Suffering

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 […]

Listening to my Mother is an Act of Learning to Love Myself

  Listening to My Mother is an Act of Learning to Love Myself   When I learned I was pregnant, I was scared because I was the shape of the moon and I didn’t think that my body carried enough light to make the night sky shine.   Whittling a daugther from your flesh feels […]

Bringing Down the Wonder

I’m not known for my patience, and sadly it seems this trait has been passed on to my daughter. But we wait differently. I wait for good things to happen, but don’t expect much. Phoenix waits for good things to happen with unfiltered excitement, joy, and expectation. She literally jumps up and down ecstatically. She […]

He Speaks His Goodness Over Us

All of my children were born overdue. I don’t know if my womb was especially comfortable, or they just didn’t want to be born, but all four of them didn’t come out for weeks until after their due date. I stopped answering the phone during those times. “Yes, yes, I’m still enormous. Thank you for […]

Wij Zijn Hier/We Are Here

We are here and you’d like to forget it, have us more hidden then our black faces and tired, old eyes. Isn’t it enough to leave my own country as a teenager? Isn’t it enough to run on bare feet from my home that is at war with itself? Isn’t it enough to be homeless […]

Approaching Mystery: Solve, Label or Wow

Solve When I was nine, I wanted to be a detective. With my official children’s guide, I researched invisible ink, tracks and Clues. I was confident that as soon as I actually encountered a mystery I would solve it. As a nine-year-old, I was deeply disappointed that there weren’t children being kidnapped so I could […]

The Complexity of Desire

Desire is sometimes a complicated thing. Author Jen Pollock Michel writes in Teach Us to Want, “How can we ever decide that our desires are anything other than the sin-sick expression of our inner corruption? Can we trust our desires if we ourselves can be so untrustworthy?” Indeed.  There have been seasons in my life […]

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 […]

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Wishing Pokemon Were Real: A Story of Autism

There’s no band aid for this, no kissing it away, no telling her it will feel better tomorrow. Because it may not. Tomorrow feels very far away when she is shrieking in frustration, when she is nearly inconsolable. I can’t comfort my baby girl. No matter how many truths I tell her, no matter the amount […]

Healing from Depression

When the moon rolls out of the sky And you are strangled with darkness.   When the trees have lost their leaves And stand in surrender to winter.   When every word is a suicide note And your face is dry from crying.   This is when hope arrives Like a hurricane of joy   […]