Pet peeves


Why do we call them that? It’s not like they’re fluffy and cuddly and fun to have.

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  1. People who don’t put the mask over their noses. Seriously, why wear it if you don’t cover your nose?
  2. Thinking that it’s always “I” when in combination with someone else. It’s not. Sometimes the right word is “me.”
  3. The 12 days of Christmas are actually the 12 days between Christmas Day and Epiphany, not the 12 days before Christmas; that’s part of Advent.
  4. Using apostrophes incorrectly. They don’t show plural. They only form contractions and show ownership. {There’s [see, a contraction] a car wash close to us that uses “Clean’s”–bugs me every time I see it.}
  5. Not using a turn signal {interestingly, I used to be in this group. . .now, I get annoyed when people don’t [a contraction!] signal–age causing wisdom?}
  6. And, finally, that apparently there is only one space after end punctuation instead of two when you type. I still use two. I can’t [look, another contraction] change, and you can’t [my goodness, another one] make me!
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Thank you for joining me for this airing of my grievances. I can continue my day with a lighter heart!

His Timing


Our first pregnancy, Nugget

Yesterday, December 3, 2020, marked the anniversary of mine and Steven’s journey to parenthood. It was four years ago that we discovered we were pregnant for the first time, and our lives were forever changed.

I wanted to write something yesterday, but I didn’t know how to formulate my thoughts. Then, tonight, we did our Advent devotion. We use the devotional I wrote called God’s Gift. I posted it here last year. I can’t lie. It was strange to be on this side of that penning. To know, with realness, the joy that Sarah references.

I’ve talked about our journey on multiple occasions. The pain and confusion. The grief. The little moments of joy that we found through it. The desire for it to be used for something greater than ourselves. And while we were prepared for our story to have a much different ending, here we are in the midst of a parenting adventure with Peter.

And it’s His timing that has brought it about. Numerous examples exist explaining why His timing is better than anything Steven and I could have orchestrated. I was able to retire from my job and am home. Steven had accumulated enough time to have paid leave for an extended period. A promotion was a possibility–with it a change in schedule that we were able to “test drive” before a decision had to be made. And, frankly, a pandemic.

Meeting my son for the first time having to wear a mask.

I don’t know if I can explain that last one to my, or anyone else’s, satisfaction. It’s about more than Peter giving us something good to focus on in a difficult year. We are familiar with difficult years–this one was just a different difficult. The pandemic has sharpened our focus on our family unit. Honestly, I’m grateful for the unique backdrop that is Peter’s birth year. The masks, the social distancing, the learning new ways to be community. The world that we brought Peter into is markedly different than the world we left behind December 31, 2019. It’s a new opportunity, more starkly apparent than ever before. I often feel that too many people are too eager to throw out the blessings of this year because they came wrapped in disappointments, heartaches, and raindrops.

I read recently in Rachel Held Evans’ Inspired something said by Ellen Davis: “From [Job] above all others in scripture, we learn that the person in pain is a theologian of unique authority. . .qualified to speak of God in a way that others, whom we generally call more fortunate, cannot speak” (97). Job has resonated with me over the last four years already. {Peter’s life verse actually comes from Job–chapter 5, verse 9} Reading this helped illuminate what I have felt glimmering in the depths of my soul.

My relationship with God has changed over this journey. It has deepened, become more solid, become more honest. I have learned to go to Him with it all, no matter what that all is.

Peter’s dedication service where we announced his life verse: “He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9 NIV

So, it is in His timing that the birth of our son came and the journey parameters change.

What are we sacrificing?

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I have spent much of this week thinking of and praying for my step-mom, Betty.  She works in an assisted living/nursing facility.  Despite all the precautions that have been in place since March, the facility is now experiencing an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

two adult women beside each other

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This facility has been basically on lock-down for the last three months.  No visitors. Outside packages are sanitized. Outside food is transferred to a different container before delivered to the residents. Employees have used PPE and had temperature checks when reporting to work.  When the outbreak was identified, hallways were shut down and the only employees allowed to the residents’ rooms are the nurses and CNAs.  This means that Betty can no longer visit people with whom she has built relationships as she is part of the food service for the facility.  It means residents can’t visit with each other. It means that the only people the residents now see are those who are administering medicine or assisting them with perhaps something uncomfortable or embarrassing.

It means that Betty may not get to say goodbye to those residents for which she has such great love and compassion.  She has said that one day a resident is alive and the next, when she gets to work, he/she is gone.

I cannot fathom what this is like for her.  But I also cannot fathom what this is like for the residents.  I have thought throughout this pandemic that we may be doing a harm to our elderly citizens.  It is no secret that assisted living/nursing facilities have a level of isolation to them already. Many residents do not have regular visitors except those who bring them their meals.  And now, they are denied even that.

My heart breaks for this situation.  I question the wisdom of the decisions that are in place to “protect our most vulnerable”. What good is this protection if it only serves to further isolate some of our most valuable citizens? And in this particular situation, it didn’t make a difference.  All that isolation and mitigation didn’t stop the virus from getting in the facility and doing what it does.

I am, in no way, proposing we throw all caution to the wind.  I do not think we should be unwise in our interactions with any member of society, much less anyone who is deemed part of the vulnerable population.  But I do think, perhaps, it’s time to re-evaluate some of the precautions that are in place.

Mental health cannot take a back seat to physical health. They are equal. And I would even propose that the healthier a person is mentally, their physical health is better.

I have struggled this entire time with the idea that family members can’t visit those in assisted living facilities or be with someone who is in the hospital.  I feel that in traumatic events it is necessary to have someone who is there with you.  I don’t want to imagine what it would have been like when I broke my leg if Steven hadn’t been there to help me navigate through the haze of pain and drugs.



If masks do the job we’re told they do, then why can there not be a designated member of the family who is able to be there for loved ones in these situations–both hospitalized and in nursing homes? 

We are sacrificing compassion.

In an effort to protect the vulnerable we are forgetting what they truly need…what we all truly need.


{I don’t generally like to put disclaimers on my pieces, but I am today. Please understand that I am fully aware of the seriousness of this virus. I am also aware that we learn about it every day. My prayer is that we somehow find a balance of how to live with it while answering our God instilled need to be with each other in the physical present.}