Sins of the Father

Many times, I’ve told myself that I’m my own worst enemy–my own harshest critic. Perfection has been my goal for as long as I can remember. Sometimes this exaggerated need compels me to stop short of completing a task because I know, just know, it won’t be perfect. The roots of this behavior are multi-generational.

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Ugly Hope

Moving through loss is messy and unattractive. A few years ago, there was a song made popular by a country singer who lamented her mama’s advice: “Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady.”* Or, as others have said, “fake it till you make it.” There is a certain value in this…

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The Cold Metal Scissors

I was proud of my long hair. I was noticed, and I received comments on the “pretty blonde” color which had grown almost to my waist. I bragged about how it had never been “officially” cut, but only trimmed at home. One way my mom showed care for me was with my hair. When I…

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Believing Lies, Knowing Truth

Believing the lies today. Know the truth. Doesn’t matter. Believing the lies anyway. They are swirling all around me in a feeding frenzy. Feeding on each other and growing stronger and darker and louder. Yet they aren’t shouting. That would be wasted energy. They whisper. Inept. Incapable. Inadequate. Incompetent. Inferior. And the whispers echo everywhere.…

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The Road of Forgiveness

It was my senior year of college, and I was one month into my walk with God. I had a fresh sense of awe and gratitude tangled with curiosity. I retreated to a coffee shop where I snuggled into some pillows on a stoop in front of a large window. Next to me was my…

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Watching and Waiting

I remember using a black felt tip marker, writing the words, “baby due” and circling March 9th on the calendar that lay by the phone on our kitchen counter. There is nothing quite like the first time you see those two pink lines.

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Turning Away

I grew up in the paradox of an abusive Christian home. It’s a surprise, then, that my siblings and I each clung to Jesus in our own ways. We were desperate for stability and truth.  When I became a mother, I reinvented the parenting wheel. I prayed for inspiration, for wisdom, for the ability to…

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When I Can’t Feel Christmas

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” — Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 5:34 p.m. on Black Friday and everything was right on schedule. The tree was set up, lights lit, and boxes of ornaments ready for unpacking. Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas played in the background, as was tradition, and Mom had just slid the…

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Between Joy and Sadness

“Can I watch Joy’s movie, Mama?” “Joy’s movie?” “Yeah! The yellow lady with the blue hair!” Frantically searching my memory bank for the missing puzzle pieces, I stare confusedly into space until a bright light blinks into existence above my head. “Aha! Joy! You mean Inside Out.” My sweet boy, with swollen eyes and a…

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