Intentionality

We Were Never Meant to Walk Alone

Charting a Course Alone “You can be anything you want,” they said. “If you can dream it, you can be it,” we were told. My generation grew up believing we could follow our bliss, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, and every other cliche of the American dream. We were led to believe we were […]

What We Waive

Here, between the corners of this flat, concrete square— is the crushing weight of contradiction, everywhere: Cameras, hidden, in pedestrian plain sight. One guard pats me down at the fence with steely, cold precision— while a second scolds a tiny toddler squeezing through another. (The one that protects the towering monument above from an onslaught […]

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 […]

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Releasing All But the Main Thing

 “In every circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the main thing Jesus has asked me to do is to love God and my neighbor as religiously as I love myself. The minute I have that handled, I will ask for my next assignment. For now, my hands are full.”[1]   The Main Thing is Seeing All […]

Simply Writing

Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]

A Few Simple Words

A recent Twitter thread asked for folks to respond with six words that could change the world (with the hashtag #6wordworldchange). People responded with statements such as: “Help me understand what you mean.” “This is hard. I need help.” “I believe you. I’ll help you.” “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” “You have something to […]

In the Dirt

“Why don’t you try listening first?” my kids asked. Ouch. Those words struck and halted me in my tracks. I had retorted a response too soon, and immediately felt that pain in the pit of my stomach and a wave of regret. Have you been there, too? Spoken words too quickly and wish you had […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]

Unmasked

We wait under a warm October sun—in a long line of anxious and eager pretenders. Princesses, pirates, and Baby Yoda wiggle away in excitement as parents corral them back to their designated, socially distanced marks. In front of us stand a pair of brilliantly-costumed frappuccinos (pool noodles attached to headbands for straws = brilliant) and […]

This Is How I Talk to God

This Is How I Talk to God Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NKJV Cru defines prayer as a way. . .  to communicate with God. That can mean thanking Him, praising Him, confessing something […]

This Open Table

Not long after my husband and I were married over 15 years ago, one of our first “grown-up” purchases was an antique, oak kitchen table. It can expand to make room for more guests. Through the years, many guests have indeed dined there, resulting in several scratches and knicks that add to its charm. The […]

Disruptive Love

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) I am talking to my neighbor and friend, Rosa. I’m sitting in her […]