That time When God Told Elijah to take a Nap

Ya'll, it's been a rough few months. Heck, it's been a rough year. It's the anniversary of the week when COVID-19 brought unprecedented changes. Many lost their jobs as businesses closed and the economy suffered. I was in that number. My family has been fortunate... just before the COVID assistance stopped, a door opened to teaching position, and I found myself going back to public school after 20 years. #thingsIneverthoughtwouldhappen #theOnlydoor I've heard it said that "There is no tired like Teacher Tired." After 5 months of long hours and multiple huge projects piled on all at once (plus a steep learning curve in a new grade level) I can attest that this is truth. I have not felt this tired since the year that my oldest son spent months in and out of the hospital on a monthly and weekly basis.  There is an exhaustion that goes beyond the physical and seeps into the very psyche. All of who I am, physically, emotionally, and spiritually has been excepti

The Big Why

A loved one asked me recently, "Why did God cause this to happen? What lesson are we supposed to learn?" The context, of course,  was the COVID-19 Quarantine. Here's the thing: I don't believe God caused this to happen. Just like I don't believe God "gave " my oldest son Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four, or depression and anxiety at the age of 16. I don't believe God "caused" my husband to have PTSD or my other son to have a sensory disorder due to birth trauma (God did not cause the birth trauma either). God caused none of this. My loved one replied to my assertion, "But He allowed it. He's got to want us to learn something from it." The underlying question is: Why does God allow suffering? And one of the big myths of the Christian faith is "so that we can learn something from it". Now, before you get overly excited about me calling this a myth, just take a moment to breathe and "Listen to UNDERS

Why Quarantine is SO Hard

Who knew that laying around doing nothing would be so exhausting? Ok, so there ARE a lot of us are who are not laying around doing nothing. A lot of us are trying to work from home while managing the stressors of Virtual Schooling.  A lot of us are finding that our usual ways of coping with life have been taken away. Shut down. Removed-- and we are grieving a nationwide change in how we go about just Living Life. If I've never mentioned it before, I've had a whole lot of counseling. Since my husband came home from Iraq with PTSD we have had individual counseling, marriage counseling, and family counseling. After my oldest son's diagnosis of depression and anxiety we also had crisis counseling.   The short version of 10 years of counseling? Grief is not only assigned to the loss of a loved one. Losing someone we love is only one kind of grief. Humans have the capacity to grieve many situations:  The loss of a relationship.  The loss of a way of life.  The

Unprecedented Times

Ya'll, to quote my Pastor, Kim Poer, this situation is unprecedented. You are going to feel anxious. You re going to feel afraid, and overwrought, and even worn out. You just are. This does not mean there is anything wrong with you, it just means we are all in a season that is, again, unprecedented. I am getting ready to launch something new. There's a lot of unknowns, and simultaneously a lot of work to be done. Not "unprecedented" because others have done Virtual Schooling in the past. But certainly this is new to me. My oldest son did online schooling (with me overseeing) during a year when he was in and out of the hospital constantly. So, I know how it works, but it is a totally different thing to set it up and create a Virtual Schooling opportunity from scratch. I'd be tempted to think that I have to figure everything out myself, and DO IT ALL IMMEDIATELY but ya'll, that's just NOT true. That is the enemy of my soul trying to overwhelm me

When the World Spreads Fear, Be Still and Know

The last few days have been a whirlwhind. This past year I transitioned from part time writer and teacher at a small preschool at my church, to taking on the position of Director of said preschool, as it incresed by leaps and bounds. I thought I was busy before, juggling the various medical needs in my household and writing lesson plans for my preschoolers and the Biblical history themed Sunday School class I teach. Yet this new position brought a new meaning to "busy-ness"- rivalling only one season when we were in doctors offices and hospital rooms Every. Single. Day. For months on end, as all three of those I care for were receiving much needed therapies. We were blessed by the gift of this treatment, but the schedule was intense.   I've been busy before. So I know I can survive it, but sometimes... well sometimes, I just need to STOP being so busy and get still. I recharge by being quiet and alone, and I refill by seeking connection with God. I will confess th

Grace Is Enough

Today’s learning centered on grace and kindness. In Sunday School we discussed denominational challenges. We talked about being kind to those we disagree with. Showing grace to people who are different. Holding firmly to our beliefs while not being mean- even if someone else is- particularly those we disagree with. Then the reminder in today’s sermon of Gandi’s experience with discrimination by Christians in Calcutta, which led to the following oft quoted words of the famous activist: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”. To which I nodded, pondering the quandary of a word meaning “Christ-like” being applied to those who are, at times, very much unlike their Christ. How many have been hurt by church people? Those who sing about the love of God but don’t live it? And...How easy is it to point the finger at others and forget that I fall short, too! My own test came in unexpected ways... SO many congratulations and exultati

The Climb

I've said it several times in recent days; sometimes helping those in need is challenging. Some wounds are so deep, so disturbing. Some needs are So Big. I remember a song from childhood: My God is So Big So Strong and So Mighty There's Nothing My God Cannot do. My class of 3 year olds love to point at each other (and me) and holler the final phrase: FOR YOU!! There is comfort in that long held truth, though I know that moving forward towards healing is daunting for some and others need a great deal of intervention to get free. Setting foot on the path to wellness sometimes requires help from outside ourselves. Yet God IS capable of providing every resource needed. My role is to be the light- for there is only ONE who is the healer. Perspective and self care is imperative when faced with the overwhelming and nature is a balm when I am troubled by what is beyond my scope. Behind our neighborhood is an undeveloped area, an