Marriage


Sometimes analogies are as clear as glass like I feel as giddy as champaign is bubbly or I am as low as a crab in an ocean trench. In fact, our DNA wires our brains to seek patterns from nothingness. This drive to create order compels us to interpret our dreams and identify concrete symbols from abstraction. Our medium is meaning and we seek to understand. We want to know and to be safe and feel well.

This genetic drive for stasis socializes us into a community of diagnosticians as our need to know is equally yoked with our desire to be comfortable.  As such, we approach experience like a puzzle to solve or a diagnostic differential.

If we feel ill, we assess our symptoms to determine if we do or don’t need the intervention of a physician. Often the indicators are straightforward like a fever, or a rash that won’t go away, or pain.

Unrelenting pain.
Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong.
Pain is a definitive, primal signal.
Pain flashes a warning.
STOP!
Pain asserts the most elementary of medical principals.
If doing that hurts, STOP doing that.

Yet, in it’s way, pain is also entirely subjective.

When I’m in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that it may have hurt less yesterday.

It (still) hurts (now)!
Make it stop!
Make it stop now!
I’ll drink anything.
I’ll swallow anything.
Get me an epidural!
I don’t care I’m not in labor (or even pregnant).

When in pain, it’s difficult for me to remember that I will feel better, let alone soon, or that my life, actually, is generally very sweet and comfortable.

I’m so comfortable in fact, with my first-world sensibility and Middle Class American propaganda that I’ve devolved into something of a pain-phobic persona.

I don’t want it to hurt.
Whatever “it” is.
Truth be told,
I don’t even want it to feel hard,
or require too much effort…
Whether its making dinner,
or raising a child,
or saving a marriage,
or growing in Faith.
I really don’t want it to be messy
or painful
or moist.

I want my challenges like
I want my food,
fast,
quick,
inexpensive,
easy,
and convenient.

(Hmmmmmm…. Notice I didn’t list healthy…)

As such, I avoid pain and difficult conversations and hard workouts for the simple reason that they hurt. I know they hurt. The gamble that pushing through the pain will take me to a better place often, and simply, isn’t worth the upfront pain tax. This is true when The Husband and I try to agree on a budget or our family needs to purchase a new vehicle or The Mamma needs to schedule her annual OB/GYN physical.

In fact, prior to this week, The Mamma was over a year past due her for her pap and pelvic. Even though I respect that my health is a family resource, and it’s a commodity that daily caregives for the five people I love most on the planet, I kept procrasstinating making an appointment Here because I knew it would hurt.

I wasn’t willing to pay the pain tax.

Ever since I was in grad school, I had the benefit of the medical care and relationship with of one primary physician. Initially he was my gynecologist and later became my obstetrician. He tended my every woman’s health issue from before I conceived of conception through every pregnancy and pregnancy loss and reproductive repair.

He caught each of the heads of our four children.
He held us together through four losses.
He helped me get my body back into shape four times.
He performed seven surgeries.

I trusted him
in a way that I haven’t ever trusted
anyone else with my body.
Never.
Ever.
Except my husband.

So I thought I knew how much he meant to me before I finally made my appointment for that stupid pap smear Here.

I was so wrong.

Nothing at all went wrong with the appointment Here.

The physician was entirely competent and kind and professional. She was thorough and took a medical history as extensive as an archeologist on a dig. She tutored me on how to do a self breast exam and its importance. She inquired if I wore a seatbelt. She admonished me not to drink and drive. She warned that sending a text behind the wheel could kill me dead. She observed that there were treatment options available for recreational drug use and tobacco addiction. She inquired if my husband ever abused me and if I am safe in my relationship. She ordered blood panels and offered me a referral for a primary caregiver. She also asked to weigh me, inserted the speculum without telling me that she was gong to do it first and placed her finger in my bottom without a polite warning.

In other words, she didn’t know me.
Like, at all.

There was no malpractice and nothing inappropriate in the medical care she gave me.

As a woman physician, taking care of a woman with my medical history, she had every reason to expect I knew the ins and outs of a gynecological exam without verbal cue or someone to hold my hand.

Mine was a routine exam,
one of many she would do that day,
of the scores she would do that week,
of the countless thousands
she has done user career.

It was simply,
no biggy for her.
It was just,
as my lab prescriptions record,
a routine well visit annual exam for a healthy woman.

It was for me, however, anything but routine.

I felt anonymous.

As course as it sounds, I learned a lot about relationship from having a strange woman’s finger up my bottom.

Yep, I said it.
I went there.
I mentioned the nasty.

Ladies, we all know that appointment can be a literal pain in the butt.

Now I’ve got to figure out how to make my point without your thinking that I have some kind of anal fetish or engaged in an inappropriate relationship with my previous doctor.

No.
No, no.
No, no, no!

He was, however, a partner in my medical care and wellness. The Husband and I have had a relationship with him for over 15 years.

Relationships matter.

Relationship reduces pain. Relationship takes the impersonal out of sterile medical procedures. Relationship extends safety when you’re feeling naked and alone, let alone literally nude while straddling stirrups.

It hurts to be away from the people who make me feel safe and known and loved. It hurts to be anonymous, just another pap smear, just two more breasts to palpitate and one more woman to remind about sunscreen.

I knew it would be difficult to see a new doctor. But I didn’t realize how much it would hurt my heart.

I am so grateful that I enjoyed such flawless medical care from my physician the for so many years. His choice to care about me as a person was the longest acting, most effective and most life-giving prescription he ever wrote me.

I know it’s unlikely I’ll ever have that kind of relationship again with another doctor.

I am grateful to him.

He knew me.

I will go to the dentist and get a skin checked and make and keep my annual appointments Here.

I will also seek to nurture and grow the relationships that I’ve begun with people Here. Nothing is more important to my wellness nor better medicine than being known and appreciated for who I am.

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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Many life changing transitions come down to one sentence.

The phone rings,
the in-box pings,
the letter arrives registered
and requires signature,
and silent words unspoken
crash like thunder in a storm.

Such sentences silence hearts and still rooms as they simultaneously shift everything into two indelible categories:

Before X and After X.

My life changed 10 days ago with such a sentence said by The Husband, “I hate that you are not thriving Here.”

He didn’t say it in a mean way, it was a soul cry. He declared it from the core of his being.

Loved ones, never a rooster gave more of a wake-up call.

The love beneath his words still wrap me in a bear hug.

This man,
my best friend,
all he wants is to maximize me,
he delights in the good use
of my gifts and talents
in the service of others,
the work I choose,
and the community I make.

My recent Mistress Silence sabatoged the unity of my marriage.

The husband’s sentence interupted my understanding in a most welcome way like The Word being burst open before me.

Precious family, please know I have made thriving my new battle cry.

Reappropriated as an action verb, I choose to thrive.

I talk,
I write,
I work,
I share gifts,
I show up,
I exercise,
I command laundry,
I meet new people,
I give my husband the
“gift of presence.”

In it’s way, it’s like being born anew.

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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

Silence may become as seductive a mistress as a golden idol breast.

I have been unfaithful.

Unlike Sméagol, I became a Gollum, not for making a horrible swallowing noise from my throat, but for the absence of my cry.

Even a Hallelujah.

Silence became my Precious.
Perilous Precious.
Stillness Precious.
Precious swill,
now no longer precious
still.

Like infidelity, my precious silence has cost me.

The silence I wrapped around myself like an insidious shawl to camouflage my self-reliant perversity, protect my marriage, and keep me warm became like a sword in our bed.

Silence cut like a knife and it divided covenant promises as I bled quietly onto blank pages never penned.

Initially my silence had virtue. I chose to partner The Husband and heed God’s call on our family to move Here. All the fight in me became mute to the undeniable will of our Father and I was encased in an aisle of precious and Supernatural peace.

I knew that I was to wait upon the Lord,
Called to trust and obey.
And when I would bid Him
when would I feel fulfilled again,
He replied to me
just what he said to my sissy, Ester,
“Not yet.”

Historically, I am a hpyer-verbose verbal processor. I am a word girl who has a GRE vocabulary word ap on her iPhone just for kicks and giggles. I mention this not for bragging rights, but to confess I really am that much of a logophile. Words thrill me. I go weak in the knees for a bon mot with a powerful hilt or verb with a preposterous thrust.

However, as many detour signs I placed in my mind and thoughts I aborted mid sentence, no matter how many conversations I didn’t entertain, eventually the quiet of His peace mutated into the silent din of my own self-indulgent tantrums.

Are we there yet???
I have to go tee-tee…
I’m not happy Here…
I was drafted…
I’m tired…
It hurts…
I want to go home…
I am unfulfilled dammit!

Yes,
PATHETIC!
You know it’s true,
I admit it’s true
and that I even stomped my feet too,
but oh, so quietly,
you couldn’t hear me,
I never made a sound.

However, my ever loving, intercessory Father has never needed words nor lightning bolts to make His will known.

In addition to His illustrious Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow sealed upon my heart, I also limped through my own disastrous yesterday.

Like tax day, silence left its bill.

The debt is large.

I diluted the unity of my marriage.
I created distance in key relationships.
I abandond this platform of Praise.

Here I am
a woman of His Word,
seduced
by a silent masquarade
of obedience,
led by feeling,
not by Faith-
even though
I know Who made me,
perfectly imperfect as I am.
I know Who died to set me free.

“Foolish child,”
He said to me with a chuckle
that tickles like a butterfly kiss
when His Grace restored
my senses,
Enough.
I said, not yet.”

Waiting is.

Hear my cry, Lord.
HALLELUJAH!

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

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

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

Thank-you for asking.

Yes, I am absolutely crazy.

In fact, I’ve taken to describing my current cognitive condition as a non-concussive brain injury. Nothing hard or large hit me on the head, but I am nonetheless operationally impaired. My never great, short term memory is now completely shot. Like I can’t remember my children’s names shot. Never mind their birthdays, they always remind me of those anyway. Where as a recent CAT scan would prove my brain is physiologically intact, the road from the driveway There to the driveway  Here cost me at least 59 IQ points. They promise me it’s temporary. I operate like a brain injury patient who’s run away from her rehab facility. And the laundry. My physic wounding has also deleted my laundry function capacity. We live in a sea of dirty clothes piles. The children don’t even expect I’ll get their PE uniforms back to them in a timely manner. They taken to wearing them dirty and using lots of deodorant and body spray.

Some of you have seen this dysfunction in action, or should I say inaction?

It is from among that group I’ve gotten the question:

“Are you crazy?!?! Did I read that right?!?!?!?!? Tell me YOU DID NOT GET A PUPPY!!!!!!!”

Again, however testily queried, thank-you for asking, and trust I admire the emotion behind your multiple use of the exclamation point and question mark/exclamation point combo.

Very, “Really? Really!”

We did, in fact get the kids a puppy for Christmas.

Here he is:

Check out that sweetie-boy-face!

He’s of the smallest of Japanese breeds, Shiba Inu, and his name is Hoshi.

Hoshi is the Japanese word for star.

He is our widdle, shiny Christmas star.

Hoshi fulfills a pre-relocation promise The Husband made to the children. Much like Obama, The Husband vowed our babies would get a dog if we came to live in this little ,white house in Far Far Away.

Hoshi flashes us back to past years with newborns complete with nocturnal crying, potty explosions and scheduled time for tummy play.

I understand why you would ask if I was in my right mind to introduce a puppy into our transitional mix, but I already admitted that I’m really not.

Really.

And that’s OK.
It’s even good.
Not easy, but good.

It’s a time that challenges me to Trust Him more,
go deeper into The Word,
and always,
always,
always,
carry a plastic bag
when walking outside.

‘Cause poopy happens.

Well maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who’d OUT DREW YA
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It’s not somebody who’s seen in the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

 

 

Ok, it’s not that I haven’t tried to post.

It’s not that the technology is beyond me.

It’s that the technology is out to get me.

Paranoid as it sounds, my every attempt to finish the picture tour of the new space was sabotaged by one computer issue or another.

Inevitable user-frustration cross pollinated user-error to further compound the issue.

Visions of the first Well study I ever taught downloaded in my memory like the printer that printed perfectly on Tuesdays would crash every Wednesday.

I’ve tried four times; this will be the final strategic attempt and, if I don’t get more pictures up today,  well you’re just going to have to come visit!

In fact, you need to come visit anyway!

Here’s some morning inspiration I see in the kitchen with my morning coffee.

Be still and know that I am God.
This verse conducts a calm in my heart like none other.
Such elegant simplicity affirms, baffles, and delights me.

I had originally placed the apron on the pantry door to send a photo to a heart sister, but fell for the sass of its whimsy and constant reminder of how versatile a household tool aprons can be.

The yellow stairway is adjacent to the yellow kitchen. I still think of Oz amid all that yellow and have taken to naming the occasional spider Toto.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I read this verse every time I head up the steps
with Thanksgiving
to walk out His plan for us here.
A good plan, if not an easy one yet.
A plan I trust and will obey.

The photography above and below the verse was taken by a friendship doctor, constant reminders of the priceless remedy of his quiet love and boisterous talents.

Check out Sprout!
If you’re late to the party, you can read Sprouts origin story here.
Go ahead and count the number of shoots.
Go ahead,
go ahead!
He cycles anew and is ready to plant.

As respectfully as Mary to the angel, I look at that plant every day and pray, “May it be also with me and my Faith.”
May I cycle anew here.

The kids’ rooms gallery their own art and passions. This is the Oldest Girl’s self-portrait:

Sister The Middle Girl’s silhouette:

The Baby collaborated with her sister on this piece intended to help them embrace the vivid colors of their room:

As they splattered, stomped and kissed, they decided that they wanted bold text as part of the piece.

Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

Was I proud they independently chose to make art from the Fruit of the Spirit?

Can ya gimme a Hallelujah!

What is missing from this scene?

Look hard.
Harder.
Harder!

 

 

The diaper-changing pallet!
It’s the first time in 14 years that our bed has not had a changing station atop it.

It still looks empty to me that way.

Every day, I miss my LPK babies
and their giggle-coo music
drool persusion ahhhs
and stacata da-da-das
and love smell
that triggers hope dopamine.

 

Mamma love,
palms of peace.


McLove,
faces of peace
through Body’s lens

 

New digs for old tools.

In this space, He often meets me low and lifts me on high.

Not through my strength, but His strength alone.

Grace.

This tour captures snapshots of views my eyes light upon each day.

Where my thoughts dwell.

Consider it one salted peanut.
A taste.
An invitation to come gather at our table
and join us again
and together feast
with Thanksgiving
His daily bread.

I miss you.

I love you.

I trust Him.

There’s a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

I’m so in love with Paul right now.

His encourage words slap slips with the supreme reminder of His glorious strength shared through us and in us.

He’s a marvelous enjambment to my Beatitudes Fall and Spring.

Paul doesn’t mind the heat of the Summer, even Here, because he’s learned how to be happy in whatever circumstance God places Him:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content, (Philippians 4:11).

In terms of dynamic duos, Batman, Paul delivers!

He uploads our Father’s Promise that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and also that we can learn to be fully content in every state.

Given the poison of ingratitude in me, I neglect the power of Christ in me.

I more often cringe in fear than stand content in the power Christ.

If we’re looking at what matters,
and telling the hard truth-
like a Supernatural
echocardiogram…

This move, for example, is something
I can go all rogue about like Paul in prison,
and be content whatsoever state I am,
or I can allow a seed of malignant bitterness
grow crab weed tumors
in my heart.

This weekend,
the venom of thanklessness
flooded my thoughts
again
and again
and again.

I,
little i,
sinful i,
cleaved grievance,
pulled it close like a precious babe,
and allowed it suckle.

Hard to think holy and nurture hate.

The same daughter that seeks Obedience, His path for my feet, and His Face of Love was the woman that screamed at her husband Saturday,

“… I want to go home!”


ellipses

candid as I am,

I am unwilling submit

the entire quote

Let’s leave it that this Baby Girl, full-bred daughter of Eve, choked on the wormy apple, pride.

Large!

In default mode already,
I did what I do
when in that blind dark.
I ran away.
Aerobically mind you,
athletically,
no sense not getting
the workout
in midhuff…

Thankfully, in lieu of more futile rehearsal about how I feel tranfers onus on anyone else, I began to think about Paul’s orthodox view that I could bear any circumstance because of the strength of Christ within me.

Pique aside, even I am stilled when I consider His Glory within me. Certainly, I want him to be glorified more than I was mad at my husband, wanted to be right, or even wanted to go home.

In fact, Paul would chide that I am not only already home, but that I’d better get busy on my gratitude education just like in Proverbs 3:11-12:

But don’t, dear friend, resent
God’s discipline; don’t sulk
under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that
God corrects; a father’s
delight is behind all this.

A Father’s delight,
A Son’s strength,
an imprisoned apostle gratified…

The idea that I can learn what Paul mastered through Christ’s strength
and be happy in every circumstance
oh so stokes my go fire,
my go,
Go!
GO! Fire,
my more walking, less takling blaze,
more than kettlebell Bella,
more than the eyes in my pen,
more than hard runs on wet sand…

I trust my Lord Deliverer has done more than put me in a new town.

He’s new expectations for me Here too.

I will not resent them nor sulk, instead, _content_ I will seek His Delight behind it all.

I will also remember, loved one, there’s a bigger THERE than There that I’d best concern myself while HERE Here…

Later the same day, The Husband and I took the girls to the beach and where, like when an opthamologist asks which lens it better,

“1 or 2?
A or B,
Now this
or that?
More clear
or less?”

beauty was easier to see and the content like sand between my toes was more tactile than socks:

Salty prayers on soft sand as wind carressed my shoulders like a reassuring touch…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 A cloud angel waved her wing,
parted,
and crowned
a perfect baby rose.

 

 

 

 

 

A child splashed forward,
like the tide,
stick in eager clenched fist,
to etch
the perfect message
in the sand

 

 

 

 

 

 

and seashell mulch
crispy as Captain Crunch
under content heels
headed home.

 

 

 

 

 

Prison ain’t got no seashell mulch.

I imagine I can muster me some Paul juice on Jesus rocks this Winter…

 

There’s a blaze of light in every word
It doesn’t matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!

 

 

 

It’s almost a year ago now that I logged my first post on bh.

Less than 365 days ago, my ecstatic children were blitzed out on cheese balls and body surfed Virginia Beach whitecaps. We huddled together in a sleazy ocean front motel like it was Cinderella’s castle as happy there together as a honeymoon couple and completely inoculated by the joy of possibilities.

We were at the beach, baby, and no amount of sand or windburn could dampen the elation housed in that little Eco-Lounge den. I can remember the discovery of unexpected secrets about my children there, and how when Far Far Away together they were more unified as friends and confidants. As I reported then, there’s little privacy when six family members share one hotel room.

July abdicated to August this past Saturday night and found us in another cheap hotel room together for an entirely new purpose, this time a Holiday Inn chosen because its chain welcomes pets, and of course, our two cats were part of the caravan from Here to There.

That was the day that we began the journey of God’s new call on our lives in the Land of Citrus.

As many of you know, this new beginning seasoned in the barrel of dense family process before it decanted action.  The cup now poured has begun to breathe.

Insomnia courted me again that night we reached the Holiday Inn closest to the midpoint of the journey like a jealous lover. I was its captive date among the sleeping noises of my beloved family. Once again, I learned many things about them in the room that night as the cats marched likes grunts on a hostile recon mission.

The Baby whistled in her sleep, a breathy percussion like a locomotive puffing up mountainous tracks. She stirred and tossed her head as she played the scales of her dream engine like a child at violin practice. Her baby face painted a portrait of innocence on her pillow case canvas. When did she get so tall and lean? Her coltish legs, brown and bruised, were tawny from swimming and tag. Even in the still of sleep, she looked ready to leap.

Unbeknownst to The Boy, he terrorized his nocturnal feline. Every time his beloved River returned to his corner of the room for comfort or in hope of a pat, he growled a ruffle-bumble that snorted like an irritated horse. This scared and confused his cat at every checkpoint, and once she jumped back in such outraged, feline surprise that I had to muffle my laughter with the pillow. I often forget that The Boy is now man-big and he often scares me when I catch his stranger profile in the room with me. That night, my terror was complete as his baritone clearly proclaimed, “I have to move to our new home…!”

I’m still not sure who he was talking to as he hibernated, but he was as earnest as Hemingway and sounded ready to run with the bulls.

The Oldest Girl talks in her sleep. As I prayed for her, I watched her eyes pace back and forth, her closed lids like sentinels on a wall. At one point, she sat straight up in bed with her right arm extended as if in praise and said, “Please!”

Whom did she petition?
I hope her prayer was answered.
I so want this heavenly girl to live happy ever after.

The Middle Girl? The Middle Girl grinds her teeth at night.

Loudly.
Often.
Ouch!

I couldn’t help but imagine the gruff grumble of Jack’s giant, “Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman! 
Be he alive, or be he dead, 
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread!”

The Middle Girl internalizes her experience. I pray space for her voice and truth through this transition.

The Husband is silent.
A wall of comfort and provision.
Certain,
steady,
and at rest.
He is my  warm blanket and guaranteed security.

The Husband is neither surprised nor grumpy when I wake him at 3:28 a.m. to tell him, “Cant sleep, will you hold me for a little while?”

“You got me?” I ask him.

“I got you.”

“Sure?”

“I got you, baby.”

And Our Father does too.
And His plan is to prosper and not to harm us.
And it’s a good plan, not easy, but good.
And I have faith small as a mustard seed.
And I can say to Geography, “Move from here to there and it will be.”

I left one place.

I did not leave home.

I am His.
And his.
And theirs.
And yours.

I’m right here.

Love wins.

Well baby I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew ya
I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

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
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

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.

Yesterday,
Today,
Tomorrow.

Blessed are the hearts that proclaim God is Lord!

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

xoxoxoxo

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

visits.

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

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah,

Hallelujah,
Hallelujah!

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.

Peace,

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
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah!

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