“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
– Frederick Buechner
Over the past couple of months, I’ve been volunteering at one of the local hospitals as a baby cuddler in the Neonatal ICU. I’ve felt a tug on my heart for about a year to do this. It took awhile for my courage to catch up with this tug, not to mention it taking quite a few months to be cleared as a volunteer, but here I am and I am loving my days that I spend giving love to these tiny humans. Here are some initial reflections/reactions to what I’ve experienced so far: Continue reading “Baby Cuddling”
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”
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”
This is something I shared at my small group worship time last evening and thought I’d share it here also:
A couple of readings to start this time of reflection:
From Luke 1, the canticle of Zechariah after John was born to his elder wife Elizabeth and the Holy Spirit returned his voice after a gestation of silence: Continue reading “at the start of Advent…”
This morning Ira took his favorite winter book to school. His teacher is encouraging kids to bring something to school this month to show how their families mark the various holidays this time of year. This book was given to him by dear friends and it’s a pop-up of the most extraordinary kind. We pull it out of storage in time for Advent each year. Continue reading “Advent/Christmas Books”
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”
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the act of communion. Partly because I preached on communion in August, but also I’ve just been thinking a lot about church and what shapes us as a community. When I look at some of my formative times in congregational life, communion is one piece of the picture that stands out. I offer a few snapshots: Continue reading “some thoughts on communion…”
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”
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”