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Showing posts from 2019

ordinary.

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My blog posts have been sparse this year, but I'm writing more than ever these days. I've been working on two books with Fortress Press Publishing and the first one is available for pre-order on Amazon this week! Ordinary Blessings is a collection of poems inspired by the mundane moments in life and God's delight in our human routine. This book includes poems for Day One of Sobriety, Showing Up Reluctantly for a Loved One, Menstruation, Being Bullied, Tax Day, Morning Anxiety, and more. 
This collection is my heart and soul. I long for every person to find blessing in the ordinary things about life and I hope this book offers a few words to help you notice God's presence in a new way. And that you'll join me in finding more words and ways to bless the ordinary. 
The book will be released on February 11, 2020. It’s available for pre-order now through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Fortress Press, Christian Books, and other vendors. You’ll be able to track it down at a l…

soil.

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We have lived in our house for just over six years and, each spring, I am grateful for the matriarch who proceeded me. Donna was a wonderful gardener. Her landscaping is timeless and her perennials are a lavish inheritance. 

My husband has a green thumb, and my expertise has been limited to spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and complimenting his ability to keep the yard alive. Small children have had me moving the sprinkler and putting away bikes, with little time to fuss over soil and plants before dusk turns to dark. I’ve spent five summers assuming this tending would feel like one more nagging task on the to do list and was grateful to Matt for watering, pruning, and caring for our little patch of land.

But this season is different. Now all five of us are in the yard. Ten bare feet smell like the cool earth. Fifty fingernails harbor half moons of dirt. Our necks are tanned from the sun because we are looking down, underfoot this summer, picking peas and broccoli, smelling for mint and …

heartbeats.

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I have had pregnancies pleasantly surprise me, that were prayed for, that came to fruition with healthy babies I then pulled toward my heart right after their birth. I have also had a pregnancy end suddenly. I have waded through that particular grief of loss like so many other women, adrift in isolation and disappointment.

I have volunteered at Planned Parenthood organizing supplies, sitting with patients, seeing lives changed by affordable and accessible healthcare like Pap smears, breast exams, and birth control. I have watched Catholic nuns with women after abortion procedures, quietly doting on them with heating pads, juice boxes, and animal crackers. It is gentle and sacramental and heartbreaking. They held space for every story unspoken, every tear shed, every body in the midst of death and resurrection.

I have been sexually assaulted, laid bare by a hospital rape kit and humbled by clothing torn and stolen hand towels. I have felt my heart stop or become numb to its beat. I ha…

platinum

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Dear Scranton Joes,
You have had power and privilege longer than I’ve been alive and, for the most part, you have employed it for good. You learned to leverage this duality from the generations before you, watching the men you admired shift effortlessly between commanding and charming, from king to common man. And for decades, your intentions have been viewed in the warm glow of the patriarchy’s best light.
But let's be clear. You were never riding that train home from work as ordinary or mutual. You carry that power and privilege in your cis-straight white male body wherever you go, whether you want to or not. What does that mean?
When you are seeking a casual connection, it’s still there. When you’re showing affection, it’s still there. When you’re making a joke to be more relatable, it’s still there.
And those who hold less power and privilege than you do must navigate this dynamic with or without you. I’ll do my best to spell this out for you.
Like many Traditionalists and Baby Boo…

and also.

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Genesis 45 & Luke 6

I get nervous preaching texts about mercy and forgiveness, even though they are such vital pillars to our Christian faith and signs of God’s generous identity.
You and I know a thing or two about being transgressed, about feeling forsaken, about that fire of revenge that can light up our whole body with the desire to get even or make things feel fair.
Sometimes we hear this command to forgive those who hurt us, to pray for the ones who abuse us and it can do even more damage. It doesn’t sound like good news because people have misunderstood redemption to be forgetting, a nullifying of the evil we’ve endured, a twisted theology that suggests God manifests misery in our lives so that God can then play the hero and save us from the mess God made. Gross.
Rather, these stories and teachings are words about the way life can fall apart because things are crummy from the get go or they break along the way. It feels personal - it is personal! - and our natural instinct is …