We’ve been friends for over twenty years, so the conversation is easy. Whether it’s been a few hours or a few days or even weeks, we just pick up where we left off. You know what I mean.
She was telling me about the pressure she’s under at work, all the complications caused by endless new (and constantly changing) regulations that make it almost impossible for her to do what she was hired to do — what she’s gifted at and passionate about. Instead she’s working long hours filling out paperwork about paperwork about paperwork! And then there are her boys — Lord, have mercy! Parenting teens isn’t for wimps. How desperately she needs wisdom and patience and perseverance…
I told her about my latest MRI and the diagnosis I’m impatiently waiting for… what it could be, what it’s likely to be, and what that means for me. Then I told her about my to do list — all the things I’m supposed to be accomplishing in my career and ministry. I shared how frustrating it’s been that every time I cross two things off the list, I swear five more get added to it. (Hard to believe we used to get excited to hear the words “You’ve got mail!”) It all just seems so impossible and overwhelming to me.
We didn’t have time to get into anything major, anything deep. Just the ordinary stuff — the life stresses, the challenges, the to-dos looming large for both of us. I couldn’t fix her problems and she couldn’t fix mine, so we just took turns listening. And then at the end, we added — a little helplessly — that we’d be praying.
Sometimes it’s cathartic to talk things over… there’s definitely a time and place for venting. Even commiserating. But I can’t honestly say this particular conversation did anything for either of us. We were just tiredly touching base.
Fifteen minutes later, she called back. “I think we should do something,” she said, without any preamble. “I think we
How do you respond when someone sins against you? On an emotional level, I mean. How do you handle the anger, the hurt, the heartache? My friends Larry and Kathy Miller are the authors of Never Ever Be the Same (Leafwood Publishers) a book that examines the ways we react to our hurts and heartaches, often […]
So I’ve been thinking about this past year and asking myself: What did I really accomplish? What did I learn that I’ll take with me into 2015? And it’s not what I thought at all. I’ve discovered it’s not in the stuff I crossed off my neverending to-do list, or the lofty goals and cherished […]
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” ~ Charles Dickens Every year for as long as I can remember, my family has had this Christmas tradition: Early in the morning, after an even earlier big breakfast that includes everybody’s favorite foods, we gather around the tree to read the Christmas story and distribute […]
Today in our December to Remember series, my new friend Emily Wierenga shares a beautiful, bittersweet story that so many of us can relate to. How many of us have hoped — or are hoping this year — for our own Christmas miracle? It’s Christmas and we’re shopping, piling rolls of paper and tootsies and […]
This year I’ve made a new friend, Shelly Miller. I’ve been blessed by her writing — her warmth, her depth, her transparency. Shelly and her husband are waiting to be released to accept a ministry assignment in England. It’s been a long, hard wait, with all kinds of unexpected complications and delays. Yet in the […]
So far this December my to-do list has been overwhelming, keeping me a “human doing” rather than a “human being.” I haven’t felt a whole lot of the peace this season is supposed to bring — or joy, for that matter. So this morning I’m taking some time to quiet my heart and “choose what is […]
All this month, I’ve been inviting some special friends to share their favorite Christmas memories, traditions, or reflections to help us make this a December to Remember. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending The High Calling retreat at Laity Lodge in Texas. My roomie and dear friend Jennifer Dukes Lee and I […]
Do you have a special Christmas tradition that you share with your children or grandchildren? Are you looking to start a new one? Today in our December to Remember series, award-winning novelist and dear friend Gayle Roper shares how one of her favorite family traditions began… “I’m the smallest kid in my class,” ten-year-old Ashley wailed. “I’m […]
In our family, we often talk about how people’s hearts seem more open to the gospel at Christmas than at any other time of year. It’s such a great opportunity to share with them the reason for the hope we have… Today’s guest in our “December to Remember” series, my sweet friend Virelle Kidder, shares […]
Today in our “December to Remember” series, one of my new friends, Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith shares a fabulous Christmas tradition her family has started — a tradition of giving. It began when Saundra found herself deeply moved by the request of one of her hospital patients… One morning as I left the house to go see patients […]
Continuing today with our “December to Remember” series, my special guest is dear friend Lynn D. Morrissey, who shares with such honesty and transparency about a holiday season that was not turning out the way she wanted it to. She found herself really wrestling with her attitude… It was Christmastime. We had just moved into a sprawling ranch house […]
This month I’ve invited some of my favorite friends to help me make this a December to Remember! I’ve asked them to share some of their favorite Christmas stories, memories, reflections, even tips and suggestions for making this season — when we celebrate the birth of Jesus — truly the most wonderful time of the […]