Family

I thought I’d do a new friend a favor and not make friends at all

I realized Joy went to church with me on Pentecost Sunday. I sat with my parents at the special outdoor service, held in the local high school stadium. In the bleachers before the service, I shaded my eyes with my hand to see the stage. There was a girl up there. A girl my age. […]

To Be Married

For someone who has been telling the internet all the things about all the things for the last few years there is one thing that doesn’t get a lot of press: my marriage. It isn’t that I haven’t tried. Like I write my girls a letter every year on their birthdays, I have wished to, […]

Community: Slamming Doors and Kitchen Messes

I was 19 and had nowhere to go. I had been couch surfing for nearly a year and was running out of options. A friend and I had talked about going out to Chicago to check out a Christian community known for its ministry to lost hippies and punks and the homeless, as well as […]

The Night Jesus Played a Bass and Rocked an Afro

She bought my ticket months ago when she saw the hair standing high, like a full sunrise shining and the name Esperanza in the same line of Ode Joy. I had said yes to the invitation but had totally forgotten about the plans we had made. You see, my Big Sis Doreen is a planner […]

I’m Not Going to Preach About Josh Duggar

I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the […]

The Parable of the Exploding Ketchup

We pulled out of the zoo and immediately they started asking for more. “Can we go out for Ice cream?!”  “Can we go out for dinner?!”   “Oh please Mom! Oh please!” We’d just spent hours traipsing around the zoo, petting the wallabies, climbing the wooden train and tracking down the tigers. We weren’t there for […]

What I Learned From an Everyday Wednesday

  Emily Freeman taught me to listen to my Tuesdays. Mine showed up a day late. It was an everyday Wednesday. I stood, feet askew, stirring the carnitas in my red dutch oven for our friends coming over for lunch that day, like they do every week. There was a pause as my husband passed by, […]

Let Them Live

My husband is from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. He’s at home in the outdoors. He’s a skier and a hiker and a rock climber. He loves the idea of overnights in the wilderness, navigating with a compass and the stars. My preferred form of adventure is trying a new grocery store, but I’ve […]

The Places We Are Pierced

“Wondering what it means to follow a God who points to his scars as a sign of resurrection.” – Antonia Terrazzas It is the Thomas part that they always harped on in Sunday school. Thomas, the guy who was doubting, the guy who didn’t believe. It was not the Jesus part, and it certainly wasn’t […]

Planting Ourselves in This Dirt

I spent the first eighteen months looking for signposts that life sprouts here in our new state. After a historically snowy winter last year in Michigan, I stalked trees for buds. I gently nudged snow from the neighbor’s crocuses with the toe of my boot, my soul hungry for a flowering something, anything that signified […]

Dead Stone Come to Life

When I think of resurrection, I think of a stone on my kitchen counter. I picked it up at the beach last year. It’s smooth and gray, like most of the rocks on the beach, with one difference: The holes. One hole pierces its middle. Two opened seashells lodge in another empty space like baby […]

Surviving Racial Disasters

It Happened. Again. Sneaker waves of racist lashes and systematic suicides keep hitting our neighborhoods, news feeds and nerve systems. Past reports about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Ezell Ford have now been replaced with fresh videos of Walter Scott, Philip White, Eric Harris and Freddie Gray. I have screamed, cried, cussed and […]