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I had a migraine Sunday night. That’s not unusual; I’m prone to migraines. But this one was different. It bowled me over, the pain exponentially worse than any migraine I’d suffered before. I prayed a lot that night and was genuinely surprised when I woke the next day, fragile, but alive. With the cessation of pain came a dawning — every one of us is so special. We are wonders.

God made you of star-stuff,
sky and earth together,
fueled by fire, awash in water.
No one can do what you do,
not as you do it. Not exactly.
You were sent to fill a you-shaped
crack; there is no one else to fill it.
Your body keeps the dam from breaking,
keeps gravity from failing, moves musically
as planets round a sun. Your individuality
is a gasp in a world of weary sighs. Stand up.
Walk. You will get there. We all will, if only we
lean on the star-singularity of each other,
wheeling through life like a night sky on fire.


I’m embarrassed to remember just how clueless I was in the early days of parenting.  If I like it, he’ll like it.  If it’s important to me, it will be important to him.

Hey!  I can hear you laughing.

Whenever I had the chance, I’d get him outdoors where he invariably found a stick to play with.  Hah!  I’ll show him something amazing, I thought.  He could barely walk when I led him over to see the first violet of spring.  He saw it all right and immediately beat it to bits with the stick.

Yep.  It wasn’t long before I figured out that he was going to be his own person.  Still, we spent time outside.  And he grew up in the church.

The outdoors and the church are both still important to him.  That said, he doesn’t necessarily value the same things that I do.

Flowers and plantings?  The more the better.

Imagine my shock when I heard the plans to clear out a number of trees and the plantings in front.  And he was for it!  My own baby!

But I also took the time to hear what they had to say.  Several of the trees were dying.  Softwoods grew quickly and filled in and looked nice soon after they were planted.  But they weren’t bred to weather our sometimes harsh winters.  They had also grown up to the point that from the street it was hard to see the way in which made our church less than welcoming.

The shrubs and other plantings blocked the view of the decorative brick and tile work on our foundation.  What?  We have tile work?  Yep.  It’s back way back there.

Earth and rain and wind.  Take them into it all but don’t be surprised when God speaks to them through the elements.


Tonight I’ll be at the front door giving out candy.  I love seeing all the kids in their costumes.  My favorites are the kids who are wildly out of step with the current trend.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll ooh and aah over every Black Panther but my favorites are the kids who do their own thing.

Admittedly, I appreciate that a lot more now that I’m not the mom who has to figure out how to make the requested “fire ghost” costume.  The year he was “nightmare homework” was a lot easier.

I understand, some kids love being their favorite character.  I get it.  I was Indiana Jones.  My son did Harry Potter complete with the scar on his forehead – the scar and glasses were genuine, the rest was costume.

But all too often we discourage people from being themselves.  We hand the toddler girl the baby doll without noticing she was reaching for the truck. The little boy is discouraged from wearing the glittery shirt.  The girl can’t find a calavera t-shirt that doesn’t include this same glitter or rhinestones.

God created each of us.  To some he gave one gift.  To others another.  To discover just what these gifts are may require us to step away from the crowd and to make a choice that is uniquely our own.  That said, someone who loves us may find themselves trying to figure out what a fire ghost would look like.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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