Finding Love in the Present Tense

  On the cusp of womanhood, we dreamt of boys who would sweep us off our feet, play the guitar, and in the sun-drenched summer days of southern California, carry a surfboard under muscular tanned arms. We wrote bad poetry and were waterlogged from long days at the pool. We ate cookies, drank Coke, and […]

Old Love

A few weeks ago my husband and I attended the wedding of our church’s new worship leader. We sat outside in stark white folding chairs. The backdrop- a gorgeous old red brick building with looming arches and history seeping out of every nook and corner. The sun lightly grazed our cheeks as the breeze stirred up […]

I Failed to Become the Perfect Spouse

The last night of my honeymoon, almost fifteen years ago, I set an alarm to wake us up for our first day back at work—and started to cry. “Our honeymoon is over,” I wailed. “Things have been so great so far, but this has been the easy part. What will happen when things get harder?” […]

Celebrities, Marriages, and Hope

I saw a headline this week while I was standing in line at the bookstore and my heart froze. “Jen & Ben. Together in Paris: He Wants Her Back”. Was this true? It was on the cover of People, the most reputable celebrity magazine, so it has to be true, right? I came home and […]

For When I Am Yearning

There is a bridal portrait, 8 ½x11 in a crackled frame that sits atop my husband’s dresser in our bedroom. In it, I am twenty years old, blonde hair, shock white smile, blue eyes glistening at the hope of the future. My veil spills out all around me and though I am covered in a […]

If Only

The Mudroom is a place for the stories emerging in the midst of the mess. Our vision is simple: make room for people. If only I knew then what I know now . . . maybe I wouldn’t have suffered as much. If only I knew then what I know now . . . maybe […]

Losing Us and Finding Us as Lovers

There is a loss that presses hard on my chest some days, the days when I look out over hills, or a certain slant of light catches me just so, or the way a musty book opened now smells just like the PR and PS books in that old Scottish library and I’m right back […]

Love is in a Midnight-Blue Towel

  They lie next to each other, on our bathroom rail, one grass-green, one midnight blue. They are the same Egyptian cotton towels we were given for our wedding, fifteen years ago. At the time, as I recall, I thought them outrageously expensive, yet they are still here, fifteen years on.   Every day, I take […]

To the Pastors’ Wives Whose Marriages are Quietly Falling Apart

  I’m a pastor’s wife.* And sister, I know how it is. You smile for the family pictures. You corral your children Sunday after Sunday; just getting out the door in time for church feels like you’ve already run a marathon. Maybe you, like me, can feel resentment for this life bubble up now and […]

To Be Married

For someone who has been telling the internet all the things about all the things for the last few years there is one thing that doesn’t get a lot of press: my marriage. It isn’t that I haven’t tried. Like I write my girls a letter every year on their birthdays, I have wished to, […]

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 […]

Camping in the Rubble

A cyclone threatened.  We knew the devastation it would leave in its wake would be enormous. As it began, we had no idea what the consequential damage would be, but we knew that it could not be stopped, and we had to wait until it had blown through before we’d know whether repair was going to be […]