The Song

I can find myself sometimes falling down my rabbit hole of anxiety and despair. There’s plenty of reasons to lose a sense of hope these days. Black churches in Louisiana set ablaze by a white terrorist, our president’s rhetoric and treatment of asylum-seekers at our border are just some of the ongoing, crushing news items. We are living in a climate of fear and hatred and ugliness that permeates our news cycles and Facebook feeds, sometimes stirring me to action, sometimes making me want to curl up in a ball and shut out the world.

I’ve been struggling, especially these days, with the notion that I’ve found myself fairly committed to that the world is not an evil place. Continue reading “The Song”

Holding (It) Together Podcast

First off, my apologies if you have visited this site in the past week or so and found yourself unable to enter. We had some technical difficulties that, I think, now are solved.

Secondly, I’m excited to direct you to the podcast “Holding (It) Together”, a joint effort between the Women In Leadership Project of Mennonite Church USA and The Mennonite, Inc. Each episode of this podcast has stretched and inspired me and I encourage you to go into the archives and listen for yourself, if you haven’t already.

This fall I had the privilege of coming together with Sarah Bixler to do our own episode on this podcast. Continue reading “Holding (It) Together Podcast”

Women Doing Theology

I recently attended the Women Doing Theology Conference put on by the Women in Leadership Project of Mennonite Church USA. It was a very rich weekend of connecting with old friends and new friends, worshiping, being challenged and inspired to live into the revolution that springs from God’s heart of justice and compassion. Here are just a few take-aways, in no particular order (many of these I’m still processing so this list is not at all comprehensive): Continue reading “Women Doing Theology”


We’ve owned backyard chickens for 2 1/2 years now and it’s been a lot of fun. We raised the four of our hens from day-old chicks in our living room, holding them multiple times/day, hoping that they would remain rather tame as they aged, used to being handled by hands young and old. We’ve lost two hens along the way (one to heat stroke and one to a stray dog). Henrietta and Sunny remain.  Continue reading “Chicken”

today in America

I’m currently watching live footage from Washington, D.C. as women have gathered right outside Mitch McConnell’s office, shouting things like “believe survivors!” and “KavaNO!” and “Be on the right side of history or your name will live in infamy!” I am thankful for their witness and wish to see and hear them and to stand in solidarity with them. Continue reading “today in America”

Befriending Darkness

August 17, 2018

A friend asked me recently what it looks like to befriend the silence/darkness that I referred to in my previous post. Through the process of grief it has at times felt like an impossibility. When our hearts break, seeing life beyond the pain is a struggle, to say the least. In the depths of it, grief asks us to not turn away from the pain, but to really see it, feel it, name it. Grief can often feel nothing like a “befriending”–more like all-out battle or, on the other hand, absolute defeat. We don’t enter (or get thrust into) the dark spaces/times in our lives and automatically see the potential for light on the other side. Walking in the dark usually involves a good deal of flailing and all efforts to get out of there as fast as we can. Sometimes we can escape the dark by all sorts of theological acrobatics or simply by denial or avoidance. But the dark creeps up on us and I’m coming to learn, little by little, that the dark comes not with a desire to spoil my life, but with an invitation to enter and trust something larger than me, something larger even than the darkness itself. I don’t know exactly when it began to shift for me – from battle to trust, from struggle to a more friendly acceptance (all journeys I’m still navigating). Continue reading “Befriending Darkness”

A Year Later: How Can the Heart Describe?

This is something that I wrote back in February…

February 23, 2018

It’s hard letting go – more than I thought.

And if the truth be told, I’m a pillar of salt.

I’m a pillar of salt for every time that it took another fleeting glance,

another long last look.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

I am the cup, mended and washed.

I am the true container for all that I’ve lost.

And all that I’ve lost and gathered again

is only what hangs in the air when the music ends.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

And now and then are visitations.

To have and hold for hard but true.

How many times I had to ask the thing that I already knew.

He said “my horizon is getting closer to me.

I need you to look beyond and tell me what you see”

Here’s what I see but I need what you know.”

Out on the curve of the earth there’s a hope that won’t let go.

How can the mind transcend, how can the heart describe?

We light a candle every day.

I ask the question even when the why seems hollow

and breathe the silence in that usually follows.

–Carrie Newcomer, “Visitation” (listen here:

It’s been nearly a year since we stopped our efforts at fertility treatments, hoping to grow our family, longing to fill a hole that has been redefined over and over these past years as we have had to adjust our hopes and, let’s face it, our assumptions about how family would unfold for us. For the past year or more I’ve tried to figure out how to describe my heart, to put into words deep emotion, lingering pain, grief, guilt all mixed with hope and doubt, anger and disappointment. How can the heart describe? Perhaps only in fumbling, incomplete ways that change day to day—that, ever so slowly, by some grace way beyond oneself, shape a way forward—the lighting of a candle everyday. Continue reading “A Year Later: How Can the Heart Describe?”