While We Weep

It’s been kinda quiet here on the blog lately, mostly because I’ve been working on some other projects offline. Rainey and I are writing/illustrating a picture book together, and I’m writing a memoir on marriage and motherhood. Also, I’ve been doing some writing for Off the Page, a new ministry of Our Daily Bread geared toward millennials who like to wrestle with questions about faith and believe love trumps all. Definitely my kind of people. […]

Fast and Forgiven

I have what some might call a lead foot. In other words, I like to drive fast. Really fast. Cruising around town in a minivan with three kids buckled up in the backseat has curbed my insatiable appetite for speed quite a bit. But more often than I care to admit, that speedometer needle pushes waaay past the legal limit. Obviously this means I’ve been pulled over a few times in my life. I drive […]

Questioning Confession and Priestly Underwear

I’m squirming on the velvet-padded kneeler, sweating from the wool stockings my private school makes us wear. I make the sign of the cross, whisper, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned,” and venture a guess on how long it’s been since my last confession. Then slowly I start naming my offenses. “I lied to my mom twice. I stole a piece of candy from my brother. I-I-I…” I’m stammering, searching my conscience for anything […]

The Other Side of Silence

I’ve got nothing insightful to say about today’s passages. That’s what I think as the hours dwindle before my deadline. It’s Thursday, the day before this piece is due, and I’m under my blankets watching Downton Abbey with a box of Good & Plenty in one hand and Swedish Fish in the other wondering WWAVW? (What would Ann Voskamp write?) It’s a picture of grace under pressure, really. When I sat down to work on […]

Learning to Swim Again

It’s been three years since I darkened the doors of this locker room, three years since I powdered my swim cap and snapped it over my ponytail and slipped into the tepid waters of my local community center’s pool. I used to swim here all the time as a scrawny kid on the swim team and later as an overcompensating adult training for one triathlon after another. But my membership and motivation ran out several […]

How to Turn Limbs into Legacy

He came from Sweden in 1911 to homestead on the Hi-Line, that semiarid stretch of open prairie just south of the Canadian border and east of the Rockies that the U.S. government and the Great Northern Railway promised was free and plentiful. Sailing on a ship named Victoria through Liverpool, then Halifax, then down the St. Lawrence River to the port of Chicago, he worked on an uncle’s ranch in North Dakota for two years […]

His Mother’s Name Was: Reflections from a Family Vacation

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to Washington, D.C. It’s a trip we promised our youngest daughter for her ninth birthday, and because my old college roommate works as a Legislative Director in Congress, we surprised her with a private tour of the United States Capitol. “Dear Federal Government,” I joked on Facebook the day before we left, the day the recent government shutdown ended, “Thank you for reopening just in time […]