Posts tagged "Books!"

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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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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The Crooked Path Towards Faith

In December 2006, I jumped into the River Cherwell, a river in Oxford, England, that crosses University Parks on the north side of town. It was the end of our study abroad semester and a few friends and I had the wild idea to jump off a low bridge into the water on one of our last days of class. We were twenty years old and had survived a semester...

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On the Practice of Ruminating to Save Your Sanity

Back home in London, after traveling through five states for a book tour in the US, I stand in the kitchen and gaze through the window, watching pedestrians wrap arms around waists. Attempting to harness warmth that a brisk wind violates, their boots and wool coats reveal any hope of a lingering autumn. Staring at strangers out the window as wine sauce reduces on the stove is required mental work...

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Dear Mom, There’s Room At This Table For You

I see you at the park, with your camera slung around your neck, capturing the art of motherhood, one frame at a time. The Christmas card you sent in December was skillfully designed, and the invitation for your child’s birthday party was handmade too - the cupcakes… confectionary works of art. At Bible Study last Tuesday, I looked over and saw your beautiful doodle doodles in the margins of your...

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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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Tasting Grace in The Kitchen

In the kitchen. So much of life happens there. We celebrate the good times and mourn the sorrowful times over plates laden with food. Homework papers are returned to the classroom, randomly decorated by ketchup splatters. Friendships and romances happen over coffee and dessert. The kitchen is always the heartbeat of any home-based gathering, even when there is generous conversation space in the living room or the deck outside. I...

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When the Spacious Place Feels Claustrophobic

“Gardens are born in winter. Not only in fireside dreams, but also in the messy work of tending small pots on sunny windowsills. And in the harsh work of planting seeds in cold soil. On those still wintry days, the wind makes us regret we have traded our fleece mittens for gardening gloves. But if we wait for promising weather to sow our seeds, we will never taste the sweet...

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The Strange Gift Of Not Yet

In a town called Liberty, we lived with our door wide open for years. Friends and neighbors in and out. Impromptu movie nights, babysitting swaps, birthdays, and BBQs. Our small house couldn’t hold them all at times, so our parties trailed out of doors. We belonged, and from that gift, we helped others belong. Then one day we decided to move. Our new home was bigger and more suited for...

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