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…

The all-consuming work of salvation

  It wasn’t until I moved into my brand new husband’s basement apartment in Chicago that we were properly introduced to one another’s quirky compulsions. Mine included leaving half-drunk mugs of cold coffee in every room, and his involved reusing the same brown paper lunch bag for weeks at a time until it was soft and misshapen. Troy was also surprised by my knack for transforming random household objects into containers for…