Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I try to present myself with grace and dignity in most situations, as I have learned that not much else works anyway.  However this week I believe I have broken at least 2 or more of the Ten Commandments and thought of another one that should've without a doubt been added.  

And I've found along the path of my years, that no matter what the Bible says about being clothed in strength and dignity, that I lose all control when anger, pettiness, worry and the like, slip in like they belong on my life boat.  And this is the point at which, if I were a toddler, I would yell that nothing is fair and then storm off and cry and hit some things.

My friend and I sat out in the front yard the other night.  And we ate cake because it just seemed like a good thing to do.  Especially when discussing our kids and all their faux pas and people who have done us wrong.  And cancer.  Nothing is fair.  

So I started talking about my family and how I heard from them again recently - still with no steps toward reconciliation.  Just a lot of frustration and more tears that I really thought would've dried up by now.  And the conversation led to more of my upbringing and that whole situation, and somehow ended up briefly on a person that I honestly haven't thought about in ages.  A person that swept through our lives like an unwelcome house guest that stayed a little too long.  And ate all the good food.  But the good news is that I said what I needed to say to him a long time ago and got on with living.  The rest just can't be my problem anymore.  But I still wave my flag of unfairness in this particular unnamed scenario... considering the big scheme of people's lives and all. 

But don't mistake my expression of unfairness as animosity.  Because it isn't.  It's nothing.  This is a person that once had a strong hold on my hurt, and gave me an easy blame for my loss.  But that turned out not to be the full truth.  Because if you haven't figured this out for yourself yet, you will someday... We can't blame others for much of anything really, and have it matter or change things for the better.  You've just gotta Let it Go...

To which I must include the brand new George Strait song of the same title because he is amazing.  And I love him.  I really love him.     

One time I won a trip to the island of Curacao.  A Caribbean island, .... crazy gorgeous but not as well known as her siblings, Aruba and Bonaire. It was a week long trip, with everything - I mean everything- included.  And let me tell you, I deserved to win that prize since I had turned in probably 6000 entries; some mailed, some dropped off at the local TV station giving away the trip as a promotion for the island.  It was a contest with Good Morning Texas, and seeing that I was a little underemployed at the time, I had tons time to invest all I had in my campaign to win.  (The employment situation  being a little trick God had up his sleeve and, ... WOW. I. HAD. NO. CLUE.  Because God is indeed, sneaky that way.)

Just days before, I had turned down a wonderful opportunity with a salary that was about a million times more than being underemployed, but something wasn't right and I couldn't figure out what.  That, and I got a parking ticket at my job interview which was hint numero uno that I wasn't meant to be there.  

And right after I declined the position, my sister went into the hospital for her very last time.  And having some extra time on my hands, I was fortunate to be able to spend her final days with her.  She was a mess, looked a fright like nobody's business, but I got to be there.  And I wouldn't have had it any other way.  Thanks be to God.  

So, back to the story....  I was home blow drying my hair one morning when the phone started ringing with the world around me telling me they just heard my name on TV as the lucky winner of the trip.  And in the blink of an eye, I was both 5 minutes worth of famous AND going on a vacation.  

And I finished getting dressed and headed to the hospital for my shift, my turn to sit with my sister as she fought with all she had to beat the devil we call AIDS.  

She was in the county hospital here in Dallas since she had no insurance.  And it turned out to be one half blessing for the wonderful, quality care,  -  plus one half death defying scary to navigate and make it out without incident.   

So I marched into her room telling her that I had just won a trip and that she could go with me when she gets better.  But she was talking nonsense and I have no idea if she ever knew I was a celebrity for a day.  And though I was standing right there just a few feet away, letting the doctors do their thing, she would ask where I was and call out my name like she didn't see me.  Because she was dying.  And with very little oxygen to her brain, let's just say it, she was nuts.  And since I was the only one there, I was the one they asked permission to intubate her.   And I used to torture myself with the fact that I was the last one to talk to her and wonder if I said any of the things that I should've said.  Hindsight, though, I don't think she would've known one way or the other.  She just wanted to know I was there.

But as crazy as she was there in those last breathing moments that she could talk, she managed to tell me not to worry.  Don't worry, Kristi.  We'll always find each other.  

And these are the words on her grave in a little East Texas cemetery.  We'll always find each other.  Which given the circumstances, totally sounds like a God thing to me.  That he could reverse the roles of the weak and strong so the strong one could see a true example of courage.  That he can, and still does, use however short a life to touch deeply the lives of others.  That He could use such small words spoken to a girl that didn't have much more than her sister to count on, and give some comfort that maybe things would turn out okay.  

And what I've noticed through the years is that God has found me just about as many times as I've been lost.  Now granted, I stayed lost longer than I would've liked on more than one occasion, but, whatever.  

He sometimes finds me in the saddest and loneliest of places, and I find Him in the oddest and most surprising ones.  Like in a TV vacation contest win.  

post script...   So y'all.  I still say life isn't fair.  And sometimes you just get the sucky end of the stick in things and have to go on and figure out what to do with it.  And all the people say Amen.  

And I did go on the trip.  I needed the time away after all was said and done.  And when I was there, I got a call that I got a new job that I had interviewed for.  I would start late because of the trip and all, but I would go back home to be the new middle school teacher at a school specifically designed for at risk students.  I was still very much in the fitness business in my after hours, and think that will be the job that will win my Favorite of all My Life award at the end....

But talk about the surprise of a lifetime.... I fell in love with those kids.  And it was the door that opened in my mind, the idea that I wanted kids of my own.  On the job training for motherhood, I've said.  I taught at that school until Kid 1 was born 5 years later.  

I never saw all that coming.

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  1. Beautifully written! God's timing truly is His own despite our attempts to interject our thoughts and plans. Loved seeing the photo of Ethan on the ropes course! Remind me to tell you the story from SS of his willingness to be lowered out our 2nd floor classroom window. Lynne B.

  2. and I have spent a lifetime trying to convince God that my plans are better than His. Funny how he chooses not to listen. And I'm very proud of Ethan for going on this trip. It took a leap of faith and courage for him to go away on such a far away trip with people that he is not altogether comfortable with yet. He is a self contained box of feelings and emotions - until you let him be adventure man. Then he shines. Thank you Lynne, for everything. For time spent with my boys, for supporting me, for being an example of grace.


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