sitting in the rain

As I write, I am sitting in the rain on my deck contemplating life, death and thanks to my brother’s blog, dinosaurs. I feel slightly guilty. I should be being more productive. But wait, it’s after 8 p.m. Why do I feel the need to be productive at 8 p.m.? (And why does the period after the m in p.m. look wrong next to the question mark? Is that correct?)

Anyhow, I want to say something about the insanely fast pace of Western culture. Perhaps other cultures are fast paced also. Having not had the opportunity to travel, I cannot say firsthand. I am told that other cultures are more relaxed.

I feel that the pace of our lives has begun to seep into our ability to reason. It seems a quick lifestyle has translated to the need for a quick answer. To EVERYTHING. Sorry. Shouting is uncalled for. Plus it harshes my back porch vibe.

The scenario goes like this: person A reads a Twitter post that sounds ‘off’. Said person immediately replies with scathing witt. Dumpster fire starts. Nobody is happy. No one changes their mind. No one discovers a new perspective.

What if we did this another way? What if person A read the post and thought “How odd that someone sees life so differently from me. I must ponder this, look deeper, try to imagine myself with their life experiences.” What if this person asked respectful clarifying questions? What if ‘A’ said thank you for your perspective? Let me share mine.

I know, it will never catch on. Why? Because it simply takes too long and our lives are too busy.

We will never be thoughtful human beings as long as we are in a hurry. This is not a new concept. The book of James tells us that

“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

Our fast flying righteous indignation will not make the world right. It won’t even change the views of the source of our ire or stem the stuff that they spew. If we have any any hope of consensus or even civility we have to slow down. We have to listen to the views of the people who oppose us, think about it honestly and invite them to do likewise.

Will it work? I don’t know. What’s more, I don’t have the time to find out. Neither do you.


Bleary eyed I rolled over to the sound of the alarm on my phone. (I had been awake for a while but refused to stir before the designated 6 am start time.) I’m up.

“Okay God, let’s do this. “ I said as I sat up to start my day. Yes, I often talk to God first thing in the morning. Most of the time my conversations are in my head but on mornings like this, when my husband is out of town, I talk out loud. I wrapped my robe around me and grabbed my phone. The morning ritual is as follows: go downstairs, let the dogs out, use the bathroom, get coffee (hopefully I remembered to set the timer the night before) then I sit outside and check my messages (text, email, social media) while I wait for the dogs to return to the porch and come back inside. This morning as I checked my phone a reminder popped up. Today – Kelley’s B-Day. I did not need to be reminded. I remember.

Most mothers don’t need to be reminded of their children’s birthdays. When those children are gone, the dates hold even more significance. I have had so many reminders of my baby girl these last few days. She is always on the forefront of my mind. 

Joey’s Grad Day

As I celebrated my third son Joey’s high school graduation, Kelley was there. My emotions were a chaotic swirl of heights and depths. I was so proud of him for making it through. Going back to the school he shared with his sister the day after she died could not have been easy. Getting through the high school years can be grueling. Traveling those halls and classrooms while your sister is the subject of the current gossip only adds to the strain. But he did it. It was a joyful day. It was a day of relief. I would never again have to ask, “Did you do your homework?” Never again would I be stressed out about one of my children passing their classes. No more shuttling kids back and forth for football games, band, choir, drama and all the other school related activities. A weight was lifted. But it felt wrong. I’m not supposed to be done yet. I’m supposed to be going through it all for one more year. I’m supposed to be seeing my youngest through her senior year. I’m supposed to have one more graduation party to throw. I am in the present and the past at the same time. I look forward. I look back. I remember.

Kanyen’s Graduation

I went to another graduation days later, this one in our previous town. We were blessed to be able to share in the graduation of Joey’s best friend. Over the years Kanyen has become part of our family. So we were thrilled to be invited to attend his graduation. So many names that night brought back memories made in the small town of Stanwood. Many of the names were of girls Kelley danced with. I watched them walk across the stage while I dammed up the tears behind my eyes. I used to celebrate their milestones together with their own “dance moms”. I remember.

I look on the Facebook and Instagram posts of my daughter’s friends. The sweet sixteen birthday that Kelley never had, the graduation stage that Kelley will never walk across. The engagement photos that I will never help plan. I am surrounded by reminders of what will never be.

Reminders of Kelley are everywhere. And they are good. Yes, that’s right, good. Even though I grieve the milestones I’ve been robbed of, even though I mourn the days that never were, these reminders bring me hope. Kelley is near in my heart. She is active in my memories and she is well in the arms of her savior. 

Kelley’s best friend Kayla

For today, I see her in the smile of her best friend. I feel her dance in the flight of the butterflies. I look back at old photos and I tell stories of shared life in years past. I remember.

One day I will see her again in eternity. Her smile. Her laugh. Together before the throne of grace, we will once again swirl in dance, hand in hand as we did in years past. 

For today, I remember.

Kelley’s 14th birthday in Yellowstone.

Happy birthday beautiful girl!

celebrating moments

I have been reading the book The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. In it, the authors speak of elevating moments to create experiences worth capturing. This week, my personal coach suggested that I take a moment to celebrate the close of our coaching sessions. In the past few moths, Coach Colleen has helped me to successfully move from daydreaming to doing in two separate aspect of my life, physical health and writing.

I spent the last few days thinking of what a celebration should look like. One thing struck me. A true celebration should include friends. So I am inviting you, my readers to join me in celebrating by sharing in a sneak peak of the book I’m writing. So enjoy this excerpt and then do a little dance party move for me, will you?

Oh, and if any of you are interested, Coach Colleen is great! She is available to consult online and the time invested is sooo worth it.