Sunday, October 16, 2011

Morning Missed

As I sit here this foggy October morning, missing my children, I wonder what it is that makes me miss them. To say that it's my love for them is the simple answer, but what is it that makes me want them to be right here, right now? With the passage of time--and many hours to myself--I have come to wonder about this over and over. To say that I've come to a conclusion assumes that I am done wondering about it, so rather than conclude I shall just say that I have come to an answer that suits me for the moment.

Parenting is a many-staged role. You start out as THE caretaker of every facet of your baby's life and then gradually phase into a teacher, an encourager, a coach, a back-up, and then if you've done it right, a friend. Parenting is the most difficult role in the world because you take that little lump of love from the point of being completely helpless to the point where they should absolutely not need you at all. At least not more than they need other healthy relationships. This is a very difficult thing to do. And as the dad in a divorce situation my time with my kids was segmented, regulated, and condensed, at best. I either had all three of them or none of them. There was very little one on one time with any of them so the phases of parenting snuck up on me and ran over my abilities at times. Now, I am not excusing myself, rather I am stating it as something that is true--whatever the reason.

So, all this to say, I miss my kids because they are my friends. I want to know what each one of them dreamed, feared, laughed at, thought about, ran away from, inched toward, remembered, or forgot. I want to hear that they tried something new or heard an old song that jogged a memory loose. And then I want to tell them about my insides and how much fun it is just to know them. I want to do nothing together and enjoy only friends can.

The fog is clearing.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Some Sunday morning thoughts to throw out to the internets:

-Love, if not communicated, is merely assumption or a remembrance of the last time it was communicated.

-Much of life is spent reconciling the space between what I thought I wanted and what I got instead.

-If my heart could walk it would have a noticeable limp.

-The grass is always greenest where it's watered.

-Weeds work hard to grow their flowers, too.

-In this world of high-tech gadgetry there are so many ways to communicate and that's great, but I miss the good ole days of voice-to-ear communication. When was the last time you could tell how your friend was by their tone and body language? Silence is less uncomfortable when you're in the same room, sometimes.

-Healing is not a feeling.

-I think it's sad that atheists probably think about God more than believers do.

-Coffee is best when you don't think of it as bean juice.

Okay, now my brain is empty. I got everything out and now I got nothin'.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

An excerpt of thoughts

(I found this entry in the drafts of my blog. I don't know why I never put it out there, but here it is.)

No one ever tries to stop you from being happy, yet try to be sad and you'll get mauled by people telling you to cheer up. What if sadness is the truest, most real emotion you know at the moment? Is it any less valid than happiness? It's an emotion. As is happiness. It's not truth, it's merely a passing state of being. Or is it?

Thirteen years ago I watched my three children drive down the street away from me in a U-Haul and the sadness that struck me was real and full and deep. I knew from that day forward I wouldn't get to be with them on a daily basis ever again. You tell me I should just move forward, which I do, but everywhere in front of me is the vacuum created by the reality of their absence. I shattered into a million little pieces that day and admittedly that shattering caused me not to parent them as proactively as I could have. And that admission only adds to my grief.

I saw a picture of them on the Facebook site of a former babysitter of theirs. They were all sitting on 'our' couch at their new home just a few days after the departure. I had never seen the picture before, but it gave me a glimpse of them through a different lens. It saddened me that I couldn't be there in the picture with them. Time is the currency of life, not money, and it is time that was taken from us. One of the deepest sadnesses that I have noticed is that the time I gain can never make up for the time that was lost.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Deep Blue


For the first time in a long time the sun is peering through the slats of my mini-blinds. For many weeks now the depth of the sky has been covered in clouds. Literally. I heard a statement on the radio this week that said in our neck of the woods the temperature has been above eighty degrees for...wait for it...a total of seventy-two hours...this YEAR!! That streak will continue today as the high is supposed to be seventy-something, but it will be a crystal clear day!

I must admit that at times I am a situationally joyful person. This morning is one of those times. I have an abiding joy in my soul that was given to me by Christ that is stored somewhere in the deep and is always there. My soul mirrors the sky, I suppose, because for so long the cloud cover has caused the sky to seem shallow and colorless. Gray. That shade of indecision between light and dark. However, today, when I look up through the place where the clouds are no more I can see how deep the sky is and the mirror shines light down deep into my soul.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


It's been a long time...I think I'm stuck. I have much that I could write about--almost all of it internal--but, quite frankly, I just don't want to.

If I were to be honest, I would admit that at times I write to impress; so that you'll think of me in a good light. The truth is, the better the light is the less impressive I am. I'm tired of impressions.

In a world where wellness and health are god it seems to be criminal to suggest that I am not well. As if self-esteem is the cure all. My arm is out of joint from patting myself on the back. I'm beginning to believe it is better to be in a state of health where the only and best thing left to say is, "God, help me"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sun Day (a few days delayed)

I've been rather industrious this Sunday morning. I got up early-ish (for a Sunday) and have, so far, done three loads of laundry, washed and vacuumed my truck, and raked the fallen pine cone bits that the tree in my backyard continues to shed. Did I mention that I first had two cups of coffee?

If you know me at all--even if only by your reading here--you know that I do my best thinking when engaged in these kinds of work. So this morning I thought about these things, amongst many others.

I really don't like it when people say, "I have no regrets". To me, these are people who either haven't lived or are lying to themselves. Now, of course, I don't suggest that a person spends much time in a state of regret (I hear it's bigger than Alaska), but to imply that there is no room for it suggests that I have done everything right--always. I've done things I regret. I've said things I regret. Circumstances have handed me things which I regret. I have handed circumstances things that I regret. These are some of the very reasons I love Christ. He forgives me, even for things that I regret.

While I realize that hell is a real, physical place where weeping and waling and gnashing of teeth will prevail, I also know that the physical pain will only be the minor part of the torment. Where the real torture will occur, I believe, is in the mind and heart. Imagine being reminded constantly of all the times you rejected the message of God's love. Imagine the feeling inside of realizing that your sins are not forgiven. And they could have been. Imagine not having one more last chance to love. THAT is hell.

No two are ever the same...even for a second. They rise from the ocean or the river or the field or the grass in your yard. They are directionless except for the wind's prevailing guidance. They form exclusively to fall again. They are cursed in the winter, praised in the summer. And vice-versa, depending on whom or what they cover. They are transient gifts from God himself. Thank Him for clouds for without them we would surely die.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

I wake up each morning into a life of broken pieces. I guess that's why I've started to like sleeping. Maybe it's because I know that I will not be completely and fully satisfied while awake. Sleep is another state of consciousness altogether. In that state of consciousness all is well in my world. There isn't the slightest knowledge of how lonesome I am or how seemingly plain and uninteresting I am, there is just a warm, restfulness.

I also know that this is not how I'm supposed to feel. As a believer in, and follower of Christ I'm supposed to feel fulfilled and content, but sometimes that just sounds like the Sunday School answer, to me.

My life will never be what I once thought and wanted it to be. Doing something different or adding another somebody to the equation doesn't get you over or through it. You don't just get over being divorced...any more than you 'get over' being a man. Both are states of humanity that only heaven will fix.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Occasionally, I have brief moments of real clarity in regards to what causes the pain I feel in my heart.

For as long as I have been divorced I have felt an ache every time I part with my children. Now, that seems like a 'duh' thing to say, but really, it happens EVERY time we part--the ache. While there are many aspects to the pain of separation, the one I think I've just put my finger on is different from the others. You see, from the moment I drive one direction and my kids drive the other, I realize that I will have no unsolicited moments with them. Our communication is essentially stripped down from what most consider normal spontaneity to some form of 'you speak then I'll speak' communication. A phone call, an email or even a text message tag session does not allow for a long silent break while staring into the fire. They are all somewhat forced styles of communication with a petitioner and a respondent. It isn't really dialog, it's more like two monologues.

Tonight I had dinner with my boys and when they got into their truck and I got into mine it hit me as they continued their banter and I discontinued mine. What is also difficult about our going separate ways is the fact that two (or three or more) days full of life and moments and stories and seemingly meaningless funny things will happen to them and to me that will go unspoken the next time we meet. Oh, we'll hit the highlights I'm sure, but the best parts of life are rarely the things we typically call the highlights.

As I sit here writing this it is very quiet all around me save for the sound of the fire in the woodstove. What I wouldn't do to share this silence with my kids.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Presidential Steps

My youngest and I sat here at my house and talked for FIVE solid hours yesterday! If ever a sentence deserved an exclamation mark, that one does. He's a very articulate, intelligent young man who stimulates my mind, my emotions, my body and my very soul.

To top it off, my son who is off at college texted me this: "What spiritual gifts do you observe in me?" delighted am I that he extends me the privilege of that question?!

My daughter is enjoying her own slice of the world far away in Texas, but thoughts of her turn the corners of my heart into the shape of a smile all day long.

Oh how I love my children!!! A great joy presides in me and in my steps on this President's day.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Schmuck Theology

I think about God a lot. Some of my own preconceived notions and theologies of Him bug me. I don't want to be 'a Christian', I want to be like Jesus. It seems to me that too many Christians carry their beliefs in their back pocket like a 'get out of hell free' card and follow each other around like so many lost sheep. I don't want to be judgmental of my fellow strugglers, but so many of them don't really seem to want to struggle. They want pat answers to spout off in any given situation, not a relationship with a sometimes strange, seemingly inconsistent God. A God who says He loves them and yet says little else for what seems like eons. In my opinion God never changes. He is always hard for us to understand. Does that mean I should just give up?

Relationships are by their very nature difficult, are they not? I'll answer that for you...YES THEY ARE!! I will sometimes stand in front of the mirror and ask that guy who's staring back at me questions for which he has no answers. I frustrate me. Do I give up on me? Sometimes. But I always come back and revisit the hard questions; questions that may or may not ever get answered. So you see, even my relationship with myself is difficult. I'm so far from perfect that it's laughable. No, literally...laughable. I laugh at how empty all my so called efforts are. God doesn't love me because of the good things I do or how few bad things I do. God loves me because He IS Love, He can't not love me. It the kindness of that love that makes me want to love Him back.

I tire of people saying, "Hey, we all make mistakes", as if the times we make God sad (and yes, I do believe God is saddened by our behavior, both overt and covert) are all mistakes. Not so, I say. I not only make mistakes, I do things on purpose that sadden God. Are you kidding me?? Every dang day I waste precious time complaining about my poor, sad self. I think of myself as better than others. I am judgmental toward others. I only forgive people who do things I understand. To put it succinctly, I am proud and stupid and selfish and full of fear. Why else would I need a savior? I'm just like every other schmuck.

This story is not over yet, this is just the beginning of the beginning. While at times I am the king of schmuckdom, I will one day be a Prince in the new kingdom and that will be the beginning of the never-ending.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I am, but I'm not.

I am neither married nor single, I'm divorced. I have children, but they do not live with me. They are a part of me so I am not together. In fact, sometimes I fall completely apart and I have nowhere to run. I live in a house, but I am homeless.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

As I drive northbound up Hwy 20 toward my home I look out my left side window and see a spectacular sunset hovering just above the waters of the Puget Sound with colors of ever changing hue. Shades of pastel pink, something close to purple that melds into baby-blanket blue. And out my right side window the moon is brilliant yellow and large as it rises barely above the tips of the Cascade mountain foothills.

The air is cold, the sights are warm. A winter's night settles in.