Family

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

  Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These […]

Resisting Silence

Gravel crunches under my tires as my car crawls along the narrow lane. I scan the names on each of the cabins, searching for the one assigned to me. I finally spot it, with its grey weathered wood, nestled in the shadows of dense trees. A flutter of excitement knocks on my chest and a […]

A Dark Postpartum Night

  It’s the nights I dread most. An hour after midnight, my husband–who’s been with baby in the nursery since 10 p.m.– opens the door, enters our bedroom, and gently shakes my foot to wake me up. But I’m already awake. I’m always awake. The baby is crying as if he hadn’t just eaten a […]

Digging Deep For the Promises

On the way home from church today we found trees blown down across the road. Huge branches blocking our path, dangerous obstacles getting in our way, preventing us from continuing our journey. One kid is ill and the wind howls outside. And all the leaves that had hung on until now, swirl in the air. […]

Treading Water: A Story of Domestic Violence

When you see me, you don’t know my secret. I hide it well. I share a story from shadows. My words must be spoken in whispers, in quiet places. For now.  He threw something at my head. It hit the target. Once he broke a chair and then threatened me. There was the time he […]

A Mutt, a Boxing Ring, and a Fight for Forgiveness

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb…. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in […]

Dear Portia: The Spiraling Journey of Forgiveness

How Do We Know When We’re Done Forgiving? Dear Portia, What does forgiveness look like when you work through the process and do your best, but either the offender never acknowledges their sin or they continue to offend? Not asking about boundaries, that’s pretty clear to me, but how do we know when we’re done? […]

Why My Family Reads Books with Working Class Characters

I’m driving down Lexington to drop off my daughter at her morning park and recreation camp. We pass over the railroad, and for the first time she notices the mobile homes to the right. It’s a “trailer court,” I tell her, and then I search for its synonyms: “trailer park…mobile home park.” “What’s it like […]

The Second Journey: A Call at Midlife

“I have been seized by the power of a great affection.” ~Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-up, and Burnt Out   Midlife crisis. It’s like a version of adolescence, only older. As my 50th birthday quickly approaches, I can attest to the unpredictable hormone changes, body shifts and mooood swwiiinnggs. […]

A Place to Land

I wrote this poem for Kate Motaung’s book release, A Place to Land. Kate’s journey to find home was a story I could relate to as a mujer navigating my own sense of home and place. I was overjoyed with she asked me to write a poem to read at the Festival of Faith and Writing, […]

Love in Shades of Multifaceted Men

From the passenger seat, I watched you turn your head in the inky black of the night and smiled to myself about how your face still shined through the darkness. You looked like a gem and you are one, with your many aspects and your beauty. I wished that everyone saw you the way I […]

Subversive Celebrations

The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At […]