Leaf Maker

Leaf  Abscission (noun)* the act of cutting off; sudden termination. Botany. the normal separation of flowers, fruit, and leaves from plants. Leaves change color in a glorious display for only a short time, only to fall to the ground, dead. Trees lose their magnificent crown, drop their jewels, shed their shimmering coats, just before the onslaught […]

The Girl Who Was Born Dead

“We’ll have to put you to sleep.” I remember the mask going over my face, and then nothing. Darkness. I heard the words “fetal distress” and “slowed heartbeat”. No time to wait, they said. No time to wait. * It was Christmas Eve. An epidural wasn’t going to be enough. I already had two epidurals, […]

Prayer in the Night Review

After the success of Tish Harrison Warren’s bestseller, Liturgy of the Ordinary, her new book, Prayer in the Night comes out January 26. Combination memoir, rich theological work, and cultural commentary, this book is truly remarkable. It is about the very real and common human struggle with theodicy (the problem of evil) and anxiety in […]

The Winding Paths That Lead Us Home

“It was such a God thing.” It’s our way of saying, God ordained this; it must have been the will of the Lord. That’s why it all worked out, right? But then, it doesn’t work out. Something that seemed so clear gets fuzzy. Dreams die. Plans change. Wasn’t that God’s plan, too?

My Ricocheting Heart

Today, the simple gray sock I hold in my hand becomes my new best friend. It must be magic; because here I am, just minding my own business, moving through this mundane laundry chore, when I come across this sock and feel it unlock a door deep within me. I am suddenly slingshotted back in […]

Finding Quiet For Our Disquiet Souls

“I accept whatever He gives and I give whatever He takes.” – Teresa of Calcutta It’s not something you talk about in polite company—not being quite okay and being willing to admit it. When people ask how are you, they don’t expect an honest answer. I know; I’ve been answering honestly for months, unable to […]

New Life Starts in the Dark

Ok, God. I’m ready. I’ve been in the tomb for a while now and, FYI, as I lie here, struck down by chronic illness, unable to get out of bed for hour after hour, day after day, week after week . . . year after year . . . I am MORE than ready to […]

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.

It Takes Faith to Limbo

I was very flexible when I was young. Limbo was a party game that seemed to happen often, and I prided myself on how good I was at it. I could sashay under that pole with the best of them. Recently, I tried to limbo again, but my middle-aged body sounded its alarm alerting me […]

When You’re Afraid of Dying

“If you want Elita to throw anything away, just tell her it causes cancer.” This was the advice a friend gave my husband, Mark, when we first got married. It was true. I had once thrown away a whole box of scented candles and a series of scratched Teflon frying pans because someone had told […]

The Complexity of Desire

Desire is sometimes a complicated thing. Author Jen Pollock Michel writes in Teach Us to Want, “How can we ever decide that our desires are anything other than the sin-sick expression of our inner corruption? Can we trust our desires if we ourselves can be so untrustworthy?” Indeed.  There have been seasons in my life […]

Psalm to Mom

You’re not my own but you read me to bed, and tickles me to the bone love how my fat cheeks dimple up. And I’m barely two and my curls are brand new. And you don’t know what she’s doing,  trying to make my braids, Put your head down, hold your head down, hold it […]

Living Monday after a Sunday Tragedy

A week ago, a terrorist let his machine gun loose on a crowd of people in our beloved city. Las Vegas was our home- the place where we started our married life, where we had our babies, where we rooted ourselves in the community we nurtured. But we weren’t there when the shooting happened. We […]

Saving Myself

  “Oh, how much sadness and sorrow and suffering there is in the world, both in the open and in secret.” – Vincent van Gogh   Who can discover their own worth when time and sickness have worked so hard to convince them it is a myth? *** I sing a solo when I am […]

Suffering as a Spiritual Discipline

When we talk about Spiritual Disciplines, we like to think of things we are adding into our lives. Rhythms, practices, prayers. Maybe it’s painting or journaling, perhaps it’s times spent wandering a trail in nature or a different way of allocating our time. Regardless of the method, the goal is the same: to connect with […]

When Caring for Others Hurts

For years I have struggled with what to do with the feelings of sadness and pain that I have collected over my lifetime from taking care of my child with cancer, adjusting to a failed marriage, and working as a nurse in a cancer center. When we care deeply for someone, we feel their pain […]