Practicing Presence

13 posts
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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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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On Rest And Going Slow

“ Mom, what’s for dinner? Will dad be home? Is there going to be garlic? You know I don’t like garlic!” Questions pinged one after the other from the backseat of our suburban as I shuffled my girls home from ballet class. I ran through the evening’s logistics in my head, unsure of how to answer. Would Josh’s meeting run late or would he join us for dinner tonight? How...

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When Hospitality is a Safe Place for the Waiting

When I was four-years-old, my family moved to a large house on a dirt road in a small province in the Philippines.  The leaves of mango trees were glossy green, and coconut trees reached their branches for the clouds. On the hot days of the dry season, we felt the sweat trickle down our necks as we sat in front of electric fans. Wet season brought with it daily rain...

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Let You Be Enough

Let you be enough.   There are enough others, people who have skill sets you might wish you held. But, sister, let you be enough.   There are voices in our heads, competing, telling us to become bigger, set a larger table, make more food, do more so they love you more. But, mother, let you be enough.   There are those who say they welcome you to the table; yet, it...

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Two Kinds of Lonely

I've allowed a few years to slip by without a proper visit to Mr. Don, our beloved backyard neighbor. The kids have been busy growing as they do between the ages of three and six, and I'm plain worn out come December. At least that has been my excuse.     But not this year. This is the year of no excuses, so we create excuses to go visit our favorite neighbor...

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Love Listens

When I was a small child, my mother made certain I called my godmother to thank her for the gifts she gave me. Aunt Frances always gave me a piece of my silver pattern, her generous gifts a bit lost on me at the time. My stomach tightened up like a rubber band ball as I picked up the phone to call her each and every July, after the birthday...

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To Love By Name

Some memories stay put like a heavy duty thumbtack. Maybe we don’t realize it then, but they become catalysts in our lives. I still remember standing in my boss’s cubicle nearly two decades ago. I was in corporate sales and reading in whatever spare moments of downtime I could grab. When my manager suggested I read this specific book, it caught me off guard and caused a heavy dose of...

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Practical Hospitality In The New Year

This morning in church during the sermon my pastor talked briefly about the news continuing to come out of Aleppo. He talked about the terrible videos and shocking goodbyes some of the people under attack were sharing via social media in their last hours. It broke my heart, and it made me feel helpless to do anything that could change the situation. ***  The other day I had a conversation with...

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Stop Striving, Start Sitting

Martha comes out of the kitchen weary, sweat beading down her brow and wispy hair coming undone to complain of her sister Mary’s laziness. Jesus directly, but kindly tells Martha her striving is done in vain.  She is told to do as her sister, to stop the striving and do what is right, which is to sit at his feet.   Can I insert, “I hear you Jesus, but who...

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