Archive for May, 2011

Empty lunchbox life

May 24, 2011

I have five loaves and two fish.

That’s all.  Not enough to feed everyone.  Or to meet every need.  Not enough to get the kids to practice on time.  Or to make sure all their homework is done.  Not enough to solve every fight, to mend every hurt feeling, to wipe away every tear.  Not enough to get dinner on the table and do the laundry and dole out medicine and wipe snotty noses and empty the dishwasher and make lunches for tomorrow and break up the inevitable fight and get kids bathed and collapse so I can do it again tomorrow.

I have five loaves and two fish.

That’s all.  It’s not enough to do a good job with my job.  To take care of people who need care.  Or manage my responsibilities, or plan well for the future, or any of the thousand other things that seem, at times, necessary to my role.  It’s not enough to meet deadlines, to think clearly, or write well.

Five loaves and two fish.  That’s all the young boy had to give.  He didn’t have the capacity to do what God was about to do.  Maybe the desire, but not the ability.  He reached the limits of what he could give when he handed over his lunch for the day.  It was all he had with him.

Jesus gladly took it.  Maybe because He saw this boy give Him everything he had and He said to Himself, “I can work with that.”

God, I’m not asking for a different life.  Every time I read through Susan’s blog I am reminded that we have truly been blessed beyond measure.

What I am asking – what I need for You to do – is this: take my little offering and do a miracle.  Multiply whatever it is that I have to give.  Because God, there are many, many days where it feels like that’s what it’s going to take.  A miracle – where you breathe your power up into these dry bones and bring them to life.  Where, through some beautiful mystery, the whole becomes far greater than the sum of the parts.  Like that day long ago, where you fed a countryside of people with the lunch of a nine-year old.

So take it.  All I have.  My lunchbox is empty.  And I’m afraid I don’t have enough to give everyone.

But You do.

And I’m trusting You will fill it back up in ways that I can only dream of right now.


Finding the Comfort Zone

May 23, 2011

Bailey and Christopher had an amazing experience this weekend at Comfort Zone Camp.  The one word that continues to come back is just – “Wow”.  A friend of ours suggested the camp awhile back, and I’m so glad we made the effort to get them there.  It’s a really cool camp geared specifically for kids who have experienced a significant loss in their lives.  They do a bunch of normal, fun camp stuff (think s’mores, campfires, crazy songs, canoeing, challenge courses, etc) – but then they gather in Healing Circles with other kids their age, and adult leaders, to open up and talk about what’s on their mind, and to help the kids understand how to deal with their feelings.

One amazing thing – it is a one-to-one ratio of leaders to kids.  So Bailey and Christopher both had awesome college-age people hanging with them the entire weekend.  The camp folks called me a few weeks ago and talked to me for about an hour about Bailey and Christopher – all in an effort to understand their stories and make an appropriate match.  I was so impressed by the organization, because it takes a lot of effort to keep something like this running smoothly.

We’ll continue to “debrief” the experience this week and I’m sure I will see ways the experience has impacted both of them.  Just to have some friends who have been through the same thing, some adults who understand what they’re feeling, and some new ways of dealing with their feelings, was so worth it.

To close out the camp, all the parents and kids met together for a closing ceremony.  Kids got up, in groups, and by themselves, and shared what they had learned – through songs, poems, and in other creative ways.  It’s hard to describe how emotional of an experience this was – both for the kids and their loved ones.  Christopher surprised me – toward the end, the camp director called him up front, and he grabbed the microphone and said that he had a song to share.  That when he hears this song he always feels like it is his mom’s words for him.  He came back and sat down beside me, and we all listened to it play on a CD together.  Amazing.  The cool thing is, he is right.  This is a song that was used on Susan’s slideshow.  Specifically because she had told me in the past that this was “her wish” for her kids.

It was an amazing moment.

Here is the song, if you want to listen:

Happy Anniversary, Susan.

May 20, 2011


Random Rundown 5.17.11

May 17, 2011

Hi friends – thanks for continuing to walk with me and read this.  Here are some things that are happening, in no particular order:

  • I’m working at the “office” today.  I love my office.  Free refills, free wi-fi, people who know my name, good salads, and great bread.
  • What’s with the NFL?  I don’t think I really care any more…
  • The kids have EOGs this week.  End of Grade tests, for those of you who don’t know elementary school lingo.  Bailey has 5 straight days of testing, Christopher 3, and apparently Luke (who is in kindergarten) is doing testing this week too.  Come on, people, seriously?  Out of control.
  • Bailey and Christopher are going to a camp this weekend in VA, specifically geared for kids who have experienced a significant loss.  Please pray for them, that God will use it to provide healing in their lives.  They seem pretty excited about it.  It’s a normal camp in a lot of ways – campfires, s’mores, ropes course, etc.  But they have counselors trained to deal with kids going through grief, and a 1-1 ratio of adults to kids.
  • Multiple times a day, something happens and my first instinct is to share it with Susan.  I had a really nice email from someone yesterday, and I wanted so badly to show it to her.  To hear her ‘attaboy’.  (Although I don’t think she would have said ‘attaboy’)  These are some of the most difficult moments right now.
  • I had a dream about Susan last week.  Which was significant, because it’s the first time since she passed away that I’ve dreamed about her.  I couldn’t see her face, a song was being sung, and she was pointing me to the words.  It was very worshipful, and very comforting.
  • Friday would have been our 16th anniversary.  This, I think, will be a tough day.  It’s interesting about anniversaries – they are unique.  This is something just for the two of us, no one else celebrates it.  Other holidays are different – Christmas, Easter, even Mother’s Day – these are shared experiences between families.  An anniversary, though, is very personal.  It’s a normal day for everyone else.  But a very special day for you.  It makes me wonder if she is thinking about it too, or just what in the world is going through her mind right now.  Maybe time is not like it is here, where she is.  I do believe, somehow, that she will be thinking about it, and us, that day, and celebrating too.
  • I watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with the kids over the weekend.  CS Lewis wrote it as an allegory, and what a great reminder it is of what we have to look forward to.  That there is an adventure that awaits us, an unseen kingdom that one day will come into full view, a battle that we are even now a part of.  Paul says that now we see faintly in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  I was reminded that everything here is a glimpse, a mere reflection, of what’s to come.  And that my typical view of heaven is terribly inadequate.  It will be much more exciting, hopeful, and colorful than the pictures we are used to.  And that living life in anticipation of that coming kingdom looks a lot different than living as if this is it.  Susan has gotten to see that coming kingdom, and be invited even deeper in.  You and I are invited in as well.  This is simply the prologue.  Chapter one hasn’t even begun yet.

The Mane Man

May 16, 2011

I finally got a video loaded up from Luke’s kindergarten musical.  He’s the lion…and what a great lion he was.  Check it out:

Mother’s Day

May 6, 2011

I was just looking at this photograph – most people haven’t seen it.  It hangs in a collection of black and whites on our wall.  I pulled it out this morning.  I’m staring at it, remembering, straining to feel every detail from that day…the way the beach smelled, the wind blowing on our faces, the feel of the sand in our toes.  How big sister Bailey directed the chaotic traffic that is her two brothers.  Christopher, hugging, laughing, running, and throwing sand.  And Luke, wide-open and smiling at everything.

I like looking at every detail of Susan.  The way she holds the kids.  The strands of hair the wind blows across her face.  Her effortless smile that is full of love for her kids.  The grace that radiates from her.

Mostly, today, this weekend, I remember how great of a mother she was to our kids.  It was one of the things she was born to do – be an amazing mom.  We will remember, and celebrate that, on Sunday.

Happy Mother’s Day, Susan – we love you, we miss you, we can’t wait to see you again.

Luke the Lion

May 3, 2011

Luke gets to play the lead role in his kindergarten play tonight!  He’s excited, has been learning songs and lines, and is ready for the stage.  Both sets of grandparents will be here to cheer him on.  Thought you’d like to see a picture: