Assemble: Word 3, Advent 1

One of the best parts of Christmas at my house is getting out the nativity sets.When I was a newlywed--with no children--I decided that I was going to be a collector of international nativities. My husband and I are both kind of minimalists in the home decor department. We don't do knick knacks, we think less is more, and anything that has to be dusted is probably more trouble than it's worth. However, I felt like nativity sets were the perfect thing for me to start gathering. They would … [Read more...]

Anticipate: Advent 1, Word 1

I spend a lot of my time and energy anticipating future needs. Mine, and those of other people.I anticipate the needs of my kids: That one is starting to whine and look kind of puny--better fix a snack before she has a meltdown. His jeans are getting too short, again; better order some, because he will outgrow them in his sleep, AGAIN. They should go to bed now or we will have a difficult morning. Make sure everybody pees now, or somebody will have to go behind a tree when we get to the pa … [Read more...]

The Country Needs Us, And We Need You: A Call to Action

Guest Post: by C. Shawn McGuffeySince the election I have been saddened. Luckily, I am fortunate enough to have a loving partner, family, friends, and students that reach out at precisely the right times to keep me intact. My good choices keep reaping benefits.And as you can see from the picture, I’ve also been acting, organizing, and participating. I am so proud of the many community members that are still doing the work to make this world better.Many of us, however, still have n … [Read more...]

I’m With Them

"My head is pounding and I feel sick; but I can't go to bed because when I wake up tomorrow it will be 100 years ago."That's what I said to my spouse (and Tweeted) at around midnight last night. That confounding arrangement of verb tenses aptly sums up where many of us are today. Utterly confounded. Disoriented. What year is it? Where do I live right now?It is easy to despair... Because, Jesus, this is a dark place. I am not using the Lord's name in vain, I am literally saying JESUS, … [Read more...]

10 Things That Will Still Be True After Election Day

This morning my phone flashed a cute little notification that said "Tomorrow is election day!"I wanted to throw it like it was hot and scream AS IF I CAN FORGET THAT FOR A SECOND! It's a new phone so I didn't do that. But geez, how can we forget? Tomorrow is TUESDAY. Tomorrow is the great reckoning. Tomorrow dawns the day when we find out if we are still speaking to all of our friends and family or not. Tomorrow is ALL THE THINGS.Except maybe it isn't. Maybe tomorrow is not the looming … [Read more...]

The War On Fall

Let me tell you this really sad thing I used to do when I lived in the desert.In October--after 4 solid months of unrelenting triple-digit temps--we would get about 2 hours of cool in the mornings. For those two blessed hours, I would put on boots and my favorite jean jacket; go to a coffee shop and order a latte (maybe even a spicy Mexican Mocha); and I would sit there, pretending it was fall.By about 10am, the sun would brutally remind me that there is no such thing as fall in the … [Read more...]

Election Fatigue: 10 Spiritual Practices for Toxic Times

I want to write about election fatigue. But I'm too tired.I've been dragging, feeling run-down and drained. This should not be. I haven't been sick. It's my favorite time of year. Church is good, kids are good. It's almost Halloween and last week was my birthday. I just got a FitBit and have met my step goals every day since I put the dang thing on. I've been sleeping ok. I eat green vegetables. What more does this body want from me?My first impulse would be to blame last week's … [Read more...]

Exit the Echo Chamber: Bipartisanship As An Act of Faith

Guest Post: by Sarah Stewart HollandTwice a week, I co-host a political podcast with a Republican. I’m a Democrat. This means that twice a week I sit down and engage in political debate with someone who feels very differently than I do on a great many issues.We start each show the same.“No shouting. No insults. Plenty of nuance.”Willingly volunteering for political confrontation is most people’s worst nightmares. It’s certainly my mother’s worst nightmare but I do it willingly bec … [Read more...]

We Don’t Dance on Graves: To Those Celebrating the Death of Phyllis Schlafly

People. Get ahold of yourselves.I get it. She tried to single-handedly squelch the Equal Rights movement with her own cold, unfeeling hands.  She has been the unsmiling, judgy face of the Moral Majority. She made "feminism" a bad word in a whole lot of circles She was a hypocrite who enjoyed a wildly successful political career, even as she insisted that a woman's place was in the home. She used her privilege as a wealthy white woman to exact social change that would harm the poorest and mo … [Read more...]