#00013: On Earning Love; Running Water Runs Deep

Handwritten on Saturday, January 7, 2017

I am 35 years old and born in 1981. I started out in a home that had running water; except in the second house when the pipes froze during a dozen or so wind-whipped winter days in the double-wide manufactured home my parents mortgaged in 1990.

My mother is 70 years old in two weeks and four days. We’re 35 years apart. She grew up in a house without running water. In her fifth year she and her older brother gained indoor plumbing, the next year a television, and the year after that their youngest sister, along with an upstairs so they no longer had to share the living room couch overnight.

My dad grew up in the Carlson Century Farm House, a big farm house that had running water and a creek running through the basement to cool down the milk cans from The Carlson Creamery business back in the day. He’s 30 years older than I, with an older and younger brother, and truly never thought he’d live so long as to be 60. Until five years ago he did.

I assume my sister definitely had running water from the time she was born because she started out more or less in foster homes. My parents started the adoption process before I was around, and adopted Nikki when she was three and I was four. Sight unseen and during the process, I told my parents that I’d be getting a sister with brown hair and brown eyes just like me. To this day, they attribute that spot-on prediction to their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I attribute it to eavesdropping on the Lutheran Social Services coordinator and my desire to earn love by being remarkable.

Sound familiar to anyone? Trying to earn love in some way, shape or form? Sometimes we grow up not realizing that love is a gift. Gifts, by definition, are not earned. Gifts are given and gifts are received. Freely. Unconditionally. Without any expectations.




And so it is with love.




A bit of a paradigm shift for some of us.




Am I right?

Mom, Nikki (front), me (back), Dad — Carlson Family Church Directory Picture

Saturday, January 7, 2017’s original blog post draft


#00002: Everything Ends And That’s Okay

Like my obsession with gold sequins and The Roaring 1920s…

… everything ends and that’s okay.

Just let that sink in:

Everything ends AND that’s okay.

It’s really useful, primarily because it’s soooooooo relieving to know and be told that it’s okay – as opposed to completely devastating and soul-crushing – for things to end.

Relationships, jobs, gold sequin and The Roaring 1920s obsessions, family expectations…

… everything ends

… and that’s okay.

Especially when the thing that’s ending is our excuses for not being where we want to be at in life.