The grace of giving from enough

I can count on one hand the number of times we saw grandma Durham. I remember visiting her and grandpa in California when I was 5 or 6. We drove from Louisiana or Arkansas, wherever we were living at the time, in a station wagon that I think we slept in at least one night. My memory focuses on the cots spread out in the field behind their house, across the...

When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

There are always alternative facts

Our son was at the age where he was losing the last of his baby teeth. He was also at the age of uncertainty of a tooth fairy. He was leaning toward believing this was another fable parents told their kids much like the more famous one about, well, you know…..the fat guy in a red suit. Jonathan called out to his dad one morning. The tooth still under his...

When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

The sacraments aren’t the same as salvation

We noticed the small crowd of people in waters about waist high. They were just off the shores of our local beach. My curiosity was raised as I craned my neck to get a look at what was going on. Ah….as I thought…a baptism. The hugs of joy from those on the sand encircled the man, dripping wet from going under these waters made holy. I was 12 the first...

The external doesn’t define you

It’s that first glimpse of the external that we define someone. Tall, short. Young, old. A description becomes our initial definition. It’s only the surface we define. I would have been in the third or fourth grade when my family went to visit friends. They must have been business acquaintances because I don’t remember another time we were together as families. I clearly remember being in their backyard where their...

Transition ahead: Slow down!

She wanted to sleep in but sleeping in for me means 7, maybe 7:30, not 10. I pulled out the art supplies, tried to entice her in learning to draw a butterfly with a few lines when she said, “Can I paint?” Yes! yes, you can paint. This will be good. This is what I envisioned for the week she’d be with us during her spring break. We’d spend a couple...

This risky, uncertain life: Embrace it

Embrace today the now the unknown uncertain Embrace failure new things trying the learning Embrace making a mess letting it go reaching out reaching for more Embrace the parts of you that don’t fit that are awkward and a singular beauty Embrace grief its loss that was full full of hope joy promise Embrace it because it moved you, stirred your inner being and filled you with life. Embrace the...

I thought faith would be easy. It’s not.

A friend sent me a free trial of one of the food services. They sent us all the ingredients and recipes for three lovely meals for my husband and I. All I had to do was prepare it. The first recipe included a clove of garlic and called for a mortar and pestle. What? Why would I have a mortar and pestle? Another recipe called for lemon zest which meant...