Refocused

In an attempt to help the TeenBot improve both his writing skills and intellectual curiosity, we assigned him a project for the summer. He was to research and put together an essay (ish) on the history of the Soviet Union.  We’ve spent countless hours talking through some high points and adjusting the assignment.

And he digs in his heels and does nothing.  It’s frustrating to say the least.

But at least my son is here to be frustrated with. He can confound and irritate and then shock and amaze. Sometimes all in one breath. Each of those shiny silver strands that have started to appear on my head are a treasure, purified in the fire that is parenthood.

My friend is shaving her head this weekend. She’ll never find that article that finally sparks an interest and have in depth discussions with her teenager about the worldwide implications of the Chernobyl disaster. No, because Madison’s life was all too short. Her light so bright it couldn’t be contained in one little girl.

Her mom is continuing to carry Madison’s light.  If you feel so inclined, you can help her lift it.  She is shy of her goal.

There’s a challenge going around the office for us to shave our heads in support. Am I as brave as Amy? I don’t know. Bald would certainly be a new look…

Madison’s story has graced these pages before here, here, and here. It was in her name that I donated hair last year.

It’s Really Amazing

This internet thing.  It’s a place to vent and share and connect with people you’d never know otherwise.  Links and clicks drop new people into our circle.

And sometimes you get dropped into their lives when everything feels like it’s crashing down.

I learned of a new (to me) blogger by way of his post adding me to his blogroll the other day. And then the very next post. And the next.

Cancer is a real bitch. CoolChange, you and your wife will be in my prayers. May God grant you peace on this journey.

Cleansing

It rained last night.

The raindrops gently washing the day’s tears from fresh flowers and wreaths laid on so many graves as they quenched the heat of the day. I was free to sit on the front porch with my husband and enjoy the relief, my son tucked safely in his bed.

My freedom came at great cost. It always does. Freedom cannot be purchased with favors or spoils. Freedom is only ever purchased in blood. In this world, it’s the blood of many soldiers that will never again share a cool beer with their spouse. Their sons’ foreheads never to feel that goodnight kiss.

Thank you. Thank you for the divine sacrifice. May you claim your great reward in eternity, a freedom also purchased in blood.

The Wages of Sin

Is death.  And we are all sinners and fall short.  I fall short on a regular basis. Daily. Hourly, even. The miracle of it is that it’s okay.

It’s okay because the one perfect man to ever walk the earth paid the bill for me.  And it was expensive.  I cringe when I think of what he went through.  Beaten and abused almost to the point of death before they ever nailed him to the cross. For me.

For inconsequential, far-from-perfect me. It weighs heavy on my heart.

This is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Because on Sunday, Jesus breaks the rules. In truth, he’d been breaking them all along to the supreme annoyance of leaders of the time. He wasn’t supposed to heal people on the Sabbath. Or speak directly to the Samaritan woman. Dine with tax collectors and prostitutes (Bet the conversations were far more lively than at the Pharisee’s dinner).

And once he was dead, he was supposed to stay dead.

But Jesus isn’t much for the arbitrary rules. No, he gave Satan the finger and rose from the dead. And in the ultimate practical joke, paid all our debts too. He threw open the gates of Heaven to any who would accept the invitation. No velvet rope. No bouncer with a list. And yeah, the best party ever is going on there. No dress code. No magical words to recite.

He paid it. All anyone has to do is accept it.

What’s so good about Good Friday? Sunday is coming.