Monday, December 8, 2008


Last night, after the single-parent craziness of my week (my wife is in South Africa volunteering two weeks with AIDS babies at an orphanage and comprehensive elementary HIV prevention program called iThembaLetu), I felt shaky, like I was just emerging from the depths of the flu.

My kids have been phenomenal, but what is amazing to me is the amount of human resource management that is required, even as I’m trying to keep my own ducks in a row. Without a partner in the fight to stay sane, to laugh with, to double-team kid-tasks…I don’t know how it’s to be done…AND I’m amazed that single parents actually pull it off. I consider this a Herculean feat.

Jodie and I SKYPE-d this morning (Luddite Note: Skype is this Jestsons-esque kind of video phone you can download for free). She cried when she saw our frowsy-headed kiddos, and they made her laugh by doing goofy faces into the camera. She told us about how the camps have been going that her team has pulled off…the amazing work with elementary school kids teaching them their value in God’s eyes, that Jesus loves them, and to embrace healthy behavior because of that value. She told us how their team took the whole house of AIDS babies to the beach yesterday…splashing and playing with these toddlers and just loving them like crazy. It’s hot in South Africa right now, so even as she was relating these stories, she was sweltering.

After we hung up the phone, I spent a moment sitting at my desk in silence.

I love her so much, and I miss her desperately. But what I felt more than anything was peace. Overwhelming peace. Peace that she is exactly where Jesus wants her right now. Peace that she is caring for those who are close to Jesus’ heart right now. Peace that she is once more modeling for our kids God-values right now. And a peace that, right now, no matter where she is, no matter what frenzy of pace and exhaustion consume us, Jesus is with her, Jesus is with us, Jesus is HERE, and He is the Prince of Peace.

I sat quiet for a moment thankful for His peace.

Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27,28

My prayer for you is that you are able to sit quiet for a moment today.
My prayer for you is peace.


Heather said...

My daughter is attending your church after a long road of pain and suffering in this home. So much so we had to rely on Jesus and I am sure that is exactly as He would have it...anyway He could get it.
As she seemed to be finally turning her face toward the Lord, and relating your stories to me, I had to get online to check out your church and happened upon your blog.
Mike Howerton, you are a very funny pastor (as she stated) who loves Jesus and I look forward to your blog updates. I have linked you on our blog so that all our friends all over this world, can see what it is that you share with us. Thank you for making me laugh, thank you for being a pastor and thank you for being in Washington. As a family that loves our daughter and new grandson, all the way from Arkansas, we are so thankful we have peace in knowing Jesus loves her way more than we do. It is a daily testamony of faith to surrender her completely to Him. Keep up the good work and keep up the humility that you share with us through your blog.

Dulcinator said...

Ahh, the beauty of Jesus' peace that surpasses all of our understanding. It's unfathomable, just like Him. Glad your family, your wife, your kids, and your daily encounters are pointing you towards His peace today. I myself have been realizing again the need to nestle into the pillow of Jesus' peace after a contemplative weekend, so hearing your personal peace experience was affirming. Thanks for sharing.

Lynne said...

I read your blog tonight Mike Howerton! You are a good man. And you definitely an incredible woman. Praying for peace to prevail for you this week. So just a thought from your single parent friend... it's ok if its a messy week.

Lynne said...

Oops...meant to say - you definitely MARRIED an incredible woman.

Amanda Marie said...

I have no idea why this hit me like it did, Mike. It resonated within my core, quite deeply in fact. Jodie is an amazing woman of God. It is super cool that even though you do miss her that you see the bigger picture in her journey.