All Things Delcambre

coffee and words, almost.

Up early after a delightful few days in Nashville for Q.  Q conference is a good gathering of room full of varied people ready to engage, and at times, wrestle with questions that demand attention.  Our time was full of intriguing presentations, questions and time with friends.  We returned late last night and rose early this morning to little hearts excited to talk and recap their homemade videos with grandma, oh and their new band - the Neon Hearts.  Here are a few links for your enjoyment and a couple of really solid articles for your reading and viewing. Happy Saturday friends!

An intriguing passing of time

Shadow art

Near future technologies

'What if?' - a great talk by Erwin McManus

'What's So Great About the Common Good?'


A Stroke of Bad Luck that Looked More like Selfishness.

stormhouse The words we held spoke clearer then, on the couch miles apart.  Our eyes turned inward unable to see the bliss which so enraptured us in the months before when valiantly broad words such as‘forever’ and ‘love’ and ‘I do’ rang joyously from our ready to speak mouths.  But then on the couch, as far apart as strangers strangely aware of intimate knowledge of each other, then encased in silent defiance, not so much.  The both of us there in the moment okay with undoing the sacred us.  We’ve been married nearly five months.

She’d never been a wife or mother before.  I’d never been married again before.

Independence dies slowly at the hand of a hesitant love.

I couldn’t understand her frustration with me and my lack of initiative in areas that I didn’t value in the same way she did.  After all, I was busy with a growing to-do list at work, a book being readied to release, managing the projected idea of me always being okay, friends that I couldn’t keep up with and daughters still wrestling with too much change in too little time.  I am a freight train rushing headlong into dreams pushing against the rails that hold me on course, and she can’t understand that?  She can’t empathize with the pressure I put on myself and my lack of time to get some things done?

She’s a strong woman whose chest houses a heart burning to love and unafraid of taking on too much.  Her shoulders are stronger than they should be.  With a delicate touch she came into us caught up in our own little adventure just as she always belonged.  No one small could’ve done so.  She’s not small at all; her heart swallows it all – love and pain.




coffee and words, almost.

running Saturday is a post-race exhale when the week behind you fades and time ahead hasn't yet awoken.  The past few weeks have been on blaze.  Days end and begin and blur by with a furious shuffle.  I can only go at life in this way for so long until things within begin to pull apart and break.  It's not healthy to live so fast.  It's unholy and unbecoming.

Last night was the push to the finish line of another week gone by too fast.  The push to end was well worth it.  For the first time we opened our home to host new friends.  As our family slumped low into the cushions on the couch worn tired and thin, we waited to play hosts.  Friends began to arrive in twos and threes and soon our home was filled with a crowd, no, a community of mixed faces and varying hearts.  We sat huddled discussing grace's undoing of moralism through the Gospel.  I faded in and out sharing my own struggles and experiences.  Our night together ended in confessions that opened our hearts vulnerably so that we could be found and kept.  And then I stretched my hand forward, reached for the finish line and breathed out relieved.  I knew the week was done and enough.  The group left except for two, a beautiful husband and wife who seem well fit to be good friends.  We greeted the morning together going further into each other's lives, as if the welcome wasn't enough - we began to feel at home.  Goodbyes were exchanged at 2am, and then, the bed never felt so good.  This is an exceptionally good Saturday morning.  Here's what poked around at with a cup of coffee.  I do hope you enjoy!

bigger than happiness.

Boat sinking  

Happiness is a lie.

And if you live chasing untrue, you spend your days batting at the wind, pulling for an idea that can’t deliver what you think you need.

Happiness will leave you longing for more in its coming and going.

Life unfolds messily mostly without us knowing quite how things will end up.  At best, we can work hard to create the life we think we want.  My schedule fills and my life tightens in my reaching for better, for more, but more often, I find myself worse off the harder I work for what I think I need - in the restless pursuit of happy moments.

You would think the more happy I gather together, the more satisfied and settled of a life I’d lead.  But still, I’m empty in the in-between and hungry.

This manic going after of life is tiresome and besetting.  In this way, happiness is an absolute lie.

If life is measured in how much happy moments we have together, our family is failing and we are taking on water faster than we can bucket it out.  We live in stiff, isolating  moments between laughter and lighter times when we’re all smiling and having a good time.  When we do fall into happiness together, it’s euphoric and addicting, but it cuts when it’s done and we fall out of it disjointed again.

Happiness is a drug we’re all jonesing for.

But there is a better way.


For me, joy is the result of love decided, rooted and held to in the swell of good and bad.  It is remembrance that life is not about us, but about something so much better and bigger than ourselves, our dreams and desires and our expectations.  Joy undoes happiness as ultimate authority on how our life measures up.  Joy lifts us in the low and enlightens us all the more in the highs.  It is no secret passage or mediative state to reach when you’ve learned to manage and re-architect disappointment with hold-your-breath positivity.  No, joy is an acceptance that all of life is good and waiting to be lived.  Joy is Heaven’s call now flooding through happiness to penetrate our feeble hearts and remind us that all shall be well, both now and in the life to come.


of sin and self.

balancingstones Every parent knows the feeling.

The first time I drove on ice the feeling of helplessness disconnected me from my ability to act.  Few times before had I experienced this feeling of a lack of control; definitely never quite on this scale.  Though I spun the wheel the opposite way, me and my little SUV continued to slide into unavoidable disaster.  My knuckles whitened even more, my jaw tightened together as my eyes squinted and brow curled at the sight of another car - all braced for impact.  I came to sudden halt as my tires spun and slid sideways, undeterred into a curb.  Luckily, the curb came before the car, and it was enough.  Of course, I waved and smiled at the other car then slowly moving through the intersection because that’s what inexperienced people who feel the heat of embarrassment do amidst the frantic pulsing of their heart narrowly escaping calamity.

As a parent, I’m growing a bit more accustomed to this feeling.  To be quite forthright, there are many times strength and confidence and experience give way to helplessness.  No matter how much effort I give, we slide out of control toward unavoidable disaster.  My frustration boils over and spills out in the midst of our tense words leaving us even more undone.  And there we stand worlds apart, all on our own, our hearts still pulsing - one the transgressor, the other the transgressed.  Our hearts are one in the same.  They reek of sin and self, of defending and demanding, of wanting control and satisfaction.

Parenting is an art of improved loses.  Those like me who scurry around to gather the pieces breaking busy themselves with falsities such as good, better and perfect, while others who lose well lock sites on tomorrow and refuse little wins in the name of being right and in control.  The key here is tomorrow must contain a hope more promising than a tidy, well-adjusted family.  This is where the Gospel must invade your parenting, eradicating sin and displacing self.

Truth: in you, what your child needs cannot be found.  Only in the truth of the Gospel will your kids find real life.

The polarizing feeling of not understanding your child and not able to connect with your child visits every parental relationship.  No one escapes the mystery of a child growing into their own, still your child but stretching into person and filling their own skin even more.  It’s mired in damnable and divine.  The sentimentalist in me wants to keep them close and controlled, but my responsibility founded in the Gospel is to lead them into tomorrow and then push.

My responsibility informs my action in the moment, or afterward.  It is in that understanding of tomorrow being dependent on my needed guidance in my child’s life today where my head clears from helplessness and fortitude is reclaimed.

In these little, forgotten moments.

mosiac heart We look like the happiest faces you’ve ever seen.

Countless pictures script a story, spanning time and different adventures, of us happy – always pulling each other close and smiling, ever smiling.  We are, mostly, until we’re not, and then smiles disappear, patience that holds our poses suddenly evades us and we are not okay anymore.  Hear this – we are not okay.

We fight, choose selfishly, antagonize each other, say hurtful things, and then hang apart in broken moments.  Pieces apart pulling together, that is who we are.  There are as many as 1,300 new blended families everyday in the United States, however as many as 60-70% of blended families end in ruin due to stress and continual unresolved disagreements.

We’re a family from different paths come together, pushing against relational gravity to warm in our new day sun.

Family is not an easy aspiration on any level, for family means togetherness founded in love, not proximity.  Being in the same space, in the same frame, does not teach us togetherness.  Amazing vacations and unforgettable adventures does not knit our hearts tighter.  Love does – not a love native to our own hearts, but a Love flooding our hearts in our weakest.  It is the polarization of our selfishness and God’s ready love that teaches us what love truly is.  What draws us back in close to each other again following a splintering argument, stabbing word or piercing disregard is the desire to belong to each other, which is a teaching love showing us a better way together.  We’re not a family because we live under one roof; we’re a family because of what happens in little forgotten moments between countless happy pictures.

Even now, in the midst of our tree house cabin stay adventure, it will be those happy memories of cave exploring, hammocks, kayaks, late movies and cousin games that will tell a story good enough to outlive the tension our blended family struggled to move through early in this vacation day.  These little abrasive moments, roughed in selfishness, hold all promise and opportunity to teach us.  They may be forgotten, but they will continue to be forging.  Deeper into life together, down the road where we learn to trust each other better in offense, all we will know is the strength in roots intertwined – a family indeed.

Yes, it’ll be the mosaic of these little forgotten moments displaying the truest of all pictures, of us together in thin and thick.