Christmas Unabridged

A light glares in my eyes as I’m lowered into position. Handheld torture devices encircle my head. I am at the mercy of my interrogator. There is no mincing of words in THE CHAIR. There is only cutting to the quick:  “How was your Thanksgiving?” she leans in. The dreaded loaded question. (You know.) How […]

The Lens of Wisdom

I found out I was pregnant on a scorching July morning, one month before my senior year of high school. Swim team would begin practicing soon. I had a college tour scheduled later that week, senior pictures the following week, and I’d already chosen the ten classics required for my honors English class. Pregnancy was […]

Wisdom in Teaching About Diversity: Beware New Interpretations of Babel

To bend an Old Testament story to celebrate diversity is like letting go of a child’s top in a curio cabinet of china. What we lose as believers will be much more than we gain. 

One Game. One Throne.

Thoughts on Misplacing Life’s Instruction Manual.     Yesterday I organized a closet that needed cleaning years ago. A cluttered cabinet was repurposed to stack boxes of games hoarded over the decades when I raised four children in a now empty nest. It’s difficult to let go of these treasures: Scattergories, Stratego, Don’t Wake Up […]

Leaf Maker

Leaf  Abscission (noun)* the act of cutting off; sudden termination. Botany. the normal separation of flowers, fruit, and leaves from plants. Leaves change color in a glorious display for only a short time, only to fall to the ground, dead. Trees lose their magnificent crown, drop their jewels, shed their shimmering coats, just before the onslaught […]

Whispers from the Side Door

She scuffs over sidewalks toward heavy high school doors, (always locked) with dauntless steps that prick my heart. One thing I know: Her feet will forever fall on roads in want of wear.1 Frost – he got to choose. But not my girl. Neurons woven together in secret places— before she drew breath— birthed a […]

A Juicy, Fruitful Life

Originally published on July 4, 2019. Recently, I came across this quote from Brene Brown: “I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:  I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing—these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to […]

Cloud by Day (Fire by Night) 

Walter Breugeman talks a lot about the pharaoh the Israelites left behind. He says pharaoh is a stand-in for all the empires that have ever been: Egypt. Rome. Western capitalism.    I remember being shocked in college when I first heard somebody question capitalism. You can question that? I thought. Boy, can you!  As an economy, […]

The Forsaken Remains

Heartbeats are hard to hold in the palm of my hand when they are new and slippery and never stay in one place. But here they are, just out of their plastic wrap, not a fingerprint mark on their surface, brought to life by the warmth of blood beneath my skin. Such innocence. Such amazement. […]

The Girl Who Was Born Dead

“We’ll have to put you to sleep.” I remember the mask going over my face, and then nothing. Darkness. I heard the words “fetal distress” and “slowed heartbeat”. No time to wait, they said. No time to wait. * It was Christmas Eve. An epidural wasn’t going to be enough. I already had two epidurals, […]

A Mother’s Courage

She never knew a man, yet life began inside her. In the secret place where mysteries are woven together as a tapestry from threads of variegated color the spirit of Jehovah intermingled with her flesh. Her name, Mary, means beloved. The beloved one she carried within her womb would reveal great mysteries to the nations, […]

Having Courage to Hold On

Can you love someone who has betrayed you? In a mix of Norwegian fairytales (influenced by the Greek Cupid and Psyche and European Beauty and the Beast), author Joanna Meyer weaves a tale that feels familiar and foreign in her book Echo North. A young woman named Echo agrees to live in a house with […]

Valor’s Unsettling Saints

Previously posted in March of 2020. What kind of women are women of valor? I think they are women who are courageous enough to use their God-given gifts, others-oriented, and are willing to buck the status quo to follow Jesus and bring forth goodness and justice.   Right off of the bat, I think of St. […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

Courage for Living Connected

Editor’s note: Author Afton Rorvik’s words here are an adaptation from her new book (released today), Living Connected: An Introvert’s Guide to Friendship. Her call to the courageous, connected life comes just in time—and for such a time—as THIS. *** My friend Sharla recently had a significant birthday. Her sister noticed from Facebook that I […]

Stepping Into the Beautiful Mess

Perched on the balcony, like the Black and White Doel¹ that serenaded me from the windowsill in the spring, I watched over my little corner of the world. In the most densely populated city on earth, that one little intersection of Road Six and Safwan Road felt like a microcosm of humanity itself.  I would […]