In August, I injured my back--poor timing indeed with canning to do, tomatoes to pick, lawns to mow, and a family beach day on the calendar. Nevertheless, I know the drill: ice, rest, ibuprofen, repeat. I can cheat and be "more productive," but, when I do, I'm just slowing down the healing process. Which makes… Continue reading What Do You Hope to Gain When You’re Neglecting the Care of Your Soul?
Armed with passwords and last year’s tax forms, we gathered at the dining room table with my youngest son and his new wife. They had asked for help in the annual ritual of completing the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which college students must submit in order to qualify for scholarships of… Continue reading Mothering Ourselves Out of a Job: Launching Our Children into Adulthood with Joy
Hope has become one of those words that might show up on a couch pillow or stenciled onto a wall hanging. We’ve domesticated the word, taming it until it’s become a floating, sentimental abstraction: "Faith, hope, and love... now you may kiss the bride." The truth is that hope is our lifeline, but we do… Continue reading The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope
Sunday Scripture Yesterday, the earthly remains of my Uncle Paul were committed to the earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Canadian border is still closed, so I was unable to be there, but my dear Auntie Dawn attended to that by including one of my poems in the program, and it will be… Continue reading A Fond Father’s Day Farewell to a Family Patriarch
In this first week of January, I am already ignoring one of my every-year resolutions--the one where I promise myself not to use up all the lines in my planner every single day with things to do and places to go. There's something so freeing about white space in those tight little squares that represent… Continue reading What Keeps You from Being a Feather on the Breath of God?
According to Richard Rohr, the prophets in a social structure stand off-center in a place of observation. Their position on "the edge of inside" affords them a view that is informed and yet independent. From this vantage point, the Apostle John was given the divine direction: "Write what you see." And he saw plenty. At… Continue reading Standing on the Edge of Inside
It's been a long time since I browsed in a Christian bookstore. They're exceptionally rare here in Maine, but on one of my last excursions, I inquired about the poetry section hoping to lay hands on something by Luci Shaw or Marjorie Maddox. Alas, it was not to be on this day. "We don't carry… Continue reading A Literary Pursuit of Beauty, Grace, and Truth
In times of danger and disaster throughout history, true believers have made their mark by running toward the darkness. Whether it was a plague in second century Rome or a twenty-first century hurricane in America's deep south, if we follow Mr. Rogers's advice and "look for the helpers," we might be surprised by how many… Continue reading Run Toward the Darkness with Borrowed Light
C.S. Lewis described the human condition as a process of always becoming more of what we already are. These are cautionary words for me at this point in middle age, particularly as I consider the possibilities. In Lewis's The Great Divorce, the Teacher speaks regretfully of a seemingly harmless woman who has come to the end of… Continue reading Half Way to Entirely
Welcome the peaceful signs of this new season by Beating your swords into plowshares. Then go till up a garden! Beat those blades back into swords again And do battle against an ensnaring sin. Don't be anxious about What is coming or What might come. Pick a bouquet just for today's table. Turn regret on… Continue reading Welcome a New Season of Peaceful Change