If your life is not awesome right now, welcome. bill&jean-17

A few details: I grew up in a steel town north of Pittsburgh, lived in southern California as a young adult, then settled north of Seattle to raise five boys and two girls with Bill, my anchor of 33 years. Bill served as an executive pastor for fourteen years, and we now serve as lay leaders at a small, urban church, alongside young families who give us good reasons not to buy an RV and move to Arizona.

I write about health crises, caregiving, loss and grief, mostly because I’m an over-achiever in those subjects. I was a caregiver to Bill, who is healthy today after being miraculously healed in October of 2000 of a Parkinsonism, PSP. I also was a caregiver to my three-year-old daughter, Annie, who suffered a brain injury from undiagnosed Addison’s disease, a type of adrenal insufficiency. She died in 2011, two weeks before her eighth birthday and lives with Jesus now.

The storms of life, although painful, are not meaningless. They can be filled with redemptive growth and blessing and joy. But they are difficult–emotionally, physically, relationally, and often financially. Yet, when I look in the rear view mirror of my life, it’s those times of trial and suffering that have been the most transformative.

So as I write about things you normally don’t talk about in line at the grocery store–or sometimes even with family or friends–no one will change the subject, avert their eyes or check their phones.

Crying is definitely permitted, although you’ll have to provide your own Kleenex. And we’ll intersperse the tears with intermissions of dry humor–sometimes a bit on the sarcastic-ish side.

Now and then I will share helpful books I’ve read, and also have guest bloggers write about their experiences. My hope is that you’ll find wisdom here, one crisis at a time.