A Modest Proposal

“You can take off your mask now and check your hair and your lips,” the photographer says as I get ready to take my headshots for work.  Check my lips? Oh, right. Women wear lipstick. “My lips always look the same, so they should be fine,” I quip back. As I glance in the mirror, I…

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What It All Means

Snooze, snooze, snooze.  One week ago, four days ago, thirteen hours ago.  As the dampened street reflects an early Saturday morning shower, my email inbox sprinkles out reminders set from the past week. A musical playlist, a “must read again,” and “your story doesn’t end here” (thank you, God!) fill the subject lines of emails,…

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Devouring Joy

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is it’s way of fighting back,…

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Yes, You Are Beautiful

Standing at my sink mid-day in the soft sun, I tend to the bowls and pans used to make banana bread. The oven heats the sugar, flour, eggs, yogurt, and slivers of banana nestled within its crumb. An aroma like a holiday morning at grandma’s lingers in the air. I choose Christy Nockel’s “Be Held”…

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Look Closely

There is a book I love entitled, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection and Prayer. The entry, “Learning to See” (p. 191), reminds me: “God is everywhere present in the world, suffusing creation with the being of God. Once in a while, if we keep our eyes open, if we look closely…

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Wrinkle Cream and Eternal Glory

The cheap, squat container of white cream makes a wild claim: the power to stretch time, to make it elastic and supple. All I have to do is grease my face nightly, submit to the sting, and it will dam the water that is bubbling beneath the surface, conspiring to burst forth and rake my…

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Intangible Beauty

We sit on bar stools at a reclaimed wood counter in a refurbished grainery. Each cupping hot coffee, my friend and I stare at the large, heavy snowflakes surprising us all in early October. Across the street, an urban lot is being demolished. I no longer remember what had been there. The entire north side…

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Taking a Stand

The smell of stale popcorn wafted up my nostrils as I retrieved my Bible from my purse, ready to follow along in the text. My Sunday School teacher smiled and took a deep breath. Today’s discussion came from the book of Esther, beginning with the character of Queen Vashti. Hanna-Barbera’s “Stories from the Bible” flashed…

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Rocky Mountain High

“Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth.” –Stasi Eldredge Recently my nineteen-year-old son and I took a trip to Colorado. While my youngest attended summer school and my husband worked, Seth and I set off for five days of adventure in the Rocky Mountains. Seth had just finished his freshman year in college,…

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Who Are We Not to Be?

A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose… Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. –Marianne Williamson On the last week of kindergarten, with parents and grandparents present, our daughter’s…

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