Family Life, Spiritual Formation

When Mother’s Day Is a Matter of Life and Death

On Mother’s Day 2004 I made the silly mistake of going to church. By that time my husband Peter and I had been floundering in the stormy sea of infertility for over two years, and I was tired. Depression was weighing me down—anger, too—as we rode wave after wave. The monthly swell of hope, then… Read More When Mother’s Day Is a Matter of Life and Death

Spiritual Formation


I’m ashamed to admit that, for many years, I felt unable to fully enter into the Christmas spirit until the very last minute. As a college professor, the first few weeks of December have long been filled with advising students and administering exams and grading. Giant stacks of grading. And because of my penchant for… Read More Advent

Spiritual Formation

When We Need to Find Hope

How does the word “Hope” fit on you? Does it roll off your tongue with a smile and a sigh? Does it wrap around your shoulders like a fuzzy afghan? Or does it catch in your throat? Does it feel prickly and irritating? Even downright painful? A knife in the back? The character “Red” (Morgan… Read More When We Need to Find Hope

Family Life

On Loss, Love, and Life

“A time to seek, and a time to lose.” (Ecclesiastes 3:6) My mother’s mother, Grandma Ruby, was born on January 12, 1909, in a little house with a crooked brick chimney in the-middle-of nowhere, North Dakota. She was the middle daughter of five. And in her unpublished memoir, My Burden Bearer, she records just a… Read More On Loss, Love, and Life