Happy Campers

We’d be in Indiana right about now, maybe Illinois or southern Wisconsin. Our next stop was scheduled to be Lake Carlos State Park in Minnesota, en route to a family reunion in Dodson, Montana. They’ve been planning it for years, my husband and daughter, the two pioneering spirits in this family, and after months and months of wearing me down, they finally convinced me to buy a camper to make the long journey west. “What’s wrong, […]

Sick Days

She stumbles out to the dimly lit kitchen just a little after six this morning. “My throat is sore,” she says to me with a wince, “like it’s bleeding or something.” And I know what she means. Like neon flashing, I know the signs. No need for swabs or lab tests today, I know her strep is back, that maybe it never left, that the eighth empty bottle of antibiotics, the one I just pitched […]

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 […]

The Ring: Part Two

This is a follow-up post to a piece I wrote a few months ago about losing my wedding ring. I’ve never been happier to write the rest of the story… My two-year-old son, Wesley, has this habit of taking his toys to bed with him. His diggers, his trucks, his trains. And this is fine, perfectly fine, until he can’t find one of them at naptime. That’s when all hell breaks loose, like the other day. […]

Tuesdays with Rainey: A Mother’s Manifesto on How to Be a Friend

We always have that hour on Tuesdays to talk. When we wind our way home through the Lycoming valley and around the Bald Eagle mountains, past the Amish farms and the place with all the John Deere tractors, this is our chance to connect. Our topic this week, like most weeks, is friendship. She’s navigating a new problem, and like the GPS suctioned to my front windshield, I try to point her in the right direction. “She always asks me what I’m learning […]

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 […]