All posts tagged: family values

Loving Into Being {Making It Home}

August 2011 He walked through the front door and breathed it in. Home. And I was told he place his small, little-boy hand on the wall and spoke the word, “Home.” I was not there. I was in the hospital, barely passing the hours of night and day by pressing the self-administering morphine button; I was holding the hope of home in my heart, living past the tragedy of the car accident apart from my family. And they were coming home. Daddy on crutches—the weight of so much unknown a harder thing to carry than a useless, broken leg—and our four kids were beginning to step back into normalcy. I was out of ICU, off of the machines that kept me breathing and recently established in the trauma ward. Just the entryway wall, already smudged with so many handprints. But this small caress and a one-syllable word made a picture she’ll carry forever. Home. He’d been staying at his aunt’s house for a week. In the whirlwind surrounding the accident, the youngest of our kids …

To My Aging Mom {A Letter}

Mom, Today is Annalia’s 11th birthday. But you didn’t forget. She received a card in the mail from you yesterday, your perfect script on the front, a sticker on the back where the envelope folds onto itself. And within it, I bet, is the characteristic $5.00 check you send to each grandchild. This morning I was thinking about when I was 11, and you must have been 53, and it was spring and you bought me my own dress, a matching pair of burgundy suede and patent leather mary janes, for my piano recital. In a closet full of hand-me-downs, that pretty cotton prairie-style dress with the lace-up bodice stood out like a rose in a weed patch. You knew that recital was hard for me, a newer student, less advanced at the piano than other boys and girls my age. And I was 11 and who at that age isn’t awkward? But I felt very grown-up and pretty and prepared because of my dress and shoes and I crossed the church stage and played …

The Loudest Silence {Hearing Jesus in our Family Room}

We managed to do devotions with the little kids tonight. The oldest is at the Hunger Games premier and the other is down killing zombies on the x-box. But upstairs, we snuggle on the couch with the youngest children. Dad stretches on the floor after a 12-hour workday, I fold laundry and we read in Luke 7 about the sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. It’s a visual story. There’s a dinner party, a rude host, an uninvited guests whose loud sobs of remorse hush the conversational tones that passed around with the bread and stew. We bring a helping of ancient Jewish culture into our suburban family room and wonder at things like alabaster jars and hugging the dusty feet of the son of God. It’s too much for even me: the holiness of that repentant moment juxtaposed with the ordinariness of our half-hour. I attempt to describe the pride and the brokenness and the awkward beauty of the story of a woman set free from the guilt of many sins …

How Recycling Got Me to Africa

It all started with recycling. And it led to a trip to Africa. Yes, as in paper/glass/plastics curbside recycling. And yes, as in Africa, the continent. One day my husband announced, “Honey, we can’t change everything. And I know we aren’t going to save the planet or anything, but we can do little things differently and be more responsible for our choices.” We never recycled before, and then we started to. Beginning that week, we began using our blue bin, the one the garbage company had issued for recycling actually for that purpose. It had held balls in the garage, potting soil in the garden and snow during the winter when the kids wanted to make a snow-fort. But it had never been placed street-side on garbage day. Then, one week, it was. And that little change, that decision announced one day, became habit. What we were unaware of, as we were living our average western lives working and eating and recycling, taking the kids to dance, going to the gym and to the park, …