Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Snow flurries danced in the headlights twenty-one years ago this morning as we drove to the small, regional hospital in Indiana, Pennsylvania. At 9:45, I watched Dr. Stever lift you up high and into my view over the partition in the operating bay. Nurses handed you to me within a couple of minutes.
We were extremely protective of this potential diagnosis and with the exception of a few close friends and our family, we told no one. But, in those months when fear would paralyze me, I learned how to pray. And, how to surrender.
He's becoming everything I'd dreamed he'd be: just like his father, who was like his father, all seeking to become like their heavenly Father--another Balty to leave a legacy, "remembered by God."
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Yes, these ladies know that a balding, middle aged, hemorrhaging man is looking over their shoulders.
Last month I extended extra credit to students who were willing to invest in a Macbeth performance at the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. To claim their extra credit, students had to take a selfie with a cast member following the performance. I am not sure of the identity of the head-banded hero, but the gentleman on the left is the valiant Macduff.
Having taught this play over twenty times, I find that the story of Macbeth has become an old friend. I know where the students will laugh (with the drunk porter), where they will be aghast (when Lady Macbeth evokes the image of bashing the skull of a nursing infant), and where they will see themselves (when Macbeth describes being trapped by his choices: “I am in blood / Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o'er”).
Macbeth is my favorite Shakespearean play because it provides a vehicle for discussing life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? As a teacher in a Christian academy, I am providentially positioned to provide answers to those questions. So I answer by discussing creation, the fall, restoration, and ultimate redemption. The prospect gets me out of bed in the morning, puts a spring in my step.
Yet teaching Macbeth is a humbling, soul-searching project, because in a sense he is an Everyman (or woman). In full knowledge of what he is doing, Macbeth destroys his own soul. He is a man on a fast track for the very highest honors, yet he chooses the slavery of sin. His choice leaves him with this predictable consequence wherein he faces the absurdity of an empty and meaningless life:
Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Great books take us to places that we were not willing to acknowledge, to hidden rooms of the heart, to realizations that we live as immoral humanity in a moral universe, to the discovery that a moral universe proclaims a moral Creator.
Today, I am intentionally thankful for great literature.
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Monday, November 6, 2017
In a world of brokenness, I'm thankful that we've been learning how to forgive for 25 years.
Intentionally grateful for forgiveness today (and everyday!).
"bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive."
Sunday, November 5, 2017
David and I had been married 5 years when we moved to Louisville, KY, for David to teach at Highview Baptist School. Zachary was 7 months old. It soon became our custom to walk the sidewalks of our neighborhood, Ashbrooke Gardens, after dinner. Zach was as happy-as-a-clam in his stroller and it gave David and me an opportunity to catch up on our day. He was a rookie in his teaching career and had the stories of the day to prove it. I was at home with Zachary, and was always anxious to share the newest milestone or development that he had achieved.
Three years later when Samuel joined our family, we were still walking and talking each evening after dinner. And three years after that, when Seth joined Team Balty, we were still walking together.
Over the years things changed of course; Zach outgrew the stroller, then rode a bike, and then drove a battery operated truck. As soon as Samuel could hang on tightly enough, he was not content to be in the stroller either and he joined Zach in the "Mighty Mac" and off we'd go. Evening after evening. Us walking and talking. Our neighbors told us that from their supper tables, they watched our boys grow up, as we'd walk with our boys.
David and I learned something really important to our marriage in those years: We learned to remain connected, not only as spouses, but also as friends. So, as the boys were growing up, we were growing together and not away from each other as would have been easy to do in the busyness of day-to-day raising a family. I treasure those memories. But, even now, I still treasure our walks.
We walk without the boys now. There's no distraction, no reminding a little one to watch out at the intersection, Just David and me. Still walking and talking.
Still growing together.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up."
Today, I'm intentionally grateful for growth.
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Friday, November 3, 2017
Thursday, November 2, 2017
Friday, October 6, 2017
Like most mothers of boys I have a box full of first-aid supplies! Most of the time (thankfully) they sit unused in my cabinet. But, have you ever noticed how accidents happen at the most unexpected time?? Seriously.
After the blood stopped flowing, a one-inch laceration, greeted me.
It was almost 7 pm and my only option was urgent care, as I don't deem "needing stitches" Emergency Department worthy, unless of course, you're losing a limb. Then, that's fine! Go on in!
My local pharmacist told me that it's the same chemicals in the medical grade Dermabond as in plain-ole super glue. and he felt confident that I could use that. But, there was that "sterile" factor and I wasn't keen on putting super glue into his scalp! And, Samuel wasn't keen on me shaving his head. Impasse!
My 13 year-old thinks like most kiddos his age these days: Let's look on YouTube. It can, after all, answer most of life's problems, or in this case, close his brother's head. But, he found it! By tying Samuel's hair together, I could then put super glue on the hair, thereby protecting direct contact with his scalp. And, here's what it looks like today:
Monday, September 25, 2017
|Jekyll Island, September, 2017|
Seth has been looking forward to his school field trip to Jekyll Island for months.
He's my THIRD child, but my baby and, oh, I find this hard.
So, I came along.
I'm staying nearby,
The blades are whirring just in case he needs me.
I packed my usual "just-in-case" first-aid kit.
Here are some of the items that I might have packed in his suitcase:
An assortment of bandages, gauze, and tape
3M Coban wrap
syringe of saline to cleanse a wound
I'm too embarrassed to say what else I've also packed "just-in-case."
I'll just leave it at there's no need to call in medical supplies for anyone.
I have enough for the whole middle school.
Have mercy, I need help.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
I mentioned that Samuel Pepys attended this church. Directly across the street is an area where criminals were hung and their bodies mutilated. Notice the quote on the plaque.
I did see a couple of interesting signs today.
I'm not exactly sure what constitutes a good vehicle, but driving one seems a distinct advantage in England.