Archives for posts with tag: life

Family

In honor of my sister’s birthday, today’s Blast from the Past is a true story of best sisters and friends forever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

It’s true, it really is…
Cooler Near the Lake

In Wisconsin I guess I took for granted all of the accessible lakes. I grew up approximately 22 blocks from Lake Michigan, though I’m often heard bashing our bay’s high pollution level being situated right between Milwaukee and Chicago. Seriously, hazing for summer lifeguards involves swimming from a boat to shore and then they are never actually on duty because the pollution levels are too high. They just put up these “No Lifeguard on Duty: High Pollution Swim at Your Own Risk” signs and interact with parents who say seemingly ridiculous things such as, “Oh, no, I wouldn’t go in there, but it’s okay for my kids to swim, right?”

Then there were other lakes. Community lakes rimmed by large cabins, houses, and rickety old docks with anchored rafts floating 15-20 feet away. Public lakes with grassy lawns edging sandy beaches. My sister got her license just before I turned nine. That next summer she would pick me up from intramural drama classes (yes, during the summer; I know, I’m a dork) and have to “watch me” for the rest of the day. On days when all the stars aligned (my sister didn’t have to go to work, we had enough money to get in, or it was free), we would head straight from class to Silver Lake.

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tombstone-with-broken-vaseHere’s my first Blasts from the Past installment. Even though this post is a decade old, it still hits particularly close to home, as I’ve been thinking about this story a lot over the past year and a half since my sister died. I even called the chaplain to thank him for his example in grieving in grace; knowing that it’s okay to let your sorrow show, seeking and accepting grace from others, but also to give others grace as they navigate the turbulent waters of loving you in your grief.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Till Death Do Us Part

In all my quarter-life thoughts about marriage, this is not a phrase I have spent enough time contemplating, or at least not in the right way. I have recently realized that in spending a considerable amount of time weighing the gravity of the lifetime commitment of “to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” I have overlooked the eternal ramifications of “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

A week ago, one of our chaplains lost his wife to a long battle with a particularly rare form of cancer. He’s taking it very hard, as well he should. He’s lost the women who he fell in love with at first sight. I’ve heard the story once or twice, but it’s just as beautiful no matter how many times I hear it.  Read the rest of this entry »

We're Broken People in a Broken World but there's Beauty in the Breaking that Makes Us Whole

Yesterday, I read a bit of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. So much spoke to me, resonated deep. I had to share.

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A friend asked for an example when I told him I’ve been learning a lot lately. In light of that conversation, here’s today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making:

I have learned that I can face my fears and not die; but I cannot ignore my Hope and live.

Note to my dearest friends and relatives: The following is a true confession that I haven’t told very many people. You may find it shocking. I am sorry I haven’t told you in person. I love you. Thank you for loving me. You have been warned. Proceed with caution.

I tried to run away from home several times throughout my childhood. I say, “tried” because I wasn’t very successful. Growing up on a dead end road opposite a cornfield in the middle of the boonies didn’t afford a pre-license lady many exit routes. In fact, I may not remember how old I was the first time I tried to run away from home, but I do recall that I didn’t even leave the house; I just curled up in the hall closet for a bit. Apparently, my young mind hadn’t completely grasped the concept.

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Last week, we reflected on the past and how our view of it affects our present. We revealed that each of our pasts extends beyond ourselves, born of a combination of all those who have gone before us. That was the easy part.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. From the past we reap many lessons and levels of understanding. It might require some digging, but the past is nothing if not known. The future, on the other hand, frustrates even the most carefree spirit with its inability to be grasped and mastered.

Though many have tried to divine it, the future remains largely unknowable. The very reality of that great unknown breeds anticipation, which, in turn, manifests in two forms: fear and hope.

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A few months ago, I wrote a post encouraging you to savor the moment. Since then, I have been trying to practice what I preached. As it turns out, in order to truly appreciate the present, one must maintain a healthy reflection of the past and an unwavering hope for the future.

How many people do you know can honestly claim to consistently approach life this way? Hopefully, you can name a few. I can think of a handful of people who encourage this kind of thinking in my life. While a few select peers pepper the list, the lion’s share consists of men and women who have experienced so much more than your average Gen Y-er could even begin to imagine.

And why should we?

I’ll tell you why.

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You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part
~The Waiting, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

It feels like most of my youth was spent in preparation and waiting for the next step. Elementary school prepared me for junior high. Junior high prepared me for high school. High school prepared me for college. College prepared me for life.

Now I’m in life and I keep wondering, what’s next?
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One of my favorite passages from the Chronicles of Narnia is in A Horse and His Boy, when Shasta is traveling over the mountains in the dead of night, all alone. Or so he thought.

Shasta discovered that someone or somebody was walking beside him. It was pitch dark and he could see nothing. And the Thing (or Person) was going so quietly that he could hardly hear any footfalls. What he could hear was breathing. His invisible companion seemed to breathe on a very large scale, and Shasta got the impression that it was a very large creature. And he had come to notice this breathing so gradually that he had really no idea how long it had been there. It was a horrible shock….He bit his lip in terror. But now that he really had something to cry about, he stopped crying.

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