Jackson Five Friday: Learning from Lament

Hey Friends,

Hope you are all well.  It’s been a relatively quiet week in our house, which is kind of nice because I am traveling again this coming week.  My oldest son is missing a full week of school to participate in a national swim meet in Orlando.  It’s rough having to chaperone and all, but I think I’ll make the most of it reading poolside between events!  Seriously, although I wish our whole family could go, I’m super excited about this meet.  For the first time since we’ve moved to Tennessee, Dub will swim alongside former teammates from the DC area.  I love the rare instance where our new and old worlds collide.

Anyway, this week I’ve been thinking about how vital it is to know that God’s mercies are new every morning.  I’ve watched all three of my sons experience discouragement in different areas this week.  For Dub it was a challenging class at school, for Nate it was baseball, for Sam it was broken leg related (as an aside please pray he gets a boot at his appointment on Tuesday).  But I think no matter what the hard thing is, the lesson is the same.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23

The world can feel so dark.  It wants us to believe that things will never be better — that tomorrow will be just like today.  But if you follow Christ, everything is working together for good, and you should boldly claim each day as a new beginning.  Yes, learn from your mistakes, but live in the freedom of knowing His steadfast love NEVER ceases.  His mercies never, ever end.  Embrace every new day as a gift, as a chance to do it right, praising God for His faithfulness.

When my sons are grown, when I’m not even alive anymore, I hope they’ll cling to the truth that God’s mercies are new every morning.

So when you see the sun rise this week, when you hear the birds begin to chirp, take a minute to thank God for the clean slate of a brand new day!

With Love,



Jackson Five Friday: Karma

Hey Friends,

It’s been a heavy week. Any week you attend a funeral for a forty-eight year old is, by definition. But it wasn’t just that. So, I’ve needed a good laugh. And I got one at my own expense, as usual.

In October, the five of us spent a few days in New York City. It started out with just Nate, Sam and me tagging along on Will’s work trip. But then Dub’s swim team training trip to Florida was cancelled at the last minute because of a hurricane. He ended up flying up alone to Newark and navigating his way to meet up with me at Penn Station. As an aside, I think it’s fantastic to give kids — he was still fifteen at the time — a chance to do something that feels intimidating. I generally have a can-do attitude and I desperately want my boys to have confident independence when it comes to travel. Plus, can you imagine my 6 foot 5 inch son being an unaccompanied minor delivered at the gate by a flight attendant? How absurd is that? I was telling my brother, Jeff, one time about the airline regulations governing travel of a minor.

He could not stop laughing. He said, “I can just see Dub being walked out, hand in hand with the flight attendant. ‘Do you see your Mommy?'”

Hilarious, but no thanks!

Anyway, he made it and the four of us used the subway to dart all over the city. It’s a dirty way to go, but you can’t beat the ease and efficiency. The only problem was Nate. Somehow every time we went through the turnstiles he had an issue. He went too slow or somehow got jumbled up. The three of us were dumbfounded by how he could have an issue with something so simple.

“NATE!!” We gasped.

“What on earth? Nate!!!!”

I bet it’s obvious where this is going. Yep, I was briefly back in NYC this week to meet my grandnephew who will be two months tomorrow. After spending time cuddling with him, and delighting over his adorable dimples that he flashes constantly, it was time to go.

Wednesday morning we strolled with Baby to a local bagel place and then I ducked down the stairs to the Subway. I had a rolling suitcase and a shoulder bag. It was just before 9am so there were quite a few people flying effortlessly through the turnstiles. But my can-do attitude failed me. Somehow I got my suitcase handle stuck on the turnstile. It locked in place, my suitcase dangling from its steel arm. I tried to slide it off, yank it off. Nothing worked. The busy New Yorkers behind me were thrilled by my ineptitude. I pulled so hard that it bent the suitcase handle. Now it requires immense force to collapse into its slot, or to pull it up. I honestly don’t even know how I broke free. I just know after fighting with the stubborn turnstile for what felt like a very long time, it cried uncle and gave me back my battered suitcase.

Needless to say, our repeated, “NATE!!!”s were immediately cued up in my inner dialogue. I laughed all the way to Penn Station.

I got home that night at 12:15a. Nate had called me when I was maybe an hour away. I told him to go to bed. He begged to stay up.

“I just want to talk to you,” he said. “I just want to hear about everything.”

When I walked in, he’d not only waited up but cleaned up. The family room in particular was spotless. I plopped down and told him all about his new cousin, all about the funeral and he cracked up about how the turnstiles had taken revenge on his behalf.

I’ve been praying about connecting with this middle child who is sometimes lost in the busy mix. It’s amazing to me how faithful God is to answer my prayers. A number of sweet things have happened since I started praying specifically about it. Is there some interpersonal relationship you should be praying about more?

Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

He listens. May I seek Him with all my heart. Praying the same for you.

With Love,