I Am Fifteen

Mission Community Church




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I am a child. In my parents’ eyes I will always be their firstborn – an obstinate youngster who insisted on having long hair although it didn’t suit her. I will always be so many years younger than them and therefore incapable of making decisions for myself. I wonder when I am fifty and they are seventy will they still tell me to ‘tidy my room’ I can make no medical decisions for myself. My parents must give permission for any operation; they sign all my dental forms. Apparently I am not considered responsible enough to do this for myself.

I am an adolescent. In the opinion of psychiatrists and psychologists I am going through a difficult stage. I am expected to be rebellious and defiant. I am experiencing strange new emotions with which I cannot cope. I am quite normal because I have crushes on other people. They say it’s natural that I should be insolent and mutinous. In theory I am not supposed to feel happy and fulfilled. I should feel frustrated, rejected, unsociable and lacking in confidence. In short I think I am expected to be slightly sub-normal.

I am an adult and expected to behave like one. I cannot have silly, childish outbursts. I must only show my emotions in a proper manner. In school I am told that I am an adult – if only a young adult. I have to pay adult fares on public transport. I am old enough to be responsible for my actions in law. My parents expect me to behave like an adult in my manner. I am expected to say the right things at the right time. In my role as an adult, I should be completely socially acceptable. 

I am fifteen


I am confused.


This was an entry for the 1978 WH Smith Literacy Competition

Palate Repair Surgery

We woke up early this morning, grabbed a bucket of coffee from Starbucks, and came to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for Gavin’s palate repair surgery. We were here in August to get his lip repaired, and Dr. Singh did a phenomenal job. We were here a year ago to have Griffin’s kidney repaired, so we’re getting pretty familiar with this place.

Dr. Singh is amazing. She has taken such good care of us and Gavin, and so has Phoenix Children’s… well, except for that cranky chef in the cafeteria. The burger was good, but that dude had a case of the Mondays.

Gavin had some fun in pre-op.

Gavin 2

Gavin 1











Then he did great during his surgery!

Gavin 3

Gavin 5











Gavin 6

He’s sleeping right now all snuggled up next to his momma, doped up on some codine. His recovery will take a few weeks.

After his surgery in August he became super attached to his mom. In fact, it wasn’t until last week that I was able to hold him for more than a few minutes without him crying for her. This surgery was more intense for him than the last one, so it might be Easter before I get to snuggle with him… but he’s in good hands 🙂


The Good News Is Better Than That


I was driving to work this morning when I saw this bumper sticker while sitting at a red light. I quickly pulled my phone from my pocket and snapped a photo of it, then tweeted this:

“That’s not the end of the sentence! This guy needs a bigger sticker! http://instagr.am/p/OW9EvzOsz0/

I don’t know what purpose his sticker serves… is it to scare me? It’s not exactly a message of hope. What’s my next step… sulk? 

Now, for all I know this guy could go to my church, so I KNOW that he’s heard the rest of that verse. The sticker seems to make it seem like that’s all there is to say about it… but it’s not. That’s half the story. His sticker has a semicolon at the end, not a period. There’s more!

Maybe there wasn’t room for the good news? It was a pretty huge sticker! Maybe a smaller font could have been used?!

Either way, the sticker bothers me because it represents a shrunk-down “gospel”. If the Christian message is, “You suck”, that’s not very compelling.

Thank God that’s not the whole story.

We all fall short, but the beautiful part is that we’re all justified by His grace. 

Let’s tell the whole story and stop trying to scare people into loving God.