Picking at the Wound

Dearest Rachel – You would think that, because I’m writing you every day, I’d be constantly marinating my soul in the sensation of having lost you. Even as I’m chatting with others – even with possible candidates to fill the empty spot in our house and lives – when they ask what I do, IContinue reading “Picking at the Wound”

Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)

Dearest Rachel – I’m not going to go so far as to give Mike credit for remembering; he juggles dozens of volunteers across three campuses, and all of their attendant schedules. I’m sure he’s just slotted me where and when he needed me to be, especially after giving me an extended break after working allContinue reading “Fifty-Two Weeks Ago (part two)”

from Rachel: Accepting Your Assignment

Question to consider: What’s holding me back from accepting God’s call to serve Him? “5/18 “I don’t appreciate the implication that I am failing to serve Him currently. This Sunday I actually have three different roles on the platform: choir, ensemble and drama. I am just wrapping a busy schedule of Awana, babysitting, choir practiceContinue reading “from Rachel: Accepting Your Assignment”

Keep the Bar Low

Dearest Rachel – In all the letters that I’ve written to you since I’ve started doing this, I’ve mentioned several times about your parents’ astonishingly low expectations for the two of us; how they were afraid that ours was no more than a ‘starter marriage,’ whatever that is, and how they were pleasantly surprised atContinue reading “Keep the Bar Low”

What Can I Say?

Dearest Rachel – I suppose I really should come right out and admit it: I’m a morning person. I would always excuse myself by saying it was out of necessity that I was waking up as early as I did, that I needed to read and wash up before getting myself out the door toContinue reading “What Can I Say?”

Time and a Half

Dearest Rachel – Back when I was studying calligraphy in junior high, I drew up a motto for my great-aunt Belva that read “Keep serving the Lord: the pay may not be good, but the retirement plan is out of this world.” I’m sure it was lost in the cleanup after her passing (amazing toContinue reading “Time and a Half”

from Rachel: Protecting Your Church

Question to consider: What am I personally doing to protect the unity in my church family right now? “May 12 “I don’t know, I suppose being loving and compassionate to many and to a few in particular. I suppose by generally not gossiping or hanging out with women who do (Though off hand I can’tContinue reading “from Rachel: Protecting Your Church”

from Rachel: A Place to Belong

“May 7 “Yes, I feel it does. On Monday nights I am a Sparks leader and have been the song leader. On Tuesday mornings I babysit the children of any moms who choose to attend the Bible Study. I take home all of the office’s paper trash for recycling. Wednesday night we have choir orContinue reading “from Rachel: A Place to Belong”

Pumpkin Spice Pegboard

Dearest Rachel – You can add pumpkin spice to just about anything these days. Including a pegboard, as it turns out. This will probably need some backstory for everybody else that might be reading this. Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, our church is holding what they refer to as their Family FunContinue reading “Pumpkin Spice Pegboard”

As Lazy as the Sun

Dearest Rachel – There is a disadvantage to untethering ourselves from the likes of alarm clocks and whatnot, relying solely on our own circadian rhythms to determine when to wake up. As the days grow shorter, and the sun gets up that much later every day, so we find ourselves sleeping in as well, becomingContinue reading “As Lazy as the Sun”

Woefully Unprepared

Dearest Rachel – I imagine that this a sensation you were quite familiar with in your day; I woke up this morning realizing I haven’t done my homework for a long time – well, at least for this week. And as a result, I’m going to show up at the Bible study woefully unprepared forContinue reading “Woefully Unprepared”

The Need for More Patience

Dearest Rachel – I really didn’t want to write this letter to you. This feels like airing my dirty laundry – and yes, it’s more “my” than “our,” because it’s gotten considerably worse since you left, and the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it has probably only exacerbated things. But today,Continue reading “The Need for More Patience”

Group Therapy

Dearest Rachel – It’s surprising to consider how busy my weekends are, especially when I’m getting questions from strangers about whether or not I’m free, and I have to answer ‘well, no, not really.’ Today has been a little bit more than usual, however. For what it’s worth, Pastor Joel seems to think I’m readyContinue reading “Group Therapy”

Tetris Skillz

Dearest Rachel – “Use your Tetris skills!” Jeff says. You have no idea how much I miss you right now. There must be about a dozen of us here, guys coming straight from the Saturday morning Bible study, to help a couple move out. All this stuff is going into storage, at least for theContinue reading “Tetris Skillz”

Culture Is Not Forever

Dearest Rachel – There have been a number of days when I’m literally writing to you at the last minute, standing around waiting for Chompers to do his business, or waiting for him to finally succumb to sleep. And as I wonder what topic to discuss with you, I can think of nothing else toContinue reading “Culture Is Not Forever”

No Ticket to Oz

Dearest Rachel – It was storming terribly last night, dear. Our home security system by the front door was beeping like a combination alarm clock and a forklift stuck in reverse, and no amount of money going forward and typing in the password which shut it up for more than five minutes, before it wouldContinue reading “No Ticket to Oz”

In Lieu Of…

Dearest Rachel – I’m really not entirely sure if this is the week that Anime Central was supposed to happen. However, since the annual celebration for the church is happening today, I’m going to assume it was. After all, the church had a knack for holding the annual celebration on the same weekend as ourContinue reading “In Lieu Of…”

from Rachel: Soul Memoirs

(Note: Honey, this post is taken verbatim from a file found on one of your computers the other day. The file itself dates from October 2011, as you were intent on putting together an explanation of your faith journey in order to reach out to your parents, whose spiritual position you were beginning to haveContinue reading “from Rachel: Soul Memoirs”

Diamonds and Ash

Dearest Rachel – I would say “I wish you had been there” for this year’s Mother’s Day sermon, but when I am always wishing you were here as it is, it really doesn’t carry the weight that I mean for it to. The thing is, as a general rule, we don’t really have a sermonContinue reading “Diamonds and Ash”

from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers

Think of a time when God hinted that He desired to use you in His kingdom purposes. Describe what He laid on your heart. “I can think of several. Every ministry I’ve been involved in has a moment like that. Generally I say ‘Yes!’, occasionally ‘No!’ “One slightly different one that comes to mind wasContinue reading “from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers”

The Return

Dearest Rachel – So, this morning, I’ll be heading up to Camp Awana to discuss the budget. Scott, Brian and I have been planning to do this for the last two weeks: each time, there’s been a health issue that’s gotten in the way. Given the tenor of the times, I probably don’t have toContinue reading “The Return”

My Darling Raven

Dearest Rachel – I will never stop saying it, because it will never not be true: it’s the little things that you miss the most, now that you’re gone. This morning, I’m working in the booth at church. Not for the first time since you left, but every time has its little differences. This time,Continue reading “My Darling Raven”

Snow Angels

Dearest Rachel – It’s such a cliché when people come up to you in the receiving line at the visitation, and tell you, “If there’s anything you need…” “If there’s anything I can do for you…” Look, I’m not saying these sentiments aren’t genuine. But you wonder, do people really mean it when they sayContinue reading “Snow Angels”