What Will You Make This New Year?

It’s a cozy, quiet Sunday morning. I type near the Christmas tree, a sleeping pup curled at my feet and a YouTube fire flickering noiselessly on my TV because my apartment doesn’t have a fireplace. Outside, the world glistens, covered in its first true blanket of snow. These Midwest mornings, the ones that stretch from…

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Bethany’s Thanksgiving Playlist 2021

November is here, and once again, we approach the holiday season. This year brings opportunities that have been missing during the previous twenty-something months. Opportunities that invite us to engage with our whole selves, dysfunction and all. 

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Coming and Going

“You are one of the bravest people I know,” I squeaked, as tears filled my eyes. She kept my gaze as I spoke a blessing over her cross-country journey into the unknown. Without concrete work and with very temporary housing in place, she was moving back to L.A. after a long COVID relocation.  A bright…

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Building a Marriage

I was a mere 23 years old, and my wonderful future lay ahead of me as I prepared to marry the man of my dreams. He was a naval flight officer—responsible, smart, steady, driven—and a leader who pursued all the golden ideals I desired to build my exemplary life. Unaware at the time, I wanted…

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Toss and Turn

It’s 3 a.m., and I’m wide awake, tossing and turning like it’s my own signature dance move, all to the tune of grief and fear. Back and forth I spin on the deep gray sheets that prove there is no thread count that can stop my midnight moves. That tune is just too loud.  The…

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The Inner Landscape

Since our retirement seven years ago, my husband Jim and I have explored much of the United States. We have lived out of our RV for six months a year, traveling between points A and B. With each back-and-forth trek across the country, our realization grew of how much more there was to see. There…

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Unless I Had Believed

A few mornings ago, I woke with a heavy sense of dread, imbued by the nightmares that sometimes plague me. As I shuffled to the coffee pot, the clamoring needs of my children felt like alarm bells on an already fried nervous system. I was preoccupied with larger worries than “what’s for breakfast?”

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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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Pandemic-Era Parenting

It was dinnertime on a Sunday, which means the countdown to bedtime had started a little early and was slightly more enthusiastic than normal. I had been craving cauliflower for a while, which isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but here we were. My husband and two daughters looked on as I picked up the…

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