the church


i’d slept over at julie’s and so when her family woke up for church on sunday morning, i did too.  we piled into their station wagon and drove to st. peter and paul’s.  i pulled at the sleeves of the dress i borrowed, the dress […]

jesus died for you and other sentences that don’t mean anything

“i’ve heard so many teachings on why he had to die, but it never seems to stick in my head.” i’m looking out at the frozen neighborhood. sentences can freeze and crack, too. the meaning they once held is nowhere to be found. they are […]

when madeleine l’engle kicked my ass

after i hung up the phone and told joshua what i’d just learned, we knew that our tiny church plant was done.  there had been signs leading to that moment in our kitchen.  but this was it.  the final nail. he leaned over onto the […]

failing at jesus stuff

she told me their church had split and that people were saying terrible things about them. i nodded my head and listened. silent, i nodded. churches are trouble, i thought.  churches are the problem.  they’re so messy, i thought. and when i looked out on […]

the perfect christian life and anti-depressants

(this article originally appeared in catapult magazine.  the topic has been on my mind, so i thought i’d bring her back out and put a new dress on her.) A close friend knocked on our door a few weeks after our daughter was born. He […]

have you eaten from the tree?

the tension in the word of god swings like the young girl in the trees with my son. she is agile and lovely.  my boy tries to keep up with her.  i try to keep up with paul as he lays out plain as day […]

ferris wheel church metaphor

the ferris wheel never stopped. they opened the doors like greeters on a sunday morning and ushered you right to your seat. it was unnerving. i hesitated like at the mall before an escalator. it inched. barely perceptible. it kept moving. the wheels of the […]

o lord, make haste to help me

our help is in the name of the lord. our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the fowler.  indeed the snare has been broken and we have escaped. they say that when times are good that it’s easy to forget the […]

box mix

so many days went into them.  they were piggy banks into which i put my coin. they taught me to slow down.  to bake a gingerbread house myself.  i didn’t know that i could. there are those kits that line the shelves.  the ones that […]

rainbow sprinkles and the devil

i lose perspective. the colors blur and i can’t tell green from yellow.  we set out the chairs and we practice the songs.  but what does it matter when no one is singing? that’s when it’s helpful to hear a small four-year-old voice say from […]