Good Friday – for the “first” time at the age of 9

I grew up taking some things for granted.  And, when you are 39 it is quite easy to forget there are some things even the brightest 9 year-olds don’t know.

It has been a long week.  One of doctors, and appointments.  Lots of homework.  Running errands to try to catch up on our lives. Felix’s grandmother, who Meghan and I barely knew, passed away this week.  Emotions.  Pain.  The hearts hurt. The hand hasn’t healed quite yet.   Physical Therapy.  Lots of processing for my deep thinker.

I know Meghan knew this was “Holy Week,”  if f0r no other reason, than I had told her.

She participated in the Palm Sunday Service last Sunday and understood everything in great detail.

Wednesday our church set up “stations,”  where you could travel to experience Jesus‘ last days.  There was fragrance, 30 pieces of silver, bread, wine, a cross to nail your sins, a stone to imagine the weight of the one in front of Jesus’ tomb. There were 13 stations in all.  Each one a meaningful experience – traveled through alone or in a pair.

At each station there was a Bible passage, and a scenario.  There was a way to put yourself in the situation.  Meghan and I traveled most of the stations together, talking and sharing as we went.  Long productive conversation that night.

We did not make service last night, but tonight, we headed into the “Good Friday” service.


I had never experienced a Tenebrae service, or a service of shadows.  There was a huge cross of candles in the front, extinguished one at a time as various readings were completed.

And, knowing her so well I watched Meghan through the service become increasingly uncomfortable.

When we left and asked her about it, she told us she never knew the story of Jesus’ death.  She had heard it told, but never read from the Bible.  She had no idea the extent of His suffering.  She was amazed that He could still love us after all the awful things that went on.

Long, long discussions.  Just starting to wrap up.

My first reaction was guilt.  Had I failed as a Christian mom?

Then I realized, as always, things were happening as they were supposed to.

I was learning lesson upon lesson just hearing her speak.

We are so weighed down by the earthly problems, that we sometimes forget.  We sometimes lose focus.

Cowden’s Syndrome, cancer, PTEN, AVMs, viruses, surgeries, whatever the suffering,… we are children of a loving, forgiving God.

Jesus died to save us from our sins.  To lighten the load.  To eliminate the judgment and condemnation that sometimes weighs on our hearts – so we can concentrate on the important stuff.

And on the third day He will rise again…

it is finished

How blessed are we?  Sometimes I need my 9 year old to remind me.



don't give up

It seems they are happening all the time, probably for everyone, but this week we are really feeling them.

When the week started and I loosely reviewed our schedule for the week Meghan was flat out disgusted at the number of appointments we had.  She is tired of doctors.  I can’t blame her.  So am I.

Watch this.  Scan that.  Come back and see me about that… UGH.


So when she asked me to stop making every vacation full of appointments, I tried to explain to her that with two people with “Cowden’s Syndrome,” and a whole pile of  “every 6 month” appointments, it is almost impossible.  And then when I looked at the tears in her eyes I promised to try.  “I just want a little time to be bored!” So I got a jump on our summer appointments.  So far I scheduled 12 from June 27 to July 16.  I have used only 6 days to do it.  There is one day with 4 appointments, two days with 2, and the other 4 each have their own days.  Now, as long as no one looks for any follow ups… maybe we can plan to have a somewhat normal summer.  At least I can dream


She is also tired of homework.  Even from teachers with the best of all intentions.  She is tired of the stress of the upcoming State exams, even as I work to downplay it.  She was so excited this week when I told her she could read whatever she wanted – whenever she wanted – without needing to write a summary.  You would have thought I gave her candy.  She used to love everything about school.  Now the best I get from her is that she likes her teachers.  What are we doing to these kids?


Her thumb still hurts.  Injured at dance on Monday.  Its been 3 days.  Seems like it is going to linger.  It isn’t – or doesn’t seem to be broken, but she is done dancing.  She told me yesterday.  She just wants to get through the recital.

Transitions. Things are ever changing.

First it was soccer – too tough on her body.  Now its dance.  Sometimes she can hurt herself just walking up the steps.  What next?


No more PT in school.  She doesn’t need it.  Or so they say right now.  We will double check just to be sure.  But there is lots of PT going on.  Strengthening that body.  Preparing her to swim like the fish she wants to be.  More testing in school when we return.  Just to make sure she is getting everything she needs.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.


god helps us handle

Holy Week services at a new church.  Sunday we become members.  Warmly welcomed – attending as a family.  Mixed emotions that always lead to joy and confidence at the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


Our lives are full of transitions.  Like the lenses on Meghan’s glasses – changing with the environment and the circumstances.  We are growing together.  Learning our roles.  Fighting not to allow Cowden’s Syndrome to define us, but rather to find where it fits into who we are as people.  We are working on our health, and our own maintenance appointments.  We are learning about the effects of the syndrome, and discovering how much is not yet known.

We are finding our new roles, as people charged to raise awareness, and to spread the word.

We are figuring out where we belong.  In school.  In sports.  In extracurricular activities.  In religion.  On our lives.

Big changes all around. God’s plan unfolding.  Eyes and ears and heart wide open.

leap of faith