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Showing posts from August, 2007

Grace and Hospitality

My great-aunt passed away yesterday. She had suffered for years with a disease called PPH. I don't really know what that stands for, but the bottom line was that her lungs were shutting down. She fell recently and just couldn't recover from the combination of the two.

She was the youngest of four children born to James and Lorene Maddux. She married John R. Groos, Jr. after graduating from high school and followed him during his tour in the Army. They eventually settled in Kyle, a little town outside of Austin, Texas. There they raised their only child, John R. Groos, III. She was a member of Kyle United Methodist Church and active in social group called Beta.

But those are just details, they don't tell the story of who Lora Jean Groos (or Annie to my family) was. She was the epitome of graciousness and hospitality. You couldn't walk in the door at her house without being offered something to eat or something to drink. I never spent one moment in her house that things we…


Recently, we had our 10 year high school class reunion. I can't believe it's been 10 years, apparently I'm older than I realized. I'm also in the process of transferring old home videos to DVD so that I'll still be able to watch them when the last of my VCRs break. What I've been reminded of is the fact that high school had some wretched moments, but it also had some wonderful memories.

For the reunion, I was 9 months pregnant, tired, stressed out and just generally overwhelmed by life, so I didn't enjoy the evening like I wish I would have. But one thing did jump out at me - how different people were.

It was incredible to see some of the people who were doing well - most were married, many had kids, and some were in fulltime ministry. (For those of you who don't know, I went to a small Christian school.) Others apparently made different choices. Their smiles weren't as bright. Their faces told a much harsher story of life. Even the stories they share…


My view of what a "family" is has been tested lately. Not only is my immediate family expanded, but my extended family has been challenged to put it lightly.

Family was defined for me by my parents. Not as a mom and a dad with 2.5 children behind a white picket fence . . . but as a place that was safe. A place where you could be yourself without fear of rejection . . . maybe not always with full approval, but not rejection. A place where you loved each other no matter what, even when you didn't like each other. A place to fall, come face to face with your failure, pick yourself back up and move on. A place of honesty, sometimes brutal honesty. A place of openness and vulnerability - where facing the truth may bring pain, but ultimately freedom. A place where people stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you fight your battles with the outside world.

In the past month I've been forced to face the fact that others, even those incredibly close to me, do not have this sam…

Why . . .

Okay, so I'm usually a little slow to jump on the bandwagon of new fangled ideas . . . it took me a while to wear capris, I still can't bring myself to wear anything from the 80's again, and whatever shoes I own were probably given to me by my mom or my sister.

But now that I am at home with my two boys - who are precious but don't provide much adult conversation - I think blogging might just be a good outlet for me.

It seems that life lately has been a series of surprising twists and turns. While that is not how I would choose to live by any stretch, I can confidently say it has not been boring. Sometimes my days are little more than curing one crisis (at least to an 18-month old) after another and cleaning up spit-up and poop. Yet, I can't tell you the last time I felt more like I am where I should be.

Joey's brother, Corey stayed here a couple of days this week. Never, since we've been married has any of Joey's family been close enough to see every day …