Blog

The Missing Leaf

There is a leaf missing from my Thanksgiving table. Where once it seated eight or more, the old table is now reduced to a small square. I am hard-pressed to remember a Thanksgiving with so few place settings. I miss the days of a full home and table. Of four children, hungrily eyeing the rolls. … Continue reading The Missing Leaf

Ribbon Collecting

My son Ben loves competing for Special Olympics, and has a giant collection of medals and ribbons from various meets and tournaments. He participates in eight different sports, and every competition finds him swaggering home with something shiny. The medals and ribbons hang proudly from his bulletin board, the overflow crumpled in his desk drawers. … Continue reading Ribbon Collecting

Planted

A northern sun shines through my windshield, late rising over harvested fields as I head for home. Winter’s breath mercifully withdrew as we stood around Pam’s grave the day before, a small group of witnesses to her quiet life. “Dust to dust”, the pastor said before we parted ways, her ashes left in the dark … Continue reading Planted

Cooper’s Coat of Many Colors

He’s just a dog. A plain one. We adopted Cooper from a rescue organization last winter, and now he has claimed a place on our couch and in our hearts. He’s just a brown dog with a black muzzle – nothing fancy; not carefully bred. Nothing much to look at, until he’s lying next to … Continue reading Cooper’s Coat of Many Colors

The Door

This is the door of my father’s stories. This very door, pictured above, in an abandoned church in a tiny stone village in England. My family worshipped here 500 years ago, and probably long before that. Through this door my tenth great-grandfather walked one last time before leaving on an impossible journey to the distant … Continue reading The Door

Something to Eat

“Little girl I say to you, arise,” Jesus spoke into death’s stillness. Then, as life crept back in and she stirred and sighed, he turned to her parents. “Give her something to eat,” he said. There would soon come a time when he would call Lazarus back to life before a stunned crowd, but this … Continue reading Something to Eat

A Wing and a Prayer

I walk down my driveway and a multitude of dragonflies lift and glide around me, silent and shining like the morning. I’m glad to see them, knowing that they feed on the plentiful Minnesota mosquitos. They fill the space around me, fluttering in the yard, resting on the patio, basking on the trees as they … Continue reading A Wing and a Prayer

For Those who Thirst

My husband brought a beautiful birdbath home a few weeks ago, to my great delight. We have long had a feast of seed waiting for the neighborhood birds, but they have so far shown little interest. Perhaps a birdbath will draw them, I thought. Surely they would enjoy the clean, clear water! But no. They … Continue reading For Those who Thirst

Extravagance

A few weeks ago, NASA released some of the first photos from the James Webb telescope from 932,000 miles (1.5 million kilometers) above the earth. Have you been as captivated by those pictures as I am? The photo above shows a portion of the night sky hidden behind a grain of sand held at arm’s … Continue reading Extravagance

After the New

A tender space lies after the new. A gap between delight and complacency, of courage and disappointment. A place ripe for tending. For hope. Being new can be exhilarating. The group welcomes you in, eager to know you. They include and invite you. The new marriage is thrilling, joyful, as you dream of all the … Continue reading After the New

Finding Family

I think it was in 1978 that I first realized it. Coming from a small church in a small town, I was under the impression that believers like me were few and far between. But 1978 was the year that I, a newly licensed driver, headed out of our small town in my father’s old … Continue reading Finding Family

Born, and Born Again

My grandson was born two weeks ago, and since then his parents’ lives have been completely given over to helping him adjust to his new living situation. I’ve gained an appreciation for all the adjustments he’s making. For learning to breathe air. For responding to the voices of his parents. For learning how to focus … Continue reading Born, and Born Again

Under the Tomatoes

My breath came hard as panic pressed on my chest. I stood in the produce section of the grocery store, scanning the aisles, desperate for a glimpse of my towheaded boy. Every parent has been in a similar situation, but most aren’t searching for a nonverbal child who can’t understand when the game has gone … Continue reading Under the Tomatoes

May Newsletter Coming Soon!

The next issue of my newsletter is coming out next week. Have you signed up? Each month I send out an update from home, giving you a peek into life up here in the northwoods of Minnesota, what I’ve been up to lately, and a snippet about my family or thoughts about current events. I … Continue reading May Newsletter Coming Soon!

Where Our Ends Meet

We adopted three of our children. It is a miraculous, complicated, thrilling and terrifying way to become a family. Our children have been our teachers on this adventure. Their presence replaced our expectations with simple wonder. They have each had a hand in casting our tightly-wound bundle of assumptions into God’s glorious basket of possibilities. … Continue reading Where Our Ends Meet

When Winter Lingers

We are over a month into spring here in northern Minnesota, but we are still wearing our woolen socks. We all know that the colors of life will eventually reveal themselves, but right now the earth is still hard and cold, the sky gray. It has been a long, cold, snowy winter, even by Minnesota … Continue reading When Winter Lingers

If Ben Had Been There

My son Ben has cognitive disabilities and very little language. But sometimes he intuitively understands what our “normal” intelligence blinds us to. Our Easter celebration last weekend got me thinking: If Ben had been at the tomb that first Easter morning, things might have gone down a little differently…. Early on the first day of … Continue reading If Ben Had Been There

I Remember

Music plays softly as I hold the little cup quietly in my lap. I cradle the cracker in my hands, praying. Then I taste, and I remember. I remember how He came for me when I wasn’t looking. How He opened my eyes to beauty and my heart to hope. I remember the first time … Continue reading I Remember

To Ben on World Down Syndrome Day

You came as a surprise; your life tenuous, your little body limp in my arms. We brought you home, numb and determined, the future unimagined. Your extended family welcomed you with a tenderness tempered by grief. Your church family, stunned, embraced you. You were changing us, even then. Making your mark on our world just … Continue reading To Ben on World Down Syndrome Day

As Long as It’s Healthy

“I just got the test results”, she leaned close as we waited in the school hallway. “I don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy, as long as it’s healthy.” My smile weakened, tears pressing as I looked for my child, the one who wasn’t born healthy, instead sporting extra chromosomes and their complications. … Continue reading As Long as It’s Healthy

Here We Are Again

It’s a disheartening deja vu: Another regime swooping in on a weaker country, wreaking death and destruction. We grieved over Afghanistan just six months ago. Now we weep with Ukraine. We who are citizens of the most powerful country on earth are caught helpless in front of our Twitter streams and news broadcasts. There is … Continue reading Here We Are Again

A Common Face

It happened again last week. This time it was an older gentleman at the doctor’s office. “You look so familiar,” he said, squinting his eyes and tipping his head slightly. From there the questions branched off into possible mutual friends, workplaces, or schools. This happens to me regularly. I look just like someone’s sister-in-law /college … Continue reading A Common Face

Winter Light

The snow lies deep, unsettled against the sharp wind. Here in the north woods the winter sun falls cold between storms. The sun’s course lowers to a shallow arc, it’s apex briefly dividing morning from afternoon. Evenings bring long, golden fingers gradually giving way to dusky blue. The snow sparkles, each slight breeze smoothing the … Continue reading Winter Light

The Breath of God

God breathes, and uncountable numbers of universes take shape. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. – Psalms 33:6  He breathes into humankind and we become embodied souls.  The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into … Continue reading The Breath of God

Into the Waves

I love the ocean. I love its vast, glittering expanse; the knowing that I stand on the edge of a continent, on the brink of a wilderness covered by the pulling, surging tide. I love the sharp, salty scent as it flows in and back, the soft hiss of waves leaving, depleted after their rush … Continue reading Into the Waves

A Real Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the yearWith the kids jingle bellingAnd everyone telling you be of good cheerIt’s the most wonderful time of the year What do you think of when you hear the word “Christmas”? The nativity story, angels, and a stable? A decorated tree, presents and family? Christmas memories and expectations can … Continue reading A Real Christmas

When the Soul Feels its Worth

Under snow-frosted trees, with visible breath I ask it. Perhaps you’ve asked it too. Rinsing the dish I’ve rinsed a thousand times before, I wonder. Maybe you’ve wondered too. Do I matter? Am I seen? A peasant girl bearing the most common of names, going about her most ordinary of days – she was seen. … Continue reading When the Soul Feels its Worth

The Monday After

“Did you say please and thank you?” I asked my children, just as my mother had asked me. I was brought up to express thanks for every kindness, each gift quickly followed by an appropriate thank-you note. In turn, I raised my children to do the same. All of my diligent training created good behavior … Continue reading The Monday After

The Voices Behind Us

“If that’s what Christianity is, I want no part of it” she said after news of yet another prominent preacher caught in sin. The reporters had gleefully announced the salacious details in the day’s news to my mother’s eager ears. I stood there, heart pounding, in the kitchen with her, and yet so very alone. … Continue reading The Voices Behind Us

What is Heaven Like?

“What do you think heaven will be like?” she asked, breaking the silence in the dark car. I glanced at her pretty face lit by the dashboard lights. I knew there was pain and longing behind her question, thoughts of loved ones who have gone there, some departures gradual and expected, others jarring and sudden, … Continue reading What is Heaven Like?

A Leaf Surrendered

We live in an area where Fall displays its full glory. Oaks, maples, birch and poplar combine to make a stunning wonderland of our surroundings every September. The leaves arrest us with wonder; and then they fade and tremble, uncertain, before letting go of what once was, to accept what will be. The letting go … Continue reading A Leaf Surrendered

Ben and the Carnival Fun House

My son Ben loves the county fair. We always start in the animal barns, where he clucks and moos his way down the aisles, the animals patiently letting him pat and talk to them. Then comes the midway, where he has uncanny luck at the games, always coming away with a prize. The rides, however, … Continue reading Ben and the Carnival Fun House

Mind the Gaps

“Mind the Gap” is a warning in subway stations to be careful of the space between the subway car and the station platform. If you don’t pay attention and get your foot caught in that narrow space, you can be seriously injured or even killed. This caution to pay attention, watch our step, and avoid … Continue reading Mind the Gaps

Where were you when?

Americans have certain dates emblazoned on our collective memory. Dates when life as we knew it suddenly took a hard turn into the unknown. For our grandparents it was Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, when Japanese forces launched a surprise attack on our military in Hawaii. The shock of war waged on American soil … Continue reading Where were you when?

Turning Toward Light

Pessimism is my soul’s default setting. Even when life is filled with blessing, melancholy has always been my temperament’s natural course. As a result, it has been the work of my Christian life to turn away from the darkness and look up, look away, notice beauty and give thanks. But although I have been training … Continue reading Turning Toward Light

How Heaven Changes Us

I’ve often pondered what Ben will be like in heaven. I used to think that he would still have Down Syndrome, since it comes knit into his every chromosome. But the longer we deal with not just the delights but also the deficits and struggles that Down Syndrome brings, the more I am convinced that … Continue reading How Heaven Changes Us

When it Feels Like Evil is Winning

Some of us remember when the world’s suffering was relegated to one hour on the nightly news. We watched a sober-faced newscaster recount famines and wars and disasters in far-off places with sorrow in our hearts, and then we returned to a sink full of dishes or our algebra homework and the horror faded as … Continue reading When it Feels Like Evil is Winning

Legacy

I am visiting the land of my ancestors this week. One of America’s earliest settlements, it is now filled with tourists and the industries that serve them. The tourists take pictures of the 17th century jail where my 10th great-grandfather served time and feast on lobster that was once so common that it was fed … Continue reading Legacy

Who Loves You?

“Who loves you?” I used to ask my children as I held them close. Mama. Boppy. Jesus. We were made to love and be loved. In the image of God we were created, the God who is the very essence and definition of love. So we spend our lives reaching out of our brokenness to … Continue reading Who Loves You?

Stitch by Stitch

I do some cross stitch embroidery every now and then. I stitch to remember, to give something of myself that my hands have made for those I love. It seems a straightforward task, but the small, precise stitches are challenging. One dropped thread can skew the outcome, marring the master pattern I’m trying so carefully … Continue reading Stitch by Stitch

My Church, My People

“Your gall bladder needs to come out right now,” the emergency room doctor said. “I’ll contact the surgical team.” I was in a city far from home, my husband recovering from spinal surgery nine floors above where I lay on the emergency room gurney. If I had been home, I would have acquiesced. But not … Continue reading My Church, My People

Nurture

They are in the nursery. In the classroom. While we work and worship, they care for our children in back rooms and church basements, sharing the love of Jesus with those in their care. We gather in our sanctuaries and our auditoriums, watching the people onstage as they lead and teach us, grateful for their … Continue reading Nurture

A Table Before Me

My mother attended boarding school at a time when girls were taught the importance of setting a proper table: salad fork on the left, then the dinner fork. Knife on the right, facing inward, then the teaspoon. There were also places for soup spoons and dessert forks. One did not use one’s knife for the … Continue reading A Table Before Me

Far From Home

He counted the change carefully, brow furrowed at my question. “Sorry” he shrugged, “my English…not good”. “It’s okay”, I answered, “Welcome to America”. And then, turning back, I looked into his eyes. “I mean it. I’m glad you’re here.” I thought of my immigrant grandparents, struggling to learn English after long days of bricklaying and … Continue reading Far From Home

Hug Status

My son Ben strides through our church like he owns it, seeking out his favorite people to hug. As we have finally emerged from our year-long quarantine, no one is happier than he to have human contact again. Some people with Down Syndrome dish out hugs like candy at a parade. But not Ben. No, … Continue reading Hug Status

He Will Come

In the politics; the rage; the turmoil around and within us. In the fear; the conflict; the disasters in the news and in our neighborhoods. In the discouragement; the hopelessness; the loneliness that presses in on us in the night. Hush, now; peace. Like a child, run to the arms that welcome you. Rest in … Continue reading He Will Come

New Things

Graduation season is upon us and my social media feed is filling with pictures of smiling young faces in their caps and gowns. I remember that feeling of hope and anticipation. Soon I would be leaving my small town in the mountains for a huge university on the edge of the ocean. I had no … Continue reading New Things

Windows of the Soul

Windows are important to me. Having grown up in the mountains where I spent my leisure time largely outside, I need that visual connection to creation to feel at rest. My high school was a cold, gray, building with very few windows. It was thought that we would pay closer attention in class if we … Continue reading Windows of the Soul

The Wilderness Way

“It’s a boy” the ultrasound tech told us, and my husband grabbed my hand in excitement. A boy! After years of infertility and the adoption of our two precious daughters, God had broken through with the gift of a son. We each had dreams for this miracle boy. My husband secretly hoped he would be … Continue reading The Wilderness Way

When Adoption Comes Full Circle

The invitation arrived in January. “I hope you can come,” she said. “I would love for our families to meet.” She found me a few years back through Facebook, approaching with respect and grace. We reached out tentatively at first, then forged a sisterhood nurtured by a gradual opening of hearts around the shared love … Continue reading When Adoption Comes Full Circle

The Mystery of Joy

I held a grieving friend in my arms this week, absorbed the weight of her story and, together under a cold rain, we prayed for joy. Not the surface kind of happiness that comes from relief of weighty circumstances, but the kind of joy that anchors a soul to what is true even in the … Continue reading The Mystery of Joy

Sunrise to Sunset

I have always been a morning person. Even as a teenager I savored the dawn, loved watching the sun gradually touch the gray mountain peaks with gold. Here in Minnesota, I have been blessed to greet the sun rising over the lake outside my window every morning. We moved this week, and now are temporarily … Continue reading Sunrise to Sunset

It’s Time

After all of the trauma and drama, the loss and the fear, it was suddenly over. The three friends, unsure of the future, returned to the familiarity of their jobs and the lives they led before it all happened. The problem was, they were different now, and they had trouble picking up where they had … Continue reading It’s Time

The Sap is Rising

This is a post from a year ago that not many people saw. I re-worked it to share with you again while I am out of town this week. ******************************* It snowed again last week, each unique flake adding its beauty to the whole. The trees stood solid, accepting the coldness stored up for spring’s … Continue reading The Sap is Rising

Polishing Pennies

Sometimes I feel like a Cranky Old Woman. You know the ones – their benchmark for all things good is the past, and they long ago lost their wonder at the sheer miracle of living. Instagram can do that to me. But it’s not the attention-seeking self-focus of the world that bothers me. It’s all … Continue reading Polishing Pennies

Celebrating Down Syndrome?

This past Sunday was World Down Syndrome Day, and many of us who love someone with DS posted their smiling pictures on our social media feeds (me included). But is Down Syndrome really something to celebrate? Many people want to eliminate Down Syndrome. By this they mean eliminating people with Down Syndrome in the womb. … Continue reading Celebrating Down Syndrome?

Where He Met Me

Down at the end of Deerfoot Lane, where pavement gave way to ruts and rocks, He met me, perched on a sun-warmed boulder, the valley and mountains beyond hinting of other places, other lives. And I, like a fledgling jay, waiting to soar. In songs sung around a campfire He met me, sparks reaching upward … Continue reading Where He Met Me

She Did What She Could

“She did what she could,” Jesus said. She had taken her life savings in the form of perfume and anointed His head, weeping in gratitude for His love. For His gaze, noticing her in her ordinary life.  He had defended her before, to a demanding sister. “Mary has chosen what is better, and it will … Continue reading She Did What She Could

Marked by Ashes

When I first heard about Lent, it sounded like a strange sort of diet: This person was giving up chocolate, the other was giving up sugar, and a third was giving up TV. To what end, I was never sure. It seemed to me like a religious do-over for failed New Year’s resolutions. Lent wasn’t … Continue reading Marked by Ashes

Homecomings

The rustling woke me out of a restless sleep and I got up to peek into the bassinet. Dark eyes peered back at me, lips pursed, wanting. The excitement of the day before faded as I cradled her on my shoulder, warming a bottle in the semidarkness. The longed-for call and hasty trip to the … Continue reading Homecomings

Still Waiting

“Ooh! Weet!” Ben exclaimed when he saw the bouquet our church dropped off the other day. Even though services and activities have resumed, some of us are still quarantined due to health risks. Ben is one of those and, by extension, me – although he can’t comprehend why. Ben has been at home, almost totally … Continue reading Still Waiting

Gritty Love

This week the world celebrates romance and what media defines as love – passion, tenderness and deeply felt emotions. Romantic love is a gift. Joyful and exhilarating, it woos us and thrills us. Anyone who has been captivated by it never forgets the heady feeling. Anyone who has been burned by it realizes that there … Continue reading Gritty Love

Gone Missing

My baby turns 30 this week.  She came to us as an angry infant, her harsh cries filling the nights. Then the anger became a slow burn, self-will and defiance building with each year. There was counseling, evaluations, and interventions in the desperate hope of stemming the tide. But then came the boiling over, her … Continue reading Gone Missing

Sauntering Upward

I am married to a man who loves to conquer. When we lived in the mountains he would run their trails, training for his next marathon. If he wasn’t running, he was rock climbing, striving to conquer a new route up the face of one of the mountain monoliths. We could not be more different. … Continue reading Sauntering Upward

Ready to Party

Ben has decided that he wants to die. This son of mine, who lives with a trust I aspire to….he believes in heaven, and can’t wait to get there. Why do I find this disturbing? I’ve watched friends hold onto life with a white-knuckled grip, desperate for healing to come here on earth, grasping for … Continue reading Ready to Party

The Importance of Blueberry Pie

My parents represented the best of the American idea. My father’s ancestors set foot on American soil shortly after the Mayflower brought the pilgrims. And my mother was the child of immigrants. My father was the last of his family line to be born in the same area his ancestors settled in Maine, and my … Continue reading The Importance of Blueberry Pie

Invitation to a Feast

Many of us sat down to the beginnings of a feast on Friday. We decided that we wanted to know Jesus better this year by reading his words to us. We opened our Bibles out of a new or continuing commitment to taste and see that the Lord is good.  Some of us will consume … Continue reading Invitation to a Feast

Resolutions

Do you remember what resolutions you were making this time last year? Perhaps they included losing weight, or eating healthier meals, or putting aside some money. Those are all good things when life’s bumps are relatively minor and we believe there to be some semblance of order and prosperity undergirding our lives. But in 2020, … Continue reading Resolutions

Immanuel

 Thought I’d share these Christmas thoughts again… Jesus was born in a stable. Very early tradition suggests it was probably a cave. Recent theories suggest it could have been the lower level of a stone house, windowless, where animals were kept. Either way, it didn’t resemble the nativity scene on the mantle. Into this Jesus … Continue reading Immanuel

Lift up your Eyes

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:26‬ God flung the galaxies into the void like … Continue reading Lift up your Eyes

Sorrowful, yet Rejoicing

“You don’t know how I’ve suffered,” she said. “All of you with your happy families haven’t ever had something bad happen to you. No one understands how awful my life has been”. She had been drinking, so I let it go that night, but this was her script – her identity, which kept her trapped … Continue reading Sorrowful, yet Rejoicing

Obscurity

There was a flurry of excitement in the beginning. Dreams and angelic visitation; a strange new star; foreigners bearing gifts. Then slaughter, a desperate escape and exile. And finally, returning to settle into an average place in a poor village. Except for a brief glimpse in scripture at age 12, He lived in obscurity. An … Continue reading Obscurity

Desperate for Christmas

It began the day after Halloween. On my morning walk I noticed a few wreaths on front doors and garland adorning mailboxes and entryways. At home my social media feed began showing people posing with Christmas trees recently decorated. All of this before the jack-o-lanterns were gone from the front stoop. We usually afford Thanksgiving … Continue reading Desperate for Christmas

A Thanksgiving to Remember

I spent Thanksgiving of 1992 in a sports bar, in an unfamiliar city far from home. My baby lay in cardiac ICU recovering from open heart surgery. The only restaurant open that day was a sports bar next to a girlie club, so there my husband and I perched on stools, eating burgers and nursing … Continue reading A Thanksgiving to Remember

Blessing

I leaned forward on the hard pew that first time in church, skinny legs swinging as I watched the fatherly pastor place his hands on the heads of the people before him. “The Lord bless you, and keep you,” he intoned. “The Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. The … Continue reading Blessing

It’s Always Morning Somewhere

One of the best things about living on a lake is being able to see the sunrise. Every morning I watch as the darkness fades and the golden light slips between the trees, across the water and into my living room. Some mornings remain dull and gray. Others come with an explosion of color. But … Continue reading It’s Always Morning Somewhere

The View from the Precipice

Election week is upon us in the U.S.A and it feels like we are perilously close to the edge of a division that we may not be able to back away from. Having the election decided may give the illusion of winners and losers, but the fact is that we have all lost this election. … Continue reading The View from the Precipice

Listening for Ice Cream

My son Ben has significant intellectual disabilities. As a result, he has a very small vocabulary consisting of only nouns and verbs. If I say, “Do you want ice cream?” He’ll respond with enthusiasm. And if I say, “Do you never want ice cream again?” I’ll get the same response. He hears “ice cream”, and … Continue reading Listening for Ice Cream

A Different Summer

Do you remember writing about summer vacation for the first assignment of the school year? What would you write this year? I am tallying up a number of gains and losses. The hardest loss was not being able to see my children who live far away. I also missed attending a family wedding in California. … Continue reading A Different Summer

Worship School

I shared this article on the Perennial Gen website this week. Enjoy! Worship School

A Good Man

I watch you nod off on the couch this evening, gray head drooping and reading glasses sliding down your nose and I realize we’ve done it. We have succeeded in growing older together.  I don’t know what I thought it would be like when we spoke our vows 37 years ago, but it wasn’t this. … Continue reading A Good Man

Flight

A Great Blue Heron has been perching at the end of our dock lately, so I decided to try to get close enough for a picture. He kept a wary eye on me as I crept closer, finally taking off with his long wings as Ben came clumping down to join me in his dad’s big … Continue reading Flight

Conquering the Frog

We took a little getaway recently, just me, my husband and our 28 year old son who has intellectual disabilities. We had planned some fun activities, but from the moment Ben spotted the kiddie pool, it was all he could think about. “Wog” he said, making the sign for “frog” under his chin, “Me!” And … Continue reading Conquering the Frog

Fall

Here’s a look back at a post from this time last year, before my blog was public:  Autumn in northern Minnesota is simply spectacular. My morning walks are graced with multitudes of colorful leaves glowing in the sun, fluttering in the breeze, rolling a red and orange and gold carpet out beneath my feet. Many … Continue reading Fall

Masks

Most of the world is under a mask mandate right now. Some view it as a commonsense way to help slow the spread of Covid. Some wear a mask as a sign of respect and kindness towards others. Some wear a mask in obedience to their government. Some view mask wearing as capitulation to illegitimate … Continue reading Masks

Hidden Places

We rambled through the forest, sliding on pine needles and scrambling over granite, heading nowhere except to explore the beauty of the day and the mountains we lived in. We smelled it before we found it, a mountain laurel bay tree tucked into a small ravine near the base of a towering Ponderosa pine. Arrested … Continue reading Hidden Places

If Not For Ben

If not for Ben… I might have continued my education. If not for Ben, I might have become a missionary, a counselor or a linguist. If not for Ben, I might have had opportunities to lead, to influence, or perhaps just to enjoy an easier life. In many ways, Ben has determined the course of … Continue reading If Not For Ben

What if?

We are living in a time of anxiety. As we try to make plans and figure out what life will look like now, our thoughts churn in the background, sapping our strength and feeding our fears of “what if”. What if I or my loved one gets sick? Or dies? What if I lose my … Continue reading What if?

A Godward Life

“A Godward life is a life lived for the sake of seeing and savoring and showing God in all things.” – John Piper

Night Meeting

I wrap my jacket around me and step out into the night, quieting the screen door’s creak for those sleeping. Over dew-damp grass, lit by stars I walk, to the old dock reaching out into the quiet water. I come for the chance to see the fleeting aurora, whispering green on the horizon. It flickers … Continue reading Night Meeting

Identity

I did my best at the time. As white parents in a white town, we were tasked with giving our multiracial children tools with which to form their identities. So I bought the diverse books. I made sure our nativity set was ethnically accurate. I read about adoption and race. We drove to the city … Continue reading Identity

What I Almost Said

“These people!” I fumed after reading yet another rant on Facebook. “Why is it so hard to just be kind?” In my anger I hammered out the perfect blog post to address the problem. To share my frustration at the anger and self-righteous rants all over social media right now. I felt compelled to speak out. … Continue reading What I Almost Said

Trapped

A squirrel fell down the chimney into the fireplace a few months ago. After flinging himself repeatedly against the glass doors he hunched, weary and hopeless, beside the grate. After a few days we put a live trap in there with him. His ticket to freedom sat there, baited with peanut butter, but he refused … Continue reading Trapped