The never ending, always expanding, role of mothering

There was something about the role of mothering that came natural to me. It started, perhaps, as granny mothered me in times I only know through photographs. Mama was in seminary where they couldn’t take their kids in those days. Daddy was pastoring a church while mama finished so granny filled the gap and so began a relationship that would keep us connected for long enough for her to see...

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...

Finding a tender companion to grief at Christmastime

More catalogs and advertisements are filling our mailbox this time of year. Tucked between Golf Digest, an ad for car sales and one actual Christmas card was the Mrs. Fields catalog. They come around holidays and are tossed in the recycle bin with old newspapers and unwanted ads. I glanced at it thinking, when have I ordered Mrs. Fields cookies and then I remembered. The past few years that mom...

How do we thank God no matter what?

Is this the year we sit around our Thanksgiving tables in fear and loathing, wondering where did it go amok? Do we rattle off our list of thanks with all the enthusiasm of reciting the multiplication tables? I’ve lived through elections since the late 70’s when I became eligible to cast my ballot. Saturday Night Live heavily influenced my choice for Carter as I’m sure it’s influenced many a generation...

A Broken Heart – what to do when the church hurts you

by Laura Acuna “There is nothing quite like the pain of being hurt by the church.” This is what my new pastor acknowledged to me when I first visited him after leaving the church where our family worshipped and served for over fifteen years. Boy, was he correct — there really is nothing quite like the pain of being hurt and disappointed within the Body of Christ. It’s disorienting and...

When Going to Church Helps Me Stretch

“Mom, cereal?” She asks, as I’m gathering my thoughts and coffee for the morning. I’m not ready for this, I think. I hadn’t heard her come down the steps. I stretch, releasing the  ­tight muscles cramped from sleeping. I’m buying time or what’s going to be a lot of questions peppered at me in rapid fire. “Did you forget about my drink again?” “Mom, are you awake?” “Did you hear...

The best thing the Olympics does for us

We found our spaces on the sectional in the living room. The five of us spanning three generations going from a comfortable recline to leaning forward, voices calling out, “GO! GO! GO!” as if the swimmers could hear our chants. Sometimes our voices erupted in cheers and other times the descending sounds of “oooohhhhh”. When the cyclist struck the curb,biking flying in the air as she tumbled from of her bike...

When One Preschooler Throws a Popsicle Festival

We live in a neighborhood where the ministry of popsicles is alive and well. Most evenings, when the sun isn’t quite as hot or high, a little bicycle gang emerges and our cul-de-sac is filled with pedals and scooters and wild kids. They run until a knee is scraped and then someone brings out the healing power of frozen juice. We sit under a tree cooling off and recovering. A...