Waiting to Heal

We buy a hammock and string it between two trees in our backyard, our third hammock in five years. My children destroyed the other two playing a game they call “Roller Coaster,” where they wrap someone up in the hammock like a cocoon and try to spin them so fast they won’t fall out. Sometimes, […]

Of Bread and Hope

This is a story about yeast. Schools have been closed for three weeks when we enter into Holy Week. Playgrounds are shuttered; church has gone virtual. A friend of ours has moved away to be closer to family during the pandemic, and my eight-year-old daughter is absolutely indignant. “Allison’s leaving?!?” my daughter expostulates—reminding me, as […]

Connection, Community, and COVID-19

A time you may embrace, A time to refrain from embracing. ~Ecclesiastes 3:5 I wake every morning and check the map. I look at numbers, statistics, the exponential curve. Often, numbers make me feel safe, a stolid retreat for the emotions swirling through my brain and my body. But these numbers do not feel safe. […]

A Baby Bird and a Woman of Valor

“Who can find a woman of valor? For her worth is far above rubies.” ~ Proverbs 31:10 At my eldest daughter’s fifth grade graduation, the teacher presiding over the ceremonies gave each child a word as they crossed the stage to receive their elementary school diploma. My feelings on elementary school graduations aside, I was […]

On Being a Sanctuary

sanc·tu·ar·y /ˈsaNGk(t)SHəˌwerē/ noun a place of refuge or safety. The other day I was in my room doing something exciting like sorting laundry, when I heard my five-year-old’s footsteps coming up the staircase. At the top of the stairs I heard him stop, and then, after a few minutes, start running full-speed until he appeared […]

Waiting and Giving

My eldest daughter caught on to the concept of “Christmas as gift-giving” long before she caught on to the concept of “Christmas as a single day.” As a preschooler, she’d spend the weeks leading up to Christmas wrapping anything and everything she could find around the house in towels, pillowcases, tissues, etc., before giving them, […]

On Sabbath Joys and Small Leaks

 Beware of little expenses. Small leaks will sink great ships. Like too many people I know, the concept of “Sabbath” is difficult for me. Perhaps I’ve sold out to the belief that my inherent worth is directly related to what I can achieve…or perhaps I’m just a mom with five kids, and some special needs […]

Despair and Fuzzy Blankets

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of hearing Miroslav Volf speak at our Diocesan Lent Day. One of the topics he touched on was despair. Drawing on the work of Alain Ehrenberg, Volf suggested that despair flourishes where “Everything is possible, and nothing is prohibited.” In other words, our modern life. Volf also spoke […]

Common Prayer and Common Life

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. We are a liturgical family. I am drawn to the liturgical church for many of the same reasons I […]

BronyCon and Belonging

I’ve never been one for personality tests. When I was first introduced to the Myers-Briggs in college, I found the test ridiculously limiting. Either/or choices have never been my friend: Would you prefer nitrogen or oxygen in your air? Pick one. My feelings haven’t changed much since then, even with the surge in popularity of […]

The Ten-Year Challenge

Not too long ago, my (admittedly limited) social media feed blew up with something called “The Ten-Year Challenge.” I scrolled through predictable pictures of glossy people apparently untouched by time, alongside regular folks like me who have (shockingly!) aged ten years in the space of a decade. I pulled up a random picture of myself […]

A Prayer for My Children’s Teachers at the End of the School Year

Dear God, Hi. It’s me again. First off, thank you for making the hot water heater start working this morning when I kicked it really hard. I promise I will call and schedule a repairperson to come and look at it tomorrow. For real this time. It’s just that I’ve been a little busy, Lord, […]