A Surprising Camaraderie

2, 028.

That's roughly the number of Sunday mornings I've experienced so far in my lifetime. Let's say I spent roughly 1.5 hours each of those mornings at church (although it was more than that when I was in churches that had adult Sunday school classes).
That means I've been exposed to church, JUST on Sunday mornings, roughly 3,042 hours so far. That's equal to 126.75 days. 18 weeks.
Time for some honesty. 
Time for some reflecting on...well, time. 

The Day Before

The fog is lifting.
I can see a few more feet ahead of me on this journey I've been on. My steps feel more sure. More natural. More...dare I say it? Normal. I've found a rhythm that fits our new life and things are good. The dark doesn't seem quite as penetrating. The ground isn't as unsteady. What lies just around the corner isn't nearly so menacing as it once seemed in all its mysterious unknowns.
No, things are not perfect. The circumstances I find us in are not what I wanted or ever would have chosen for us. Not at all. And yet, things are good. So very good.
Every now and then I start to sigh with relief that surely, surely, I've learned all there is to learn about divorce and navigating life as a single parent. Surely I've reached the end of some aspects of divorce. Right, God? My journal is full of documented lessons and summaries of some of the things I've come to understand.
And yet there are still so many lessons God has yet to teach me. One …

the 7th circle

For Pete's sake.

Y'all, I can't even.

Where to begin?

The following narrative is completely true and factual. I am imaginative, but could definitely not make this stuff up. For what it's worth, please enjoy a laugh at my expense as I tell you about my time on a business trip this week, otherwise known as my time in the seventh circle of hell.

My kids are out of town this week, visiting the happiest place on earth with their dad and future stepmom and stepsister. I planned ahead, thinking this would be a great time to do some needed business travel without impacting them and their expectations of lazy summer days where I'm available to do their bidding. I had two clinics due for an audit and a visit with the staff, so I made arrangements for traveling to Opelika and Prattville, both in south Alabama. And silly me, I even kind of imagined that once I concluded my business responsibilities in Opelika, I could enjoy an evening in a hotel room with no house to clean, no…

The Unassuming Hero

There's this man I know. 

I'm told this picture was taken on the day I first smiled. Seems fitting that I'm looking into his eyes because he can still make me smile 38 years later. 
Ray Smith is his name. He's my dad. 
He isn't the life of the party. He doesn't command the attention of a room. He isn't wildly wealthy or always driving up in the latest amazing sports car. He doesn't care all that much about brand names or the applause of those around him. Upscale restaurants actually make him a little uncomfortable with all the doting attention of the servers. He's not interested in long, luxurious vacations, although as a retired man who has worked hard all his life, he'd certainly be entitled to just that by most folks' standards. 

I've told you a few of the things this man does NOT care much about. So what does he care about? What drives him? 
People. Plain and simple.  
My father is a man who shows up when others do not. He's the…