Naked People in Heaven

Instant bad mood.  I search around for my screaming phone on the floor under my bed.  The damn alarm clock continues to scream at the top of its lungs.  Slowly gaining control of my sleeping body, I step out of bed, pick up my phone and turn off the alarm.  The pain of waking up.  In heaven, I will roll over and enjoy the waking up process just as much as snuggling into bed and drifting off to sleep.  (That is if we sleep in heaven.)

My world runs about me in fast forward.  Honking impatiently at the slow moving car, spending what we don’t have for the newest item that hits the shelves, driving around our children to some place other than home.  Why do I join the insanity of the crowd?  I do believe in busying oneself with hard work, but that is not what is happening here.  We are all consumed with what does not matter.

Now.  What we want is now.  The admiring stares of those we don’t know.  Now.  The praise of what drives us around.  Now.  Winners of the race.  Packed pantries to overflowing.  Fashonable jewelry on our bodies and extra in the closet.  Fancy modern restaurants.  Everything that our neighbors have.  Our neighbors that we want to be like, not the ones outside of our neighborhood.

But all we think about is now and we laugh at anyone that suggests otherwise.

Ted Turner is famous for a lot of things, one of them is stating what is on his mind.  Hey, I can respect that.  He likes to chose his words so that other people listen.  He doesn’t just fit into the crowd.  I respect that also.  But I wish that someone would tell him, and a whole lot of the rest of the world, that they are on the wrong train.  When Turner quoted, “I’d rather go to hell.  Heaven has got to be boring.”  I wish someone would have asked him, “What do you want most in life?”….”It will be in heaven.”

Heaven is better than being a billionaire.  There is money to spare, Hey, let’s pave these streets with gold.  Heaven is better than pornography!  THERE WILL BE PERFECT BODIES WALKING AROUND NAKED!  And it will be a good thing!  No one will be embarrassed!  (There will be no sin in heaven.  Pornography is a destructive, cruel sin.  The point is, naked bodies will be good….and everywhere.)  Heaven is better than Hawaii.  All the food will be paid in full!  Heaven is better than Christmas!  That baby Jesus, he will be with us!  It doesn’t sound boring to me!

And what will not be in heaven?  Babies without mommies.  Wheelchairs won’t be needed in heaven, or medicine, or hospitals.  There will not be divorce, no one’s heart will be broken.  What have you been through?  What hurts?  What tugs at your heart and makes you cry out, “That is not right!”  God will end it.  He will make all the wrongs undone and he will wipe away that tear.

“Jesus’ miracles are not just a challenge to our minds, but a promise to our hearts, that the world we want is coming.”  Tim Keller.

So, look at this world.  Read the Bible.  Take a look at what is good in this world.  LORD, FIX MY PRIORITIES!  SET MY MIND ON THINGS ETERNAL!  Get ready.  It is going to be the best party of all of eternity.  Don’t throw away your invitation.


So…That Happened

As a writer, I am deep, going to those places of those questions that are usually avoided. But umm…well…

I have this quality about me, when I laugh, I cry. Easy for me to laugh until I cry. I pretty much just have to giggle slightly and I have tears streaming down my face. Well, that happened. 

On vacation, at a hotel, and the front desk got this call from one of their rooms…not saying it was our room…just A room. 

“Hello, front desk. How can I help you?”

“Our AC is not cooling the room.”

“So sorry, we will send someone up.”

Kind AC man fixed it in under three minutes and then turned and inquired, “Is there anything else I can get for you?”

“Yes, my wife would like a blanket please.”

The things James…I mean, the husband in THAT room does for his wife!  

Yep, right after asking for our AC to be fixed, he asked for a blanket for me…I can’t sleep without a blanket. …and I cry when I laugh. …and now they think the people in THAT room are crazy!

An Important Reminder

Do. Do. Do. 

Do not ever, to the negative, the opposite of positive. 

Do not for the month of showers, the month before the flowers. 

Dunce. Idiot. Clown. Twit. Sucker. Fool. Stooge. 









Do not forget to play April Fools jokes. 

I’m a Big Girl Now

From a little girl, my eyes were peeled, scanning the room for opinions of others.

Does she like what I am wearing?
Did my words impress them?
How does my hair look today?
Does everyone approve?

And on and on the list goes! I was looking, looking, looking to impress.

Fast forward. I am in my thirties. Caroline is on a treadmill beside her husband, surrounded by supermodels, and I am center stage at the gym. Since this time, we have joined the YMCA. Love the Y. This other particular gym held our membership for about two months. I think every member of the gym was a pro-athlete, model, billionaire …everyone except me.

But here I am, these are my surroundings. I have my ears plugged, listening to music, and running. My husband (who does fit the hottie stereotype that I am surrounded by 😍) is running (much faster) beside me. I see his lips move. Oh, I pull out my earbuds. I turn to hear what he is saying to me. Running. Running. Turning my head. …I am not that coordinated.

SMACK! Caroline is trying to do too much at one time. I’ve lost it all. Desperately gripping the two bars beside me, it is all that keeps my face from smacking the moving treadmill. However, my legs are not so fortunate. They continue to drag on the still running treadmill.

It seems like eternity passes. This is what I hear as I go down: Deep, sympathetic oohs and ahhs as everyone watches me wipe out. Completely wipe out.

After eternity, James pushes the off button. Every single eye in the gym is on me. Waiting for tears. Waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Waiting for me to run and hide and never be seen again.

What do I do? I stand up. I return to my treadmill. I look at James and I make a realization, I say, “I am not embarrassed.” I step up and I continue running.

This was a point in my life. Lots of moments have led up to this point, but here I realize, “I could absolutely care less what other people think.” Not in a rude mean way, but in a I don’t get embarrassed anymore way.

What happened? So very much!

After showing “all” to bring a baby into this world, after being infinitely loved by the most perfect man alive, after walking through life with the badge of Cancer, after picking my nauseously sick body up off the floor and giving all I’ve got to face another day, after the God of the universe shows me his glory and realizing that I am a princess of the king of kings, after wearing five year old homemade jewelry in public, yelling in Target at the top of my lungs because my toddler disappeared around the corner…after surviving this life and this story that I’ve got, I have learned what really does and does not matter in this life.

I guess I am a big girl now.


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Old Friends…That are Not Old

I’m growing old. Not claiming old yet, but getting there. Let’s just put it out there, I’m 33. I think? 34? …32? …33? Yeah, I’m 33.

I’m picturing the reactions. “Yep. You are old. Really old.”

And at the same time, “No. No. Sweetie, you are still just a baby.”

I like the second reaction better.

There are many negatives about growing old. One is sitting on the swing with your students, pumping your legs back and forth, and soaring through the sky…just to discover that now that just makes you want to throw up.

Another is jumping on the trampoline with your daughter just to discover…well, all the moms know what I am talking about.

But one of the many, yes many, blessings to growing old is having old friends. Danielle and I first met fifteen years ago in college. Memories of dancing the nights away at the Fall Ball, late night runs to Sonic when we were supposed to be studying, summer beach trips …the memories that I have with Danielle are many. From the beginning, she is always someone that I had lots of fun with and, more importantly, someone that encouraged me in my faith.

But, when I think of Danielle, one thing stands out: funny stories always follow Danielle. Some of the craziest, most absurd happenings occur when she is around. Times when you think funny can’t happen, if she is around, just wait for it.

Yeah, example needed. Here is our setting. 2004. I just discovered that I had two tennis ball size tumors in my adrenal glands. Being a newly wed, my faithful new husband is by my side as we embark on this Cancer Journey together. (Oh, you are not laughing yet?)

We have traveled 14 hours from the heart of Florida to Duke University for my first surgery at Duke. I have been fasting for 48 hours (misery), I have been scrubbed down, I have on a surgery gown, I have said my goodbyes and kissed my husband, and I am about to be administered my first dose of anesthesia. (Oh wait!)

The nurse tells me that my pastor is here. Oh, not my pastor, my friend’s pastor. Since Danielle is here with her pastor, they allow her and him to come see me and say a prayer. Danielle and I hug. A new nurse walks in. Demands goodbyes and prepares to take me away for surgery. (Not laughing? Oh…just wait.)

The nurse turns to me, “Sweetheart, Did you take off your panties?”


She takes them and says she will give them to my husband.



All better.

Danielle and her husband come to visit James and I. And now:

Danielle tells me that, as I am wheeled into surgery, the nurse comes running after her and her pastor, “Stop! Wait!” She turns to him, “Sir, let me give you these.” And proceeds to hand THE PASTOR, that I JUST MET FOR THE FIRST TIME, my panties!!! Please! I never want to see the guy…ever again!

So, even surgery, with Danielle, can be a humorous event!

We don’t get to see each other that often. But God has it that she lives close to where we travel to visit my doctor. And fifteen years ago, when we were laying in her dorm room daydreaming about the future, we never would have guessed that we would be bridesmaids in each other’s weddings. We never would have guessed that we would have pictures of Madison and Bennett together when they were just babies. We never would have guessed that year after year that group would grow to include Madison surrounded by three friends, adding Eden and Mercy. We never would have guessed that our daughters could say they’ve been friends their entire lives. And I never would have guessed I would owe so much to Danielle and her family.

Friends that open their door to you at any time. Friends that after a year or two of seeing them, and we hang out, and never miss a beat. Old friends that will be friends …until we are friends that are also old. Friends that challenge me to be what a friend really is.