Weebles Wobble…

Weebles Wobble…

I step outside before heading for bed and let the star-dusted sky and white moonlight wash over me. It feels good to be outside. The water down at the lake’s edge softly laps at the shore and in the distance I hear traffic up on the highway. It’s quiet and peaceful and I do my best to soak it up hoping to build a small reservoir for that hour when I’ll wake and stare into the dark. That moment when questions gnaw and doubts rush in.

He’s right here – at my “right hand” Peter reminds me in Acts. My heart feels so far away from His presence and in the dark I grope for Him. “Missing Him” as Ann has told us all week.

Sometimes you miss home.

Even when you’re home.

Sometimes you miss Him.

Even when He’s everywhere.

A rehearsal of the day’s events pushes past my resolve. How do you stop thinking? How do you erase the pictures from your mind – the one that leaves your heart shattered on the ground in Humpty Dumpty brokenness?

This morning dawned clear and bright, sunlight dancing on the lake, an osprey diving for her breakfast and coming up with a fat catch. From my reading chair I note the great maple that drapes over our lake when a little chirp on my phone tells me I have a message.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23 ESV

An old favorite, I smile at the words and send back a thanks-for-thinking-of-me text.

Not long after that, a rap on the door startles me. I hadn’t heard a car pull up and Maggie didn’t play doorbell to alert me of coming visitors. Two uniformed deputies are at the door. What could they want?

There are mothers who read this and know, because you’ve lived here, what memories grab your gut and shake you senseless when you see a sherriff’s car outside your house. There have been too many times when they come to deliver a message that strangles your thoughts for the next week. You try to pretend that they’ve come to ask for a donation or something. Anything but what your heart already knows even before they open their mouths.

“Is Texas here?”

She’s already been upstairs earlier this morning, coffee cup in hand, bright smile, asking if we might go to the pool today.

“Yes, she’s downstairs in her apartment. Do you want me to go get her?”

At first they say Yes, but then ask if they can go around to the back. What do you say when you’re looking at the silver badge and the word S.W.A.T. on a patch over the right pocket of his shirt? You tell them Yes.

I wait a few minutes and then go down the back steps. The dark dread I’m so familiar with spreads like tendrils of a choking vine. I’m swallowing hard to fight off old fears and losing.

I round the corner and come face to face with the three of them and Texas says, “They are arresting me. There’s a warrant in Collier County.”

We live several counties away and these are Highlands County deputies. They explain they will take her to the local jail where she’ll be held until transport moves her to Collier. When I ask what the charge is, they hedge a bit and say they don’t really know – they just have a warrant.

After a few minutes they decide to call and get some kind of answer. They seem embarrassed that they can’t tell us much. After the phone call they say it’s related to possession and sales of cocaine.

“How can you arrest someone for possession of cocaine when they aren’t in possession?” I ask. I’m confused enough by this whole scene but something doesn’t add up here.

They try to paint a scenario – maybe this is part of a sting operation and they’ve been collecting evidence for months. It isn’t something that happened recently. Now they are arresting everyone who was implicated. She may have sold to an undercover informant.

I’m trying to stall and I can’t bear to look at Texas. Dressed in shorts and a tee shirt they say it’s time to leave. “Can I change clothes?” she asks. “No. We have to leave now.”

I gather her seizure medication and some underwear into a bag which they carry for her and then one of them unclips the silver bracelet from his belt

I’m a mother. I want to say, “Oh for heaven’s sake – just put her in the car. You don’t need the cuffs,” but I say nothing. She’s trying to be brave – we all are, even the deputies – and they walk her up the hill to the squad car parked next door.

As they drive off I stand numb, incredulous that they’ve taken my beautiful brown-eyed girl. Clean and sober for five months now, writing her part of our book and healing from twenty-eight years of addiction.

In shock, I pick up my phone to call Bob and there they are again, those words sent earlier – a message from God through my friend Buzz. He sent that message to more than one person, an encouragement and reminder that whatever we face, He is faithful. A gesture of love to friends he cares about. How could he have known what it would mean to me this day?

But I know that’s not the whole of it. My Father knew I’d need an assurance that He is in this somehow, that His love is unending and His mercies abundant; He was preparing me in advance, loving me enough to soften the blow.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22,23 ESV

The next day we go to the jail and on the way there I think of all the times we’ve spoken to Texas in the screen of the small monitor, us in a crowded room reeking of stale cigarettes and sweat, where we have to talk over the conversations of other people with their incarcerated loved ones.

But this time is different somehow. This is not current and she’s been in a place of joy and wholeness. All three of us know that while these are serious charges – she could easily go to prison for five years with a charge like this and her past record – somehow we don’t believe the story will end like that.

She comes to the screen and behind her in the hallway I can see the gray steel bars and the cell. Occasionally someone walks by and looks at us. We tease her about the orange jumpsuit – “You’re right in time for Halloween. Perfect color.” Her dad tells her he wore his orange shirt in honor of her. We try not to cry.

Before we leave, I open her copy of “Jesus Calling.” She reads it every day and I want her to see what October 17 – this day – says.

Anxiety is a result of envisioning the future without Me. So the best defense against worry is staying in communication with Me…If you must consider upcoming events, follow these rules: 1) Do not linger in the future, because anxieties sprout up like mushrooms when you wander there. 2) Remember the promise of My continual Presence; include Me in any imagery that comes to mind. This mental discipline does not come easily, because you are accustomed to being god of your fantasies. However, the reality of My Presence with you, now and forevermore, outshines any fantasy you could ever imagine.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”  ~Luke 12:22–26

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  ~Ephesians 3:20–21

Later, a friend calls and says, “I don’t know how you and Bob keep going on, Cathee. Dori is still undergoing chemo and they’ve found more spots and now this?”

I think about her words in the evening and know that in ourselves we do not have what it takes to face times like this. We aren’t Rocks of Gibralter, brave and courageous. But our confidence is in the Lord Himself and in His Word.

Sitting in my reading chair I look out and see the spreading maple over the lake and these words come to mind. Not the one in the first Psalm, but that other one in Jeremiah:

For she shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, She will not fear when heat comes; But her leaf will be green, She will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will she cease from yielding fruit.   ~Jeremiah 17:7-9 (my gender changes)

webbles julieI remember some years back when someone gave me a word from God that said, “Cathee, you remind me of a Weeble Wobble. You are like that strong oak that bends with the storm but doesn’t break. Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.” I like that. A lot. I want to be that person.

It’s a choice not to worry about your life. It’s a decision of the will, surrendered to the Spirit, that believes God truly IS able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, and that there really is a power working in us – me, Bob, Texas, and all of you – that will bring everything around for His glory.

In all these events of our lives, we are becoming real. Our true selves. It calls for the death of many things and much has to be stripped away for that to happen. We’ve gathered so much rubble along the road, but we are etched deep into the palm of His hand, and He will not let us go.

Will you stand in hope with us to see what amazing things God has planned in the midst of seeming loss and tragedy? Remember the cross—there’s always that heavy door torn open and the captive set free.



  1. Cathee,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. It is so hard to see and understand what God’s plan and purposes could be in this situation – and in Dori’s – but we DO know that He has one! You and Bob are an inspiration to me, and so many others. I will be praying for both of your girls, with an expectation of seeing God’s miraculous hand at work!!

    With much love, Faye

  2. Cathee, I am in complete agreement with Faye. Your stories have given me encouragement and strength to carry on more times than I can count when I have felt all alone. I will be praying for you all and watching with much anticipation for God’s glorious outcome ! My love to ALL of you.

  3. You are like the date palm in the desert, signaling to all the weary travelers where the fresh living water is. Thanks for refreshing us. Praying for you and yours.

  4. Your faith and trust shine for me. You demonstrate the power we tap into as followers of Christ! Love you dearly.

  5. How refreshing God’s Word is and how timely the Father delivers to us just what we need. I will never stop marveling that He cares for us and all our finite problems. I heard a phrase long ago that I can’t forget…”it’s always safe to trust the Lord” and you and Bob are living that out. You know we’re with you and praying for both your girls, God’s perfect will. Sending love…

  6. Cathee (and of course, Bob)
    We also read Jesus calling almost everyday. The words in the little book are perfect for us. A gentle reminder for us not to be in control over the outcomes for our loved ones. I will pray for your Texas and believe for mercy.
    Thank you for your friendship…..missing you!

  7. Beautiful Cathee. You show us the light of the promise of redemption in the midst of darkness. We wobble sometimes, and your story, the testimony you live, shines that light to the world. Praying for you and Texas.

    • Sometimes you want to ask – is it worth all this for the story? Ha! But then you know it’s a tiny piece of HIS story. We get the chance to re-write history, to influence for his glory, and to become like Christ. It’s always worth it. Thank you for those prayers.

  8. Dearest Cathee,
    I am a puddle of emotions at my desk as I read this. It is not a surprise because we have already shared this news. But it feels like reopening a tear in my heart again. I cannot imagine how if feels to you and Bob! It’s not fair but life’s not fair. I have spoken those words to my kids many times!! It wasn’t fair that Jesus had to die for me and all my sin. But He did. I continue to remember each of you. Only God knows what you need and how you will continue to speak and write and share your message with so many. Through it all we will give Him praise and glory. Your story keeps me from giving up over things that are minor in comparison. Much love always and prayers for you and your precious daughters.

  9. Cathee, thanks for those words. I pictured every moment and movement as if I were there but I wasn’t. I would never be brave enough to keep moving forward. Dori is enough to give you concern and now this awkward timing for your precious who is living a new life – released from Satan’s grip for now. Texas is so brave. You are all so brave. I take an extra deep breath as if your words sucked it from the world in front of us. And then Jesus’ words, so beautifully spent, restoring that breath that was lost for a moment. I breathe for Dori. I breath for Texas. . . and for you and Bob . . . and the Weebles Wobble keep standing upright with every blow sent your way. You ARE a weebles wobble.

  10. Hello my girl,
    Usually I am right on the money with my comment, but was overjoyed this am to read all the responses because I waited a bit. Pays to hang in the weeds for awhile! All the Glory is to Him! What wonderful love-filled support surrounds you and your family. I especially enjoyed Gail’s comments about the breathing, so true! Remember our breath prayers? Yes, we suck in our breaths, hold it for a bit and then release to Him. Sweet release.
    The way I look at it, with all this “combat” in our lives, we will be ready to march when the time comes. No “wobblin'” for us! Yahoo!

    • I feel carried on the wings of love and prayers. Such a magnificent feeling. This is going to be quite an adventure. Love you all the numbers in the world.

  11. As always all prayers are with you and your family. I don’t always get to read all your Blogs, but today I had a prompting to do so. And of course your words were so perfect-so I sent a special note to my friend who is struggling with her health and the health of someone very close to her. So just a special and warm thanks for allowing me to borrow some of your beautiful words and scripture, and the ever so brilliant Weebles Wobble. You have been so blessed with your writing talent-which in turn blesses us!

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