What To Do When Your Grass Dies



All the houses looked prettier this morning as I drove through my neighborhood to my chiropractor appointment.  Installed sprinklers and landscapers who visit weekly are the norm in Congress Park (a little neighborhood just outside downtown Denver), contributing to it’s recently-won title of “best place to live in Denver.”

Just so we’re clear, I don’t live in one of the famed Denver four-square behemoths that line the leafy streets of Saint Paul Street & Detroit Avenue; I don’t have a sprinkler system installed either.  And instead of paying for someone to mow my lawn and pick my weeds, I choose to see a chiropractor once a week who helps snap my poor pelvis back into place, #GiantBabiesRuinBodies.

My chiropractor is a Healer—she loves God and she believes that Love Wins, as do I.  So I get undressed and laid prostrate on the blue leather table, reverent and ready for the relief.  As she feels my body, I exhale.  Finally, someone to snap it all back into place.

“Hhmmm…”  She mumbles through her thoughts.

“What’s going on back there?”  I breathe sweaty breath into the crinkly paper covering the face/head rest.

“You’ve got to relax, Honey.”  She finally speaks up.  “I can’t even start working on you.  You’re too tight.”  Her touch and her words sink down into my flesh and bones.



“There you go,”  she coaches.  “What’s going on this morning?”

What’s going on is that my children yell “MR. WEINIE!!” without abandon every single time they see a dachshund while we’re out and about, and it’s embarrassing sometimes.

What’s wrong is that the two older girls planted pumpkin seeds in absurd places around the vegetable garden, and now we have pumpkin problems — huge pumpkins vines snaking around like hot lava, “No Mama!  Don’t step on my pumpkins!”

And don’t even get me started on the little boy who picks baby bell peppers before they even stood a chance—they chose life!  He didn’t.  At least the baby is sleeping through the night now.

What’s going on is that my sod is actually straw, because I don’t have sprinklers.  I know grass should look green, but what about when it’s brown and squirrels blend into it?  I know friends should text you back, but what about when they don’t?  I believe my pant size doesn’t determine my worth, but sometimes I get afraid that it is.

What happened this past week?  Life.  Life happened.

And here’s what I realized on that blue, sweaty, leather table:  I wanted a fixer, not a Healer.  I wanted a life that could be secured by sprinklers, obedience, loyalty, and weight loss. I held tight to my expectations of what a life should look instead of releasing.  Inhaling.  Exhaling.

If only the chaos and crazy (and beauty) of my full life could be snapped back into place with the same technique my chiropractor uses.

But that’s not how our Healer works, is it?  Nope.  God must go deeper, beyond the chaos, pain, and discomfort.  My chiropractor couldn’t do her job, she couldn’t access my injury, until I let her ease apart the scar tissue a shitty week left behind.

She laughed when I told her about the Dachshunds.  “Well I’m glad it made somebody smile,”  I chuckled.  And she reminded me that not every family of six is blessed with the outdoor space for three different pumpkin plants to comfortably invade.

Then she casually recalled that I’ve lost one-hundred-and fifty pounds, and I am a Love Hulk—fearfully and radically crafted by the Healer who cured my cancers and then gifted me FOUR miracle babies.

“Do you think any bit of your life is an accident?”  She teared up a little.




Everything adjusted back into the places God intended upon creation.

The drive home wasn’t nearly as awful.  Instead of resenting all the big houses I can’t afford to live in, I thanked God for the perfect little Victorian bungalow that houses all the healthy humans I love.

“I bless you, green grass.  I bless your lushness,”  I spoke while passing all the sprinkler systems.  And when I arrived home, to my own beautiful mess of a front yard, I thanked God for the hundred-year-old gate protecting the babies who make me better.

One day, things will stay tidy, I tell myself, noticing the chalk pieces and tricycles strewn about.

Life happens, all day, every day.  We don’t get to choose whether or not our kids listen.  We can’t control our income, our blood pressure, or the success of our marriage—even though we think we can.  Sometimes we choose to “fix it” by gripping tighter, controlling, manipulating, and ignoring.

But what if we choose Healing by inviting Truth and Gratitude into the fears that we allow to hold us hostage?

We can breathe.  And somehow, through the miraculous power of Love, we get snapped back into place, where we can receive the Good gift of content sort of kids, lower blood pressure, and happier husbands.

You are fearfully and radically made by a Healer who can’t wait to ever-so-carefully rip you apart, and then mend it all.  Once mended, you have power that puts superwoman to shame, and you realize that you can choose Joy, here.  Now.

Inhale.  Exhale.  Smile.  We are all gonna make it, even if our sod dies.




🎃PS- It’s Halloween, which means I say a special prayer for all teachers everywhere tonight as I fall asleep.  “Lord, help them handle the cocaine-candy angels tomorrow.”  In our house, after we arrive home from our hunting and gathering, we do something that really pisses of the kids, but also really excites the parents and teachers.  The kids dump out their haul on the floor and pick three pieces of candy they would like to eat over the next three days.  You’re welcome.  Amen 🙏🏼

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When Your 5-Yr-Old Notices You Are Fat


Now, in the little turd’s defense she was merely asking a question, stating facts, and inviting me into some nice dinner time discussion.

Kindergartner:  Did you know that I am skinnier than you are?

Saying a prayer and tucking my fangs away with my tongue I replied, “Yes, you are.  What were you thinking about that made you say that, Sweetie?”

“You take up more room than I do.  I was thinking about how you take up more room in the chair than I do,” said my 5-year-old body shamer.

Inhale.  Exhale.  I smiled with sincerity and gentleness, because I feel honored that she feels safe enough to state such things.  “That’s true!  But you know what Babe?  I’m perfect, and so are you!  And so is everyone!  Also, we never ever get to say anything about anybody’s body, okay?  Because—”

“Because God looks at the inside.”  She interrupts with her high-pitched sweetness.

“Yes, because God looks at the inside.”

A few weeks ago I offered up the spare change chattering around my car console to a homeless man.  I would’ve offered my Nalgene full of filtered water, but I had already passed it along to a woman holding a sign saying anything helps in black Sharpie

“I have some change if you want it.”  When our eyes met the shame-y scales on his irises frightened me. Nodding no, he said, “you should really lose some weight.”  And I was even wearing my skinny outfit.

“I love you, and you don’t have to be so angry,” was my reply.  If only Lucy hadn’t heard the words, but she did.

Maybe that started some new wheels turning?  Maybe that excelerated the spinning of wheels already in motion?  Maybe I’ve been distracted and more volatile lately and she needed a little release, a little Mama jab to help ease her hurting heart?

Driving away from the man (who was himself on the portlier side), my quiet tears watered that inside soil, softening my rage, and I started thanking him.  Because he spoke out loud the words I speak to myself often as I flash by the mirrors and big glass storefronts that fill my days.  I was given the gift of my negative, hateful self-talk coming to life:

“You should loose some weight.”

How rude?!  How dare I speak those things to myself!  The homeless meany?  He is wounded, not wicked, and probably in need of some very focused psychological attention; I can let it slide.  He puts a smile on God’s face, so he can put a smile on mine.

But me?  I am a throughly-therapied beloved child of God.  How dare I?  I am without excuse.  Thank you, homeless sir, for holding up a mirror to the body I’ve tried so hard to make better, whatever better that means.  Thank you for showing me what those words look like in motion, and for changing the discussion I have with my reflection.

My whole life I’ve tried to take up as little room on chairs as possible.  The problem is that I’m almost six-feet-tall, I have male athlete muscle mass, and my feet are a size fourteen–mens.  God never intended for my size, my presence, to go unnoticed.

The same goes for you.

When the sweet little five-year-old voices, or the hurtful homeless voices, or the scared Self voices start pointing to our imperfections–our humanity–we simply smile respectfully and remind them that God looks at the inside.  And on their way out the door, we give them the finger.

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Easter, Eggs, and Dance Floors


So they put all their eggs in one basket.  They dropped their nets and followed wholeheartedly to do God’s work with God’s Son. Then in one instance, in His death on a cross, their baskets crashed to the gravely ground below and every single egg exploded.  Everything they expected their Jesus to conquer, patch up, fix, fill —all the hopes, dreams, identities, wounds— crashed and burned. Or rather, hung from a tree.  

But eggs break so easily, as do all our false selves.  My basket has eggs titled Mother, Wife, Florist/Artist, Well-off, Educated, Californian, Swimmer, and many more.  All things I think will make God (and others) love me more if I maintain them.  If I keep them painted nicely and present their best angles in my ribboned, pastel, wicker basket then I’m Good.  Bonus points if others see those pretty eggs in my pretty basket, too.

He obliterated it all—Stigma, Stereotype, Shame, Fear, Death.  I’m not sure I agree with Paul that death is sting-less (see 1 Corinthians 15:55), complete destruction sucks, and hurts —a lot.  Death to self and the Old Way is an arduous affair, a path riddled with pot holes and booby traps and dangers galore.  So death stings, I disagree with St. Paul there; he is entitled to his opinion.  Later on though, when he reminds us that death has no victory?  That’s good shit.  Death and Sin and Darkness and Hate and Revenge and Fear and Disunity and Walls and Shame, THEY DON’T WIN.  THEY CAN’T.

And what happens when we die?  When little pieces of us die?  When we lose a dream job and have to sell the family home?  When we finally decide to go to rehab?  When we confess a deep, dark secret (or three)?  When we finally decide to throw our desperate hands up and yell a few choice curse words at the God we know we need.  Not the God we thought we needed.  The God who actually IS.  Well, friends, then we get to dance.

He spends such careful time flattening the supports and structures that held it all up.  But as He removes and smashes each remaining brick, He looks over at us with a soft smile and gorgeously clear tears, and then He reminds us, “We’re building a dance floor, Sweeties.  Just wait.  When you’re reborn in that brilliant energetic moment, a New Life like you’ve never known will explode into existence.  You’re going to need a Dance Floor.  You’re going to need a place to put all that Love and Grace!  That’s what we are building!”

I choose Grace.  I choose Love.  I choose to engage with the explosions that ignite a passionate Dance of Life.  I want the Gospel and Resurrection, every day.  I want to believe and to know that I can fearlessly step onto the floor with the best dance partners ever: God, my family and friends, myself.  Oh the freedom in knowing that nobody is keeping track of my whirling dervishing or my eggs in my basket!  The freedom of knowing that I can’t fuck it up, that I haven’t fucked it all up already, that NOBODY ELSE CAN FUCK IT UP (not even Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders).  That simply dancing is all I was created to do.

When all the foundations we established out of fear and shame disappear it leaves an incredibly safe and fun surface to fluidly navigate life and each next loving step.  We are loosed, no longer hinged to our own ideas of should and shouldn’t or good and bad.  The bricked boundaries don’t exist there anymore, it’s just that gorgeous, inviting dance floor.  Only now, after demo of the heart, mind, and body is complete are we fully able to accept the Love and Grace of our Good Creator (or Good Contractor in this case).  And when the eggs drop and basket breaks?  Well then we don’t have to gingerly move through life with a basket of eggs!  Freedom!  And then?

Well It turns out, Jesus doesn’t want our eggs, Jesus wants our hearts… 

God doesn’t need our structures, just our humble surrender…

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