About a Boy

about a boy

“A person’s life is like a TV show.  I’m the star of The Will Show, and the Will Show is not an ensemble drama.”  — Quote from Will, one of the main characters in About a Boy

This post is loosely related to the last one.  Have you ever seen the movie, About a Boy?  It is one of my favorites.  The story is about, well, a boy, named Marcus.  He is nerdy and “poor” and lives with his single mom in a suburban environment in England.  He finds himself wishing for friends, and through an unlikely connection, he meets and becomes friends with an adult man, Will, who is single and lives by the philosophy that all men are islands.  By the end of the movie, both Will and Marcus both discover that life is better when lived in community.  As Marcus comments, “Couples need back-up.”

I am thinking a lot about what living in community means.  The fact is, with 4 kids in a city with no family, community is very important to us.  We count on the help of others every week to make our lives work.  That being said, it isn’t easy to do this.  Sometimes it feels like we are needy–like we are the only ones who have to make that phone call to ask someone to pick up one of the kids because we can’t get across town in time.  I would like to feel more like we can live in community where there is give and take, where people feel comfortable calling me to ask for help more often.  Sometimes I think people don’t call us because we are known to be busy, but I also want to be known to be generous and accommodating and helpful when it is within my power to do so.

I started this post on Saturday of last weekend, and interestingly, our pastor preached a sermon on Sunday about the community of believers in the Book of Acts.  My husband also preached a sermon where he talked about community.  Hmmm . . . coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I think we all long for more relational lives of meaningful interaction with others. But in our society, it is difficult to bring about.

In About a Boy, Marcus sensed what he wanted/needed, and he started to pursue it until his life looked more like what he longed for.  Real life, unfortunately, is not as neatly constructed as movies or over in a couple short hours.  So we have to work at things for the long haul.  Now I am challenged as to how best to pursue community in my own life without turning others off in the process.

Building Friendships as Grown-ups

The other day at work, the 23-year-old ministry associate who works in my office asked me, “How often do you and your husband get together with other couples your age?”

I answered,”Maybe once a month now, because, well, we have 4 kids, 2 jobs+, a dog, and only 24 hours in a day.”

He was a bit disappointed with my answer.  You see, he and his young wife have been in St Louis for about 2 years, and they haven’t made a lot of good friends.  It is hard to go from the college environment where all you do is study, sleep, eat, and think of ways to socialize with all those people who are just like you and who live right next to you!

It takes real work to make friends after you enter the adult world.  Even in the church, where building relationships with other Christians is supposed to be part of the deal, it isn’t always easy.  We have to go out of the way to strike up friendships, and even then, it often feels unnatural and awkward.  If you’re married, you have to figure out ways to include your spouse in new friendships.  Then, add the kids, and you have to work them into the equation, too.

The sad thing is, that even in adulthood, we feel those same insecurities we had in high school about reaching out to other people.  We worry about reactions.  We worry about rejection.  We worry that our houses aren’t up to par for visitors.  We worry about being vulnerable.

I propose that we have to get past all these worries and just get out there and make the effort.  We have to set aside a day here or there every so often and make a plan to get together with friends.  We can’t live in fear, and besides, as Christians we are commanded to love one another and to bear each others burdens.  It’s a lot easier to obey those commands if we take the time to get to know the people in the trenches with us.

Big Kids, Pushing 20, and Life

Big Kids

Calvin turned 15 on April 28, and Charis was 8 on May 8!  Bookends of our children.  Babies are completely gone from our household.  Evangeline was 12 in June.  Nevin is 13.5.  Did we ever really believe this day would come?  In a year we will be the parents of 3 teenagers!

Pushing 20

Years of marriage, that is.  I am so grateful for the nearly 20 years I have had with Mark.  We often feel overwhelmed with life–the mundane things, the difficulties, the struggle, and the tension we feel because we believe circumstances can be better.  But when I consider all God has done for us, all He has brought us through, all that we have faced together, I can only praise God for the husband of my youth.  I want to praise Him for all the trials, too, but I am not always so good at that.  Still, I know that I much prefer being in God’s hand and knowing He is faithful to the idea of trudging through life without Him.  I am so thankful that He gave me Mark to trudge along beside me!


I continue to learn much about how to live.  I think the greatest thing about my forties has been realizing how naive and stupid I really am.  It is so much less stressful to realize I can’t solve all the problems I face.  There is a freedom in this realization that leads me to greater faith in God’s strength to hold me up and move me forward.  I am more free to trust Him more.  I wish I could say I have gotten completely out of His way, but I can’t.  I am just learning how to let Him work more.

Psalm 90:12-17 is a great passage that reminds me that my days are numbered and that I need to follow God’s leading and make the most of what I have been given.

Psalm 90:12-17
12  So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13   Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
14  Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15  Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16  Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!

Not Blogging Since October, 2010

I decided my blogging hiatus was getting old, so I am giving the old blog another go.

I have been thinking a lot of why I quit blogging for a while.  Yes.  It is true that working full-time has carved a big chunk out of my “spare time.”  But, ultimately, I think it has been because I haven’t felt like I have anything much to say.  Most of my old family posts are now covered with Facebook in much smaller bits–better for everyone.  But I really feel like I want to have something to say.  So I will give a try to finding this and that in the news, books, or other common cultural element to comment on here and there.  If I get too busy or tired, the few who might stop by will forgive me, right?

So I’ll start blogging again by sharing a Psalm that has been meaningful to me.  No commentary.  Just God’s word:

Psalm 34–ESV


I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

11 Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
21 Affliction will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.