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Interview with Author Catherine McNiel

Recently Catherine McNiel published her first book, Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline (NavPress, 2017). Catherine’s fresh, wise perspective and beautiful language stood out in a culture where books on motherhood abound. If anyone is feeling like they can’t do one more thing as they navigate the years with young children, let me just say…

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How Do You File Memories?

These four walls, painted quiet green to invite calm, hold so many memories in drawers and on shelves, telling the story of a life through its contents. A much needed cleaning, purging and organization finally took place last week, drawing out forgotten moments and lessons.  How do you file memories? Home office and sometime guest…

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Review of The Year of Small Things

The older I get, the more I find myself hungry for a simple, downwardly-mobile, radical lifestyle, one that honors and cares for the least of these and the hurting, and one that finds my husband and me living in strong community with other people of faith. I also secretly wish to be the person who sold…

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Well-Acquainted with Grief

“Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop on the heart until, against our will, in our own despair, comes wisdom from the awful grace of God.” ~ Aeschylus I collect certain people. Pack them into life’s travel bag, looking them up at the first sign of hardship and pain. I…

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A Broken Furnace Vs. Homelessness

Whine. Whine. Whine. My furnace went out this week. I woke up Monday, just as my husband’s car pulled away to take him to Southern California for five days, noticing the house was a bit chilly. And silent. The furnace wouldn’t come on. No problem. I’d call our Heating and Air Conditioning service, and they’d…

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Beautiful Mourning

The wife, children, and brother-in-law sang. The funeral visitors sang. Everyone but the man they came to honor sang, at least not on earth. But with all the joyful and exuberant celebration, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him sit up in his coffin and sing, too. As a man who loved music and…

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A Non-Heated Discussion about Race and Violence

There we were, an interracial, intergenerational group of about twenty something people represented by Caucasian, Asian, African Americans and Hispanics, huddled in a large circle in the basement of a pub, having a rational discussion about the hot button topic of race and violence in America from a perspective of faith. We were attending part…

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Longings Never Cease

My son returned from three and a half years in the Peace Corps and has been living in our home as he searches for the new pieces needed to rebuild his life here. We are watching his roller coaster adjustment, and he’s filled with the emotions predicted by the Peace Corps before he ever left…

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An Unlikely Friendship

I loved this article in the recent issue of Time magazine about the relationship between Bill Clinton and the Bush family. In an era of hostility from both sides of the aisle, this cover story painted such a picture of grace shown by both men. The article tells how these former presidents show acts of…

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The Listing of a Year-Long Health Crisis

  June 2014 Healthy and active gym member New seizure medication Severe muscle pain ER, MRI, CAT scan, x-rays No diagnosis Ice pack hidden under scarves at work Chiropractor, primary care physician, neurologist August 2014 Pain continues Useless over-the-counter meds and muscle relaxers Work at 8 a.m. sharp Numbness in arms and legs, vertigo, jackhammer…

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