Freedom

Solidifying Joy

I lay awake last night, somehow exhausted and frustrated after a day of fellowship, rest, and play. I’ve been learning to intentionally take sabbath once a week, and it’s rough, inconsistent, and amazing all at the same time.  But yesterday, while the day was filled with activities that normally refresh my spirit, the gift of […]

Confirm Humanity

The sweetness of sugarcane stalks above, numbs me to their anguish below. Unlike my Father, I am slow to hear them, and quick to snap a selfie.   Beneath the canopy of ancient oaks. Blanketed in crimson-pink azalea beds. Shadowed by the Big House with her cascading cream columns . . . Are the voices […]

This Freedom is Not a Forever-Promise

Last January, I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosus, a dermatological auto-immune condition. In women, LS affects what I took to calling my lady parts. I hoped that term communicated a kind of breezy comfort with my own anatomy, an aspirational cheer about the reality of being a woman who could not wear pants without anxiety. […]

First comes Freedom, then Surrender, then Joy.

I have been granted the freedom to seek out new paths. I will not listen to the ugly whispering voice in all our heads that lies to our dreams. Bravely, I declare that voice has no power over me.

Fear Knot

I roll along in silence between the sterile, white walls. Hospitals are like that—a bizarre blend of fear, hope, and rubbing alcohol. My brain spins in circles like the wheels on the chair beneath me. I ruminate on the blood, the pain, and the uncertainty of a happy ending. The knot cinches up tight in […]

A Juicy, Fruitful Life

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 protect yourself from feeling inadequate and […]

The Fight for Authenticity

“We’re going to be thinking about vulnerability on Sunday,” my small group leader said, and something deep inside me groaned. “And we might as well start now,” he continued.  “Let’s go round and share a highlight from the week and something for prayer.” Something deep inside me wanted to get up and walk right out […]

How Truth-Telling Overcomes Shame

In my mid-twenties, a fabulously handsome and wealthy man pursued me. He picked me up in his Jaguar, took me to expensive restaurants, and always called the next day to express how much he enjoyed our time together. While I appreciated the attention and affirmation, I felt somewhat ambivalent because I knew I was working overtime […]

Waiting in the Graveyard

In the first half of 2017, I was restless. I’d left my job as a teacher the previous year to write full time and though I’d written countless words, nothing seemed to be going anywhere. My blog was still a regular thing, but the book I thought I had in me wasn’t taking shape. There […]

Why Bad Self-Care Is a Kind of Sin

“This author really pissed me off,” I told my husband the other day. I brandished a book called Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, by Andrew Santella. My anger surprised my husband. He enjoys a heated debate while I tend to shy away from black-and-white argument. But this book? I ranted about it for fifteen […]

The Rightness of Clothes

You know that thing where you show up for a fashion show in such amazing clothes that the photographers there assume you’re Someone Famous and photograph you? But actually you’re a sixty-something Fordham social work professor and just have really fabulous taste? And because of that photo shoot, you become a fashion icon, model, and […]