Archive for August, 2011

Add to Your Reading List

Have you read this book? Download it on your Kindle, buy it here, request it from your library. It’s a human interest story. It’s a story you need to know. Your children need to know it one day. Warning: It may make you feel angry. It may make you feel sad. But it’s the story of a woman who has changed our world and hardly anyone knows her name. You need to keep reading.

And, then pass the book along to someone else.


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This morning in the darkness, I lit a candle for several friends this morning. They all have something in common: going through major life transitions. In my heart and in my prayers, I will carry them through this day.

A few moments later I picked up my book, Sacred Journeys by Jan Richardson and read these words:

For the Seed Is the Light of the Earth

In the absence of light
we maintain our eyes cannot see.
We believe our pupils dilate
to a maximum degree and no more.
We are certain our bodies do not glow
with the cold phosphorescence of the bog,
of water, unfathomed, under pressure,
our own, or beyond our making. We assure
ourselves we are exonerated because
we cannot float through the night
graceful with inherent sonar. We think
anatomy keeps us from the dark forest.

I tell you here, in this dark, this
indistinct country, comes our shaped
and fleshed evolution. That step
on the unlit path stretches us,
and those who may come after.
With each hesitant journey
we open, blazing beacon fires,
flashing lanterns from high, distant
hills Dark surrounds us. We are
paradox. We carry our own light
and move in love through the dark,
as the seed loves the earth enclosing it.
– Christina Pacosz (Looking for Home: Women Writing About Exile)

Jennifer, Todd, Emily…. may your steps on the unlit path bring you hope, joy, and peace this day and always.

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To My Mother…

My mom starts a new job tomorrow. She’s a little nervous. When I moved away from home for college, I cried the first night. As I was crying, I reached under my pillow and pulled out a letter my mom had put there earlier in the day. Tonight, in an email, I wrote a letter I wish I could have placed under her pillow.

Here’s an excerpt of what I emailed to her earlier tonight:

Several years ago, I can’t remember exactly when, I started imagining the women I’ve come from. I’m from a family of strong women. This is nothing to discount Dad or his side of the family but there is something innate in a woman that is passed down through her maternal side. I know I have it. I come from a line of strong women.
I know you and Gran didn’t always get along. (to say the least) I wish more than anything she could have talked about her alcoholism and ultimately, what she did to stop drinking. As I imagine that time in her life and the moments for the rest of her life, I can’t imagine that was an easy decision. I know too many friends in recovery and making the commitment each and every day to remain clean and sober. As I think about that strength and what it must have required of her– I know she was a strong woman.
I don’t have many memories of you being sick when I was a little girl. I remember visiting you in the hospital lobby but mostly, I’ve heard your stories and the stories of those who helped care for us while you were sick. There have been so many times when I think about how strong you had to have been to fight that battle… both physically and emotionally. You are a strong woman.
Where does the strength come from? I think faith and trust in our God who is greater than we are… and reminding ourselves that we don’t know the bigger picture. I think faith and trust in our God who we know LOVES us and wants the BEST for us.
You will start your job on P’s 9 month birthday. 9 months! I’m simply too overwhelmed at times to think it’s possible true. Dang, I’d like to say it’s been a bed of roses but we both know I’d be lying. Thankfully, God blessed me with a baby boy who is as resilent as he can be. I simply could NOT have made it through the first two months of his life without you… as my cheerleader, my nurse, but most of all my mother.
I got through that time because God surrounded me with a great cloud of witnesses that included you standing beside me and cheering me on. Even when the physical pain was gone and I was left sorting through the emotional pain of it all, you let me cry. You let me be your child and show you my fear. You let me grieve what i had missed and was missing out on.
And, through faith, prayers, and rallying that good ole’ Chesnut, Newsome, etc. strength, I got through it.
I never intended on posting on this on my blog. However, as I wrote it, I felt like it needed to be a testimony for other’s to see. Indeed, I come from a long line of strong women. Thanks be to God!
If you are the praying type, please pray for my mom as she begins her new job tomorrow.

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