When housework makes you think…too much

I still look for it to be hanging there next to the broom and sponge mop I don’t use anymore. Then I remember and grab the Swifter and fasten a dusting cloth to it. Do you remember dust mops? Do you even remember rag mops? They were nasty to use, reaching down to wring the thick cords of fiber with your bare hand, wringing out all of that dirty water....

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...

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...

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...

Squeaky wheels and birds in bushes

My father-in-law knew all the idioms that have become American Proverbs. The squeaky wheel gets oil. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t cry over spilt milk. You have to know when to which. I didn’t always understand them or how they fit but he seemed to pull one out for every situation. Do you remember the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding? Remember...

We’re on a mission

The organization we’re with has a purpose statement for the area we’re assigned to. We have an overall mission statement but in our singularly focused area of ministry, we also have a statement defining our purpose. It says, in part: “The primary purpose of an Adult Rehabilitation Center is the spiritual regeneration and rehabilitation of men who have undergone a process of disaffiliation from those significant ties, which enable individuals...

Delighting in the strength around me when I’m weak

Tell me the story simply, As to a little child, For I am weak and weary, And helpless and defiled. It isn’t the body that is weak but the spirit. Tired and weary as the old hymn says. Made weak from the news, real and fake, weak from uncertainty, and even weak from caring. But I take heart in the strength of Jesus. He puts others in my life to...

Because the small things matter

There was a moment the world seemed to feel bigger and smaller at the same time. Bigger, in that we seemed to be on our own, our great big country with its big ideas and advancements enjoying the American dream. Smaller, in that we didn’t have immediate access to the rest of the world. Technology changed that. Reporters appear on screen live from Russia offering commentary on our recent election. Sporting events are telecast...