Is Love Worth the Pain?

For the first year and a half, I called out her name.  Over and over again, I would startle myself awake once I had barely fallen asleep. My arm would shoot out from my body in a desperate attempt to stop her, to catch her, to convince her to stay—the shout of her name went […]

Waiting For the Thaw

The word appeared fully formed in my brain as I sought an adequate description for this sense of emotional paralysis. Winter. I rolled it around on my tongue, playing free-association word solitaire.  Winter is cold. Winter is dark. Winter might be beautiful, but it’s dangerous. Winter scenes offer hauntingly lonely images of stark black branches […]

Waiting Without

I am bad at waiting. There is no getting around it.  I wish I could tell you differently. I wish I had learned by now the grace of quietness, of stillness, of patience, but alas those marks of my growth in godliness come in fits and starts, sluggish to take deep root. They are the […]

My Ricocheting Heart

Today, the simple gray sock I hold in my hand becomes my new best friend. It must be magic; because here I am, just minding my own business, moving through this mundane laundry chore, when I come across this sock and feel it unlock a door deep within me. I am suddenly slingshotted back in […]

Waiting and Giving

My eldest daughter caught on to the concept of “Christmas as gift-giving” long before she caught on to the concept of “Christmas as a single day.” As a preschooler, she’d spend the weeks leading up to Christmas wrapping anything and everything she could find around the house in towels, pillowcases, tissues, etc., before giving them, […]

Especially the Bed

Last summer, my friend Heather and I were on a bike ride and met up with her friend, Todd. It was a beautiful day and we decided to sit and have a beer together on the outdoor patio of a restaurant. I had recently separated from my husband and during our conversation, Todd asked what […]

More

I’m in the city that never sleeps, and neither can I. Fifty-eight floors above are surely enough to free me from the fray below. But even way up here I can’t escape the truth that me and this metropolis are soulmates. Because in spite of every virtuous reason it shouldn’t, like this place my heart […]

Emmanuel and Showing Up

The first few days of Advent, I felt irrationally angry. I tried to call it irritable or easily annoyed, but when I sat down to dig through it all what I found was anger. Advent is an invitation to the waiting, and frankly, I would like to decline. No thanks. Can’t come. Wish I could […]

Muddy-Handed Hope

He’s seven now. But I often remember him as the two-year-old who looked into my catatonic eyes. I have a hard time forgetting what this little one must have felt when I went crazy. Because Grace is real and memory imperfect, his little mind has no recollection of when I had to enter the mental […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

The Key to Our Joy

My best friend growing up was Canadian-American, with a feisty, strong Scottish mother who peppered my childhood with various helpful witticisms, bromides, and proverbs. One such—“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.” And another—“Just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace.” I’ll leave the meaning of that one […]

When You’re Afraid of the Church

We were church shopping again. I tried to steady my breathing as we stepped into the building. I gripped my husband’s hand as we chose our seats. He asked me if we were going to fill out the connection card to which I shook my head. I showed up. That was brave enough for today.  […]