Dried Up, Spent, and Empty

We start our day too early and with too much to do, when granola bars pass as breakfast and pajamas make acceptable around-town attire. My kids and I drive to the doctor’s office for a nine o’clock appointment, and while I’m congratulating myself for actually remembering to schedule my daughter’s wellness check this year (unlike last), the secretary tells me after we arrive that our insurance won’t pay for the visit. The trip’s not a […]

The Wrong Done Against Us: A Marriage and Mercy Story

Our old dog, Murphy, is dying. He hasn’t eaten in days, he can barely walk, and the vet confirms that his heart and kidneys are failing. He’s lived a long, full life, I tell my husband, and I urge him to put the last of our three dogs down. But my husband’s not ready. “You can try giving him an antacid,” the vet suggests as a last resort. “It might increase his appetite.” So he […]

We Can Do Better

Someone unfriended me on Facebook this morning. I’m not surprised. Our friendship ended in real time months ago; today she just made it official, like it’s the electronic equivalent of slamming the door in my face.  I can handle this cruel and final gesture, and all the emotional havoc this relationship has wreaked on me recently, but I hate how garbage like this trickles down to our daughters, how their dysfunctional friendships are often a reflection of our own. And as I’ve […]

A Letter to My Daughter on Her 12th Birthday

Dear Rainey, I looked for it everywhere this morning, that letter from the pastor who dedicated you in Montana so many years ago. You were only eight weeks old then, and cranky, causing me to sweat right through my Sunday Best. But you quieted down just in time for your dad and me to walk onto that platform and promise to do everything in our power to raise you in a righteous way. Afterward, in the hallway behind that huge sanctuary, the pastor handed us an envelope and told us […]

Sewing the Seeds of Love

I never learned to sew; the skill never interested me. The only curtains hanging in this house were either bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond or handmade by my husband, who, I’ll have you know, can sew a mean straight stitch. So when Rainey wanted to learn a few years ago, I had to find a suitable teacher for her. In other words, not me. I’d heard about a woman downtown who owns a sewing […]

My One Word for 2013: Solitude

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves (Matt. 11:28-29). It’s not a word that rolls easily off my tongue. But today, this first day of 2013, I’m sick in bed with strep, and the Holy Spirit has me paralyzed between my flannel […]

What to Pray When Things Don’t Make Sense