Official News

March 17, 2015

My career in the Evangelical Covenant Church began with a late night phone call. It was 9:30 where I lived, 10:30 where the caller lived. I had been calling to find out how I could start working on staff in a covenant church. A woman named Doreen, who was new to her executive position over the department of Christian Formation, was finally able to return my numerous calls to her Chicago office… on her own time late a night. I was deeply impressed and moved by that fact- that she would call so late at night simply because she felt it was important. The rest is history, as some people say.

Tonight, I just hung up from aanother late night phone call from a doctor and have the same jittery feelings I did years ago. This doctor called us, at 10:30 pm his time, the night before he leaves on a trip… simply because he felt it was important.

And it is important because it’s about my son.  Read the rest of this entry »

Thank You

March 15, 2015

We have walked this road with our son for nearly 17 months. Not a week goes by that we haven’t been given the gift of someone who asks, who prays, who helps. Not only do we have this group of doctors and therapists who are all trying to help our son recover, but we have this large group that loves us, cares about us, asks about us, and support us.

When Ian was diagnosed with yet another gut infection and our doctor said we should try to see a specialist he recommends who works on hard cases like ours, we were distraught. So tired. So weary. So ready for this path to end and a new one to begin. And we had spent all our money. We did not have any funds available to add in a new doctor who required travel and wasn’t going to take our insurance and would be very costly. But doing nothing is unfathomable to this mama’s heart and head. And so we prayed.

And then we approached someone, asking for a loan.  Read the rest of this entry »

Got Them

February 25, 2015

I smiled this week as I opened my email and saw the name of a couple I have not seen in years. They just contributed to our fund for our son, and it brought tears to my eyes to see that somehow they had heard of our situation and thought, after all these years, to give so graciously to what we are battling.

This couple is incredible. They are kind people with hearts that love Jesus. Richard with his quiet manner and Nancy with her heartfelt thoughts. They are gracious and kind, generous and honest. I have many memories of them- including one of my favorite dinnertime conversations of all time- but there is one that is at the top of the list. That memory goes like this:

When we had entered our Dark Night of the Soul, we had many people who said many things to us. Some meant more than others. No one in our lives at that time truly understood the magnitude of what we were managing at the time, but many tried their best to offer encouragement and strength.

One day, after worship was done, everyone was gathered in the odd-shaped space that held our coffee bar, talking and chatting and doing what they did every Sunday after we were done with prayers and preaching, songs and sermon. I was standing off to the side, tired. Most pastors are tired after preaching, but for me it was more than that. It took an large amount of work to preach during the Dark Night of the Soul season. No one really knew how much effort it required for me. No one, it seemed, except for Nancy. Read the rest of this entry »

New Things

February 10, 2015

The Colorado air this February is warm, and though I know that we may still get a couple wintry blasts of snow before spring truly arrives, today it feels like the seasons are changing. There is little that compares to the bright blue of a Colorado sky. And on days like today it feels like the sky goes on for miles and miles, spotlighted by the bright warmth of the sun, as it makes its way toward the western mountains.

The breeze is sweet and carries occasionally the fragrance of the maple trees just beginning to blossom, fooled by the warm air into thinking winter is gone and it is time to adorn themselves in their large leaves. I hear the honeybees emerging from their winter hives to taste the sap that is starting to flow in those trees, taking every opportunity to collect their precious pollen to feed their young, even if in a few weeks they may end up shuttered inside again braced against the spring snow storms that may come.

When I was a child, the change from winter to spring was my favorite time of year. For some reason, each year as I saw the early spring crocuses lift their sleepy heads from the soil, something inside of me emerged too. I remember spending time alone outside, reveling in the sun and blue sky, feeling this jumping in my soul that had little language, but spoke deeply to something inside of me. Spring always meant new. The air felt full with the possibilities of new life.

And years later, I still feel it. The freshness of open windows blowing out the stale dust build up over winter. The hope that there will be something, something, something coming. Anticipation and excitement and awe all wrapped into a ball of knowing that in these days of change, Someone is stirring up something new.  Read the rest of this entry »

Year 4

January 31, 2015

Every Birthday, I write a letter to my son. Here is this year’s:


Dear Son,

This fourth year of your life has been hard. Really hard. Hard enough to make your mama’s knees get worn out from praying. Hard enough to make us cry many tears. Hard enough to consume our lives, our minds, our souls, even our bank accounts.

You have been sick.

I remember last year, as the impact of your illness was just beginning to show, my prayer was that by your 4th birthday you would be well. Back to strength. Back to health. Back to ability. But I did not get that prayer. You are still sick. You are still struggling. You are still behind. You still lack ability. Every day I find myself whispering to God to bring you back fully, completely. Every night I am thankful for the small inches of growth given that day. And on nights I have nothing to say thank you for, I simply breathe out prayer for strength to keep moving through this.

When I think of all we have lost, I drown in sorrow. But we have gained things too. We have gained a knowledge of you that I don’t think we would have had without this long illness. We have learned that parenting can so easily become wrapped up tightly in small silly things that drive parents crazy, and we have realized that those things matter so very little in the face of what truly matters. We don’t “sweat the small stuff” and so we rejoice that you drew on your sheets with a marker knowing that a few months earlier you didn’t have the strength in your hands to hold a marker. We don’t get irritated at the stream of jargon from your lips because we know that you could have easily been kept silent forever. There are big things and there are little things, and we don’t waste our stress on the little things. In fact, there’s little margin in the bandwidth of our stress levels to stress the little things. We have to reserve what we have for things that matter. Read the rest of this entry »