To Grieve and Grow

“I’m gonna need you to sing a little louder,” Paul said with a flirtatious grin. “Or I’ll have to move you closer so I can hear you.” He grabbed the sides of my chair and gently pulled me forward until my body filled the space between his long, bony legs. He softly picked the tune […]

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 […]

Loosening My Grip

The klaxon sound of the motion detector alarm rouses me unceremoniously. My adrenaline is immediately pumping. I narrowly miss stepping on the dog in her little bed as I rush to get to mom’s bedroom. I need to reach her before she takes too many steps on her own. One night I didn’t make it […]

Is Love Worth the Pain?

For the first year and a half, I called out her name.  Over and over again, I would startle myself awake once I had barely fallen asleep. My arm would shoot out from my body in a desperate attempt to stop her, to catch her, to convince her to stay—the shout of her name went […]

Waiting For the Thaw

The word appeared fully formed in my brain as I sought an adequate description for this sense of emotional paralysis. Winter. I rolled it around on my tongue, playing free-association word solitaire.  Winter is cold. Winter is dark. Winter might be beautiful, but it’s dangerous. Winter scenes offer hauntingly lonely images of stark black branches […]

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 […]

In Like a Lion

On the night before my grandmother died, a tornado struck Mills County. You can always tell when it’s on the way; just slip your hand behind the sash and press your nose against the screen.   Can you hear the echo of sparrows? Do you smell the sweet- ness of rain? Then draw in your […]

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 […]

Resigned

I just didn’t want to continue not like this, not like this – – thinking the same feeling the same responding the same reacting the same Even if not much will change, I just didn’t want to continue, not like this. Fantasies lead me to believe days can be better than this, and I know […]