Moving to the Moon

March 28, 2014

I have this memory. Or at least flashes of a memory. The not-quite-sure-it-was-real-but-pretty-sure-it-was sort of flashes of memory. A song memory really. A song that said, “I want to move to the moon.” I don’t remember much else about it, except that line and something about a red balloon.

Sometimes that song- or that line of that song- floats to the surface of my mind in particular seasons. Usually seasons where, yes… I want to move to the moon. In fact, I’ve said that to my husband several times the last few weeks. And I’m pretty sure I almost meant it.

The worry about the world I am leaving my child. The place he is growing up.Sometimes this feeling, this sense, this heaviness falls off the shelf in my soul where I usually keep it, the heaviness rests, weighted and aching, in the pit of my stomach. The questions begin to swirl in my head. The anxieties. The fears.  Read the rest of this entry »

Heart Sickness

March 26, 2014

Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
-Frederick Buechner

I have been notoriously absent… not even participating in the last two Grace Letters. There are times when it is too hard to write. Words that are usually my friends become strangers to me. In those moments, I only know the sounds of groaning, of heavy hardness- my soul all churned up with a mixture of prayer and thought and emotions. Lately, the soul churning has been quite strong.

When I am overcome with worry for my son, when I am overwhelmed at seeing the constant push to erode what was once thought to be a given, when I am undone by my own people- those who follow Jesus- who forget that following him means trying to act like him. When I am aware of my own emptiness, my own struggle, my own screw ups, my own fears. When I am tempted to despair and spiral down. When I am so deeply afraid of the type of world my son will grow up in. When I am also afraid of the type of world I am contributing to. Read the rest of this entry »


March 13, 2014

It’s Thursday and I’m sitting at the Wild Goose Meeting House and pretending I am in Portland while drinking a pour over coffee. It’s pretty easy to get the North Pacific vibe here with the exposed soffits and built in rugged bookshelves. As I listen to the chatter around me, I am keenly aware of the many colors of exhaustion that cling to me at the moment. Soul-weary, soul-worn. It’s been that sort of season these last few weeks.

Trying to find words for the thoughts and conversations that have been happening in my heart is difficult. Sometimes there aren’t many words at all. Sometimes there’s only… this… this internal racket that doesn’t have language, only groans and quiet and questions that the Spirit speaks.

I’ve thought a lot about Jacob from scripture lately. About his misdirected love. About how he learned misdirected love from his parents and continued in that same vein for so long, so very long. To the point that he was forced to race away, far away in order to keep safe from his brother’s wrath. He had so grievously violated the love of neighbor, especially the neighbor closest to him- who had shared a womb and a family, and yet he had betrayed, cut bonds with swift and brutal intention. And cut the cord and ran.

I am sometimes amazed when I read that God blesses him. On the run. Lying, stealing, cheating…. blessing? Yes… it’s in there. And this is the one foretold to parent the line of Jesus.

But it was only going to last so long. Not the blessing part, but the running part. Eventually everyone has to return home, return to face the demons of the past. And it is not different for Jacob. This man who has tricked his way through life, gotten his way but lost his soul, is prepared to return to his brother. His parents are gone. His family has grown. He sends his kids ahead of him. His servants, his possessions. He spent that final day commanding the last leg of the journey, in control of his stuff, and in the light of day, able to avoid the looming encounter with God. Because after all, when our love of neighbor is misdirected, it directly affects our love of God. Jesus makes that clear.  Read the rest of this entry »

Tuesday Grace Letter:2

March 11, 2014

Kara, the writer behind the Mundane Faithfulness blog, has invited other bloggers to participate in a practice of grace- writing letters every week, each letter with its own focus. I do not know Kara. We live in the same city and some of my friends and family know her, but I have only followed her story in bits and pieces as others have posted her blog posts to their Facebook pages. Kara’s story is heart-rending and powerful and in the midst of her own suffering, she gives people a glimpse of Christ in her, the hope of glory. Today’s assignment is to write a letter to a person who made a difference in my story.


To only think of one person who has made a difference in my life is incredibly difficult. I am a walking mural of other peoples fingerprints, hands that have shaped me some way, pushing me deeper, pulling from me the things I didn’t know I had, holding me, directing me… making me become something. So many fingerprints I couldn’t even begin to pick just one. So I didn’t pick just one (sorry, Kara)!

One truth that I have learned is that God brings people into our lives at various seasons. Some of them are there for a long, long time. Some only for a short time. Some offer us that one gift that is so desperately needed at that exact moment, and others offer multiple gifts we didn’t know we needed. And sometimes the people who mean the most don’t even know it. And there’s a precious goodness with that- when that one person shatters the walls we build up around us with a deep grace and then goes on their way not realizing they just caused a new and beautiful thing to emerge in us.

And so I just can’t write a letter to one person… I just can’t. Read the rest of this entry »

Bread for the Journey

March 8, 2014

When I was a little kid, our church had Sunday night worship as well as the morning service. It was fewer in number and we all sat in the strangely shaped sanctuary in the middle section singing hymns, praying prayers, and listening to someone preach. Occasionally we would also celebrate Communion (also called Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper), which made a rare appearance in that church when I was young. I have since grown up and would celebrate Communion daily if I found a faith community that did so.

On one such rare occasion of celebrating Communion, my mother had us sat next to her, the four of us off to her left, with my little brother two seats down from me on the pew. Far enough to be out of his mother’s reach should he decide to do something. The brass plates were held up in prayer and then, as was customary, passed from person to person down the pew to the end, each participant taking a pinch of bread to hold for the moment when we all ate together. The server came to our pew, his plate full of a fresh loaf, untouched, unpinched. He slid the plate to my older brother on the end, who pinched off a piece, and who then turned to my little brother with the loaf in front of it. My little brother’s eyes grew wide as he saw the large loaf of bread and with the quickness that only a child of that age has, scooped the entire bread up off the plate and prepared to dig into it with a luster I have never seen since. The server dove at him from one end and my mother dove from the other end to try to rescue the bread from his tiny hands before it was unfit for anyone else. My younger sister and I laughed hysterically. Read the rest of this entry »