Sunday, October 29, 2006

Music Therapy

A couple weeks ago I was listening to the most depressing music I own. I was already in pretty rough shape, and the music intensified the experience. Although I found this therapeutic at the time, I also wasn't sure I'd ever be happy again. I sank deeper & deeper into the music.
Today, I tried listening to the same music and observed that it was indeed sad. The music is sad. I am not sad. The music has a power of its own to communicate. This got me thinking about the power of words, especially when set to music.
My favorite song is "More" by Matthew West. I think it ought to be at the top of everyone's wishlist and in every MP3 player. This is one powerful song.
Imagine being woken up by a love song from God. That's this song. It's God telling you "I love you more than the sun & the stars." You smile because you needed to hear it. You think you get it. But the song continues "you are one in a million and you belong to me." He loves you more. OK, now you get it.
Umm, nope. You still don't quite get the height, the width, and the length of the love we're talking about here. "I'm not letting go even when you come undone. I love you more." He really belts this out, so you think you finally get the message.
"I love you more than you can imagine. More than you can fathom." You realize you have no idea...
Now you're getting somewhere.

Friday, October 27, 2006


It’s been quite a week. I’ll spare you the ugly details and just leave it at that. Yet throughout the week I’ve seen evidence of God’s grace all over the place. I didn’t fully see it until I shared some of the ugly details with a few friends this week. Despite facing several challenging, draining interactions each day was surprised to note that I kept coming back for more. My emotional well never ran dry. That’s because before or after each of the challenges I faced, someone was there to support me. Compassion was being restored to me as fast as I could give it out.
Thinking about all this led me to the Bible verse I chose for this year:
“And the Angel of God, the one who went before the camp of Israel, moved. And he went to the rear of them. And the pillar of the cloud went from in front of their face and it stood behind them.” (Exodus 14:19)
Nearly 11 months later, and God is still illustrating His faithfulness in showing me the meaning behind these words. Even though I may have felt empty and unprepared entering a situation, I knew I could trust that when I was done, someone would be there to encourage and nurture me.
So just remember, if you can’t see God in front of you, turn around. He might be right behind you.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

More Bibiliotherapy

I’ve mentioned Madeline L’Engle’s book, Walking on Water before. In it, she writes about how art, and writing in particular participates in naming the artist and the reader/viewer. The creative process is one of love, where we identify our selves more wholly with others and allow them to more wholly identify with us.
What are the books that have become part of your identity, that have helped name you? Rather than think about it in a continuum, consider taking a “snapshot” approach. Pick one time period in your life and ask yourself what books (or music, or art) were important in naming you.
The first time period that came to me was my first experience with books. What books named me before I could read them myself? In no particular order:

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein
The Little Engine that Could, Watty Piper
The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams
The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde
Harold and The Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson
The Monster at the End of This Book, Jon Stone
The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I've been needing a kickstart to get back into writing. The slow & easy re-entry wasn't cutting it. So I started toying with the idea of signing up for
NaNoWriMo. If you don't know, that stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is you try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, Nov 1-30th.
Orginally, I was thinking I'd just try to log 50,ooo words of anything, articles, blogs, journaling (hey- I get article ideas from journaling). Then
Cris went & told me she signed up for it again this year. So, due to the wonders of peer pressure, I've gone & officially signed up for NaNoWriMo.
Here's the thing, I don't even write fiction! Help!! I have nine days to come up with a fiction, or mostly fiction idea significant enough to allow me to write 50,000 words.
Maybe this will be good. Maybe since I don't write fiction, I won't have the pressure to make it a marketable piece. Maybe that's what I need.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I've Been Tagged!

Crystal over at the Chat n Chew Cafe tagged me for my 1st meme a few days ago. I had to do some thinking on these, so it took me some time.

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Mental Health Counselor
2. Writer
3. Telemarketer
4. Painter

Four movies I could watch over and over:
1. The Lord of the Rings
2. The Muppet Movie
3. The Polar Express (if Mom is watching with me)
4. Monsters Inc

Four places I have lived:
1. Franklin Park, IL
2. My dorm room.
3. My current place

4. What can I say, I’m a creature of habit.

Four things I like to do:
1. Write
2. Read
3. Listen to music
4. Create book art

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Dark chocolate
2. Giordano’s pizza
3. Granny Smith apples
4. homemade bread

Four places I would like to be right now:
1. Tucson, AZ
2. Mississippi
3 The Shire
4. a 5-star hotel with luxury spa

Four websites I visit daily (or often):
1.Chat ‘n’ Chew CafĂ©
2. itunes
Little Nuances
4. Paper Source

Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Mississippi
2. Bavaria
3. Florida
4. California

Four books I could read again:
1. Lord of the Rings
2. The Last Battle
Ransom’s Mark
4. Max Lucado’s books

Four friends I think might respond to being tagged (but only if you want to:)
1. LeAnne
2. Karen
3. Cris tagged me
4. I don’t have any other blog friends:( (shameless begging for friends).

Thursday, October 19, 2006


If I did this right, you oughta be able to see a picture of a journal I made for an Expressive Arts class about a year ago. This is when I was introduced to and fell in love with book art. In addition to taking the class, I was working full time and beginning an internship in counseling. I am forever indebted to the professor who assigned us an actual creative project for Expressive Arts. I was not only given permission to journal, I was expected to- my grade depended on it! The process was so therapeutic I’d recommend it to anyone working on anything as masochistic as graduate school.
One of the concepts behind the therapeutic use of book art is that the materials chosen serve as a metaphor. I’m not going to tell you all the secrets behind the journal here, but I’ll share a little. This first project used almost exclusively found objects, a trend I’ve followed for my subsequent books. I like the serendipity of it and I like that the results aren’t always neat and tidy art. I guess there’s less pressure to create “perfect” stuff that way too.
The idea for the handmade journal started when I got a new stereo & salvaged the box flaps inscribed with “please read the instruction manual.” As much as I liked the quirkiness of the cover, it needed color. So I collected paint chips with names I felt drawn to, letting the colors end up how they ended up. I bound the book with 2 colors of wire. I used ribbon at the corners opposite the spine to create a closure.
So there’s the introduction to my interest in bibiliotherapy. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Monday, October 16, 2006


1. Not all who wander are lost. JRR Tolkien
2. There are two ways to live our life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
3. Explore daily the will of God. Carl Jung
4. To one who waits, all things reveal themselves, so long as you have the courage not to deny in the darkness what you have seen in the light. Courtney Patmore
5. God writes through us, and however imperfect instruments we may be, He writes beautifully. Mother Teresa
6. And where there is not love, put love, and there you will draw out love. St. John of the Cross
7. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Steven Covey (& Mr. Block)
8. Become willing to see the hand of God and accept it as a friend’s offer to help you with what you are doing. Julia Cameron
9. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. Nelson Mandela
10. Life’s a voyage that’s homeward bound. Melville
11. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in the slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at sea. We are far too easily pleased. CS Lewis
The Weight of Glory
12. My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God made. Robert Browning
13. Our vocation is not to simply be, but to work together with God in the creation of our own life, our own identity. Thomas Merton
14. Not all people are called to success, some are called to service. Mother Teresa
15. We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time. T.S. Eliot
16. Behold God beholding you… and smiling. Anthony de Mello
17. Preach the Gospel to all the world, and if necessary, use words. St. Francis of Assisi
18. The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. Richard Bach
19. When your heart is in your dreams, no request is too extreme. Jiminy Cricket
20. The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere. Empedocles
21. We can do no great things, only small things with great love. Mother Teresa.
22. Discouragement is not from God. St. Ignatius
23. Your life may be the only Bible some people read. Anonymous
24. Sometimes what seems like surrender isn't surrender at all. It's about what's going on in our hearts. About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater." Nicholas Evans, The Horse Whisperer
25. God does not love us because we are valuable; we are valuable because He loves us. Martin Luther
26. I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day. Abraham Lincoln
27. God is at His greatest when I am at my least Meister Eckhart
28. It was when I was happiest that I longed most...The sweetest thing in all my life has been the find the place where all the beauty came from. CS Lewis, Till We Have Faces
29. The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. Brennan Manning
30. In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Albert Camus
31. You can shine no matter what you’re made of. Bigweld Robot
32. It’s not that easy being green. Kermit the Frog
33. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. Oliver Wendell Holmes
34. The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service. Mahatma Gandhi
35. Use what language you will, you can never say anything but what you are. Ralph Waldo Emerson
36. I am a slow walker, but I never walk backwards. Abraham Lincoln
37. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Carl Jung
38. Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. Martin Luther King, Jr.
39. All know that the drop merges into the ocean but few know the ocean merges into the drop. Kabir
40. Before you can do something, first you must be something. Goethe
41. I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone, I promised me. Kermit the Frog
42. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. e.e. cummings
43. You are destined to fly, but that cocoon has to go. Nelle Morton
44. Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive. Anna Barton
45. It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end Ursula K. LeGuin
46. Self conquest is really self surrender. Yet before we can surrender ourselves we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess. Thomas Merton
47. I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant. Ralph Waldo Emerson
48. Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality. Nikos Kazantzakis
49. He that would be a leader must also be a bridge. Welsh Proverb
50. Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression. Dodie Smith
51. What I do is me; for that I came. Gerald Manley Hopkins
52. It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. Margery Williams
53. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. Ray Bradbury
54. People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. Elizabeth Kubler Ross
55. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. Martin Luther
56. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter, don't mind. Dr. Seuss
57. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom Anais Nin
58. It does not do you good to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
59. Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. my strength lies solely in my tenacity.
Louis Pasteur
60. You must do the thing you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt
61. The important thing is that creation is God’s, and that we are part of it, and being part of creation is for us to be co-creators with him in the continuing joy of new creation. Madeline L’Engle
62. Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. It’s our goal to find it and keep it lit. Mary Lou Retton
63. The purpose of discipline is to promote freedom. But freedom leads to infinity and infinity is terrifying. Henry Miller
64. That which does not kill me, makes me stronger. Nietzsche
65. The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance than their simplicity might suggest. Thomas Moore
66. Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild. Dante
67. Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent. Marilyn vos Savant
68. It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God. Mary Daly
69. Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can. Ralph Waldo Emerson
70. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of heroes, but also by the aggregate of tiny pushes of each honest worker. Helen Keller
71. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Jim Rohn
72. Bloom where you’re planted. Mary Engelbright
73. Failure is not falling down, but refusing to get up Chinese Proverb
74. The work of art which I do not make, none other will ever make. Simone Weil
75. Discipline is remembering what you want. David Campbell
76. Write so heaven will be different. Author Unknown
77. Only a life lived in the service of others is worth living. Albert Einstein
78. It is a writer’s privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart. William Faulkner
79. I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die. Isaac Asimov
80. When I don't write, I feel my world shrinking. I feel I am in prison. If feel I lose my fire and color. It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing. Anais Nin
81. Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain. Mark Twain.
82. The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning. Ivy Baker Priest
83. I write with intensity, discipline and constancy, because this is the work that calls me, the vocation of my heart. bell hooks
84. Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose. Leonardo Da Vinci
85. The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land. Ralph Waldo Emerson
86. I’d miss this old swamp, but gee, millions of people happy… Kermit the Frog
87. There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. Willa Cather
88. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle
89. I have spread my dreams beneath your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. Yeats
90.. She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. Louisa May Alcott
91. This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Overrated if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it. Eeyore
92. It’s a dangerous business going out your front door. JRR Tolkien
93. Consider the postage stamp. Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there. Josh Billings
94. Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason. Jerry Seinfeld
95. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind. Ralph Waldo Emerson
96. There are two great rules of life; never tell everything at once. Ken Venturi
97. There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith
98. A half-baked idea is okay as long as it’s in the oven. Anonymous
99. It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to. W.C. Fields
100. Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur. Anonymous

Friday, October 13, 2006

100 Favorites

1. Teddy Bears
2. rainbows
3. dark chocolate
4. lilacs
5. periwinkle
6. the song “More” by Matthew West
7. Kermit the Frog
8. My dog Nika
9. my condo
10. writing
11. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
12. tanzanite
13. The Lord of the Rings books
14. The Lord of the Rings movies
15. The Lord of the Rings musical score
16. 2 Cor 12:6-10
17. Giordano’s pizza
18. Gene & Jude’s hot dogs
19. listening
20. Going to the zoo with Kathe & her kids
21. fountain pens
22. bubble baths
23. fog
24. the word “discombobulated”
25. my ipod
26. my aunt’s greeting cards
27. giving to charity
28. catalogs
29. cranberry juice
30. Discipleship Journal
31. nail polish
32. metaphors
33. The Bavarian Alps
34. office products
35. Ephesians
36. Art Institute of Chicago
37. paper
38. interior decorating
39. Hi-Q
40. Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends
41. Granny Smith apples
42. tigers
43. used book stores
44. fireflies
45. Warm Vanilla Sugar lotion
46. my AlphaSmart
47. naps
48. Stuff from Levenger
49. Winnie the Pooh
51. Writer’s conferences
52. shabby chic
53. Impressionist art
54. hourglasses
55. journaling
56. homemade bread
57. Crayola Crayons
58. Reformation
59. The Chronicles of Narnia
60. butterflies
61. “y’all,” “yonder,” & “fixin’”
62. reading
63. lemon poppy seed muffins
64. Sweet Honesty perfume
65. CCM
66. My Isaiah 49:16 figurine
67. lists
68. stained glass windows
69. bubble wrap
70. The Muppet Show
71. twilight
72. The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
73. thunderstorms
74. West Wing
75. treehouses
76. spearmint gum
77. “B.C.” comic strip
78. maps
79. Swiffer
80. Chicago sports teams
81. solitude
82. Underdog cartoons
83. Springtime
84. Job 19:23-26
85. analogies
86. window shopping
87. the word “onomatopoeia”
88. Thomas Kinkade
89. Les Mis
90. snow days
91. white gold
92. camping
93. cloud gazing
94. organizing stuff
95. road trips
96. silver picture frames
97. my mom’s pearl ring
98. sleeping in
99. giving presents
100. my Bible

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

100 Things

1. I am a mental health counselor
2. I am a freelance writer
3. I write for the Christian market
4. I can’t type properly
5. I am single
6. I just bought my 1st condo
7. I just finished my Master’s Degree in counseling
8. I went to the same school for undergrad
9. As an undergrad, I triple majored
10. I’ve been to Germany
11. I climbed to the top of Neuschwanstein Castle
12. I am a godmother
13. I just had 13 inches of hair chopped off
14. My hair still touches my shoulders
15. I am an older sister
16. I am 30-something
17. I have a disability
18. I walk with a cane
19. I can do the Ardha Adho Mukha Vrksasana yoga pose
20. I am the Spiritual Gifts Director at my church
21. I sponsor a child through WorldVision
22. I collect quotes
23. I have 20/20 vision
24. I hate cherries
25. I am left handed
26. I do not smoke
27. I do not drink
28. Michael W. Smith was the 1st artist I saw in concert
29. I wanted to be a gymnast when I was little
30. I am part German
31. I am part Cherokee
32. I’ve published under a pen name
33. I love the bonus material on DVD’s
34. I collect teddy bears
35. I have well over 50
36. I used to have twice that many
37. I can’t swim
38. I am a MO Synod Lutheran
39. I was on the Student Council in high school
40. I’m an INFJ on the Myers-Briggs
41. I sneeze in 3’s
42. I have a mission statement
43. I am afraid of heights.
44. I won 3rd place in an 8th grade spelling bee
45. I love to fly.
46. I don’t like escalators
47. I’ve played wheelchair football with the Chicago Bears
48. They lost.
49. I like wheelchair tennis better
50. I received the American Legion Award in Jr. High
51. I don’t like to dance
52. My parents are still married
53 I wear braces on my legs
54. But never had them on my teeth
55. I won a science fair in Jr. HS
56. I’ve never used illegal substances
57. I’ve written a children’s book
58. I haven’t published it yet
59. I usually don’t wear make-up
60. I am a book artist
61. I’ve been to the CSO
62. Only teddy bears are allowed on my Christmas Tree
63. There are 3 exceptions
64. A Kermit ornament
65. An angel Nell made me
66. A bell
67. I write like my mother
68. I print like my father
69. I’ve been to Disney World
70. I don’t eat Gummi Bears
71. I was on the Donahue Show as a baby with my mom
72. I didn’t go to prom
73. I am a member of Psi Chi
74. My 1st words were “Me do!”
75. I like to cross stitch
76. My ears are not pierced
77. Neither is anything else
78. I was on yearbook committee in HS
79. I’ve been to the top of the St Louis Arch
80. And the Sears Tower
81. My writing has won awards
82. I do not like snow
83. I do like snowflakes
84. I did a 10K hunger walk once
85. In a wheelchair
86. I’ve been in our local newspaper
87. My hands and nails get a lot of compliments
88. I go to movies alone
89. I’ve been to CA, AZ, CO, FL, GA
90. And most of the Heartland & Southern States
91. I don’t drink coffee
92. I student directed plays in HS
93. I once quit a job after 3 hours
94. My birthstone is garnet
95. I’m a bit of a Trekkie
96. I read books before seeing the movie
97. I don’t play an instrument
98. but I want to
99. the harp
100. I can sign the alphabet

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Value Added

As a new homeowner, my budget has shrunk considerably in the last few months. Even before that, I was careful to measure the value of my purchases. It often seems like the value of things doesn’t match up with the price tag we put on them.
During my trip, I wanted to relax a bit, and thought about ordering the newest X-Men movie to watch in my hotel room. I quickly changed my mind when I saw the price tag was $12.00. How can one justify paying more than twice the price of the average rental simply because you’re in a nice hotel room? The value of the hotel luxuries is reflected in the price of the room itself. Fair enough. There’s no value added in the movie itself. For that price I’d expect to be able to take the movie home, or have popcorn & soda delivered and hand fed to me.
Conversely, I arrived at the airport and breezed through security, leaving nearly the entire requisite 2 hours to spare. Eager to be home, I discovered that a flight to my same destination was leaving in 15 minutes. A quick check with the desk, a silent prayer of thanks, and I was on the plane, headed for home delightfully ahead of schedule. Free of charge. Now, I’m not about to suggest that the airlines institute charges for this. I’m just saying I’d had a rough morning and I really wanted to be home. Given the degree to which I valued getting home as quickly as possible, I could hardly believe that such a wonderful transaction had no monetary value placed on it.
So then I started thinking, which I admit, can be dangerous. What if things were really priced at the level of their value? A favorite example is chocolate. It’s priced so that I can eat it every day. But that’s not necessarily a good idea. What if chocolate were priced to reflect the idea that it’s supposed to be an occasional treat? It could make healthier eating a lot easier. Again, I’m not really suggesting that happen, I’m just speaking hypothetically. Really.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Meeting Patty Duke

This past weekend, mental health professionals from around the country gathered to celebrate the innovative programs we developed and the subsequent benefits to the lives of the people we serve, people with severe and persistent mental illness. Patty Duke, who has bipolar disorder, spoke at the event. We were filled with admiration and appreciation towards her for lending us her time and her voice.
Something unexpected happened when she spoke. She mirrored that admiration and appreciation back to us, the professional helpers. What she shared only indirectly referred to her own experience. Her message to us was, “This isn’t about me. It’s about you.” Her genuine warmth and gratitude was humbling. Her commitment was not to merely sharing her story or using her influence to raise dollars for mental health. What I saw was her commitment to improving the lives of people with mental illness, and respect for those of us who support that goal.
That kind of respect is hard to come by. The stigma that affects our clients trickles over to us mental health workers. Compare state funding and salaries for education vs. state funding and salaries for mental health and you will see what I mean.
She said “I believe each one of us in this room was made exactly how God intended.”
Go back and read that again. Yes, I mean it. I’ll wait.
What an empowering declaration. As a person with a physical disability, and one who is dedicated to helping people with mental illness, it reaches to my core. I pray that the truth of Patty Duke’s statement will soon be reflected in the reality of reintegration, community, and opportunities for all people struggling to find acceptance and meaning in their lives.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Grief & Loss

I’ve spent much of my time these days with the grieving, the dying, and those awaiting test results to confirm or deny their fit into one of those categories. I suppose what I have observed has been written about before, but I can’t help trying to express it, hoping some improvement in our language has occurred so my musings won’t sound so pitifully trite. I guess that also means this might come across a little morbid.
To be with one who is near death or one who has experienced a loss is to walk on sacred ground. What can you say? I think all phrases beginning with “at least” should be prohibited in such circumstances. “At least it happened quickly.” “At least you got to say goodbye.” “At least she lived a full life.” “At least you were together for 60 years.”
How do you tell a man widowed after 60 years of marriage, “at least” anything? The only way he knows how to live is over. While we are still left in this world, there can be no consolation in that. So what is left for us to do?
While we have the promise of heaven to comfort us, I believe God doesn’t need us to make it OK. It’s not OK. The greatest gift we may be able to offer someone facing loss is to acknowledge its terribleness. If we can’t do that, we diminish the meaning of the experience. If we can, we may just be able to open the door for someone, and show them the amazing conclusion on the other side.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Tea & Sympathy

I know I've missed a day or two posting here. In my defense, I was feeling a little sick and then I had to go out of town.
During the "I think I'm sick" phase, (I hate not quite being ill- just get it over with) I made myself numerous cups of tea. My favorite tea certainly serves its function, it's soothing, warm, and yummy. Yet it always seems like something is missing.
I found that something while visiting my family this weekend. My brother made me a magnificent milkshake. I'm not just talking about the chocolate here, people. He didn't even know I was feeling crummy and stressed out. The fact is medicinal food (soup, shakes, tea, etc) always tastes better when someone else makes it for you.
I know that's not the most enlightening thought to leave you with. Consider it a public service announcement. Perhaps it's a prelude to something I'll share more about later in the week.
Be happy, be healthy. And if you can't, get someone to make you some tea.