The Black Dress

I stand in my closet looking at all the clothes I have not worn for more than a year. I am not going anywhere, and I don’t need to look for an outfit because I am wearing the same yoga leggings and workout t-shirt I have worn for days. I have a faint awareness that it…

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Choosing Joy

We do not play Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, when we begin decorating our house. Any talk of decorating early for Christmas has been met with strong opposition and simply hasn’t been done. The theme music from Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas (the original cartoon) and A Charlie Brown Christmas are a must while decorating the tree,…

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The Wounded Healer

The wounded healer arrives on the scene not a moment too soon or too late. She is ready and anchored in the flow of love to lean into the other’s deep pain. She heals with her eyes, her heart, and her hands, using words of comfort and care. She knows how it feels to be…

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Losing One’s Self

Before me sits a well-groomed 75-year-old man named Richard. His button-down shirt is tidy, and his khakis are well pressed. He is a former pilot and used to being in control. He is witty and quick to answer, navigating questions with a rapid side step. One would never know just by talking to him. 

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Stretch Marks

Chris caught the flu near the beginning of my second trimester with Asha. At the time our home was under construction in an attempt to restore decades of mold and wood rot that we unknowingly inherited. Our first house, once a hopeful purchase, had turned into a homeowner’s nightmare, and we could not wait to…

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Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

Several years ago, my husband, Stephan, and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest for a series of engagements over a long weekend—a church, a university, and an event with the local community. The air in Spokane was crisp and the mountains, already snow-capped. Trees were were just beginning to turn fiery hues of orange and…

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Ragdoll Endurance

This past year has been one of the most challenging and painful years in my life. I felt like I was in a fierce storm being thrashed around like a little rag doll. For what seemed like eternity, all I could focus on was trying to survive one moment at a time. I felt deep betrayal, grief, fear,…

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The Waiting Room

Sitting in the vinyl recliner in the neo-natal intensive care unit, I pressed the cardiologist on the impact of heart-lung bypass on our daughter’s tiny developing body. Terrified of his answer, I trailed off and tuned into the beeps of the monitor tracking her decreasing oxygen rate.

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