Reflections on Being Patriotic

(This post originally titled “Giving Thanks as a Nation” appeared on Nearly Orthodox November 28th, 2013) Our trip to New York this past summer was a whirlwind. We saw an opportunity to go with very little notice. Dave had a client meeting in the area and the flights were cheap and available. We packed up everyone, made a hasty plan, booked a room and embraced the adventure of it all. With three…

A Word about Suffering

Ok, fine– many words about suffering… A quick search on the topic of suffering brings out the heavy hitters– Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. Khalil Gibran And that’s not even tapping into our massive supply…

Journal Entry: Thought Traffic

There’s an awful lot happening in the world, and that makes my thought traffic terrible. I had to lay down last night and just watch an episode or two of “Chopped” to clear things out. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. I think I mentioned not long ago that I’ve been working my way through this first volume of The Philokalia– slow but sure. And while reading, I’ve been putting…

Short Trip to the Edge: A Pilgrimage to Prayer

“And then I was standing at the edge. It would surprise you how near to home. And the abyss? Every shade of blue, all of them readily confused, and, oddly, none of this as terrifying as I had expected, just endless.” –Scott Cairns “Short Trip to the Edge”   Well, first off, I don’t generally “review” books. Let’s just be clear about that. Reviews can be so subjective, and what one person…

Poetry and Liturgy and Holy Week

  “Poetry is when language attains a degree of opacity, and you can’t see right through it.” This quote came from my pal, Scott Cairns when I asked him to talk about the intersection of poetry and liturgy. I was fortunate to have gathered a small posse of smart Orthodox poet-types and ask them questions at the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids . Much wisdom came forth from Scott, Gaelan…

Notes On Parenting: Everything works for five minutes

On the top shelf above my desk, I have a collection of framed photos of my husband’s family, my family, our family together. I see the curls Dave sported as a child echoed in my daughter’s hair when she was six. My own kid hair– straight as a poker– frames my middle son’s face in one photo. The pictures stacked one in front of the other so that when I look up…

Eating Clean (and the wisdom of cupcakes)

This post has been re-written like twelve times so far. I’m wrestling with the post because all I can think about are cupcakes. True story. When I went to Panera Bread this week the sign on the door informed me that all of their ingredients were now “clean.” I thought to myself, “I hope they have cupcakes and I don’t care how ‘clean’ they are.” I do care, though, a little. If…