• Baby Berry,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Motherhood,  Pregnancy

    It's a Boy! (dammit)

    So. I’m pregnant. And full disclosure: I really wanted another girl. I wanted our eldest to have a sister to relate to, I loved the idea of my two boys being bookmarked with a little less testosterone, but mostly? I wanted another little girl to share in the thing my mom and I had. She used to buy this terribly amazing ice cream that had actual Butterfinger swirled into it. It was like our emergency fire extinguisher: we broke the glass for mean girls and stupid boys and post-fight-make-ups and really bad period cramps. Two spoons, one tub, no shame. We’d sit in her bed with our comfort food and…

  • Christian Teaching,  Community,  Grief,  hope,  life

    How to Take Communion (whether or not you're a Christian)

    As my faith has shifted I have become underwhelmed with much of my tradition. I’ve hodge-podged new rituals out of other practices and looked in dusty nooks of this one for meaningful expressions of a spirituality that no longer fits in the boxes I was given. But one ritual has never lost it’s mystery to me. Even when I couldn’t really consider myself a Christian I appreciated communion. Because this is Christianity’s addition to the universal groaning. Not a religious rite for the “in” crowd, but a deeply human, bestial cry. This is our admission that things are not as they should be, that we are broken and bleeding and…

  • life

    Blue Sky Tag Challenge

    I was nominated to do the Blue Sky Tag Challenge by Dedra Davis whose blog is full of all kinds of encouraging posts and beautiful pictures. Check her out! 1. How long have you been blogging? For about a decade…. Which is insane. Though the vast majority of that time has been very casually and often sparingly. 2. Where do you blog/write most often? Currently at the desktop in my living room. Which makes it hard during the day when the kids are… needing things… 3. What have you learned about yourself since you began blogging? So much… Blogging is sort of the tip of the iceberg of the writing I do and through…

  • Beauty,  Christian Teaching,  life,  Love

    The Gospel According to Wonder Woman

    Oh my gosh, see Wonder Woman. Like, close this window, buy a ticket, go. to. it. now. Done? Great. (Otherwise: major spoiler alert!) So holy crap, right?! The scene in No Man’s Land? GAH! The marketing team at Wonder Woman know what they are doing. Because they released this video wherein Gal Gadot (and honestly, what better name could Wonder Woman have than that?) gushes about her daughter and how playing a female super hero is so important to her and hints that Wonder Woman has a uniquely female approach to super-heroing and shows that she really honors the impact this will have on other little girls and cue the tears.…

  • Community,  Family,  Grief,  hope,  life,  Love

    On the First Anniversary

    People talk about the first year as though crossing that threshold is a thing. I used to hate it because it felt like there was an expectation that a person would be done grieving after a year. But I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s actually a hope for comfort. As if once you’ve made it a year, you will keep making it. You’ve proven to yourself that you can breathe, you can laugh, you can enjoy being her daughter even when she isn’t here the way she should be. One year ago, on June 19 my mother took her last breath. I waited up with the rest of…

  • Cancer,  death,  Grief,  life

    Why May is Grey

    May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month. It’s probably also some other awareness month and there is probably a Donut Day or something wonderfully absurd in it’s mix. These things are arbitrary. May is no more or less affected by Brain Cancer than November, but somebody wanted it to get attention so they picked this month. I wonder why. May is an otherwise beautiful month – it’s the month of blooming flowers and occasional rainstorms. May brings the end of winter, the beginning of tank top season. May means visits to the greenhouse, the sound of dirt scraping a metal shovel as you plant hope in the form of seeds or…

  • Birth,  Cancer,  death,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Worship

    And Own that Love is Heaven

    This time last year we knew. Another tumor had presented and Mom’s doctor just told us that the treatment wasn’t working. Mom realized without trying to that she would not be with us much longer and she made peace with it, mostly. She was ready for her pain to end, she was ready to be done fighting, she was ready to “be with Jesus.” She wasn’t ready to say goodbye; really, for us to mourn her. She didn’t want to be the cause of our grief. So as she laid down to get through another headache and imagined at any point she may not wake up, she made us promise her that this…

  • life,  Motherhood,  Race

    Mothering in (Racial) Tension

    This is a piece I wrote at the prompting of Motherlode – a website which features stories surrounding Motherhood. Their March Prompt is “What Now?” and there are a lot of fabulous pieces by writers trying to figure out how to navigate the crazy we are all experiencing right now. If you want to head over there, I would love it if you read and shared my piece (and as always, I would love to hear from you in the comments!), but also if you checked out what the other writers are up to! Happy reading!  One morning as I am summoning the energy to stand up, my daughter comes…

  • life,  Motherhood

    You Do Life

    You came to me so perfect. All of you. You cleared cobwebs in the spaces of my heart that forgot how gorgeous we are, how Good we can be. Because you are All Good. Things from my tradition made sense when you got here. God as a tender father, doting mother. Restoration as the only response to whatever could break between us – I would crack the world wide open if you ever dropped my love for you. I would trudge past Hades and dig it out from wherever you left it. I’d sweat blood and be made a fool if you needed me to do it so you’d believe me over whatever lie…

  • Cancer,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Love

    The Women

    Their voices are like echoes – one speaks and you wonder which body it belongs to. Their humor coordinates and though each has a slightly different take on the world, they understand each other and laughter comes easy. I was born into a family run mostly by women; strong, sweet, funny, brilliant women. My great grandmother, Betty, had one gorgeous, blue-eyed beauty she called Carole during World War II and then didn’t have any others for almost 20 years. Carole gave birth to her daughter Tracey just a couple years after Betty gave birth to Beth and Becky. And then 25 years later Tracey had me. In and out of crises, The Women get…