gratitude, photography, poetry

Counterweight

I pulled into the driveway of my close friend’s small brick house one autumn afternoon, the air thick and humid, stuck in transition from summer heat. She wasn’t home, but her neighbors’ kids ran and yelled at one another in the front yard next door, enjoying their first few moments of freedom after school. I jiggled… Continue reading Counterweight

gratitude, photography

Thankful for everyday love

Today's guest contributor is my childhood friend, Leslie Ferguson Thomas, who is on a fearless journey to become who she wants to be. Be sure to check out Leslie's blog! My husband always refers to us as two puzzle pieces, and when we met, he says, “The world could hear the click”. I grew up… Continue reading Thankful for everyday love

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Do the NEXT Thing

I don’t normally reblog posts by other writers, but this hit home for me and reminded me of a saying we have in the rooms of recovery: “do the next right thing.” It’s helped me so much. So I had to share this with all of you!

living on pb & j

In 1982, my parents found out that they would be welcoming a new baby into their home. They were in their 20’s, had been married for two years, were working full-time on a church staff and were really in the “prime of their life”.  To say they were excited is an understatement! Anyone who has ever known my mother can testify that she is THE “Baby Lady”. She somehow knows all the tricks of the trade and can pacify the most difficult infants. One of my mom’s spiritual gifts is compassion. I mean, this is a LADY who rescues beetles that randomly come into her home and places them back outside because “they have families…..the baby beetles need their mommy” (of course)!

When my mother was about seven months into her pregnancy, she went home one day from a full day of teaching and decided to take a nap. She…

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Father envy

Thoughts on God as my father… what does Father’s Day make you grateful for?

Just wheat

I think eye rolling in church might be inappropriate.

But I’ve done it my whole life—if not outwardly, inwardly.

Confession: Until recently, the two concepts of “God” and “Father” did not mesh well in my mind. A local preacher I know used to—and perhaps still does, but thankfully I don’t know—insert “dear Fathuh” every 12-15 words during his prayers, or maybe “Fathuh God.”

Ugh.

Why the disdain? There are plenty of references in the Bible to God as our Father. Of course, there are multiple other analogies and metaphors as well, but why should this one feel so ingratiating?

It’s hard to explain to people who have dads like John Egan, a family friend of ours who passed away a few years ago. He was the ultimate family man. Served on the school board. Always there for his family. Cracked jokes in his recliner, complimented his beautiful wife often, and…

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As sick as our secrets

Thankful that I’ve learned to be honest.

Just wheat

“We’re only as sick as our secrets.”

I’ve heard friends say this phrase repeatedly in the rooms of recovery for almost six years.

This week, an old college friend of mine was arrested and charged with multiple counts of possession of child pornography. I sat through several religion and philosophy classes with him, sang worship songs alongside him, and watched him help start a campus ministry organization. When I learned about his arrest as I unrolled our copy of the local paper, I was not surprised.

Don’t get me wrong. This guy seemed to have his stuff together, serving his church and community by working as a youth pastor and teacher. He was recently married to a lovely lady and had a bright future to look forward to. Honestly, I always viewed him as better than me, more together than me, much more fundamentalist in his beliefs and behavior, and…

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First

Thankful for the chance to start over.

Just wheat

First time I had sex, I was raped.

First marriage failed.

First gymnastics meet, I dislocated my elbow.

First job in my field, teaching English, was perhaps the worst job I’ve ever had in my life.

debbie downer*Cue Debbie Downer waaah waaaah.*

Clearly, my track record of firsts isn’t necessarily full of gold star stickers and smiley faces.

That’s just not been my life experience.

Until I met my husband. I’m not sure, but I suspect that God has anointed him with an innate sense of what I need and the uncanny ability to meet my needs without my saying a word.

When I met him, things changed.

In reality, I think my perspective simply switched gears, probably thanks to three years in my twelve-step recovery program. I started noticing every first in our relationship, and I’d never done that before. I began to cherish all our moments.

First time we…

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Thankful for what Easter means to me.

Just wheat

When I was in Beijing as a college student, I took the dirtiest bath ever.

After spending three weeks in a smaller city in Shandong Province working on ESL skills with college students and other community members, the group I traveled with spent three days in the nation’s capital, climbing the Great Wall, walking through the once forbidden gate of the Forbidden City, meeting Alanis Morissette in the gift shop, and other interesting touristy things.

But the best part about our final three days in China each year? The first long, hot bath I took in our lovely hotel.

After staying in a smaller city and in a nice but simple hotel for three weeks, the luxury of hot water at all hours of the day and night overwhelmed me. Our rooms in the simpler hotel were not really “roughing it” by Chinese standards. We had hot water for one…

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