• Family,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Lipstick Legacy

    I have it now; this little blue mug that says “MOM” on it all uneven like it was mass printed and sold for last minute gift-buyers on Mother’s Day sometime in the 80s. Maybe my Dad got it for her from me, their new baby, between sleep deprived shifts at one of his several jobs and maybe it made her cry the way you do when you’ve earned something that has not been easy. Mornings were quiet in our little cabin. Dad needed to sleep after his swing shift and Mom readied herself in the early, dark hours to join the other commuters on 101 by sunrise. Sometimes she would…

  • Beauty,  life,  Reading

    Finding God in the Waves | Book Review

    Science doesn’t ask you for faith. It’s happy to show you it’s homework. At the end of the day, we want to be alive. Everything we do is an attempt to live. We want the best of what our time on Earth can offer us. This is a part of our humanity; survival is not merely for survival’s sake. We do more than survive and this is an ancient drive. We want to know why we’re here and we want being here to matter. For those of us born into a faith tradition, those deep existential quandaries always had pat answers. I learned as a small child that my presence is purposeful and that I…

  • Cancer,  death,  Family,  God,  Grief,  Worship

    When Those Songs Play

    There is a station on my Pandora account – I named it “My Nest” – which I have thumbed up and thumbed down to perfection. Just about every song is deeply meaningful to me because this station has played through 2 unique pregnancies and their furiously lovely births, a dying dog, 3 moving days, the cancer news from California, all the breath-holding and fervent praying, and now it plays over my mourning. When my mom had surgery to remove the tumor we still thought could be some sort of sinus infection, the music and lyrics matched every atom of my limbo. Peace and anxiety swirled around and up to a God…

  • 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…

  • God,  Love,  Motherhood

    Grapes of Fury

    He gets it from me. Maybe I gave it to him on accident, through the genetic concoction which gave him those gorgeous brown eyes and that caramel skin. Or maybe he saw me do it when I’ve failed the resistance against my tendencies. When I’m hurting deep I get angry and look for something (or someone) to blame. I look for a place to land my blows. I’ve got 27 years on him and I still throw tantrums. That night he took issue with my placement of grapes on his plate. It was during another dinner far from his table, far from his dad and his dog and the place he calls “home” from the…

  • 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,  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?…

  • Cancer,  Family,  God,  Jesus Christ,  Love,  Motherhood,  Worship

    Beautiful Bullshit

    My mother has brain cancer. And you know what? I feel like everything is going to be okay. And yes, okay no matter what happens – no matter how long she is on this dirty globe with her lovely light – but I feel like she will be here long. I feel like this world isn’t ready to let her go and so… we won’t. But also? This is crap. And I’m not shaking fists at Heaven, but God and I are shaking fists at Hell. There is some fury here where we stare at the dark spots invading this person so full of everything Light. When someone cuts in…

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

    Fellow Wanderer

    Psst, you there, with the heavy pack and slow step, come in close for just a sec. I’m no stranger, my footprints are right over there on this same path – still deep (my pack was heavy, too). I’ve been where you are now and I just had to come back with a few refreshments – I know this part gets wearisome. It gets long here and your feet are sore and you feel a little… done? Yeah, I know… I felt done, too. You have secrets. Secrets that the rest of us would find disgusting. You would tell them in mutters and we would recoil in horror at your…