Hoping against hope, [Abraham] believed that he would become "the father of many nations," according to what was said, "So numerous shall your descendants be." He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
My oldest daughter took her first college tour while she was home for Spring Break. She is a junior in high school, so things are starting to feel awfully real when it comes to college, and I try to follow her lead on the frequency and intensity with which we discuss her various options. My tendency toward optimism stresses her out for some reason, so I back off whenever possible. For instance, I agreed to forfeit my place on the tour and let her go solo. I did, however, insist on walking with her to the admissions office.
The receptionist checked her in for the tour and then nodded politely as I introduced myself and explained our change of plans. She looked at her screen (ostensibly at the reservation that included my information) and then back up at me, over at my daughter, back to me, and blinked. I knew what was coming before it left her mouth.
"I'm sorry, I was confused. You don't look old enough to be her mother!"
My daughter and I laughed it off, and I said, "We get that all the time. I assure you I am plenty old enough to be her mother, but thank you for making me feel younger than I am!"
I looked adoringly at my girl, and she fake-smiled back with the slightly widened eyes that mean, "Get lost, lady!" I told her to call me when she was done, and I walked out into a beautiful spring afternoon, thinking about my little girl who is not little at all anymore.
I was young when I had her, though I bristle when people tell me I don't look old enough to be her mother. I got married at 21, and she was born nine months after our first anniversary. Lest you think some fumble with birth control contributed to her existence, I swear by the informative articles on conception featured on Babycenter.com that she absolutely was not a surprise.
Well . . . she might not have been a surprise to us, but when her father and I made our phone calls after the plus sign showed up on each of the five pregnancy tests I took, let's just say we got a lot of "WHAT?! YOU ARE?!? THAT'S . . . GREAT!" Nothing could have dampened my enthusiasm, but in hindsight I do have more understanding for the people who expressed some reservations. (Which, as an aside, if anyone ever tells you they're pregnant, just say you're happy for them; the horse is already out of the barn, asking them if they're really ready for parenthood comes across as a little tone deaf at that point.) We drove hand-me-down cars and lived in a one-bedroom apartment. Less than six months before we decided to have a baby, I worked two jobs so my ex-husband could take the summer classes he needed to finish his finance degree. We earned enough to pay our bills, but we definitely lived month-to-month. People also had their doubts about the lasting power of the marriage, and as it turned out, they were right to be worried. In that moment, though, we were crazy kids in love with each other and hopeful enough about our future to want a child to share it with us.
After she was born, I remember cradling my daughter in my arms and walking up the sidewalk to the apartment one afternoon when a thought struck me with such force it literally knocked me backwards: being a mother is the reason I was born. I knew she had changed every single thing about the life I thought I would lead--and I also knew that the new path was far better for us than anything I could ever dream up on my own. I realized then how I had floundered my way through the stages leading up to that moment, always trying to please and/or impress people with a list of accomplishments and ambitions, and it finally registered that not one bit of it mattered to me in the same way as that chubby hand curled around my little finger while she nursed; or the grin that released streams of drool down her chin when she learned to stand by pulling up on the back of our sleeping basset hound; the blue eyes so different from my brown; the bedtime stories and homemade baby food and hours in the Baby Bjorn because I couldn't bear to put her down. As she grew, I grew with her. Not through her, mind you, but with her. Every step of the way.
Since they were too old to have children, Abraham and Sarah faced the opposite common sense challenge to their conviction that they would bring forth innumerable descendants, but I think we could have commiserated about people's reactions to us having babies. Can you even have a baby? Is it really a good idea? Are you sure you can handle this? It's such a huge responsibility when you're so young/old. Do you really need to have a baby now? And the unspoken question underlying all the others: ARE YOU NUTS?!
But faith is funny like that. If I had listened to those voices, I would have a much different life right now. I'm sure it would be a good one, too, with other joys. But it wouldn't be this one, with these three faces that delight and amaze and frustrate the hell out of me every day. At age 40, I have almost two decades of experience in knowing exactly what it means to put someone else's needs before my own. I have almost two decades of working to know and love another human being for who they are at this moment as well as holding space for who they might become. I have almost two decades of experience with fevers that won't break and homework that brings everyone to tears and forgotten snacks and field trip forms and all the minutiae that comes with raising children. I am so glad we took the risk of having children when we did. It might seem crazy to onlookers, but it made (and still makes) complete sense to me.
Having children isn't the bold step of faith everyone is called to take, but the same analysis applies to other convictions which seem to fly in the face of reasonable expectations. Holding yourself back from taking a risk on something you feel called to do is a mistake, even if other people pat you on the back and say, "I'm glad you came to your senses." Other people might (and probably will) dismiss certain things as crazy, but sometimes that's your best clue that it's exactly what you need to be doing. Be honest and diligent in doing the work of discernment, and then be bold. Even if other people think you're nuts.
(I'm not the first person to think of this, either.)
After the tour, we stopped at the bookstore, and I waited as my daughter debated the respective merits of the sweatshirt, the long-sleeved t-shirt, or the running shorts. We walked to the parking lot past a building where I took her for music class the summer before she turned two (which was where I learned the chirpy "Good Morning!" song I use to annoy my son into motion most days). I see how far she has come--how far we've both come--and I look forward to seeing where she goes next. God's promises are there for her just like they are there for me, just like they were there for Abraham and Sarah, just like they are there for you. May we all have faith to claim them, even when it seems nuts to do so.
For I call God as my witness--whom I worship in my spirit and serve in making known the gospel--he alone knows how often I mention you in my prayers. I find myself constantly praying for you and hoping it's in God's will for me to be with you soon. I desperately want to see you so that I can share some gift of the Spirit to strengthen you. Plus I know when we come together something beautiful will happen as we are encouraged by each other's faith.
If, my brothers and sisters, you did not already know, my plans were set to meet you in Rome, but time and circumstances have forced every trip to be canceled . . . (Romans 1:9-13a).
I read these verses this morning sitting in my usual spot in the living room, feet up on the ottoman in front of me and a cup of coffee perched precariously on the arm of my chair. If my children put their drinks in the exact same spot, I would scold them and point out the coasters and table within comfortable reach just a little bit farther to their right, but I am a grown up, damn it, and I can put my coffee wherever I please. (I'm sure I will end up spilling it eventually, but that small rebellion satisfies some deep need to be willful and defiant--I'm not giving it up.) The dog curled up in his spot in the other chair, as he does every morning, and the two of us enjoyed the quiet companionship of being awake together when everyone else is still sleeping. I love that dog for his throaty growls and menacing barks; I love that instead of running away, he stood guard in the doorway when some accident of wind or inattention left the front door wide open for hours while I was at work one afternoon; and I love that no matter how mean or intimidating he sounds or looks, I can still trust him with my children and their friends. But mostly I love that no matter how sound asleep he is when my alarm goes off (as indicated by his snoring), he drags himself out of bed every morning to sit in his chair in the living room while I read and drink my coffee.
When I came to this particular passage today, I started laughing. Slowly, ruefully at first, then with a more hysterical edge. The dog picked up his head and looked at me, and when I didn't stop, he jumped down and came over to my chair, bumping his nose up under my elbow so that I would put my arm around him. I pulled him close and buried my face in the soft fur on his neck, and we sat like that while my laughter faded to deep sighs and then eventually my breathing returned to normal. He licked my forehead, broke free from my embrace, went back to his chair and curled up again, satisfied things were back to normal once I regained my composure.
I laughed when I read those verses because God's timing and sense of humor converged with the events of my life in a way that allowed one of two responses: laughter or tears. The tears will come as surely as I will spill the cup of coffee sitting on the arm of my chair one morning, but for today, I laughed.
Tomorrow morning, I was supposed to board a plane to meet some of my dearest friends in Las Vegas. A couple of us celebrate big birthdays this year, but more than anything it was a chance to be together, away from the demands of families and work, a time to rest, play, and catch up on each other's lives. We planned for months to carve out a few days together and find ways to fill them with shared experiences, only to watch it all fall victim to a blizzard in the Northeast and the travel disruptions attendant upon such a storm. We scrambled to find alternatives and thought through different scenarios, but in the end, no immediate solution could stitch together the crazy patchwork quilt of childcare, travel logistics, time off work, and expense involved when working mothers travel. I got up from my reading this morning and called to cancel my flight, cursing defeat the entire time.
My friendships mean the world to me. Time together with my closest friends--in any setting--breathes fresh air into the best parts of ourselves, parts we can then turn around and offer anew to spouses, children, our jobs, our communities. When we are together, we seek to learn things we didn't know before, to understand more, to listen and hear and speak true things that will bear fruit in our lives and the lives of those we love. We can do that at a certain level over a few hours at a coffee shop, restaurant, or in each other's homes, and I am grateful that a meaningful exchange can happen practically on the fly. But there's no doubt we get into the deeper substance of things when we take time to be together in a separate place away from our normal lives. When you live more than a thousand miles apart, that time becomes even more precious. Having our plans huffed and puffed into the waste bin by a Nor'easter absolutely sucks.
As Forrest Gump puts it so eloquently, "That's all I have to say about that."
At this point in Lent, I have listened to several sermons and read a lot of different things that all boil down to this: separation is the ultimate sin that came into the world through the Fall in the Garden of Eden. Death is the fullest expression of that separation, so we hear and think about it the most. But every separation is a death in itself--a death of understanding and relationship--and those occasions when we can overcome any separation at all are triumphs of grace. Every time two people can work through even one difference that once alienated them from each other, every time we can chip away at one stone in the wall between ourselves and someone else, we reclaim another piece of the paradise of union and community God designed for His children. He does not want us staking claims, defending territory, putting up fences; He wants us inviting and open, actively seeking common ground, curious about what we can learn and teach one another. And there is no better way to move past separation than spending time together, sharing meals, talking and laughing and encouraging each other in the things that matter most to our hearts.
Paul knew that. It's why he traveled so much to spread the life-changing news of Jesus, and it's why he got frustrated when circumstances interrupted his plans. He wanted people to see the transformation in him so that he could fan the flames of transformation in them, too, and that's accomplished so much easier in person--with hands and feet and eye contact across tables. He had to content himself with sending a letter instead, his heart poured out on paper for friends he longed to see in the flesh.
So today I'm sending this post, my heart poured out on a kind of paper for friends I long to see in the flesh, both the few I was supposed to meet in Vegas and the rest who are as deeply loved as they are scattered across the country (or in some cases, the city we all live in). I long to see you and spend time with you; to hug your necks and walk into your rooms; to lift coffee cups and wine glasses and watch your beautiful faces light up when you tell me your stories across tables spread with good things. I pray for you constantly, and I hope it's God's will for us to be together again soon. Storms--literal and figurative--might separate us for now, but they won't last forever. Miss you, love you, every single day.
Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink; they are to teach what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, chaste, good managers of the household, kind, being submissive to their husbands, so that the word of God may not be discredited. Titus 2:3-5
I didn't even make it to the front door at the first formal I chaperoned as a sorority advisor before the texts started coming in about a girl who threw up and needed to leave the party. I racked my brain to remember the protocol for such situations and grabbed a member of the executive board and another advisor to ride with me while I took the girl and her date home. If you've ever seen the scene in Say Anything where John Cusack and Ione Skye drive around for hours while a really drunk guy tries to remember where he lives, this was a lot like that. Like, almost exactly like that. She rambled on and on about all kinds of stuff but couldn't remember her address; her date was a friend of a friend, so he had no idea. We drove up and down streets of the neighborhood everyone agreed was most likely where she lived until finally someone tracked down one of her roommates. The roommate texted the address and agreed to put her to bed and stay with her until morning. Once we got her date home safely (and thus completed our risk management protocol), the rest of us went back to the party to fulfill the remainder of our obligation for the evening.
I loved being a sorority advisor because it gave me an opportunity to work with young women at a pivotal moment in their lives. Holding them accountable for their choices seemed so unpleasant early on, but after awhile, I saw how one person's bad attitude or behavior infected a larger group of members and caused friction that undermined morale. I recognized how important it was to address those issues before they mushroomed, and I stopped shrinking from those conversations. In most cases, it turned out to be an opportunity for growth on both sides.
I saw true friendship in action, like the girls who came to us with their suspicions that one of their friends had an eating disorder. I saw courage from a girl who took responsibility for making some bad choices and allowed open discussion of the consequences to be a learning moment for everyone in the chapter. I feel certain my fellow advisors and I prevented at least one sexual assault by applying the safeguards our national organization taught us, and I know some of the relationships I built with those young women will last for the rest of my life. Walking with someone through a challenging situation--without judgment on their value as a person, only the behavior causing the problem--can create powerful bonds, especially when you're able to convince them you have their best interests at heart. Prodigal daughters can become amazing people.
When I read this verse from Titus, I had to laugh a little bit thinking of all those parties I spent sitting at a table in the back corner, nursing a Coke because I might have to drive someone home--I definitely did my best to model respectful behavior and not be a "slave to drink." That vantage point gave me a good view of the girls' love lives, especially since I chaperoned almost all of the events. I noticed the boys who dutifully dressed to the theme of the party, followed their girlfriends to the dance floor even if their signature dance moves looked like something from a Seinfeld episode, and genuinely seemed to be having a good time from one event to the next. I also noticed the boys who went to another room to drink with their buddies instead of paying attention to their dates; who said or did things that sent their girlfriends to dark corners to sob in the arms of their friends; who behaved aggressively with me and any other person who tried to check them; and who, in the most egregious examples of disrespect, called friends to come pick them up before the event was over rather than wait to board the bus back to campus.
I don't know how many times I sat with girls in wellness meetings following one of those fiascos and encouraged them to demand better treatment from their dates. If a friend set them up with boys who ended up embarrassing them, we called in the friend to ask her why she would choose someone like that for her sorority sister. Sometimes the answer was just a mismatch ("I thought she would think he was cute, I had no clue he would do something like that") while other times it had more selfish origins ("The guy I really like wanted someone he knew to be at the party, so I asked around until I found someone who didn't have a date"). We are all human and anyone can have a bad night--Lord knows I've had a few of my own--but in a troubling number of cases, the behavior stemmed from an indifference and contempt that made it much more insidious than just a bad mood or being overwhelmed in a situation. One question I used to ask the girls who found themselves crying in corners or in uncomfortable situations with a date behaving badly was, "Why didn't you ask for help? You were in a room surrounded by women who have a vested interest in your wellbeing. Any of us would step in and help in a heartbeat if you asked. I hope there isn't a next time, but if there is, let us help you. That's why we're here."
Women and women's issues have been in the headlines a lot this week, and that's great. God made us all sisters, and we all have a vested interest in each other. We have a responsibility to encourage and support one another in our educations and careers; our parenting; our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. I do my best to live that out in my relationships with other women, and I try to set a good example in my own choices and behavior. That's one of the reasons I'm candid about messy, broken stuff: if my experience can help someone else avoid the same mistake, we both get a little extra grace. Teaching what is good--even if I had to earn my teaching credentials the hard way--is a blessing in both directions.
As for our romantic relationships? We have an important role to play for each other there, too, but I'll be the first one to admit I don't have much to offer beyond a cautionary tale. The phrase "being submissive to their husbands" from the verse in Titus up there has been taunting me for the past week. The temptation to edit that sucker out with a convenient little ellipsis gnawed at me every time I opened this draft, which was no less than fifteen times since my last post. Sometimes it can be hard to tell the truth.
But the truth of submitting to my ex-husband is that it turned out to be a spectacularly bad idea that almost broke me. It was a mistake to give power over my life to a man who left me crying in dark corners at parties and chose his buddies over me way too many times to count. I recognized myself when I watched those sorority girls struggle to demand the respect they deserved; I wanted to pull back the veil from my life and show them how that dynamic plays out over 20 years and three children. While they still had the chance to choose their partners, I tried to point them towards the boys who dressed to the theme and danced like happy goofballs. Some of the girls corrected course and found good dates in the future; others ended up in the same scenario over and over again.
Now that I have a second chance to choose, you can bet I'm not going to be spending time with anyone who treats me with anything other than respect and kindness. And quite honestly, that starts with me. If I can't show myself respect and kindness, how can I expect anyone else to know how to treat me?
I think Lauryn Hill is right: respect is just a minimum. Remember that, girls. Love and respect yourselves and each other, and be kind. The rest falls into place from there.
Our steps are directed by the Lord;
He strengthens those in whose way he delights.
If they stumble, they shall not fall headlong,
For the Lord holds them by the hand.--Psalm 37:24-25
If I took the time to list our morning schedule line by line, it would resemble a German train table. Each step and transition is precision-timed with very little (i.e. zero) margin for error. If we leave a water bottle on the kitchen counter, by the time we realize it at the front door, it's too late to turn around and go back for it. If someone has something in their shoe, they have to wait until they get to their classroom to remove it. If shoelaces come undone, stopping to tie them is a luxury we can't afford. My daughter and I scouted out the "Super Top Secret Back Way" across the campus of her elementary school; negotiating the crowds on the sidewalks and main thoroughfares costs too many precious seconds in the race to get her to the classroom before the second bell.
My pick-your-battles mindset tells me that all of this is okay as long as both kids do make it in before the bell. When I get report cards and there are only one or two tardies for the term, I want to do a little victory dance. The objective measure of our time management skills--the lack of tardies on report cards--can never accurately capture the pressure of "We're late! Hurry up!" that dogs our mornings, but at least at this point in our lives, it's the objective measure that matters to me.
Don't get me wrong, I want the subjective measure of good time management, too. I've written elsewhere about how it makes me feel to be running late; I hate starting the day in chaos. I've tried waking everyone up ten, twenty, thirty minutes earlier, but those extra minutes evaporate somewhere along the way, and we still end up racing the clock. I've tried streamlining routines, setting out clothes the night before, planning grab-and-go breakfasts, signing folders and putting away homework and leaving backpacks ready by the front door before bed. We still go flying to the car with our hair on fire at the precise moment the first bell is ringing ten blocks away.
This morning we approached the crosswalk by the elementary school in our usual frenzied state, and as often happens, the crossing guard held traffic for us even though we were way back on the sidewalk when the people in front of us cleared the intersection. "Run!" I said to my daughter and picked up the pace, pulling her along behind me until we both stepped onto the curb on the other side. From over my shoulder I could hear her protesting, and I glanced back to see her scowling.
"Why did you start running like that?" she said. "I almost tripped!"
"I had you! I wasn't going to let you fall. That's why I hold your hand, sweet girl."
She shook her head and kept walking, clearly unconvinced. By the time we did our Sign-Kiss-Go routine (we walk together to the stop sign near the entrance closest to her classroom, stop for a kiss goodbye, then she walks the rest of the way into school by herself), she was back in good spirits, and I watched her ponytail swing back and forth as she bounced up the sidewalk and out of sight. Then I turned around and ran back to the car to start the race to get her brother to his school on time.
My children are not trusting creatures by nature. That's not new since the divorce; it's part of their personalities. For a long time it offended me, and even though I know better than to take it personally, I still find it so frustrating. I have asked each of them on more than one occasion to name a time when they truly didn't have what they needed. Yes, they might have to wait for some things, make compromises where needs conflict, or contend with my procrastination, but when push came to shove, have they EVER known me to not come through for them? They usually look at the ground and shuffle their feet while they mumble, "No," because of course I have never violated their trust in any major way (other than divorcing their father, which...let's just leave that alone for now). I stand still looking at them for a moment, dismayed at the distance between us and torn between wanting them to apologize for doubting me and wishing more than anything I could fix the places in their hearts and minds that create such doubt in the first place. Those standoffs almost always end with me pulling them into a hug and holding them close for as long as they can stand it.
In many ways, I am too trusting. I trust people to be honest, like the mechanic who told me I needed a $450 repair for my car. A new coworker overheard me talking about the problem and how much the guy quoted to fix it and said, "No, no, no way. That's not right. That's a $25 part, and I know someone who will install it for you for free. Call that guy back and tell him to stop the repair, and I'll get you a ride over to pick up your car. Don't let him do you like that." I went and picked up my car and had one of the most awkward exchanges ever with the mechanic. I didn't want to believe he would try to screw me over, except I could tell from the look on his face he knew he'd been caught.
My father and other friends tease me for being gullible, and I admit I give them plenty of material. I am impossibly earnest and wide open about most things. I recognize now how many times that led to trouble in the past, and I'm learning to be more cautious. I'm figuring out that safe people will respect whatever boundaries I feel like I need in any given situation. If someone doesn't understand why I need to maintain a certain distance, that's usually proof of why it needs to be there.
But when it comes to the deepest places in my heart and mind, I'm not so different from my children. Cheryl Strayed, writing as Dear Sugar, pointed out to a woman grieving the loss of her baby that everyone around her whose lives were going on as normal lived on Planet Earth, while she was stuck on Planet My Baby Died (language NSFW). Something clicked when I read that piece, and I started a mental list of the various planets I've been stuck on in my life. Most recently there's Planet My Marriage Ended, Planet I Had to Move, and Planet What the Hell is Happening to My Career. Like the woman from the Dear Sugar letter, I have also been a resident of Planet My Baby Died as well as Planet I Can't Have Another Baby. Stretching further back, I've inhabited Planet My Brother Died and Planet My Stepfather Sucks and Planet My Parents Divorced (which is one reason I feel such tenderness for my children right now) and Planet People I Loved Died Way Too Soon. That's a lot of places to get stuck; a lot of reasons to look up at my Creator with a scowl, demanding "Why did you do that? I could have tripped!"
Instead, like Cheryl Strayed urges in response to the woman on Planet My Baby Died, I have to reach. Reach for the Lord's hands even when it feels like I'm being dragged along in spite of my protests. Reach for those hands even when they hold me in place while things clear up ahead instead of letting me barge forward into the fray. Reach for the hands that hold me, that guide and protect me, that get me where I need to be, even in the midst of chaos and disruption.
His hands are always there: experienced, prepared, and capable enough to keep me from falling headlong. There's no Planet Anything that can take me beyond their grasp, no distance so far they can't pull me back to Planet Earth and all the love that waits for me here. I just have to reach and hold on for dear life. He's got me. He won't let me fall. That's why He holds my hands.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in. --Isaiah 58:1
The first time I visited the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, I rode shotgun in a 15-passenger van full of teenage girls. I taught social justice that year and had the opportunity to help one of my colleagues lead a service trip to NOLA during Spring Break. I taught or would eventually teach all of the girls on the trip, and here we were, about to walk through streets where the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina brought some of the United States' most pernicious social injustices into sharp focus. Experiential learning at its finest.
One thing that stood out in the devastated neighborhood were sets of concrete steps dotted across the landscape at regular intervals. I knew they used to lead to front porches where families and friends would congregate; the front porch culture of New Orleans is one of the things I love most about the Crescent City. But on that night, with the houses behind them gone, they stood as forlorn thresholds, the kind that make most people shudder--the kind leading nowhere.
For a long time, post-divorce life felt like those abandoned porch steps. Remnants of my former life still dot the current landscape at regular intervals, reminders of things that once were but never will be again. A wedding ring I used to twist around my finger when I felt anxious, that used to spray dots of light like a kaleidoscope across the interior of the car when sunlight caught it the right way. Furniture we bought when we remodeled the kitchen: a pie safe where we stored china, a plant rack used to hold pots and pans, counter stools that fit perfectly under the island I loved so much. Material things which used to occupy a prominent place now tucked away in drawers or pushed into corners. They don't carry the weight they used to.
But then there are the kids. Three lives that started out in one direction and abruptly had to change course. Three sets of grief and loss as well as hopes and dreams. Three sets of growth in big spurts and small daily shifts. Three sets of needs and wants and priorities. Three sets of milestones, three sets of "firsts" and "lasts." Three human beings who will never be anything other than front and center in my life, who rightfully take up the lion's share of my time and energy and focus.
I will probably end up selling the wedding ring; eventually I will give away the stools and the other furniture. Stuff gets old and wears out or needs to be converted to cash to fund something more valuable. Those things will fade out of my life because they lead nowhere for me. Maybe they will lead somewhere for someone else; for me, they are something to climb and then jump to the ground on the other side.
But my children--the relationships I have with each of them individually, the ties that bind us together as a family--those have to be rebuilt, repaired, restored. Our threshold needs to open into rest and understanding and our own little community. We need a solid foundation for our lives, a foundation strong enough to sustain us as well as the lives that become intertwined with ours and the lives flowing from my children into a new generation someday.
I appreciate the reassurance from Isaiah that such restoration is possible. I feel a kinship with generations of people stretching back thousands and thousands of years who had their own ruins to rebuild. To be human is to blow things up and then try to put them back together again, one piece at a time. Sometimes that looks like kindness and mercy and a healing touch in the bruised and broken places; sometimes it looks like a wooden frame and some nails.
Sometimes it looks like both.
Mother, photographer, writer. Expert in making things up as she goes and figuring things out along the way.