I am the Proud Mother of 49

Each morning I was greeted with lots of hugs. Little arms wrapped themselves around my waist and squeezed tight. Swarms of them came at once, their sweet voices proclaiming, “Good morning, Auntie!” One morning, as Mwikali moved in for her embrace, she peered up at me from under the folds of my t-shirt. Her big […]

The Intertwined Kingdoms of Heaven and Hell

Yesterday, my foster daughter pointed at a woman in a magazine and said, “Is this you?” Earlier that day she approvingly told me I was skinny. She didn’t know I had been dieting. My heart melted. But her warmth turned real cold, real quick. “Why are you touching me?” she asked as I tried rubbing […]

If not me, then who?

I cradle her on my chest, her little hand resting on my neck. She’s so little for her age but she fits perfectly against me. I know my days with her are numbered as we have been told she will be going to live with her father— father she has never known and who has […]

Foster Care: More Than I Can Handle

Broken bones and bruising on a child who can barely pull himself up is more than I can handle. A one-month-old baby with a history of sexual abuse is more than I can handle. Foster care is more than I can handle. A few weeks ago I was sharing about the trials of our foster […]

Can You Say “I’m Sorry” in the Church Parking Lot?

We were walking in to church: my brood of children and I. I’d actually managed the impossible trifecta: hair done, makeup done, dressed appropriately (usually only one or two gets checked off the list daily). My three younger children were already hanging by their fingernails off of the plastic slide, but my eldest walked away […]

Learning to Dwell in a World of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

“Dwell.” The word hit my ears in a wooden classroom nestled amongst a wooded college campus and mansions of the uber-rich. Then, it seemed, I had all the time in the world to dwell. The words from novels and poetry uncurled, sinking directly into my poet’s heart. Words were the quickest way to dwell in […]

When Other People Think Your Kids Are Apples

Today my kids got these . . . I don’t know . . . lip spreaders at church. You know the ones I mean? The plastic thingies that pull your lips away from your gums and make you talk funny like you’re at the dentist? As we walked out of church, my kids start chanting […]

Safety Net

When it came to Jonathan’s education life was a balancing act on a high wire with no safety net beneath or if there was one, it had holes in it. Yesterday as I read a Haiku written by my son I was swept away in a torrent of memories and emotions. ENDURANCE I am a […]

Masturbation: Difficult Conversations that We Need to Have with Our Children

  The first week of seventh grade, our second son came home with a novel written by an unfamiliar author. Ever curious, I sat down to read it after he went to bed. About half way through, the narrator, an adolescent boy, began the chapter with this thought, “If God did not want boys to […]