ryan-finni-223481

why did He have to die?

It’s been quiet around here lately. Partly because my body has – quite literally – been twice mended in the last two months.  Twice cut by surgeons, twice put under anesthesia, twice numbed and stretched and torn and steri-stripped and re-sewn. I was happy to accept the first “mending,” if you will.  I had appendicitis.  I was feverish and in pain, nauseous and dizzy.  So when the nurse finally wheeled me into surgery after tossing and turning all night in the ER, I felt nothing but gratitude. But I’ve had a harder time submitting to this second “mending” – I […]

dabkxsptaek-gareth-harper

How do we “make room” for Christ?

Our new house in Virginia has an extra room upstairs, nestled in between our bedroom and the children’s rooms. I had this grand idea to turn the room into a creating space.  I planned to put our scratched up kitchen table in there, and it would magically become this place to write and draw and wonder and make mistakes.  A place where it’s okay to lay out all of the paper, get out all of the paint, and cover the floor with splatters and chalk dust and thread. So the day before the moving truck arrived, I gathered my vision […]

SEA.HARE

big city fear & the sea hare

So we’re living in Washington, D.C. this August. Because we love 100° heat, 100% humidity, and crowds. My daughter especially loves the crowds.  Last week we had to duck out the back entrance of a museum with a giant double stroller because she started wailing.   The offense?   “Too many orange-shirt people are coming towards us!!!” Note to self: never take Adeline on a tour that requires matching shirts. On the bright side, we have high-powered air conditioning in our free, furnished apartment.  So we spend most of our time there.  There, and in the elevator.  The elevator has been my […]

green.grapes

God restores lost things

After we moved from Northern VA to NY, a few things “went missing.” My spoon rest from Italy.  A binder of recipes handwritten by my aunt.  One lone black sandal. I looked for these missing things for awhile, sorting through the clutter of boxes and piles, scrounging around in the basement, trying to remember where I had packed them.  But eventually, I just gave them up for lost.  I started referring to them as “things lost by The Move” – as if The Move was this thoughtless beast who left precious things behind. But in reality, I think I lost them. […]

birdinhand

what will eternity be like?

I watched my daughter chase after a flock of mourning doves yesterday.  She ran towards them at full-speed, arms outstretched, trying to “catch” one.  Apparently she wanted a bird to “land on her arm,” so she could “hold it” and “stroke its feathers.”  Clearly too much afternoons watching Mary Poppins, with the whole “tuppence a bag” woman. Once I got over my inevitable bird-flu panic and stopped yelling “PLEASE DON’T TOUCH THE BIRDS!,” I noticed how disheartened she looked as each and every bird flew away. I put my arm around her and explained about how wild animals are happier […]

water.plank

when the pool doesn’t heal you

I was complaining recently.  Not good, godly complaint, like David in the Psalms when he cries out to God. More like grumbling-complaining.  Like the Israelites after they’re freed from Egyptian slavery and they end up crying in the desert, wanting meat instead of manna, wishing for the cucumbers they left near the Nile River instead of the milk and honey of the promised land. Except the cucumbers in my story have another name – Humira.   The medication that was supposed to deliver me from my arthritis.  The medication that doctors just took me off. So I was complaining to […]

fruit-mango

Why is it good to cry?

“Why is it good to cry?” My daughter asked the question while I was driving.  Tears were rolling down my cheeks behind my sunglasses and I had hoped she wouldn’t notice. I took a deep breath. “It’s good to cry because that’s how we share our sadness with God,” I reasoned.  “We cry and then He comes to us.  And He makes the sadness beautiful somehow.” She squinted her eyes in confusion. “But He doesn’t come down to be with us, does He?” In some ways, she’s right, my four-year-old.  God came down once, in the person of Jesus, and […]

fields

that time I lost my hard drive

So I may have lost a lot of writing last week. I turned on my nine-year-old laptop as usual, the steady dinosaur that it was, a beloved holdover from my consulting days…and I got the black screen of death. This wouldn’t be a crisis for an organized person.  A thoughtful person who regularly backs up her work.  A person who listens to her husband who has countless spare hard drives and a degree in information technology.  But unfortunately, I am not that person.  I’m the person who saves everything randomly to the desktop. So yes.  Not my best day. I […]

looking.at.Grant

oh death, where is your sting?

A few days ago, I was looking through an old scrapbook and came across these pictures from Easter two years ago.   (yes, I still scrapbook.  laugh away…) The page is all aqua ribbons and silver lettering, with “Oh death, where is your sting?” written across the top. We look so full of Easter joy.  Abigail holding my miracle son, posing in our matching aqua sweaters, the lush green grass… But the truth is:  behind our smiles, we felt terrible. My arthritis had just begun to emerge, and I felt stiff and cold.  Abigail was holding Grant because I couldn’t bear […]

candles

laryngitis & listening for God

This past October, I wasn’t able to talk for a few days.  It was like a forced silent retreat, except I didn’t have any mountain vistas or candles or woolen throws.  And I still had to provide snacks for my children, who did not realize that I was on a forced silent retreat. All of my communication was like this odd game of charades…I made exaggerated faces, mouthed words, moved my arms…but my children just ran the other direction and cried for the iPad.  So in other words, it was awesome. It didn’t help that the laryngitis was kind of […]