Ode to Auny

“Auny” was part godmother and part adopted grandmother to me. She had a pet name all of her own, as she held a treasured and unique place in our family. She worked as a hostess in my grandparents’ midwestern Chinese restaurant. This was in a time before friendship between races was considered acceptable.   For decades, she rubbed…

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Wisdom Says

Beneath the noise and confusion, there is a deep inner knowing. This is the voice of truth—the wise one within, always calling us back home to ourselves. There is safety under the shelter of the wise one’s expansive wings. She is an angel of light who is always available to comfort and guide us if…

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Hosanna

We come—our lives brim-full with laughter and longing, delight and dread, fear and fury. Whether effervescent, elated, exuberant, exultant, or hunger-haunted, hurt-hollowed, we are expectant with a question: “Will I be met with wrath, or wrapped in warmest welcome?”

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The Solace of Solidarity

Dear Ministry Sister, I’ve had you on my mind all afternoon. I’ve been thinking about how things are for you and what I would want to hear if I was you. First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for saying yes to the call that led you where you are today. I want…

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Small Moments

Right before the clock marked the start of theology class each day, Dr. Todd Billings would arrive in a rush: a massive stack of reference articles tucked beneath his arm, a legal pad filled with scribbles in his hand, and the quirkiest of laughs ready to sound in delight at his students. Under Dr. Billings’…

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The Dance

“I’m a queen, Mama,” my daughter declares, looking up at me as I help her into her favorite sparkly twirling dress. Her eyes glow with the same determined assurance that comes through in her voice when she stands transfixed by a ninja warrior performance and declares with calm certainty, “I could do that.” As we…

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Neverland Girl

His plan might have worked if I hadn’t been a girl. My brother was three when I was born and lived in a make-believe world created from bedtime stories and pages of well-worn children’s books. He loved hearing the same stories repeatedly, and his favorite tale included pirate ships and crocodiles. His relationship with fantasy…

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For Dreamers

I am sitting in Kerry Park looking at the Seattle skyline when a woman with a canvas bag reading “Atlanta is for Dreamers” passes by me. I turn my gaze from the skyline I have called home for 15 years and stare. Really? Atlanta, for dreamers? Since our recent move to the East Coast, I…

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The Remaining 89 Seconds

I was a senior in high school, waiting to begin what could potentially be my final balance beam routine in my final competition of my 10-year gymnastics career. If I scored high enough on the beam—my strongest event—I would advance to the state competition. If not, my decade-long involvement in the sport would come to…

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Courage and Grace

I wake up most mornings at 5:30am, journal, read, and enjoy a cup of tea. An hour later, I’m making sure our youngest is awake and preparing for his morning run. He meets his running group and I start my 4-5 mile walk. My days are filled with household chores, lunch with my husband, writing,…

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