• Christian Living,  Christian Teaching,  Family,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love

    Not Peace, but a Sword

    Growing up Christian meant toddling into the idea that Jesus is a friend, that God so loved the world, that we are brothers and sisters and children of one Creator. I never had the chance to wonder about humanity’s worth or our place in the universe. We were here to be loved and to love. Christianity, like a mother, brought me into the world and she raised me in what she believed was true. But along with that idea came a lot of weird shit. There was a period I only wore long skirts and could not listen to any music with a drum beat without begging for forgiveness. What…

  • Christian Living,  Grief,  Jesus Christ,  life,  Worship

    Death, Where is your Sting?

    I sit in the back of the room because we are late – again – and because there is a table here with room for coffee and coloring books. I am tired. Deep tired. Tired of the platitudes and the things that are not working right now, but I come because I’m also hopeful. Because getting up on Sunday morning and walking into a church building is a liturgy in itself for me. It’s a pattern I am hoping will sync me into something (I’m not totally sure what yet). The message is about Jesus so the music is about Jesus and it’s lovely. But a lyric hits the screen…

  • Christian Living,  God,  Jesus Christ,  life,  Love

    Then Jesus

    This year I elected to go to a Good Friday service because this year I am struggling with the faith thing, with the Christian thing, with the God thing. I thought that maybe going to a service intended to bring everybody to the verge of depression would fit me better than the Sunday mornings I’ve struggled to connect with for a while. I’m not sure exactly what I wanted to find there, but something in me pulled me to that service. This is my tribe, this is where I come from. In my searching for answers to all the Whys and the WTFs I keep finding that I can only start…

  • Christian Living,  God,  Worship

    How Marvelous

    It smelled clean – cologne and clorox – and the adolescent pheromones ran high. Our carpet echoed our Sister Church in burgundy bold. The chairs interlocked and faced the altar where wide steps landed on a deep stage with room for the most important ones. We stared at the plexiglass protecting the bathtub under a comically tall, thin gold cross. We sang hymns projected on the screens between house-made graphics of giant hands and mountains and rays of sun through clouds. I preferred the hymnal and bobbed my eyes to the notes as we sang mostly on key to majestic piano chords. Home. I felt so at home. I didn’t know…

  • Christian Living

    Funeral for Used To

    I was knit together in the womb of Evangelicalism. I rocked out to Carman’s Yo Kidz! on my walkman, spent my allowance on bumper-stickered Jesus puns, and won an actual trophy with the inscription “Pastor’s Award” for being the best example of a Church Kid in my fundamentalist Christian school. And underneath all the WWJD fare, I stood tall as a true believer. I spoke to God out loud and often. I gave homilies to my stuffed animals on the importance of the 10 commandments. As a teenager I prayed through tears to be spared eternal torment and I was completely sincere when I trudged door to door asking people if…

  • Christian Living,  Community,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Uncategorized

    Something Small

       I wanted to be a missionary for a handful of years, did I ever tell you that? I spent a good amount of formative time in a culture which offered few acceptable options for young girls. I could choose between being a teacher in a Christian school, a pastor’s wife or a missionary[‘s wife]. Getting married was a given and it was tolerable to be the wife of a layman so long as we were faithful to our local gathering. There was an uspoken heirarchy of life choices and the most obvious were at the top. Even our language belied our bias – there were those who “served,” who…

  • Christian Living,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Legalism,  Love

    A Liberating Whore Story

      We have all read the story in John – nowhere else – about the woman caught in adultery. We have all been taught how Jesus inaugurated a new way to fulfill the law – and we have put ourselves in the tangled sandals of the woman. We have read it and closed our bibles grateful that Jesus doesn’t condemn us, but saves us from condemnation and tells us plainly to “sin no more.” But grace folds over in grace when I walk across the temple’s dirt to the Pharisees. When I see through their eyes her face flushed red with shame and fear. She’s been found out and her lover…

  • Christian Living,  creativity,  God,  Reading,  Worship

    Wilting Well

    ´╗┐The roses wilt and I let them stay here, dying in the dingy vase by the winter-dirtied window. They sit on the food-stained tablecloth in the kitchen I have nested into comfortable beauty – it’s home with dirt and all. Because roses die lovely and I catch them in my quotidian busy, find in them a small sabbath while I labor. May I die lovely, too. In the dingy vase of this imperfect life – full of pain and aches of still-not-getting-it, full of disasters most unnatural, winters that make my lenses foggy, too. When I miss the beauty in decomposing – didn’t he say he made all things new?…

  • Birth,  Christian Living,  Homebirth,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    When Midwife Means Missionary

    Because every woman deserves to know how capable she is. That her creator has endowed her with the strength of lions and wind and oceans. That she has been chosen among humans to weave together Life in her womb and that the work it takes to separate herself from that life is heroic. Every woman. Here, there, everywhere. Every woman. Because fear has no place in the carved out space God intended for Life and someone needs to tell it to get out. Carrie, the woman who assisted in the births of my children, who has been a friend and mentor here in my early mothering is amazing in her…

  • Beauty,  Cancer,  Christian Living,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Kingdom,  Love,  Worship

    In The Likely Event that I Don't Get a Yearly Update In the Mail

    I didn’t get the Christmas New Year card out. Maybe I’ll squeeze it into the “Hey, we’re only a few days in and you know, life so it’s still acceptable for you to receive this” window. Probably not. I didn’t get the card out to tell everyone what a stupid, awesome, horrible, beautiful year we had. And I feel more compelled than I have in other years because this was a year. I mean, a damn year. This year earned her place in nostalgia – good and bad and ugly and lovely all swirling together in our memories. This year we saw God so.close. So up in our business that…