God Redeems Life’s Wreckage

When life reels out of control and the wreckage is overwhelming, where do you turn? 

September 10th is a big day at my house. It’s the day my husband Craig’s plane was discovered after being missing for weeks. Our hope and prayer was that both Craig and the plane would be recovered safely and intact, but that wasn’t what we found.

A pilot error, a thunderstorm, and a dark mountain created a trifecta of disaster. After an exhaustive search by the FAA, State Police, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol and NASA, Craig was finally discovered inside the crumpled aircraft wreckage where he’d obviously been killed on impact.

What do you do with that kind of news? Where do you turn for answers? 

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Do You Trust God With The Impossible?

How good are you at trusting God with what’s on your heart and mind but out of your control?

Do you trust God with the impossible or do you fuss and squawk until there’s nothing you can do to make a difference and then slump into despair and worry? 

My son, Eli, graduates from bootcamp this week. It seems like only yesterday that he was toddling around the house in diapers. The years float by leaving a residue of precious memories to mark high state occasions. The first step. Every first day of school. Passing his drivers test. Watching him play football. High School graduation. His first job as a firefighter.

Each marker took Eli further and further beyond my ability to protect him. Joining the Air Force Reserves marked the final transition of my role from guardian to worrier, I mean warrior … of prayer.

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Are You A Bathtub or Shower Girl?

There is something you probably don’t know about me. I haven’t taken a shower in years.

Shocked? Don’t be. I prefer my hygienic ablutions to include a bathtub of hot water to the pelting streams from a shower head.

There is something calming that happens in a bathtub that I can’t duplicate in the shower. A bath soaks away the day’s stresses and messes. It’s like a baptism every night. The day is washed away and I’m ready for the next.

Even when I’m in a hurry.  I can take a “skinny” bath and get the desired result – cleanliness – which is an imperative for every day. But I much prefer a deep, hot, relaxing soak. When I get out of the tub, I’m not just clean, I’m refreshed.

I often read in the tub. (You can’t do that in the shower!)

Like most of us, I read for work, research, and recreation.  My top two bathtub reads are Guideposts and Just Between Us. I read books and of course, and I read the Bible.

When it comes to Bible reading for recreation, I’m not an over-achiever. I won’t make it through in a year – or anything close.  I read one chapter a day and it takes me about three years to go from Table of Contents to maps.

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What’s Your Heart Condition?

Did you know I have a heart condition? Don’t be alarmed. We all do.  

When our hearts are out of sync with God’s best for us, He will reveal it to you in the most inventive ways.

I knocked lightly and popped my head in Jake’s room to say goodnight. His room was a disaster area. Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor. He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books. The bed was disheveled and the window blinds were all catawampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As in engineering live in this chaos?

When his face met mine, he wasn’t smiling. “Mom, got a minute to talk?”
“Sure,” I said. “Want to come downstairs?”
“Can you just come in here?”

I hesitated. See, I am not messy. My spices are alphabetized. My closet is color organized by sleeve length. The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield. I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday. Being in his room makes my brain freeze and my hands twitch.

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Is God Enough?

When you search for meaning in trials and demand a reason for difficulties, the question we ask is, “Why is this happening?” 

The question you need to answer is, “Is God enough?”

When life is hard and plans change, when futures seem forfeit, and life shifts unexpectedly, the question you have to settle is, “Is God enough?”

In the time before YouTube and Food Network, before Google was a noun and a verb, we used to find things to make for dinner in thick-paged volumes filled with ideas to bring tasty nutrition to the table.

These volumes were called cookbooks.

Frustrated by the time-consuming effort to make dinnertime both flavorful and healthy, my friend Jennifer bought herself a new cookbook called “Once a Month Cooking. The cookbook detailed how to prep thirty entrees in one day, freeze them, and use them throughout the month. Jen’s plan was to double everything, make sixty meals, and split the bounty between us.

Jennifer thought it was genius. I thought it was harebrained.

Until I tried it.

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How Hard Is It For You To Try Something New?

When a new idea is proposed, do you consider it with an open mind or is it hard for you to try something new? 

A girlfriend I’d been wanting to know better called and asked if I’d like to get together. Maybe go for a walk.

This is not a good idea, I thought. I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I don’t own yoga pants or exercise clothes. The closest thing to a walking shoe I own is a pair of Reeboks that I bought in 1988 for an aerobics class I never attended. 

I really wanted to spend the time with this woman.  It’s just walking, I figured. How hard can it be to try something new? 

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Holding Onto Your Past Creates Problems For Your Future

Are you holding onto your past?
Take a lesson from me, and jettison the junk.

 

 

I spent a good chunk of yesterday cleaning out the “toy closet.”

I haven’t had children at home for years.
Deep sigh …
followed by a leap for joy!
(Don’t judge, I am happy to have healthy, thriving, gainfully employed boys who’ve grown into men.)

I’m reclaiming all the real estate in my house previously dedicated to storing their paraphernalia.
I will no longer keep art projects from grade school,

football cleats from high school or dental models of lost retainers.

Yesterday, I cleared the last bastion of their territory … the toy closet.
Toys spanning the decades spilled out to be sorted and bagged up

in preparation of their move to someone else’s home.

Candyland, all the chess boards and the Monopoly game … out.
Beanie Babies, action figures and matchbox cars … out.
Glitter pens, coloring books and the potholder loom …  out.
Puzzles, sidewalk chalk and the abacus no one ever knew how to use … out!

Can I just tell you, it’s liberating.
I am giddy with glee!

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Want To Know A Big Secret Of Mine?

I’m not sure if I should brag about this or whisper it like the big secret it is.

I wore the same outfit everyday for the entire week! I wore it to the dentist on Mon., out to dinner with girlfriends on Wed., for a FB live on Thurs., to get my hair cut on Sat., to church on Sunday and around the house the rest of the week.

Same outfit every day!

It was so freeing not to have to think about it. And, no mountain of laundry at the end of the week!

There are other benefits, too. I don’t know about you, but I can get so bogged down with the smallest details that it that it keeps me from making real progress on anything!

The tiniest of decisions can hold my momentum hostage.

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3 Ways to Renew Your Contentment

Do you ever have what my friend Lauren calls a MOMENT?
You know what I mean?
Everything is just “fine” and then you get triggered.

Something hits you sideways and you have a MOMENT.

Maybe you had a Facebook moment when you saw that
you weren’t included in a party or conversation or outing.

Maybe you had a home improvement moment
as you watched all the options HGTV had to offer.

Maybe you had a Pinterest moment when you
tried your best to recreate the image on your computer screen
and it was an unrecognizable failure.

Maybe you had a travel moment when you had high expectations of
Swanky Suites but ended up at Bob’s Sleep Palace?

Maybe it was
your car, or
your house, or
your kids, or
your boss, or
your husband, or
your scale, or
your mirror …
and you just had a MOMENT!

The MOMENT dissolved your contentment.

My MOMENT came at the Tax Guy’s office.
I thought we had a great year, but Tax Guy
suggested I find a “real job”.

My Contentment asked my Confidence for a date
and they took off for parts unknown.
The evil twins, Discouragement and Dissatisfaction,
moved in to take their place.

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The Best Medication for Turbulent Times

I surveyed the dark red, single engine airplane we stood in front of as I listened to my new husband say, “It’s absolutely ridiculous to own a vehicle you don’t know how to operate!”  

The airplane that now had my name on the title. The turbulence in my tummy was growing. I gulped. Visions of me soaring through the air filled my head … followed immediately by flashes of me crashing in a blaze of flames.

It seemed reasonable to know how to operate the radio. It even made sense to learn how to land the plane in an emergency, but to actually become a licensed pilot freaked me out.

“I don’t know,” I said. “It looks complicated.”
“It’s not hard at all. I’ll teach you.”

You can already tell this will go badly, can’t you?

There is truth in the old adage that a husband should not attempt to teach his wife to drive. Driving lessons are a lot cheaper than a divorce, but this isn’t a blog about marriage.

“Okay,” I said, more out of a desire to be cooperative than adventurous. “Let’s do it.”

Learning to fly an airplane was horribly hard for me; all the technical, weather-related, and directional stuff vexed me. To top it off, my own flying made me sick. The joggling and bouncing in the little plane while doing the training maneuvers made my stomach churn.

Dramamine was a lifesaver for me. I swallowed pieces of little yellow pills for the first forty hours of my training before I successfully completed my testing to become a licensed pilot.

Can I get a whoop! whoop!?

I’m still plagued by motion sickness if the air is turbulent or if the waves are rough. If the swings are tall or the carnival rides turn me upside down. You can tell me it’s all in my head but I am still hurling into an airsick bag.

While Dramamine commands my upset stomach to calm down,
it does nothing to change my circumstances.

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