Second Chance Love

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 2

“You saved me from the streets.”

It’s not something I like to discuss – the horrible things my students have encountered in their lives. But my teaching always seems to bring it out.

Drive-bys. Drug rings. Gut-wrenching poverty.

If college is designed to prepare young people for the real world, I think it falls short in doing so for inner-city youth. It takes several class periods before they even feel comfortable removing their backpacks, if it happens at all.

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No Mosquito Bites

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The Gratitude Gospel: Day 1

If you know me in real life, you’ve probably heard me complain about the mosquitoes at our short-term home. They eat the children alive, even with bug spray. We are lucky to escape a 20-minute outdoor adventure with less than 8 bites EACH.

Yesterday a trending weather pattern continued: rain. Frankly, I wanted to kick nature in the pants. So we hooded and booted up. No puddle was safe.

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Portraits of Courage, Hope

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How do we honor the fallen? It’s a question that’s been rattling around in my mind for some time.

I teach veterans. I am friends with veterans. I once loved a veteran.

But, the truth is, very few of us know the stories of those who died protecting every freedom we hold dear. What were their final thoughts? What insights would they have wanted the world to know?

I think Portraits of Courage by George W. Bush gets close. Beyond the incredible paintings, Bush penetrates the gaping vulnerabilities left in wounded veterans.

In many ways, it offers a rare glimpse into the painful inside of war.

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When You Can’t Push

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I’m a bit of an agenda pusher. In college, for example, I saw marriage as my opportunity to no longer be scared in bed each night. For whatever reason, I feared the darkness.

That is, until I read a magazine article with the perfect antidote. It told me to call out one word three times: Jesus. It worked.

My husband and I will celebrate eight years of marriage this summer, and I must confess that when he travels, I still chase the invisible monsters away with a single name.

What’s harder, however, is quieting the other demons that persist in adulthood. The anxiety. The doubts. The dread of not knowing the future.

Quite simply, the walls we can’t easily push through.

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