Tag Archives: bryan younger

Forest for the Trees

So, my crazy friend Bryan gave me perspective.  Purely by accident on his part, right, Bry?

His family, always into baseball as the family sport, has slide reels of him hitting the baseball as young as four-years-old.  I read on his post-birthday-blog (http://bryanyounger.wordpress.com/) that in his first official game he hit the ball and ran with all his might, but was put out at first.  He cried and the coach comforted him.  The next time he went to bat, the same thing happened.  He cried and got more comfort.

What he didn’t realize was that he had driven in 4 runs on his two at-bats.  Still, when he “got out,” he cried.  Bryan could hit, he could catch, he could throw.  And he could drive in runs, advancing his team, helping bring victory.  But all he could see was his failure to be safe at first.

Stuck in the middle.

I am pretty sure the “enemy assignment” against my life, being a performance-oriented-slave-to-the-need-to-achieve type I seem to be, has just been to make sure I can never quite check all the things I want to off my list, nor see the end for the middle (the forest for the trees), nor feel like I completely did what I set out to do.  I constantly judge my efforts to have missed the mark.   In almost everything I do or am.  In spite of so much goodness and favor, I have lists filling volumes of all the ways I did it wrong, missed the mark, disappointed, failed, folded and fizzled.  I have a detailed record of my own wrongs and letters of apology to my most treasured ones of my carelessness, my meanness, my complete ineptitude at love and life and following Jesus in a way that at all reflects Him.  I always say anyone but God would have thrown me on the scrap pile by now, but surprisingly, I am still surrounded my loving, forgiving people.  Meanwhile, I remain certain I will botch it fully and finally.

But is it really over before the fat lady sings?  Has it really been “a fail,” the current “in” phrase –  any of it or all of it?  Have I been the worst at everything, the person whose life has the least purpose, the person who never lived up to her God-given potential, am I the only non-home-run hitter?

Baseball Bats by Stormie Rhoades

I liked the phrase I heard a few years ago, “It is never too late to become the person you might have been.”  And I have often encouraged young mommies and my friends with, “It is never too late to be the family you were meant to be,” and while I wholly believe it, I somehow tend towards seeing myself getting tagged out at first base and I am immediately overwhelmed, overcome, really, with a deep sense of being the world’s all-time most  substantial disappointment.  I guess if you are going to be awful, you may as well do it really well…

Wait for it.  WAIT FOR IT.

But deep down, I know I am just somewhere in the middle – like everyone reading this.  Proverbs 24 tells us that even when the righteous falls seven times (or gets thrown out at first base repeatedly), they get back up and keep going – you can’t keep them down.  I love the Word of the LORD to Habakkuk, which I would like to re-phrase here, from 2.2-3.  God is like,

Write this.  Write it down and make it plain {the vision – the point, THE thing that it is all about at the end}.

Write it in a way that when you read it, it will energize you and feed your soul for the journey; so well put that it will give you the life and vitality and gusto to get all the way {running like a banshee} to the desired end (starting line to finish line, point A to point B, from once upon a time to forevermore).  So you won’t just fizzle out along the way (in the middle somewhere).  Know the vision inside and out, for crying out loud.

Because those deep desires in your heart?  That thing planted deep {a covenant marriage that sizzles hot to the end, children who live to praise Jesus and serve Him wholeheartedly, grandchildren who rise up as men and women of God as the world continues its meaningless descent into godless madness;  the rich opportunity to, as a friend of the Bridegroom, help get the Bride ready, the chance to feed the hungry and clothe the poor, be a blessing and live in the favor of God – bringing Him joy, ETC}, these things long to come to pass, they want to come to fruition with a deep ache (the whole creation is groaning for the completion of our adoption to sonship, so says Romans 8).

Watch and wait.  Watch for it and don’t give up.  The vision, the deep thing, speaks of the end.  It is the whole goal, the final glory of it all.  It is the fulfillment of the goodness of the LORD in our lives.  It is what will stand when the dust has settled.

If it seems like it is slow in coming, wait for it.  Wait :: lean forward in hopeful expectation, watching and anticipating.  Instead of  Are we there yet? ~ What’s next, Father?

It may seem late.  It may seem long.  But the end will be good and just as God has planned!

Yes, wait.  It will surely come to pass.

Thanks, Bry.  For the encouragement.

More at-bats to come.  Let’s just keep swinging.



Chia Dave

I wrote about Dave going bald for his role in Annie as Daddy Warbucks here.


Got these cute pictures of Poppa, aka Daddy Warbucks, with our very own little Annie (more commonly known as Gemma) and Sandy-the-Family-Dog.  And of Poppa-now-bald with grandbebes Hunter, Gemma May and Guinivere (who may or may not be tormenting the dog).

Meanwhile, Bryan-the-Blogger couldn’t resist messing with a photo of Dave because of what I wrote here.  This is Chia Dave.


A true tomato

I spent the entire week in Puerto Rico poo-pooing their very sad looking tomatoes.  They were barely-pinkish, transparent, rubbery-looking things that resembled something that some one may have tried to grow at some point or the other, but which had been aborted too soon and now were in a state of perpetual laboratory-like strangeness.

dsc06954 this may have been one of the better ones at the resort, truly…

So, seriously: we eat at these great restaurants.  Everything is beautiful, but every time – terrible, terrible tomatoes.  What on earth?

So, a long day on Palomino Island was my final day.  I dragged the beach lounger knee-deep into the ocean and let the waves splash over me all day while a hot breeze cooled my skin.  I got burned.  A deep burn, but it was OK because I had been careful not to burn before, so the base tan protected me (I hope Ali, who has agreed to help me un-do previous sun damage on my skin, is not reading this – because we just talked about it the night before I went!). 

Tredessa looked at me and said, “Mom, you are burned.  You are as red as a tomato.”

And then, the reason I am so proud of her, the reason I admire her intelligence so, she made the distinction, “But not like a Puerto Rican tomato.  Like one of your tomatoes.”  And I beamed.  Tomato red.

Now this is a tomato.


From my garden.  A small tomato and some basil.  If it is slightly blurry, forgive the photographer (me).  I think it is because I may have been shaking a little bit in anticipation of sprinkling some salt on these slices and eating them.  Because, omygoodness, they are sweet and tangy, and the juice, which tries unsuccessfully to escape my tongue and run down my face, is madly divine, the fountain of life, more potent than wine.

I have written about tomatoes before – oh, yes, I have!

I would like to dedicate this blog to Bryan.  Read here and here and here – for old times’ sake, Bry.  And oh, what the heck?  Here is my roasted tomato recipe for Cody, but Bryan, you can enjoy it again, too – right before you re-read this blog about YOU, where I seriously question whether God wants us to be friends if you hate tomatoes!   ;)