Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here's how it went...

It was your typical steamy, North Atlanta Wednesday afternoon...about 3:17p.m. to be exact. I was doing as every job seeking applicant does after a potential suitor....relaying every little detail to the husband. After all, he makes better decisions than I do and can see clearly through my fog. There may have been a tear but not due to the most recent job offer but due to everything else. You know, what does this mean? Do we even like ramen noodles? How will our kids go to college? Did I miss my boat along time ago? Was there ever even a boat? Do I deserve to walk this earth and enjoy it's splendor amid my apparent uselessness ?(side note - this "fog" has me a little gloomier than normal but it shall pass. No worries.)

I pull into the Raceway to top off my 1/2 full massive tank. I mean, if I am not bringing in the big bucks at least I can save a few cents by filling up outside the perimeter. $3.82 a gallon perpetuated what was about to ensue.....along with my current state of confusion. I slide my debit as they dont take our beloved AmEx that is hopefully earning us a stay at a sweet Hilton somewhere tropical and far away. My throat grasps for hydration and for that soothing burning feeling of a diet coke. I resist and then I cave. I head for the convenient store to get a 69 cent diet coke with a splash of cherry. I love to make my own drink. I think I am addicted to control. I consider for but a second the fact that I should wait for the gas to stop before I get my oasis of carbonation. You know, gas thieves are on the increase. I survey the crowd. No gas thieves I am sure. Yes, some times we do judge books by their cover. All the while I am still relaying to Brad every ounce of thought that has entered my brain in the last 10 months over the phone. Poor Brad. And yes, maybe still a tear or two (this is part of the story later. I am not needing sympathy.) I decide against the coke. Line was too long. Plus, I can feel at least good about the fact that I will not kill my body with all the chemicals in DC ( I don't know if this is true but last weekend I was at a friends house who is a painter. Her "statement" for her artwork is carbonation + pigment. She chose this statement because the carbonation in the DC that she uses mixed with her paint allows the painting to basically be immortal. I am not sure what the art word is but it is almost indestructable and never fades. Something about her statement has me thinking against my daily desire for the burn of a cold DC???) I head for my car. Insert key. Turn. Turn the AC all the way up as I had already half melted just from walking to and fro the convenient store for no coke. I continue to blab to Brad and pull away. Normal.

4 seconds later I hear the most horrifying crumpling noise. My heart races. My tears stop. I look all around at the crowd previously surveyed. They are looking at me. Bye Brad....Ill call you right back...A bird must have just hit my car. I look. There is no car in my vecinity to have had an altercation with and no dead cement blocks or inanimate objects I could have hit. Nothing. Fight or flight??? I flew.

As I pull onto Mansell road people are stool looking at me. I call Brad back to tell him all is okay and he doesn't answer. I find out later he was praying that we could cover the cost. This little man is chasing me down the highway so I pull over. I probably shouldn't have normally. I roll down my window and in broken english he tells me "pump on car." Huh??? I paid all 80 something dollars for my 1/2 tank of gas. I get out of the car and walk around to the other side to calm the man down. I see "pump on car." Literally. Seriously. Really. There was a gas pump with a 10 foot long tube attached to my gas tank. I look back to see the two businesses away.... still staring and pointing at me. As anyone who attempts to drive off with the gas pump would do I pull out the pump, screw on my cap and carry the pump and 10 foot tube back to the station....tears full on now. I am not sure how the next few minutes transpired. They were fast and blury and all I know is I was told I could leave. They asked if I needed to go to the hospital since apparently my face looked like I'd been hurt. I had. The last several months have left me a mess. My heart hurts. I want to be used. I want to be part of a story. No, I don't need the hospital. I don't really know what I need.

I know....this is where I lose you. See as my previous boss and friend would always say..."Waffles and spaghetti." No, not for supper. For women and men. Men can keep everything in a nice little square. Nice and compartmentalized. Not me. Not most women. The fact that I drove down Masnsell Rd with a gas pump connected to my car has to do with the fact that I am lost and that I am needing purpose. My head is foggy and it can't see clearly and it surely can not make rational decisions or large decisions about jobs and direction. I know half of you don't get that but the other half of you do and it is so true.

On the sunnyside of life...Even after my gas station folly I was still offered a part time job working with my parents as the "Marketing Manager." of their company. Nice title. And I get to see my mama and dad a ton. And, I get to meet with people during the day which has certainly been missing the past several months. And for now, I have Monday's and Friday's off... though hopefully, I will find some other shenanigans to keep me busy and out of trouble on those days. I am excited about this opportunity. I miss being around people during the day. Too much of anything is never good my mama always said. And lately, too much of "me" has just worn me out. So , I start Monday with some formal training on linens. Yes, linens. But I don't think of it as linens...I think of it as a way to "bring luxury to your everyday life!" I am ready for this! Oh, and, I will also be doing some sales training with another company. I am super pumped about this opportunity even though it may start out a little slower than I would like. Check out the company: My picture and bio will be up soon. I love that I will get to train and teach others how to succeed. I know I have not been a success-phenom recently but I know how to get there....God just has me being a little refined right now. After all of this, I know more how God created me, too. And just knowing that a little more gives me the confidence that I can do anything!

And, the even-sunnier thing.....I don't have to pay to replace the gas pump.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our favorite things

Let me tell you about some of our favorite things of late.
1) The half mile wooded stretch on Vermont street near our neighborhood. You see, Amos-dog is cherished. Brad and I just adore our little "pup pup". Most of the time we agree that Amos was the best addition to our marriage. Yes, often, we will agree, too, that Amos is killing our relationship. How does that happen? This happened recently when Amos jumped on the forbidden place, our bed. I let him stay there because I was wanting Brad to pay me some attention and then what do you know....Amos squatted and let the flood gates open. This was not a good night.
But at least twice daily Amos gets a walk. Our favorite route winds through the classic homes of Brookhaven. Most of the walk is shaded by the large Oak trees and other varieties that I can't say but that Brad can tell me all about. We all love when we come to the the little wooded area off Vermont. We illegally let Amos off the leash and he hops through the monkey grass chasing butterflies and anything else that flies. This is a Bagwell favorite place. Brad and I follow Amos pretending for a brief moment that we live near the woods and we venture to get lost in them as often as we can. Something about the outdoors for the three of us. It just does it!

2) Dinner with mama or anyone else that should care to cook for us. One negative implication of a career based out of the home is that after the work day - I don't want to be home. Much less, I don't want to cook or clean or do anything that I should enjoy. But we also get pretty tired of eating out. We have a few staple eateries that we seem to frequent. There is also a hidden goal to try to eat at these fine establishments for less than $14. This is near impossible but it is a fun game. So anytime mama or anyone else's mama wants to cook...even if it is a grilled cheese sandwich - we are thrilled! We'll drive the 40 miles round trip just to sit at a table (that's the other thing....we don't really have a table) and enjoy a healthy, delicious home cooked meal. It is delicious just by the fact that I didn't have to think, prepare, plan or cook it. I do love to cook so don't feel too bad for Mr. Brad or our marriage. I just don't look forward to it after being home all day and not seeing the outside world.

3) Brewster's at night after the walk through the wooded stretch. We used to walk just to know, to get the heart rate pumping a little after dinner only to come home and feel light and free. Then we discovered a secret. It's actually not that much of a secret as every dog in a 2 mile radius seems to know about this trick. If you take your dog to Brewsters they will give the dog companion the cutest little "doggie cup" of ice cream with a dog bone on top. Amos knows by instinct if we do not turn right at the first street that we are headed to the ice-cream haven and he automatically starts skipping. I don't mind telling you, too, that he is surely the center of attention at the ice cream parlor. He sits and waits patiently while other ice cream lovers admire his cuteness, knowing he is about to devour some creamed ice and a little cookie bone! He dances and twirls the whole way home all fat and happy. Unfortunately, this little habit of ours sort of takes away from the "exercise" aspect of our nightly walks. Oh well, life is short.

4) Thunderstorms and heat lightening at night.

5) The anticipation of the fall season. This favorite has nothing to do with the obnoxious heat of the summer that we are experiencing currently and everything to do with fried chicken and the windows open in our condo and tailgating with family and rowdy friends and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks and slightly chilly nights and the joy in recalling a splendid wedding that took place last fall. Brad and I both love change. He deals with it much better than I do but it is a fact about us ..... we like change. Yes, mama, I may not embrace it but I like it and Brad is teaching me how to actually wrap my arms around it. So what a better way to enjoy change then to literally watch the Beauty of the world around us change from bright and brilliant to confident and bold the way it seems to happen in the fall. Much of our conversation on our nightly walks seem to surround the nearing fall season and all the smells and memories that follow....

6) So You Think You Can Dance. No explanation. We have every episode saved on our Tivo and I have threatened Brad with divorce if one is erased. Secretly, he loves them too. After an episode we try our latest favorite move in the empty space in our bedroom. I am not kidding. Don't let Brad tell you otherwise. We LOVE it. I am going to be Chelsie Hightower for Halloween and Brad is going to be Twitch. Enough said.

And.....things we don't like:
1) Finding a job.

Off to continue with the one thing that seems to suck the life out of me but hopefully tonight there will be a thunderstorm right before our walk through the woods on the way to Brewsters as we discuss the nearing fall season and the latest couple kicked off of SYTYCD.

Friday, July 25, 2008

dance dance revelations

Wednesday night Brad and I stayed up way too late watching the last 8 contestants on So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD).
Then I leaped into our bedroom into a full split. It was beautiful. I twisted my knee.

Yesterday I spent half of my wee-early morning hours (benefit of not being able to sleep) downloading music that makes me dance. You know, all of the songs from Dirty Dancing and Chris Brown's latest "Forever." You can not help but pump your arms and hop on your toes to his song.

Last night Brad and I tempted to do do something we used to do.....NOT watch tv and instead play scrabble. We had a grand time. I won. I won real bad. Confession: I had SYTYCD in the background. I just can't help it. I am addicted to dancing these days. Both in the physical and spiritual way. I know, you normally wouldn't think of dancing in any context especially if you grew up Baptist but let me carry may catch a glimpse.....

And, I almost forgot... also last night, pre-Scrabble slash SYTHYD, Brad and I went on a leisurely run if you will. He ran. Amos pouted because Brad made him wear his new harness while running. I danced. I leaped over the bushes and spun onto Peachtree street my hands pumping in the air. Yep, you saw me. No shame. After about 4 minutes on our "run" I was spent and I had only danced through "Forever" one time. Needless to say, I enjoyed the run with my boys but in my head I was just dancing down the street. I was letting my mind dream and desire and twirl without stopping it to pull it back to reality. Don't's not that reality is something I am trying to escape but my normal conscious state doesn't give me too much room to fall or messup. This is certainly an exhausting way to live! Hence my need to let my mind dance and leap and fall and bounce and spin shamelessly and without restriction.

Well, it's Friday and after getting some work done this morning and making some moves on the "I NEED A NEW JOB" front I decided that I would let Friday dance all over me. "Friday, have your way with me," I said this morning, and she has! A dear friend and I sat for several hours this morning as I think God just danced about us. We talked of our Identities.....or the one's we have claimed for so many years.... and of the valley's we both seem to be feeling in this journey called life. We sipped yummy coffee and we didn't look at the time. We thanked Our Creator for even this time where He seems to be mute as it relates to our careers and our passions. She read me a poem of T.S. Elliot's. I have to find it to paste it here for you. It was the perfect reminder that God is dancing over us, celebrating and rejoicing even as we are being refined and still.

After the perfect time with my friend I went off to the gym for a workout of sorts. It included me, my ipod, my new dancing songs and a mirror. Use your imagination but just know it ended with me.....feeling fully free.....fully alive.....fully loved...and fully energized and pooped. There is just something about dancing for me that truly strips away my inhibitions (this may not be a good thing) and strips away the walls that seem to guard my ego and my pride. As I have always said in these blogs....when I am dancing throughout the house during the day - I know God is alive in me and I know it is going to be a good day!

Some of my soul searching lately has allowed me to go back and write some stories of things that I did in my childhood. Many of the stories tell of my entrepreneurial spirit....always selling something whether it is a "By-Order-Only-Puffy-Painted-sweatshirt" or a week at kids camp in my basement. In my Tampa days my neighbor Allison and I would put on shows in our front yard to the entire Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Our poor parents! We would charge $2 for neighbors to come see our show. It consisted mostly of strip teasing and a few leaps.....of course our Innocense didn't know at the time that this is what we were doing....and charging for it! Allison and I always lead the crew while the other neighborhood kids and our siblings followed behind us. Remember, I have never claim to be attention starved. So, I was 7 and I always had the finale where I started in my bathing suit and a tutu (but some how I always lost the tutu mid dance) and I would dance with really no set routine until my tape player ran out of batteries. Poor neighbors! Thinking back I can't imagine the torture that my parents and their friends had to endure every other weekend but I am grateful they let me do my thing. As you can tell, I love to re-imagine this story in my recent years. I think there is a ton of truth to looking to your early years for things that inspire you.

It's funny because it seems I have been through countless personality tests in my corporate years and often an exercise will ask what it is that I wanted to be as a child. I wanted to dance in the Walt Disney world parades...that's all. Ask my mom. Anyway, I never really gave that answer in the corporate world because it seemed a little silly. But now, at the inquisitive and reflective age of 27 I think there is some truth to my child hood dreams. Dancing.... even the not-so-good dancing that I do makes me the most happy. God, I hope you see me dancing around the house and around my favorite Brookhaven places today and I hope that You are pleased. More so, I hope you feel how my heart dances when I think of You and all that You are to me. I adore You. Thank You for giving me a reason to dance this week. Thank you for allowing me to feel joy and energy even in this valley. Thank you for dancing over me today.

Happy Friday!

P.S. - I am in love with Amos dog! He thinks I am a little crazy when I kick ball chain my way into the kitchen to get his water but really, I think he feels my happiness and is happy too. I love Mr Amos, "The famous dog!"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My kind of morning

I probably shouldn't be so honest on this thing this morning. The theme of my next 10 days is "Betsy needs a new job and she needs to find it NOW. " But today, or at least just this morning, I am not letting this week's motto control me. I won't bore you with the nitty gritty of how I actually arrived at the place where this "theme" became appropriate. Let's just say that God is doing something and for one of the first times that I can remember - I haven't a clue what it is. Not a hint. So, for just this morning I decided not to pinch myself and be reminded of the reality that is lurking all around me. Instead I am reading. Instead I am eating Lucky Charms and picking out the marshmallows like I did when I was in middle school (I always blamed it on my brothers though.) Instead I am not turning on my email (yet) and I am not brainstorming the "next thing."

I ordered a book last week that I have been so anxious about since I hit the PLACE ORDER button. You see, for some reason this season of life and by that I don't mean this "married" season of life or this yet again "unemployed" season of life. I just mean this place where I seem to have been for quite some time and it was not derived from any certain happening or event but rather a place mentally and spiritually where I just seem to be watching. Or maybe trying to watch but still wandering how what I am watching has to do with me. It's like I am being steered but I don't even know it and for those of you that know me well - this rarely happens. Well, this "place" has afforded me little time or desire to read. Until last week. Maybe it is just a healthy form of escape? Anyway you have it - I literally have been stalking 1-800-FEDEX until my little brown package arrived yesterday. I even paid the extra dollars (which is not the wisest choice given my employment status) to get my book a few days early. It's not that the particular title of the book has me all does, but really it is just the state of mind that reading or writing or listening to Motown music does to me. It does the same thing to you I am sure. It momentarily allows me to be in a still, rich place. Rich with imagination and dreams and lacking any threat of reality. A place of only colorfully shaped marshmallows and no toasted oats.

Brad took Amos to the salon for the day so I am here. Alone. And fully quiet for the first time in a long time. And though every 6th minute the ugly guy on my shoulder starts telling me that the clock is ticking and that I am missing out if I am not thinking, stirring, contacting, engaging, perfecting, emailing or submitting....I continue to ignore his jabs and just turn the pages to my new book. In silence. In splendor. And though I am not sure where God is leading I am just thrilled that He is leading. I haven't a clue where I would turn this ship right now if it were only up to me. I am aware of the strengths that God has put inside of me. I know that I am part of a story and therefore, He will use me. I just can't see where and when and how. For now, I am okay with that. I ran into an old acquaintance last week after a good workout. It has been several years since I had seen her. I am not sure of her belief system and that doesn't matter anyway. She sensed my frustration over my search for my sweet spot. She told me to pray when I got in the car and then continuously for the passion and desire for something specific. Ironically, I had began asking for that a week prior but what a perfect reminder. It is true. God gives me the desires of my heart. Not meaning He gives me the things that I desire but He gives me desires for things. What a relief! I can not seem to stir up any desire out of my own might but yet I am confident that in His time - God will place big heavy lofty dreams on my heart that I just can't shake. I can't wait to be in that place where I lie awake just waiting for the morning so I can straddle my desires and follow them. I can't wait shed tears over the triumphs and challenges that come with putting my heart to something.

I have been reading in 2 Corinthians for quite some time now. Often with intensity but little excitement and sometimes out of habit. This week the words have really come alive to me and not because they are well known. In the 4th chapter it says "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal." Paul reminds me that these troubles (which I feel silly even calling them troubles) are LIGHT and MOMENTARY. Of course it is human nature to evaluate through the lens of what we see and what we know. But there is so much more. These "feelings" (not troubles) are ultimately small and inconsequential but in God's economy they are still ACHIEVING for Him. I can't believe that anything that I am a part of right now is ACHIEVING anything but yet God doesn't work that way. He uses everything for His good. Even little things. And, the 2nd it encourages me. I want to fix my eyes. I want to focus my eyes and not let them move. I want them to be still and not distracted. I want to fix them on the things around me that are unseen yet they are felt. The admiration I have for my brother and for his fight for faith. The joy I have when I watch Brad interact with my dad. The peace I have when I sit with my mom at the pool and just soak in her presence. The excitement I feel when I anticipate a deep conversation with a dear friend. The comfort that I feel knowing that God is showing Himself to so many through the death of my friend Megan. The certainty that comes when God closes one door knowing that He is preparing to open another. Those are the unseen - eternal things. Those are the things that I want my eyes to be so focused on.

So what a better way to spend this morning than to praise God for this unknown place.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


My whole fam sans the Doctor is in Europe this week. I miss talking to my mama and texting with sweet Mary because that is what she does. They are eating gelato and yummy pasta and seeing amazing sites and eachother and I am here, home, alone, with a sleeping dog. Come home soon, family!!!! Why is it that a ring on my finger means I don't get invited? Brad and I would have been great traveling partners. Anyway, I miss my family tremendously and have since confirmed that I probably wouldn't do well living too far away. I atleast need to have unlimited phone access for my own sanity. Here is my family. Tear tear.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We love summer thunderstorms

I have always been quite a fan of the rain. In highschool I liked to sit on the back screened porch in the rocking swing and listen to the rain. Then, I'd like to walk outside after it subsided to smell everything. Everything after a quick hard rain smells fresh and inviting. Then in college I had several spots that the rain and I most liked to meet. One being upper tentalow 7 at Camp Greystone. After a filling lunch we would head to the mailroom to pick up any surprises in our mail box. I received a letter a day that summer. I love letters. Once Fran, my co-counselor and now dear friend, and I passed out the mail for the day we took our spot atop our bed/closet for the summer (everything you could imagine was stored underneath) and we were greeted by the clapping sound on the tin roof. I don't know how and I don't question it but every day that summer it started to rain as soon as I lay my head down. Naps just haven't been the same since. The next summer the rain turned to thunder and lightning as "The Bohemians" sat on our 2nd floor porch facing the battery in Charleston. Granted, we were 2 miles from the water but we still got to see some of the best storms you could imagine. There are more I am sure but these are the most memorable. The ones I can still feel and smell.
And lately that smell is all too familiar. Last week as Brad and I were visiting Charleston for our first vacation since the honeymoon we shared two of my most favorite storms. The first was one of those that starts brewing right after lunch. It builds fury over the hot afternoon hours and every time you step outside you feel that it is about to let loose. This one held off until my favorite hour of the day - 5pm. I sat with the girls in the living room listening to the thunder and watching the encroaching darkness. Brad was on the golf course during this one but he tells me it was invigorating all the same. Then on our 3 hours too long ride home we spent half of the trip driving half the speed limit to make it through the storms that seemed to be following us all the way home. But once we reached Atlanta after 9m you would not imagine the color of the freshly showered sky! Brad and I did something we hadn't done in along time and it felt good. We turned off the radio and just rode quietly. Then we prayed out loud. Trust me, as weird this may seem you would have done the same thing. You couldn't help but thank someone up there after this particular storm and the sunset that transpired.
Then this week we took the famous dog to Chastain Park. As soon as we tell Amos that he gets to go to the "park" (you have to say it in a high pitched voice) his tail starts flying back and forth ferociously. He LOVES the "park." We had a cozy little walk, ran into an old friend, enjoyed the conversation. We walked ourselves as far away from the car as we could possibly get when the thunder began to roar. We sped up. Then the rain began to fall. It pounded on my back and drenched my shoes. It was perfect! Amos was certainly confused as he loves water but hadn't experienced it pouring from the sky relentlessly. We thought to speed up as the lightning was coming closer but I think the excitement took over both of us and decided just to walk back....taking our time...enjoying the smell of the rain that had been building the last few hours. What a reminder of my lack of control. What a refreshing feeling to feel and smell the bigness of our Creator just showering on us...literally.
The forecast doesn't even have to call for a thunderstorm anymore. It is pretty typical that on an Atlanta-warm summer day the clouds will start to darken about 3:30 and by 6:30 the flood gates will open. They never last too long but long enough to be reminded of their origination and long enough to feel good about the day! How refreshing!
Bring on the storms today! I can't wait for the afternoon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Amos really really misses his best friend Briscoe. He is crying and sad and won't talk to us or even look at us. Briscoe come to see Amos! Revive my dog.

Ultimately, it's our decision

I can't resist posting what I am about to post (below) today. I saw one of those movies this weekend that always does it to me. I try to act unaffected and cool around Brad. As if I can watch 120 minutes of gory violence and dirty words but I just can't. I never could and I guess I never will. And finally maybe I am okay to admit that. My heart has been bought at a high price and I pray daily that it would be protected from the darkness in the world. My heart has the ability to see good in most things and for that reason my heart is what brings me life but it is also what can truly let me down when it is surprised by all the yucky stuff that this world does have to offer. So I come away from a movie like "Wanted" and all I can see is hurting and sickness and death all around me. I couldn't sleep last night. I was in the middle of those recurring nightmares where all of the worst stuff you have heard or seen lately plays out. And this is why I can't go to movies. Yes, I fall asleep on Brad's shoulder, too, but namely it is because my heart is so affected. It literally hurts afterwards. I sat on the couch with Brad after just thinking up every terrible thing that might happen this week. Brad offered to leave after 10 minutes because he knows me better than I know myself. He knows my heart is fragile. I thought I could handle. I couldn't. There was a 5 year old boy in the theatre and that is what kills me. Had Brad not made me walk right out I would have asked the father why he thought his little son should see that. I would have offered to babysit next time.

Anyway, I wake up today after a sleepless night ready to expose my eyes and ears to beautiful things to sort of wash out the guns, blood, and profanity. After spending some time journaling I read my email and my first email update was from Megan's mom.
I feel so selfish to even talk about the impact that her updates have made on me personally. Here, her daughter is slowly leaving this world day by day and somehow amid the sorrow I feel for her and her family and dear friends, my heart is able to be restored. It is able to see and feel beauty again. Every single time.
Their family is truly right in the center of what most would say is a tragedy and I know for a long time it may look that way to many but I can not fathom the redemption that has come to so many just by being exposed to this one family's perspective. It's like God is making this story beautiful and perfect right before our very eyes. Today's entry from Megan's mom was bold. But just like the rest of the world is bold....bold with violence....bold with criticism....bold with greed....I am so thankful that someone chooses to be this bold with the most liberating and redeeming truth that is out there. There is no other single decision in this world that will bring you more joy, more freedom, more wealth, more fame, more peace, and more beauty than this.

47 June 30, 2008 at 10:25 PM EDT
June 30, 2008

A year ago yesterday Mike and I took Megan to Emory to meet with her doctor and hear the findings of all the testing that was done. And they did everything known possible – as he said “it was as though a war team hit her”. Megan looked beautiful that day, wearing a brown top and brown and pink skirt and new brown flats. She was invited to go with an assistant while our doctor gave us the confirmed findings that none of us wanted to hear. The diagnosis of CJD was correct except for her age and that just did not make sense. It would be two months later when more blood would be sent to Cleveland confirming that it was in fact, a particular, extremely rare variant that did affect younger people – one in 150 billion. Jim gave us the facts in a soft, matter of fact way that said, “Don’t interrupt - just let me get this out before I fall on the floor and cry.” Neither Mike nor I cried which I think a little odd. We asked stupid questions and went through the motions of pretending alertness when all alarms were shattering our hearts and piercing our brains with information too painful to take in. So we left and went to Murphy’s , Megan’s favorite restaurant, and tried to pretend normal.

Today, one year later, Megan still looks beautiful, just sleepy. Her brown eyes seem to be looking at something beyond our walls. She has slipped away but oh, so gradually and refined and gentle. I can confidently say that we are grateful for a year with Megan and wonder at God’s plan.

Much of my wondering is done when I walk and today my power walk with Bodey, our black lab, turned into a Power walk with God. Even though it was short, I returned home fresh and strong, feeling like I needed to say a few specific things to honor God before my weekly care pages come to an end. You see, a friend reminded me that she is always hearing of new people reading Megan’s Update. What started as a convenient way to tell family and friends about Megan has turned into something that seems to have a mind of its own. I said “But there is not much new news about Megan and what I write about is not a new story. It is an old, familiar story of pain and suffering with a theme weaving through our lives in miraculous ways, always returning to the Cross of Christ”. And as so many wait and watch for Megan to leave this life, I think she would want all who are watching her to know in their own heart and mind without a shadow of doubt that they too have received the gift of salvation and have a place in Heaven reserved with their name on it. It is often called “the invitation”.
I remember something called The Four Spiritual Laws that I learned growing up. Just as there are physical laws that govern the world, there are spiritual laws that govern our relationship with God. I am confident Megan understood and abided by these principles. I will just list them and you can find the references – many are so familiar.

Law 1 – God loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our life. John 3:16, John 10:10

Law 2 – Man is sinful and separate even though we were originally created to be in a loving relationship with God. Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23

Law 3 – Jesus Christ is God’s provision for man’s sin. He died, rose, and is the only way to God. Romans 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:3-5, John 14:6

Law 4 – We must individually receive Christ as Lord of our lives – it is not by lottery or committee. It is done by an act of the heart’s will to trust in a prayer of faith. John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8-9, John 3:1-8, Revelation 3:20

Interestingly, Megan’s last journal entry was based on the first law – trusting God for his plan because it was good. And I believe that if she were to pray today it would be a prayer that many would come to know for themselves her Lord and Savior and that He has a plan and it is always good.

She would have wanted you to know the source of her joy. And then it would be your decision.