Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

One of the perks of my new job is being able to pick out really interesting new books and ask for review copies. As long as I write a review, of course. No problem here...One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp, is a standout volume that I (and others) predict will become a classic. It has staying power.

Read my review here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

7 Weddings and a Funeral

OK, so I don't know the actual number of weddings my husband, John, has performed since his ordination as a chaplain in early 2010. It's somewhere around seven, maybe a few more? But today he performed his first funeral.

I have never been more proud to call him my husband.

Not only was this his first time around the funeral block, but the deceased was the father of a childhood friend. The man and his sons, John's buddies, were regular fixtures in his growing up years. So this memorial was personal. A few weeks after he learned his father was dying of cancer, while he was enduring aggressive chemo, Chris (the son) asked John to perform the ceremony. Eventually. After his fight earned him extra time.

That was a month ago. Everyone involved has struggled with the sense of having no time to prepare, of being shocked at the swiftness of the disease. And John went from agreeing to do the service to... well, writing his sermon, visiting with the family, and guiding the service through moving testimonies, a clear gospel presentation, and military honor guard.

No one could have guessed it was his first time in that role. He was steady, dignified, organized, clear, ON TIME, and sincere (I spent hours all this week weeping as he talked through his ideas on what to say and how to say it).

I hope future ceremonies won't be so personally difficult for him. I say "future" because the mantle of chaplain weighs comfortably on his shoulders. He has the gift of compassion, of empathy, a way of connecting with the hurting in a comforting way. (It's a good thing one of us has that gift...)

I have the feeling Chaplain John may show up more often. Though I'd rather see him at weddings, really!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

New Job

It's public news by now, but I'm just recording on the blog for posterity. Last Monday I started a fulltime job, the first one I've had since exactly 11 years ago when I gave up an office position to have my first baby. Since then I've worked (and played) from home, at my own pace, on my own timetable. But less than a month ago, things started changing.

When two trusted writer friends sent me the same link for the same job application on the same day, I figured I'd better take a look. Perfect fit, it appeared, and based in DFW where I live. Several weeks of conversations with God and my husband ensued, because we still have a toddler at home and never thought we'd voluntarily give up that time with him. So, were we being tempted by the seemingly awesome job, or was this truly a gift we couldn't pass up? Did we stick to our timetable no matter what, or should we consider that God had an alternative plan?

Tough questions to which answers are impossible to know. But over time the peace came, and we decided to trust that this was God's provision for our family and for my professional advancement. So, we'll see, won't we?? I'm pretty sure that He'll hold us in the palm of His hand regardless.

In the meantime, enjoy the introductory blog post I wrote this week. Take a peek at the site I'm editing for, FaithVillage. I'm teamed up with a great group of guys. Maybe all those years of brothers and sons and loving sports were just preparation for working with yet another group of men. :)