When It’s Time To Dial 911

After my mom died in south Florida 6 years ago, I came home anxious to jump into my regularly-scheduled life. I was no stranger to loss and trauma. I thought I was prepared by those experiences as well as the excellent care I received from the hospice team during the final weeks of my mom's life to walk through the proverbial valley of the shadow as I grieved her passing.I thought wrong.By December, I felt as though I was crawling through a room packed with heavy insulation every single … [Read more...]

Called to be the father?

You know how it is when you hear a sentence that simultaneously upends and undoes your thinking? This week, I revisited a book that had this sort of sentence in its introduction.You wouldn't be terribly surprised to learn that the book's author was Henri Nouwen, would you? He is the kind of writer who can marshall that sort of heaven-invades-earth power in a single turn of phrase. In the introduction to his book The Return Of The Prodigal Son: A Story Of Homecoming (Doubleday, 1994), he … [Read more...]

It’s Time To Resign From The Casserole Club

Dr. Halee Gray Scott's recent salvo calling for women's ministry leaders to stop doling out flowers and fairy dust to the women of their churches reminded me that each one of us has the power to change the ladies tea/chocolate spa/casserole club model of women's ministry. There are some women that expect that kind of de-fanged busywork from church, but I most of the women I know have little time or energy for it anymore.Many of us suburban Boomer women inherited our notions of what … [Read more...]

Healing And The Favorite College Game ‘Guess The Major’

In 2007, I wrote a post (here) about what happened to me when I visited the scene of a whole bunch of crimes (most of the PG-13 variety at that point in my life) after three decades had passed. My husband Bill and I headed to the cornfields of Central IL to see Shakespere's "Love's Labour's Lost" and I had an opportunity to revisit the campus where I'd been a student in the late 1970's. As I am working on a chapter for my upcoming book on the topic of regret, this episode has come to mind as an … [Read more...]

My 3:30 AM Husband

True confession: I have a slight case of bigamy going.Relax. I've never actually met my other "husband" in person. Though I have been married to the same man since 1979, I have logged quite a few hours over the years—usually between midnight and 5 a.m.—with my other “husband”, Peter Francis Geraci.Mr. Geraci is a Midwestern bankruptcy lawyer who runs TV commercials in the long hours between midnight and dawn. Let's be honest. Our one-way relationship (he talks and I listen) would never wo … [Read more...]

Church Leader: What Happens To You When You Quit After Conflict?

When I read sad posts like this one from a former church leader who slowly awoke to the fact that something was terribly wrong at the top level of his organization, tried to reform it, and ended up leaving the congregation, I feel for the author. Been there. Twice. In both cases, we ended up leaving the congregation. When I think of the years my husband and I devoted to meetings, prayer, discussion, meetings, letters, more meetings, phone calls, and emotionally-draining and time-sucking drama … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church / When Christian Ambition Fades To Gray

I was in a room with a bunch of young pastors-in-training, and commented to a friend that I could feel the testosterone in the air even though there were a number of women present."That's not testosterone you're sensing," he told me. "It's ambition."As I observed the body language among the group (so many firm two-handed handshakes!), and listened to snatches of conversation, I realized my friend was right. Many of those in the room were anxious to impress the others around them, and … [Read more...]