded side to us.  And doesn’t it speak louder than any speech or rant ever could?  What we do that goes without notice, without recognition, isn’t it as important if not more than what they do that often gets all the attention? Men may technically “run” the world but they run it because we let them!  What we do makes it possible.  Somewhere, somehow there’s always a woman behind the curtain making it happen.  Whether it’s picking out the tie, offering support, writing the speech, putting supper on the table, holding the clipboard to a million other things that make it possible, there’s always a woman.

She’s the heart of life

She’s the dreamer’s dream

She’s the hands of time

She’s the queen of kings 

My husband will tell you I’m not a submissive type of wife.  Like I’ve said, I’ve got a mouth of me.  If I ever, God forbid, found myself on the betrayed side of marriage, there would be no Tammy Wynette Stand by Your Man playing in my head.  I would go full on Carrie Underwood with my key dug into the side of his white 4-wheel drive,” Queenie wuz here” would be carved into his leather seats, and the Louisville slugger would stay stuck in his head lights.  Like I said, God speaks to me through music and that is definitely the song He’d send to me in THAT situation.  But I digress…submissive I am not but I’ve also come to know, understand and appreciate our roles.  This household survives (and some days it actually thrives) because he does what he does and I do what I do.  And while we would be on the street if he didn’t do what he did, we would still be on the street if I didn’t do what I do.  Well, he would be on the street because I’d be at my momma’s.

God made Adam from dust.  He made Eve from a rib.  We came second because He needed the rib.  We are the stronger one and He knew we’d have to be.  It takes great strength to stand behind the curtain and be okay with it.