"you can live without answers...

but you can't live without God."

that was the message given by price's granddad at his memorial service. col. leak thornal speaks at beach church frequently and something about his booming colonel's voice just makes you sit up and LISTEN. i need a booming colonel voice.

a photo of price that i took a few years ago for his business flyers. he ran a lawn service named "price cuts."

a photo of price that i took a few years ago for his business flyers. he ran a lawn service named "price cuts."

so just to update those of you who don't really know tallahassee news... friday morning i woke to numerous texts from friends about price thornal. (a 19 year old ole miss student who grew up in tallahassee. we are friends with his family. and have been for as long as i have been alive. i have blogged about their sweet family many times.) they were all asking if i had heard the news of his car accident. i had not. until then.

price and his momma at his sister's wedding. 5 years ago. 

price and his momma at his sister's wedding. 5 years ago. 

so it has been a long week. a sad week. a good week. the gospel message was spoken over me and by me so many times in this week. that always makes it a good week.

social media was actually a real help to me through this week. being able to grieve publicly in small ways and connect with others was so comforting...

this was my status update on facebook on friday...

thought of this quote today on this dark but ultimately Good Friday. praying that we all remember the Good News that everything sad is going to come untrue because some days on this fallen earth are just really sad...

“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What's happened to the world?" 

"A great Shadow has departed," said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count.” 

{j.r.r. tolkien, the return of the king} 

i am so ready for the great shadow to depart and for the King to return.

and then i read this amazing article by one of my favorite writers, philip yancey, on saturday... national tragedy and the empty tomb. beautiful words... i used them in my status update on facebook...

"Tragedy rightly calls faith into question, but it also affirms faith. It is good news that we are not the random byproducts of a meaningless universe, but rather creations of a loving God who wants to live with us forever. That "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son" in order to reconcile with his rebellious creation. That by entering our world, the Son took on our sufferings and temptations, demonstrating in person that nothing—not even death—can separate us from the love of God."

"Holy Week offers the template. On Good Friday Jesus absorbed the worst of what Earth has to offer, a convergence of evil and death in an event of profound injustice. Easter Sunday gave a sure and certain sign of contradiction, demonstrating that nothing can withstand the healing force of a loving God. We live out our days, though, on Holy Saturday, aware of the redemptive power of suffering while awaiting the restoration power of creation made new."

"John Donne, a prolific poet and Anglican priest who buried hundreds during the worst years of bubonic plague, and indeed thought himself fatally infected, wrote this defiant declaration:

Death be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so …

One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

This Easter, the death of death itself is a message that Newtown, and the world, needs to hear once more."

philip yancey from national tragedy and the empty tomb in Christianity today.

price and his niece. photo taken last spring.

price and his niece. photo taken last spring.

and read this tweet by i don't even remember who...

1 kings 8:12 "The Lord has said that He would dwell in thick darkness." He is with you in your darkest moments...

and then via a facebook message a girl from ole miss contacted me about funeral arrangements and did i know since i seemed like an adult. ha.

so i told her what i knew about the funeral and then asked if she wanted to stay with us in our home. she and her roommate accepted the offer and they stayed here. what a gift from God. she was the one who had that video footage of price singing wagon wheel (on the end of the slideshow). had she not been at my house i could not have added that video to the slideshow and it was perfect at the end.

also since we had a beach house at "price's beach" we were able to let her and her roommate go down to the beach after the funeral and walk on the beach at sunset. they were so excited to see the beach that price loved so much.

i kept telling the girls that it was just another way that God was showing us all how much He loved us and cared for us that He had orchestrated it so that they were staying with us. why do we ever doubt that He has the BEST in mind for us? why do we ever not trust His plans are for our good?

we can live without answers. but we cannot live without God...

our sweet new ole miss friend walking on "price's beach" at sunset. saying goodbye until we meet again...

our sweet new ole miss friend walking on "price's beach" at sunset. saying goodbye until we meet again...


tomorrow we will head down to the beach house for our family's annual 4th of july extravaganza. sponsored by blue cross/blue shield insurance agency. because one year we are going to need that insurance agency. it is like an exercising in tempting fate every year. 

i am not saying that my family is a bunch of pyromaniacs. but i am not NOT saying it either.

here are a couple of photos from last year's fireworks display... the best ones are the ones where you can see a faint outline of someone RUNNING away from a firework that they just lit. i love those.

maxx will miss the fireworks this year (and thus keep all his limbs for another year) since he is scuba diving at sea base boy scout camp in the keys. he will be home JUST in time to wash a load of clothes, repack, and head out on our cruise with us. his life is rough. pray for him.

saw this satire of a political ad today and i have to say that if this guy actually ran for anything EVERY member of my pyrotechnical family would vote for him. heck, we would be out lip syncing to kate perry's firework song WHILE we were holding signs on a street corner for him. hopefully with all our arms, fingers, eyes, and some of our hearing left. but most likely with our eyebrows singed off.

beach boys...

for maxx’s 14th birthday last week (wednesday to be exact), i took 5 of his friends to the beach for a 24 hour party. 


that felt like 486 hours. because every hour was fraught with danger and the possibility of needing to call 911. which is kind of like EVERY hour of raising a teenage boy. but here i was ALONE with 6 of them.

there was creek jumping... (note, if you are an insurance agent, do NOT look at these photos...

there was FIRE (sparklers)...

and an all out epic water balloon fight that ended up with a smaller death toll than the battle of thermopylae.

all in all we had a GRAND time. and these boys are FUN. very fun. 

sometimes a bit too much fun. as exampled by one of them who after 3 hours at the beach had already gotten EVERY item of clothing that he brought wet and so said that he would just go commando until they all dried. ummm, i think NOT. he wore a towel until i got them out of the dryer. 

but i like maxx’s friends. for a bunch of teenage boys, they were polite. helpful. kind to each other and to me. respectful. and they ate a LOT. and they loved EVERY meal. they played every game with reckless abandon. they ran 5 miles on the beach, swam for hours, and still managed to fall asleep after me. good times.

and i swear that if the disney channel ever got a glimpse of these photos... it would be goodbye jonas brothers HELLO tallahassee teens for a new series of “boy baywatch”. these are some athletic and talented boys. all are cross country runners (the twins’ dad coaches the cross country team (and just try to figure out which two are twins in the group). two of the boys play soccer, 2 play baseball. one does gymnastics. and maxx and wil are the singers and actors of the group. if i was dina lohan, i would be marketing these boys... but i am no dina lohan. thank goodness. their lives can remain rehab center free for a few more years at least... one can hope.

dear raa middle school...

in the spirit of FULL DISCLOSURE, i would like to elaborate on the note that i sent yesterday excusing maxx’s absence on tuesday, june 1st. i wrote in a terse message to you that he missed school due to a family event of epic proportions. and i did not lie. i did not even stretch the truth. 


you see, we were at the beach house on monday with this incredible family. the buhler family. perhaps you heard of them? the grandmother is a retired teacher from leon county. the grandfather is a pastor. so maxx was in fine educational and morally upright hands. they brought their grandchildren to the beach house to stay for monday through wednesday. three girls and three boys (who, unlike us, were already out of school).  those three boys pictured in the above photo down at the beach are simeon, samuel, and joshua (or “jawa” as they call him) buhler. they have gone to summer camp with maxx for the last 4 years. they hail from atlanta and alabama. they are all right about his age. they are super cool. and they think that maxx might just be one of their cousins. and i am not telling them any different. 

and so when it came time to leave the beach and head back into town.... i took one look at my boy out there running, swimming, jumping waves, laughing, wrestling, catching starfish, making homemade ice cream in baggies.... and i left him there for another day. school didn’t seem quite as important as what he was doing right then. 

school is long. life is short. time with good friends seems even shorter. 

he will make us whatever work he missed. but he could never make up another perfect june day, skipping school, and hanging out with the buhler boys.

thank you for your understanding. 

and for you enjoyment here are a few photos to show you all of the fun that he would have missed had i drug him in town to go to your very fine educational establishment. 

may your summer contain this much living, loving, and laughing... from, maxx’s mom