Seminary Dropout

This must be how it feels to start the protocol to set off a nuclear warhead. My dry eyes idled on the screen as I scratched my hot armpits. I finger-combed my hair and massaged my scalp. I tapped the “Confirm” button, refusing to think further.

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Grace Is the Way

She looked at me with tears in her eyes, as if she was seen for the first time. Between the tissue sopping up her wet face and deep sighs, she said, “I don’t know what I did wrong. I can’t escape his mental and emotional manipulation even though we aren’t even together anymore. I’ve been…

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Blessing Her

Black spandex leggings—“Spanx”—hug her tightly. The wide waistband at the top stretches across her abdomen, smoothing and holding her core. On top she wears a long-sleeved black top, silhouetting her curves nicely. The rust and burgundy crushed velvet flowers covering her duster make a bold statement as she walks. 

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An Encounter with Jesus

It’s Monday, and in-person schooling for my second and fourth grader are finally underway. Schedules are set, school devices charged, extra masks in backpacks. The house is quiet. There is nowhere I need to be and no one who needs me. Then…

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10-Cent Ice Cream Cones

In the late Sunday summer afternoons of Eastern North Dakota, the sun is already beating its way through our Ford Pinto windows and onto the black vinyl seats we are about to gingerly put our bare skin on. There are four of us who need to get into the car and, luckily, no car seats…

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Learning to Let Go

Who is the woman in black? Is she you? Is she me? Is she a woman with stunning beauty, wearing a little black dress? Is she a woman hiding her body, hoping to distract you with a slimming dark color? Is she a woman in mourning, grieving a loss so deep? Or is she a…

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Unpacking Muttsy

I had begun to notice Muttsy’s decline about three months earlier. She’d developed a little cough, which wasn’t unusual, considering we’d gone on a month’s stay in Austin, which had a polar-opposite climate to Northern Colorado’s in the winter. Like most minor health annoyances, I figured this one would come and go.

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Bless the Black Turtleneck

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” Romans 8:26 I notice the black turtleneck as we meet. As we sit down, I hear her sigh deeply. She looks at me, eyes searching. Neither…

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On Living While Dying

“The irony of man’s condition is that the deepest need is to be free from the anxiety of death; but it is life itself that awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” — Ernest Becker I have been struck recently by some people’s freedom to talk about death. The number of recessed…

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Thank You for the Moon

It had been the sweetest day spent with some of my beloved ones. As our time together was coming to an end, a child whom I adore noticed the bright, full moon outside my east-facing windows. “Oh, look!” she said. “The moon! Can we go outside and look at it?”

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