Originally posted on Facebook, March 10, 2013.

We want there to be a why.  We believe in vain that if we just knew the why, it would somehow make sense.  We wonder if we could have done something to change the reality of what is today.  Because sometimes it’s very hard to live with the consequences of someone else’s actions. 

But knowing why would not help – even if we knew the answer, it could not justify where we are in this moment. 

I believe there is evil in this world.  It’s the evil that whispers in your ear

. . . have another drink

. . . go ahead and use

. . . check out this website

. . . spend a few more hours at the office

. . . it’s okay to have an innocent lunch with that person who’s not your spouse

. . . you deserve that new thing – it doesn’t matter if you go a little deeper in debt

. . . the world would be a better place without you

So if evil is inescapable, then how do we live in this world?  We surround ourselves with good –

  • We don’t watch that TV show
  • We don’t listen to that radio station
  • We don’t go to that website
  • We remember family comes before work
  • We spend time with our spouse every day, the best part of the day, not the leftovers
  • We live beneath our means
  • We forgive, even when the person doesn’t deserve it, seven times seventy
  • We help someone in need, especially if there’s nothing in it for us
  • We understand with crystal clarity that our happiness and salvation does not come from a bottle or a drug
  • We make sure there are people in our lives who love us where we’re at in this moment, but hold us accountable to a higher standard
  • We never miss the opportunity to listen to, hug, or say I love you to everyone who is special to us
  • We pray

We all experience difficult things – death, divorce, loss, debt, joblessness, but among the pain there is also unspeakable joy.  Let the season of grief pass and turn mourning into dancing. 

Bills Headstone

In Memory of William “Bill” Brannock

April 24, 1963 – March 10, 2012

No matter what you’re feeling, there is help available.  Call 800-273-TALK twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, or click here for more information.


To Put Right What Once Went Wrong

One of my favorite shows in the 1990’s was Quantum Leap.  Scott Bakula was so adorable and I enjoyed the banter between him and Dean Stockwell.  What I really loved, however, was the premise of the show, that Sam Beckett could go back in time and change history for the better, that he could put right what once went wrong. 

The promise was so intriguing, to think about what my life would be like if I could go back in time to the place where I said the wrong thing, did the wrong thing, made the wrong decision, forgot to do something, hurt someone, made a poor first impression, and have a second chance to get it right. 

Real life isn’t much like TV, however, and there’s not a way to turn back the clock and change history.  And if I really think about it, I’m not sure it would be a good thing if it were possible.  Making mistakes is an essential part of being human.  I can’t speak for everyone, but in my experience, those mistakes are what taught me not to say the wrong thing, or do the wrong thing, to make better decisions, to remember to do the important things, to try not to hurt people, how to make a good impression.  What would I learn from a perfectly tweaked life?  If whenever things got difficult, I just hit rewind and modified anything bad in an attempt to only experience good, I wouldn’t be living, I would just be editing.

And so I move forward with my unedited, often imperfect life, learning from what went wrong instead of longing to make it right.  A life where I accidentally give myself a black eye because my arms are full of stuff when I’m trying to get into my car and where the ceiling is repaired, but all the paint in the world can’t put it right again. 

My Black Eye

Yes, it hurt.  Really bad.

Ceiling Repaired

At least there’s no longer a hole in the ceiling!

Experiencing Nashville

This week has been an absolute whirlwind – from the moment I opened my eyes Monday morning to the moment I laid my head on my pillow and closed my eyes Friday night – a succession of work and home and events and dinners with co-workers and friends.  This is not my preferred way of life – it’s exhausting and after a day or two of it, I wanted to put my head under the covers instead of leaping out of bed to face a new day when the alarm went off.

And yet, I got to experience some fun and amazing things.  After living in Nashville for over three years, I finally made it to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  Country music is not my favorite genre, but I enjoyed walking through and looking at the memorabilia, from Elvis’s gold plated piano to the set from Hee Haw, from Johnny Cash to Keith Urban. 

Country Music Hall of Fame

Man in Black

The Man in Black

After the tour, there was a touching speech by Titans punter Brett Kern, followed by an amazing speaker, Esther Fleece.  That would have been enough to make for a fabulous evening, but that wasn’t the end.  Scotty McCreery (2011 American Idol Winner) took the stage and gave a delightful performance.  Even though he’s only twenty-two, when he sang See You Tonight, he made me believe wholeheartedly in people falling in love forever.  My absolute favorite, though, was Five More Minutes.  If you’ve not heard the song before, please give it a listen (even if you’re not a country fan!).  

That’s a pretty good week, right?  But then the next day I got to see a live performance of Chris Tomlin singing Good Good Father.  If you’re not familiar with that song, please give that a listen, too.  Go ahead, the message is far more important than anything you’ll read next on this blog.  You can also hear the story of the song here.

Topping off the week was a trip to The Soda Parlor.  Normally I wouldn’t leave the house on a Friday night or go out for ice cream after such a busy week, but Kayli is back in town for the weekend and I didn’t want to deprive her of the pleasure of my company.  The Soda Parlor has ice cream from Mike’s, a local Nashville business.  The Master Commander (vanilla ice cream and root beer) was my selection and Kayli and her Mom had the Battle Bear (Moose Tracks with Cream Soda).  Delicious! 

Master Commander

I might have had a couple of bites before I remembered to take a picture . . .

Battle Bears

Battle Bears!

And for those of you who’ve been wondering how the kitchen is coming along – we’ve now got a texturized ceiling, all prepped and ready for paint!

Texturized Ceiling