Jackson Five Friday: Concert Going 

Hey Friends, 

First of all, I appreciate the continued outpouring of love and support in response to my mom’s passing two weeks ago.  I will never get over the urge to call her and give her the full lowdown.  When I’ve been with Will and the boys it has struck me that I really don’t need my phone.  Now, there is no one that I check in with daily.  

And I’ve been blessed by specific conversations that pay tribute to my mom. My cousin called me yesterday and told me about how a decision she made that morning was inspired by my mom. And I love seeing traces of my mom in my boys. My eldest shares my mom’s preferences for many things from the spicy chicken nuggets at Wendy’s to politics to worship format.  He can sound just like her about a topic I know they never actually discussed. 

This past Sunday we were in Florida and visited a church very different from our own. At our church we sing from hymnals and the acoustics of our beautiful sanctuary are astounding.  Although my mom was never well enough to visit, I know she would’ve been nuts for our church.  She was not fond of overly loud worship music, nor drums, to say the least.  So I found it pretty amusing that the church debrief on Sunday included this statement from my son: “I don’t think worship should be like that — people acting like they’re at a concert.” 

Little Jude. 

But I told my son something I never talked about with my mom. I said, “I can appreciate different styles even if that’s not what I choose for every week. But I want you to know something really important. The people in that church are not acting like concert-goers. They are not imitating concert-goers. It’s actually the other way around. Concert-goers are trying to fill a void in their life. We are made to worship. The ‘worship’ at concerts imitates the church.”

Praying today that all three of my sons can appreciate this truth even a teeny tiny bit. Because at fifteen I never would’ve grasped that the striving of the world reflects a human longing fulfilled only in Jesus. I didn’t have eyes to see that my own longings could all be met in Him.  How great would it be to see that earlier in life!

Hebrews 12:28-29 says, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”

May I live a life of reverence and awe. May my days be marked by worship. May the longings of my heart lead me continually to the Cross. May my peace in the unshakability of the Kingdom be evident. Those are my prayers for you as well. 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

With Love,


Jackson Five Friday: “Second!!”





First of all, thank you for the many texts, emails, meals, offer for meals, cards, flowers, calls and thoughtful expressions of sympathy.  As of yet, I’ve responded to only a handful, but please know that I’ll get there and that every one has been deeply appreciated.

At the funeral for my mom on Monday many wonderful things were shared.  My brother and niece pointed out how very good she was at relationships, making each person feel special.  My sister shared about what an intent listener my mom always was.  Everyone talked about how fun and funny she was, how her faith, despite all her heartache, was rock solid.

But it was my nephew, Dane, who somewhat inadvertently summarized my mom in three little words.  I don’t think he even knows how Spirit-inspired his words were.  I doubt he knows the little story I’m about to tell you.

My mom, Judy, was three years younger than her sister, Janet.  When they were little, like many young children, being first was a privilege.  Coming in from playing outside, it was a race to use the bathroom.  “First!” Janet would yell out.  Washing hands for dinner?  Again, Janet claimed first.  She claimed being first so often that my darling little mom started automatically yelling out “Second!!” even when no one was there to be first.  My grandparents delighted over their contented, adorable Judy, joyfully resigned to be second.   They loved telling this story even when little Judy was in her sixties.

But back to Dane.  He talked about how in high school his friends would be hanging out after baseball practice, but Dane chose instead to be with “the girl” he liked — his Gramma.  He loved her company that much.  At one point Dane held up his arm and explained, “I wear this little bracelet and I’ve been wearing it for a while, and it says, ‘I am second.’  It’s a reminder to put God above myself and family above myself.”

Choking back tears, Dane said, “My Gramma didn’t need to wear this, because she lived it.  She always put herself second.”

Matthew 22:36-40 says this:

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Praying today that I’ll have even a hint of that sweet contented, other-centeredness of my wonderful mama.  No matter the circumstances, may my spirit joyfully cry out: “Second!!”

Love to you,


P.S. The “I am second” testimonies are amazing.  You should click here and check them out.  I used the Josh Hamilton one here on my blog many years ago and I still am moved to just think about it.  Plus, you could easily order a bracelet like Dane’s.