Sunday, July 18, 2010


I have been blessed with some of the finest women friends available--some long-term, some for a season--and all of them have somehow kept me tethered while encouraging me to still go deep. While in Chicago for my dad's memorial, I was able to catch up with four of my bestest high school girlfriends. It was fabulous because these amazing women--some of whom I knew in junior high--hold parts of my history that no one else knows. So in addition to being reminded of incredibly embarrassing things we did, we were able to catch up seamlessly and it felt like we never missed a beat.

In and around some abysmally poor service from a waitress who--how shall we say??--was not operating within her area of gifting, we got to spend a few blissful hours laughing, remembering and encouraging with a side order of some good-hearted mocking. Who knew--seriously?--we'd end up where we are: a long-term married with college kids; a married ER nurse with two adopted kids; a newer mom with two young girls at home; a professional w/o kids, and a single mom. We've worked, we haven't; we've had kids, we didn't; we've had relationships, we've been single...You'd think we wouldn't have much in common, but you'd be wrong. And with one who couldn't hear too well, two sharing reader glasses to scan the menu and a couple of us saying how the aging snuck up on us, we were a funny buncha broads if I do say.

These are some of the finest friends money can buy, and they have anchored me seemingly for a million years. There's no telling where I might have landed if I didn't know--really, truly know in my bones--that they would be there for me, long-term. We all can go crazy amounts of time without talking and pick up where we left off. And that is an amazing gift.

We want to create those kinds of deep relationships--those anchors--in Eve's Daughters. Getting these babies raised well take a long time and a lot of energy, and who better to walk alongside than someone who knows the landscape? I am grateful beyond measure to the women who help me, step by step. Come join us, be a beacon for others...and then take a minute to thank your anchors today.

Monday, July 12, 2010

You Are Here

I had an interesting conversation this morning about how churches often scramble to get as many people as possible through their doors but often fail to do the even-harder work of helping those people get as whole (and holy) as possible. My friend said, "Yeah, it's like getting people to clamor through the gates at Disneyland only to find there's no map to the good stuff inside."

The comment struck me. In a separate conversation yesterday with a newly single mom, I asked how she was holding up, how her kids were handling visitation, whether the exchanges with her former spouse were livable. She sighed and said, "It's so good to finally be able to speak about these things." She'd been on the side of the road too long, and I got the feeling she was searching for her map, as we all do, after finding our worlds turned upside down for one reason or the other.

In times of confusion, crisis, introspection, grief, even joy, it seems we need to anchor ourselves in relation to the landmarks around us: God, friends, family, work, kids, hobbies...whatever it is that keeps our footing sure. Each of our maps vary, as each of our landmarks are deeply personal. But all of them have the spot with the X that says YOU ARE HERE.

More than anything, I want Eve's Daughters to be the X on the map--where a woman can know without a shadow of a doubt that they can learn to do the single mother gig with strength, grace, humor and health. I don't want to simply build our numbers, having women streaming through our doors, without a map to what's inside. But the irony is that these maps can't show a list of directions to follow; rather, they become apparent over time, footprint after footprint, conversation after conversation, friendship after friendship. We invite you to explore being "Here" with us.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Fatherless But Fathered

I just came back from a long, hard, good trip to Chicago, my hometown. The occasion was my father's memorial service, with some catching up in and around that event. This trip, more than any other, cemented the fact that "home" is gone and I don't get a do-over; however, only during this trip, too, was I finally OK with that ending.

I loved my earthly dad but in the end, I could not have a relationship with him. It cost us both too much. I love him still and hope more than anything that the restless man I knew is at peace. I have worn my fatherlessness since last November, when he died, like an ill-fitting garment. Sometimes it chafed, hitting too close to home. Sometimes, it was too airy with the unsettled differences still hovering between us. It's taken some getting used to but I've tried to keep my eye on God, tried to keep asking and listening and moving. Tried to keep living.

I smile to think I now have two Fathers in Heaven, totally, wildly different. I have ached to have a last conversation with my dad, one that worked, but now I just kinda of talk to him during the day, as I do with my other Father. I wish I could hear something back from either party, but I think it was Oswald Chambers who wrote that we grow to the point where God trusts us with His silences. Generally, I wish not to be so trustworthy in these types of situations, but for now, silence it is.

And in the midst of all this processing, life keeps happening: we continue growing ED in fits and starts, people come and go, my daughter gets taller and wiser, things are breaking left and right, friends suffer and celebrate and we keep shuffling left right left. But something has shifted in this latest process: I *know* without a doubt we're being watched over. Silently, with eyes that don't tire. The old vulnerability is gone. And I think that's one of the smallest and biggest things we can hope for in this world: To matter to someone else, but to also know the cost of aloneness and, therefore, develop the empathy to want to help pay someone else's way.

And that, in itself, can give life.