• Faith Reflections

    Hold Me, Jesus

    Our technology was wonky during worship today. Some of the Christmas poinsettias sat among dead leaves, withered from a long holiday season of doing their best to shine. Some of us feel the same. A little wonky, a little withered, a little worn out. The new year brings with it a million ads, emails, posts, and guilt about a new you, a better you, a thinner, wealthier, productive, efficient, energetic, and more worthy you. We get caught up in the expectations and resolutions, but soon wither from doing our best to shine only to discover it really wasn’t what we…

  • Faith Reflections

    Welcome 2023

    To some, January 1st is simply another date on the calendar. To others, it is a brand-new journal, full of blank pages pregnant with possibility and potential. I’ve always loved the turning of one year into the next. On the shadow side of the Christmas hustle and bustle, I carve out space to sit with the past twelve months. What brought me life, and what broke my heart? What stretched me, and what stifled me? Where did God meet me, and where did I miss God? Before I can begin to dream with the Spirit about what is ahead, I…

  • Faith Reflections

    Grief

    I’ve been grieving hard for my sweet sister since returning home from Kenya. It caught me by surprise. As is our nature, I’ve tried to rationalize and explain this unexpected wave of grief since her sudden passing four months ago. Perhaps the exhaustion of travel or the weariness of being sick the past ten days. Maybe grief suppressed over back-to-back trips without space to weep. Perhaps these four months without her has given me a taste of a reality I do not want for my family and me. Most likely, it is all of the above. Or maybe none of…

  • Faith Reflections

    Good Friday Thoughts

    We avoid lament and sorrow at all costs. We want to skip over the hard, the grief, the silence. Even today, we keep reminding ourselves and others … Sunday’s coming! … like dangling a toy in front of an inconsolable baby to distract them from what they honestly feel and are experiencing. I feel the urge myself. Sometimes, I dangle Easter chocolate to distract myself. But today is Friday, friends. Good Friday. Holy Friday. Today’s invitation is to sit with the suffering Christ, the scattered and defeated disciples, the darkness and suffering within us and around us. Oh, how we…

  • Faith Reflections

    Ukraine

    The news out of Ukraine is heavy on my heart and mind. There are moments where it does not seem real. Then, another post, photo, or report confirms it is very real, and there is little I can do to help these dear friends in this present danger at the hands of Putin. My fear for them hovers at the edge, waiting to overwhelm. Then, I see yet another video or post from Ukrainian pastor friends. With smoke billows in the streets and warning sirens in the wind, they urge their fellow Ukrainians not to be afraid but rather trust…

  • Faith Reflections

    Valentine’s Day Reflection

    Valentine’s Day is not a hard day for me as a single adult. It may not be marketed to me, but I’m all for a day celebrating love. Post your sappy and sweet posts. Buy the flowers/candy/cards. You see, it can look different for me and still be appreciated for what it means to others. The Super Bowl halftime show might not have been your thing, but I’m all for creativity and musical expression. A whole generation was transported back to the glory days of high school, losing themselves in the music and the moment. It may not be your…

  • Faith Reflections

    Exhausted Educators

    Our educators are exhausted. Since day one of this two-year pandemic, these essential workers have been pivoting, doing their best to educate and care for OUR children against incredible odds and at risk of their own health. They rarely have planning periods any more due to the need to sub, yet they have more work to do. On any given day, they may have half of their students in-seat, half needing virtual instruction, and a smattering of kids who aren’t theirs but are farmed out to classrooms because their teacher is gone and there are no subs. Yet, they continue…

  • Faith Reflections

    A Long December

    The smell of hospitals in winter And the feeling that it’s all a lot of oysters, but no pearls All at once you look across a crowded room To see the way that light attaches to a girl Counting Crows, “A Long December” Pandemic surges, winter blues, employment stress, family strain, Bob & Betty. I don’t know how many empty oysters are laying around you in this season, but I imagine there are a few. It is easy to think there are no pearls to be found. In church world, we’ve just began the season of Epiphany on January 6.…

  • Faith Reflections

    A Season for Everything

    The cool autumn weather ushers in one of my least favorite gardening tasks – preparing the garden beds for winter. The stems may still be adorned in green, but their vines are empty. The first freeze is just around the corner, waiting to steal what life is left under cover of the cold night. It is disheartening to pull up what was planted in hope, to declare dead that which has produced good in my life. But there is a season for everything, whether I accept it or not. And the invitation of this season is to meet God in…

  • Faith Reflections

    Carrying Our Burdens Together

    Recently, I helped my best friend and family move to their new home. Trip after trip, we loaded vehicles, then drove two blocks to unload their multiplying possessions into their new home. Two blocks. Innumerable trips. Countless stairs. Also innumerable were expressions of “Thank You” and “We owe you” nearly every time I passed by with loaded arms. I would respond with a smile and reminder, “This is what family does!” Then, I’d snatch a cookie and grab another load. I understood. My posture is similar when others want to help me. I feel needy and a burden. Love means not…