Snow Days, Sick Days, and Other Enforced Sabbaths

I made the mistake of saying out loud last week that I hadn't been sick in more than two years. Ha ha, universe. You got me.As I battle a cold this week, I'm aware that I have used 1, maybe 2 sick days in the past 4 years. That means I've a) been healthy;  b) planned my illnesses around regular days off;  Or c) preached through a hacking cough, subjecting my congregation to germs, and also to--let's say less-than-my-usual stunning aesthetic.Now that we have another pastor on staff, I don' … [Read more...]

On Doing, and Being Done

August is to church what April is to accounting firms; or December to the mall; or crab season to those deadliest guys.Traditionally, you think of Christmas and Easter as the 'big' seasons for church work. But they've got nothing on August. August is the time for starting new things, engaging new people, upping the game in worship, and generally trying to get 'Church' back on people's planners--and in their collective imagination--as everybody gets into a daily routine at the end of summe … [Read more...]

To Be

I started getting in trouble for my 'to be' verbs in junior AP English. It was my favorite class of my whole school experience, but it was also the point at which i realized i was not the greatest writer of all time. (WHAT???) My teacher, the legendary Mrs. McNulty, would take a red ink pen and circle every be, is and was, leaving the whole thing in a marked-up red mess for my further revision.I didn't really get what the big deal was, until I saw what happened when i had to eliminate those … [Read more...]

Under Pressure

God spoke to me today.I love when that happens. I hate when that happens.I love when that happens because hearing the voice of God is the simple reward for living a (reasonably) spiritual life. When you move through the world looking for something holy at every turn (translation: looking for sermon material), then eventually, you will see something holy. If you wait for a clear next step each day (ok, maybe every other day. If i'm not too busy) then yes, eventually, a next step gets carved ou … [Read more...]

Soul Seasons

A pumpkin latte in my hand. From Not Starbuck's. A cool crisp 62 degrees out. I am on a porch swing with a background of lush foliage, bleeding slowly from green into reds and browns and yellows. I am wearing my favorite brown sweatshirt, and reading a really great library book. The day ahead is miraculously full of nothing but open time, save playing with my kids, and later having some friends over for dinner.OK, so almost none of those things is true. I do, in fact, have a pumpkin(ish) … [Read more...]

For Such a Time as This

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I was sitting on the floor of my crummy first-year-of-being-a-grownup apartment, doing grad school homework that i should have done the night before, and getting ready to go to class. Which means I probably shouldn't have been watching tv, but was. When the plane hit the first tower, i went and woke up my roommate, who was still sleeping. "What? That's crazy!" she said. I ran quickly back to the tv to find out what a breathless world was waiting to find out--what sort of mechanical error, … [Read more...]

Suck it Up

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Ok, she is almost 3. I've tried to be patient. I've read all the warm-fuzzy parenting stuff about letting them work it out on their own, hounding them about it will just make it worse, attachment issues and comfort zones, blah blah blah. But now, it is time.The thumb has got to go.I remember the blessed day when, around 6 weeks of age, I watched my sweet baby girl learn that she had the powers of coordination needed to get that appendage into her toothless mouth, all by herself. I … [Read more...]

Joyful Noise

I never know who "they" are, but "they" say you should start reading to your baby very young. In-utero, if possible. When they are very small, long before the sounds make words, the rhythm of your voice is soothing. It lulls them to sleep. It connects them to the sound of you. While they are small enough to be still in your arms and not try to escape, the joy of reading takes root in them. Meanwhile, word by word, something like language begins to take shape. It starts out as white noise, but … [Read more...]

Unknown

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It was a rare (RARE) Saturday afternoon moment. Both kids were asleep at the same time, and my spouse was out of the house. I had just settled into the good chair with a library book, and the phone rang. I glanced over and there it was...the "unknown caller."What do you do? I almost never answer. Especially not on a Saturday, when there are sleeping babies and good books to be read.  It was almost a no-brainer.And yet, this time, I answered. For whatever reason. And it was my brother, ca … [Read more...]


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