I'm over at Middle Places!

Friday, September 18, 2015

"It’s gorgeous, right? The lighting is perfect. My children are clean and color coordinated. Everyone is looking at the camera at the same time. They are even SMILING. My hair isn’t doing anything weird, and my toddler isn’t pulling on my dress. My very talented photographer friend managed to capture a single moment when everyone is doing what they are supposed to do. It’s absolutely beautiful. Only, this moment didn't happen."

I'm over at Middle Places talking about family portraits, and the composites we offer to one another. 

Ever lost a friend over politics? Me too.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

I once lost a Bible Study friend to the Iraq War.
It was 2003. The air was thick with political and social tension in the months before the US bombed Baghdad. She was a fiery pro-Bush, pro-war advocate. I was a vehement anti-Bush, anti-war enthusiast. One night before our small group Bible study began, conversation drifted toward politics. Typically our equally strong personalities encouraged the other, but that night they clashed. We were both convinced our way was not only more accurate, but the more faithful response. In the middle of our discussion, my friend picked up her purse, stood up, and said, “I can’t listen to this anymore.” She hurried away from my apartment. I watched her leave, dumbfounded.
Read more over at Venn Magazine. 

We can't look away.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

"Faith is homesickness.  Faith is a lump in the throat.  Faith is less a position on than a movement toward, less a sure thing than a hunch.  Faith is waiting.  Faith is a journeying through space and through time." - Frederick Buechner
This week, images of a lifeless little boy washed up on a shore have outraged the world. As they should.

I'll be honest. At first I couldn't look at the images at all. They reminded me too much of the image of my own little lifeless boy, and even knowing the picture existed raised my heart rate. Then, today, I made myself look at it. I made myself acknowledge this is happening right now, in my lifetime. Families are running away from chaos and into dangerous uncertainty. My mind went immediately to all the pictures that are never captured by professional photographers, all the mothers carrying their own indelible images just like mine. All the mothers who did not have the tremendous advantage of trained professionals to save their children's lives, the fathers who board a boat one life vest short, and must gauge which child would stand the best chance of survival if he fell. At this very moment there are parents making excruciating, unimaginable decisions to try to save their children's lives. And mothers who died this week alongside their toddler boys, never living to see their personal tragedy played out on CNN. May light perpetual shine upon them.

The big lie about parenting

Friday, August 7, 2015

The dark hour before dawn is sacred space. It's my only waking hour in a silent room, and I typically guard it carefully.

But that morning, all I wanted to do was wake up my kids.

The night before, in that other still space, the one where children quiet just before they drift off, my son told me the truth. "You always say no. I'm frustrated because you say no to every single question."

It's been a hard summer. Our first months on our own, my first months working in several years, their first long break after their first year of classroom school. Too many changes, too little routine. The characters are all the same, but nothing feels quite normal, and we've had nothing but time together to ruminate in our juices.

I'm over at The Mid!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

I scan the crowd, looking for my childhood best friend. We are at the cheap theater, and the movie is about to start. I take stock of the lobby until I see her, and we both wave and hurry toward one another. "Are you getting popcorn?" I ask right away.

"No," she says, "I snuck my own candy." I giggle and say, "Me too!" Once again I think, I can't believe we get to do this.

I'm over on The Mid, sharing how my best friend from elementary school and I have spent the summer together. You can read the rest over there. 

closing the gap

Monday, July 20, 2015

I love this space. A Wide Mercy is sacred for me, born out of a need to find God in the mess of my life. Over time you guys have all joined me. Together we have made sense of my experiences, and yours - of losing God and finding Him in new places, of moving across the country while raising a bunch of little kids, of struggling with changing marriages. I thank God for the space to sort through all of that, and for the strength we all find when we stand together and say, "Me too."

Over the past year I have shared less and less on A Wide Mercy. The reason is simple: I wanted to create an honest space, and I didn't know how to share my life as it was honestly. I had no idea how to begin to articulate what was happening, because I barely understood it myself.

me too.

Monday, June 29, 2015

I was so excited about my morning. My new in-real-life friend (but long time online friend) Kira and I were taking our kids to the zoo. Kira is wise and kind and gentle and funny, and I leave every conversation with her feeling as though I can breathe a little more deeply. I knew my kids were tired, and they've been over-the-top crazy lately, but we went anyway. There was no way I was going to give up a few hours with my friend.


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