Suffering

Osso Buco

I woke up from surgery, my throat sore from the ventilator, and I immediately reached to touch my face. I smiled. I gritted my teeth. I rubbed my nose. Gloriously I felt nothing. Not the familiar electric shocks or burning sensations that ultimately led me to let someone cut a hole in my head and […]

To Grieve and Grow

“I’m gonna need you to sing a little louder,” Paul said with a flirtatious grin. “Or I’ll have to move you closer so I can hear you.” He grabbed the sides of my chair and gently pulled me forward until my body filled the space between his long, bony legs. He softly picked the tune […]

Opening to a New Way to Bloom

Early in the healing process of a severe manic episode related to my bipolar disorder, I felt the nudge and a voice I believed to be God’s. I heard, “I want you to share your story. This story you are living now.” The only emotion I felt was terror. I quaked in my sneakers as […]

The Unlived Life

You go there. I do too, sometimes. Here’s mine: I’m in a packed-out bar sitting at a table, elbow-to-elbow, with my closest friends. The burly man on stage does tap-“check-check” as he tiptoes around some electric guitars, an upright piano, maybe even a few drums, and then slips into the spotlight. “C’mon down!” he proclaims […]

Grace in the Middle

Editor’s Note: Don’t miss the audio addition of Nicole’s piece below – where she narrates her  journey into liminal spaces and delves deeper into finding grace there . . . in the middle. (The Mudroom Podcast, Episode 5) I was falling behind, dragging them down. I glimpsed it on their little faces—the fear gathering in […]

Space for Transformation

The world is such an odd place these days. But as I write, I realize I have always thought it to be. However there was rhythm and routine to my days. A certain flow and consistency to my life. Just a few short years ago, there was measure of assurance or at least perceived assurance. […]

Sacred Thresholds

Liminal space, where the kingdom of God somehow reaches us, calls out and touches us where we are. These thin places of sacred longing and knowing happen often in prayer, but we may also simply stumble upon them. This needn’t be on a windswept beach in the grey light of nearly dawn, they can hit […]

Leaf Maker

Leaf  Abscission (noun)* the act of cutting off; sudden termination. Botany. the normal separation of flowers, fruit, and leaves from plants. Leaves change color in a glorious display for only a short time, only to fall to the ground, dead. Trees lose their magnificent crown, drop their jewels, shed their shimmering coats, just before the onslaught […]

Simplicity and Justice

I remember Tom and Jerry, Leave it to Beaver, and Sunday paper with comics mom cut out and taped on the refrigerator door. I remember Laurel & Hardy, The Rifleman, and watching boxing or NFL with Dad in between Sunday services when I was supposed to be napping on the bed or on the floor. […]

Sleepless in Spring

I took a walk today and I looked up at the bright blue spring sky popping against bright green leaves on old oak trees and I cried because today my fourth child is eighteen months old, and WE ARE STILL HERE. Pandemic, homeschooling, batshit crazy world but here we are.  Almost two and a half […]

Enduring Patience

Patience. We wait. We wait for deliverance. We wait for the moment we are saved from trials.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:3-4 KJV   My father waited patiently for that moment of deliverance. He lay face down […]

These Three Lines

Creepy Lines His classmates trickle into school, trapped Brady-Bunch style in their respective squares. Each boasts a customized backdrop: outer space, Minecraft, background blur, a zoo . . . and Mom-zilla fixing to eat her offspring for breakfast. “Your mom must be thrilled with your background!” my son’s teacher types in the chat. I read […]

Tree Hugger

I am a literal tree hugger, and my husband can vouch for it. I’ve embarrassed him often by curling my arms and cheek around a gnarly old trunk. My favorite trees are the sprawling, ancient live oaks that grow where I grew up. We planted one in our backyard a few summers ago, a tiny […]

Hope Feed

  I saw a picture on social media the other day, and it read, “Are we sure 2020 is gone?” I chuckled, like most, with a sense of sobriety  especially after the events at the Capitol,  so we’re all asking, “What is going on?”   We used to go on social media to get a […]

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 […]