Community: Slamming Doors and Kitchen Messes

I was 19 and had nowhere to go. I had been couch surfing for nearly a year and was running out of options. A friend and I had talked about going out to Chicago to check out a Christian community known for its ministry to lost hippies and punks and the homeless, as well as […]

The Night Jesus Played a Bass and Rocked an Afro

She bought my ticket months ago when she saw the hair standing high, like a full sunrise shining and the name Esperanza in the same line of Ode Joy. I had said yes to the invitation but had totally forgotten about the plans we had made. You see, my Big Sis Doreen is a planner […]

I’m Not Going to Preach About Josh Duggar

I am not going to preach today about Josh Duggar and the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. We’re all too addicted to these stories, of how the famous rise and fall. We have too much invested, in their fame in the first place, and then the […]

The Parable of the Exploding Ketchup

We pulled out of the zoo and immediately they started asking for more. “Can we go out for Ice cream?!”  “Can we go out for dinner?!”   “Oh please Mom! Oh please!” We’d just spent hours traipsing around the zoo, petting the wallabies, climbing the wooden train and tracking down the tigers. We weren’t there for […]

When You Feel Like You’re Losing Your Faith

It starts with an itch, the slightest feeling of discomfort. You sit at the back of the church and ignore the questions hovering in your mind. You sing the words of the hymn extra loudly, looking at the faces around you who all seem to be rapt in wonder. You think about the word, ‘rapt’, […]

Accepting the Process

It’s a pat​t​ern that’s been there since the beginning, but it’s taken me most of my adult life to see it.  I am an achievement-oriented person. I love to check things off lists and accomplish goals. In a society like the United States, it’s a pretty common way of interacting with the world. It is […]

What I Learned From an Everyday Wednesday

  Emily Freeman taught me to listen to my Tuesdays. Mine showed up a day late. It was an everyday Wednesday. I stood, feet askew, stirring the carnitas in my red dutch oven for our friends coming over for lunch that day, like they do every week. There was a pause as my husband passed by, […]

Let Them Live

My husband is from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. He’s at home in the outdoors. He’s a skier and a hiker and a rock climber. He loves the idea of overnights in the wilderness, navigating with a compass and the stars. My preferred form of adventure is trying a new grocery store, but I’ve […]

Carrying Hope

My hardest days at work aren’t the days when my students are loud or disobedient or unkind to each other. Those days are hard, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t the hardest. We have procedures and consequences in place for those things, we learn from them and then we move on. Those are the […]

The Places We Are Pierced

“Wondering what it means to follow a God who points to his scars as a sign of resurrection.” – Antonia Terrazzas It is the Thomas part that they always harped on in Sunday school. Thomas, the guy who was doubting, the guy who didn’t believe. It was not the Jesus part, and it certainly wasn’t […]

Planting Ourselves in This Dirt

I spent the first eighteen months looking for signposts that life sprouts here in our new state. After a historically snowy winter last year in Michigan, I stalked trees for buds. I gently nudged snow from the neighbor’s crocuses with the toe of my boot, my soul hungry for a flowering something, anything that signified […]

Dead Stone Come to Life

When I think of resurrection, I think of a stone on my kitchen counter. I picked it up at the beach last year. It’s smooth and gray, like most of the rocks on the beach, with one difference: The holes. One hole pierces its middle. Two opened seashells lodge in another empty space like baby […]