Love

Heather Smith
 I wish I could put a bucket of water balloons out on social media. 
Milo
Everything feels uneasy; it is weird trying to get back to normal—it is actually giving me anxiety. Even more anxiety than when everything was closing.  Part of my anxiety is not knowing how to act, is it appropriate to go a restaurant? Should I have small gathering with my friends? Do I wear a mask if I am invited into someone’s house?   Are we ready? What if there is a second wave?
Heather Smith
I don’t know.  I just don’t know.  There is so much going on in the world right now and then the Minneapolis chaos hits.     It can be overwhelming.  I don’t think my heart even knows how to respond.  I just know there is a deep ache in my chest and as the drama continues to unfold there is a temptation to be drawn down.  Can we ever overcome it? 
Guest Author
by Tai Ikomi. THE DAY OF the funeral finally came. It was Tuesday, the eighth of April… 1986, another day that was to remain indelible in my memory.
Debbie
Week two. How are you doing? My natural inclination (survival instinct) is to look for the positive. More time at home means more:
Guest Author
by Taylor   – 1 Corinthians 15:57, (NIV), “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” As my pastor says, “When we receive a gift, the proper reply is, ‘Thank you.'” 
Milo
I dealt with this before, I talked to a psychiatrist about it the past.  He called it Seasonal Affective Disorder – or SAD (appropriate).  I call it my winter blues. There were appropriate steps that I know I could take that would help me, but I just didn’t want to get up.  I wasn’t even hungry. 
Heather Smith
I’ve seen many people use the month of November to list things they are thankful for, but do we abandon that in December just in time for the chaos of preparing for a holiday that is supposed to be peaceful? 
Guest Author
by Abby Kelly    “The wakeup call for parents and for fathers in particular is that we are sinners too, adult sinners, and our sins have even greater repercussions than the missteps of our children, and tragically our children are often the objects of the dragon still within us. It’s not as if we’re sinners only in our relationships with other adults, and above the law when parenting our children. We are sinners in every facet, and often most dangerously so in our parenting.” 
Heather Smith
Autumn.     It was a time when the standard answer to “How are you?” was “In a time of rest.  I feel like we are in between crisis times and need to rest in this season.”  It was only a few years ago, but it feels like a lifetime ago. 
Heather Smith
In the story of our lives, we often have page-turning moments.  Those moments when we are leaving one chapter of our lives and entering another.  Those page-turning moments are bittersweet as we have excitement toward the next page, but we are looking longingly back toward what has been. 
Milo
“You didn’t let me finish!” exclaimed my 8-year-old niece. She was telling me a long story about her day. Halfway through her story, I interrupted her; I was busy and needed to get stuff done.   “Adults never let me finish,” she said in frustration. Her comment took me back, I used to think that too when I was young.  I was doing the same thing that drove me crazy: 
Heather Smith
It’s been exactly a year since we got The Call. In some ways, it seems like forever ago, in others, I can’t believe it has been a full 12 months.  In the space of that year, I’ve watched the family transform:  allowing memories to fill in spaces where a body sat, speaking freely of personality traits or quotes, choosing to celebrate a Christmas gift one last time without him. 
Guest Author
by Abby Kelly  The second my feet hit the floor, I felt overwhelmed. “Lord, the house feels like such a mess!” Now, I’m a confessed compulsive cleaner. But I justify that little character flaw by saying, “I have two cats and a dog! How could I possibly keep up with all the hair?” 
Heather Smith
And…when I do see them?  When I share in laughs and stories, when we talk about troubles or share advice…I remember.  I remember that I miss them.
Guest Author
They are women that I would love to ask to be a guest writer on this blog.  While I can’t do that (since they are with God), I will share some of their work and poetry. They are gone but shouldn’t be forgotten. 
Heather Smith
I don’t recognize the writing.  I don’t recognize the return address.  I rip open the envelope that came in the snail mail to find a hug on paper. There wasn’t a long note inside.  Just a small quote and it was signed “thinking of you this week.”   
Debbie
What makes you who you are? We string together experiences and lessons one by one like pearls. Some are born out of irritants, but they help us develop many beautiful layers of strength and courage. Others are timeless gifts of wisdom graciously given by those closest to us.
Milo
There was yelling, there was cursing, and kitchen cupboard doors being slammed—the argument? Something rather minor and nonsensical. It happened really fast; from 0 to 100 in about 2 minutes.