Friday, April 29, 2011


We just finished hosting a family gathering for a week. My parents were there, as well as my brother, sister-in-law, and their two children.

(photo courtesy of Trish)

It was six very full days, a wonderful visit. It had been four years since we'd seen my brother and his family, as distance and expense had hindered us. Our kids had never met. All the same, it was an amazing time.

We played games, we went on outings. We watched the kids play. We played with the kids. We worked together. And last but not least, we ate.

(photo courtesy of Trish)

The boys were so sad to see their cousins go. My oldest, in particular, was very downcast for a while. We mustn't let four years pass again. Still, we soaked it up while we could.

Family. Cousins. Togetherness.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

being there

In my Lenten reading of late, I've been struck powerfully by the scene in Gethsemane. Jesus went there in great need, and he brought his dearest friends with him.

So many times, we don't express the fullness of our need. But Christ told his disciples that he was hurting. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said. "Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38)

But they didn't. They may have tried, but they couldn't seem to keep themselves awake. When Jesus returned, he found them sleeping. Talk about his friends letting him down. Still, he gave them another chance. Again, they fell asleep. He had asked them to watch and pray, and they fell asleep.

I've always been moved by the loneliness of the scene in the garden. In his song "Hard to Get," Rich Mullins describes it this way: "...when you are barely holding on / and your friends fall asleep / and don't see the blood that's running in your sweat."

There are times when we might show our need to a friend, for all the courage that vulnerability takes...and they fail us. There might be times when we are honest with someone...and they betray us. Still, our own experiences cannot compare to what Christ went through. After all, he knew it all. Their hearts. The future. The path he would walk.

But there are also times when we are the ones who fail. So often, when I know someone is going through a hard time, I think of them. I pray for them. But I seldom reach out. To be honest, I forget. I get caught up in my own little corner of the world: getting my chores done, finishing our school day, being with my children, maybe working in a little exercise. I completely forget until I'm in the shower, or changing a diaper, or up to my elbows in raw meat. "Oh, I was going to call ______." "I wanted to send that person a card!" And all too often, I fail.

But today I'm resolving to do better. If I know about a need, I want to reach out more. I don't want to be the one who leaves a friend feeling all alone. I want to be the one who doesn't just care...I want to be the one who shows it. After all, that's what I would want.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

my husband... celebrating his birthday today. a fun-loving and devoted daddy. the best husband I could have ever hoped for.

...serves. far better at giving the benefit of the doubt than I am.

...plays a mean game of Scrabble.

...loves me, regardless of what size I'm wearing.

...extends grace to me with humbling regularity. the love of my life!

I love you, Babe. I am so honored to be called your wife!