Monthly Archives: April 2015

Licking Laptops—and Other Things in Our Way

Licking Laptops—Nothing quite says “laptop” like the local coffeehouse. It’s one of my favorite places to flip that puppy open and work on social media marketing, read articles about the publishing industry, check out a new profile on LinkedIn, or pin that recipe. I’ll admit, when I’m “taxi parent,” I flip it open more frequently at the karate dojo, in the car outside the dance studio, or at the occupational therapist’s office waiting on my son.

But I was at home one day when I started settling into a good writing groove in my favorite-and-very-old IKEA chair, feet propped up on the ottoman. Suddenly, I heard some slurpy noises. As I peered around the screen of my laptop, it turns out that the Almighty Glowing Apple was getting a good lick on the other side of my creative mind flow.

I hadn’t even noticed my Shih Tzu Delilah by my feet showing her puppy affection for my MacBook Pro. She has a way of claiming space on the ottoman like a stealth fighter pilot. (Meanwhile, her brother Samson was on his bed, as usual, sending peaceful snores into the air to a rhythm that sounds so much like “Billy Jean” that I keep looking for the trademark white glove. Pretty sure I saw him slide backward with each snuffle, though.)

My dogs would lick every inch of our arms, faces, feet, etc., if we let them. There are several different reasons why dogs lick. I think my dogs primarily show affection that way.

But, why, oh why, did my 12-pound Shih Tzu lick my laptop?

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Heaving Broken Relationships onto His Altar of Peace

Heaving Broken Relationships onto His Altar of PeaceAs often happens when there are more than two minutes of quiet in my house (I didn’t say that quiet was often, though), I was reflecting on some relationships in my life that have been healed—and those still in the waiting place. I must be growing up because I find myself stressing less over what I don’t understand. Let’s face it: There are a lot of human communications I don’t understand. Really, I think I read my Shih Tzus better than people some days.

The only One to have the real perspective of both sides of a relational pain is God. Even if the other party explains it to us over coffee for two hours or phone calls for three days, there just isn’t enough of our selflessness to be able to get out of the way and walk fully in the other person’s shoes. Only Jesus, the Suffering Servant, felt everything we feel (the pains, sickness, and sins of all humanity) on the cross.

Isaiah 53:5, ESV, Isaiah the Prophet speaking

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

Over the course of my life, I’ve had a hard time letting close relationships fizzle out, get stuck, be left in the Pride Place. Does that mean I live in perfect peace and never marinate in my own anger? No. But as tempting as it can be to just trot off and leave a mark of pain on someone who has hurt us, even passive-aggressively by going silent—Know folks who do this? It’s its own art form!—I take relational fail very seriously.

You know what I’m finding out?

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Choosing to Be Intentional

Choosing to Be IntentionalLately, I was thinking about how much I love my hairstylist.

Because she does my hair so well? Well, she does, but that’s not why.

Because she offers kindness and seems to enjoy the challenge of shaping my mangled mess of thick, wiry waves? Well, that’s awesome too, but that’s not it either.

Because, quite simply, she lets me in.

She talks to me about deep subjects. She shares her mama angst and desire to raise a good son. And she lets me see glimpses of that beautiful Spirit God gave her…that heart she is letting Jesus shape.

I absolutely appreciate that we can talk about matters of faith together, but the reason I carry her around in my heart is more than that.

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Let God Be Your Handhold to Joy

I had a silent prayer on my heart this week. I had about three topics in my head to write about but no time to write them. And then in came this blog from my sweet friend Tammie. I had literally just tweeted a former blog of hers about joy 30 seconds before her message arrived in my in-box. What provision! Right on time!

Tammie has contributed several times to Espressos of Faith this year. I consider her part of the blog team. I believe so much in what she writes about that I have given her blog topics a board on my Pinterest page and regularly remind people on social media of her articles. She writes to bring hope, healing, and joy to those with child loss of any kind, sharing her particular journey of loss (to suicide), but what she writes is for all of us—because there is always someone out there hurting who needs us, and because we all know pain, sorrow, and despair from time to time. Tammie is an incredible encourager who wants to honor the life of her son Joshua by ministering to and loving on hurting hearts out there. She is an amazing vessel used by God to reach some of the most painful places a parent could ever go.

If this touches you, please leave a comment for Tammie. She genuinely wants to connect with you. And feel free to share, tweet, and pin her encouragement so others can read about finding joy again too.

Here’s Tammie…
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Why Accepting Help Builds Community

Oh my goodness! Did I just type the words “accepting help”? Did that make some of you cringe? I’m unfurrowing my brow right now as I read over it. It makes me want to scurry like a scared mouse into the nearest hole in my relationship wall and hide in the sideboards.

Why Accepting Help Builds Community

But what are the sideboards, really?

I would like to suggest they are pride!

A few weeks ago, I posted this little goody on social media:

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What I Learned at the IEP Roundtable

IEPRoundtableI’ll admit it. Part of me was terrified.

Sitting around the table with everyone who had assessed my child over the past few months, or in some cases—years—was intimidating.

What were they going to say? Were they going to kick him off the boat—not because they don’t want to help him—but because he ranked in need behind other kids when it came time to dividing up the special education pieces of the School Budget Pie?

I had come to find each of these specialists and staff members endearing in different ways. For better or worse, we had been contractually married for several years in the common cause of my son. We were linked, convenanted by legal documents and a mutual desire to help him.

But what if, once we got around that table, the budget dropped between the two sides of the table, dividing us abruptly in half like Moses parting the waters of the Red Sea? What if a former Ally in the Care of My Son now became a Defender of Policy, Keeper of the Budget?

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What Are You Being Prepared For?

EstablishedFootsteps-2If you’re anything like me, you may start thinking about a grocery list for Easter dinner on Maundy Thursday, get in your car to brave the shopping crowds Friday, and possibly finish putting your menu together, setting out the ham Saturday night. (Since I think about coffee almost every waking minute, it completely amazes me that I often have to run out to buy something coffee-related the night before a holiday.)

Suffice it to say: I’m not always prepared. For a Sunday School lesson? Yes. The black suit and shirt that needs laundering for a high school band concert in three hours? No.

But, what if, just what if, I’m the one being prepared for something? Am I always aware of a loving God setting my footsteps? 

Proverbs 16:9, ESV, King Solomon speaking

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. 

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