In the Midst Of

May 6, 2015

I wrote this before we left the Boston area, but didn’t have a chance to publish it. So I’m publishing it late.


There is such goodness in New England. The kind of goodness that wants to swallow you alive and you would let it… gladly. The kind of goodness that speaks peace to the soul in such a manner that you are quieted to all other sounds except the breathing of goodness surrounding you. We have been so embraced and held and kept this week in the East Coast, welcomed by love and lifted by the support of strangers turned into friends. It has been a gift- to see my son adored by our hosts, to open message after message of East Coast colleagues welcoming us to their land, to share meals with people I have known only through names in a book of Covenant ministers. There is such goodness there.

For too long we have lived alone, without this sort of gracious community. We have, of course, been given the gifts of several churches, of colleagues from other faith traditions who have loved us so well, of friends in our home city who welcome us with joy, but this lavish, radiant support- here in the East and from all over the globe through the wonder of social media- this gift is beyond it all. And so we have soaked this in and soaked this up and wondered in wordless awe how in the world do we ever repay such gifts. We cannot. We can only receive and vow to do the same for someone else who needs the support and love we have so graciously been given.  Read the rest of this entry »

Weighty Stuff

April 21, 2015

I realize that I haven’t written in quite a bit. It’s been busy, and I’ve been sick… and mostly, we’ve been carrying heavy stuff lately. The kind of stuff where to get through you just have to lower your chin and push forward. The kind of stuff where if you stop to think- to reflect- you might stop altogether and melt into the ground right where you stand and never move again.

So, the grit of God has visited us, giving us the ability to carry the heavy, to lean on the muscles of heaven, and to just go. To just get it done.So I haven’t stopped. I haven’t reflected. We’ve just hit the “go” button and kept going. The stuff of perseverance and endurance is pure grit. Just because we are given the grace to endure doesn’t mean that it is easy to do. But being gifted with strength from God is a weird thing. It comes. His strength comes and though we are weary and sore and tired, that strength makes tomorrow happen. And it makes tomorrow bearable.

And so that what we do. We don’t know how, because it is only the grace of God that does it. But we get it done. We dig in. We press in. We keep pushing forward. Read the rest of this entry »


March 27, 2015

My son broke a plate recently. It was a brand that was supposed to be unbreakable, but when it shattered, it broke into more pieces that I have ever seen any other plate have. We are still finding shards weeks later.

Sometimes life feels like that broken plate. Pieces, sometimes many pieces, scattered across the floor of the soul. Tiny shards that hide away in crevices to be found long after you’ve swept up the mess. Pieces that don’t make a whole anymore.

I found a broken piece hidden in a crack in my soul this week. It all started with an email from someone I used to know well. And suddenly, in those moments, I felt the prick of a broken piece of glass in my heart, long after- years after- I had swept up the shards. But it caused me to revisit that place of pain. To allow God to tend to it with the loving care that only Jesus can offer.

Some pieces of life just aren’t fixable. At least not this side of heaven. It’s a reality that sits heavy on many of us- no matter all our attempts to grow, to be in relationship, to love, to care- some things are not reconcilable. Some pieces never find their way back to the whole.

And so we live in that tension. I live in that tension.

And the thing about living in tension is this: in tension we can see God’s grace all the more. In the aching, shard-pricked parts of us that we long to be healed and whole and freed from. In the things that can be forgiven but never restored. In the moments when we accept the limits of others and at the same time, grieve because their limits mean you will not find fulfillment.

Acceptance of broken shards is grace. The ability to carry such heavy burdens and consistently find the strength of God helping us along, lifting it from us. There’s a lostness in the process; but in being lost we find Jesus. The Jesus who comes to us.

So whenever the tiny pricks of broken stories shift in our souls, making us jump as we realize their existence in us, we are prompted to lift our hands to the Lord, and trust his wide berth of grace. And continue to walk in the ways he would have for us.

Official News

March 17, 2015

My career in the Evangelical Covenant Church began with a late night phone call. It was 9:30 where I lived, 10:30 where the caller lived. I had been calling to find out how I could start working on staff in a covenant church. A woman named Doreen, who was new to her executive position over the department of Christian Formation, was finally able to return my numerous calls to her Chicago office… on her own time late a night. I was deeply impressed and moved by that fact- that she would call so late at night simply because she felt it was important. The rest is history, as some people say.

Tonight, I just hung up from aanother late night phone call from a doctor and have the same jittery feelings I did years ago. This doctor called us, at 10:30 pm his time, the night before he leaves on a trip… simply because he felt it was important.

And it is important because it’s about my son.  Read the rest of this entry »

Thank You

March 15, 2015

We have walked this road with our son for nearly 17 months. Not a week goes by that we haven’t been given the gift of someone who asks, who prays, who helps. Not only do we have this group of doctors and therapists who are all trying to help our son recover, but we have this large group that loves us, cares about us, asks about us, and support us.

When Ian was diagnosed with yet another gut infection and our doctor said we should try to see a specialist he recommends who works on hard cases like ours, we were distraught. So tired. So weary. So ready for this path to end and a new one to begin. And we had spent all our money. We did not have any funds available to add in a new doctor who required travel and wasn’t going to take our insurance and would be very costly. But doing nothing is unfathomable to this mama’s heart and head. And so we prayed.

And then we approached someone, asking for a loan.  Read the rest of this entry »