Total exhaustion. Gnawing feelings of anxiety. An uneasy sense that I haven’t lived up to my potential. An occasional wistful glance back at the lives I might have lived. Fear that I might be poised on the cusp of a slow but steady decline. Yep. This is middle age. Roughly around the time I hit […]Read More
The broad wooden planks feet warm beneath my feet as I stand leaning on the rail of the deck overlooking the valley. From my vantage point on the high ridge, I can see hundreds of miles in the distance. I watch the clouds gather and darken and roil low on the horizon. Occasionally lightning electrifies […]Read More
My grandfather had a shock of white hair and a physique that testified to his love for food and celebration. He was a Baptist pastor born and bred in the Appalachian mountains not far from Hickory, NC. He had seen moonshine devastate so many families in his community that he was a strict teetotaler, but […]Read More
The way we pray shapes who we become. Our prayers reflect our understanding of God’s work in the past and our hopes about the way God will interact with us in the future. This Egyptian Coptic prayer testifies to the expectation that God walks with believers through the storm, that His presence is a sustaining force and source of joy. And it reflects their desire to become a flame of love.Read More
“Blessed are you among women, ” Elizabeth ecstatically exclaimed to Mary, but I wonder. In the run up to Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking about Mary, about her experience of motherhood, about what it means to say that she was “blessed among women.” How could a mother who would one day witness the suffering […]Read More
Blessing is prayer as gift. When my oldest daughter turned twelve, this is the blessing that I wrote to send her into the next decade, the decade of becoming a woman.Read More
My eyes flit across the surfaces of things, as if I’m rushing around glancing at scattered pieces of a puzzle without the attention to start finding connections, much less meaning. I can’t still the turning of the world; but I do have some control over the degree to which my mind and soul are carried along with it.
Here are a few things I’m trying in order to cultivate internal stillness.