noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

No Pushing; Stop Pulling March 8, 2016


Calvin is nine in dog years, translated to human time – he is about 52ish.  Maybe because he lived on a leash in hot Florida for the last three years, maybe because he is older and not as strong anymore, he wiped out in the MI winter snow.  Result:  torn miniscus or ACL.  Either way, he stopped using that leg for a while.  Thanks to a wise and conservative vet, Calvin is being given time, lots of time, as much time as he needs to heal.  There was an initial prescription for some medicine to reduce the swelling and give initial pain relief.  He also got daily chews to support joint health and encourage joint strength.  I advocated for the continuance of walking this 80 pound lab for his mental health.  The vet agreed but said “no more freedom.”  He is leash restricted.  No zooming around until the healing is complete.

For nine dog years I’ve walked with Calvin.  He is pretty good though not stellar at staying right beside me.  He would prefer to be in front with a bit of strain encouraging me to walk faster.  Not now.  His brisk jog lasts  only a half mile if that.  The rest of his walk is s..l..o..w.  If you would meet Calvin for the first or fifty first time today, you would not see his internal injury on his outer body.    So you would question his limp or hesitation to go up the stairs or clearly painful struggle to lay down.    Its been over six weeks since the wipe out.  And actually, he wiped out once which led to a limp, but the second wipeout a week later took the injury to a more serious level.   When we walk, he does not want to be pulled.  Nor does it help at all to push him to a faster pace.  He is still on the DL.  Pet owners – do you get it?

I get it in human years, in human pain, in human experience of having part of me injured.  But its not on the outside where everyone can see.  In fact, I am trying to keep the outside intact so I can keep interacting with life that I love – the relationship with my husband/best friend; relationships with family, long time friends, new friends in the making; work; play; volunteering; errands; keeping my house and clothes clean; exercising; walking Calvin.  It has been a compact six months of hard – loss, old wounds re-opened, previous emotions of significant loss re-opened, moving, change, more moving, more loss, and all kinds of unfamiliar, new, learning.  It is intense and this most recent loss has wiped me out.   NO PITY PLEASE.  The reason I am sharing this is NOT for the sake of personal condolence.  It is to give a voice to people you know, that may not be able to say, “I’m wiped out.  There is hurting places on the inside you can’t see.  I need time to heal, and it’s not something that can be rushed.”

You who’ve been there, or are there – do you get it?

People who are reading this, look around you at the those you know and interact with.  There might be one or more who is like Calvin, like me right now.  Please, no pushing.  Don’t pull us.  It won’t help the healing for you to try to speed us up or tell us to “keep our chin up”, or say to someone else, “It’s been long enough.  They need to move on now.”  Everyone is unique and what is going on inside might be more complex than you understand, than even they understand.  So how they heal and the time it takes will be unique.  Think about the internally injured person right now.  Take a deep breath.  Another one.  Let go of your need to have them get over it and get better already.  If you can’t, you would love them best by giving them space from you and your need.    If you can, replace the pushing with hugging.  Drop the rope you are trying to pull them with and extend an invitation to have a beer, or a wine and cheese, or ice-cream or go to a funny play. Someone unexpectedly extended the invitation to really listen yesterday.  Those kindnesses are loving and helpful.  But be ready to hand out the rain-check graciously if they can’t say yes this time.   Keep on living your life and let them live into theirs even if it makes you uncomfortable.  Even if it takes a while for them to be like their old self.

I read these words today; words of a person who was overwhelmed by troubles:  “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book.”   This was a statement made to God by a man named David.  (Ps 56).  It struck me that I know God cancels my sin, but then goes and collects my tears.  I wonder what he does with them.  Maybe he taps people on the shoulder, or knocks them on the head and sends them out to love the hurting.  Sometimes He does something Greater and floods the hurting with Peace and Comfort that is more profound than people can offer.  I know this personally too.

And one last thing – if you are the one with the hurt who is pushing and pulling on your old self to pull itself up by its proverbial boot straps, I grant you permission to let the old self off the hook for what it cannot possibly accomplish.  There is work for grief to do.  Let it do its job and have its way.  For if it completes the unique task it has, the old self will return whole and changed and equipped with compassion it did not previously have.  It is worth the wait.

I’m eager to walk briskly with Calvin again.   Not just because his leg will be better, but because my heart will be too.  For now, slow is just fine.






The First Trip Back July 19, 2013

Filed under: Home,Joy,moving,Peace,Uncategorized — lauradegroot @ 12:49 am

Home…Colorado still feels like that.  When the tires hit the tarmac my whole body burst into a noticeable smile.  The flight attendant commented that I looked excited to be in Colorado.  She had no idea…

Pat picked us up and I smiled the whole way to Niwot.

Deep Breath…


Smelled like fresh-cut hay…

And the mountains were right where I left them and showed off with their soft layered look…


I could have held on tightly to each person, each place, each experience I had there as they all made me so happy. But I knew they could not come with me to Florida. (important note:  they are most welcome to come to Florida).   I intentionally enjoyed being present with each person, each place, each experience, but didn’t cling.

Seeing the unpleasant color the new owner painted our previous residence, effectively established that “home” as: Not Mine Anymore.  In an odd sort of way, I am thankful for that.

The first trip back to Florida from Colorado resulted in peace.  And readiness for setting up a place to call home.  And a gentle eagerness to engage in what’s next with people, places, experiences here.

Perhaps people make a place feel like home more than furniture or where you get your mail delivered.  So, no doubt – Colorado people, I miss “home” because you are there.  It was great to feel like myself from the moment I landed in Colorado.

I may just have brought a little more of myself on this first trip back.


“Iguanas are perfectly harmless.” November 13, 2012

This is a hard statement for me to believe.  Iguanas are common here, they are bright green but can also blend a bit with their surroundings.  This large lizard strikes me as a small aligator, though I doubt they are from the same family.  My biology brothers will certainly chime in here…

Small and little tiny  lizards are also common.  I see them daily, noticeably in the afternoon.  I have been assured these reptiles who scurry across the sidewalks are an important part of the ecosystem here as they eat bugs.  I most certainly see more lizards than bugs so far.  Aparently, their work is successful.

Wildlife is everywhere.  Mostly in the form of birds and lizards.  I have been eager to identify the birds, though I do know what a Florida Duck is – not a pretty sight I am afraid.  We have a new book that was thoughtfully given us by Lorri and Jessica, former colleagues, to help educate us on  local flora and fauna.  Some box somewhere has that book…

The unseen wildlife in the water is also everywhere.  Those common aligators and snakes can remain unseen as far as I am concerned.  Though, if I choose to learn to golf, I’ve been told they will introduce themselves from the sidelines.  Thankfully golf is not on the priority list just yet.

Water is everywhere.  Canals, little ponds, bigger lakes and of course the glorious ocean – all surround us everywhere we go.  We have certainly traded the beauty and obviousness of the majestic mountains for the vastness and powerful ocean.  I am at peace there.  It commands respect as its breadth and depth and volumn, its power, color, and clarity make you stand in awe.  “Amazing; Wow; Breathtaking; Miraculous,” are common thoughts and words – spoken, unspoken.

The created nature provides a grounding sense to the often overwhelming unknown, information overload, and decision process.  God is everywhere.  This is comforting and brings peace into our real estate concerns, our yearnings for routine – familiarity – simplicity.

It is all part of the adventure.  I am thankful for each part for there are gifts to be received from harmless Iguanas, ocean waves, learning the territory, leaning, sometimes desparately, into Jesus solidness.

Now…to make peace with the lizards.

Laura – Reptile Hunter (NOT).



wa·ter·shed (noun) 1. an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. 2. an event or period marking a turning point, a change of course.

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noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

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noticing joy on the surface of simple things … the evidence of holiness happening in the daily grind.

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