Faith

Finding Light in Dark Places

About two weeks ago it happened, again: I found myself crumpled on the floor sobbing with everything in me. A bottle of Z-Quil sat on my desk, standing tall and mocking me in every way. I knew in my heart of hearts that it wouldn’t do any good, knew that it wasn’t what I really […]

I Had a Secret and Now You Know

Our home was too small for the six of us. My brother had his own closet-size bedroom, but we three girls were crunched into one bedroom. There were three twin-size Sealy Posturepedic mattresses on box-springs, a couple of old walnut bureaus, and enough room to hop in and out of bed. A matching desk was […]

The Healing of Rest

A haunting memory I had ignored for so long resurfaced unexpectedly on my family vacation this summer. It must have been triggered by reading a book right before our trip that included the description of a fundamentalist cults’ spanking practices. I ignored the inner rumbling and instead devoted myself to the herculean effort that was […]

When You Think You’re Too Good for Hope

I used to think of hope as wishes, as little bubbles that floated away from you and popped on the way up to some genie in the sky. Hope seemed ephemeral, insubstantial, the sort of thing you rely on when you’re at your wit’s end. And I made it a point to never be at […]

Slow Grace

I think it was the lack of oxygen that jolted me awake, but it might have been the sweating or the too-fast heartbeat. 0 to 60 in one second flat, my heart and lungs and brain were running a marathon at a dead sprint while the rest of my body laid in bed, trying to […]

The Untangling

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~ Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) […]

Mom, I’m Pregnant

On my way to a doctor’s appointment this morning, I grabbed Starbucks and then delivered a frappuccino to my daughter. As soon as my hands were empty, I picked up my grandson and smothered him with snuggles. We smiled at each other and laughed. I talked gibberish to him and I am pretty sure he […]

The Day I Went to a Faith Healer

  I was fifteen, and I remember that the auditorium was huge, and we were up in the balcony. From that height the speaker looked tiny, but his voice was huge and blaring, and each word was shouted. Already there was something in my spirit that didn’t feel right, but when I looked at the […]

Soup For the Skinny Girls (With a Recipe for Vegetable Soup)

FOOD IS NOT MY LOVE LANGUAGE, I said. To the computer screen. With maybe a little more feeling than I had intended. A writer friend had just invited me to participate in a writers’ group cookbook project, and of course I wanted to contribute. I love online community, and I love my hard-earned kitchen skills. […]

When We All Just Want to Be Known

Fifty of us invaded their driveway on Tuesday night. Card tables and ice chests and camping chairs decorated the pavement, along with stacks of paper plates and plastic silverware and Red Solo cups. The grill sizzled, red and gray coals in wait for chicken apple sausages and hot dogs from the local butcher. We scrawled […]

Healing Where We Are

  We want life to have meaning, we want fulfillment, healing and even ecstasy, but the human paradox is that we find these things by starting where we are, not where we wish we were. We must look for blessings to come from unlikely, everyday places—out of Galilee, as it were—and not in spectacular events, […]

Porous Hearts and Broken Bits

I don’t remember a lot about that first night they all poured into our third floor walkup other than the fact I was scared. New city. New church. New group of strangers coming to my house. We gathered in my house, but I didn’t lead; I was allowed just to learn. Learn and cook. What […]