What the Infamous “Lamp Day” Taught Me about God’s Love and Grace

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My younger son Rowan once asked me if he could ever do anything that would make me stop loving him.

“No, absolutely nothing,” I assured him. “Even if you did the worst thing you could think of, even if you were in jail for your whole life, I would still love you. I will love you and your brother every minute of my life, no matter what.”

Rowan paused, considering my answer.

“Even on the lamp day, when you got super mad…did you love me the same amount that day, too?” Rowan pressed. “Or did you maybe love me a little bit less?”

Ah yes, the infamous Lamp Day — the day Rowan hurled a pillow across the living room (in spite of the no-throwing-pillows rule) and broke a lamp, mere hours after my mom had bought me a new lamp to replace the other lamp Rowan had broken eight months before, also by hurling a pillow across the room.

I cringe even now as I recall the scene, me gripping the lamp base white-knuckled, shaking it over my head and raving incoherently. My mother, who was visiting for the week, stood speechless next to me, paralyzed by my bellowing outburst. I ordered the boys to their rooms while I swept up the fragments, ranting about how they’d spend the entire day behind closed doors. My mother retreated to the basement guest room as I crashed around the kitchen, slamming the box of fresh donuts into the trashcan and fuming aloud to myself while the boys howled in their bedrooms.

All in all, the Lamp Day was not my most stellar moment in parenting.

… I’m over at Good Life Moms today, writing about what the infamous Lamp Day taught me about love and grace. Join me over there for the rest of this post…

If You Are In Need of Spring…

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I’m not one to shy away from winter. I appreciate a fierce snowstorm or two (though Boston’s winter may be a bit much even for me)—the scrape of shovel against cement, icicles hanging like stalactites from the gutter, my fleece hat pulled low over my ears. But as January gives way to February, and the relentless Nebraska wind blows hard into the early days of March, I grow weary of the soot-smeared snow, the days unfurling gray, one into the next.  And so, as March roars in like a lion, I go searching for verdant life and warmth wherever I can find it.

One might argue that manicured gardens and greenhouses are a weak substitute for the wildness of nature. In fact, naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau suggested exactly that when he claimed, “Wildness is the preservation of the world.” Yet as I stand on a barren hilltop overlooking Omaha’s belching smokestacks, I might disagree, at least on this barren March day. Behind me, a lush world of ponytail palms, exotic orchids and scarlet cyclamen beckon just beyond glass walls.

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… A while back I mentioned on Facebook that I’ve started writing for a poetry website called Tweetspeak. I know, poetry – not usually my gig! And while none of my posts for Tweetspeak so far have been poetry per se, they are all a little bit different than my “normal” fare. Today I’m writing about a visit to the botantical gardens in Omaha. If spring is slow to arrive where you live, join me over there for a stroll through verdant life and warmth…
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