He is awake.

He’s on the cusp of 18, fills the size of a doorway, and calls me his “little mommy.” His mere existence has ushered in some unexpected excitement to our home, recently. He’s abiding in anticipation, and bringing others along for the ride.

Just two months ago we had no idea this was possible. It was never a dream, or a goal, or a plan. Actually, it’s quite the opposite of what we anticipated. School has always been a bumpy road for this guy. With an August birthday everything always seemed to come late for him. Late to read. Late to settle down to school work. Late to care. I’ve been looking forward to his graduation for more than a decade. You might say I’ve been in labor for years.

However, just as labor produces pain – it also yields new life, and that is exactly where we are headed. New life. We’ve taken a 180 degree turn heading in a new direction, and it all started with a baby step of courage from my firstborn.

We were told that the new Head Football Coach would be a great addition to our school. We were misinformed, great doesn’t even begin to describe what his presence has brought into this community. We haven’t had the best of experiences with football over the years, nevertheless our son continues to come out and play each spring for a short season. He immediately took to our new coach.

I was proud that he took a baby step of courage and asked to play a new position this season. He’s all of 6’5″ at 240 lbs and his request was to play Tight End. He wanted to try something new, it was outside of his comfort zone. And that is where courage is found, in the space between where you are and what might ever be, in the unknown. He is awake.

Now we find ourselves just weeks into a journey of unknown, unexpected, and unbelievable. The dismay I once held wondering where he would launch to after high school is over, has been displaced with hope. That is why we leave our comfort zone…hope. Finding hope takes courage.

After a strong showing in the new position, coupled with his extraordinary size, we’ve found ourselves in the fast current of college football scholarships. We’re all learning to navigate these uncharted waters. Sure we’ll get splashed in the face a bit along the way, we know it will be worth it, everything that requires courage is worth it.

What baby step can you take outside of your comfort zone?

You owe yourself to do it, be strong and courageous,


Relying on the boy who’s bottom I used to clean

My husband said I looked like a pro athlete limping off the field as he watched me shuttle through our front door. I was in pain.

First the pain was physical, as days then weeks unfolded it was the emotional pain that swept in like a tidal wave.

I’ve had fits and spurts of exercise habits. In this particular season it was roller blading that was keeping my body in motion. I had been chastised more than a handful of times for not wearing ALL of the protective garb.

Helmet check.

Knee pads check.

Wrist guards…well there was my demise.

I knew it was bad even before my eyes connected to where I had braced my fall. It’s an incredible truth that our instinct to protect ourselves takes action without the direction of a thought from our minds. Human nature is real.

In the split second that it took my eyes to lock onto the elephant sized bulge that was once my wrist, the shock had already sedated my pain.

There are baskets full of moments that I collected from this pain that still continue to teach me various lessons. It was a season where I felt I lived outside of time, each painful turn of the saga seemed to last an eternity. What was the story being told? If you’ve experienced acute pain of any kind, physical or emotional, I hope you’ve found its purpose. A pragmatic acceptance of pain will keep you in kindergarten.

It takes courage to glean life lessons from our pain.

One of those lessons for me was humility. It’s an interesting exercise to survey the definition of humility from those you know. I was of the camp that humility was the absence of pride at the time, that was until I gleaned from the classroom of life.

Now having incapacitated my right arm from my fingers to elbow, daily chores had me in tears. I loathed my need for help. That was until I really needed it.

I can’t recall the circumstances exactly that put me in this bind, what I do recall was the need for a bath and washing of my hair. I must have been in dyer need for a good scrub to ask for his help. And by his I’m referring to my son who was 12 years old at the time. I thought I could do it myself, only to find out midway that I needed some help. So there I was, in all of my naked frailty, relying on the boy, who’s bottom I used to clean, to help me wash my hair.

Now I possess a new definition of humility. An experienced definition.

I define humility as our humanness exposed with dignity. A human who’s suffering is wrapped with dignity is humble. Humility is our strength controlled for meaning and purpose.

Suffering is a part of life, why not winnow our suffering for courage and allow our pain to have purpose?

For those of you who are in pain, don’t let it go to waste.

Be strong and courageous.