Gathering In

In a few weeks, we’ll say goodbye to our house in Tennessee. We bought it back in 2005 after selling our bungalow in Chicago for more money than we could imagine. It was the height of the real estate market, just before the bubble burst. We decided to slow down our lives a little. The kids were small and we felt like the city was closing in on us. The place in…

Context and Spiritual Insecurity

“Anxiety is the mark of spiritual insecurity.” ―Thomas Merton This quote comes up in my Twitter feed almost weekly. It always seems to catch me when I’m in a grumpy mood. That said, these days I’m always cranky when I read Twitter. I need to change my feed– or I need to change my habit of checking Twitter. This quote is out of context, and as such, it conveys a terrible message…

Theologians

I’ve been steadily working on this new book that’s due out late next year. It involves reading through the first volume of the Philokalia, one page at a time, and then reflecting on something I’ve read there. It’s slow-going because it’s a meaty work but also because of the nature of my crazy life. Let’s be honest, though. My life probably isn’t much crazier than yours. We all have stuff to do,…

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…

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…

Love of the Beautiful

“Lord Jesus Christ, my God, You have said, “Apart from me You can do nothing.” In faith I embrace Your words, Lord, and I entreat Your goodness. Help me to carry out the work I am about to begin, and to bring it to completion. To You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.” -Orthodox prayer before beginning any task My hope for this new year is to finally finish…

Advent: Noetic Fire

This whole month so far is a blur. So, what else is new, right? I keep telling myself that at some point in my life I’m going to get my crap together and sit in some silence during this Nativity Fast. I keep thinking that tomorrow I’m going to get it all done and find that silent time and just breathe a little deeper. Tomorrow came and went. Now it’s already just…