The Presence of Love

brightly wrapped Christmas presents

Tonight took me by surprise. I was listening to my son share what he called his fears about life: fifth grade, shifting friendships, an upcoming surgery, his sense of himself. A part of me wanted to talk him out of most of it, to tell him that it’d all be okay, but I chose to be present instead. When he was done, I told him this story—and found the gift I needed too.

Unstoppable: A Reflection on Prayer

red begonia plant blooming

I have a thing for red flowers. Not roses, necessarily, but more everyday kinds of flowers: red geraniums, red tulips, red salvia. This summer I potted a red begonia on my front porch. Nestled in between the door and my favorite porch chair, I couldn’t help but see it every day. It bloomed all summer long. It’s still blooming now, and it’s November. I have no idea why. I call it my God plant.

Why Not Joy?

a whole lot of colorful marbles

My spiritual director asks the best questions. They linger with me long past the click that ends our monthly Zoom call. What if God is change? What if we are stardust? What if the sacred is not transactional? I don’t know the answers, and neither does anyone, really. But pondering them expands me, especially now.

Restoring My Faith

night sky filled with stars

My front porch has become my sanctuary, my “altar in the world,” to quote theologian Barbara Brown Taylor. I like to sit on the ledge late at night, my back against the brick. Out here is where I talk to God. Sometimes I use words. Most nights, I sit in silence. Breathing in that fresh night air, something in me expands beyond myself and reconnects me to the larger world, beyond the limits of my mind.

Stepping Out in Faith

map of Spain highlighting Santiago de Compostela

On Easter Sunday, I finished the Camino de Santiago, an ancient 480.8 mile (773.9 km) pilgrimage across the northern part of Spain. It starts in a village in France and ends in the town Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Unlike the medieval pilgrims who first walked it, I did the Camino virtually.

Lying Fallow: Learning to rest in the divine

colorful pots with soil in them

I am reminded as we enter another year of the pandemic that some life events have the power to reshape us. They reorder our galaxies and transform our plans. Who we were before no longer mirrors who we are becoming. I am being reshaped right now. I wish I could see the outcome, but for now, I am trying to rest in the faithfulness of God. I learned that many years ago. And I am relearning it again now.