Missed out

Last Sunday on the way to church I was stopped at a red
light, waiting awkwardly for it to change. It was awkward because a homeless
man was standing just a few feet away from me with a sign asking for help. I
smiled, but didn’t want to make eye contact for too long. He was a veteran, not
an alcoholic, just needing some spare change, according to his tattered
cardboard sign.
I want to give him
something. I should give him something, but I only have a twenty in my wallet.
That’s too much. I have some food, but that’s for our church potluck, so that
won’t work. The “not an alcoholic” is probably a just a line and who knows how
he might waste $20.
Sadly, these were the thoughts going on in my head when Josie, interrupted.
“Mama, can we give that man some money? I smiled at him and
he smiled back. What does his sign say?”
“No, Sweetie, not today.”
“But why?”
“We don’t give everyone we see on the side of the street
“But why not, if we have money? He looks sad.”
Why is this red light
taking so long? This is uncomfortable.
The light changed to green as I smiled one more time and let
out a breath of relief. Josie moved on to talk about something else and I tried
to erase the worn-out man’s face from my mind.
I used to have Josie’s generous, thoughtful heart. There was
a time not so long ago when I gave money anytime I saw someone in need, if I
had any cash on hand. Somewhere along the line I just stopped. Josie always
smiles, always waves, and they always do the same in return.

I could definitely have survived without that $20. The
church potluck would have been just fine with one less bag of chips or loaf of
bread. I know there will be other people who will stop and give that man money,
but I missed out on an opportunity to show the love of Jesus in a practical and
generous way to my little girl. I’m thankful that God always gives us second

Rain, rain, go away…

I love a day when you wake up to the sound and smell of
pouring rain. A day reserved for pulling on a sweater and firmly planting
myself on the couch with a cup of hot coffee. I love that day when it’s in September,
or October, or any other old month except for July or August, for crying out
loud. It’s summer, in Seattle, and it’s July 23rd.

You know you’ve come to call Seattle your home when you find
yourself explaining to newbies that the sun doesn’t actually make it’s grand
appearance until July 5th. That’s a fact. Once we’ve celebrated our
country’s independence we can count on a good 63 days of sun, give or take. We
look forward to it for months, right around January, if you’re me.

So I don’t care how much I love the smell of rain or enjoy
it’s drops lulling me to sleep at night, it’s the middle of summer in Seattle
and that means I want to wake up to sun. Birds chirping, sun beaming through my
dirty, hand-printed windows, summertime bliss. I want to feel every degree of
that sweltering 73 degree heat and wear some flip-flops without sloshing
through puddles. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.


We started off our summer with a bang. A little family reunion with 27 people. That’s 27 family members all staying under the same roof for 7 days. About a year ago, my siblings and I realized that there was no way we could all happen to be in the same place at the same time without strategic planning and saving money. So after many exchanged emails and Paypal payments, the time had finally arrived. We all met at Bear Lake in Utah.

That first paragraph was the beginning of several paragraphs talking about our trip and how great it was to be with all of my siblings at once and have all the cousins together and watch the grandparents enjoy/be driven crazy by the insanity. I had a bunch of pictures with cute little captions…and then…all that I had written, that I thought was saved, went bye-bye when I tried to post it. So lame.

So I was annoyed and didn’t want to try to remember all the things I had written and now it’s already been almost a month since our trip and so I decided to just add some pictures and call it good.

The uncles begin with explaining the house rules

The welcome team

Back deck snuggles

The greatest, most vibrant rainbow I’ve ever seen in my whole life. Ever.

Serious cards

Do not mess with this bunch. (Or the lady in the back entering the store)

Evening lawn games

Cousins dance party, post talent show.

The oldest to the youngest.

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