Saturday, July 21, 2012


I read this blog and cried! It's from a woman that was present during shootings in Aurora, CO. I think it's better than anything I could say about the events of this weekend. 

I am praying for this community, these people and for all the families involved...even the man who did the must be just as deviating for them as well, they're also dealing with the brunt of anger of not only our nation but the globe.  That must be a horrendous weight on them.  God that your peace, glorious grace and mercy that is new everyday strengthen and uphold them today and in the days ahead.  

Monday, July 09, 2012


I'm sitting here outside the Hospice facility and I noticed a tree that looks a little worse for wear. For the middle of the summer after all of this rain I would think its leaves would be greener, perkier or at least more lifted up. Then a squirrel runs along the fence top behind the tree, the wind blows, a serenade of grasshoppers (my aunt says they're June bugs) start a chime in the distance and the sound rolls across my spectrum from right to left. A turtle pops it head up from the retention pond causing ripples to bounce the water ever so gently across to the other side. It's then my eyes see the oh so ordinary, slightly worse for worn, tired tree in the beauty of its reflection. The serenade grows louder and wind now amplifies the rippling, distorting the image to unrecognizable and it's colors melt into the taller oak behind it and the crystal blue of the sky. I tried to capture that image with my camera but it lost its majesty in the iris of technology but not in my minds eye. I know I've written about the importance of perspective, but today I see the beauty of it.

I know that the God of all creation is taking the shell of a woman I've had the honor and privilege to call mom, and more recently the joy of calling friend, and transforming her out of her tired, a little worse for worn, always-anything-but-ordinary body into a beautiful reflection of what her forever is going to be. It started as an assignment for me to walk her through the valley...and there have been some dark twists and snares...but I pray it won't be long until I can report to you that she has accomplished the task before her and won the race, with more wisdom and grace and peace than I have ever known. Yes it started as an assignment, but it has become my privilege. My heart hurts to let her go...I miss her already...but this is not her last will be her first.

Monday, June 18, 2012

When Things Get Bad

If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay, see you walk, walk away
Into the night...and through the rain
Into the half-light and through the flame...

Mom was admitted to the hospital Friday. I've been sitting with her, watching TV, talking, remembering the this and that's of our lives. I have discovered exactly how funny she is with her filter removed...and IV pain meds are great for removing filters. She is also VERY fidgety!!!! I am not. I am usually annoyed by those who can't be still. I have always been very still. A thinker more than a doer. But she is not annoying me. These are the precious times. The calm before the storm. (There are storms coming that can't be prayed away.)

Yesterday I went to church but got the call that she needed me before church. In Sunday school (first church) I wrote a letter to her.

Dear Mom,

Chance told me the other day that some of his best / favorite memories of you and daddy were our cabin / mountain trips. When we would all get snuggled into bed and you would start laughing. We all knew it was because you had just 'got' the joke of the day. But to him it would cause a joy to come again and that moment to him was funnier/ better than the original joke. He remembers going to sleep with such a peace and joy.

When he told me that story, it brought back to me my childhood-because that's what you've done for all of us throughout our family life. You have been the JOY of this family. I know that it must have seemed like we were laughing at you- but we weren't. We were laughing because of you. You have been our joy all of these years. I want you to rise up and continue to be our joy for years to come.

I know that the pain you are in is great.

If I could through myself
Set your spirit free
I'd lead your heart away
See you break, break away...

I'm praying that God takes this pain from you.

If I could, you know I would,
If I could, I would
Let it go.....

I pray that HE restores to you YOUR joy! Chance is funny because you are funny. I am strong because you are strong. And you are healed because He IS healing. You are holy because He is too holy to fail you!
I love you momma!

(Song by U2 from the album 'The Unforgettable Fire' October 1984/ Lyrics by Bono)

Saturday, June 09, 2012

It's Not A Hill It's A Mountain As You Start Out The Climb

They say it’s all about perspective. One of the driving factors in my life has been that I want to know the truth about what people think of me. It’s the only way I can change. But we are blind to ourselves. We simply don’t see the need for change in ourselves. “How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?” We think we are the ones who are okay and everyone else is nuts. I think it would be one of the most hateful things to get to the end of our road or journey and look back to find that those we chose to surround ourselves with were merely tolerating us, that there were things about us that they really didn’t like, things that we could have changed if we only realized how others really saw us.

On the last day of high school I found out what one of my closest friends really thought of me. I hunted her down to confront her. I wasn’t as mad as I was hurt. After all of these years, to find out at the end what she really thought. It cut me deep. A couple of years later, in college, I found a former roommates’ car unlocked in a place that it usually wasn’t. When I found her she wasn’t impressed that I was concerned. But rather she hurled an insult at me, thus letting me know what she had really felt but kept pent up about me. “Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit.” I found myself developing a clinging nature. The need to know, to be told…how do you really feel about me? I became “That” girl. Not long after I suffered “THE” breakup. (You know the one…the one you STILL haven’t gotten over…yup THAT one) Looking back, I can’t blame him. I would have ran from me too! “There’s a part of me in the chaos that’s quiet…”

As I moved to Atlanta, I took with me my favorite pair of blue jean, knee length shorts. I think they were my favorite because the “crew” had signed them…(don’t ask…even I don’t know what I was thinking then) I took a sharpie and wrote “Never Never” (Stacked as if in shadow) People thought it was because of a band of the same name. (Were they a local group? Or popular? I don’t know…) But it was in fact because the Raven cries nevermore… I began introducing myself as Raven. I had decided that no one was ever going to make me cry again. I was not going to let anyone get close enough to me to even know me, let alone inflict pain on me. Because they say it’s all about perspective. My perspective was that if you didn’t know me, you couldn’t affect or effect me. It amazes me how quickly I put that wall up…and how long it took to break it down. I still from time to time catch myself standing off, wondering…”Oh, a change of heart comes slow.”

Yesterday I had someone say to me, “Maybe the memory issues you’re having is because you’re too self-consumed.” I suffered a concussion on October 5th. I’ve developed headaches, but my “memory” issues have been with me for YEARS lol…it’s been a running joke in our family that you could get me the same gift every Christmas I wouldn’t remember it was the same! I didn’t know if I wanted to scream or cry. I moved to Houston, TX because Chance begged me to. (Yes I did want to move there myself but I would not have taken him out of school to go.) I took close to a $10 an hour pay cut to move back to FL because I was asked to. ”Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear.” But I don’t want to wait 20 years to reflect back to see that they were right. Because, remember my high school friend? Yup, she was right…I really didn’t ever shut my mouth. And my former roommate? I wasn’t always the most upright honest person. And my boyfriend? Yup, I was clingy/needy/ and altogether unlovable at that point in my life.

“Do you believe me or are you doubting We’re gonna make it all the way to the light”

I guess I’ve got some perspective to work through. I do love the peaceful life. As the middle child I’ve always thought that I was spending all of my time doing everything for everyone else. But that is simply my perspective. I’m not sure what I am doing now that has me consumed with me…but I intend to find out. I’ve heard for years to get yourself off of your hands. I honestly thought that was one sermon I had nailed into my personality…apparently not. I am open to suggestions. And I am dead serious when I say I want to know what you REALLY think of me. I don’t care if you think it will hurt…THAT hurt will only last for the night, but the feeling of betrayal that comes after discovering years later is much worse.

I know, I’m asking for it now. LOL Feel free to email/text me.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Latest update on the Sanctus Real Bus Fire

Monday, 4 June, 2012 - Many of you may have heard the news that the tour bus of Sanctus Real was involved in a fire early yesterday morning, destroying the entire bus and losing all of their personal belongings. Thankfully, everyone that was on the bus got out safely and no one was injured.
At approximately 4 a.m. Sunday morning, the band members and a few of their family members, including four children, were all on the bus departing from their performance in Mitchellville, Maryland, on their way to return home to Ohio and Tennessee. While on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, their bus driver saw flames via the side view mirror, quickly stopping to get everyone off the bus. Everyone left their belongings behind, not knowing how severe the fire was encapsulating the bus. As a result, everything was destroyed in the fire, from clothing to laptops, cell phones and wallets. The trailer behind the bus remained in tact, receiving the least amount of damage, yet the band will find out later this week if any of their equipment did suffer any damage. 
Thankfully, many of the band members were able to return to their homes later in the day, while band member Dan Gartley is still in Pennsylvania going through the wreckage along with the crew. The band will continue to perform their scheduled shows, beginning this weekend in Atlanta with The FISH Radio and at a performance at Lake Lanier Islands Resort, just outside of Atlanta.
Many of you have expressed interest to help support the band. To find out how you and your audiences can help by giving a donation to the band, please visit here.  
 For more information about Sanctus Real and to connect with the band, please visit:
For media inquiries, please contact:
Merge PR
Lori Mahon and Stacie Vining

Photos from the fire, June 4, 2012

Merge PR
P.O. Box 578 | Spring Hill, TN 37174
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