• 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,  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…

  • Beauty,  death,  Grief,  life,  Love,  Politics

    Election Day 2016

    Something will happen tomorrow. You’ll get up. You’ll do your thing. You’ll work or play or study. And the world will get herself around that sun. We’ll survive. And in America, we’ll have a new president. I went to a memorial service tonight put on by the incredibly caring people at Hospice of Spokane. They offered tips for getting through the holidays and sang folk music and let us cry our tired little eyes out together with strangers. They gave us candles to light and food for our bellies; a great reminder that in the midst of the grief and the pain, you still eat and you enjoy the cookie…

  • Cancer,  death,  Family,  Grief,  life,  Love

    The Best Birthday Party

    A birthday party for a three year old is usually not thrown in between hospice visits and medication reviews. Celebrating birth seems almost vulgar around the dying. But he has given up a lot without his consent and I couldn’t stand the thought of his giving this up, too. Birthdays are a big deal for us; we start talking about them months in advance when we realize that we are “two and a half” years old. He cycled through several themes and set his heart on a Paw Patrol party. He’d tuck his chin and wrinkle his nose and his sweet little mouth curled into a smile when he talked about Chase decorations…

  • Family,  Friends,  God,  life,  Love

    It’s not a secret: I have been doubting, squinting, cocking my head at all the things I thought I knew. I have been wrestling with… whatever the hell we wrestle with in existential crises – which is the question here, this time: it is what, not why, nor how. What. I have doubted God’s kindness. I’ve doubted God’s provision, God’s fairness, God’s predisposition. I’ve doubted God’s intentions, God’s story, God’s plan. And now I have doubted God’s being as I’ve always understood it. But do you know what I never stopped believing in? What I haven’t doubted (yet) for even one second? Love. I believe in Love. I believe it matters how we treat each other,…

  • Birth,  Family,  life,  Love,  Motherhood

    Highest Hope

    I gave birth to her on the floor of the Birth Center – right outside the tub where I thought I might die, where I hated her from a reserve of fury I didn’t know existed, where I’d cursed the moment of conception which had brought me to this agony. She came quickly. Her eyes were steely blue, her lips resembled a rosebud, her chubby olive cheeks were too kissable to resist, and she smelled like Heaven. I am convinced. If there is a Heaven and if it has a smell it is that one. The midwife handed her to me and I don’t think she even reached my chest before…

  • 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…

  • 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…