Grief

At the Table: A Place of Stability in a Multicultural Family

Stability. How do you create stability in a changing world? One way is to hold on to tradition and customs. Customs carry the thread of story into the next generation. Food carries story. Not only through its flavors, but with stories that are passed on along with it at the table. There are dishes prepared […]

Whatever Tomb You’re In

Listen to the audio recording of Tammy’s words here, or read the transcript below:   Based on the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11. John begins the story as the distant narrator, telling us that a certain man, Lazarus of Bethany, was ill. We, the readers, are then introduced to this man’s sister Mary, who is […]

Prayer in the Night Review

After the success of Tish Harrison Warren’s bestseller, Liturgy of the Ordinary, her new book, Prayer in the Night comes out January 26. Combination memoir, rich theological work, and cultural commentary, this book is truly remarkable. It is about the very real and common human struggle with theodicy (the problem of evil) and anxiety in […]

Hurting Yet Whole

Adaptation from Hurting Yet Whole: Reconciling Body and Spirit in Chronic Pain and Illness  by Liuan Huska Chapter 10, “A Community of Wounded Healers” We are not a few weeks post-Advent, but I am ready to repent and lament again. Call me melancholy, but Advent and Lent are my favorite seasons in the church calendar. […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]

Happy, Happy Christmas?

Listen to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Happy, Happy Christmas” here. “Happy, Happy Christmas” There’s something about this time of the year It’s always so dark out and you’re never here But I hear the whispers inside of the snow Live well and let go Happy, happy Christmas Love the ones who love you (too) They say time […]

Green

It’s 3 AM, and “Pachelbel’s Canon” is on loop in my head.  So much for a silent night. Is that too much to expect after a year of noise? Apparently. More music. More tossing and turning. More of the sheet escapes from its comfy home between mattress and box spring. Newly exposed feet embrace a […]

Melancholy and Hope

The air was crisp with a chill and I breathed in deep the smell of a new season as I wheeled the grocery cart to my car. Fall always smells a little like nostalgia and new beginnings woven together, doesn’t it? Melancholy and hope together in one breath. Being the hostess for holiday meals is […]

This Is How I Talk to God

This Is How I Talk to God Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NKJV Cru defines prayer as a way. . .  to communicate with God. That can mean thanking Him, praising Him, confessing something […]

Living in Memories

My husband no longer lives in the present with me. I don’t argue with him anymore as he prods me to remember the vivid details of a story he is telling. I engage with him and smile instead, building up our history even if it’s only in his head. In 2018, at the age of […]

All That Remains

The two of them stand in the shadows—shoulder to shoulder, side by side. I gaze at their backsides, for their faces are fixed on the black and white images moving on the screen before them. I sense sadness in their shadows. I am very young, for as I reflect on the date it is November […]

Loosening My Grip

The klaxon sound of the motion detector alarm rouses me unceremoniously. My adrenaline is immediately pumping. I narrowly miss stepping on the dog in her little bed as I rush to get to mom’s bedroom. I need to reach her before she takes too many steps on her own. One night I didn’t make it […]

America Looted The Black Body: (RIP George Floyd)

America . . .  Since our society’s conception You have looted the Black body. Take, rape, stripped us bare to our core, while you feast, prosper, stay safe, and ignore. All the blood you’ve shed, lives left dead, children unfed so that you live free in this claim of inheritance for liberty and justice for […]

The Good Catastrophe

  And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away. And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting […]

Lessons Learned from Living in Limbo

The heaviness that settled over my chest that morning was as dense as my husband’s weighted blanket tangled around my feet. I kicked off the covers but the anxiety wouldn’t lift. It was one week into the Coronavirus crisis that had settled over our country like a dense fog. It started on a normal Thursday […]

She is Valor

Tell me your brush with greatness. How often have we danced around this one—in ice-breakers, job interviews, admissions essays? Predictability aside, it’s an intriguing litmus test. This was the first speech I assigned students in my Public Speaking & Discussion course. Because, really, who doesn’t want to stand in front of a college classroom of […]