Dance with me

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lucy, again

Fourteen years ago today a little girl came into our lives by scheduled caesarean section at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. It was cold and snowy and we were a little afraid...this was our first caesarean and we really didn't know what to expect. They first did an ultrasound and the nurse asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby and we replied in unison...No! She laughed at us and said that she guessed she had her answer. We had always agreed to not know the sex of the baby until birth. At delivery when the doctor said, "It's a girl." we both started to cry. She was beautiful like a baby doll. We were thrilled and we still are.
Many events happened around that snowy weekend in mom allowing a stranger to ride with her when she got lost in Baltimore (in Baltimore!!! one of the most dangerous inner cities that I have encountered), Sue and Dot riding around the Baltimore beltway twice to get home from the hospital, Gary and Tammy's visit, Ann bringing our other kids to see Lucy, Ann visiting me in recovery and wondering what she had gotten herself into (she was newly pregnant with Sofie), the blizzard that kept me from going home and kept the nurses from attending to me. All of these can be expanded and some of them are very funny in retrospect.
My baby shower for Lucy also involved snow. My mother-in-law and mom and I drove to Columbia, MD to Tammy Selby's house for the shower in a freak snowstorm. It happened suddenly and was piling up fast. I was so far along...this was the weekend before the c-section and I was afraid that we were going to be stuck somewhere and my mother and mother-in-law were going to have to assist me in delivery and a breech one at that. I was thinking worst possible scenario.
No wonder Lucy loves snow.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Last night was the 8th grade blessing. It was a powerful evening with many words of love and encouragement said to these kids. Each family read words of blessing over their child and here is what I read to Lucy.

Dear beautiful and precious Lucy,
You are the fourth child in a very busy family. We were busy but never too busy to be with you. Corey, Drew and Mary Kate loved you so intensely. They couldn’t wait for your birth and after you were born they were right beside you every waking moment. Mary Kate even wanted to move into your room so that she could be with you more. I knew that you were my last baby and I wanted to hang onto every baby moment for as long as I could. I wasn’t very generous about letting others hold you because I wanted to and at home Corey, Drew and Mary Kate hardly gave me a moment alone with you. You were a mama’s girl and you loved for me to sing to you and as soon as you could make sounds you tried to sing along with me.
As a toddler you were very friendly and would approach anyone about the same height as you and say, “Friend? Name?” You were entertaining and yet so very thoughtful. Once when I put in time out on the front stoop, I told you to sit there and think about what you had done and you sat with your chin on your little fist saying over and over again…hmmm, hmmm? you were thinking. So funny that I had to turn away to keep from you seeing me laughing.
Our church was in the midst of much discussion about the role of women but you were only three years old and I didn’t think that you had even thought about what was happening around you but I was wrong…at least on some level. We were riding in the car and you were in the back in your carseat and you starting singing the song God is Love. But you started hesitating with every line and changing the words…here is your version….
At night as I lay on my pillow
I think of the grandma above
I know that she cares for me all through the night
For I am a girl of her love
God is love, God is love…
Of course, you know that I was thrilled and drove with tears streaming down and a smile on my face.
Elementary school was so much fun for you. You are smart and good with people and other parents told their kids to hang with you and you would make everything alright. You were so tiny and yet so strong. The smallest in your class and yet the biggest kids would stand behind you when they were afraid of the teacher….a little girl with a big personality. Your elementary school had an art program that was sponsored by The National Gallery of Art. You had to paint a copy of a master’s work and research the artist and then make a presentation in the National Gallery in front of that work with your work on an easel beside it. Most of the children read with their heads down and no expression but not you. You drew a crowd as soon as you opened your mouth…a tiny girl in a fuzzy dress and crazy printed tights and bright red boots and you started with a big voice saying, “Now let me tell about you an artist.” with your finger in the air and your head tilted to the side. We heard people in the crowd asking who you were. Like I said…a tiny girl with a big personality.
That friendly personality has served you well in our move in Texas. You made friends immediately and those friends have been chosen wisely. I am amazed at your adjustment to Texas and a new school. I know that you will always avoid being called a Texan but Texas has made a mark on you and more importantly you have made a mark on Texas. I know that middle school can be a confusing time but you have navigated with grace and wisdom.
You are a smart girl but we knew that from the very beginning. At three years old you came into the kitchen and asked me what kind of things are made up of molecules? I told you that everything was and you just said okay and walked out. Later that day in the car you proceeded to tell me that things like rocks and steel have molecules that are close together and that is why they are hard and things like water and air have molecules that are far apart and that is why they can move. I knew that we were in trouble. You have continued to make us marvel at how your brain works…that is sometimes good and sometimes bad.
I am so excited to see the rest of your life. I don’t expect perfection but I do know that your journey will be fascinating and will keep us wondering about what is around the next corner. I have a feeling that high school will be a fun ride with you. I want you to head into high school with the confidence that you have entered every new situation your whole life. I don’t mean that you can’t be afraid or apprehensive. You need to allow yourself those emotions. I want you to become involved in school in those areas that you are gifted in but also to branch out and try new things. I love seeing you read everything you can get your hands on….keep reading. Keep thinking and keep causing the people around to think. But also just have fun and make lots of friends from all walks of life. But please leave time with me and your dad. I know that we can be annoying and you are now home alone with us but we love you intensely and are enjoying our time alone with you.
There is one thing that I wish the most for you…to love Jesus with all of your being and to feel the Holy Spirit’s presence in your life and to acknowledge Jesus as your savior. I want at some point for you to dive into the waters of baptism with abandon. I already know that you will ponder those choices but on this one I want you to follow with your heart and continue for your whole life to allow your heart to be guided by the Spirit. I know that you are compassionate and kind and full of life and all of those things will grow deeper and deeper as you walk with Jesus. I am excited to see that transformation on this journey. Know that I will walk this journey with you. Know that there will be times that making the right choice will not be easy but you have so many people on your side and so many that will be willing to talk and walk with you and a great big God who is there even more than your mom.

I want to end with these words from II Timothy
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord…who has saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel….Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

“That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith- and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Dean to your mother Julie, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible. So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master…Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus. So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set out for you. It’s as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us…Throw yourself into this work for Christ.”

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Last night was Jeremiah's night. I know that there were other people at Sing Song who might think that last night was about someone else but in my eyes it was about Jeremiah. I loved seeing him dance and sing. Jeremiah is generous, humble, full of the Spirit, and gentle. I loved hearing everyone praise him and loved seeing everyone enjoy him performing. Thank you, Jeremiah, for bringing us all joy. Movin' On Out....great hat, by the way, Jeremiah.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


She is beautiful, funny, gracious, compassionate and she calls me her friend. Yesterday was her birthday and my life would be missing something wonderful if she had not been born. I love that we can talk for hours or possibly days and never run out of words for each other. We have worked together at solving the world's problems but they never quite seem to be solved. We have mothered each other's children and fiercely love all those children and would protect them from anything...including each other. Children love Ann..she makes them food that they like, involves them in games and crafts, reads books with them and to them, and laughs and laughs with them. I love to watch her in the sand at the beach...digging a moat for a sand castle, gathering shells with a net out of the surf, playing in the waves, and sitting beside me eating a sandy lunch and talking. I love how she listens to me....hears me and supports me and is honest with me about what I am doing. I love to sing with her...praise songs, old hymns, The Indigo Girls (especially in concert), The Dixie Chicks and songs from The Four Bitchin' Babes. I love watching her survival techniques. We have survived many of life's storms together. We have argued and made it to the other side. We have traveled many places and had more than our share of adventures...but I plan on many more.
What I wish for Ann for the next year...
peace, fun, love, adventure, courage, beauty, a deep spiritual walk, comfort, and more time with me....because I miss her.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Okay, my daughter already reminded me of one person that I forgot to say that I love and I did see one glaring omission...Brady Lane. Brady is married to our niece, Katherine, and we love him. Brady is fun and outgoing. He walks with Jesus and he takes amazing photographs. He loves Katherine. He can play a mean game of Apples to Apples. He loves to take part in surprises. He always makes me feel like I can cook when we have him over for dinner. He loves Katherine. He can make me laugh so hard that I spew drink all over everyone. He is gracious. He is an amazing cat hunter...under beds. Did I say that he loves Katherine? He walks with Jesus.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Again...I Just Had To Include More Love

A..Angels, A.J. (even though we haven't met)
B..Books, Bikes
C..Crying, Cackling, Candy
D..Darek, Devil's Food Cake
F..Fireplaces, Fun
G..Globes, Ghost Stories
H..Heaven, Healing, Hiking
J..Jeanette, Janaye, Jeff, Jim
K..Ken, Katherine, Kisses
L..Lera, Laps, Laurie
M..Miracles, Magazines, Mike, Michael
N..Neverland, Nudges
P..Pebbles, People, Paper
Q..Quiet, Quests
R..Ritual, Reason
S..Stacie, Sally
T..Teaching, Tracy
W..Wacky stuff, Walking, Washington Post
X..Xylophones...okay, I still can't think of anything else and I don't love Xrays
Y..Yawns, Yelling at sports events...only positive stuff
Z..Zithers...I don't know what they are but they were always in the kids' alphabet books

Just couldn't resist adding more...I still feel like I am leaving off someone or something important

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Wow! Time flies when you have to go to work every day. I will be doing fulltime hours for awhile because there have been some changes in the office. I am still pretty clueless about the history of the problems and that is okay, just want us to be able to move forward and get down to the business of taking care of the students. But I do know that I don't know as much as I would like to know about the procedures in the office and I have to be on my toes so I don't miss anything that I need to know. I am tired.

Today is the day of love. A day to recognize those that you love and tell them...with cards, flowers, candy, words or something just plain fun.
My friend, Ann, gave me this idea a few years ago and I love it and use it often. Today is a good day to use it. I use it when I walk sometimes...going through the alphabet and name something for each letter that I am thankful for.
Today I will do it for what I love that starts with each letter.
A..Ava, Ann, Ashley, Anne, Adie
B..Brittany, Brad, Beauty, Bed, Babies, Birds, Bread
C..Corey, Calvin, Chocolate, Cheryl, Crista
D..Drew, Dennis, Diane, Deliveries, Design, Debbie
E..Everett, Ethan, Evelyn, Emily, Elves
F..Friends, Family
G..Gus, Gail, Giraffes
H..Husband, Hands
I..Invitations, Ice
J..Jeremiah, Jackie
K..Katie, Kites
L..Lucy, Lexie, Linens, Lydia
M..Mary Kate, Mom, Mick
N..Notes...musical and written
O..Ovations, Octaves
P..Positives, Paige, Peggy, Pixie
Q..Questions, Quills
R..Rest, Revival
S..Sofia, Sue, Summer and summer, Singing, Swinging, Steve
T..Tim, Toast, Trees, Tables, Trudy, Tammy
U..Umbrellas, Understanding, Una
V..Velvet, Vividity
W..Writing, WaMaVa
X..Xylophones...okay, I just couldn't think of anything else.
Z..Zoos, Zippers

I know that this quickly done list is not complete but it was fun to think of things that I love.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Tonight we had a Lament Service at Highland. We were remembering our losses...deaths, remembered publicly and private losses like divorce or loss of job... It was very moving and yet felt strangely peaceful. Candles were lit and words were spoken and prayers said. All of those motions were important but I think the most important part of the evening was the permission to cry and touch each other and hold on to each other and acknowledge that there has been pain and that we are hurting. Mike talked about tears and how we should be aware of how the world looks through tear filled eyes.

I get's word of the day and today's word was satiety and here was the quote given today.....
a quote from a book titled Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears by Tom Lutz

Isidore of Seville, in interpreting the Psalms in the seventh century, seconded the idea that tears produce satiety. "Lamenting," he wrote,"is the food of souls."

Maybe tears fill us back up after we feel the emptiness of loss.

Saturday, February 10, 2007


So.....did you watch Oprah yesterday? Good show. In the course of the show about 26 children were bought out of slavery in Ghana. It all started with an article in The New York Times and two women who were moved by the face of one little boy....Oprah and Pam Cope. Both women were haunted by this little boy and his plight. This little boy is now rescued from slavery and living at The Village of Hope. He said in the program yesterday that he is now happy and he likes the orphanage. One woman answered God's call and I know that what we see is seven children rescued from slavery but in reality that will have ripple effects and so many more will be touched by her actions. Don't let anyone ever tell you that helping one person will never make a difference. Just do it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Everyone needs to watch Oprah on Friday. Mary Kate's roommate's mom will be on. I know that you will love her story and what she is doing to impact the world.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Sorry that it has been so long since I have posted anything. Life has been busy and transition can be taxing. Sorry. Sorry.

I have been thinking lately about a weird thing...I have been missing certain kinds of know the kind that brings back a fuzzy memory of something from your childhood or whenever....

Do any of you remember...
graham crackers wrapped in waxpaper
bandaid wrappers that you had to pull a tiny impossible red string to open
bandaids that came in a tin
Nestle's Quick that came in a tin with a little round lid that you had to pry open with the end of a spoon
sodas in bottles with bottlecaps...not twist off
lifesavers also had a little red waxed wanted to be able to pull it off just perfect

Can you think of anymore?