The truth of a father who loves.

The truth of a father who loves.

Recently I had the privilege of hearing two brilliant pastors on different ends of the country speak – live – and directly to me as if they had read the whole messy complicated backstory before their talk began. First, I listened to Pastor Jim Samra’s teaching all the way from our former church in Michigan (thanks to live web streaming) while I primped and coiffed for a sweet Sunday family adventure. Dr. Samra is beginning the new season, teaching through the first Book of Peter. Today he disassembled the tricky idea of whether we choose God or if He chooses us. And as Jim does with uncommon brilliance, he gave us an insightful example of the truth. He simply said that when two people express their side of any relationship story, they often sound...

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It’s all about the mysterious work of time.

It’s all about the mysterious work of time.

Time works hard. 15 years ago I heard the expression “all in God’s time,” and as a confirmed control freak, I was quite intrigued with this mystery. I was painstakingly seeking the truth of God, flip-flopping around the structures of religion and new age fads, so the notion of “God’s timing” as something beyond my control was new. I remember the concept striking an un-played chord of … relief. He’s bigger. He is real. But, alas, in those days, I continued to fuel my comfort with the belief that I was running the show. Today, after many textured and refining seasons, I am certain beyond doubt that it’s all about time.  And each season is ours to grasp and secure as a stepping-stone – no, a walking stick – to take with us into the...

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When a marriage gets moved into new digs.

When a marriage gets moved into new digs.

How can a heart soar and cringe all at the same time? As a mom of a wide range of kids, I should know this sensation all too well by now. For Pete’s sake, my 21 year old recently sent a photograph of his body practically dangling over the far edge of a cliff along the Oregon coast. Rude and heartless. Tonight as 8-year-old Jack gave us a thumbs-up and sailed away amidst the crowd on his razor scooter, I fully wanted to be Elastigirl and reach out to snatch him back to within my comfort zone. The crowd was getting thick, folks gathering for the concert in the park on a breezy Sunday evening in our new village in Southern California. All at once in my head: “where am I” and “this rocks.” How can I force my heart to be calm and easy as he whisks away,...

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All of us in the middle, with a chasm between.

All of us in the middle, with a chasm between.

We’re now in the middle of our move. Half of us are here in Southern California and half of us are still back in Michigan. The half of us living in LA is hanging out in a Residence Inn and managing lots of new-life, people who don’t know us, or no people at all. The two of us still in Michigan are dealing with packing and wrapping up and really hard hours of saying stretched-out good-byes. Somehow we all wish we were on the other side; the other side of this really hard transition. Leaving worlds we enjoyed, learning to leap, reaching out, and trying out for teams. One day we’re discouraged and the next, we’re pointed toward hope and amazing joy.  In all the trying outs there have been great discoveries and there have also been jabs of disappointment. We...

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Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Sometimes when we forge new paths, we find footprints we ourselves left decades earlier. Our family is moving back to Southern California from the serene and naturally beautiful Western edge of the mitten state. (Hold up your left hand.) I spent my childhood in Michigan, so I have a deep fondness for the lakes and the uniqueness of this state’s magnificent geography and sweet fun-loving people. I left LA 20 years ago when my eldest was less than 2, believing that I wanted to raise my kids in the values-orientation of the Midwest rather than the maniacal superficiality of the Hollywood State. To be true, my point of view was skewed by my own untamed lifestyle in the 80’s and 90’s, and it was impossible for me to imagine any healthy upbringing for my children...

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Avatars, Voices and Jesus.

Avatars, Voices and Jesus.

Last week on NPR I heard a fascinating interview with a psychiatrist who uses avatar therapy to quiet the negative voices in people’s minds and free them from the burdens imposed by fear, doubt, anxiety, insecurity (etc.). I’ve since read that this sort of therapy is even used to treat clinical schizophrenia. Fascinating, isn’t it? Talk about theater of the mind!! Apparently this avatar therapy challenges the patient to describe in physical detail the way this personified voice looks, sounds, and behaves. The doctor creates a digitally embodied replica of the voice, and  “brings the voice to life,” and he himself plays the role of the voice. He also plays the role of psychiatrist, so he’s got a big job. Anyway, the patient directly addresses a...

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