28 November 2013

The Feast


We are thankful. Very. Our family is abundantly blessed, and today is special as we share it with JE, MA, and the Cincinnati Fun Kids.


17 November 2013



(Photos from pjstar.com)


Devastation. It happens in minutes. Seconds. A tornado warning. A siren. Devastation.


This is my sister's neighborhood: Devonshire, Washington, IL. They moved into their 4-bedroom Cape Cod in 1968. Their firstborn son was just a couple of weeks old. They've raised a good family in that house. They've maintained, improved, and taken pride in a comfortable family home. In recent years bigger and fancier houses were built. Family homes. Well-tended and well-loved homes.


Today's tornado struck around 11:00am. My sister and brother-in-law were at church. They are safe. Their home is safe. Still, their lives are forever changed. Their community, their neighbors are devastated. Just around the corner all those pretty, well-tended family homes are smashed. Destroyed. Gone.


It's breath-takingly sad. I live 150 miles away and my family is safe and mostly comfortable in their beds tonight. Yet I could easily cry for those families, just like my own, who will live forever in the shadow of this storm.


On a November Sunday, shortly before Thanksgiving, their innocence was lost. The world can shatter no matter how carefully you tend to your corner. In an instant.


12 November 2013



LE has found her sweet spot. This is gonna take some time...


10 November 2013

Life Happens

Sometimes life just happens--the good, the bad, the ugly. This past six months have been over-full with the not-so-good, the bad, and some real ugly in our family.

To be clear--there have been times of joy and continuing reasons for thankfulness. Much good. Yet, it's so difficult to watch and experience aging parents, struggling siblings. Helping, supporting, encouraging just isn't enough. Sometimes there are no answers, no good solutions. Sometimes you just have to watch life unravel, get messy.

Faith helps, but change and resolution does not always come quickly, or at all. I remember having heard someone pose this scenario--from God's perspective--"Can you continue to trust me through this experience even if I never tell you why?"

One of my primary prayers during these extended family struggles has been. "Change me, dear Lord."  Because I know that I cannot change others. I may have a smidgen of influence, but I can't expect parents or siblings to conduct their lives, make decisions "my way." And, God's ways are not my ways. My wisdom is not his. He uses all--the good, the bad, the ugly--for his ultimate will.  To grow us, to shape us, to prepare us for the life he's given us.