In the Wilds of Motherhood

In the wilds of motherhood, professional work, and various other creative endeavors, as an Indigenous/Mexican/Spanish/German woman, I find the spaces shrinking in which I feel intuitively understood. In the ongoing pandemic integration into real-life realities, paired with friction-filled sociopolitical conversations and an ever-emerging mental health crisis, I often “turtle,” or go inward. A few weeks…

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Welcoming the Orphan

I walked into the classroom feeling a sense of anticipation, my first in-person class in almost two years after COVID forced my graduate program online. Eager to finally see my classmates, I looked around the room expectantly, finding a few familiar faces and quite a few I didn’t recognize. Knowing that group assignments were on 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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Little Suns

It was a profound moment for me. As I sat staring at my peanut butter-smudged computer screen, wincing from the glare to try to look her as directly in the eyes as possible, I wondered to myself: What little suns does my life orbit around? Spiritual direction is new for me. As I progress through…

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My Little Kingdom

I thought it would be more glamorous, ruling my little kingdom. Perhaps because my mother made it look pretty effortless…or at least manageable. But the truth is, it’s not manageable on so many days. Every day I wake up, and I try and fail and go to sleep and do it again. I’ve read all…

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Crown Jewels

Just inside the front door of my childhood home is a large built-in bookcase my father made when my parents bought their first house. On the nearby coast, my mother found a beautiful piece of driftwood to fill its center space, making the uniquely shaped object the focal point in our living room. Anything of…

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My Queena

A few months into our relationship, my high school boyfriend started calling me, “Mallorina, my Queena.” As a 16-year-old, I’m not sure there was a nickname more flattering than this one. Actually, 38-year-old Mallory really wouldn’t mind answering to it, either. It was young love, but I knew my boyfriend adored me and went out…

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Sunday Morning Vegetables

I’m on the hunt for a church community. I can’t in good conscience identify church as a need anymore. Just shy of two years into this pandemic and I recognize that learning, worshiping, seeking justice, and building community with the same group of people, and then weathering disagreements with those people with grace isn’t something…

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Dear Colleague

“For the opposite of clinging is not letting go but cherishing. This is the goal of the practice of humility. That having a “light grasp” on life prepares the way for cherishing what is right in front of us.” ― Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, Gregory Boyle Dear Colleague, This year,…

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Our Better Angels

“Please stop watching.”   The round, green eyes of my traveling companion flash as she whispers these words toward me. We are sitting in a crowded, delayed airplane stuck on the runway. Hot, stuffy, and impossibly close. Bodies of all sizes are wadded into same-sized seats like so many sausage parts stuffed into casings. The man next to me,…

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