THIS is the day; Choosing to Rejoice

The year was 1964.  My mother sat in the waiting room outside intensive care, a coast away from the rest of  the family.  She did not know whether her 21 year old son, in critical condition, would survive the head injury sustained in a car accident.  Hours stretched into days as an untenable future loomed. ... Continue Reading →

More Toddler Tales

First a caveat -- Biblically speaking, I should not be writing about volunteer work .  Such deeds should be done in secret, keeping your right hand in the dark as to what your left hand is up to. But the truth is -- I am quite selfish. In the toddler room at South Park Church,... Continue Reading →

God, is that you?

Brett and I are sitting at the gate in the Albany airport - a full hour before the flight boards.  Plenty of time for my mind to conjure up all that can go dreadfully wrong in this short flight to Chicago. I hate short flights.  And I especially hate small planes which gyrate with the... Continue Reading →

Staying Clay

The banker slid the document across his desk and handed me a pen. "Sign and date on this line." I took the pen and signed my first name, Barclay.  Then I began with the first syllable of my last name, Mar. Quite unexpectedly, my mind veered from the signature line to imagining the banker's impatient... Continue Reading →

Breathing through Anxiety

When I was a teacher, the first week of August brought heart pounding anxiety.  I envisioned new initiatives and curriculum, new kids and colleagues, meetings that would entail post-it notes and sharing-out.  My anxiety had a voice -- no matter how many classes you take, or books you read, or years under your belt, your... Continue Reading →

Of Pride, Humility, and a Wayward Veil

August 10, 1986.  The sun had broken through the clouds and was shining brightly against a deep blue backdrop.  Our wedding ceremony and reception aboard the Free Spirit, cruising through Chicago's Burnham Harbor, had exceeded all my dreams.  Brett had been dashing in his white tuxedo, our vows had been heartfelt, and there had been... Continue Reading →

Lessons from Kacie, the Cranky Shih Tzu

We call her Kacie-Facie.  Or simply The Face.  I mean, how could you not?  Just look at her! Fifteen years ago, on a sunny day in early May, Alex and I drove to a Denny's parking lot, off the highway, midway between the Indiana breeder and our Chicago home.  We had done our research.  According... Continue Reading →

God of the Pit

Corrie Ten Boom's autobiography, The Hiding Place, tells the story of an unlikely heroine -- a 50 something, unmarried watchmaker from Haarlem, Holland,  who alongside her sister and father, worked with the Dutch underground during the Nazi occupation, hiding Jews in the secret annex of their home.  They were ultimately caught and Corrie and Betsie... Continue Reading →

More than a number

It was past midnight and the freshman dorm was quiet. I could hear the faint snoring of my roommate in the bunk bed above.  I was wide awake.  I hadn’t eaten for three days and my stomach was growling. I reached for my wallet on the bedside table and extracted a few singles. There was... Continue Reading →

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