According to dictionary.com, "karma" is "action, seen as bringing upon oneself inevitable results, good or bad, either in this life or in a reincarnation".

There are times in my life where all I can think, amidst the frustration and downright anger at someone, is "Better watch it. Karma is a b$#*&".

Not that I find this Buddhist/Hindu belief to be theologically true, but it does seem sometimes like what goes around really does come around. And boy, in my human, broken, finite mind, it sounds good.

I realize that many don't share that view. I learned quickly after Osama bin Laden died that I was one of the few that actually rejoiced in his death. Many of my friends posted things on facebook and in blogs about how we, as Christians, should never rejoice that someone died without Christ, that it is morbid to view anyone's death as a happy occasion, and that by being happy about OBL's death I was no better than him.

Well, I am a sinner, for sure, but I can say without a doubt that I have not masterminded anything in my life....least of all the deaths of thousands of men, women and children. I believe that today OBL and Adolf are burning their patooties off amidst unbearable torment and torture and really thinking "Dang, I should have listened. What I did was totally not cool."

But, back in my world, I have been struggling with feelings of anger and resentment since someone accused me of lying. I don't take that accusation lightly -- no one wants to have their integrity questioned, of course, but I have not taken the multiple accusations well. I've tried talking directly to the accuser (word to the wise: don't ever talk to people like this without a witness)....but all it got me was the feeling that I was losing my mind. (Ever see the movie Gaslight?) I tried talking to other people that could have helped but chose, for whatever reason, not to.

Today I learned that this person, bless her heart, is getting to help select my replacement. Dear God in Heaven, I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. Seriously, God?

OK, I know God didn't necessarily orchestrate the whole deal, but...really?

So I'm trying to take the high road and let it go and all that really good stuff that I'm supposed to think and say because, you know, I'm a Christian.

But inside, I'm really angry. I feel like the writer of Psalms must have felt when he'd write things about his enemies being victorious. Because, truly, that (and this) stinks.

And I *would* be lying if I didn't say that deep down, I hope karma does find this person. I kinda hope that she can catch a glimpse of what she has put me (and my family) through. No, that isn't the mature, Jesus-like way of feeling (one friend suggested that I pray and consider fasting for her. In retaliation, I ate a Milky Way.)

But I know that God uses all things.....ALL things, for His glory. And so, in the midst of all the turmoil and sadness and anger, I have grown closer to Him while I search His Word for answers, for comfort, for truth. I have felt that peace that He talks about -- you know, the one that passes all understanding. I have developed a new love for the story of Joseph and how that young man handled his downright sucky circumstances.

And while I'm not going to be Pharoah's right hand gal (or even Mitch Landrieu's), I am going back to what I know and love. I am being given a gift that many people will never experience, and that is the joy of friends, family, and a job I adore.

As I grow and mature in Christ, I hope that one day I do begin to really pray for this person and maybe even fast for her one day.

Until then, pass me a Twix, ok?


Today I sat, as I have so many times, at Griffin's baseball game. To my right was a familiar mom with her toddler, watching his older brother play. With her today was her parents and her husbands parents. They intermittently, all 4 of them, played with the toddler, cheered on the team, and planned what they were going to cook for dinner.

And I found myself envying them.

My kids don't have 2 complete sets of grandparents. They will never know a grandpa's hug or be able to tell tall tales of fishing with grand-dad or their uncles. Our mother's live far away and can't visit more than a few times a year. Paul and I have family not too far away, but the reality is, they have their own families, friends and grandchildren and so we always feel a little like refried beans in a Mexican combo dinner -- like we belong there, but no one is ever going to call us their favorites. And who doesn't want to be somebody's favorite?

I'm sad for our kids, but to be honest, I'm really sadder for me and Paul. For the logistical and practical help that nearby family can be. For the emotional support and the holiday celebrations. For feeling like an important part of something bigger.

Lest you think that I am feeling like a total orphan today, let me say that of course we do have family in our everyday lives.

They are friends. We have friends from seminary who have seen us through the hardest, most difficult times of our lives. We have friends at work. Friends at the ballpark. Friends at our kids school. Friends that are the #1 reason that we are moving back home to New Orleans. These are the people that brought us meals after each of our children were born. They took care of my kids and my house when Paul was hospitalized for several days a few years ago. They have loved us, prayed for us, laughed with us, and given a face to God's command to "love one another".

Do I still feel sorry for myself? I'd be lying if I said I didn't. I still wish that we had family that lived closer to us, that kept our kids overnight, that knew about all the goofy things we did when we were little and relished in telling our kids what mom or dad did when we were their age.

I have sat in the rooms of women who have had new babies and watched and listened as their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles passed around the new baby, talking on and on about how she looks just like Aunt Libby or how he has Earl's ears, doesn't he? I've heard new daddies on the phone telling their mother in laws where to find the blue nightgown that Susie wants to put on after her shower. I want to cry and say "Cherish this. You are so lucky."

I know that I have plenty to cherish. I am one of the most blessed women on the planet. I have a husband that would do anything for me and three of the most beautiful, intelligent, and funniest children around.

So I will try to make the most of the limited bigger family celebrations and in the meantime, try to cultivate deeper bonds with our friends.

And I will know that in God's kingdom, my family -- and my children's family -- is so big, and so perfect, that these fleeting days are just preparation for what lies ahead....enormous family celebrations where we all belong and are all loved and those minute feelings of insignificance and loneliness are faint memories of this broken old world.