Friday, January 30, 2009

Parting the Waters

So how do you, in a couple hundred pages, capture the story of your oldest son's near-death drowning and the ensuing years of recovery and healing? Throw in the combined grief and helplessness of enduring it as a family of five, maintaining your marriage, questioning God amidst a deep-rooted faith, and then somehow communicating it all with candor and sincerity and brevity and a quirky sense of humor.
Well, Jeanne Damoff did it.
Parting the Waters provides a captivating and refreshingly honest and unsettling front row seat for watching God create beauty through brokenness.

Jeanne describes her daily, sometimes minute-by-minute commitment of genuinely trusting the Lord in his ways and his provision, while concurrently aching with deep loss and broken dreams. Jeanne's writing is an extension of her personality - interesting and creative and to-the-point and honest. Just like in person, her words propel you to laugh and cry and then laugh again.

In Parting the Waters, Jeanne relays Jacob's accident and painstakingly slow recovery in detail, but even more important lets us in on her personal growth through the process - grappling with self pity and anger and frustration while learning acceptance and peace and satisfaction. And as God is in the habit of doing, he brings great glory to himself through Jacob and the accident and the miracles and provision throughout.

Enjoy, friends - I am enriched and educated and encouraged by reading this story.

For more reviews of Parting the Waters, check out these blogs.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday Wonder - Heather Davenport

"Why don't you go see Heather this weekend?"
"What? Just pick up and go? You think it'd work?"
"Sure, if you take Basden & Esther, I can handle the boys for a few days. Even if you leave Thursday morning, I can make arrangements after school."
"Well, can you still make those arrangements if I leave Essie?!"
After all, I really wanted to actually HELP Heather...

So that's how it started. And a couple of phone calls and three days later, Basden and I made the quiet, 4.5 hour drive to Midland, Texas to see my dear friend Heather and her twin baby girls, Annie & Ellie. At five weeks old, the twins were nursing every two to three hours and sequestering their mommy to her "cave" as Jay Mac dubbed the nursery chair. Heather literally nursed the twins at least eight hours a day, not including baths and diaper changing and swaddling and rocking.

The "wonder" of it all is intensified when you look around the Davenport home. At five years old, biggest sister Mary Louise keeps things moving and buoyant and shipshape with her big grin and take-it-all-in eyes. Emma, three, simply bounces from bed to bed, room to room, making absolutely every effort to keep up with Mary. She's like a tiny sprite with bounding energy, yet looks intently into your soul with her deep, expressive eyes. And little Mac throws a curve ball into the estrogen-ridden home with his masculine strut and hearty laugh. At one and a half, he already displays his daddy's consistent, level, and stable countenance.

Heather and I became "heart" friends in high school while on Work Crew at Young Life's Frontier Ranch. We attended different high schools in Fort Worth and our paths had crossed a tiny bit, but something about that month in the summer of 1990 bound us like sisters.

So fast-forward through college and our twenty's and marriage and starting our families... Single at 28, (now seems so young!) Heather grappled with the possibility of not ever raising the large family she'd dreamed of. Just a handful of years later, God has filled and overfilled that cup of longing.

What I admire about Heather:
- A love for children. Not just her own, but yours and mine and all those children who fill elementary school classrooms. She cares about their well-being, their love for learning, and their hearts.
- A gentle and quiet spirit. Need a great listener? Call this girl.
- Learning to laugh at herself. Re-patterning her brain to smile at messes and toddler chaos and disorder and not take life too seriously.
- Loves her husband. Heather intentionally serves as a support to Jay Mac, who is exactly who she needs to be married to. Like Corbin does for me, he balances her mountain-top and valley emotions and keeps life balanced and steady and fun.
- Deep wisdom. She understands that approval from her Maker satisfies more than approval from men. That doing things well doesn't equate perfectionism. And that the Lord's direction is safer than her own road map. Even if it means Midland, TX!

Actually, one of my highlights during our four days together included watching this community shower Heather and Jay Mac with love and support. From diapers that fill a storage shed to custom hand-printed thank you notes to a gajillion meals to free babysitting for date nights, the people of Midland have overwhelmed this sweet family with love, love, and more love.

So here's a parting video of little Emma - the tiny sprite I described. Check out her rendition of Psalms 100 - so, so darling.

I love you, Heather! The Lord is beautiful in you, friend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


So I'm at Starbucks, eying the distance between my coffee cup and my laptop.
A couple of weeks ago, my normally-fairly-cheap hazlenut misto cost me a couple hundred bucks. So today, after a two week sabbatical from my Macbook, new keyboard and all, I'm trying to be a little more careful with my coffee.
So... hope to be back in blogland soon. Check back in when you have a sec, missing my blogging friends.