Fear

A Procedure for a Clean Heart

  I did not have any idea what to expect.   Anticipation of the unknown filled me with fear.   My body trembled uncontrollably. Unsure if the shivers were from the cold, metal table or from the overwhelming dread, a tear formed on my left cheek. The kind nurse wiped it away.   “It’s alright […]

The Time Has Come to Cross

You know it well, don’t you? That feeling of inhabiting two worlds, not fully in either. One foot is still firmly planted in the place you are leaving, while another is itching to propel you forward. You are at the threshold and somehow you are stuck. These days I feel it in a lot of […]

Under this Same Sun

It wasn’t cued to play today. It’s been years. But somehow between My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Imogen Heap, and all the other music encroaching the playlists of parents with teens, it surfaced: This fragment of life Lora gave me a lifetime ago. I listen to The Weepies, as the Steve Tannen from 16 years […]

Podcast: Finding Grace in the Middle

Season 1 Episode 5 This podcast is a companion piece that goes along with the previous post of the same name. In this episode, writer Nicole Walters narrates her latest Mudroom piece, “Grace in the Middle,” with pauses throughout where she speaks deeper into the meaning of her text. If you find yourself in the […]

Podcast: What Are You Afraid Of?

Season 1, Episode 4 Catherine McNiel is asking this question of herself and others: “What are you afraid of?” Why, she asks, are we, as Christ-followers, often taught to fear our neighbors, withhold hospitality from strangers, and vilify the “others”–those whose beliefs, appearances, and lives look different than our own and perceive them as a […]

Whispers from the Side Door

She scuffs over sidewalks toward heavy high school doors, (always locked) with dauntless steps that prick my heart. One thing I know: Her feet will forever fall on roads in want of wear.1 Frost – he got to choose. But not my girl. Neurons woven together in secret places— before she drew breath— birthed a […]

Having Courage to Hold On

Can you love someone who has betrayed you? In a mix of Norwegian fairytales (influenced by the Greek Cupid and Psyche and European Beauty and the Beast), author Joanna Meyer weaves a tale that feels familiar and foreign in her book Echo North. A young woman named Echo agrees to live in a house with […]

Courage for Living Connected

Editor’s note: Author Afton Rorvik’s words here are an adaptation from her new book (released today), Living Connected: An Introvert’s Guide to Friendship. Her call to the courageous, connected life comes just in time—and for such a time—as THIS. *** My friend Sharla recently had a significant birthday. Her sister noticed from Facebook that I […]

Do You See Me?

  Do you see me Lord?   I feel alone and forgotten at times. Misunderstood. Invisible.   The world continues its rotation spinning, spinning even faster these days. A whirling top that will surely tumble.   Am I just a speck on this twirling planet? Do you really see me from above?   Your word […]

The Most Honest Thing

The magical, white fairy lights look almost friendly on this forest-dark night. There they are, wrapped around the cables swooping from one side of the rushing river to the other. And from those steel ropes hangs a suspension bridge—the bridge that stands between my little family and our cozy cabin on the far side of […]

These Three Lines

Creepy Lines His classmates trickle into school, trapped Brady-Bunch style in their respective squares. Each boasts a customized backdrop: outer space, Minecraft, background blur, a zoo . . . and Mom-zilla fixing to eat her offspring for breakfast. “Your mom must be thrilled with your background!” my son’s teacher types in the chat. I read […]

Tree Hugger

I am a literal tree hugger, and my husband can vouch for it. I’ve embarrassed him often by curling my arms and cheek around a gnarly old trunk. My favorite trees are the sprawling, ancient live oaks that grow where I grew up. We planted one in our backyard a few summers ago, a tiny […]

Learning to Linger

He peered at me from under his unruly bangs of brown fur, hidden in part by the grate of the cage. I commented on how much he looked like my own Yorkie, Junior, though this dog was much smaller and where Junior’s fur was a silvery grey, his was a black that accentuated his small […]

Walking Hope

The sky had been stormy for hours already, so the transition to night was difficult to discern. Disoriented, soaked through, and shivering—we waited for direction.  We had started out the day staring at an “x” on a map, a destination we needed to reach. As the day grew long, our surroundings didn’t look right and […]