Advent in a coffee shop

She wants to see him. That’s it. That’s all she wants. He tries to get her to say more. An actual present, please? He persists. She wipes the corners of her eyes and leans in close to the computer. Just you, she whispers. No presents. Read More

On being thankful for our people

adventure-1807524__340I was eleven when I first met her; right at the beginning of that braces, bad hair and awkward shyness phase. I was a student and she was the principal. My goal was to never have to talk to her.  Ever. Her heels and clothes and super cool car were legendary and no one wanted to cross her. No one.  Read More

Thankful for things you can’t fix?

I am thankful for things that I cannot fix. My kid raises his eyebrows at me. He’s trying to finish his “thankful for” homework list and  I am not cooperating. “That makes no sense, Mom!” He starts to write down the words and then erases them. “Why would you be thankful for something that you can’t do?” I know. I used to think that way too. And then I met Cedric. Read More

For the love of the church and all of the people

“What if it had happened at your church? What if it were you?” a friend and I are discussing all of the recent events in Sutherland Springs, TX. Church just isn’t her thing; so she is earnest in her questioning. “What would you want everyone to be talking about?” We are lamenting the horrible evil and the broken hearts of so many people. But she looks me straight in the eye when she asks that question. “What would you want the nation’s conversation to be about if you died while standing in your church?” Read More

Can anything good come from standing in line?

The check-out line at Old Navy gives me hives. Especially when the clock is ticking away seconds until my feet need to be planted at the bus stop. I just need one pair of pants; a pair that will hopefully cover the ankles of the boy whose legs won’t stop stretching. But, the line is endless. Behind me stands a mom with a toddler in full-on meltdown mode. She’s doing all the mom things. But he’s a toddler. And in his fit, he grabs one of the trinkets from the display shelf. Seconds later, the toy is hurled to the ground and shatters into a million pieces. Read More

How to use a compass

Orienteering. I just had to Google that word to make sure I was using it correctly. It involves reading a map and using numbers, in the woods on unknown paths. Yeah. My brain is missing the neurons it needs to do these things.  But when I was a 12 year old Girl Scout, I did not yet know this about myself. I thought I was pretty good at everything. And so did all my friends. We learned the hard way that staying on course isn’t always as easy as it looks. Read More

How to do the things you don’t want to do

I hate lists almost as much as I hate math. Seriously. I will do anything to keep from having to enumerate life. My brain thinks freedom is found in being untethered, in lyric and cadence but never with bullet points or numbers. It also thinks that I can remember and know and keep up with much more than I actually can. Turns out, my old brain is rather forgetful. Read More

Why we have to talk to our kids about Las Vegas

My older boys get most of their news and information from Instagram and the school bus. It is simply the way life is these days. If they begin a sentence with, “Hey mom did you know that …” I brace myself for the barrage of jumbled news that is about to come out of their mouths. Or the random sports fact. It is usually one or the other. Read More

To the lady who gave me peanut butter and grace at Walmart

Peanut butter. I just needed peanut butter. And a few more hours in the day, but Walmart was all out of those. So I settle for peanut butter. Feeling overwhelmed by the never ending race against the ticking clock, I wheel around the corner of the aisle and nearly take her down with my cart. Read More

Finding grace in the storm

The clean-up is continuing around here as storm damage is  assessed and debris removed. We are the lucky ones, though, in our suburb. Not much damage was done. We even kept our power through the worst of the storm. The pictures on the news tell a different story of other places, however. As the sun peeked out yesterday and its light settled on the landscape of many cities, it only illuminated the heartache. Trees, houses, whole city blocks, all destroyed. People’s possessions and ways of life tossed about like toys in a sandbox. And it is all beginning to feel overwhelming. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, the pictures of devastation just keep coming.  And what in the world does God think about all of this? Read More