Two adults, on the floor, ugly crying.

When my husband and I got the official word we were being transferred to Houston from New Mexico eleven years ago we both sat down in the floor and cried.  Really.  We did.

Two grownups, on the floor, ugly crying.

I repeatedly implored my Texas-hating husband not to judge my beloved home state by Houston.  Tearfully, I would tell him, “Everyone knows Houston isn’t really part of Texas.  It’s even worse than Dallas.”

We worried.  We stressed.  We looked for a way out. But, our paycheck was waiting, so eventually we moved.

Our first night in our new neighborhood a lady shot her husband and our street filled with flashing blue lights.

Two grownups, on the floor, ugly crying.

Gradually though, something began to happen.

It probably started the first time we went to get our oil changed and the guy running the shop, Dave,  befriended us.

“If you folks ever need anything just give us a call.  Somewhere to eat Sunday dinner-anything at all.”

Was Dave crazy? A big city maniac we should fear? A danger we needed to avoid?  We thought all of this while smiling politely and positioning ourselves between him and our daughter.

It turns out he wasn’t.  He was just a typical Houstonian.  Friendly and big hearted.  Always willing to help and always looking out for those around him.

We have met many, many “Daves” in the eleven years we have been here.  The neighbors who folded us into their own holidays when we were too far away to spend them with family.  The random man who stopped and helped us carry a new stove into our house. I’m especially thankful for him because our marriage was about to end over how to get that darn thing out of the truck bed. The sweet lady down the street who remembers my husband every year when she makes Gumbo and sends him huge tupperware containers of golden, savory goodness.

Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States, is populated with good folks and we love them.

In fact,  we are smitten with our entire city.

We love the air that drips and the first signs of Magnolia trees blooming every year. We love warm palm-tree Christmases and that we can go five minutes in any direction and find “slap yo’ mama” good food.  We love our Texans and our brown water beaches.  We love the guys on air-boats rescuing people from flooded homes and we love being surrounded by folks willing to risk their own lives to save horses caught in the water.

We are, in every way that matters, Houstonians.  May we always, always live up to the name and may we never ever be transferred.

I have no problem imagining what it would look like if we were.

Two adults, on the floor, ugly crying.


Sunday’s Sermon

My husband and I went to church last Sunday.  We usually do.  But, sometimes it just hits me harder than others.

Sometimes, the sermon hurts.  And not in a good way.

Last week,  the earnest young preacher talking was sharing a story about his health.  He has congenital heart failure.  He’s doing all he can to deal with it, but his doctor wanted him to do more.  Not medicine.  Not surgery.  A diet.

A vegan diet to be precise. For 60 days!

Seriously?  I mean who asks their patient to participate in that kind of craziness?

My reaction fit in nicely with the next part of the sermon.  The minister said it didn’t take him too long without meat or dairy to realize that he was running to food for comfort way too often.   Maybe, even more than God.


That’s when the hurting started.  I sat there in those overstuffed gray chairs and realized that God is not always my first thought in times of happy or sad.  He’s just not.  I want him to be, but I figure He’s way further down the list than any creator of the universe ought to be.

There’s my husband.  I am 100% crazy about my shy, sweet, best friend of a guy and he knows exactly what to do to make me feel better.  Sorry Preacher,  but it sometimes involves ice cream.  On a bad day ice cream and pizza.

Then,  there’s my kids.  They are truly magic and I show up every day to get a front seat to their lives. Any bad mood I tumble into can usually be solved with a few minutes talking to them.

Heck,  there is even just the  experience of living life.  I love it.  I love how a clean house feels and the way people greet each other after a long absence.  I love how puppies nuzzle your cheek and the way ice cream melts down your hand.

If I am upset, or sad, or happy, or mad God is not always my initial go-to.  I’m sorry God.  I really am.  You created all this crazy stuff I love and yet I give it more credence than You.  I’m not sure why.  I just know I do.  Maybe, it’s because I can taste ice cream and hug my husband and feel the prickles of grass  when I walk barefoot in the summer.  You really made things difficult when You made yourself so silent. I sometimes feel like You are the test case for playing hard to get.  How much more simple would this faith thing be if there were literally signs. Just little yellow post-its stuck against the blue sky that said, “Hey, don’t forget I’m up here.” No brainer.  Cut and dried. Easy.

I’m not sure what I will do with this new found revelation that I am seeking mint chocolate chip before our Heavenly Father, but I suppose I’ll think about it a lot.  I’m sure God will use those same thoughts to grow me up a little bit more and I am absolutely certain I will write about the whole thing.  Writing is always a way for me to process and relax and—-shoot.  I think writing might be on the list too.