Learning to Dwell in a World of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

“Dwell.” The word hit my ears in a wooden classroom nestled amongst a wooded college campus and mansions of the uber-rich. Then, it seemed, I had all the time in the world to dwell. The words from novels and poetry uncurled, sinking directly into my poet’s heart. Words were the quickest way to dwell in […]

10 Reasons Why Parenting My Dog is Better than Parenting a Baby

My favorite season of the year is here. No, I’m not talking about pumpkin-spiced-anything. I’m talking about that time of year when all my friends decide it’s time to get a puppy and I get all the perks of puppy snuggles with none of the pee. So while many people speak of parenting in terms […]

The Birds and the Bees and Belonging as a Family

“Mama, where do babies come from?” I stared at my five-year old son: he wasn’t really asking me about the birds and the bees, now was he? He looked at me, eyes wide in expectation. “Well buddy,” I replied, taking a deep breath, “babies come from their mommies’ tummies.” I felt far from ready for […]

Is Masturbation Okay? . . . and Other Thorny Questions

The Mudroom is excited to be joining the likes of The Rumpus, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. We’re starting our very own advice column, “Dear Portia.” Every month, we’ll cover questions related to our monthly theme. First up is sex, sexuality, and singleness. Do you have questions about your sex life, about singleness, […]

The First Day and All Those After

I imagined how it would go down more ways than I can count. I spent the week before with a pained jaw, a pit in my stomach, and a headache. Would I have mimosas with friends after the drop off? Would I hit the gym, relishing my child free morning? Perhaps spend the day writing? […]

The Mercy of Speckled Stars

Memories are like stars speckled across the night sky. Rarely linear in form, they’re merely loosely connected dots in the synapses of the brain. They appear and disappear. They reappear in different places, in different forms. Their stories change every time. They differ from person to place, perspective to circumstance. They’re pieces of the past […]

A Soul Bare Interview: Neglect, Healing, and Grace with Angie Hong

This month we’ve loved sharing with you more about the recent IVP release, Soul Bare. Our regular contributors, Tammy Perlmutter and Tanya Marlow, have an essay in this collection (as do Sarah Bessey, Emily P. Freeman, Trilia Newbell, and others). Make sure you read about the dreams behind it from editor Cara Sexton, and the interviews with Jennifer Camp and Serena […]

Simply Love

It’s easy to get caught up in the next, latest, and best thing when it comes to your kids. It’s something I didn’t even realize I’d done for two decades (my daughter just started college), until a foster child came to my home for respite care. She’s a three-year old toddler who has already, in […]

Palms Up

I just put my daughter into an ambulance. Strapped in like a caged animal who cannot escape the war roaming inside her head. The battle that wages for her control of her life. Inhale. Blood stained sheets on the bottom bunk, clinging to the safety that slips between my fingers like sand. Hair matted down […]