Recent Posts

September 25, 2012
Best Writing on TV

"And I'm scared. I know that you're trying to make everything okay for me. You always have. Our whole lives. And I love you so much for that. But. You have to let me be scared. I want to be able to come to you and just say, I'm really scared today. And I just […]

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September 23, 2012
The Religion of Cheerfulness

"One of the surest ways to avoid being happy is to insist on being happy at all costs. The religion of cheerfulness . . . is a cruel religion, and maybe the best way not to go mad is not to mind too much if you do go mad." ~ Simon Tugwell, The Beatitudes: Soundings […]

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September 19, 2012
I Chose To Tell Myself

"I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing […]

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September 18, 2012
To Make or Unmake
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September 2, 2012
Art Isn't Anecdote

As we each volunteered our skeletal plans for our final project in the Writer's Workshop this summer, Gwen announced a most courageous plan: she would document a five-day road trip, morphing it into a short story. She signed on to tell the story, not knowing if it would turn out to be a lovely paradise […]

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September 1, 2012
She shook her head No.

When she was nine years old, Ethel sat at Grandma Mo's kitchen table one day to help peel apples for a pie.  She had just started on one when a worm crawled out of it.  Ethel shrieked and dropped the apple and the peeler, and when her grandmother looked over at her, her pale blue […]

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August 26, 2012
A Choosing

On any given morning, I might not be able to list for you the facts I know about God.  But I can tell you what I wish to commit myself to, what I want for the foundation of my life, how I want to see.  When I stand with the faithful... and declare that we […]

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August 5, 2012

"Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith. And yet I continue to live in a world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left […]

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July 29, 2012

"As a single mother - she had to be her best self more than it's reasonable for any human to be. And you know what's so never-endingly beautiful to me? She was. She was imperfect.  She made mistakes. But she was her best self more often than it is it's reasonable for any human to […]

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July 17, 2012
Internal Sunrise

"I sat back in the chair, took another long drink of coffee. And noticed a specific and breathtaking absence. At the moment, nothing hurt. What I felt was only hope, that internal sunrise. The image of his face came into my head, and I felt only my great luck at having had him for as […]

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June 28, 2012
The Lovely Miss Ephron

Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make […]

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June 10, 2012

"Wanna hear something famous that Adlai Stevenson once said about Eleanor Roosevelt at her funeral?" "Yeah," I said. He said she was the kind of person who would rather light a candle than curse the darkness. It has become my motto. ~ Isabel Gillies, Happens Every Day

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May 25, 2012
Optimal Distance

It's like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you're out. You don't know how you'll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find you're stronger than you've ever been. You're clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough […]

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May 21, 2012
As He Was

Instead of remembering him as I knew him, I too often think of him in terms of what he never had a chance to be.  The things the rest of us know, he will not know.  He will not know what it is to make a life with someone else.  To have a child slip […]

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May 21, 2012
Let it Go. Feel Free.

"My wife and I were never able to have children," he told me.  "But years ago, someone told us to focus on the things we had been able to do since we were without children.  Young Life, Youth for Christ - many kinds of youth ministry.  And if we had had children, we couldn't have." […]

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May 20, 2012
One day, it Breaks.

Spring springs forth from death. It unaccountably, inexplicably, unexpectedly shows up in the least likely places and most unpromising circumstances. Maybe the death of someone you love.  Maybe the loss of a job, or a torturous stretch of poor health, or a long and twisting road of emotional upheaval, or a deep valley of depression.  […]

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May 17, 2012
Petunias: Part III of III

I am reading Spiritual Rhythm, by Mark Buchanan.  (Brilliant. Read it, please.) I started reading last summer, and I plowed through the chapter of Winter.  Buchanan affirmed my dark barrenness, and I found myself in his every word.  When I finished that chapter, I turned the page and began to read his words on spring. […]

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May 16, 2012

Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write […]

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May 15, 2012
Picture The Scene.

I have to tell you this story. It is changing my life. It's Donald Miller's story, and I give him all credit for its genius, wisdom, and perfection. A friend of Donald's was taking a six-month sabbatical from her daily life, packing up and heading to Spain. Just before she left the country, she asked […]

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April 29, 2012
Passion is Tricky

"If you believe something, passionately, people will follow you. People hardly care what you believe, as long as you believe something. If you are passionate about something, people will follow you because they think you know something they don't, some clue to the meaning of the universe. Passion is tricky, though, because it can point […]

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