My Crying Shoulder

Posted by jael on Jul 23, 2011 in Spiritual Journey

Though it makes prefect sense that I resist the inevitable escalation of grief as the day of our departure lurks as assiduously as I decline a good pork pull with slaw served on a Wonder Bread bun, I feel the coward that my girls were away when the reality of our timeline slapped them like the briny brace of the Artic Ocean.

On the other hand, I rejoice that they were able to release some of their pent up heartache away from me and able to purge anger and woe without me as a filter or audience.

One of the many things I know that I cannot see clearly is how exactly I will help them all navigate this transition. God of Mercy, Father Love, I trust you will direct me.

I return to the mantra Trust.
I Trust Him with my heart.
I Trust Him with my thoughts.
I Trust Him with my Marriage.
I Trust Him with my children.
I Trust His Goodness.
I Trust His Faithfulness.

I stretch to rejoice this trial and allow Him to train me through this as He has begun to guide me to be sensitive to His prompts and obedient to their calls upon my life.

I rejoice how abundantly He has blessed me with contact and context.

He is my Provision and perfectly portions my daily bread.

He’s my crying shoulder.

I thank Him for his unflinching constancy and perfect Patience. I marvel how He embraces my rabbit nature.

He baffles me again and again, my Maverick Jesus, the most Revolutionary teacher this side of Eden.

I pray that He allows me to be of good use as we walk out this move together and partner me with the Supernatural gifts that I will surely require to be the Mamma they need right now.

Ah, me, so much Love…

so much LOVE is HE!

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah


Declaration of Pubertyence

Posted by jael on Jul 21, 2011 in Parenting, Spiritual Journey

Dearest The Boy,

One score less thirteen years, three months ago, Our Heavenly Father brought forth on this family, a new born son, conceived in Love, and dedicated to the proposition that, “They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,” (Isaiah, 40:31).

Now we are engaged in a great hormonal transition as you puberty season rises, testing whether this family, or any family so challenged and similarly tested, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that transition. We have come to dedicate our resources to insure our family creates a balance between your guidance and your correction. It is all together fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate — we cannot consecrate—those resources alone we seek God to fill our stores. You The Boy, brave boy, who must struggle in the world at school and among your friends to find your space and grow your self, you, The Boy, who must negotiate your own relationships with God, integrity, quality work, your family, alcohol, drugs, sex and the turbulent myriad of feelings and hormones that compete for your attention you, The Boy, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but your parents can never forget your courage to rise. It is for us, your parents, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which your fight has thus so nobly advanced. It is rather for us nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be dedicated to the great task to remaining before us – to assure you of our abject LOVE, to hold the limits placed before you and to constantly, ardently and unceasingly ENCOURAGE you to wait upon the lord and heed His Call upon your life – that from these honored, adolescent struggles, we take increased devotion to that cause for which He gave the full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that their struggles shall not have been in vain—that this family, under God, shall have a New Birth of Freedom—and that our only son, of our hearts, by his own hand, for his Call shall long bless our family and this earth.

The battle, The Boy, is less important than the cause. You’ve begun to make yourself, as much a Maker as Alvin. The work will challenge you as it excites you to test limit and face logical consequences. We’re not afraid to fight beside you, our boy. We are also ready to fight you, if necessary, to hold the line.

I pray we consistently bring enough balance to our duty that you will NEVER doubt, even for an instant, how much we love you, Son. May you also NEVER even for an instant, doubt how perfectly and gloriously you were made… how fine a heart and brain you have been gifted… how witty and guided you are with words and ideas… how valued you are as a friend… how helpful on a soccer field… I could go on & on & on & on…

Most humbly yours, xo


I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!


Rummage Station

Posted by jael on Jul 16, 2011 in Parenting

This week I was transported back in time.

Short of actual time travel, I cannot conceive of a more thorough free fall down memory lane than my preparations for our Moving Sale, Everything Must Go! impulsively blocked with the self-conscious whimsy of the opening night of a new director’s very off Broadway play.

As I tore through dressers, closets, hidden caches, and deep corners, I excavated the landscape of our family history of like an archeologist on a dig.

I found pictures
and artwork,
and lovies,
and stains.

As captains, my closest circle of cherished friends surrounded me with tangible help as well as practical and emotional support.

One dear friend who walked it with me was almost constantly at my side.

Each morning,
she showed up 
with Starbucks
and proceeded
not just to the day’s chores,
but kicked my ass,
encouraged me,
made me eat peanut butter apples,
and bid me rest
as was needed 
in turns
like stations.

The entire process underscores a gift of Words given me on wings of the Holy Dove:

The events of our lives are not randomly thrown together coincidences
cooked up by a whimsical universe,

The Stations of our lives are supernaturally architected God-incidents
crafted by a loving Father.

I don’t have a notebook thick enough to catalogue all the God-incidents of this one especially dense week of challenge and discovery.

God-incidents happen 24/7 @1623 and evermore.

Well there was a time when you let me know
What’s really going on below
But now you never show that to me do you?
And remember when I moved in you?
And the holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah


Power of Punctuation!

Posted by jael on Jul 11, 2011 in Marriage

The husband showed this to me yesterday.

This morning it waited to greet me on Facebook.

Must be time to share!

A teacher asks his students to punctuate this sentence:

“Woman without her man is nothing.”

The men all write, “Woman, without her man, is nothing.”

The women all write, “Woman! Without her, man is nothing!”

The power of punctuation!

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah


Shoulders’ Song

Posted by jael on Jul 5, 2011 in Marriage, Spiritual Journey

Dear, kind, shoulders…

I continue to be humbled and grateful for your prayers, messages, calls and words of encouragement as our family navigates this transition.

I thought it appropriate to publish a couple of the messages to document the power of community in action.

These words archive more than specific meditations to our family, these words sing their own Praise about how much we impact each other in the Body.

I am beyond grateful and weep with joy under the luxurious canopy of His scandalous Grace.

Unlike a four-poster bed, however, His Grace falls down to blanket all and everywhere.


Blessed are the hearts that proclaim God is Lord!

Is anyone thirsty?
Drink freely of the Water of Life.


Thank you for reaching out to me. I know these things are never easy to
discuss and trust me since hearing about this move, my responses (and
The Wife’s) have been widely varied. I will start by saying I have learned
long ago that I cannot speak for my wife, so I will preface this by saying
these are my thoughts.

Getting to know your family has been one of the most amazing
experiences our family has undergone. There are times I wonder if we could
have ever made it without you guys. Be it advice on a baby that spits up all
of his milk the first six months as parents, or a frosty rescue mission when
Virginia turned into Alaska. The friendship that has developed between our
wives is truly remarkable.

My wife is often teased about her “Black hole”
guarding her not letting anyone in. Though this is just teasing and I do not
believe it, she can have a rough exterior at first. Somehow Jael tore that
completely down. The two of them share something, be it a bond between two
mothers or what I am not sure. Whatever it is, I know she is a better person
because of her. Our family is a better family because of yours.
The biggest pain of the entire situation is our boy. He will be losing
a world of his, and be suffering his first big heartbreak. I will admit as
you probably know already, that is heart-wrenching to watch as a parent.

I am also a better person from knowing your family. Through your
guidance I am a much better father than I ever thought I would be. I never
had a father influence. I didn’t have a role model as a dad to see know how
I would be a father when I grew up. Because of this I have always kind of
watched other families and dads and even men I have known.
Your family is the best role model on how to parent your children. For that I am grateful.
I am afraid that the relationship between you and I may have been paved with
good intentions. We still need to make it out to get a bucket of slop. I
have meant to get tickets to a basketball game to have a guys night out,
but before I knew it the season was over. Both of us have been extremely
busy. I think we could have gotten closer and you never know we may still.

The thought that has been returning into my brain during these last
few weeks is the famous saying, and I am paraphrasing:

Give me the strength
to change the things I can,
the patience to handle the things I can’t
and the wisdom to know the difference.

This was your decision, and it was between you and your family. As close as our families have become, we cannot affect this outcome.

I understand that this is quite an opportunity for you. If I have heard right, it more than just a J-O-B.

Though I am still unsure if we can completely give our blessing. For now I can say:

I cannot be happy with this.
I can begrudgingly accept this.
But I can understand this.

I will also say that you cannot get rid of us just by moving four states away from us.

I can guarantee pictures, e-mails and letters. Maybe even


Our families have come too close to simply allow them to fade away

from each other.

Thanks and good luck

Jael, we love you and your family so. I told The Boy that the only difference between living in Here and There is physical distance. We’re still his “Peeps” wherever he may be.

In this age, with email, testing Facebook Gmail chat …..

We can be there for each other.

Love you!

(Please pray for peace in our hearts here. It’s so stressful and perspective is everything. )

You say I took the name in vain
I don’t even know the name
But if I did, well really, what’s it to you?
There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah




Guest Post: The Husband ~ July 1

Posted by jael on Jul 1, 2011 in Marriage, Spiritual Journey

Yo, man. I need to tell you guys, I’m sorry. I’m taking Jael away from Town. I have a professional opportunity that I’ll never have again, and I’m going for it. The consequences are many.

I take my kids from their friends. This is big. They have friends, The Middle Girl especially, like I’ve never had friends. I know they’ll adjust and make new friends. Kids are quick to adapt.

I take Jael from her friends. This is bigger. She has friendships here that are deeper than any she has known previously, you all included. That’s ok too, because Jael is most committed to her husband and her family. At *great* personal cost, she has accepted that this is what we need to do as a family. She may never have friends as sweet, or students she is as invested in as B and young Q. She is *trying* to accept this, and is fairly struggling.

What I have a hard time reconciling is: I take from this fair city, my wife. Those friends of Jael are loosing something too.

My wife is amazing. As a person, she loves so deeply, so genuinely, so uniquely. I know, without hubris, that I take from the city I love, Jael, the likes of which may never cross its path again. Specifically, she is an educator and caregiver to your children. She is a friend to those adults who didn’t think people could love them the way they loved others. This is big. I know what I take. I take from you dear friends a Sister and caregiver that will *not* be easily replaced.

I’m sorry for that. Truly. I’ve struggled with this choice for a while. I know what I take from those who know Jael. I have to, though; I have to choose what’s best for my family. If it weren’t a once in a lifetime opportunity, I wouldn’t consider it. Please understand that.

I don’t ask for forgiveness, I only seek to give context. These choices were not made lightly. Every choice has costs. I do ask that you know that the overriding force of this decision is me. I seek what’s best for me & mine. Please, don’t credit my wife with that burden. I hope you families love her and our kids as much as ever.

I love you guys, and wish you the *very* best in this life and all that comes.


The Husband

Well I heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do ya?
Well it goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall and the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

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