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Rest and Ratatouille

In summer, metaphors are as plentiful as buzzing bees. Here is one with its nose buried in a hollyhock. Here are half a dozen more darting among the clover. Summer is a gradual unspooling, and I see the picture of it everywhere: rosebuds unfurling, pea vines and morning glories curling and uncurling. Summer is for...

The Table Of Suffering

She lost her baby that fall. It was early in the pregnancy, but there had already been celebrations and joy at the positive test. Then there was blood and aching and sorrows that sliced them open. Our baby came two months later, the little girl we were planning to adopt. And it was too early. Way too early. I sat in a NICU holding her impossibly small hand and praying...

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How To Find the Spirit of Sabbath on Summer Vacation

“I think we need to cancel our summer vacation,” I said to H, surprised by what I heard myself saying. Saturday arrived without fanfare and we missed the morning hours by sleeping through them. Sipping coffee and reading from a warm spot in bed, he looks up at me, makes eye contact and replies with words that bring relief. “I agree.” We’d been planning to tick boxes off on a...

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Rest and Ratatouille

In summer, metaphors are as plentiful as buzzing bees. Here is one with its nose buried in a hollyhock. Here are half a dozen more darting among the clover. Summer is a gradual unspooling, and I see the picture of it everywhere: rosebuds unfurling, pea vines and morning glories curling and uncurling. Summer is for slowly, but surely, unclenching our fists, letting our hurried shoulders drop, and leaning in toward...

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Signs of Life: on Play, Beauty, and Rest

Rest requires that we be who we are and nothing else. A life built upon Sabbath is content because in rhythms of rest we discover our time is full of the holiness of God. ~Shelly Miller, Rhythms of Rest If May almost did me in, June was trying to finish me off. Our family schedule had been a spanking, and I was still unsure of what all we had done...

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Being a Sanctuary

“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”  – Matthew 10:40 I took a class on Christian Spirituality at General Theological Seminary in June.  Seated in the heart of Chelsea, I got to spend two weeks in a part of Manhattan I rarely frequent. Each morning I’d ride the subway downtown with my head and heart set for an adventure in this quickly...

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On Rest And Resistance

We sit on the deck overlooking the mountains, my girls blowing bubbles around me in a swirl of iridescent colors. The air is damp, a breeze shifts the bubbles this direction, then that way. The evening is as close to perfect as I could have imagined, watching the sun slip behind a veil of thick clouds, then beneath the horizon, Still, the knot wedged between my shoulder blades refuses to...

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Manna in the Desert

I stand in the shower and let the hot water soak into my hair and run over my ears. The rest of the world gets muffled, and I find the quiet and space I long for there. No one is climbing me, touching me, needing me, calling me over and over again. I inhale the steam and exhale the weight off my shoulders, and I will the 5 minutes of...

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The Power of a Friend Who Helps You Find Rest

I recently finished studying the book of Ruth with some women from my church.  We talked about all of those beautiful themes of salvation woven throughout Ruth. But as I studied these two lines from Naomi struck me: But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go, return each of you to her mother's house. May the LORD deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with...

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How to Be a Safe Place for Single People

I was going to write an essay for June about singleness. In my head its title was “What I would tell my single self,” a list of advice and anecdotes, thoughts on friendship, living a good life, staying present and doing the next thing. I asked a question on my Facebook page in preparation for writing this essay: “Single friends, what’s the most annoying/offensive thing married [people] say to you?” ...

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Praying For My Spouse and a Helpful Resource

It was a beautiful day when we buried her. The sky was blue. The sun was shining and there were a few wispy, white clouds floating in the air. But it was hot under that blue sky. When people find out that I have buried a child they often say, “that must be the most difficult thing ever” or something like that. But I usually tell them something like, “yes,...

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