My Body’s Story

Prior to entering a new patient’s room, I review words and numbers in a chart in order to gather as much information as possible. Reading a patient’s chief complaint, I learn about the nature of his or her visit whereas her past medical history gives information that begins to tell a story about what her…

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“You Got This.”

I was stepping up on a bench while holding a very large blue and white bowl. It “lives” on top of a corner cupboard in the spring until Thanksgiving. As I stepped up on the stool, I found myself unable to get my other leg on the stool while holding this heavy bowl. “That’s odd,”…

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Full Circles

I grew up in the aftermath of WWII. Our town was in the early stages of being discovered by everyone looking for warmer weather and a place to take their ailing sinuses. Our skies were blue and you could see for miles. That was Phoenix, Arizona in the early days of the 40’s, 50’s. My…

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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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Human Anatomy

No topic is off limits in the operating room. While we reconstruct, remove, or generally alter various body parts, my coworkers and I open up about our own lives and bodies to a backdrop of 80s love songs. Over time, I’ve realized that health care professionals are completely desensitized to topics that might wig out…

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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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Listening

A curious rhythmic beat worked its way into my half sleep. It was barely dawn and as I listened, even before I opened my eyes, I heard first the chorus of birdsong that is the ritual of the Northwest Spring. I had taught myself how to tune into each voice of this holy choir, raising…

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Embracing the New Normal

I love this time of year!! I love the season of celebration that comes with Christmas and the New Year, the music, worship, family time and friends. All of this welcomed with joy in our hearts always, and especially now, as I am more aware of the precious gift of time. And yet, the holidays…

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Gift of Faith

A friend recently invited me to a talk at her church about keeping faith during difficult times. I had a work conflict so I could not attend, but I commented, “I could give that talk.” “Oh, yeah,” she responded. Nine months after my friend Jim died, I gave a retreat talk on gratitude. I shared…

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Timing Is Everything

I had never been to Europe, more specifically London or Paris. I had come to love both cities through favorite films and books: visiting St. Paul’s Cathedral with Mary Poppins and the bird lady, visiting Westminster Abbey as I watched royal weddings on TV, and traveling to the Eiffel Tower with my favorite characters in…

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