When Facts Fail Us

We recited the numbers every day in 5th grade science class as soon as we entered Mr. Vickers’ classroom.  He would ask, “How far away is the sun?”  We would respond in singsong unison, “93 million miles.”  Then, “How fast does light travel?”  Followed by, “186,000 miles per second.”   I had no idea what those ...

A Surprise Party

I don’t like surprises.  I like to pick out my own gifts, plan my pregnancies, and I despise surprise parties if they’re for me.  I am a control freak at heart, and I am in recovery from that more than any health issue I have.  Somehow that tendency lends itself to doubting the God who ...

Widening the Margin

It is critical in life to maintain margin.  I have been a poor ambassador for this concept most of my life.  I have filled every page to the maximum space and word count. I have loaded every minute and every day with whatever I personally deemed most worthy.  And in the process I have lost focus, ...

The Investigator

I’ve always known myself to be a visual learner.  I recently learned my Enneagram and if you’ve been reading along for awhile, you’ll shake your head knowingly:  I am a “Five with a Four Wing.”  The recent Enneagram trend identifies this as the Investigator. I am cerebral and intense, easily fixated on mastering something, an information ...

Tenacious Hope, Part 2

Yes, 10-year-old Mary placed her order for that much-desired Sears coat, but there was still some perseverance that had to kick in.  She had found her new plan, but as all new plans go, it was not easy or seamless, and she had to dig deep and refuse to give up when that plan disappointed ...

A Coat Fetish

I come from a long line of coat lovers.  My mother and I both love to shop for coats.  We cannot resist a good sale on a nice coat.  I buy coats that no one needs, and my husband has come to accept it.  But a story I heard from my grandma helped me to ...

The End of Me

My parents used some interesting phrases in the 70s and 80s.  They had to.  Mom and Dad were outnumbered two to one, and sometimes those phrases were the only thing that could slow play down.  When things “went to bad,” they threatened to “jerk a knot in our tails,” or “slap us into the middle ...

Tonight, We Wrestle

My husband has had a tradition of “wrestling” with our kids since they were little.  He was a wrestler in high school (still owns those pants), and he taught them the holds and rules.  So ever since they were four or five, our kids would wrestle with my husband before bedtime (sort of counter-acted the ...

The Safe Center

About a year and a half ago, a month after my pacemaker/internal defibrillator was installed, my husband was doing some yard work.  Knowing I couldn’t do much actual work, I instead assumed the role of boss.  When he got ready to plant a couple of trees we had purchased, I asked him to plant them ...

The Prints We Leave Behind

In fourth grade my back-to-school shoes were a hurried decision.  With four of us to outfit on a single shopping trip to Wichita, my mom had her hands full.  Toward the end of the day, at one of our last stops in the mall, I settled on a pair of tan suede oxfords with thick ...