A Long Way Home

I’m a very long way from home – farther than I have ever been.

Tori and I came to Honduras to spend time with our kids from whom we have been separated since we put them on a plane about 8 months ago. That’s a long time to be separated from your kids – especially for a family like ours that, in most every case, simply loves to be together.

This morning our 3 youngest boys are driving, with some assistance from a friend and brother that simply wouldn’t have it any other way, the 3+ hours to be with the huge extended family that is gathering to remember our dear Grandma Lois. And, as much as we have longed to come and spend time with these precious ones in Honduras, our hearts are a little torn at the separation from the rest of the family.

It’s not unlike the painful separation we felt when Mickey was in Honduras battling dengue fever and we just wanted to be here to help take care of him and hold Jessica up and all that we could possibly do in a moment like that. But we couldn’t get here.

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When “Thanks” Won’t Cut It

I want to say “Thank you.”

I want to, but I want it to be bigger – huge, enormous, monumental – but it’s still those same little words. “Thank you.”

I have been on the receiving end of some of the most generous and even exorbitant kindnesses over the years from folks who saw that I had a need – even sometimes that I didn’t see – and were moved to give. How do you express gratitude for something that seems so far beyond anything you could ever do for someone else?

It’s good to send a thank-you card. I try to do that.

It’s good to try to express it in words. I try to do that.

But, all in all, it’s best, I think, to just BE GRATEFUL. To live with a grateful spirit and speak from a grateful attitude. Say “thank you” and MEAN IT!

As so many of us learned alongside Junior Asparagus years ago, a thankful heart is a happy heart.

But it’s also contagious.
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Say It

The world of social media has been abuzz the last couple of days with so much talk of mental illness and its ramifications, connotations, and insinuations. This is not surprising, given the circumstances, but sometimes I think we just talk to much.

I think we get so absorbed in ourselves that we often fail to really express some things that we probably feel that shouldn’t be left unsaid. If you have been shocked or troubled by the most recent celebrity death, would you take a wee bit of advice from a friend?

Say it.

The care you have in your heart for the people in your life, the appreciation you have for the folks that make your life better, the recognition of people around you who do things well – all of it, just say it.

Say “thank you.” And mean it.

Say, “I love you” where you need to say it.

I’m no expert on grief, but in fifteen years of pastoring I have never heard a grieving family member say, “I wish I hadn’t told him that I loved him so much.”
Continue reading Say It