Piercing the Silence

The stillness of winter settles into the land. Snow covers the fields. Birds begin to migrate south. Some days, the hush of the prairie wind is silenced completely. While other days, the wind blows continually and one can barely hear oneself think. Yet there is a solitude that comes with the dawning of these winter […]

Coloring In Christmas With My Favorite Things

  Raindrops on rooftops and polka dot mittens Bright lights that flicker and Big Momma’s kitchen Brown chorus angels whose robes look like wings These are a few of my favorite things. Buttermilk cornbread and crisp chicken drumsticks Hotels with stairwells and greens that are handpicked Wildflowers that spread in dry deserts I’ve seen These […]

Resisting Silence

Gravel crunches under my tires as my car crawls along the narrow lane. I scan the names on each of the cabins, searching for the one assigned to me. I finally spot it, with its grey weathered wood, nestled in the shadows of dense trees. A flutter of excitement knocks on my chest and a […]

The Gift and Curse of Silence

Time pushed on and life bulldozed through my plans with all of its cruelty and loss and horrors, I allowed myself the space to think and grieve. Those ‘quiet times’ shifted into crying times. And the tears poured and poured and poured.

When Anger Claws at Your Ribcage

“You’re miserable”, he said, choking back tears.  I looked at him with a confused expression as I processed the words that he spoke.   “No, I’m not!  The only person who’s miserable is you!” and then I stomped off reluctantly into my grandmother’s house for a family birthday gathering, the last place I wanted to […]

A Dark Postpartum Night

  It’s the nights I dread most. An hour after midnight, my husband–who’s been with baby in the nursery since 10 p.m.– opens the door, enters our bedroom, and gently shakes my foot to wake me up. But I’m already awake. I’m always awake. The baby is crying as if he hadn’t just eaten a […]

Digging Deep For the Promises

On the way home from church today we found trees blown down across the road. Huge branches blocking our path, dangerous obstacles getting in our way, preventing us from continuing our journey. One kid is ill and the wind howls outside. And all the leaves that had hung on until now, swirl in the air. […]

The Fear and Beauty of Solitude

It was a cool October day and I was sitting on my favorite bench in my favorite garden in Pittsburgh—a little slice of green tucked in the side of the corner lot under a series of stained-glass windows lining the east wall of the synagogue.  Beyond the walls, the busy intersection loomed; but inside I […]

Solitude and Silence in a Noisy World

I saw my chance. Could I do it? Could I get away with two minutes by myself? My two toddlers were glued to the TV screen watching Sesame Street. Maybe I could actually go to the bathroom alone. Perhaps I could have a moment of solitude. But thirty seconds after I closed the bathroom door […]

When the Morningstar Hovers

I am alone And its ok. For 30 years I had four breathing beings tugging at me, (*five if you count my husband **six if you count my mother who lived with us for ten years) at my sleeve, at my knee, at times at my throat). ((at my throat because three of the beings […]

In Silence-My Advent Prayer

I am grateful, even at my most distracted.  Petulant, distant, or disagreeable, God is faithful. In these times (when I am a mess), I am reminded of God’s goodness, and the ways God works.    In silence.   As a way of centering me, as a way of recapturing my attention, God has recently been answering prayers […]

Las Posadas: Enacting the Paradox of Advent

Advent is a time of waiting, a longing for Messiah in a special way, looking back to the first coming of Jesus as a baby and forward to the second coming of Christ as King. Seasonal Scripture readings link both “advents,” making Advent a season of paradox. Christians celebrate an already-but-not-yet faith: Christ has come, […]