Trusting Other People’s Journey (And Our Own)


I don't know why it's so hard to accept God's mercy. I don't know why we cling tighter to our sin. It's so much harder to keep God out of our lives, than it is to let Him in. (Rhyme!)We have to keep distracting ourselves, finding fault in others, rationalizing mystery, talking ourselves down from wonder, calling connections coincidences, expunging the meaning from everything we encounter. It's so much work to be unimpressed by everything.I imagine someone saying to me, "I'm going to put … [Read more...]

Love Miser: Withholding Love Always Backfires


It's been a big birthday weekend. None of our kids had birthdays, but there were three different parties, four different children who hoped to receive our gifts this weekend, and I think I did better than I usually do at fulfilling their expectations.I tend towards miserliness when it comes to kids' birthdays, always doing the run through Goodwill first, just to see if there's something unusual, or large, or unopened that might work, and there never really is, so I'm not sure why I keep … [Read more...]

What Makes Faith Believable?


Prosperity Gospel is pretty noxious. There's no reason to believe that our faith will protect us from suffering or make us rich. But sometimes, perhaps in rejection of prosperity gospel, a different but equally noxious faith narrative finds a voice. It goes something like this:I used to have lots of unique, interesting friends with 3D personalities. I used to enjoy parties and eating, and leaving my house occasionally--but then I became serious about my faith, and traded my sinful … [Read more...]

A Time Capsule of Shame: What We Can Learn From Litter


Sunday was a glorious late summer day, 65 degrees and sunny, so I took a walk, and just kept walking, around one more bend in the road, one more corner, until it no longer made sense to turn around and go home. Instead, I had to keep going around the block, because the shortest way home had become forward rather than behind me.It was more miles than I usually cover, along sparsely populated country roads, which seem to collect more litter than other streets, or at least they are not often … [Read more...]

A Pragmatist, an Aquinas Scholar, a Pentecostal Catholic, and a Grandma Walk Into a Bar…


The movement from the sublime to the mundane always feels like a fall, even if it's not. After the retreat I felt like a drink, and decided to go ahead and stop in at an open-house party where I hoped I might experience just the slightest hint of earthly inebriation to keep the buzz going.It was a going away party for a childhood friend named Gabe, who was packing up his small business as a music producer to join a large studio in California.I had hoped to see some school friends at the … [Read more...]

Called by Name: A Fierce and Fearsome Theology of Woman

Mom and Mary 004

I went to a retreat Saturday morning, which I was ambivalent about attending, mostly because I worried I'd be sitting in a chair all day feeling hungry. Weak coffee and stale donated bagels are sort of a stubborn fact of women's retreats, and I don't stomach either well. I faced a bagel and a V-8 from my brown bag every day for lunch throughout grade school because I packed my own, and now I avoid them. As it happened, I missed the bagel moment of the morning by dragging my feet, and by lunch … [Read more...]

Seven Quick Takes: People of Faith Making Beautiful Things


 It's Friday, oh short and sweet day. I mostly have links to share. And as always, thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes Friday.1.First, our kitchen is finished, for the most part.Here's the before picture: And here's the after picture with the cabinets and flooring my husband made:  For more pictures, a closer look at what happened in between, and how my husband operates as a woodworker, see here.I've been meaning for some time to cr … [Read more...]