Yes, I’m one of those. Although I’ve never thumped a book at anyone or really considered myself a freak (except during my punk stage in high school) I am a follower of Jesus Christ. He is my Lord and Savior. Have I always been this way? Sort of. I was raised Roman Catholic, but after the fallout of my brother’s suicide, I just couldn’t return to that particular denomination. I spent years wandering in the dark, until I opened up my heart to Christ again. (Read my testimony here.) I still admire many qualities of the church, and enjoy wonderful relationships with friends and family who are Catholic. They understand, and I love them for it. Now, I belong to the United Methodist Church, and have found a warm, loving church family. It’s a small congregation, and it feels like home. From time to time, I share what’s on my heart and mind about this marvelous thing called “Faith.” Such a small word for such a complex topic.

Look out Pharisee! He’s about to bop you in the eye!

 

Oh, friends. What a difficult time we’re living in. So much disagreement. So much tension. And admittedly, I’m adding to that tension. I am not sorry.

I recently told my sister about a snarky reply I gave a former college professor who had a political disagreement with me online. On the surface, it was benign. But below, I knew it delivered a painful blow. And then I lied to her about it. I said I didn’t meant to hurt his feelings, but…

“Yes, you did.”

*Pause, deep gasp* Yes, I DID mean to hurt his feelings. That truth bomb stung, but in a good way. I am a writer. I use words professionally. I knew exactly what I was doing, and my sister called me out. I’m …

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Letting the Imago Go

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 22-24

The night air was surprisingly refreshing when I stepped barefoot onto my cold concrete porch. The light from the living room streamed through the closed storm door behind me, but I was drawn to a light beyond the overhang. Above. The moon. Brilliant and white, it pierced through the inky black sky. It was cool and calming. Clouds, narrow yet with clear definition, were drawn here and there, almost like quilt batting that’s been pulled thin. I let my toes hang off the edge of the porch, my hand on the 8-inch cedar post for …

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They flew so low, it was almost as if they were inviting us to reach up and touch their soft, feathery underbellies. (image from: mackerrow.zenfolio.com)

Three weeks ago today, I was sitting comfortably in my bed, deeply engrossed in a James Lee Burke novel. A bit unusual since I’d lost my normally voracious appetite for reading. My father had loaned me the book, one that I was initially eager to enjoy as we’d read nearly every one of his novels together. But for some reason, I kept picking at the book a few pages at a time, never completely diving in. Until that night. One particular passage touched me in a profound way, and I dog-eared the page to show my dad. That’s what we did, he and I. Our own little book club. But I …

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Grieving Like a Native

Even when I jump on that long, dark train, and take it for a night ride, I know there’s hope in the morning.

More than once this past week, I’ve run into people I either didn’t know, or didn’t know well, who told me they follow my blog. With my recent posts about losing our baby and the aftermath, I’ve drawn quite a bit of attention. And overall, I think it’s a great thing. Why? Because it’s helped other women open up and share their stories. Links have been passed between husband and wife, niece and aunt, mother and daughter, almost always with the encouragement to “Read this. Her story is so inspiring.” Inspiring. Is that what I’m trying to be? Well, it’s better than the alternative, I suppose. It …

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When. She used the word when, not if. “When you deliver your third child, we’ll need to be prepared for a possible transfusion. You lost a lot of blood with that surgery, and we need to be ready if that’s going to be an ongoing issue.” My mind stuck on the “when,” rather than on the large blood loss and possible future complications. I appreciated her optimism. My OB, reassuringly cheerful but professionally somber when appropriate, has always advocated for me to have more children. We enjoy each other’s company, and she knows that when everything gets off to a good start, my body handles pregnancy and childbearing beautifully.

Except this time. This time, I lost my baby at 8.5 weeks, and continued carrying completely unaware, hormones still in full …

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Two sisters dancing. One momma smiling.

Brown Eyed Girl pulsed from the band shell while my two little blue and green eyed girls spun around the dance floor with their daddy. As darkness descended on my hometown, swirling, patterned lights bounced off the towering trees above the concrete slab in front of the stage. I sat on a bench, just 10 feet from the action, mesmerized and peaceful just taking it all in. I relaxed my shoulders, and set the half-eaten plate of funnel cake down beside me. I smiled, as a tear threatened to find its way to my eye. I felt the beat throb and bounce and jump, letting it pass through my body, the rhythm settling in my belly, that full yet empty space where our lost …

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You Won’t Regret This

Father and daughter discuss the delights of The Sizzler. She wanted to ride SO badly, but will have to wait until next year.

He put the van in reverse, and I watched my little family begin to back out of the driveway. My girls waved vigorously from their car seats, giddy with joy that daddy was taking them to the carnival. I stepped out onto the porch, and motioned for my husband to stop. He rolled down the window.

“I’m coming. Just give me a minute.”

That moment, that split decision, was probably one of the best I’ve ever made. Fresh from hearing our sweet baby had died in utero, my heart was swollen and achy, much like my abdomen where our child still rests. I didn’t want to go. To face …

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The Sorrow is Silent

When it comes to preparing us for the moment of tragedy’s impact, the movies really do us a disservice. Foreshadowing, strategic camera angles and carefully orchestrated suspenseful music lead you to a logical conclusion. Something bad is about to happen.

But it doesn’t happen that way in real life. In real life, the room is quiet, the view is singular, the fluorescent lights blare overhead, and the moment of impact comes softly through an ultrasound tech’s whispered, “I’m sorry.” There was no foreshadowing in the plot, no indication that a sudden and life-altering blow would be delivered. Our baby was gone. Slipped away some time ago. No heartbeat. No movement. The sorrow is silent.

I’m still wrapping my mind around what happened yesterday. A happy, belly-bulging mother-to-be entered the OB’s office for a routine exam, and a …

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Today, my spirits are low. My energy is low. My ability to rub to coherent thoughts together and make a spark is low. This is a problem for me, this inability to stand my ground beneath the weight of worry. The worst case scenario is the only one I can imagine, and the alternatives seem like pollyannish pipe dreams. I’m a generally positive person, and can keep my chin up when life throws me struggles and setbacks in small chunks at a time, or with adequate warning.

But when I receive unexpected bad news, sometimes, I crumble. Like yesterday. My husband and I went in for our ultrasound, cautiously optimistic that we’d see a “Glinda bubble” on the screen when the tech placed the wand on my abdomen. And we …

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Motherhood is exhausting, and trying, and stressful…but completely beautiful.

While my children are whining,
The devil is dining,
On the sin of my impatience.

He licks his lips for just a taste
Of anger and frustration.

“Throw that book, raise your voice,
Yell a little louder! Turn your wrath
Into a rage, make me so much prouder!”

Lord, help me to rise above
These petty sins and trials.
Give me strength to bless my children
With words that come from smiles.

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