Not Excluded, Not Included

The musical score danced in my ears as I remained in the theater seat, soaking in every last note. Salty tears reflected my state of being over the previous two hours while I sat watching Little Women. My thoughts diverted as my mother’s friend approached me. Her smile preceded her question.

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Banchan

In Korea I could disappear. Not like, “40 year old woman goes missing on vacation and is never seen again,” disappear. But rather, disappear so seamlessly into the masses that I’d never even feel lost. I could be among a dozen people and not even be noticed. Physically fitting in might have been the missing…

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Depression: A Mark of Disgrace or Humanity?

The statistics on mental illness in the U.S. are sobering. According to NAMI, one in five adults experience mental illness each year; for children, the prevalence is only slightly less at one in six. Anxiety and depression top the list of most common diagnoses and frequently occur together. Also troubling is the rising suicide rate.…

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The Battle For Joy

I just woke up early in my daughter’s home.  There are no sounds of our freshly born granddaughter, Parker, or her mother or father. I hope they are all sleeping.  Dan is deep in the twitching dreams of REM.  It is the quiet time of memory.  Parker is safe, sound, and already greatly loved.  Today…

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Building a New House

Sadly, the body of Christ has often failed to see trauma as a place of service…I think a look at suffering humanity would lead to the realization that trauma is perhaps the greatest mission field of the twenty-first century. (Diane Landberg, 2015, Suffering and the Heart of God, p. 8) Almost eleven years have passed…

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Making Room

My roommate Emily gets home from work earlier than I expect and knocks gently on my door asking, “Are you ok?”. “Don’t come in,” I try to sound as normal as possible, swallowing my tears before they escape me. I’m thrown off balance. I intended to get all my feelings out before she got home—to…

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Enough

I am laying on the couch under the warmest blanket in our house waiting for our children to wake up. I open the thermos filled with hot coffee my husband left for me on the table. Tendrils of steam rise to greet my chilled face and I deeply inhale the scent of french vanilla. Just…

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A Broken Hallelujah

This morning, I left church weeping.  At the close of a lovely Advent service, we sang the song, “Hallelujah.” I’m sure you’ve heard it. The lyrics, written by Leonard Cohen more than 20 years ago, have been sung by many. This morning, that song landed hard on a tender bruise.

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Creating An Ecosystem Of Love

When my three daughters were very young, all the back yards in our neighborhood abutted a retention pond. The pond was home to many ducks and slithery creatures as well as an occasional heron.  One morning, I let Muffy, our sweet cockapoo, out in the back yard to pee, and went to check on the…

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