The Missing Pieces

The owners of the vacation home we’d rented clearly liked puzzles. On our first day there, I pulled a used one down from a shelf and started it. On the last night of our stay, a few of us worked late trying to finish it. But we couldn’t. Three pieces were missing, and though my […]

Simon Says . . . Obey Your Parents

Simon says . . . put your hands up in the air. Simon says . . . hop up and down. Now spin in a circle. Wait! I didn’t say Simon Says! It’s a classic childhood game. Kids invent things to do and compete to see who follows the instructions best. But the players get […]

Just Like Riding a Bike

Four years ago a teen-aged boy pointed a gun at me while demanding I give him my money. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Oakland, California. I was standing at the flagpole in front of the elementary school where I’d recently been assigned to teach. My husband Chris and I had ridden our bikes […]

Are You Willing to Listen to the Darkness?

I used to have a kind of waking nightmare. It started in college. I’d be alone in the dorm bathroom, my toiletry caddy in hand, going down the aisle of shower stalls, their white plastic curtains like ghosts’ hems, all in a row. All of a sudden, the dread of what lay behind those curtains […]

The Disquiet that Calls You Back to the Fire

My grandmother told me she could see their fires at night, dotting the dark rise of the forested bluff as her family’s wagon passed along the dirt road after the summer church revival. She told me you could hear their music, too, the strings weaving their way down the wooded hill. Music like joy, but different from […]

Wakefulness and Werewolves

My husband made me cry on our honeymoon. We rented a house that was set back from the road and surrounded by trees. The second night we kept hearing noises on the roof. Since we are people who consider the next block over from the ghetto the country, we were a little spooked. We were […]

Hope and Healing for the Sexually Broken

A heads up: this post is about pornography, lust, masturbation, and sexual orientation, but more importantly it’s about a woman calling out to God in her desperate need and God answering her with Himself. Before you read it, please remember something that normally goes without saying: people have the right to share their lived experiences, […]

Roller Coasters, Hope and Making Choices

My kids appreciate a good roller coaster. So much so, our summer vacations have transformed into season passes to our nearby amusement park. You can find us in line almost every weekend with our bottomless Sprite and bucket of popcorn, ready for whatever is coming next. My girls are in love with the thrill of […]

Painting is My Sanity

Up until yesterday afternoon, I hadn’t painted anything since June. Three months; no painting. Perhaps that doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but when paint is your Savior, blood, and breath, being without it is like slowly losing oxygen.  When you go without what sustains you for an extended period of time you shrink […]