Posts tagged "family"

The Art We Make at the Table

This is a story of two tables. The first is round. The wood is dark, and the square pedestal is cracked. We bought the table as newlyweds. We spent weeks hunting for chairs to match. The six chairs we found were always a little wobbly, but the warm, wood color was just right. It needed sixteen years, but we did, eventually, grow to fill those chairs. Jonathan and myself. Two...

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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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On Grace And Growing Up

The #skatergirl started wearing my earrings this year. She's 14 now. Flipping furiously from sweet girl to blossoming woman, I'll admit I've had a hard time keeping up. Some of the changes that accompanied this transition were quiet and subtle, like trees in winter - patient. Others rolled in like a violent storm no one saw coming - a dangerous surprise with repercussions I couldn't predict. Both slow and wild...

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The Ministry of Sugar

He’s woken up from the afternoon nap and walked down the stairs. I’m in the kitchen with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. The air in our kitchen is warm, the scent of melting dark brown sugar and cinnamon laces the air. He sits down at the red table and starts to eat. “May I have some more?” he asks.   And I can see the sparkle in...

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A Feast of Peppermint Jo-Jo’s: On the Couch with Jesus

Last Christmas our son was a fresh three months old, fitting neatly into six month onesies and footie pajamas with smiling husky puppies on the feet. The weather was unnaturally warm for December but we lived in the caution of RSV and ordinary colds—things that can land our little one in the hospital—so I don’t remember much of the outdoors. I think the leaves fell, wet with the December rains,...

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State Of Change

I am here in a state of change. We all share this common state, demarcated by zig zag borders. By intricate design and wondrous intent, our world is destined to change. Every single micro-moment. It expresses itself anew. Fluid, not stagnant. Tension rises and falls as we lean into and out of our status quo. Our normals rise up and say we are new, this morning. Every morning, like Mercy....

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The Bitter and the Sweet

Sometimes reconciliation looks like sitting together around collapsible plastic tables in the fellowship hall of a funeral parlor. After the church hymns. After memories of light-as-a-feather yeast rolls and family dinners are shared at the microphone. After the grave site visit under a parched summer sky that makes me want to melt. After all that, we go back for the luncheon. And I talk to my cousins for the first...

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Reconciling With Time Means Reconciling With Myself

“When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I’ll not play hypocrite To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but That piecemeal peace is poor peace.” -Gerard Manley Hopkins Sometimes reconciliation is hardest in your own heart, with your own mysterious self. We are fickle toward each other, and therefore fickle toward ourselves. And, as Hopkins says, “piecemeal peace is poor peace.” This has been a season of forced...

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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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