The Bike Crash

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The Bike Crash

The Bike Crash

I had this feeling just pulsing in me to take Grayson on a bike ride. I cannot even explain how important it felt. So after cleaning the church we headed home and I told Grayson to grab his bike.

He was ecstatic!!!

And I’m telling you, I was full of love and peace and it felt so right that I was actually very ponderous about what in the world I was feeling.

My bike was in the storage unit but Cade had gotten for me before leaving town but had forgotten my helmet. I had the thought that I should be wearing one (though the angle I got I still would have been beat up but more on that later) but I decided it was just a loop around the block so Grayson threw his on and off we went.

I Should Have Listened

As we came around the cul-de-sac, I had the thought, no I should spend time with him. So I motioned to cross the street and we’d go on the walking trail. I could see a little slope from the road to the trail and I had a flat out thought to walk my bike down it. Immediately I rolled my eyes at myself as if I was being wimpy as it was so tiny, and continued forward. Just as I got to the edge I could see that it wasn’t a slope but a little ledge of asphalt and instead of grass that section had loose gravel.

I knew it before it happened.

The tire snagged the broken up asphalt and then skidded through the loose gravel, unable to grip the ground and as much as I tried to save it the bike spun out to the side and launched me forward.

I cannot stop replaying, like an old VHS on rewind, my face about to slam straight into the concrete.

I felt my teeth immediately.

They were no longer where they should be.

“Mom, Are You OK?”

And as I lifted my head to assess the damage I my brain was whirring with the worst. Feeling the blood everywhere and the dirt and the reality of hard concrete under me, both helping me feel secure and pulsing as the enemy that crushed me I felt as though the bones in my face had shattered and my lips had been ripped from my mouth.

And then I heard the softness of a familiar voice behind me…

“Mom!!! Are you ok?!”

I rolled over and started to sit up, absolutely certain I’d just crushed every bone in my right hand and my face…

What are the Chances?

The day before my accident a little girl down the road had come to play with Grayson for the first time. I grabbed her dad’s number just in case, we chatted for a bit and then I carried on with my life.

What are the chances?

I had just watched my face hurl into the asphalt and was slowly pushing myself up from the pavement to look myself over. I glanced up and saw a man walking calmly but pointedly across the street to me. He had a smile on his face and concern in his eyes as he squatted down and said, “Hey, you ok?”

What are the chances that a dad we’ve seen at the bus stop would officially get to know me just the day before?

What are the chances that because of his background he would have seen plenty of bloodied up faces and wasn’t the slightest bit worked up about me?

Lifting me to my feet he walked me across the road, back to our neighborhood and said, “how are you feeling?” Just as a wave of nausea hit.

I told him I thought I was going to be sick and he very calmly sat me day and

Pigeon Forge, TN (and our last 13th birthday trip!)

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Five years flew by in a little more than a heartbeat and we now have three teenagers in our home. My youngest son Nate turned 13 this year, which meant it was time for our family’s last “teen birthday trip.”

Sean and I have taken each of our boys on a special trip with just the three of us for their 13th birthdays. We visited San Francisco with our oldest son, Sam, and visited Denver with our middle son, Ben.

This time our destination was Pigeon Forge, TN and it did not disappoint. We found a great cabin to rent in Sevierville (complete with video game tables, air hockey, and a hot tub) and Nate declared it the best rental house ever.

We very much enjoyed exploring the area and thanks to your awesome suggestions via my newsletter request, we found a few unexpected things to do too. Hillbilly Golf in Gatlinburg was such a big win, we’d have gone back for another round if we’d had the time.

We stopped at the Tennessee visitor center as we crossed the state line and Nate picked up a bunch of brochures there for activities that caught his eye.

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Peacemakers Needed

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Peacemakers Needed

Peacemakers Needed

It sounded like they (gosh, who even were “they”??) were charging down the hallway right outside my door.

What was happening?!

Were we under attack??

Months ago my family and I traveled to Israel with religious leaders from my church. That night my heart began to pound in my ears and I held my breath as I slowly turned in the blackened room to see if the girls in the bed next to mine were awake with the fear I was experiencing.

I Felt Ok?

Mouths hanging slightly open and covers tucked up under their chins, my two daughters were sound asleep while our hotel in Israel was clearly under attack.

Or so it sounded.

Cade and I had to be separated each night for two weeks as we traveled around Jordan, Israel and the borders of neighboring countries.

No hotel had a room big enough for 5, so boys slept in one room and girls in the other.

I felt responsible.

Frozen.

Confused.

And ok?

I wouldn’t say I felt peace, but I did feel calm as the noise rose and fell for a few hours.

I didn’t dare step out of our room to peer down the hallways at Cade’s room. What if they were out there and three girls, alone but together would become an obvious target.

My texts wouldn’t go through to Cade and then a loud explosion ripped through the air and I glued my eyes to the ceiling while I silently prayed.

Standing Guard

The next morning our entire tour group began to share stories.

Unanswered phone calls to the front desk where workers had abandoned guests, all of whom were from another country and didn’t speak the language or know how to seek help.

Cade had a front row seat to all of it.

Slipping a camera carefully between the curtains to capture images and video here and there.

He waited up all night. Ready, listening, and standing guard at windows and hallways to watch over those, including his family who hid away in their rooms.

Little did I know, this was a fight on the road outside. A barricade and late night surprise attack that ended in an explosion, gun fight and armored vehicles.

One Fearful Night

I’ll never know if anyone was lost that night, but I hurt knowing that my one fearful night pales in comparison to what they are enduring now.

That night another man, a leader in our church also walked the halls, watched, prayed and stood ready to protect those in his care.

I do not understand the things happening in the world, but I understand this:

In the midst of danger there were men I could trust, listen to and who stood between me and them. Looking to truth, and those who lead with it may not have kept the danger from ever happening, but it does give you a source to look to for guidance, peace and yes, even protection.

Peacemakers Needed

Never in the history of the world have we needed those who are able to stand upon watchtowers and walk through abandoned halls more.

My heart has been absolutely destroyed to watch a place I just wandered, discovered, and loved be turned to war. It’s not right. It’s not fair, but it is not “them”, it is all of us. We need

Watermelon Dog Treat Popsicles

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Watermelon dog treats are the ultimate dog popsicles – and best of all it only takes a minute to make them. They’re a great way to use up leftover watermelon too!

Happy 4th Gotcha Day, Oscar. We love you and we’re celebrating with your favorite Watermelon Dog Treats today.

Watermelon Popsicles for Dogs

It’s hard to believe that our sweet Oscar has been with us for four years now! It’s hard to imagine our lives without him.

After saying for so many years that I wasn’t a dog person, I’ve had to eat those words. He has very much become a member of our family and I love him dearly.

So many of you have shared in our excitement over the past few years, as we’ve become first-time dog owners.

You messaged me countless tips and endless advice and I’ve loved it all. So, I wanted to share our pup’s favorite treats with you.

Frozen Watermelon Dog Treats

Dog Popsicles

Several people sent me recipes for their favorite homemade dog treats when Oscar first arrived. The most popular treats by far were these watermelon dog treats – made simply by blending fruit with a bit of yogurt to make dog popsicles.

This combination has become Oscar’s favorite treat too. It cracks me up when he hovers near the freezer and peeks inside to see where the treats are.

Watermelon + Yogurt in the blender makes an awesome frozen treat!Read more

Points of Intersection

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Points of Intersection

I slowly peeled the sticky note off the windshield as I read, my heart thumping faster and heavier with each word.

I quickly shoved it in my pocket as I glanced to see if my mom had noticed.

She hadn’t.

We were utterly exhausted and wanting to somehow leave the worry there at the hospital and symbolically drive into new hope and faith as we exited the hospital parking garage. We needed to gather up a little energy to give a little more to Dad over the next week.

They Didn’t Know

It was 7 pm and we’d been at the hospital since right before 7am.

The person didn’t know we’d only found out just a couple days before that the surgeon had found an almost totally blocked carotid artery and set surgery for right away.

They didn’t know we were inside fasting and praying as what had been said would be a shorter surgery turned into many hours and finally into all day of waiting.

They didn’t sit with us when the surgeon finally came out, wringing his hands with a serious face as he said, “it was much worse than I had expected.”

They didn’t know we’d just faced the reality that at any time one wrong step off of a curb could have taken a husband, father and grandfather.

They didn’t know we were relieved to have witnessed a miracle of discovery and removal but that we were still carrying the day upon us.

They did see that the left side of the car had too much space between the lines and the right side was sitting too close to the yellow line.

And that was enough.

Points of Intersection

We are all but lines on a world map and eventually we will come to what is known in math as “the point of intersection.”

What can be a total annoyance to one maybe someone else’s mere effort of survival.

Lines crossing lines without seeing where they are coming from.

I didn’t know this sticky note had followed us in the move but today I lifted a book and there it was.

A sticky reminder that I just want to act in a way that oth

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