Even though Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday on a church calendar, I enjoy it, dare I say, more than Christmas and Easter. All the hoopla and trappings of Christmas are about to roll over us, and it will again be a battle to find “God with us” amongst all the layers we have added to the holiday.
My wife and I were sitting in first class on The Chunnel heading to the City of Love, and I was gutted by the absence of connection between us. I had known her for most of my adult life, and I had grown accustomed to the distance that failed to dissipate with time. We grew close early on and then it was as if we hit our ceiling. We had almost raised our family, the nest was emptying out, and I realized that I was emptied out too. Moments like this don’t simply happen but are born and grown over time. She looked up at me and asked me what I was so deep in thought about, “What are you thinking?”
Dare I answer? Dare I speak the raw truth that gripped my mind?
I had been in a trance of thought with my face toward the glass, with this one phrase rolling over and over in my head. I wanted to make this pounding thought audible, but I wrestled. I knew these would be the harshest words she has ever heard from me, and once spoken, there would be no getting them back. And so I did, in a quiet yet resolved tone, I spoke, and each time I repeated the phrase I was more convinced of this truth, “I am done.” The vocal admission was euphoric, and felt like one of the most honest and intimate moments of our marriage.
I am done.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Nobody does this for me, no accountability partner, friend, child or spouse. “Above all else”, beyond everything else in this world I am to guard my heart. Sounds simple, but dag gum it’s the hardest reality in and throughout most of my days, and I work at a church! Continue reading “Above All Else”
My wife absolutely loves maps. Her dad loves maps. And somehow even though we have navigation apps on our phones she still reaches for that massive road atlas that takes up the entire front seat on trips. I wish I had something that big and clear today, cause I’m out of map. I was just getting a feel for parenting and then our girls became grown ups. What’s up with that? My screensaver still portrays them as little cherubs, but reality displays a very different picture. I think they still need me, but at this point, I need to be invited in. And frankly, I’m not sure how well I’m doing with all of this. If I had to place the “you are here” arrow over the map of our parenting, I’d be hard pressed to know exactly where to put it.