Well-Aged With Season

As with last week’s post, I’m going back through a handful of pieces I’ve written in recent years, but never published. I’m amazed sometimes at the things God once taught me but slipped to faint and distant memory. I hope this touches you today. 

“Be careful, parents! One day the little ones whose diapers you’re changing will be changing yours!”

I heard that humorous warning about aging in a sermon once. I don’t recall the rest of the lesson at all. That line was so catchy, I kind of got stuck there. But recently, the gravity and art of aging has intrigued me.

Maybe it’s because my refrigerator is camouflaged in pictures of my nieces and nephews. Kylie, the oldest, isn’t quite three; baby Acelynn hasn’t even had her first birthday. Right alongside images of first steps, yogurt-smeared chins and sparkly, wide eyes, is a photo of my grandmother. She turned 91 this year.

Granddad died a few years ago. Since then, almost spry as ever, she has lived alone a few hours from my parents’ house. The only signs of her age are fading hearing, a tremor when she tries to hold her head perfectly still and she walks a bit slower than she used to.

Or maybe, I’m contemplating these seasons of life because I volunteer doing pet therapy with hospice patients. I heard of a man who recently decided he’d like a visit. It took them months to convince him he would benefit from a few hours with a dog. Stubborn, he kept telling his son and nurses that he wants his own dog, not simply a visitor. He knows what they say is true, that it wouldn’t be fair to the dog. He’s too old and ill to care for it properly. He may not live much longer and then who would take care of his furry best friend? Brave and I will meet Mr. Thurston next week for the first time.

Or maybe it’s because a few weeks ago Brave and I attended a grief camp for children who have lost a loved one in the last two years. However unfair, they were thrust into an unexpected season, one with a stark awareness of death. For many of them, the loss will mean a drastic change in their lifestyle. Who will tuck me in at night?

I might be thinking about birth, aging and dying, youth and the elderly, old and new because a friend just told me that he and his wife are finishing their basement so that his father can move in with them. It’s only been a few short years since they tenderly cared for his mother in her final days.

Whatever the reason, the seasons of life are turning in my head. But it’s much more than a solemn observation of finite lives. It’s more of an interest in how these season change us, not just our appearances and abilities, but change the way we live our lives. Passing years change our lifestyles, our priorities, our waking thoughts and unremembered dreams.

In 1 Corinthians 13:11, Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

It’s not surprising that Paul includes that sentence in, “The Love Chapter”. The most important way that time changes us, that age matures us, that the end sobers us, is that we fall more in love with the timeless. Time as we know it nears its finale, and our attention is swept up by the eternal. Our love shifts to things of an infinite nature—the promises of our Creator, the surety of seeing His face, the eternal spirits of our loved ones. Our lives necessarily change to accommodate these newly found truths.

Our bodies slow down as God allows age to limit our lifestyle, to force us to take closer, longer looks at what really matters. It is in the slowness, even the stillness, that we know He is God. And in that knowing, we are so much closer to all we’ve ever hoped for–to be fully real, fully known and fully loved.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Broken, The Healer and Me

She had a hole in her heart and an ugly gash on her leg. I watched her writhe in pain for a few minutes, too stunned by what she had done to herself to respond. But she laughed, at least she tried to. I was revolted. It was her own fault she was in this mess. If she’d only followed the rules, she wouldn’t have gotten hurt.

Broken’s maniacal humor came out in coughing gasps, she was nearing death.

“I’m fine!” She screamed at me. “I’m fine, I’m happy and I don’t need you to tell me what’s wrong with me.”

But then her heart whimpered, barely discernible above the boisterous, the callous facade.

“I’m Broken,” Heart sobbed. “So broken and tired and I’m dying here. Can’t you see? Do something, please.”

I did see. Crusty blood had formed around the wound in chest. It was bleeding less than her leg, less obvious as she glared at me. But that leg. It was disgusting. I could barely lift my eyes to see it. Her thigh festered and oozed, flies were attracted. It made me sick.

“Please, please help me. I’m dying,” Heart continued to plead, her voice weakening with every effort. “Can you take me to the Healer?”

“I can’t focus to help you with that ugly leg wound in the way,” I replied. “You’ll have to fix that first, then perhaps I can carry you to the Healer. You know, if you’d just followed the rules you wouldn’t be here.” I tore a page from my manual of rules. “Let me help you cover that first, clean you up a bit, then perhaps the Healer will see you. As it is, you’ll make Him sick.”

Broken screamed again, “I don’t want your rules!”

“But they’re good for you,” I tried to argue. “Besides, this way you’ll be presentable to the Healer.”

“Step back.” A voice so calm, so forceful, so real, it shook the ground. Light blazed around us, so tangible that the manual in my hands began to smolder.

“Your rules will do no good here. Broken will die while you fuss over a bleeding peripheral wound. Why have you not brought her to me by now?”

“But Healer, Lord,” I tried to explain. “I was going to bring her! I just wanted to help her clean up a bit first.”

“Child,” the Healer spoke to me though His back was turned as He knelt over Broken. “If I am sufficient to heal her heart, save her life, don’t you think I can handle her leg as well?”


Recently, the issues of morality and Biblical standards were brought to the forefront in my tiny little picture frame of the world. I believe that I have a Biblical worldview, and I stand firmly behind the inherency of the Word of God. That said, this short parable was my own wondering in prayer and listening to God about when and how to use my worldview and Godly principles to introduce people to the Savior.
Perhaps there are bigger, more deadly wounds that only Jesus can heal. And I can rest assured, that when He has healed their heart, He will heal all the rest of them as well.

Not Looking for Miracles

Wonders of wonder, miracles of miracles! That’s what we’re talking about this week. I would love to hear your miracles – please send them to me via comments here or feel free to email me personally. Also, if you need a miracle, please let me know. I promise to pray for you.

Let me share the miracle that I mentioned at the beginning of this month:

It was a drizzly, cold Monday morning. We’re still in the fledgling stages of Moms Who TRI. Kristen and I keep reminding each other that God is sovereign over our business’ success – and over the weather. Right now, we’re still training in her backyard, so rainy days effectively cancel our bootcamps.

The bum deal is that I am not omniscient, so I had no idea what the weather would do. I got up early, hustled through my quiet time with the Lord and then at the last minute, Kristen and I agreed, there was no way we could hold Moms Who TRI. So there I was with a whole free morning ahead of me. If you know me at all, you know that’s very disconcerting.

I’m from the Seattle area. I don’t melt. Brave was pacing around my ankles. So, we loaded up in the car and drove to the trails behind South Run RECenter. There’s nothing like a walk in the rain to clear your head. I was actually looking forward to the solitude, but noticed another woman heading toward the trailhead with her dog. Politely, we exchanged greetings and I expected to go our separate ways. God had other plans.

“How are you? How did you come to be walking in the rain this morning?”
“My husband is working out in the gym, but the dog needed to get out.  My husband’s health isn’t such that he should be walking in the rain.”


“Oh well. I’m going to bear my soul.” Tears filled her eyes and out of the blue, this virtual stranger poured out her heart. “Until the day before yesterday we believed that my husband’s cancer was in remission. He’s been on an experimental drug that made him miserable, but we thought it was working. Then, two days ago, the doctor told us that the cancer has gotten into his cerebrospinal fluid. He may have only a few months to live.”

Oh how my heart broke as this lady continued. I never even got her name as she continued to spill her sorrows. She had already been widowed once. Her children had moved away and her dog was old. “I’m afraid I’m going to be all alone, again.” They had both recently retired at a young age. Looking forward they had dreamed up plans to visit Bulgaria.

I am as uncomfortable as anyone else in these situations. I’ve always thought that I lived a charmed life by most standards. But then… I’ve watched loved ones die of cancer. I’ve been completely alone. I teetered on the edge of divorce. I’ve been suicidal. So perhaps my life hasn’t been so rosy. So where does one find the capacity for empathy and sympathy at the same time? How does one identify and comfort and most importantly, what does one say to another?

“You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.” Psalm 73:24

“But don’t worry about what you should say. Say the things God gives you to say at that time. It will not really be you speaking. It will be the Holy Spirit speaking.” Mark 13:11b

Honestly, I said very little. I do know that we talked about Jesus. And at the end of our walk, we still never exchanged names, but this sweet woman pulled me into a hug and whispered, “Thank you. Thank you for being here today.”

I had never planned to be.

I’m only slowly learning that God’s destruction of my plans is for the construction of a miracle.

Shut Up or Shut Down

I am not an activist. I wish I were. I wish I knew what to do. Have you heard of “Thinspiration?” “PrettyThin?” and “ProAna” sites? As I was researching the article posted on Monday, I stumbled or “tumbled” across mentions of such websites. My ambition was to read these and write a commentary. I desperately want to illuminate the viscous lies associated with each of these sites. But I can’t do it. I can’t read them. I can’t make it past the first few pictures before I feel literally sick. I am crying. 

Let me promise you, NO ONE enjoys an eating disorder. You cannot promote an eating disorder or be “pro-ana” with a clear conscience. It’s called a disorder for a reason. One cannot pretend anorexia is an acceptable lifestyle anymore than one would normalize any other disorder: schizophrenia, agoraphobia, social phobia or panic disorder. Would you want to live with, even “improve” and practice such conditions? Seriously?

We live in a fallen, sinful world. To simply facilitate chatter about such topics does NOT lead to healing. One of the sites I mentioned above is run by a man who professes to have no eating disorder, but firmly believes he would be doing society a disservice not to run his website. He believes he is “doing what no one else would do and what needs to be done.” What exactly is that? He offers no opinion or personal stance on the issue, stating only that he is creating community and establishing communication and support. Support for what?

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Proverbs 10:19

I don’t have the magic words to repel these lies. I don’t have the perfect words to offer healing and comfort to those caught in the middle of an eating disorder or watching a loved one die. I offer one resource that has  reached the places of my heart that no counselor or book or well-meaning friend has ever done. Please visit Music for the Soul. If you would like a copy of this CD, please let me know. I will see that you get one.

Dying Things


Foliage fingerprints.

Prism mums,

Oft sunlight glints.

And dying things.


Flow’rs huddle low,

‘Neathe  coming cold.

Day dies young

With setting sun.

And dying things.


Bug’s knees creak,

Old, aging, weak.

Bedtime’s early,

Heads soft and curly.

Just sleepy things…