Peace in Prayer

Have you been following the heartbreaking story of Mohammed Soltan? He’s a twenty-seven year old American citizen unjustly detained in an Egyptian prison. What was his crime? He stood up against the tyrannical military dictatorship that overthrew Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Mohammed has been on a hunger strike for over 300 days and both his physical and mental conditions are rapidly deteriorating. If you are a parent, it’s particularly difficult to read about his recent pleas … [Read more...]

The Ultimate Reliance

Whimper, whimper. I look up from the onions sautéing on the stove to see Ibrahim, my fourteen-month-old baby, holding a sandwich bag in one hand and a large T-fal frying pan in the other. With intense concentration, he attempts to force the pan into the small bag—an impossible task. Once, twice, three times. He keeps trying. Finally, he turns to me with pleading brown eyes that ask me to help him.Stifling back laughter, a thought strikes me: Ibrahim thinks I can do anything. Whenever he fi … [Read more...]

Losing My Mind

I recently experienced cranial surgery. During this difficult time, I learned a lot about letting go and asking for help.While I always put my trust in God, this time it did not stop the anxious, pre-surgery thoughts from racing through my mind. Thoughts of “possible human error” got the best of me at night. Fears of not returning to my family often squeezed my chest  just after I tucked the kids into bed. Usually with a good prayer and a reflective self talk, I could  steady my nerve … [Read more...]

The Missing Pieces

It is not an overstatement or a generalization to say that all cultures put mothers on pedestals. Motherhood is, by all standards, sacred. In Islam, we use the hadith “paradise lies at the feet of mothers” not only to remind people to obey and serve their mothers, but also to motivate women to become mothers and to encourage us to remain patient and stick it out. Motherhood is supposedly natural and instinctive, yet many challenges that come with the job, such as doubt, guilt, exhaustion and anx … [Read more...]

Growing Pains

               My son turned five this year. For at least six months leading up to his birthday he was counting down. Many of his sentences started with, “When I’m five…” Five was going to be magical. He was going to be able to run “super” fast, he was going to stay dry through the night, and he was going to eat zucchini. (Still waiting on that last one). What is it about turning five? He had never shown much interest in any of his previous birthdays. My only guess is that it was the hot topic of … [Read more...]

“Oh, is this your first?”

It seems like an innocent question, “Oh, is this your first?” But inside of me I am not sure how to respond. Do I say, “No, no, it’s my second?” or do I say, “Actually, this is my sixth.” And then watch as they look quizzically for the remainder. Sometimes if I feel a certain kinship with the questioner, I’ll go into it, but then more often than not, I don’t like to hear them say, “Oh, I went through a miscarriage.” It’s not the phrase; it’s just the way it is said; kind of like it dismisses my e … [Read more...]


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