The Purpose of Pain

As a parent, I hate seeing my children in pain. Yet, in the 17 years I have been a mom, I have had to do just that: three broken bones, two surgeries, a concussion, countless shots and skinned knees and cuts and who knows what else. Sometimes, though, I have to make the decision to inflict pain on my children. I had to do that today. My son needed oral surgery to remove an impacted tooth. If this tooth weren’t removed, it could have messed up his whole mouth, causing major pain in the future. But in order to remove the tooth, the doctor had to cut into his bone, extract the tooth, and stitch Thomas back up. You squeamish folks just got a little sick reading that sentence. Imagine having to sign the paper giving permission for it to happen? It’s awful....

I Love Jesus, and I Love Theater

I watched the Tony Awards Sunday night. I love watching the Tony Awards – love seeing the performances, love celebrating the winners, love the theater. Always have. I was a “theater kid”, and I had the amazing opportunity to grow up near one of the best community theaters in the country, surrounded by “theater people”. I spent most of my childhood and teen years on or behind or near the stage. The theater, for me, was like the baseball field for other kids. It was my happy place, my safe place. It was home. But as I watched the Tony’s, I felt like an outsider. Even though I laughed and cried at the opening. Even though I know most of the shows – all the revivals – and could totally take James Cordon on in Broadway...

How to Know You’re Growing

This summer, my kids are seeing friends and family they haven’t seen in a year. The first response – especially for the younger two – is “Wow! You have grown so much!!” And they have…well, the younger two. Dave, Emma, and I pretty much look the same. Emma hasn’t grown since 8th grade. (Neither have Dave or I, for that matter. Not in height, anyway!) All this listening to folks in shock over how much my kids have grown physically made me think about spiritual growth. It’s easy to measure physical growth: measuring tape and scales can tell us exactly how much we’ve grown. But how can we tell if we’ve grown spiritually? We can tell in much the same way my kids discovered how much they grew — by asking...

My Heroes

William Henry Brush, Jr joined the Army at the beginning of  WWII and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel quarter of a century later. He won a Purple Heart during WWII for taking a bullet from a Nazi and still managing to carry a wounded soldier back to the base. He was stationed in Korea, Japan, Germany, Paris, and finally, Washington DC, where he worked in Military Intelligence (during JFK’s Presidency and assassination!). He was a hero. But so was my grandmother, Marie Brush. She stayed home and cared for my mom, the house, the bills…everything in the  months that Grandaddy had to be away. And she packed up and moved…and moved…and moved when she needed to do that, too. Grandaddy was able to concentrate on doing the best job he could do...

Summer Daze

I need a schedule. I don’t like a schedule. I am not naturally a scheduled person. But I need a schedule. I need it because, when I have a schedule, I am forced make a plan to get everything done. During the school year, I get up and have my Quiet Time. I have my class schedule throughout the day. After school, I go to the kids’ (scheduled) sports, or help them with homework or just hang out with them and my husband. I have my nightly routine and my regular bedtime. Then I get up the next day and do it all again. And I like that. I need it. But today was the last day of school. It’s summer break! Exciting. But…that means no more schedule. I can sleep in, I can stay up late, I can wear stretchy pants all day long, if I so choose. The danger...

Finish Well

We are one week and four days from the end of school. But who’s counting?  I am! And so are all my students. We have put in a full year – lots of work, lots of assignments, lots of late nights, lots of pushing “Snooze” on the alarm. But all that ends in one week and four days. This is the time of year when everyone – students AND teachers – are tempted to get lazy. But, as I remind my students (and myself): We’re not done yet. We need to do our best to finish well. Do we need to finish well because getting good grades is important? Nope…some lazy kids can get great grades and some hard-working kids can barely pass. We need to finish well because our character is important. People of character finish well. Even if...