Spring Madness

When the deadness of bitter cold winters awakens to the warmth and renewal of spring, I always feel a stirring in my heart. I feel as if my heart comes to life with each new budding tree and blooming flower.

For me, the changing seasons represents seasons in my life. Winter seems to be a time of pruning. A time of self-reflection, of examining the things that are working or not working in my life. To look back on the year’s events and see where I’ve grown or became stagnant. It’s also a time for me to look at my goals: Am I on target or behind? What do I need to change? Where do I keep on persevering and what do I let go? Winter speaks to me about my spiritual life as well. Where am I growing in my relationship with Christ? Or did I let the things of the world consume me? Did we become closer or further apart? Or am I stuck in a place that I have not allowed Him in? Winter provides the perfect solitude to explore my inner-self and to think about changes, especially the constant need to find balance in my life.

Finding Normal

Dear reader, can I be honest with you? Life is cruel. I am not saying others haven’t had their fair share of hardship. In fact, I know quite a few people who are struggling right now. People,
like me, who wonder if there really is a calm—a long one—after the storm. Truth is, suffering is a part of life. Part of my story involves a lifetime of sorrow, even as a Christian.

In fact, when I became a Christian the sadness that plagued my life did not go away nor did my chaotic life. The reality? Nothing changed—I mean really changed— for a long time. Oh sure, I
stopped doing those wretched secular things. You know, the obvious sin’s that set apart Christians and non-Christians.  I exchanged all my secular activities for church activities. I read and prayed daily. I was zealous for change. I knew I was a hot mess. I am just not sure God knew.

Yet, no matter what I did, something was missing. Instead, my life experience’s contradicted the ‘promised’ life I heard preached. Ted Dekker calls it a “crisis of experience.”[1] I agree. In fact, a series
of tragedies in my life brought me to my AHA-moment. You know, that moment when everything finally makes sense. Honestly, I find it a bit peculiar that a moment of incredible hurt opened my eyes and not some awesome magical moment, like we see in the movies. Nonetheless, it was the necessary twist needed in the plotline of my story.
“I’m tired of the chaos,” she said.
“Me too,” I mumbled.
“I guess God is taking us different directions,” she said.

The Child Within

Losing someone you love is devastating. No one can escape death. However, watching someone die adds another dimension to grief. More so, when the relationship you shared is filled with regret.

I did not watch my mother die, like her husband, Bill, my two siblings, and aunt. I lived three-thousand miles away, but I felt her leave for the second time in my life, and that pain was almost unbearable.

Breaking the Silence

October 12, 2014 started out like a typical Sunday for my family, church and an afternoon drive to Cary for my son’s basketball
training. I decided to take my daughter along for the ride to spend a little girl time while we waited.

The drive was peaceful, quiet, maybe a little too quiet with two teenagers in the car. I guess some days are like that, each of us
lost in our own thoughts. Despite the serenity surrounding me, inside I was anxious. I was waiting, waiting to face what I feared most in my life.
We dropped Charlie off. Then toured the local shops. Over subs, we chit-chatted about college, her boyfriend, and life. Basically, your
typical teenage girl stuff. When we finished, we headed out to the car to pick up my son. Then it happened.
My hands involuntarily reached for my phone as the blood rushed to my cheeks. Every sound muffled by the sound of my pounding
heart. Slowly and somewhat forcibly I read the text from my Aunt. I scrolled through the message, “It’s time. You need to call now!”

Stay In the Moment

As a writer, I am constantly looking for story ideas. Not the next big story, but the story behind the story. My mind is always on. I am also a mother and a wife with a thousand things to do every day—all day. Sometimes I find that I am physically present, but not mentally. The recent death of my mother had a profound effect on me. Losing her—again— changed my perspective.

Life allowed our relationship to be reconciled, but it did not afford us time. Instead, what we had were a few precious moments. Moments etched in my memory and heart for eternity. Moments that will find its way upon a page…someday.