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 […]

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 […]

Filling the Pot: Learning to Wait

Recently, I thought about how many things I was watching and waiting for. How many hours have I spent, how many thoughts, and how much time have I devoted to watching and waiting? Life is replete with hopeful expectations and moments of waiting. Watching means we’re often waiting for something, but waiting sounds horribly inconvenient […]

Sleepless in Spring

I took a walk today and I looked up at the bright blue spring sky popping against bright green leaves on old oak trees and I cried because today my fourth child is eighteen months old, and WE ARE STILL HERE. Pandemic, homeschooling, batshit crazy world but here we are.  Almost two and a half […]

Enduring Patience

Patience. We wait. We wait for deliverance. We wait for the moment we are saved from trials.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:3-4 KJV   My father waited patiently for that moment of deliverance. He lay face down […]

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 […]

Whatever Tomb You’re In

Listen to the audio recording of Tammy’s words here, or read the transcript below:   Based on the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11. John begins the story as the distant narrator, telling us that a certain man, Lazarus of Bethany, was ill. We, the readers, are then introduced to this man’s sister Mary, who is […]

Counterfeit

She is even better in person, I think. Better than The Crown. “For nearly 70 years I have kept a tradition of speaking to you at Christmas,” she begins—and we are captivated. She sits regal and poised behind the stately antique desk: a beacon of constancy and hope. An imposing yet festive Christmas tree shimmers […]

Hope Feed

  I saw a picture on social media the other day, and it read, “Are we sure 2020 is gone?” I chuckled, like most, with a sense of sobriety  especially after the events at the Capitol,  so we’re all asking, “What is going on?”   We used to go on social media to get a […]

What They Got Wrong About Women

In Cassandra Speaks, Elizabeth Lesser tells us about Pandora. You might be familiar with the Greek myth: The gods punished men by giving them a woman (Pandora) and a jar filled with human suffering. Because Pandora was prone to evil, she opened the jar and released every kind of suffering and misery onto humanity. All […]

Dr. King’s Final Climb

Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his final speech from a Memphis pulpit on April 3, 1968. He was assassinated one day later.  He knew, as Moses before him, that he would not taste deliverance before death. But like Moses on the mountaintop, he would proclaim its promise from afar. May we, too, look long and […]

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.” […]

Turning Toward Hope

If I asked you to describe 2020 in one word, what word would you choose? Pandemic? Chaos? Disappointment? Virtual? Social-distance? All of the above are apt descriptors for this merciless year but at least for me, they don’t quite capture it as succinctly as this one: powerlessness. I’ve felt incredibly powerless in the past ten […]

Learning the Language of Hope

Shame was a language I learned early, right along with how to say “please” and “thank you.” There was an unspoken etiquette we learned growing up in the Southern United States. The tea should be sweet. You should address people older than you as “ma’am” and “sir.” I knew the taste of collard greens and […]

Another Thorn, Another Rose (Mental Illness as a Blessing)

I fight against harm perpetrated both by the myth of the Strong Black Woman and the stigma my culture attaches to mental illness every day. Since 1619, America nurtures me to mute my emotions, my pain, and my fear.

Of Bread and Hope

This is a story about yeast. Schools have been closed for three weeks when we enter into Holy Week. Playgrounds are shuttered; church has gone virtual. A friend of ours has moved away to be closer to family during the pandemic, and my eight-year-old daughter is absolutely indignant. “Allison’s leaving?!?” my daughter expostulates—reminding me, as […]