Friends, how are you? How are you in the midst of a global pandemic? How are you in the loneliness of social distancing? How are you in the time of canceled plans, seasons, games, and long-anticipated vacations? How are you in the uncertainty of…everything? How are you in the fear for your own life, or the lives of those you love? How are you?

I would like to talk specifically to those of you like me. Those of you for whom the phrase “don’t panic” rolls off your back like water on a duck. It doesn’t sink in, because panic is the water you’re swimming in. It’s your norm.

I have an anxiety disorder. It is, according to Mayo Clinic, “a mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to …

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Pansy growing among dead leaves

This little pansy caught my eye in the flower bed last week. An early sign of spring on a frigid February day. Bloom where you are planted, indeed. Whenever you’re freaking ready.

I could pretend that I’m writing this to lift the spirits of a dear friend who’s going through a dark season, but here’s the truth; this is for me, but not only me. Maybe it’s for you. Or your dear friend.

See, I’ve been at this writing thing for a long time. 15 years professionally (18 if you count my internships in college), and 31 years if you count my crayon-scribbled masterpieces as a young child. I’ve always, always wanted to be a writer. And now I am. Not many people can say that they’re living their childhood career dream. I can, and I’m grateful. Not many …

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Leaving the Range

Eight years ago, I was a newly-jobless mother of two girls, ages 1 and 3. I’d left my job as the director of communications for a sizable non-profit in exchange for more time with my progeny. I envisioned delightful outings and play dates and leisurely afternoons spent reading and cuddling and baking cookies. And sometimes, that happened. But truth be told, I was miserable. I was broke. I was lost and fumbling, unsure of my purpose or value.

So darn precious. Those days were long, but the years were short. I will not cry. I will not cry.

So I started freelancing. I picked up projects here and there, but it wasn’t enough to fulfill my need to create. So many words. So many stories. I did what every red-blooded white lady who lives out in the …

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This post was written and submitted by my cousin Janelle Stamm, and is her open and honest journey of faith. Like so many, our family was shattered by the betrayal of clergy sexual abuse, but the power of hope is stronger even than death. I was profoundly impacted by her story, and I think you will be too. Awareness of clergy abuse is at an all-time high, but we must be moved beyond apathy to action. I admire her vulnerability in admitting that at one time, she didn’t believe us. Reading those words stung, but more like the injection of a life-saving serum than the prick of the poisoned spindle on the spinning wheel. If we want to have real change, we have to have really hard conversations. ”

“I didn’t want to believe what I know …

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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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Time is Drawing Near

Soon. Soon love will fill this corner of the bedroom.

The wee hours of the morning. That delicate span of time when either you’ve stayed up very late, or gotten up very early. My husband is the latter. He leans to kiss me in bed, my hour tousled unattractively against my pillow. I tell him I love him, words spoken through my lisp-inducing mouthpiece used to prevent nighttime teeth grinding. Baggy black sweats with holes in ever-increasing places sit across my hips, purchased when I was 10 weeks pregnant with my first baby. They’ve served me well. I wear a soft-because-it’s-old faded gray t-shirt, screen print of a sporting goods store cracked and disappearing on the front. It’s his. Just like this squirming life inside me.

I’m 36 weeks pregnant with our fifth child. Two are in heaven, …

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