Look to the Children

Wonder is such a strange word to consider in the midst of a global pandemic. And yet, how much more do you and I need to feel wonder now, more than ever? For me in this time, children have been my gateway to accessing wonder, hope, joy, laughter, tears, feeling human. I don’t have children…

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She

January felt particularly long this year. After several cloudy weeks with no sun in sight, my emotional state mirrored the constant gray. Usually snow tempers this for me, its crystalline beauty creating a winter wonderland that I love to explore. Finally, three weeks in, my chance came–several inches had fallen over the past couple of…

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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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A Different Kind of Life-giving

Our oldest son turned 26 this year. All day, as often happens on our kids’ birthdays, I found my mind returning to the day he was born. At two weeks overdue, I was SO ready for him to be born – though we didn’t know yet that he was even a “he.” We went to…

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The Courage of Not Knowing

“It’s not a mystery, it’s only been two days since I brought this here! Something was not fixed correctly,” my husband, Chris insisted. The young bike shop employee was not convincing in his assessment that sometimes tires “mysteriously go flat” on their own. Sensing Chris’ unlikeliness to back down, the employee investigated further, discovering another…

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Love Came for Me as a Bug

I walked out the door into late morning sunshine. The soft ground, soaked by overnight storms, gave way beneath my bare feet. Attending an all-day retreat as part of a Mindfulness and Self Compassion course, we’d been sent outside for a Sense and Savor Walk. The goal was to practice mindfulness in every detail of…

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War and Peace In My Body

I stared at the number on the scale, then stepped off quickly so it would disappear before my husband made his way into the room. How could I have let it get this bad?  I began to run the numbers in my head, each one a new accusation. I was scarily close to my self-defined…

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Knowing Love

I remember the moment I first heard the words “I love you” from someone other than a family member. Chris and I were sitting in his car, in the same campus parking lot where we had met a few months before. After kissing me goodnight, he spoke those magical words, “I love you, Janet.” Immediately,…

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Nothing to Prove

On date night last weekend, Chris and I went to see the new Captain Marvel movie. I was feeling rather ambivalent after reading several reviews focusing on the movie’s feminist agenda. One in particular caused a visceral reaction internally, as I took in words that had the appearance of honor, but to me felt patronizing…

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Finding Shalom in the Seasons

Never have I known more clearly that I am a lover of changing seasons than the Christmases we lived in Northern California. Everything I loved about the season seemed intrinsically tied to cold and snow, which makes sense, given my Michigan upbringing. The flocked trees available at the local Christmas tree stand were nothing like…

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