Faith

A Hand upon the Forehead

  In Filipino culture, Mano Po is a sign of respect shown to our elders. When greeting a grandparent, the younger takes the hand of the elder and gently taps the back of the hand on the forehead. Mano means hand in Tagalog. Po is a term of respect. Respect. Obedience. Two terms that do […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Where Truth Lies

You’ve seen it. In rush-hour traffic or the drop-off lane. Bumper Sticker Theology: Big letters. Bright backgrounds. Bold and brief statements . . . About eternity. A precursor to the Socials’ holy eye candy, Christian bumper stickers pack the one-two punch of VISIBILITY and IRRITABILITY for captive audiences. Like their political counterparts, critics have responded […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Broken Body

The Deacon walked from group to group administering the sacraments. Each family stood masked, in front of their camp chairs, in an empty parking lot. Our church had pivoted during the pandemic, which allowed my husband and I to feel safe bringing our asthmatic 18-month old to worship. But while our church’s new protocols kept […]

Love Justice

I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.   It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.   Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window.   There is no glass pane on the […]