Learning to Love ‘These People’

“Mama, are you going to give that man some money?” We stopped for after school Icee’s at the corner convenience store. The homeless man stood at the corner in his rumpled, dirty clothes and his blank stare. “No. We don’t give money to those people.” I continued the education that had been given me as a child. These people were different. They’re on drugs or drunks. They’re not like us....

Rescued and Redeemed

  I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse...

Is your craving lying to you?

I’m more likely to crave those tortilla chips than chocolate. You know, the blue ones that aren’t overly salted and a tad thinner than the ‘other’ ones? Yes, I’ll choose those any day over chocolate. Even Dove (seriously, Hershey doesn’t compare!) I remember hearing about the odd cravings pregnant women would have but I never had any nor did my friends. Sure, we enjoyed in more indulgences and blamed that...

Where is the renewal of my soul?

How do you tell them you’re tired? That your smiles aren’t as real as they use to be? That, most days, you have to make yourself show up. This isn’t suppose to happen. Not to us, not to people who are the ones who hug you when you’ve come back after your last relapse. Not to people who are grace-givers and hope-peddlers. This isn’t suppose to happen. But it does....

What if The Church were more like AA?

Through our ministry with men in recovery, we’ve been introduced to AA and NA and their many partner groups. We have become proponents and believers in the Twelve Step program. We see spiritual truths woven through the principles of the steps.  The very core of AA is surrender. It’s what Bill W’s friend told him was the only thing that brought him sobriety: admitting his powerlessness and surrendering to God. Step...

When does a winning team look like losers?

At recess, I was never the first one chosen for a team but I wasn’t the last either. It was awkward for everyone when the numbers of kids left was down to three or four. I can only imagine the anxiety of wondering if you’d be chosen on knowing that you’d be picked last. Again. I’ve noticed businesses are using the word team more these days. People are part of...

On this beautiful summer day, I will not lose hope

I suppose summer isn’t the time to talk of the hollowness of grief. These are the days of long sunshine inviting us to play a little longer. These are the times of family reunions and seeing new places. These are not the days to be met with grief. But grief doesn’t wait for an invitation. Alia Joy’s words met me early this morning. They stirred the grief I thought had been...

My Undefined Obsession with Food (guest post)

“This will be the last time. I need it once more and then I’ll be OK. I know it costs too much, I know what it’s doing to me but I can’t take it…I have to have it today.” Did you think I was talking about drugs? Sex? No, sadly this daily conversation happens in my head on the way to the adorable coffee shop next to my work. I’ve...

Retreat? Hardly!

Retreat: to withdraw Often, we speak about going on a retreat, meaning to withdraw away from the busy-ness of life, the noise and distractions. We retreat to refresh and refuel. We are going on a retreat this weekend. Lord willing, we are already at Camp Keystone about an hour from Jacksonville up in North Florida. But this isn’t the kind of retreat where we withdraw but where we engage. We...