Monday, March 02, 2009


Emily is moved in at Emilot, her "castle" in Colorado. And Paul and I are back home after driving for 22 hours straight. Paul the brilliant husband put an air mattress in the back of the van so if we weren't driving we could lie down and sleep.

Coming home is much more pleasant if Amy has been at home in the meantime. Just the fact that she made the kids spend five minutes a day picking up the living room makes such a difference.

It would be good not to ask me how I'm doing just now. "Mixed emotions" is a polite cliche that works pretty well in this case.

However. The heaviness of it all was balanced by calling Emily this morning as we drove across eastern Oregon, just at the right moment when there was a bit of cell phone service, and hearing her say that she's getting ready to go to work.

When you have seen your daughter sick for over a year, it is a fine and wonderful thing to know that she is getting up and getting dressed and headed out the door to a real job.

Work bestows dignity and worth, and you don't generally think about this until you can't work.

She's working at the thrift store in Canon City that helps to fund New Horizon Ministry's work with taking care of babies born to moms in prison. This week she works two hours a day, next week, God willing, more. And on up to five full days a week like a normal person.

The ache of leaving Emily was also balanced by the astonishing kindness and care of others. The day she was moving in, about four neighbors introduced themselves and offered to be there for her if she needs help. One neighbor offered marigold seeds. Numerous people at church told me they will try to watch out for her. Kay Knepp got a list of Emily's allergies and promptly put together a Sunday dinner that was safe for her to eat and marvelously delicious besides, and also said emphatically that Emily is part of the family and she can stop by anytime without calling first. Dallas and Travis Knepp hauled furniture and nearly performed miracles with carrying large furniture through small doors. Two strangers stopped to ask Emily if she needs help when she was riding her electric scooter to Knepps and got lost. The thrift-store supervisory team sat down with us and listened and spelled out how things would work. Various people in NHM came up with ideas of how Emily's talents could be used as soon as she feels able--in drama, mentoring younger girls, and more.

"Grateful" really can't describe how Paul and I feel about all this. It's like God uses his people to bathe a difficult situation in his amazing soothing grace.

On the way home, I was thinking back, mommishly, about Emily's childhood, from the time she was a baby on an Indian reservation and the Indian kids oohed and aahed over her "silver" eyes, to the years in Bud and Mary's house, when she manifested her dreamy imagination and quirky outlook on life, to the tough early-teen years and all the health issues, and the trials of the last year and a half.

"The story wasn't supposed to end like this," I thought tearfully. And immediately felt a correction from God--it isn't the end of the story; only the end of a chapter. The story is a long way from over.

Quote of the Day:
"But you know what they say, behind the open door is an uneven floor."
--Emily, on her Xanga, about moving to Colorado and Emilot. From this post.


  1. It's true. God's people give His love hands and arms and feet (and strong backs)! I'm so glad you got to experience that. It's also true that what God calls us to, he enables us for. Emily will be fine. You will be fine. I'll be waiting for..."the rest of the story!" =)

  2. This post is just the best. God is good. It just doesn't get better then the Knepp's....and what they offer they will make good on. Emily is blessed to be there. I am excited to read more of her story as time trickles by.

  3. This post has brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for being eal!