Dear Selecting Readers,

My office is spread out with photos. My job this week was to select photos for my book. Lucas walked in my office and sat next to me. He ate his Valentine’s candy and shared the “Love You” heart with me. But then Lucas glanced down and noticed photos of Gabriel’s surgeries scattered on my floor.

Lucas is seven-years-old, almost eight. And you know what? Lucas has never asked about Gabriel’s birthmarks… his Giant Pigmented Nevus and satellite nevi. Lucas looked past Gabriel’s birthmarks and felt the love of his brother. But in this moment, Lucas got an eyeful.


He pondered, ‘Mom, what are those two pimples on Gabriel?”  I explained, “They are not pimples.  They are tissue expanders.  We used a needle and filled the tissue expanders with saline.  The tissue expanders caused Gabriel’s skin to stretch.  More skin was needed and more skin was made.”  He ventured, “Did it hurt?”  I nodded yes.  I elaborated, “We cried those five years, filled with thirteen challenging surgeries.  And Hurricane Katrina blew in during that process.”  He examined the pictures some more.  Lucas questioned, “What is that?”  I responded, “Stitches, bandages, draining tubes.”


Lucas replied, “Are these photos going in your book?” I said, “Some are.”

He nodded his head. “Mom, PewDiePie stuff is viral. This may take two years to go viral.” I snickered to myself. For readers who don’t know the life of PewDiePie, welcome to the world of my boys and their YouTube viewing. Laughs, comedy, and how many viewers visit the site is of utmost importance. Millions is super important. Viral is sensational.

Back to the story…

Lucas exited my office. He put his candy back in his Valentine’s shoe box and walked upstairs to be near Gabriel. No words were exchanged. Gabriel was on his game device. But Lucas felt something. He felt the love of his brother, and he felt the love for his brother. What Gabriel endured. What Gabriel overcame.

You may wonder when there is a perfect time to have certain conversations. What I learned is that they unfold rhythmically, effortlessly, and beautifully. You don’t have to figure it out. You don’t need to plan it. They are delivered perfectly when someone is ready to receive a new perspective, a deeper understanding, and the wonder of meaning.

What images are you selecting for your life?
What images can you discard?
What images can you emphasize?
What images bring deeper meaning and new discoveries?
Where can you feel the love?

Dig deep for the treasures in each experience. Each experience, whether painful or joyful, is meant to increase your awareness.

Digging & Selecting,

Gabriel is fine with me sharing his surgery photos. I asked to respect him. Utter care. But I already knew. God has purposed this in him. Gabriel has been prepared to share his story. As I’m healed, Gabriel is healed. As Gabriel is healed, I’m healed. The synchronicities of healing and clarity for a broader and grander purpose. Nothing to do. Nothing to plan. Just a time of receiving a new perspective, a deeper understanding, and the wonder of meaning.