Monday, October 2, 2017

Things that are Important

At our house, we put important things on the insides of cabinets with washi you do that?  On this particular cabinet, you will find Mr. Wood's recipe for Long Island Iced Tea (very important) and this recipe for Hot Cocoa Mix (also very important) that we start making in October and keep making all fall and winter.  We keep it in a canister with a scoop and folks can make themselves a cup of hot cocoa any time they please.  It's maybe a 1/4 or 1/3 cup scoop and that goes with a regular-sized mug of very hot water, or you can adjust your amount to taste.  We also keep a container of those little tiny pellet-like marshmallows nearby because they make me happy.

Sunday, August 27, 2017


I'm not speaking about the skirt wearing, cheer yelling, ponytail sporting (it makes me smile to think of how the style of the ponytail changes from era to era) girls whom I love, although I would be happy to write a cheery little blog about them.  I'm speaking of being a cheerleader for the folks in our lives.

I want to cheerlead, every time and every place.  I want people to know I'm on their side, cheering for them.  I want them to count on me to be singing their praises, both when they are down and out and when they have victories.

When my people "get it right" in their families, I want them to hear me say "I knew you would".  When shit hits the fan in their families, I want to be the one saying, "Keep pressing on.  You'll see the fruit someday.  Let's go get coffee."

When one of my posse hates her job, I want her to hear me say "I'm praying for wisdom.  I know you can see this through, but if you feel you should leave, I'm cheering for your new job".  When my girl is slaying her job, I want to send her a starbucks card to celebrate!!!

When folks are loving on people and worshipping the Father and living in community, whether in the place I'm at or somewhere else, I want to SEE those great things happening and say "I LOVE what you're doing."  When life is hard and community is messy, I want to be there, cheering "keep pressing on.  You're doing a good work.  God has you right where he wants you."

Mr. Wood and I were talking about this very thing the other night, as there have been occasions for us when folks in our lives did the opposite, telling us "that's enough of that little stuff you're come do what we think you should do" or "why would you do that, it's headed nowhere".  Frankly, even if I AM headed nowhere, I want my people to cheer me on as I go. Hahahahah.'s so important.   The opposite of's so hurtful.  I want to always and forever be one of the ones cheering.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

On Letting Go...

The big boy leaves for Europe tomorrow...without us.  It's a strange feeling, this letting go.  I remember the first time I felt it.  He was 3 years old, and Bill's Bus came to our Plum Street house to pick him up for preschool.  I wrote in his baby book (yeah..he's the only one of our kids who has one of these) that day that I was worried he would get drunk and high and have sex all on the preschool bus on Day 1.  Of course, that worry was unfounded, but it was my first taste of letting go.  Up until that point, I was the major influence and authority figure in his day, and that was about to change.

And here we are, 13 years later, and he's flying across the world for nine days.  He will have such a great time.  It will be yet another reminder to him that this world is SO much bigger than our little part of it.  I WANT him to go.  I'm so excited for him.  And yet... this mama heart and stomach is feeling a little bit of angst, if I'm honest.  What if something happens?  What if we aren't there to help him?  What if...  Honestly, those what ifs are not unfounded.  Things happen.  Most likely, everything will run like clockwork, and, a couple of weeks from now, we will be looking at his pictures and hearing his stories.  Realistically, the what ifs may come true, though.  Something might happen.  He might need our help and not have it.  The really amazing thing about the hope we have in the Father is that we will all be alright either way.  Our hope is not in everything going ok or in our ability, as parents, to be there when he needs us.  Our hope is in the fact that someone loves this boy WAY more than we do, and HE is able and present, both when I am present and when I am not.

And so, we send him off.  We buy the outlet adapter and we pack the extra memory cards for the camera and we tell him that we can't wait to see his pictures and hear his stories.  We do this because we know no other way to love, to allow growth, to parent...

I'm reminded of this blog post I wrote in July 2006 when the roles were reversed.  It is no less true today:

We’re en route to Haiti as I write. We left Marshall at 10:30 this morning. My heart was heavy, yet hopeful, as I left two of God’s most precious gifts in Marshall. The heaviness came from knowing I will miss them—their smiles, hugs, kisses, orneriness—and they will miss me—my hugs, kisses, my lap, my touch in the middle of the night. The hopefulness came from knowing they will become more like Jesus and I will, too. This is so much more than a mission trip to Haiti for me. It is a statement TO the self in me that is still left MADE BY the Jesus in me that I hope is growing daily. The Jesus in me is saying that I choose to live fearlessly. Nothing is worth more to me than bringing glory to my Father. My comfort, my peace, my safety, and my agenda have no value to me. They have been crucified. Even the comfort and safety of my boys is not more important than walking daily right beside my Savior. I have felt uneasy about going to Haiti from the very first mention of it, and yet, I feel no uneasiness at all because I know my Father and I trust Him. Who else loves me like He does? Who else knows me like He does? Who else loves my boys like He does? I rest in the shelter of His wings. I lay my boys in the shelter of His wings. There is no safer place.