Lessons from the Renovation

Our kitchen renovation has been going on for one entire day, and I’m already tired of it. I just don’t enjoy feeding a family of five from a cramped corner of the living room, where food and utensils and the coffee maker are randomly piled on two card tables. OK – That right there is [Read More…]

Caring for the Small and Vulnerable

At the end of each day, somewhere around 9 p.m., comes this moment: I let the cat in. She nibbles at the food left in her bowl, then goes upstairs to the dog bed in our room. (No one told her it’s a dog bed; she just thinks it’s a really, really big cat bed.) [Read More…]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] My Writing Companion

When I sit outside to write, my dog Sunday insists on being nearby, even when she doesn’t particularly want to be because it’s very hot, as it was when I took this photo. She crawls into the shade under the car or right under the bench where I sit, ready to bounce up and follow [Read More…]

Three Things I’ve Learned from Adopting a Puppy

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that we’ve had some hard times with our dogs over the past year, with two failed adoptions of adult rescue dogs under our belt. I shared our hard-won wisdom about adopting rescue dogs in a blog post back in May. We eventually decided to adopt [Read More…]

What I’ve Learned About Adopting a Dog…the Hard Way

One week. That’s how long our latest adopted rescue dog lasted in our home. One. Stinkin’. Week. The problem? Essentially the same problem we had with our last rescue dog—an anxious, possessive personality that was putting the children in our lives at risk of being bitten. Despite spending several hours a day doing various training [Read More…]

What My Dogs are Teaching Me About (the Limits of) Grace

Last winter, I wrote a blog post titled “What My Dog Is Teaching Me About Grace.” So poetic, that post. All about our beautiful but neurotic rescue dog, Eddie—how he came to us after years of neglect, possibly abuse, how he needed a second chance (actually, many second chances), and how we would give him [Read More…]

Praying to a God Who Cares About Suffering Nations, and Also My Dog

Although I’ve struggled with prayer for my entire adult life, I think I’ve finally found a prayer practice that I can stick with. As I have mentioned before, I’m using Phyllis Tickle’s book series The Divine Hours to “pray the hours.” Praying the hours is an ancient practice, used in many monastic communities, in which [Read More…]

When Unconditional Love Isn’t Enough

There’s a hazard to “living out loud,” to writing as a memoirist who pens intimate posts in which I try to be honest about my inner life while painting word portraits of my outer life. The hazard is that, when I realize that something I wrote is no longer true, I have to come clean. [Read More…]