Glory and The Dirt Underneath My Fingernail 

I hear the pattering of feet and my seven-year-old son bursts through the bedroom door. I squirm, anticipating the end of my slumber.  Every morning, shortly after I hit my alarm at 5 a.m., he opens the door, declaring, “Mom, are you still here?”  I roll over. The door is shut. Luis is on his…

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I Am the Woman Who…

Swallowing the last sip of a stiff drink, I dragged my body off the couch. Walking toward my bedroom, I stopped in the hallway to notice the open door on the left. Looking into the darkness of the room rendered me breathless for a moment, and I slowly turned to avoid the sight. While brushing…

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Relational Crops

It was the fall of 1976, and it is likely I was wearing a “wrap skirt” that day when I showed up to help with hot lunch at the small Christian Reformed grade school where my children had recently started attending. In that kitchen, making hot dogs, I met Barb for the first time. Her…

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Wild Flower

My son was four years old the first time he had an opinion about his hair. His thick blond hair bounced up and down as he ran, and it brought me absolute delight. When he asked to shave it off, my heart sank. I allowed myself to explore the unusually strong feelings I was experiencing,…

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Foolish Resurrection

Lent is for lovers. “Lent is a time for discipline, for confession, for honesty, not because God is mean or fault- finding or finger-pointing but because he wants us to know the joy of being cleaned out, ready for all the good things he now has in store.” ― N.T. Wright 2018. The year Valentine’s…

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The Romance of Friendship

Long before I knew romance with a boyfriend, I learned how to love, and love intensely, from my friend Ashley. “You are my SPNQ (SPOH-neek),” we would say to each other. It was code for “I love you,” invented some silly night at a girls’ retreat when we were maybe 15, 16 years old. It…

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The Mystery of Desire

Why do we go back for our small selves? It is enough, is it not, to survive into adulthood? To go back means the risk of awakening desire. And desire is a powerfully dangerous thing. To desire is to be alive.  I read a story over Christmas break, a novel written by a private investigator.…

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My Prayers

I remember the first time I held my granddaughter in my arms. She was minutes old. As I looked at her, she looked at me. She looked into my eyes, and I into hers. Her eyes were deep and rich, almond shaped brown with deep blue halos that only newborns seem to have. They were…

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Darling Mom

“I don’t need you, MOM! I don’t need you!” I hear this screamed by a large, fit, and well-dressed man. He is a study in contradiction. He has a large pack which suggests to me that he could be homeless. He is huge, more than six feet tall. He appears mentally ill. He is screaming…

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The Olive Branch

The last few nights I have been sleep deprived. I squirm under my cozy covers in an attempt to relax, but my chest feels tight, as if my breath is constricted. My body is weary. I attempt to ease my mind, as anxiety-filled scenarios swirl around my head like an annoying replay. After a long…

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