• Family,  Friends,  Home,  life

    Shamans and Prophets and Miracle Workers

    I know shamans and prophets and miracle workers. They use their hands to plant beauty and their feet to run to help. They call down blessings for me and offer up curses when I need a bigger voice to tell God I’m sick of this. They are my village and they are raising me. And they do it while they dress their own babies and feather their own nests and walk through their own fires. I have incredible people in my life. I knew this before. I have been humbled by their grace, humored by their good will, encouraged by their presence. But lately I have been walking through something…

  • Home,  life,  Love

    Make Yourself at Home

    I am in the SeaTac Airport for a layover and by hour 3 it feels familiar. It feels like I belong here. I have breathed this air in and out, I have walked a few places more than once, I have favored a spot on the train. This isn’t my home, but it could be, I guess. If I had to make it mine. It’s the same with life, I think. I have moved around in this skin – I’ve scraped it and stretched it and burned it. I have gotten familiar with my thinking patterns, learned what I tend to do and when. I have picked favorite sounds and smells…

  • Cancer,  Family,  Home,  Love

    The Cabin

    For me, Home smelled like Raccoon Court – oak trees on a lake, mossy rocks and too many leaves. The concrete cracked over wild earth reminding us she is far from contained and that she did the long-suffering despite our groans come summer when the weeds needed pulling. We tucked our stories into this old, tiny cabin surrounded by deer and birds and these round petaled flowers in tall grass. Does it sound a little magical? Good. My childhood saw magic. Sometimes we go back. My brother and I drive down the familiar roads and we can’t wait to breathe that air. We’ve taken friends and spouses, we’ve gone alone, but…

  • Deployment,  Home,  Love,  Marriage

    Come Away

    We played “Come Away With Me” at our wedding – our first dance after making a promise way too big for a couple of arrogant kids. It’s a lazy, lovely song about the easy adventure of falling in love. Nora Jones croons in exquisite alto how to let go and join in on the act of being with another person – on a cloudy day, under rain on a tin roof. We swayed in dress shoes under twinkle lights while we whispered the lyrics and conjured up a long, adventurous life together. Those our rhythmic first steps into years of coming away with each other. To a brick boxed house in North Carolina, to…

  • Community,  Family,  Friends,  Home,  Motherhood

    The People

      Sometimes it feels too long. It feels like too much. I heard so many times that the third child is the hardest adjustment so anxiety crept up and took over as the Grandmas – the helpers, the burpers, the diaper-changers, the laundry doers, the meal makers, the baby holders, the soft word speakers, the hair strokers – prepared to go home. And I sent out an S.O.S. to the Women. To my far-away tribe a prayer request, to my locals a plea: help.  So they made a sort of pact over me that I wouldn’t have to be alone before I was ready. Because my having children wasn’t their choice, but…

  • Christian Living,  Family,  God,  Holidays,  Home,  Love,  Worship

    Christmas Love

    In my home we eat the leftover Turkey while we give in to Christmas. I live by a strict code: no Holy or Silent Nights until after Thanksgiving. Honoring Autumn’s last hurrah is – to me – an ethical imperative. But come Black Friday I am ready. The pine-scented candles are lit, Bing and Co. serenade my living room on an endless loop, and I’m a sucker for Holiday-themed treats to share. And really this time of year is all about that to me. I am swept up in nostalgia, embracing every novelty of Christmas-past-come-now. It is not particularly about Jesus. Not particularly about his birth or his message. Not…

  • Family,  God,  Home,  Love,  Motherhood,  Worship

    When Baby Cries Make You Superwoman

    That feeling rises up from the gut. A fullness that tightens bones and organs and reaches my throat like a noose. Things are piling up and toppling over and my hands are far too small to catch it all. I am not big enough for this. I’m not mature enough. I’m not wise enough. I’m not disciplined enough and I don’t have enough. And just when my heart starts pounding he cries from the other room and I have to take a break from my worry to tend to his. Those delicious little arms wrap tight around his Momma’s neck while he forgets his nightmare and softens, whimpers, nuzzles in.…

  • Family,  Grief,  Home,  Love

    It Doesn't Go Easy

    Our dog is dying. And there will be more about him later because he has been sewn into my identity, our identity and his passing will not go without ripping some seams. But right now… we are waiting. I am watching his stomach for breathe when I walk past him, first thing in the morning, in the dark when I get up to do something. He takes in long, slow swallows of air through the night and I can hear him breathing like it’s hard and I know that breathing shouldn’t be hard. But then he will perk up and yesterday I swear he came back from the past. His…

  • Family,  Home,  Love,  Motherhood

    Loving the Bigs

    I love them like a woman who has lost ha-damn mind. I do nothing without considering the impact my children will feel. I am careful in my interactions with them to communicate my love and respect for them. When I don’t I am (usually) quick to apologize – not because I want to be in their good graces (children have nothing but good graces for their parents at this age), but because the thought of them hurting makes my stomach sick. I am compelled to care and act in their best interest. These are all very normal Parent feelings and granted, hormones are mostly on my side when it comes…

  • Family,  Friends,  Home,  Homebirth

    When You Make a House a Home

    Eli was born there. It was small – small like the cabin my parents spent all their money and my childhood on. And small has always meant cozy in my world because of this country song about small houses and big love. There was a lot of love. And Eli was born into that squished-in beauty. He burst it out through the windows; you could probably have tasted it if you walked close enough. There was a lot of love. And a lot of arguments at the top of our lungs. And a lot of apologies near the kitchen sink. With dishes piled high and babies sleeping on the other side of a…