Walking Wounded

Walking Wounded

Maven twisted her foot right after Christmas. After watching her limp around for about twelve hours we saw the pediatrician who sent her straightaway to get it x-rayed. Results? Negative. Fast forward about five weeks (and soccer tryouts, traipsing up and down three flights of stairs, running about like the athlete she is), and my sweet girl was still hobbling about and complaining, if only a wee bit. To the orthopedist we went for another x-ray. Results? Broken, in two places on the growth plate, no less. So, for five weeks she sported a purple cast until today, when she got upgraded to a boot. Her x-rays amazed the doctor, Hubby, and me, then and now. It was hard to believe those bones belonged to the smiling girl who’d hopped up on the crinkly paper on the table—the boots she wore were definitely made for walking…and running…and kicking. By the looks of things Maven should’ve been crying, whimpering, or even uttering ouch! with each step. Our girl was itching for her sneakers so she could play salao soccer and run winter track, not a cast for five weeks or a boot for two more. But God wasn’t surprised. He already knew about Maven’s infirmity—certainly not Hubby or me, not even the first radiologist. God saw the real injury she only acknowledged with a twinge. It was Maven’s body that cried out for help rather than Maven herself: seeing the swelling and redness, we took her to a specialist. Secret hurts, private burdens, crushed spirits We all have private pain. We hide our wounded spirits, weariness, broken hearts, and worry, and...
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

We. Love. Sundays. We all look forward to a day of rest and worship after a hectic week running from pillar to post, so we make a big deal out of the Sabbath at our house. There aren’t any fireworks; we just focus on God and family. We usually start our day with music and a Sunday school lesson, followed by a big breakfast and church service. This morning, Hubby set the tone by talking about all the reorganizing and cleaning we did Saturday afternoon (remember the sock party?). He used the passages Luke 11:25, Colossians 3:23, 1 Timothy 3:5, and 1 Corinthians 14:40 to liken our weekend’s work to the spiritual housecleaning we should do daily. Today, we added a new favorite to our breakfast menu: the Pioneer Woman’s French Breakfast Puffs. Now, this muffin is not for the faint of heart. No, really. You roll the baked pastry in butter (one cup, no less) and dip it in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. The finished product gave Brown Sugar a run for her money in their sweetness. Maven thought they tasted like apple cinnamon boardwalk doughnuts—minus the apples. Mine didn’t turn out very “puffy,” but they worked well with our grits, bacon, and eggs. The batter yielded eighteen muffins, and if I hadn’t left them in a shade too long, they would’ve been perfect. When I think about it, I guess our entire breakfast was a heart stopper! TD finally joined the grits-eating side of the family, leaving Songbird the only holdout who still refuses to let one grit grace her tongue, unless it’s got a shrimp swimming in it....
A Light Unto My Path

A Light Unto My Path

Dear Maven, On New Year’s Eve you asked me, “Do you have any resolutions?” Immediately, I thought of another Sunday morning years ago when we compiled a list of personal and family goals. (I have absolutely no idea where that list is today, by the way. I just know I still have a few pounds to drop.) Maven, your question was a hard one because I don’t have any formal resolutions for 2017. Do I want to exercise more, lose weight? Sure. Write more regularly, find a publisher? Absolutely. Hold my temper, fuss less, stop yelling? Darn skippy. Show more compassion, give more, love wholeheartedly, stop and smell the roses before I forget to water them? Working on those even now. But can I resolve to do those things, keep all those promises to myself? The Ghost of Christmas Past tells me, “Been there, broken that.” “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 You see making resolutions the way I used to: as an interesting way to cast a grander vision or redirect and improve your life. But fun killer that I am today, I view it through different lenses.Today, New Year’s resolutions announce, “I’m not happy with the way my life has worked out. I’m frustrated with how I look/feel, with what I do/am. I see failure behind me, but a few tweaks can lead to future success. God, can you do better?” But I’m not in charge of growing one hair on your head or mine, no matter how much Nature’s Blessing or Aveda I use. And goal setting might work if...
Baby Talk

Baby Talk

I love the breakfast table. It has a totally different feel than the same room, nine hours later. At that time of day, I have the energy to keep M&M from crawling across the table to snatch Brown Sugar’s sausage. My coffee’s still hot, the cup’s still full. Watching the little people trickle downstairs (later and later as the mornings get chillier and chillier), hearing them wheel and deal over the last blueberry muffin, and whining about the math onslaught to come make me smile. We can stave off the world for an extra 45 minutes or so, reviewing our daily Proverb and doing Bible study. While dinner is where we recover from the day, breakfast is where we kiss it, “Hello!” While we were manning our usual positions the other morning, eating our curds and whey—okay, it was more like grits, bacon, and eggs—we chatted about future happenings like college, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, vacations, afternoon playdates, upcoming birthdays, and dinner. Then Maven shared her plan for the future: “I want to go to sleep and wake up in heaven.” All quiet on the Pearson front. Even Oscar, who shouldn’t be in the dining room, perked up his furry little ears. I knew our passionate, fervent little one meant it. And not one day, like we all do, after we reached a particular age, after having a passel of children and grandchildren, after being president of this company, or achieving that goal here on earth. No, Maven meant she wanted to go to sleep that night and wake up gazing in Jesus’ face. Hearing these words more than pulled the heartstrings. It twisted...
The Great Debaters

The Great Debaters

Songbird is my reigning Queen of Debate. She’s a history, law, and politics buff, and she truly knows her stuff. But that doesn’t stop Hubby and me from going toe to toe with her. Sometimes it’s frustrating when she won’t concede or agree with us on certain issues, but often she wows us with her tenacity and skill. Not only does she prove a worthy sparring partner in the debate ring, she shows she’ll hold on to her ideals, opinions, and values, and when she’s confronted, stay true to herself. But “wow” isn’t always a factor. Everything’s not debatable. When it comes down to it, “Don’t try to figure out what I mean. Just do what I say” rules the day. It doesn’t sound pretty in a world where everybody deserves to be happy and to parents who care how their children feel, but I’m just trying to finish this race well, not winning best speaker. That means ensuring my little people are running right beside me. They need to know the value of obedience and trust. Of being more a hearer and a doer, and less a whiner and debater. Of knowing when to say “Yes, sir” and save the questions and backtalk for another time. In case you wondered, I’m singing alto in that choir I’m preaching to. And yes, I’ve sung this song before, but it’s time for an encore performance. Basically, I hear God, but I want to talk about it first; explain my side of the story; give my reasons why I can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t. But unlike me, God isn’t wowed. What I call tenacity is...
The Rock in a Hard Place

The Rock in a Hard Place

The little people and I have been studying Numbers, and there’s been a lot of head shaking going on. We just want to reach back and take our spiritual brothers and sisters by the hand and—in the words of M&M—exclaim, “Seriously?” Over and over they doubt the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; God Who kept Moses afloat on the Nile and safe in the desert; God Who plagued Pharaoh who enslaved them and parted the Red Sea that blocked them; God Who led them by pillar and cloud; God Who rained down manna and meat and fed them with His spoken Word. It’s hard to believe they would let a few tall people stand between them and the grapes, pomegranates, and milk and honey flourishing in the land that God promised them. But then again, maybe not. I stumbled over a mirror while wagging my finger and shaking my head. All I needed was a pair of dusty sandals and a staff; otherwise, I was quite indistinguishable from those unbelievers. I can hear myself now, sounding like Anne Baxter in The Ten Commandments: “Moses, Moses! Surely you didn’t give up all of Egypt only to face those giants!” Yes, I see giants everywhere in my life: at the doctor’s office, in my datebook, at work, on the scale, in the laundry room, on college applications, and in rejection letters. They attend my homeschool co-op, sign all my rejection letters, and utter, “What if..?” and “Maybe…” and “But…” in booming voices. When I’m in that moment my goal seems impossible, insurmountable, and unachievable because I’m not strong enough, fast enough, social...