The Holy Rebel

“Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you.” – Mr. Beaver* My favorite grocery store is five miles east of my home, down a two-lane highway in the middle of a forest preserve. Forest preserves are Illinois’s excuse for nature. No buildings are allowed…

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The Steps of Indoctrination

“The best protection any woman can have is courage.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1. Initiation When I was in sixth grade, either God or genetics saw fit to gift me with the most developed body of any girl in the school. I didn’t think much about it, having the mind of a child, but I…

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Puzzled

We bought the first puzzle near the beginning of the pandemic. We have never been a game-playing family; we’ve been cordially busy with our own individual interests. Then we bought a jigsaw puzzle. We waited weeks to receive the first one because of a COVID puzzle shortage. Of course.

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Redemption

I was a twenty-something, mindlessly folding church bulletins with a group of young women. We talked to pass the time. One of the women said, “I can’t wait until I’m forty. Your life is settled by then. It gets easier.” The fact that none of us laughed is a testament to our naïveté.  Many years…

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Turning Away

I grew up in the paradox of an abusive Christian home. It’s a surprise, then, that my siblings and I each clung to Jesus in our own ways. We were desperate for stability and truth.  When I became a mother, I reinvented the parenting wheel. I prayed for inspiration, for wisdom, for the ability to…

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With No Purpose

Every year I look forward to the passage from winter to spring. This year I hardly noticed it. During this year’s transition month, I was admitted to the hospital three times, each time sicker than the last. Surgery was the last option but the eventual outcome. Then ICU, then complications, and then, finally, I was…

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Unexpected

In the night, when I return to bed after a bathroom trip (thank you, menopause) my husband will often turn and touch my hair before we both go back to sleep. And if he returns from a trip, he adjusts my bed covers. I smile. There are two pieces of my life I usually don’t…

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A Wealth of Years

“Don’t trust anyone over 30.”–Jack Weinberg, 1964 “I hope I die before I get old.”–The Who, 1965 It was my generation, I suppose, that began this trend—the glorification of youth, the disdain of old age. Our fathers risked their lives in World War II, but we had no time for their stories, for their work…

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