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…

God Planted a Garden in the East

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Gen 2:8-9   The ink is…

The Benefits of Doing it Wrong

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” –Frederich Buechner My writing style is sometimes described as “confessional” and that seems about right. I want to be honest and vulnerable in my work. When I sit down to put things to paper, I don’t hold back in that first draft. I put it all down there. The second draft is where I ask myself whether I really…

Holy Saturday/Glorious Pascha

Will you be there? The question came from a friend as I was leaving the Good Friday service and then, from someone else today, this Holy Saturday, through Facebook. Yes. I will be there.  I cannot tell you how good it is to be asked this question. For me, spending a lot of time on the edges of social gatherings, church meetings, any kind of event that requires me to “be” there…

Good Friday: Breath and Bones

Good Friday always finds me lacking, or running, or desperate to “catch up.”  So, in an effort to dial things back a notch and at the same time, dig in to the quiet moments of a crazy life, I’ll just offer this today. I offer it because poetry has the ability to reach those deep places in me no matter what the circumstances of my life. And I want to connect with…

Laundry, Liturgy and Care for the Soul

Front loading washers have what I consider a hideous secret flaw. I noticed it a few weeks after the new washer was installed. That was a headache story on its own so I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say that when the project was finally done it was a huge relief. I swear I could look in the direction of that new washing machine and see a beam of…

Words that bite, Love that heals

“If you cannot be merciful, at least speak as though you are a sinner. If you are not a peacemaker, at least do not be a troublemaker. If you cannot be assiduous, at least in your thought be like a sluggard. If you are not victorious, do not exalt yourself over the vanquished. If you cannot close the mouth of a man who disparages his companion, at least refrain from joining him…