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Love in the Time of COVID

Hey.  How you holding up?

We're good - healthy and whole.  I'm considered essential, although I am only a lady who answers phones and checks people in at a standalone oncology building.  People like me are not on the front lines.  We're considered more....field HQ, according to my adorable walking military dictionary, Ben.

We've not been able to see Mom in person for almost a month now, and that will continue until at least the end of April.  Obviously, this is difficult, but she is blessed to be where she is.  No visitors are allowed, everyone who enters is screened (same as my work), and residents are screened twice a day.  Plus, Mom is able to use video chat with me, so I can have eyes on her every day.

I enjoy our chats, and always try out a filter when I'm on a call with her.  So far, my favorite is the one that turns your face into a giant foot.  I imagine the person who designed it was in the middle of a fever dream or perhaps on their 11th bottle of wine du…
Recent posts

Building Blocks

It's said that the sign of a healthy city can be measured in the amount of cranes and construction found within its limits.  Often, this growth is inconvenient or unwanted even as it is required.

Our lives are no different.  Christians believe our paths are set by our Heavenly Father, to accomplish His will and not our own.  Sometimes when He starts to tear down and rebuild, however, we feel like packing up and moving away rather than trusting the demolition process.

Ben and I have been involved in some form of demolition for months now, all of it good.  Last September, right around the time Ben started with his new job, we decided to repaint the whole house.  I knew that if we didn't start right then, by the time he went full-time in January, it wouldn't get done. 

I love owning a home, but one thing I didn't realize was how nothing stays looking good for that long - especially paint.  The warm historic green I chose for the interior 4 years ago faded to a dull moss t…

Dolly Would

A few weeks ago, on some sort of adolescent and questionably-responsible whim, Ben and I purchased season tickets to Dollywood.


It was almost 8pm when we pulled into the parking lot.  I was wearing jeans and a blouse in 90 degree weather - my church outfit - and yet we still decided to go on park until they closed.  Ben managed to ride a few roller coasters while I ducked into every air-conditioned shop that was still open.  We vowed to come back as often as possible.

Some of you may remember that Mom, Sissy, and I worked at Dollywood for several summers.  I was in Jukebox Junction, the '50s nostalgia section, working every concession stand they had.  (If you want, I'll sing the Brylcreem jingle for you.)

Sissy worked on Showstreet and dreaded her assignment.  Because of her unusual teenage competence, she was given the Sausage Works stand to run.  Nearly every day for 3 summers, she stood over a skillet the size of a dinner table, grilling sausage and peppers for overfed tour…

"After the Storm" - A New Guest Post on Devotional Diva

My latest piece, "After the Storm," was posted today on Devotional Diva.  In case you were wondering, I have my mom's blessing to write about her.  I consider it a duty and privilege to not just write honestly, but to write in a way that honors the Lord by magnifying the dignity due my loved ones.

Click here to read:  http://www.devotionaldiva.com/after-the-storm-devotional/

On the Road...Again?

I have a confession to make.  I really, really don't like to travel. 

There.  I said it.

I consider traveling to be a gigantic hassle.

Our sweet little house has a comfortable bed, good things stored on the DVR, and a hot water heater the size of a linebacker, so it never runs cold.

I use a CPAP machine, so if we travel, I have to carefully tote it with me to my temporary home.  Afterwards, the remnants of the cloying hotel air freshener remain in the hosing for days.

Like many food-allergic people, I choose not to eat in restaurants.  The risk of cross-contamination is real and serious.  There's no point in being excited about Chicago deep-dish pizza or authentic N'awlins gumbo.  I ain't gonna get to eat it.  So, if Ben and I travel, we find a Kroger as soon as we get to town, I buy what I need, and I lug around my food each day.  (In France, just so you know, it's called "Le Kroger.")

Shopping can be fun, although my budget leans more towards Belk than …

Smile on Your Brother

Hi friend! How are things?  Good, good.  Hey, have you seen Respect, Kindness, and Meekness today?  I could really use their help.  I was on Facebook, and a friend of mine called another friend of mine an ugly name because my first friend insulted a politician.  Respect, had he been around, could have stopped that from happening.
I tried to find Kindness earlier when I dropped an armful of groceries. I thought I didn't need a buggy, but it turns out I did. Miss Thing must have sailed right past me, along with the other people who didn't stop to help.

I just missed Meekness - I was too busy not following the instructions you gave me.  My way is faster, trust me.
Are they on vacation or something?
Dears, I'll bet you're nodding your heads in agreement right now, aren't you?  Collective humanity seems to have lost our dang minds lately.  I won't bore you with my detailed opinion of why we've gotten ruder, dumber, and meaner.  Let's just say, the Enemy love…

Rest, Relax, Repeat

*Lazily drifts past on a pool float*


Hey.  Would you hand me my drink?

*finishes store-brand sparkling water, makes that annoying empty cup sound with my straw while you wait for me to say something*

Thanks.

What's been going on with you since the last time we hung out?  Hope things are well.  They are with me.  Lots of good things happening, and lots of time to enjoy them.

I've shared with you our physical, emotional, and spiritual stressors over the last year or so.  You know about the amazing double-whammy blessing of Ben's new job and continued good health.  Simultaneously, I applied for a new part-time job I thought would be perfect.  We assumed it was time to jump into the deep end of the pool again.

Not so fast. 

Many, many mornings during the last year and a half, I would cry from stress.  Ben drove me to work most days, sometimes because he needed the car, but often because driving would cause me to have panic attacks.  (I can't tell you how many times I'v…