Feasting with Friends

The seven of us had spent a lovely day in picturesque Door County, Wisconsin, honoring one of the women in our fellowship. Now the sun was setting over Sturgeon Bay and our time of reflecting, naming, and blessing was drawing to an end too. We made our way from the rocky beach to the nearby…

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The Power of Presence

For the past fourteen years, the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been a constant in my life. With two boys coming of age as the 34 movies in this franchise were released, I spent many, if not most, of their birthdays from ages 8 to 18 sitting in a darkened theater watching the…

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The Matriarch and Muse

“The calling of the queen is not to rule, but to host the banquet where the Spirit of God may be present with his people.” – Cathy Loerzel* I confess that I had low expectations and maybe even a mild sense of dread as I pulled into the parking space at my mother’s Baptist church.…

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Daughter of Eve

Considering the avid reader I was during my childhood and adolescence, it still surprises me that I never read The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. It wasn’t until the theatrical release of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in 2005 that I finally took my first trip to Aslan’s country.  I remember feeling…

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Faithful to the End

I wasn’t there when my parents said their marriage vows 61 years ago, but I was there when their vows were fulfilled. Both the beginning of their union and the end were marked with a kiss. Bearing witness to this moment was one of the most holy honors of my life. In mid-September my 87-year-old…

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Looking for Someone, Looking for Me

“If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story.” – Donald Miller I sit down to write, and my fingers reflexively type the sentence:…

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Spirit-Filled and Free

It happened during my favorite assembly of the school year—eighth grade chapel. Nearly three hundred uniform-clad students sat on metal bleachers in the middle school gym for the final chapel of the year. The familiar faces of my fellow teachers appeared here and there, positioned strategically amid the pubescent crowd, ready to “shush” any rowdy…

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Turning Toward Hope

I’m standing in front of my closet, swapping heavy, dark winter wear for the brighter, lighter garments of spring. When the annual exchange is complete, I begin to look through a neighboring rack of dresses, nearly untouched during the last year spent largely at home. I pass by one, two, three black dresses before I…

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A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

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Color Memory

I woke this morning to a fresh snowfall. As I looked upon our crystalline backyard, I observed how the white blanket seemed to hush the noise of the nearby interstate, silence the song of the finches, and dampen my own spirit. The snow stirred my color memory, taking me back to a long-past yet still-tender…

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