Sunday, June 16, 2013


Today is Father’s Day.  It has been 10 years since I was able to express Happy Father’s Day to my dad.  I enjoyed reading the tributes and greetings on Facebook this morning, and wondered what I might say.  I didn’t have an answer until church this morning.  We sang Matt Redman’s “Bless the Lord” and tears came to my eyes.  The words of this song are the same as the opening of Psalm 103.  Psalm 103 has been our “family psalm” for a few generations now.  I remember my Dad reading this to us every Thanksgiving and other special occasions throughout the year.  It was read at my mother’s memorial service.  My dad wasn’t perfect, but he loved his children greatly.  And he modeled for each of us a love for God and serving other people with whatever skills and gifts we may have available to us to use.  In other words, to bless the Lord and others. 
I have a son-in-law whose first Father’s Day is today.  K is bigger than life itself at times, full of joy, and also models that life of serving others and bringing them blessing upon blessing with the resources he has available.  He has already seen to it that his son, Jackson, has had his first train trip, doing his best to pass along his zest for life to his son.

I have a son who is not yet a father, but I believe he will be someday.  And I have no doubt that despite the poor fathering modeled by his own dad, he will follow hard after others who have fathered him into the man he is today.  The service at church ended today with more tears for me, because of this son’s choice of a wedding song, “Beautiful Things.”  It is impossible for me to hear this song any more without tears and remembering the look in his eyes as he adored his bride walking towards him to the words of this song...a beautiful moment that I will treasure always. 
I now have a husband who loves his own kids as well as mine, and our grandsons.  He is fathering my youngest son on a daily basis these days, something that I trust will bode D will when he marries and has children someday.  By the way, D told me yesterday that he wants me to find him a wife just like Pioneer Woman.  I guess I have my work cut out for me.
Because of my husband, I have two new fathers of the next generation in my life, fathers of 3 of our grandsons.  Both of these men are highly involved in their young son’s lives.  R is in the ministry, which is a very time consuming life’s work, but he invests heavily in his wife and children.  They are his first ministry.  E works hard to provide for his family, and it is clear that he is K’s favorite man.  The bond that E is building between the two of them is priceless.

I am thankful for the father’s I have in my life – my own, the ones who have stepped in to father my children, the father’s of our next generation – and even the father of my children.  For without him, they would not be here.  Some would say he was only a sperm donor, and I get that, but the best thing he ever did was to give me the four children I have had the privilege to love and enjoy.  So for that I am thankful.

I’m glad God thought of fathers.  I have been blessed by them my entire life.  So it is with genuine gratitude that I wish all of them a very happy Father’s Day.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Imaginery Control

It's been an interesting few days.  A time when I've become very aware - yet again - how little I control.  A time when I've been reminded that normal is not overrated.  A time when stretching my adaptation skills has been necessary.  A time of recalling that there is still always much to be grateful for.  A time of thanking the folks who go the extra mile to help others.

It all began with waiting out a storm in the basement of Macy's - in the bed and mattress section - Friday evening.  Apparently I am not known for shopping at Macy's, because my oldest son was somewhat taken aback by the text reply that this is where we were, but nonetheless, this is where G & I spent the storm as it went over St. Peter's. 

And just about the time we were given the all clear we find out that the power has gone off at home.  Little did we know then that a tornado had actually gone through our town just a few blocks north of where we live.  We simply made our purchases and started heading home.

We stopped at a Hardee's in St. Charles to pick up some dinner since we couldn't cook at home.  They had also lost power briefly, and while the power had returned, their cook tops were not back up to temp, so they couldn't sell everything on the menu.  They pretty much told us what we could order, but we were ok with that.  And just before leaving, I quite casually told my youngest, B, that we'd be home in about 20 or 30 minutes, and we'd have supper with us. 

Ah, ignorance.  It really is bliss.  Not only were we blissfully unaware of the tornado hitting our little town of Ferguson, we were also totally unaware that it had hit Earth City.  Or that Highway 70 was shut down.  No, we didn't really find this out so much until we get to the bridge over the Missouri River.  But trust me, 3 hours later we definitely knew the truth.  We are such fast learners, don't ya know?

Thankfully we didn't have to go to a bathroom during that time, and thankfully we didn't actually run out of gas while on the bridge.  I am sure you have no idea why I might be thankful for either of those particular things, right?  And thankfully we had our sense of humor, facebook and food and text messages.  I mean how couldn't you smile at this pic of J riding out the storm with Mommy and Daddy and a safety helmet?
All day Saturday we were still clueless the extent of the damage in Ferguson.  (Ok, so maybe we AREN'T such quick learners!)  It wasn't until driving around on Sunday that we realized just how much damage had been done - and why it was taking so long for us to get power again.  It reminded me of the damage two years ago that hit on our block instead of a few blocks away.  Same war zone sort of feel.  Same sense of loss and smallness.  Same sense that there is very little that we control.

I think we all imagine that we control quite a lot.  We make plans as if they WILL happen, oftentimes forgetting that any number of events can impact those plans.  Events that are usually way beyond our control.  Such as weather.  Such as the loss of the luxury of normal electricity to give light and to cook and to curl hair and to stay connected.  Such as the need to stop traffic so that experts can clear highways and take care of potential injuries. 

I have been composing this post in my head for the last few days but never actually gotten it typed up.  I was reminded of it again this morning.  I was on a plane, and we were going through some bumpy, stormy weather the last 20 minutes or so.  There wasn't anything I could do about it except pray.  It was another situation beyond my control. There's a reason why the serenity prayer is part of most 12-step and celebrate recovery groups. It is a good reminder that the better part of wisdom includes pursuing serenity, accepting that only certain things are within our control.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.

Thanks for reading.  I'm grateful tonight for much.  And that I'm here and able to express it.  Love, D