be careful what you teach your children. Or something like that.

Summertime isn't really a blogger's friend.  Meaning that I can pour my heart into something of a million words, give or take, and exactly no one will read it.  And then I can write a post like the one  I just turned in to the church, about my battle with a giant roach, and I'll get thousands of the most interesting comments and responses.  Which basically tells me that I need to stick the light and fluffy of post types from June to early September.

I planned to do just that... till I saw this on this beautiful morning at our church.  Can you see the silly people holding signs and trying to form a smallish picket line?  (You should totally read that last line out loud in a voice that you might use to read a book to a three year old.)

Granted, I've seen and heard worse, and we've had larger, more interesting protester crowds out front of our loving doors o' God.  But y'all, ... still.  

Today these particular people went over and above, appealing to the the basic rule of parents everywhere.  Be careful what you teach your children. 

And THAT, my friends, because I am so carefully concerned about what I teach my kids, is exactly why I bring them to this particular church each week, and have for their lifetimes.  Because this church teaches love and tolerance and acceptance.  

And truth.  Y'all, truth is where it's at -  and all the cool people are telling it.  

And just like our sign says out front, our church teaches everybody.  EVERYBODY. 

And I didn't get all mad at these lonely guys with signs like a few people who chose to take to Facebook to protest the protesters...... because, really?  I just can't  ... I'm not the ultimate teacher.  None of us are.  We simply have to have the courage to continue the work of God always, and that includes times such as these when a few will call us out on what they see as a spiritual technicality - a  glitch in what is written and spoken straight from the spirit of faith, and what they choose to hold on to way too tightly.  

But the good news is that God sees no technicalities.  He sees no color, no race, no political views.  He sees no sexual preference or orientation, and he sees beyond us and through us and mostly,... thanks be to God, despite us. 

Because y'all, I could just as easily be the person holding this sign - or any other - in public, private or just inside the walls of my own heartfelt opinions, but for the grace of God.  So church people, go gentle on our sign holders today.  Love on them the way we would want to be loved.  Teach them the way that we teach our own, especially our children.  And move on from there, doing exactly what we always do.  

Keep singing over the bullhorn voices.  Keep talking and inviting and welcoming everybody - even the ones with the signs.  I thought about how the Grinch thought he stole Christmas from Whoville.... and how he anxiously waited for the sounds of sadness on Christmas morning to fill his tiny, empty heart.  Sort of like our guests today who thought they could steal our joy.  But we still sang.  And we still learned.  And we taught the biggest of all lessons.  God is love.  End of story.  

Now.  Y'all, here's a link to a post I wrote about my mom's funeral.  It was quite a day.  These were my thoughts on it all.    And I feel sure there will be more in the future as I have time to think on things.  

My mom's funeral.  ( seriously... this is a real link that I can't for the life of me get to show, but if you click on the words, my mom's funeral... magic will show up.  Well maybe not quite magic.)

And on the great side of news - lucky, lucky me... I got to hear from my good friend, Loyce yesterday.  

Let me leave you with this little darling singing to us from Uganda.  I asked if she was learning to play the guitar.  No, it turns out, she is not, but is looking mighty cute holding this one that belongs to our mutual friend for use in her school.  It absolutely makes for an adorable accessory for any musical talent.  And just in case you can't tell, here are the words to Loyce's song:  

"  I am walking in promises.  I am walking in miracles.  I live my life in favor.  I know who I am."  

You bet you do, my little love.  You are a child of God, my sister in faith, and my precious friend.  

Thanks to Loyce for reminding me to keep it all in perspective.  

I found some of my long lost peace that night

It is Friday night, after the longest week since the last time I had the longest week... and my biggest plan is to read my new Dennis Lehane book and eat fried chicken strips.  The actual, crunchy, breaded in a bazillion carbs kind of chicken that not only hits that salty, crunchy sort of craving, but mostly just feeds the soul.  

And y'all, my soul is in its own place of hunger and confusion today, and begging to be filled.  I'll totally let you know if the chicken does the trick.  

My mom died yesterday morning when I was teaching my second class of the day.  And thanks to a work friend that stepped in for me,  I was able to see her one last time before the hospice nurse called the funeral home to come get her.  And let me just stick this little bit of my own brand of politics right on into this section... the hospice nurse was the kindest, gentlest, most patient gal - and exactly what I needed yesterday - and what my mom needed during her final hours.  And I couldn't love anyone more than I do my new friend, the Muslim, immigrant nurse from Kenya who loved on my mom when she needed it the most.  Her heart was evident, her caring glowed, and her hijab  - y'all, if I was Muslim, I would totally wear that thing.  Maybe I would wear it anyway.... It was beautiful.  But mostly?  She was beautiful.  

And thanks be to God for the care brought all the way to our family from so far away, and meant for exactly this moment in time.  "...God created you for such a time as this and he has a plan for you." (Esther 4:14) 

Tuesday night I learned that my mom had been placed on Crisis Care, which is around the clock nursing to manage pain and make the last days as easy as possible.  Fireman Dave took off work to come with me and the boys to get in one last great visit.  And it was.  

I don't even need fancy or pretty words to tell you that I found some of my long lost peace that night.  I was given the opportunity to sit with my mom alone before the first nurse arrived, and we prayed.  Well, I prayed and I like to think she heard me.  And I prayed the exact thing that I had been asking for weeks, that God take her suffering away quickly and easily and allow her to get on with some real living.  

And for me as a believer, that means that at 10:00 am Thursday morning, my mom saw my dad and my sister, and my Muh and my Granddaddy for the first time in a lifetime -  and not only saw them as she knew them here, but as her new Heavenly neighbors and world's best welcome party organizers.  

And I think that I will write about this more later as I take time to give it all some thought... but that Tuesday night when I sat with her, I held her hand as we prayed.  The first ever memory I have of holding my mom's hand has made a lasting memory for me, and now I'm trying to decide what to do with it.  And how.  And when.  

But for now, I want to read and watch a distracting crime show on Netflix, and eat comfort food till my body feels like it can function again.  

And the good news is that I know it will.  I worked today, regular schedule.  And I will keep on doing it each day till it feels normal again.  I even taught one class yesterday with the news in my heart of my mom's death, and I promise you it wasn't easy, but it was good.  

post script - I swear the good lord knows me like no other, and always finds a way to shine a light into my darkness, and a way for the Walters to leave their mark wherever we go.  Thank you Fireman Dave for turning my tears into laughter as you set off the after hours burglar alarm in the nursing home  at 11pm Tuesday night.  Thank you for waking every single patient by doing exactly what that door sign asked you not to do -  and bringing half the nursing staff running to what sounded like  a prisoner escaping a maximum security prison.  And thank you for holding the door open for us all as we made our get away run to the car on such a night as this. 

It did my heart good.   

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