Sparrow Going Down

little mermaid

We went to a race that my youngest son’s school sponsored the other day, and at the end of the race, a lot of the kids went down to the lake to play.

Our two-year-old was pretty excited to get to go down with them and play on the “beach”, so we put her swimsuit on her and I followed her to the water.

From 5 feet behind her, I could tell that it was going to be a problem when she didn’t stop when she got to the edge but kept walking…..farther out than I’d hoped.

She was too excited to stop, though….even though I was yelling to her that it looked deeper than we thought it was.

The beach wasn’t as gradual a slope as she and I must have both expected ….because when she was about 5 feet from the shore, it dropped off pretty dramatically.

I watched her tip….and then start to sink.

I ran in and pulled her out. She was surprised and a little scared, but not sputtering.

She must have held her breath because she wasn’t sputtering.

That’s a weird feeling to be reaching for my slippery baby, grabbing at a leg and missing, then grabbing her arm and pulling her out.

She turned over as she was sinking, and the look on her face was, again, more surprise and confusion than fear.

Wide-eyed and underwater.

That’s not a look that I hope to ever see again.

Going down….surprised and a little bit scared.

Fearlessness that’s based on inexperience can get you into trouble.


jesus-shroud-660I know less about theology than I did when I was younger.

Theology was a good head game back then.

Theology was a distraction.

It was easier to get caught up in the structure than to simply understand and accept the gift of Christ.

I was tormented by the meaning behind the phrase “in the world, not of the world”.

How could I be good enough to escape being “in the world”?

I didn’t understand a lot…and I still don’t.

I believe in a simple Gospel.

I believe that I am loved by God…even when I am not loved by the people around me.

I believe that real love is a simple thing….and forgiving of my faults.

I believe that God’s love is different from what we consider love….or understand to be love.

I believe that there is a consistency to God’s love that the people around me can’t approach.

I need to cut the people around me some slack….they aren’t God. They can’t love the way He can.

That’s simple.

Simple….why can’t we settle on a simple understanding of the Gospel….and relax in the faith that we are loved?

It’s kind of funny….we can only relax in the trust that God loves us when we can relax in the knowledge that, in spite of all our shortcomings and human frailty, we are worthy of love.

Worthy….not because of who we are and what we know and have accomplished…but because of His grace.

We don’t earn His love.

There is no pecking order in our attempts to love God.

Maybe that’s why the phrase “the least of these” is so appealing and powerful.

Theology is a funny thing.

It greases the wheels of structure.

It keeps the earthly and intellectual satisfied.

It lets us build our own Tower of Babel in our minds.

God reaches down to us.

I can’t jump high enough to reach God.

Still, I reach for something I hope to understand.

I reach….even if I have already been touched.

It’s so simple….why can’t I rest in that knowledge?

while you can

I don’t know how old I need to be to arrive at the conclusion that these adventures are beyond me.

Of course, I am enough of a worrier to consider all the negative forces at work before I jump into something too exciting.

(Hah! “Negative forces at work”…..was that some kind of Freudian slip? Is it my job that keeps me from adventure? Probably not….I’ll bet it’s mostly just me and my attitudes….)

I worry about financing it all….I worry about the time….I worry about what would happen with the little guys on a big trip.

I worry….some.

This guy, Alastair Humphreys, said something about “while I still can” in this video….and that’s the big question.

When do I stop believing….no matter how untested the reality of the situation (or its consequences) is…..when do I stop believing that I can?

That’s a good question.

Maybe, better than questioning when I have to stop, it would be good to just do until I couldn’t do anymore?

Just jump in and start swimming before I worried about how cold the water is?

Maybe….it would be good to even START HAVING SOME ADVENTURES? (What a weiner….whining about adventure when I haven’t even really pursued it yet….)

I don’t know.

Man, though…..adventure keeps your blood flowing.

If you’re going to live… should really be alive.

Why not pursue really living all the days of your life?



At some point, the torch is passed….and the carried becomes the carrier.

That’s kind of funny how that happens.

Jenny and I were talking about time alone….as a couple….two adults….together.

Where did that time go?

Funny how that goes, too.

This thing about the carried becoming the carrier doesn’t really only apply to little children, though, I guess.

A parent cares for you….and then, hopefully, you can return the favor when they need “carrying”.

My parents were both gone before they needed that kind of help from me….maybe I couldn’t have helped them much….but they were both gone before that happened….so it really doesn’t apply to me….but you know what I mean.

It’s like those lions sang in that old movie….it’s the circle of life.

(Here’s where I stop for a moment of really quiet reflection and realize that no amount of coffee is going to make a bunch of rambling cohere. I ramble…I reminisce….)

It’s supposed to rain this week….that’s good.

It’s pretty dry here….and I have a burn pile to take care of.

Thinking about this “carrying” thing, I realize that if I’m doing my job right, there is a blissful ignorance on the part of the “carry-ee” of what it means for the carrier to be doing their job.

It was like that for me.

I didn’t understand what it meant at the time when my parents were carrying me.

Hopefully, my children have some ease about that, too.

It’s expected.

That doesn’t mean that “blissful ignorance” keeps you from moving towards maturity and accepting responsibility for yourself.

That’s important.

But that “blissful ignorance” is a state of grace that I hope I come close to providing.

Oh, well….we carry if we’re worth a darn.

You pick it up and move forward. What other option do you have?

Our oldest is done with another year of college in a couple of weeks….and we’re going up to help her move some of her stuff home for the summer today.


Well…..I’m tired of writing…so, in conclusion, to wrap it all up….pull it all together….WE CARRY!!

Sometimes, I don’t know how we do it….but, HOORAY FOR US!!!

Hooray for us.


“carry on” CSNY

inspired to ride

So….after 20 or so years of living in our house….the septic system failed.

Wherever the ….um….”contents” of that big tank downhill from our potty went.…doesn’t anymore.

The “went” part is no longer part of the equation.

That makes me sad.

It’s expensive to keep having the tank pumped.

It’s nerve-wracking trying to figure out what to do.

I wish the poo would just go away on its own.


That being said, we watched this video on Netflix the other night and for a moment I was transported away from all the “troubles” we were having. ( I put quotation marks around it because, in the big scheme of things, not being able to ignore the septic tank and all its mystery is not really a trouble. In the big scheme, no one is sick and no bombs are dropping, no storm carried our house away, no floods or earthquakes or pestilence of any kind came to torment us….it’s not a real trouble. It’s a pressing issue. We have to use the potty…but it’s not a real “trouble”. It’s an irritation that needs to be quickly addressed, though.  Hence….the quotations.)

This is an amazing film….a fun film.

These people rode thousands of miles….multiple thousands of miles….in less than 20 days….on bicycles.

Camping out….eating what they could get at restaurants along the way…..repairing their bikes where they could.

This made me want to get on my bike and ride somewhere.

And….Jenny said that she’d want to do something like this, too.

She even wondered if our littlest one would ride in her little trailer for thousands of miles.


I don’t think that she could ride her Radio Flyer.

It would be a slow trip.

I love riding my bike.

I don’t like thinking about a septic system.

I’d rather spend 10,000 dollars on a good trip.

But…..mannnnnnnnn!!! This movie is a good one!! See if you can watch it without getting itchy feet!

Riding out west looks kind of cool!!

Riding around here IS pretty cool!!

We’ve got to get on our bikes again.


(Happy Friday, y’all….)


all in your head, in your head, in your head….

Another tiny desk concert….this time by a performer name Genevieve.

Nate and I listen to a show called “Kid’s Place LIve” sometimes on the way to work….and Jenny likes to play it in her van for the kids while she’s driving around….and….and…one of the songs that they play is Genevieve’s song “Colors”.

I don’t think that I was completely able to hear the lyrics until this performance….

“Your life is your design, so go ahead design it. Your star is in the sky, so go ahead align it. Cause you’re forever lost until you go and find it.”

What a great message to have floating around on a “kid’s show”.

Nice when a pop song has a good and positive message.

Still dry here….no rain for a while.

Man, it’s a problem, I suppose….we need the rain….but it sure is easier when it’s dry.

All that paper that I haul around and stick into all those black boxes likes it when it’s not raining.

Maybe it will rain today?



Sparrow said that she wanted a “meatleg” for breakfast this morning.

I guess that she meant a drumstick.

Drumstick is probably easier to market than “meatleg”.

That’s kind of funny….we’re not really a family of carnivores….but I guess that meatleg sounded kind of appealing.

Cool and dry here this morning….Spring is good.

tiny desk concerts…..Tedeschi Trucks Band

NPR has a series called tiny desk concerts where they have people come in and do small concerts in a very….very….intimate setting.

This one features a band led by the husband/wife team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks.

These guys are so good.

I’ve used a couple of these tiny desk concert recordings on the blog before (check out this one with Ben Sollee) and they are consistently excellent.

It’s warming up in the mornings here…. getting easy.

I need to go make some coffee….

Before I go, though….here’s another tiny desk concert.

This guy’s pretty good….I wonder where he’s been all my life?