Friday, January 23, 2015

Screwdrivers ... In My Purse

There are days when I realize that "normal" really isn't normal.  That happens both in good and bad ways.  Today was one of those days to an extreme.

As I sit here typing, I just finished up some work that I planned to do as soon as I returned from a day of meetings ... and then rest. JUST REST.

My daughter was at a friend's house, I probably could have asked the friend's parent to bring her back when the evening was done. I thought it might be a wonderful opportunity for sleep.


As I got in my car, loaded down with the extra lunches that had not been claimed (YAY! Feed my family - and another family! I love to share blessings) ... a call came from the school principal. My daughter had skipped her afternoon class. :-(

Thankfully, I was already on the way to her friend's house with treats galore. But instead of only dropping off food, I had to pick up my daughter and start the process of crisis intervention.  Sadly, it started with rounds and rounds of lies (both my daughter and her friend).

It escalated.

I knew she had some form of technology. I had been secretly scouting for days but couldn't catch her with it. But today? I heard those familiar buzzing sounds and it was not from my phone!

When we arrived at home, there were several discussions that had taken place. The most notable was the window of time for her to return devices with questions unasked.  When she said she had to go to the bathroom and I told her I would hold her backpack while she did ... she balked. In fact, she almost got physical over it!  I told her to trust me, I was just holding it. That's all.  Eventually, she acquiesed.

Of course, that was a huge red flag. When she returned and tried to go to her room, I told her I needed to search her backpack. A physical wrestling match followed with her mantra of "LEAVE ME ALONE" echoing through the air.

Ryan, my practically adopted son (who makes me feel a little more whole since my own son is so far away) was there and tried to talk a little bit of sense into the situation. Then he offered to call the police.  I was glad ... gave him my phone with the non-emergency number ... and she finally let go.  Of course, there was a stolen phone in the bag.

A man assisted her truancy. I will be filling out a police report yet tonight.  But it gets even more dramatic.  The summary with my daughter is that after the initial situation diffused, she turned into a hugging, happy girl who didn't seem to connect with the former atrocities.

So after experiencing the full spectrum of my daughter ... which is VERY broad (Borderline Personality Disorder is what professionals are diagnosing lately) ... I was finally catching up on work quite late when frantic doorbell rings and knocks broke through the night.

A neighbor girl was seeking refuge. Her mother had been cheating and her father found out. The boyfriend was there with a gun. He knocked her (the girl) down and then told her to leave. She found a haven with us. Naturally, we called the police. Thankfully, I have a bit of history with crisis! It came in handy tonight.

We kept her safe. I periodically went outside to eavesdrop and "glare" at the perpetrator. I probably shouldn't have done that. But after the police arrived in many, many cars I felt even more empowered. LOL. But I just watched. And when a few of the cars left, I figured it was safe. I walked to the nearest cop car and told them that "Lilly" was safe with me. Later, her father came to get her.

And then I thought.

I have many blessings to count. I don't have boyfriend/husband concerns. I don't have anyone crazy with a gun after me (that I know of). I grew up in a home where things like this didn't happen. And I know I won't have an environment like that for my kids.

My heart breaks.

This sweet girl ... she was so scared. No one knew. And all of a sudden she is faced with her mother's "boyfriend" wielding a gun. He knocked her down and then told her to leave.  Our doorbell started ringing incessantly at that point.

I am so glad I am well-versed in crisis.

We kept her safe. We counted our blessings.  We prayed for her.

My heart is soft toward those who need healing and restoration ... my own issues are significant, but I don't know what my new friend Lilly has had to experience.  I pray for her. I hope you do, too.

WAIT A WHOLE DARN SECOND!!!! I didn't get back to my subject!!!!  Did you know that I travel with screwdrivers in my purse? They are essential.

My daughter, who has been suicidal and exhibited risky behavior, has to have pills, sharp things, technology, and even tools locked in a closet.  It has not been quite the anticipated answer for our situation as she has learned how to use a screwdriver to open the bathroom closet - locked for her own good.

So ... in a temporary effort to keep her from entering my room at all, much less my bathroom with the coveted closet, I will lock my door from the interior and carry screwdrivers to regain access to my own living space.


But it will change.  I belive that!  I NEED THAT!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

From Ingrid Williams

Hi! How are you?

I saw it on TV! CNN said it really works!

Ingrid Williams
Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


A moment in time ... elements of hope and struggle. As my daughter and I go through another "intake," I noticed the irony of what was on my wrist. A bracelet she made while in residential therapy last spring symbolizes love and dedication and hope. A set of keys to lock away pills, technology, and sharp objects speaks to the struggles we have been enduring since the spring of 2012. As I sat there with her last night, backpack full of clothes for yet another stay in a facility to stabilize her and keep her safe while we navigate the risky behavior that threatens her existence, I am holding back exhausted tears. I haven't spoken this publicly of our challenged path.  But I wonder if I should start. Certainly we are not the only ones dealing with the cascade of attacks that would suck the life out of one so young and gifted.

Monday, June 03, 2013


Color, life and light
Playing through frozen fountains
Swirling and bending
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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Love to Give

Love - it’s what she longed for.
not just to get
but to give ...

... give passion that knew
no bounds within the sphere
of her heart’s true love.

... give joy that overflowed
from the quiet places
to the open spaces.

... give peace that anchored
the souls of those she adored
deeply and securely.
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Sunday, April 14, 2013


Candles. Music that brings my heart to God. The silence in my soul was starting to feel cold and lost ... maybe my quiet moment will fill the silence with some peace that will gently soothe and prepare me for the road ahead.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Walk With Me

The words "walk with me" have started tracing a path in my heart. I looked for something in scripture to capture the moment and found Matthew 11:28-30 from The Message Bible.

Matthew 11:28-30
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

It is such a simple invitation, yet so full of wonder and hope. It's almost profound.
To where? I don't know yet. But I know I'm not walking alone.

That "unforced rhythm of grace" sounds so beautiful.
Do I trust enough to take that first step? And then another? 

I do.
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Needed That!

Thankfully, I have friends who help make these moments possible.  WOW did I ever need that little getaway!  And it was even more energizing with ALL of us carting cameras around as we explored.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Teenager!

I can hardly believe it, but it happened!  My littlest is a TEENAGER!
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Light in the Night

An amazing blue moon tonight makes me think about the power of reflection.  A moon has no light of its own, but it shines by reflecting the light of the sun and by doing so, it can reach the places that the sun can't directly touch. This could be much like being a light in a dark world, reflecting the spirituality that shines from a source far more powerful ... and in my case?  God.  :-)
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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shake It Out

So far, 2012 has been one for the books! The trials have been ones I would have rather not experienced ... EVER ... but at the same time, the triumphs are starting to build.  So much of that seemed showcased as my "little" Miss M (who is now officially a teenager) danced to "Shake It Out."

I can't watch her dance to those words without crying.  It's a pretty personal statement of her own struggle. She's had to wrestle a good bit of darkness.  And we're starting to see some real light at the end of the tunnel.  Tears come even now.

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaaah
And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh woah
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Thursday, September 27, 2012


Tonight the topic of mirrors came up in a group discussion ... as we talked about peace and what it looked like to us (the portrait, the smell, the sensory clues that communicate "peace"), we talked about those glimpses being mirrors that God gives us to help us picture His design.  We see through a glass darkly ... knowing in part.  These mirrors give us hope.

My mirror is broken ... but there is beauty in the brokenness.  There is an artful array to the tears and tragedies of life.  It's unique.  But it can still reflect the moments of peace and creativity that I crave.  And in some ways, I love knowing that it's completely mine!

I know I won't do justice to the topic that worked its way into my heart tonight until I spend some time digging into my favorite thing ... WORDS (and by that, I mean the nerdy original language stuff).  But I just noticed on Facebook that someone else already blogged and gave the definition of the word "peace" that was discussed.  But in the meantime?  Here's a Bible verse for the photo ... it's my riddle, my enigma, my beautiful puzzle!

1 Corinthians 13:12
Amplified Bible (AMP) 

For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God].

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Son and Grandsons

Seeing my son hold his son for the first time? PRICELESS!  OK, family, for the rest of the photos, you can see them on Flickr or Facebook!
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aiden and Gavin

I'm a grandmother from afar ... these moments are SO precious!
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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Black ... White ... Grey

Out of darkness, light shines.  Out of the black earth, life blooms.  It's so much more than black and white. Those grey areas that bring so many questions and make us wonder if we're going the right way or making mistakes are very present.  And in the big picture, they all play together in a wondrous image.

My challenge?  Learn to embrace it all.  Pursue the light ... but never be afraid of the black or the grey.  It's all part of our existence on this earth.  May we all find the spectrum a pleasing picture in the end of emerging into who we were meant to be - beings who are gracious, glorious, compassionate and real.

And a little nugget ... when darkness seems to overwhelm, forgiveness can bring the light where it is needed and reveal the good.  Just like exposing an image, it can bring out the detail and beauty that was hidden behind a shroud.  I love the ways that God turns even the dark days into opportunities for His light to burst through.  His healing always reveals hidden beauty, bringing strength and grace to us when we need it most.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's Gonna Be Alright

Very uncanny week ... started with "Letting Go" at the single mother's breakfast at church and a very poignant letting go at Jeff's memorial yesterday afternoon.  This afternoon, prayer came like it hadn't for years, and as much as it was for another, it made my heart break, too, because I wasn't sure I could ever get back there.  And I even feel like I heard God speak inside me ... "THIS is what you are supposed to be doing. All that other stuff can wait."

I cried at every turn, too, it seems ... Nicole's passion as she read the scripture, Jeff's life now missing in a big jubybean-shaped hole, questions about auditions that I've been too afraid to commit to, a message on the heart that hit home, suddenly praying like I used to long ago (and so humbled that God could still find enough to work with in me), reminders of past relationships, and the great awareness that if I want to move forward, I have to do some letting go.

Of course, so many little music things keep cropping up again.  And it seems to happen with the seasons, so it isn't new.  So when I heard that Dennis Jernigan was going to be at Victory tonight, I knew I wanted (maybe needed) to be there.  And I did. 

This song captured my heart tonight ...

It's gonna be alright, child
Even through the darkest night, child
I'll even use the darkness
To teach you how to hear Me
It's gonna be alright now
Even if you don't see how
I'll even use your failure
To help you to draw near Me

Hear Me, I am calling,
"Child, come falling deeper in love with Me."
Trust Me, you must let go
Or you will never know any deeper love in Me

It's gonna be alright here
If you will let Me hold your heart near
I'll even use your sorrows
To teach you how to love Me
It's gonna be alright, child
I'll hold you really close and tight, child
I'll even use your woundings
To help you know more of Me

Hear Me, I am calling,
"Child, come falling deeper in love with Me."
Trust Me, you must let go
Or you will never know any deeper love in Me

Why do you hold on to the things of your past
Let go and cling to Me and love that will last
How can you know Me if you do not trust My love
Let go! You'll find My love is more than enough.
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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Noose

(Photo from the Passion Play at Eureka Springs, Arkansas ...
a birthday gift from my parents this past weekend.
It was wonderfully enjoyed with family and new friends!)

Sometimes we run with a noose in our hands ... realizing the hazard of our own doings, bent on making ourselves pay the price.  Yet love and mercy and grace are extended always.  I am amazed anew at God's love for his children.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heal Me

"Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for you are my praise."
~ Jeremiah 17:14

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Sunday, July 08, 2012


Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
~ Proverbs 4:26
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.
~ Psalm 18:36a
~ 2 Samuel 22:37a
“Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
~ Hebrews 12:13

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Memories and Memorials

There are shooting stars in the darkest of nights ... amazing memories, even though they seem too recent to be memorials ... and I'm glad to have shared the last gauntlets of adventure with Jeff Juby before he passed away last week.  Downtown (and my heart) will never be the same!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Tennis Balls For Thought

I hadn't thought about it but this little game has a dark side.  I rarely go to sporting events (usually just when it's work related with Girl Scouts) so when my friend who is more of a regular than I commented on his dislike of this particular activity - not just once but several times - I started to think about the money. How much is spent by regular people in hopes of a great return?  It sounds like gambling and it has started to bother me a little, too.  Hmmmmm ... food (or tennis balls) for thought!
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