When we are given more than we could have imagined.

When we are given more than we could have imagined.

Last Thursday evening, my husband and two youngest kids and I met up with 7 other people we didn’t know, climbed into a van with our duffel bags and our good intentions and drove to the border town of Mexicali Mexico to build something. I’d been busy enough in the weeks leading up to our departure that I quietly panicked as we crossed the border at 11pm, realizing that I hadn’t checked Google News for the current drug cartel activity in this particular town. Egad! We had hastily put our precious children into the unknown hands of a young missionary team from our church and for a moment I wondered if I’d properly said goodbye to our elder children, if you know what I mean. The fact that this was my first mission trip was a slight embarrassment that I had to...

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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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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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The battle wages on and you’re still the prize.

The battle wages on and you’re still the prize.

Don’t Look Up! More than one war is waging above your head today. Yes, I am intrigued by the fierce battle between good and evil waging in the heavens for our hearts and souls. But God only knows who will win that one today. (wink) Right now I’m referring to the battle in Washington over controlling our digital screens. Our Good Congress is flexing muscles and rattling swords against the digital ad industry’s alleged slow-walk toward Do Not Track technologies and practices. This means that you-consumer can’t be followed around the web and served ads that someone paid extra to be able to serve you because they bought you a cookie. Unless you agreed to let them buy you a cookie. Here’s the truth as a high-integrity surfer and mom: we are willing to take...

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Which article surprises you more?

Which article surprises you more?

Today’s news connection: The Huffington Post reports on what men say about their ex-wives.  This oughta be good.  Click. The statements are contradictory and, on the surface a bit whiny.  But when you stop to consider the deeper meaning, (which might be risky) the potential truth huddled beneath the whining is quite important. And the reality is magnified.  The statements are true…. each one. How much do we honor their needs without worrying about our own being neglected?  Hmmmmm. It seems that we still have lots to learn about the inexpressible fulfillment of sacrificial marital love; that it returns manifold, mountaintop joy. I know: it’s so not ingrained in our world.  We struggle with equality, feminism and some misguided belief that couples have a...

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