On the good days

On the good days, I am conscious of the discoveries. This life under COVID-19 has been full of new and beautiful discoveries, both inner and outer. I recently read that while our outings to restaurants, shopping malls and amusement parks have all decreased dramatically, our visits to public parks has increased exponentially. This is certainlyContinue reading “On the good days”

Finding the faces of God in the dark

Lately, a memory keeps surfacing. I am struggling with my mental health and, almost before it begins, I am having a particularly hard day. Sitting in my chair, trying to get started, I call my counselor for help. I tell him, “All I have on my schedule today is an appointment with my psychiatrist. That’sContinue reading “Finding the faces of God in the dark”

Finding common ground in the din of debate

Debate divides this nation, and democracy is in disarray. On one hand, we enjoy light, good-natured disagreements: — Is the dress blue and black or white and gold? — Do you hear Yanny or Laurel? And then, there are the more serious debates; the ones that could be causing our civility to crumble. The latestContinue reading “Finding common ground in the din of debate”

It’s not our job to change people

Years ago, when I was learning how to be a teacher, some of my motivations were quite idealistic: I want to change the hearts and minds of youth, and therefore change the world!! Now, when I think back to the workings of my mind in those days, I almost want to scold my younger self,Continue reading “It’s not our job to change people”

#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence

The courage and resilience of survivors of sexual assault choosing to share their stories gives me hope. The wave of very public accounts of sexual assault and misconduct sweeping the United States, for many, has made what once seemed safe and certain seem suddenly dangerous and frightening. For those recently opening their eyes to theContinue reading “#MeToo, #ChurchToo and the hope in breaking the silence”

Finding the balance

  Carrying my laundry basket across the lawn, I feel a sudden sting. I was feeling peaceful and content as I did my chores. I was enjoying this quiet Saturday — I thought. But then, as surely as if an insect just bit me, a wave of emotion interrupts my peace and I am caughtContinue reading “Finding the balance”

Be perfect

Hypocrisy. According to Google, it’s “The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.” It’s a dirty word; the worst of insults in religious circles. Why, then, do those who consider themselves clean of heart, hand and tongue seem to so relish the taste ofContinue reading “Be perfect”

This complicated, imperfect world: an essay

I have always been hesitant to rock the boat; to challenge another’s opinion. As much as I would like to think otherwise, I don’t often get my feet muddy or my hair wet. The dirt splattered across my pants comes from my daughter jumping into a rain puddle, not me. I am usually complacent, confined to theContinue reading “This complicated, imperfect world: an essay”

From farm to city and back again: Listening and loving on the margins

Decades ago, as a child growing up in the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa, I would daydream of simpler times, of the days when people were pioneers and steadily establishing their families and homes and building communities upon frontiers. My younger sisters and I would gather in groves of cedar trees tucked into the hillsContinue reading “From farm to city and back again: Listening and loving on the margins”

Our hidden illness

My  daughter has asthma. People often express their condolences when the subject comes up but—the truth is—it’s really not a big deal. I grew up with asthma, so I was never intimidated by the diagnosis. Thankfully, my daughter’s asthma is well-controlled with daily medication and has (thus far) never caused her any serious issues. ThoughContinue reading “Our hidden illness”