The Mercy Instinct

As a pastor, I see it time and time and time again: a person has been deeply wounded by a loved-one. They struggle to process the world through this new lens of heartbreak. It doesn't matter if it is a sibling, a spouse, a friend, or a parent/child relationship --we are hurt most profoundly by those we love. It is, in fact, the cost of loving, and perhaps the most painful cost of being a person.What I notice, time (and time) again, is the impulse of grace that comes into most relationships at … [Read more...]

Good Stuff

How do we develop a taste for good things? Is it an acquired taste, cultivated by careful nurture? Or are some of us just born with a hunger for life that drives us through every transition, challenge and heartache with the promise of good news on the other side?I ask my 3-year-old, "What are your favorite things?" I see wheels turning, and finally she says, "I don't know." (Translation:"I do know, but I don't quite have the words in my 3-year-old sense of self...") So I start ins … [Read more...]

Day 2; Burgers, Burritos and Beginnings

Ok, so we start. Read back a day if you want to know why i'm recounting the best meals i ever ate. Basically, I figure that reflecting on the divine dining experience will keep me from eating crap like, you know, cheeseburgers.So why am i starting my 'best meals ever' series with a cheeseburger? Stay with me.I have been a Route 66 nerd for however long...a long time. When i graduated from seminary my sweet (then new-ish) husband bought me a road trip guide and an old set of maps … [Read more...]

Why “Stay-Home-Dad” and “Mr Mom” are Not the Same Thing

Well. If I thought that telling people I was a minister could elicit a "does-not-compute" expression, imagine the gazes that accompany the latest addendum to the conversation:"...and what does your husband do?""well, he recently quit his job to stay home with the kids."buzzing, clicking, whirring noises. Still processing the chick-preacher component..."Oh, that's wonderful!"And you know, most people really, truly mean it. Once they get over the initial shock, that is. Most p … [Read more...]

Showing Up

I can think of many movies that i love, but my all-time favorite has to be Forrest Gump. Call me a conformist (because that's everybody's favorite movie) but really, what's not to love? A hero you can root for; a tragic heroine; the backdrop of Americana; an epic journey; a satisfying, full-circle kind of ending; and a fabulous soundtrack to accent the whole of it.One of my favorite parts of that movie is where Forrest and Leiutenant Dan are on the shrimping boat, and the nets are, shall we s … [Read more...]

Between Here and There

I'm not crazy, as it turns out. Well, i might be...but i was not crazy to take a 3-year-old on a 3-day road trip adventure by myself. She was so good. Unbelievably good. Practically shining her halo the whole dang time.Until the last hour and a half or so. Then it was meltdown city. And i was driving in the desert, in the dark, and couldn't do much about it.There might be something spiritual and beautiful about driving in the desert at night, but try telling that to a small child who is … [Read more...]

A Moving Violation

An organized household, office, car, and bank account seem unattainable for people like me. People who not only have children and a full-time job, but also find right-brained, type-A sorts of tasks tantamount to learning Chinese...meaning, it could be done, but life is too short.However, I have learned time and again that being unorganized has its price. Much as I hate chores, errands, paper work and basically being a grown-up, letting these things go will ultimately amount to even MORE ad … [Read more...]

Empty

Miserable 24-hour stomach flu shared at our house this week. Thanks kids. You are adorable, and the joy of our lives, but you are also grubby, germy petri dishes of bacteria. And it does not help that one of you is a compulsive thumb sucker. Most days i try not to think about all the nasty things they touch and ingest and/or carry into the house. But then some days, all that filth becomes the center of the universe.  It helps, i suppose, that we took turns. Harper first, then me, then the ba … [Read more...]

Tell Me Why…

"My tummy hurts." "Show me where. Point." "Right here!" "That's not your tummy, it's your chest." "Why?""Look how pretty the sky is! The sun's going down." "Why?"  "So it can be dark out for bedtime." "Why?""Can i have a juicebox?"  "No, you already had one."  "Why????""Um...why did you already have one? Or why can't you have another one?"*&$^#@&*#!!!! I always thought people were joking about the "why's," but we've got 'em at our house, BIG time. And i don't think an … [Read more...]