Fun morning – started out as usual, headed to the office by the normal route, up a ramp onto a freeway. I’ve been doing it for 2 years now, and this winter has been decidedly un-wintery so far. No worries…. until I saw the ambulance backing down the ramp and the blue lights on the vehicle midway up. To my left, the subject, a truck that suddenly took a steep drop off the freeway and landed on the driver’s side. Continue reading Beware of Black Ice
It wasn’t really night, more like supper time nearing dusk. We could easily walk the 4-6 blocks back to campus before dark. There was no cause for concern, until there was… Continue reading Night of the Wolfmen
From “Oh Robin, our Robin“:
There will be those, and I know some of them, who will speak of how selfish people must be to choose a fatal option. In a sense, when you consider the loss, agony, and guilt that living loved ones must cope with, “selfish” seems accurate.
To address this “selfish” idea, let me invite you into the one place I can speak authoritatively about… the edge of the cliff, nearly 30 years ago… Continue reading A Peek Over the Cliff
During one foray into online dating, many years ago, I was asked for 5 characteristics that I wanted in a man I would marry. Fair question, a good one really, and I gave it some thought – how would I pare down a list of preferences and must-haves into the top 5 without losing some of the essentials?? I finally came up with a list, and being the word-wrangler that I am, I was able to make an alliteration, which has come in handy. I still want a few items that don’t fit conveniently into this list, like someone who enjoys variety in dining, but the absolute essentials are these:
Pastor of our home. Above all, this man must have a solid relationship with Jesus Christ, and a readiness to lead his family to the throne room with praise and prayer for any issue big or small. He is the one answerable to God for the decisions of our family, and he should be in a position to get his answers from God before that time comes. He is to have a pastor’s heart, as gentle and comforting as it is firm and uncompromising, appropriate for the situation.
Provider. He must have the ability and ambition to bring an income that will cover our need for food and shelter. He must have a reasonable perspective on money and what it takes to earn enough, being neither a workaholic nor wasteful. He must also recognize where provision ultimately comes from, and not deny the need for Godly generosity, yet with wisdom.
Protector. I will be his prize, and a not-so-bad prize at that, so his first thought should be toward my best interest. It may or may not mean heroically sacrificing himself to snatch me from the teeth of death – but he should love me enough to be unflinching if it comes to that. Generally, it would mean encouraging me and my to-do list to maintain appropriate balance, and stepping in to do the heavy lifting so that my body is not prematurely worn out.
Partner. We’ve got to work together, whether it’s in ministry, remodeling, or dishes. There’s no point in me joining my life with someone else’s if we’re going to continue living as independent individuals. He will need to be ready to discuss and negotiate, then follow through, holding up his end of the bargain and occasionally lifting me – as well as accepting that I will occasionally need to lift him. Partnership works that way.
Playmate. Part of life is enjoying its blessings – the scenery, the stories, the flavors… While we will have interests & friends that don’t necessarily cross over (he isn’t invited to women’s retreats), we must truly enjoy one another’s company. We have to laugh together, and be free to laugh at whatever strikes us as funny, even if in a moment, it’s the iced tea I just dumped in my lap or the keys he accidentally locked in the car.
I started, over the years, to believe that such a fellow doesn’t exist in our century. I’ve been learning lately that I’m incorrect. I’ve met guys such as these, usually through my relationships with their wives. These are blessed women indeed. One day, perhaps, I may meet a single man in my age bracket who meets these qualifications, and whose qualifications I meet. Until then, I’ve learned that I have Someone who meets all of the above characteristics. I have a Pastor, a Provider, Protector, Partner, and yes, even a Playmate. I’ll have to tell you about Him in another post, but I can honestly say (and have), I am well cared for. There is no man on this planet that could have given me all the provision, protection, and encouragement I have gotten from the Lord. Granted, I don’t get to sneak bites of chocolate pie from His plate with an impish grin, but He’s managed to make up for that. He’s also promised a big party & fabulous meal in the future, when spilling tea in my lap will be impossible.
Our relationship started with the idea of Cinderella – a one liner about the need to get back to clearing cinders from the fireplace. It was a lovely whirlwind, and I was convinced I had finally met my prince – especially on the day that he invited me to, of all things, a Ball. Yes, a real event that really went by the title ‘Navy Ball’. Cinderella indeed.
My date held the rank of Commander, and I can’t tell you how relieved I was to learn that the Navy had declared Dress Blues as the uniform for the evening. This guy wore sweaters and jeans very well, so I was concerned about maintaining my decorum upon seeing the man I had fallen for with his Richard Gere grey above Navy Dress Whites. Yow!
My fairy godmother, it turns out, must have still been in training, or perhaps distracted by other princesses. By the time midnight rolled around, both glass slippers were shattered and the opulent coach had become a scowling jack-o-lantern. All that’s left is a dress I never expect to wear again, a few Cinderella mementos, another failed romance, and an uncomfortable picture where my hair blends perfectly into the fishtail decor on the wall behind us.
Well, that, and one more image…one that my Protector showed me while I was still dreaming of arriving at the ball on the arm of my prince. He and I discussed the future day when I would be escorted and introduced, not by a Commander in the U.S. Navy, but by The Commander of the Armies of the Lord.
When you belong to Jesus and God the Father, who needs a fairy godmother??