children

It Runs in the Family

Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing about your righteousness. – Psalm 145: 4-7

Most doctors take a dim view of the self-diagnoses certain of us love to make with the help of the internet. When I’m afflicted with one thing or another, I usually get caught up in some late-night online symptom sleuthing. My findings are quite often hair-raising and only serve to add to my insomnia.

And when at last I do get in to see my doctor, I helpfully supply my own personal diagnosis of the ailment that has brought me to her office.

Problem is, most of the time I’m wrong.

The physical therapist I saw last week corrected my assessment of my current problem. The trouble was not the flare-up of plantar fasciitis I had so confidently advised him I had. He looked at an x-ray and let me know that the real reason every step I take feels like a demon is driving a nail into my heel is because I have a bone spur.

And, now that I think about it, it wasn’t actually shingles that other time, nor was it skin cancer the time before. Maybe I should just abandon my amateur practice of worst-case scenario medicine and leave the diagnosing to the professionals. ( I do love this advice from a sage friend regarding alarmist tendencies when facing ailments and disorders: when you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras!).

A New Diagnosis

But this time it’s different. Todays’s web-surfing helped me with a self-diagnosis I am sure is 100% accurate.

I have thalassophilia.

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Friendships in Midlife: The Inevitable Fork in the Road

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” – Proverbs 27:9

I blame our girls.

Twenty eight years ago, when they were in third grade, Jenny and Emily plotted to spark a friendship between their parents so they could spend more time together.

The Winglers were transplants like we were. We’d moved to California from New Jersey a few years earlier for graduate school, while Kenny was a Navy physician newly stationed in San Diego. Jenny’s mom, Marta, had a rich Tennessee drawl, so I assumed they were Southerners. However, when Jeff and I later met Kenny, we were amazed to discover that not only had he grown up in New Jersey, too, but that he and I had lived in the same apartment complex as babies.

The Christmas Tradition Begins

That first Christmas I learned that Marta, like many other Navy wives, would be alone with her two kids, so I invited them to spend the day with us. That was the beginning of our tradition of spending Thanksgiving and Christmas (and other special occasions) together for almost every one of the past 28 years. Jenny and Emily each had a little brother, so we had the perfect combination for a family friendship. The kids were all creative and bright, played together well, and kept us entertained for hours with their hilarious skits and songs.

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Target Practice

Spring was in glorious full bloom, and I thanked God for a few hours of solitude during a recent women’s retreat. As I hiked through the green hills and blossoming fields of the conference grounds, relishing the scent of pine and eucalyptus, I came through a clearing and found the archery range open for instruction. I welcomed this opportunity to try a new sport, and in so doing discovered that the Lord had a spiritual lesson targeted just for me that day.

Our genial, red-bearded instructor looked like a modern-day version of the ruddy, good-looking King David and immediately put me at ease. He gave me terminology and tips, followed by a masterful demonstration of his own prowess as a bowman. I watched him fit the notch of his arrow to the bowstring and take up his stance with precision. When he drew back and let it fly, he never missed the center of the target. Clearly he had plenty to teach me.

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My Father’s World

Teaching the Book of Ruth has allowed me to spend delicious hours reading and studying and cross-referencing and pouring myself yet another cup of coffee. I’m tuning into tiny details, but also mindful of the bigger picture, looking for underlying structure and overarching themes. Stacked around me are lexicons and systematic theology texts, contemporary commentaries, and ancient tomes. As a natural-born nerd, big words and big ideas are my love language.

But ultimately, we are not training for a Bible Trivia Bee.

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Taste and See that the Lord is Good: Eating Wisdom

Eating Wisdom Yancey

My son recently finished a book called The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. He found much there which stimulated his interest and seemed eager to discuss the book with me once he found out that I had read it. Problem is, it had been 5 or 6 years ago and I now remember not much more than the title and that I had enjoyed it.

He marveled at that bit of news in a sort of disappointed way. “What? How could I have read an entire book and not be able to remember any specific point the author had made? Why even bother to read at all then?”, he wondered.

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Teddy Bear Christmas

In the picture my daughter is a two-year old dancing in a sunbeam; her corn silk hair glows and her blueberry eyes are matched in intensity by the rich hue of her leotard and tutu. The dancing costume she so joyfully wears was found at a thrift shop, but she does not notice the worn elastic or frayed edges. At that moment she is a nothing less than a beautiful ballerina performing for her new teddy bear who watches from her bed.

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