This is the edited version of the blog I sent out last night.  Apparently, the tears that were still in my eyes blinded me to all the typos or I simply forgot to use the miracle of spellcheck.

War Horse

I went to a movie with my parents tonight — that seems to be a new American Christmas tradition, doesn’t it?  My dad picked it out — War Horse.  All of the Internet posts used words like “beloved”, “hopeful” and promised stories that are “inspirational and that are translatable to our own lives as well when times are tough.”  Who could resist?  Directed by Steven Spielberg.

I wasn’t sure if I really  wanted to go, but when my dad expresses an interest to do something (hint here dad)), I will do it.  When the beautiful, gifted-beyond-belief horse was trapped by the bombs and shotguns and BARBWIRE of that era of stupid war, I lost it.  I literally bit through my lip not to cry out loud out the stupidity of this beloved story of hope.  I think I’ve felt or seen those who try everything to outrun evil, and they just can’t untangle themselves from struggles as sinister as barbwire.  If you heard a woman at the Century Belmar theatre sounding like she was having a possible asthma attack, I apologize for the distraction.

It did end in a miracle.  The miracle horse, “joey”, finds his owner, saved from the brutal horse commandant , Albert, and is rescued through a myriad of Heidi-like grandpa figures (the Heidi-like character cared for “Joey” like we all want to be loved when we’re in “bed rest”), and there’s even a soldier (Peter)who turns from the Hitler side to provide wirecutters to free the horse.  I guess that’s one thing I liked about this movie — it did show that in the hearts of men and women are are no good or bad “sides.”  Joey is called the miracle horse, and when you see him beautifully crashing through barbwire, you can’t help to wish for miracles like “Joey”.


I guess this hope of breaking-through-barbwire is why we centered our Christmas Eve around Tim Tebow.  We all gathered to watch the game against the underdog Buffalo Bills KNOWING our belief in miracles would be supported.   In fact, on Thursday I bought a t-shirt for $10.00 that says “Miracle Tim — Unbelievable.”

Just wait until the end of the fourth quarter," he said. "That's Tebow time."

Hollywood movies and distortion of sports athletes Tim confirms over and over , “It’s just a game — not a miracle”) — make us confused about miracles, but wanting them.  Oh, how we want them for our families, bank accounts, relationships, wardrobe choices, or sports teams!

So, here are just a few my of miracles of the year.

Let’s start with Christmas — although we gathered around a television game.  We mostly gathered around one another.  Something we could not do a year ago due to hurts and severages in our family.  My parents – who have been at every Christmas celebration in my life (except one) in the past years continue to give gifts they have no say in (we just tell them what to buy).  Lest you think they are clueless to all our struggles — I mean last year my daughter wasn’t speaking to me (for good reason), and they bought her what she wanted and didn’t tell me about their time with her (knowing it would so hurt me).  We are a group of broken people, but so full of grace.  My parents:  Grace — their picture is by it in the dictionary.

I think this year we all got cool things which is a miracle — considering we have no money. From my daughter = she wrote in Chinese (since I will go there in FOUR DAYS ‘I love you,'” with the warning that this could mean something totally different, so to keep it to myself.” Isn’t that a family miracle?– we don’t always know what we’re saying or doing, but we mean love and trust the other to believe in us, and so we give them the benefit of the doubt.  My daughter’s gifts are miracles I will hold on to when I have to leave a burning house and choose my treasures.

My son just finished his first semester of law school. I KNOW he will be a phenomenal lawyer, which isn’t a miracle, given his genes.  But he said to me, “Mom, when I have money I will buy something for grandma and grandpa first and then you.” His generous heart and smart-beyond-words-brain are a miracle I had nothing to do with.  And he doesn’t even act like it’s a big deal. Except when he wins board gains, which makes it not fun for me and a few others in the family.

Here are a few other miracles:

I am typing on an “Apple Pro mac 15” – given freely by an amazing Mary in Florida who LOVES to give, giggles to give, never wants to be acknowledged in her giving, lives in incredible pain, and yet only, always thinks about how she can give.  That’s a a miracle I’ve seen very seldom

I have a client/peer Meagan who works with the very last and least and every time we talk we laugh hilariously — not because she’s laughing at her very disabled clientele, but because she knows how much we are all alike.

My brother who is 50 ran 100 miles over mountains and streams and almost ( well, really did pass out) and  dad watching almost passed out.but he finished with the support of family this has not always been the most cohesive family system —but now we support him more than he could be supported by anyone because what he’s doing, whatever the reason he’s doing it is because he believes and desperately wants miracles.  We have a lot in common. Except I can’t run more than 3 miles.  By the way, this miracle is “catching” and my mom won in the top 10 in her age group in the Boulder Bolder 10K.

My friend, doctor, financially stable physician friend, Karen, is going to Teno, Equador to medicine/minister to those who are living in the rainforest.  She is a Nordstromm’s kind of girl who wants to live a miracle. (They may happen in Nordstromm’s, but she is choosing Equador.)

My daughter has begun one business — with great success and is just adding to help teens combat body image struggles.  Who would have ever thought her angst over hating her body would lead to this — reminds me of the horse in War Horse trapped in barbbed wired — how could he get out?

My brother Jim has been running a 2+ year marathon of sobriety.  That’s his story — one he will complete in a few weeks and it is a miracle and his story to tell.

So, I am in dear, close relationships with my family — who I have hurt and confused by my alcohol addiction and made confused by just being me. And I can say I have been sober this hour, this day, this week.this month, this year – that is a miracle that often comes unannounced and in odd packages.  It looks different than we imagine, unpolished untimely, unexpected, unpretentious . . . yet it fits perfectly.

That means gossip intended by those soaking in their own shame did not matter or even have the least impact — that’s a miracle. Except it made me know every accusation only points to the truth that I am lost and I need a Savior who never judges or stops loving me.  Wow  That’s THE  miracle.

Oh, another miracle that made me mad at first — a government rule has required me to meet with an amazing. miracle-as-he-goes man named Dr. Goins who practices healing between the Massa pawn shop and Prince of Peace Barbering Shop and I think that the MOST AMAZING MIRACLES are ahead with this amazing, wise, kind, strong, man.

I have friends — Judy, Ray, Dave, Shari, William, Dana, Andrew, Ann, Jenna, Nick, Kristine, John, Dan, Becky, Joan, Deb, Kirsten, Holly, Scott, Jim, DJ, Jan,  Jessica, Anna, Jill, Andy & Jill, Al & Nita, Peter & Susan, Sandy & John, Justin & Karissa, Ben & Joanna, Kelly, Mark — 0h, Mark, I hope you know how you’ve shown me such grace, Mary Ann O-Toole– wow that’s a miracle story I  don’t know what to say about, Rachel– you will always be my grace-filled personal trainer, Liz Swamson, TANGO, Jim Coffield & Scott Coupland — professors of Grace, Zach Van Dyke – Pastor of Grace.  And I’ve missed so many.  I’m sorry.  The truth is that I am the grace overgiven (if that’s a word) and that’s true.  Truly.

And the greatest, most certain, predictable, inexplicable miracle is that God looks at me, hears me, knows me, understands me, COMPLETELY and says “Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death the consummate blood sacrifice, THERE IS NOT LONGER A QUESTION OF BEING AT ODDS WITH GOD, by the sacrificial death of His Son now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!  Now that WE HAVE ACTUALLY RECEIVED THIS AMAZING FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD, we are no longer content to simply say it in pleading prose.  WE SIGN AND SHOUT OUR PRAISES TO GOD THROUGH JESUS, THE MESSIAH!”  That’s a miracle.