Hello, Hurricane

Have you ever noticed how the distance between a crisis and oneself determines the level of reaction or response?

Last year I was visiting relatives in the path of Matthew and had to make a choice: Scramble to secure a flight and leave before the storm hit or hunker down and ride it out?

My husband, on the opposite side of the continental U.S., voted for the former.

BUT

Leaving family behind (and conceding to their choice to stay!) also meant grappling with the roiling emotions that followed.

We can’t be in two places at once, even if our hearts are.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the forceful and destructive tropical cyclone reached an unusual category 5 with the highest winds clocked in at 165 miles per hour with catastrophic results: killing 40 people in the U.S. and over 1,000 on the island nation of Haiti and becoming the ninth-costliest Atlantic hurricane with $15.09 billion (yes, that’s a ‘b’!) in damage.

I made it home safely, albeit with more than the customary travel impediments and technology snafus. Our family on the east coast weathered out the massive deluge and was no worse off for the devastating event.

And yet.

We will never forget the impact of that stressful time.

16378-satellite-view-of-a-hurricane-pv

Recently, I learned of A NASA Mission Like No Other on Jenna Lee’s last day of 10 years in America’s Newsroom via a cable news provider.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season just began on June 1 (and runs through November 30) and scientists have a new tool in their arsenal: the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System or CGNSS for short.

It’s a series of small satellites launched nearly six months ago…and measures ocean surface wind and temperatures.

Rick Reichmuth, a meteorologist said:

The national hurricane center that gives the overall forecast that everybody uses–this will help the process.

Over the last few years we’ve gotten much better at the track of hurricanes–so knowing exactly where it’s going to go with (obviously) a little deviation.

But the strength of a storm we’re not that good at just yet. This (CGNSS) is going to make a big difference…because these satellites are able to pentrate through the rain and get the winds.

This found me wishing there were instruments to measure and warn us of incoming pressures of life. You know, the stress, struggle, and strain that happen in our hearts and lives.

Something like the S-SHWS to gauge:

  • measurements in pressure
  • wind speed
  • storm surge potential
  • damage potential
  • What category will it fall under

While there are no such warning devices available, there are ways to prepare for and overcome the adversities that befall us.

Whether it’s a financial reversal, job loss or change, unexpected or chronic health issues, business or personal relationship strains (or losses!) or any another unwelcome change.

Crawford Loritts, a Senior Pastor in Roswell, Georgia once paraphrased King Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes, “If we live long enough every last one of us will face major, catastrophic difficulties and disappointments in life. It’s woven into the tapestry of life.”

Lorritts talked about King David’s lament in Psalm 55, penned during high-pressure points in the monarch’s life: His son Absolom wanted to kill him and take over the kingdom and he’d just been betrayed by a very close friend.

Loritts went on to offer practical ways to handle the problems we face:

  1. Don’t sugar-coat your emotions. Tell God exactly how you feel. (David expressed anger, outrage, and frustration.)
  2. Get rid of jealousy/envy or passive aggressive tendencies and deal with issues head-on. (Get help if necessary.)
  3. Focus on God’s sovereignty. He is never not in control even when it’s our fault.
  4. Focus on the salvation of God and call on Him. He will show up.
  5. Focus on God’s sustaining power. (“You O Lord, are a shield about me, You’re my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3.)
  6. Finish the ride! Do it with joy and surrender to God.

God’s deliverance is not always from something but in something.

pexels-photo-88212serenebeach

 

7 Layer Dip

  1. On the heels of the senseless attacks in England recently, I told my husband, “I never want to find these kinds of acts of brutality a normal occurrence.”

2. Rejoicing with the Warmbier family that their son Otto has been returned to them. Grieving for the suffering he endured.

3. A Call for R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

A baseball field in our (USA) nation’s capital. A Congressional game played between Republicans and Democrats to raise money for charity, since 1909, set for June 15.

A deranged gunman. Shots fired. Several injured. A life ended.

Vitriol and rhetoric. Pointing fingers.

In the wake of this horrific event, my prayer is for Americans to stand united so we don’t fall divided.

An online book review at www.challies.com (Challies, March 8, 2008) for The Case for Civility by Os Guinness states:

No question today is more urgent than this one:

How do we live with our deepest differences–and especially our religious and ideological differences?

Guinness answers:

A civil public square is one in which everyone–peoples of all faiths, whether religious or naturalistic–are equally free to enter and engage public life on the basis of their faiths, as a matter of ‘free exercise’ and as dictatd by their own reason and conscience; but always (emphasis mine) within the double framework first of the Constitution, and second, of a freely and mutually agreed covenant or common vision for the common good (emphasis mine) of what each person understands to be just and free for everyone else, and therefore the duties involved in living with the deep differences of others.

He goes on to say:

True tolerance–one that understands and affirms there must be differences. It does not seek to eradicate differences, but instead seeks to respect despite differences.

4. Freedoms.

Norman Rockwell paintings

  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Worship
  • Freedom from Want
  • Freedom from Fear

5. Looking for good anywhere I can find it!

6. Because you take the time to walk with me on these “footpaths,” I strive to encourage, educate, and entertain you. To somehow offer rejuvenation through uplifting (if at times hard!) conversation so we can keep trekking down this road of life.

7. Healer of Souls

I’m a wife. A mom. A Nana. A relative. A friend. A neighbor. A writer.

Like you, I long for peace in a broken, mind-bruising, off-kilter world.

I find it in Jesus (John 14:27). And you can, too.

As we part, I’d like to leave you with the lyrics from the band, Switchfoot:

“Ain’t we all just running/Aiming for that something/Ain’t we all just limping down the road?/ I want more than just a crutch to lean on/Yeah, I’m looking for that freedom…

So let’s go there…

To the Healer of Souls.”

 

 

 

 

 

Favor 9

Whatever you’ll be celebrating this month be it birthdays, graduations, Father’s Day or weddings here’s a goody bag just for you:

  • TOOTHPICK-To remind you to pick out the good qualities in others. *Matthew 7:1
  • RUBBERBAND-To remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out. *Romans 8:28
  • BAND AID-To remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s. *Colossians 3:12-14
  • PENCIL-To remind you to list your blessings every day. *Ephesians 1:3
  • ERASER-To remind you that everyone makes mistakes. *Genesis 50:15-21
  • CHEWING GUM-To remind you to stick with it, and you can accomplish anything. *Philippians 4:13
  • MINT-To remind you that you are worth a mint. *John 3:16-17
  • CANDY KISS-To remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug every day. *John 4:7
  • TEA BAG-To remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings. *1 Thessalonians 5:18

The world does not so much require to be informed as reminded. -Hannah More

Loose Change

This week, hearing about that sapphire-colored airline’s forced diversion and emergency landing got me thinking about traveling in general, unexpected other-routes-in-life, and unintended after-effects.

A press statement indicated that “a flight from New York to San Francisco diverted to Grand Rapids, Mich., following reports of smoke emitting from a carry-on bag holding an electronic device.”

Apparently, a passenger laptop caught on fire.

You know about certain cell phones igniting not long ago, as well?

Gadgets galore still occupy most every seat.

So.

While the recent course redirection affected only a certain segment of people, the unintended consequences may impact all international air travelers.

A live report from New York City revealed that the government’s considering a ban on carry-on laptops and other devices.

Hmmm.

This could spark a larger debate, for sure!

Having flown or traveled without these modern luxuries for a number of my time ticks means shrugging my shoulders and bringing along a hard copy book or magazines to pass the time.

I’ve even been known to engage in what Jon Acuff coined, “real retina time” chats with fellow journeyers.

And my loved ones and colleagues can survive without me for an extended span of incommunicado.

For others, this could significantly shift their way of life.

Down here, on western USA terra firma, warmer weather means construction on what seems every junction.

Yup.

Local parks, too.

Reactions, responses, and rebellions are three interesting results:

“What an inconvenience! Why now?”

“Wow! They’re going to fix some major problems. Nice.”

“Nobody tells me what to do! Hey, how do I get out of here?”

A Forbes online article (Quast, 2012), talks about implementing change:

  • What the specific changes include.
  • Who the changes will impact.
  • How the changes will impact them.

Quast also addressed the five reasons people resist change:

  1. Fear of the unknown.
  2. Mistrust.
  3. Loss…of control.
  4. Bad timing.
  5. An individual’s predisposition toward change.

This reminds me of when my hubby, our two grown sons–then barely emerged onto the planet– and I took a road trip from Washington state to Pennsylvania to visit relatives.

Basically from one northwestern corner of the US to the other waayyy “back east.”

Time and money squeezed to an end-of-the-tube of toothpaste, tight meant expedite with a capital E.

Choosing a more southerly route in April to avoid still frigid weather and dangerous highway conditions our trusty Rand McNally Road Atlas marked in yellow the several state excursion.

While refueling our “Ge0-wel of the Mile” along the way, a gas station attendant said, “Looks like I could fit your whole car in my pocket.” Then he asked if our compact car had front wheel drive.

“Good,” was the only reply to my husband’s nod.

At a rest area somewhere in the middle of our journey, a convoy of freight shippers poured out of semi-trucks in a mad rush to use the facilities.

“They’re closing roads in Wyoming!” One shouted.

We had no clue why.

BUT

we’d learn soon enough.

Not much farther along the highway, eighteen-wheelers whooshed by leaving slush-grime on our windshield.

When a snowstorm catches you unawares split-decisions become crucial.

I caught my husband risking a quick peek into the rearview mirror at our precious cargo napping in their car seats, and then his gone-from-blue-to-stormy-grey eyes met mine.

A popcorn prayer heavenward, then– “Pedal to the metal, and don’t look back!” I said as a semi flew by. The concrete barrier to my right of the passenger seat close enough to tap.

He nodded and several white-knuckle-intense hours later we surfaced on the other side and reached our destination safely if not severely storm rattled.

Images on the television later, found me repeatedly whispering a prayer of thanks.

Without knowing it, my husband and I had successfully utilized a strategy recommended on an online business site:

  • Communication
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation.

Whatever befalls us on these courses of life we track, and whether we control the changes or not, we can choose how we will act to the channeling opportunities available.

AND

God-willing, on the other side, we’ll safely arrive at our journeys’ end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homes of Heroes

What’s your weekend looking like?

Memories of picnics, camping trips, an extra day off from school or work and even retail sales mark many a Memorial Day.

This year, working means no special plans for my hubby and me, but I’m grateful just the same.

Late to the parade, as usual, only in my “adulting” years did I learn the reason we celebrate here in the good ‘ole USA.

And just in case you don’t know or it’s a hazy fog, it’s a day for remembering people who died in America’s armed forces.

Following are some fun/interesting facts about the federal holiday I’ve compiled with the help of online searches:

  • NOT the same as Veteran’s Day where the country honors ALL the men and women who have served in various branches of the military.
  • Observed on the last Monday of May.
  • This tradition started after the Civil War (1861-1865).
  • The original name was Decoration Day.
  • On May 11, 1950, the name was changed to Memorial Day.
  • In 1971 declared a holiday by the 37th POTUS (President of the United States).
  • Red Poppies are the official flower.
  • Known as the unofficial start of the summer season.

A friend I know is having a fundraiser for a worthy cause, but other ways to commemorate this special day?

  1. Decorate a veteran’s grave with red poppies and/or a flag.
  2. Fly the U.S. flag at half-staff.
  3. Thank a veteran (My hubby and his brothers).
  4. Hit the road!

In addition to working, I’ll also be remembering those who lie in graves to keep us free because they were brave.

Though it still feels funny to say, “Happy Memorial Day” I wish you one anyway.

Tri-Bond

What do two major league sports teams, traffic signs, and two local churches have in common?

MERGING.

Yup.

The sun was barely peeking over the horizon this morning when I clicked on the television to a SPORTS ALERT! on a cable news channel. Considered a breaking story, it interrupted an important business segment.

According to the sports reporter, “record rainfall during the excavation phase” has caused a premier architecture firm to state a one-year delay in the opening of a much-anticipated stadium.

This fact could keep one of the two So-Cal teams in LA LA LAND–who will be sharing the colossal arena–from rebranding their team, including their uniforms.

Hmmm.

This got me thinking further about an unexpected announcement our pastor only very recently made to our vagabond congregation at the beginning of a worship service.

In a strange twist, we will be combining our church (that has been in search of a building for over five years…) with another local body of believers (with a beautiful structure) whose pastor is retiring after many decades of faithful service.

This is the first CHURCH MERGE my hubby and I will be a part of.

Still reeling from the exciting news–on the drive home, we had an interesting conversation.

“I’ve known of too many church splits. But a church merge? It’s a great thing, right?” I said.

“But it feels the same.” He said.

He glanced over.

After a few seconds of puzzling out his odd answer-

“You mean the hurt feelings, the grieving, and people leaving because they can’t bear the change?” I said.

He nodded.

Meetings with people from both sides of a river that currently separates us found many flinging nervous and good-natured bantering about the Capulets and Montagues as well as the Brady Bunch.

This morning during prayer and more ruminating on this barely weeks away from sharing “four walls” with new brothers and sisters in Christ, I wondered if rules of the road could offer any insight.

Over the course of hurrying to and fro from one errand to the next on the highways in our region, close calls, accidents, and even deaths have happened for failures to properly enter the flow of traffic.

A Google search whisked me to the Washington State Department of Licensing Driver Guide.

This is how I (and prolly many others, too!) feel right now:

Enter drivingtests.org and the section about traffic signs:

“Traffic signs tell you about traffic rules, hazards, where you are, how to get where you are going and where services are located.”

A whole page is dedicated to yielding and right of way!

“You must be alert to what is going on around you–many collisions occur because drivers do not pay enough attention to their driving.”

Further:

“You can avoid distracted driving by remembering the ‘5 D’s’.

  • Dangerous.
  • Deceptive.
  • Destructive.
  • Disabling.
  • Deadly.”

Did you know that merge signs are considered common traffic warning signs?

Not me!

“These signs are usually yellow [such a happy color!] with black lettering or symbols and most are diamond shaped. These signs warn you to slow down and be prepared to stop if necessary. They warn you of sharp curves, special situations, speed zones or hazards ahead.”

No one can tell how the sharing of a massive NFL Football stadium will go for the Chargers and Rams.

And driving my car here and there and everywhere demands vigilance and attention to details. I pray others are doing the same.

A look into God’s Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth found me culling trustworthy truths from Romans chapter 12 to help me as I do my part to ensure a smooth-as-possible-in-light-of-all-the-others-on-this-path transition:

“Therefore I (the apostle Paul) urge you brothers and sisters in view of God’s mercy to:

  1. As living sacrifices offer true and proper worship and be faithful in prayer.
  2. As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone/live in harmony.
  3. Humbly serve/yield when necessary.
  4. Be devoted to one another in sincere love.
  5. Be joyful in hope!”

“Hope is the confident expectation of something better tomorrow.” -Dr. James MacDonald

 

 

 

 

A Secret Hope

Photo courtesy of Pixaby/Public Domain

So.

After reading inspiring blogs, thought-provoking quotes, and perusing funny memes, I’m still at the how to put together something special for all the I have a mother, am a mother or mother-to-bes?

Lacking close maternal bonds for all of my life, it’s tough to know what to say.

BUT

I have a mother, am a mother and know several mothers-to-be.

To get the bouquet of words assembled let’s start with some lavender:

According to Google, Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood in different forms throughout the world. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.

Those orange, purple, and yellow tulips look nice:

Did you know that parenting is a benefit to longevity?

A www.techtimes.com article called Parents Live Longer Than Childless People-Why Having Children is Tied to Longevity (Adamson, 2017) listed the top three reasons:

  1. Healthier Behaviors
  2. Support System
  3. Social Interaction

(So, to my favorite blue-eyed son AND my favorite brown-eyed son, thank you for calling your mother this week. You’ve helped to extend my life by…um. Calculating. 60-50=10. 10 divided by two equals five. Five divided…okay, by at least the time it took me to write that paragraph!)

How about pink roses next?

A MOTHER’S DAY PRAYER

For quiet joys and peace of mind                                                                     for all that’s gentle, all that’s kind.                                                             For love and hope to light your way,                                                               a little laughter every day.

Yup. Just about there. Hmmm.

Carnations. You pick the color:

Q. Two mothers and two daughters went out to eat. Everyone ate one burger yet only three burgers were eaten.

How is this possible?

A. They were a grandmother, mother, and daughter.

And now, to finish off with baby’s breath:

Aside from having my own children, the greatest joy of my life is to be called Nana by a grandson and a granddaughter.

“Studies have shown that ALL grandchildren are ‘gifted.'” -Unknown

AND

They are “the promise of tomorrow and the hope of dreams come true…”

So. No matter where you fall on the list, here’s to Mom’s everywhere and the secret hope this word bouquet brought some joy to you.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Good Thing

We bid Tori a “bye-bye birdie” on Tuesday night.

All around the sights and sounds of vibrant a stark contrast to the drab inside my heart, as we prepared for the Memorial Service and “burial at River” I’d requested of my veteran-sailor hubby.

Here, children skipping, jumping, and laughing alongside their parents as they strolled past us on local footpaths.

There, a man stowing gear in a dripping power boat pulled from the water.

“If anyone asks–you’ve got some explaining to do.” My hubby said glancing back at the patrol car behind us as we walked to the end of the dock.

In the nine days devoted to caring for the dove egg orphan, there had been zero mishaps. Or even close calls.

Only minutes before the funeral, I’d held the shell to the outdoor light.

Doubt crept in.

What if she needs more time?

Having extended our commitment to Tori’s survival by six days, over a week past the two Wikipedia deems a normal gestation period–was it wishful thinking?

Here’s where memory fogs…

Just as I knelt to put her back on her shredded-paper-packing material nest she rolled out of my hand.

A reflexive cry, then eyes squeezed tightly shut.

I stood frozen, terrified to open them. Afraid not to.

Yank. Up. Courage.

The shell cracked neatly in half revealed the truth:

She’d already succumbed to the second law of thermodynamics.

Have you ever really noticed the constant juxtapositions of life’s every, every, minute?

Living and dying; laughing and crying; hatching and halting.

Reflecting on the past 9/60 of 4&5/2017, I compiled a list of gains in spite of the loss:

  •  Anticipation. The hope (and faith!) for something more.
  •  Joy! Strangers, though surprised, were happy to offer their opinions about: “Can birds smell?” A debate sparked between my hubby and me. The results were mixed. Google it. Hint: Audobon.org
  • Awe. Participation in God’s creation ignited childlike wonder.
  • Connection:
  1. Our youngest son, living in Fifth-gear-land, actually stopped everything to help me (via cell phone) set up an incubation station and encouraged me to seek answers online on how to care for Tori as a feathered friend.
  2. Like April, the Giraffe, Tori garnered her own fan base including a neighbor and several of my friends and blog followers. One, all the way in Switzerland.
  3. Two friends, a silver, and a gold flew to my side that first day to confirm or deny chances for life. We laughed and wept and prayed as we chatted, got caught up, and discussed ways to also help humans in crisis.
  • A prompt. Life is fragile. Handle with care.
  • Inspiration. If God cares about the birds of the air and not a sparrow (or a dove!) falls without Him seeing, think about what that means about how he feels about us (Check out Psalm 139)!
  • Patience. Something about the not knowing stretched this virtue in me.
  • Outward focus. Nurturing Tori forced me to think about something besides a broken relationship in a close relative’s life and other circumstances I have no control over.
  • Acceptance. Letting go of expectations, disappointments, and regret. There was something reverent and beautiful and transcendent about releasing Tori into the vast waters of the Mighty Columbia.

So. Even though things turned out differently than I had hoped, I’m choosing to focus on the larger events set in motion in the brief time shared with one of God’s smaller creatures.

Bereft now occupies Tori’s corner of our living room and the tears flow fast.

But I know the time and effort invested weren’t wasted.

In fact, I’m beyond grateful for every good thing.

 

 

 

Of Fobs and Robbers

“Locks are for honest people.”

Ever heard that quote?

As a kid, it puzzled me, much like the combination I had to learn every school year to get into my locker.

Last night, Fabio made a guest appearance on a cable news show revealing how very recently his and other celebrities’ homes had been broken into and property pilfered.

This month my hubby and I took in one of our cars for an oil change and we brought back an additional SUV with only one key.

A visit to a local locksmith yielded two useless pieces of metal.

Calls to hardware stores and other smith agents netted zero results.

Finally, agreeing the solution involved divesting our bank account, we returned to the dealership where I did some stealing of my own:

“Just who is this Ward we’re pulling for?” I asked the receptionist pointing to the large sign overhead.

Her wide grin proved worth the snatching.

Later, raiding remembrances with my hubby extracted more.

Once after hearing a radio sermon on his way home from work he burst through the front door exclaiming:

“Did you know every time you look in the mirror your observing constant decay? Our bodies are undergoing continual entropy!”

All this proudly delivered like the best and most fascinating news e-v-u-r.

I’m pretty sure that if you could have seen my face, it would have registered shock and a dropped jaw. Crickets may or may not have been heard above me.

Sure enough, the next study of my image while washing my face and brushing my teeth revealed evidence of that robber of youth and vigor: time.

A gray eyelash, dark spots on my cheek and deepening creases on my chin and neck cheated me of joy and contentment.

Days after his imposing proclamation as we drove to local footpaths for a walk my hubby sighed.

“I miss running.”

“So do I.” I sighed back.

His head snapped so fast I feared whiplash.

“You’ve never liked running!”

“I used to run for miles and miles.” I  beamed like a Chesire cat.

“On my horse!”

This gouged a grin.

“I like it when your eyes sparkle, you look especially beautiful.”

“What, for the state of decay I’m in?”

On another trek together beside the rolling Columbia River, feeling plundered again, I poured out my concerns to my hubby.

Our family is missing two precious people in a recent relational breakup, Tori, the dove egg orphan we’re incubating has yet to hatch, and chapter nine of my memoir in progress perplexes.

We talk about:

  • John Ross from our own Washington state being the ninth NFL draft pick (of the first round!).
  • My attending a local junior college observatory showing of Planet Nine. And the fact that Pluto will always be one to us.
  • Guess how many goslings we counted in passing?

Upon returning to our vehicle, we discovered there is no key entry from the passenger side. As my hubby hurried to open the driver side door, I pulled the keyless entry mechanism from my pocket and opened all the doors.

“You’re fob-ulous!” My hubby sang out.

We laughed.

The short drive to the store to shop for groceries found me ruminating on the unusual occurrences involving the number nine and the Serenity Prayer written by American theologian Reinold Niebuhr.

“God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Beyond grateful to my heavenly Father for unlocking the secret places of my heart and restoring hope, I whispered,

“You’re fob-ulous.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life in Bus Passes

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

How do you mark time?

Recently, there’s a trend among the young mom set to snap pics of their “littles” next to a living or even stuffed pet.

Brilliant!

Something stable and unchanging with which to measure growth.

Photos of our two sons in front of a Dutch Elm or Red Maple on the first day of preschool all the way to highschool present a problem.

Trees grow too!

Discovering our oldest son’s personal yearbook I’d assembled at a time when my hubby used our one car to get to work and back, delighted me. Monthly bus passes he’d used to get to school and back next to his cherished face helped me really see him.

A tired smile. A great big grin. A flash of annoyance in his baby-blues.

The passage of time through captured emotion!

We’re nearly 4/12 through another year. The calendar pages flying.

Our family’s grown from four to seven in under a decade.

BUT

I’d hoped for nine.

Joy mingles with sorrow as the month of April wanes.

While I’ve just started my “fifififififties” (as a dear friend likes to say) it’s the last 1/12 for my hubby who’s a tad more “formerly youthful.”

“What about the future?” We’re asking each other more and more.

Residual health issues and financial reversals aside–What do we want life to look like?

Say what you will about Christopher Columbus–his quote inspires:

“Following the light of the Sun we left the Old World behind.”

Would you have the courage to petition a King and Queen to fund your dreams and make the risky voyage across oceans?

Would I?

In my corner of the world, my biggest adventure is incubating and nurturing a dove egg orphaned a day ago.

The odds are stacked against us. But she now has a name: Victoria. Tori for short. Her moniker comes from tor the Hebrew word for dove.

A few friends have rallied around me when the professionals and experts I’ve called offered condolences. My hubby holds me AND his tongue.

It’s just one egg in a world replete with rock pigeons.

Who really cares?

The One Who notices a single sparrow that falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29).

Who’s seen every emoji cross our faces in real life.

Just now the cooing of a mourning dove floated from our back yard.

So, live or die, I can rest assured at having done all to sustain life.

Yup.

That’s a trip worth taking.