Sensible Skin is Tougher Than You’d Think

Every mama knows, preschool conversations reveal some of life’s biggest truths.   It was my day to have the two for lunch after their morning at preschool, my younger daughter and her four-year-old friend. It was a Thursday thing that year. These besties loved spending as much time together as they could (and their moms ...

Expectations and Promises: When God Disappoints

Shielding the California sun from my eyes for a glimpse as my daughter received her college diploma, I remembered something my husband said four years ago as I sat on these same crowded bleachers.   I was wearing my cardiac life vest back then. My older son was graduating from the same university that day. ...

Finding MidRace Joy in a Marathon Pandemic

20. April 2020 Blog Posts 14
It was the perfect sunny day in April to watch the Boston Marathon.   I left our Airbnb early, figured out the subway stop, and waited my turn to be at the front of the barricade lining Boylston Street, several blocks from Copley Square where it was only about 10 people deep. I didn’t have ...

This Isn’t Us: Grieving the Loss of Community

06. April 2020 Blog Posts 14
The sunny wheat field was full of multiple combines, dozens of workers, and several trucks. But it shouldn’t have been.   It was one of the worst weeks in the small community’s history. Days earlier, my husband’s seven-year-old brother had suffocated in a truckload of wheat on their family farm.   Time froze and the ...

Surviving the Stairs

I was petrified of those stairs.   When I was in Kindergarten, my family moved into our unfinished basement while another story was added to our two-bedroom rancher. My mother took care of three children and a baby in that awkward, damp space for more than a year. We had a makeshift kitchen and beds ...

Finding God in Soggy Cereal & Cold Coffee

02. March 2020 Blog Posts 18
As a kid, I was pretty good at math. Not to brag, but I won my fair share of chalkboard arithmetic races.   So I could usually finish my homework in class or during study hall. But I chose not to. Instead, I saved my long division to work on during the nearly hour-long bus ...

Locust Years

17. February 2020 Blog Posts 8
Locusts don’t invade wheat farms in southcentral Kansas.   At least they didn’t when I was growing up there. But plenty of other pests did.   And grasshoppers sure could make a mess of a family garden overnight. Now as a resident of wooded northwest Arkansas, I’ve learned a placid deer family can decimate a ...

To Manage a Mountain

20. January 2020 Blog Posts 2
Warm, barefoot summers in Kansas I avoided them at all cost. Those feisty red ants had hills stationed throughout the farmstead. If a kid wasn’t looking where she was going, she got a painful reminder that she was infringing on their territory. Still, I spent hours observing those little guys at work, hundreds scurrying, carrying ...

Anticipating Bad Days

06. January 2020 Blog Posts 2
I had planned and expected a really good day.   As I was just emerging from my psychotically-shy cocoon, my mother appliqued a dress for me. I loved everything about it. The careful hems, the shiny buttons, but mostly the humpty dumpty assembled from familiar bits of fabric on the front. It was a work ...

Tweaking Tradition, Part 2

16. December 2019 Blog Posts 0
Christmas is thundering closer. But something just doesn’t feel right.   We just spent five days traveling to the Cleveland Clinic for my heart failure evaluation. Not a journey I wanted to make the week before Christmas. But this is where God has us now, and it’s been a mixed bag with lots of blessings ...