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Showing posts from 2017

What a Year

Our ministry has two churches in one building: English and Spanish. Pastor David Anaya is the pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista (First Baptist Spanish Church), and I passed him in the foyer the other day. He asked the general question that we all commonly repeat: "How are you?"
The only difference is that he asked me in Spanish, because he knows I'll answer in Spanish (my second language). 
"Hola Hermana Taylor ¿Como  estas?"
Pregnant pause...
At this point, Pastor Anaya, who is also bilingual, switched to English and said, "Oh oh. You took longer than six seconds to answer that..."
My mind was fishing for the Spanish word. I hate when I draw blanks, but a lack of practice causes me to forget words that I would easily know if I would just speak Spanish more often. Fishing...fishing...
"Estoy aprendiendo."
Probably not a perfect sentence (a fragment), but in English it means "I am learning."
Pastor accepted my reply with comprehension and …

I Want to Be a VW

VW. We immediately think of the little bulb-shaped car that has been around since the 1930s. It was popular with surfers, hippies, and lovers of fuel efficiency. And it's still popular, but I've never even had a ride in one...yet.
VW is the acronym that I've chosen for my widowhood. I didn't choose to be a widow; God chose it for me. So my task is finding a way to live in this new role without being a constant source of tears, gloominess and irritability. Full-time work.
Here's my initial take on the word "widow": It needs something in front of it.
VIBRANT widow.
VIRTUOUS widow.
VALUABLEwidow.
The new VW.
VIBRANT A "vibrant" person is defined as "full of energy and enthusiasm." Many of us were that way before our loved ones passed, but suddenly, we may have become somber and often solemn. To become vibrant again, we will need to walk and wait: Walk with God, and wait for the healing. It is simply unrealistic to expect to be our old cheerfully …

What Just Happened?

I find myself praying in questions lately.
"Lord, what just happened here?"
(This time last month, we were walking a sandy beach in Florida, calling it our "last anniversary vacation.")

"Did you REALLY take my Norman ALREADY?"
(I spent way too much time on Google, and all the articles said that Norman had a chance of surviving at least a year.)

"LORD, are you SURE I can endure all this excruciating pain?"
(I'm certain that I cannot bear this, but obviously, if I'm typing, I'm still bearing this somehow. Only God.)


Now here's what I do not want after you've read this: platitudes.
Absolutely no platitudes.
(Platitude: Overused statement applied liberally and repeatedly in an attempt to comfort or instruct. Paraphrased definition.)
Example: "Heaven is getting sweeter."
I understand that this is a phrase from a song, and it is not offensive in any way. It just doesn't help a heart that is processing tremendous, aching loss. Or…

When You Want to Run Away

Does it ever feel 
like life isganging up
on you so much that you want to run away?






Get in line and take a number. You would probably be #89,427,893,973. That's eighty-nine billion, four hundred twenty-seven million, eight hundred ninety-three thousand, and nine hundred seventy-three.
We may feel as though we'd like to find the escape route, but others may not know it. People ask the standard question: "How are you?" And as long as we supply the stock answer ("Fine") we can usually get away with pretending to be fine. It is incredibly easy to cover up our true feelings, leaving people completely unaware that we're entertaining fantasies of a hasty escape from the pile-up of stress. 

I laughed and shook my head when I read this in my morning Bible study: "I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest." (Psalm 55:8)
Hey King David, wait for me!
We are clearly not the first to feel so overwhelmed with the relentless pounding of life that we&#…

How to Make Your Husband Go to the Doctor

Our primary care physician said this to my husband:
"It's the best thing in the world that you ran that 5k in April, otherwise who knows how long it would have taken you to finally come in for a checkup."
My Norman had been complaining of pain since sometime in March, but then he'd joke about it. "This must be what it feels like to be 65," he'd say. And then we'd both agree that getting older has not been our favorite life task. I mean really--you go to bed age 25 and wake up age 65! Still, we have been active and in recent years, we've really seen the value of taking good care of these soul carriages called "bodies," so most days we feel younger than our years.
But Norman kept saying, "My bones hurt." I had never heard that before.
Fast-forward to the Hot Chocolate 5k, where a 59-year-old wife dragged her 65-year-old (almost 66) husband to run in the rain...in the clothes-drenching rain. Norman looked like he was having a good t…

Run with Patience in the Rain

I asked Norman just as he was leaving for work one morning, five measly weeks prior to race day, "Honey, could we do a 5k in April?" I know that he answers quickly when he's on his way out the door. (Translation: He only half-heard me.) 
"A 5k, huh? Okay." But it wasn't the usual "okay." It was the long "Okaaaayyyy" that Norman uses when he's wondering what his wife is plotting this time. I am the spontaneous one in our marriage. He is...

...not. 
A few days later, I handed him his new race swag (you know, the fancy logo shirt that makes it look like you're a runner even if you're not), and then announced, "We need new shoes. Our old tennies won't do."
Armed with large coupons, we bought new running shoes and were soon decked out like wannabe-runners. I was training in earnest, following a chart printed from the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k official racing website. Things were coming along fairly well for someone who hasn&…