Establishing Peace With One Another

  Like most other times a fast approaches, my initial thoughts about this Nativity Fast were laced with stress: “I’m not ready!” And this year, gearing up for a sacred period of preparation for the incarnation seemed especially challenging. Truth be told, I’ve been wrestling with a lot of disappointment lately, in my own failings and in the state of our nation. I’ve been discouraged, disillusioned, and downright depressed over the dwindling…

Happiness is a Pure Heart

The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there. – Annie Dillard I live in community with my parents, a cocker spaniel, my four children, and my even-keeled husband. My brother, sister-in-law and their four kids live just on the other side of our subdivision. Family surrounds me every day, all…

Born to Die

I love listening to podcasts while I clean, and walk outside, and drive… I’m a podcast junkie. About a month ago, I was playing an episode of NPR’s “Snap Judgment” while folding laundry. It featured a story about twenty-four strangers who got caught in a gas station together during a three-quarter-mile wide tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri in May of 2011, killing 160 people. The storm came on quickly, giving the customers no…

On Doing The Hardest Thing First

Yesterday, my daughter walked through our front door carrying four hours worth of homework in her backpack. After a snack and quick-ish recap of her day (she’s my talker), she handed over her iPhone and pulled out her super-sized literature textbook. Last year, her freshman year, we all learned the hard way that dilly-dallying and procrastination, though powerfully alluring, result in nothing but yuckiness. It is a horrible feeling to be faced…