December 8, 2019

Do you feel a bit bereft of Christmas Spirit this year? Or—-just wondering what you can give that would be meaningful? This is for you. First, a story. When I was 12 I went reluctantly to a birthday party. Karen was two years younger than me and I didn’t know her that well, but there were few parties in this tiny town and there would be cake. Which meant sugar, and we didn’t have much of either at my house…. Read more

November 29, 2019

It’s that time of year—when the amazing happens: the Canada geese make their annual trek to the warmth of the south for the winter, passing through on their way. I always wonder and marvel at this God-given impetus within them as I see a gaggle flying, in tight V-formation, against a clear blue autumn sky.  What is it that triggers their need to get going? As the leaves fall and the wind cools, does God whisper in their ears of… Read more

November 22, 2019

Mid-life throws us some mean curves. We expect certain losses: our parents passing away, our kids moving on, our bodies changing. It’s the ones we least expect that sometimes catapult us into crisis. As we sat listening to the sermon, my husband and I gripped each other’s hands and fought back tears. The time had come for him to resign. Though we had seen this on the horizon, the realization gutted us. After fifteen years of service to our church,… Read more

November 12, 2019

“I don’t want to come to the U.S. Everyone hates us here.” The words stunned me. I was face-to-face with a woman who had just crossed the border from Mexico into Texas, and the only emotion she had was fear; fear that she wasn’t welcome in our country and fear that people were going to be cruel to her. I couldn’t really disagree. Our country is drowning in anti-immigrant sentiment with people across the nation, including many evangelical Christians, becoming more… Read more

November 3, 2019

My phone rang at 2 a.m., jarring me awake. I had been asleep for two hours in my hotel room, 1,000 miles from home. Not again, I thought. Which will this be—hospital or jail? It was jail. My son was calling to tell me it was all a mistake; he shouldn’t have been taken to jail and could I help him with bail. And so I faced one more event in a long and challenging journey of grace and gratitude for an… Read more

October 29, 2019

This week, the inside of my church is a shanty town. The narthex is a patchwork of donated refrigerator and Amazon cardboard boxes; leaning, lopsided, and beautiful. “It’s a castle!” I grinned, locking eyes with the kindergartner kneeling next to her creation. She returned my smile with one highlighted with chocolate frosting stains from her recently devoured cupcake. “It’s not a castle,” she beamed, “it’s our mansion!” With that, she grabbed her friend’s hand and giggled as they disappeared inside…. Read more

October 24, 2019

Materialistic? Not me, but downsizing taught me this about my attachments: letting go hurts. Turning loose of my baggage felt like ripping off a limb. It was also an opportunity for growth. I discovered that the stuff I was letting go included memories of a life lived and shared in time and a very particular space. Downsizing made me grateful. About a year after my husband Jerry died, I decided to sell the home we’d shared for nearly 30 years. I’d… Read more

October 21, 2019

I had not seen a photo of my grandmother, Mary Coston Wise until last week when her graduation photo was discovered tucked away in an old shoebox. It was 1935 and planting season in Accomack County, Virginia. While farmers tilled soil and sowed their seed Mary Coston’s hands knew no calluses. She was a student who excelled academically and completed high school early. Mary married her beloved Robert Wise and gave birth to three sons, Robert Jr., Edward, and Curtis. Soon… Read more

October 17, 2019

My piano teacher slid onto the piano bench beside me, but neither of us touched the keys. The studio was unnaturally quiet. My weekly lessons were usually filled with simple sonatas and easy etudes as Hallee encouraged me, an adult beginner, to relax my hands and lean into the music. But that fall afternoon in 2015, we sat side by side on the piano bench and consoled each other in hushed voices. We drew strength from each other and from… Read more

September 17, 2019

A lovely young woman sits across from me in my small therapy office, buttoned up so tight it looks like she’s hardly even breathing.  Her lips are pressed together as she carefully folds, then refolds, the Kleenex on her lap. Then she stops, looks up at me, and says, “If I tell you what happened, it will incinerate this room. It’ll melt the paint right off the walls. It’s too much. It’ll be too much for you to hear.” I… Read more

Follow Us!

Browse Our Archives