On the Wilderness and Unexpected Grace

Greg and I have arrived home from our stint on the Colorado River, and, as I mentioned, we were not kicked to death, even a little, by donkeys.

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I was kicked to death a little by my sleeping bag, but I learned, after grumbling secretly to myself for 3 nights about the design of my bag and basic things that any sleeping bag engineer should know — like the obvious fact that scratchy velcro tabs and pokey zipper pulls and strangley drawstrings would be more comfortable and less deadly on the outside of the bag — that it works better when you turn it right side out. ...  read more

Community Question: What Do You Do When You Want Faith and Can’t Find It?

I wasn’t going to write another serious piece today, because I wrote about the Ladder out of Depression yesterday, and who really needs to read another lyrical, sappy, heartfelt post so soon? NO ONE. No one is who. But then you all RUINED EVERYTHING. And by “everything,” I mean you ruined my plan to write about the One Main Difficulty in Sharing a Hotel Room With Friends, which, specifically, is Farting, because When? and How? and Windows That Don’t Open! And, frankly, I could’ve used the advice, folks, because I cannot for the life of me figure this one out, but nnnooooo… ...  read more

The Real Reason I Still Go to Church

“If Christians say stuff like that – that you’re teaching your kids to love what is evil – why do you even go to church?”

The question came on Halloween after I posted this on Facebook:

Someone asked me recently how I can justify participating in Halloween as a Christian. “Don’t you know you’re teaching your children to love what is evil?” he said. ...  read more

On Grace, Waves and How to Look at Rocks

My friend Lynn lost her husband unexpectedly last year. She came home to find Jon unconscious. He died from a stroke a few hours later. And so Lynn has found herself at the crossroads. Again, really, because Lynn has lived enough of life to know that the paths we walk are winding, and we don’t always know what’s around the next bend.

Lynn went to the beach at the one year anniversary of Jon’s death. It was one of their favorite places to walk and to be, Jon sitting in the sun or the drizzle and Lynn wandering the shoreline to look for agates which catch the light, sending their little reflective signs like miniature survivors using a mirror to signal the search plane, waiting to be rescued and brought home and cherished. ...  read more

5 Quick Questions on Parenting

It’s time for a new edition of 5 Quick Questions.

This is my opportunity to get to know you better, and it’s one of the best things we do here because it turns out you are very good at truth-telling, friends. To those of you who used the last few volumes to delurk, it’s wonderful to meet you! And to those of you who’ve been around a while, mucking about in this space and putting your feet on the furniture? You’re always rad. Thank you. ...  read more

Parenting for the Win

I’ve been parenting for the win a lot lately, and I just thought I’d share a couple things I’m doing exceptionally well so you can follow my example and better your parenting, too.

First, I accused my teenager of acting like a 5-year-old because she didn’t want to come out of her room for, you know, the whole weekend, so I was feeling rejected, hurt and powerless, and also the tiniest bit premenstrually enraged, and that’s always the best time to accuse others. That’s when she told me she was staying in her room because she was in a bad mood and didn’t want to take it out on others “since that’s what you say to do, Mom; if you can’t be kind, take some time alone until you can.”   ...  read more

3 Reasons I Quit Loving the Sinner and Hating the Sin

I can’t do it anymore.

I can’t Love the Sinner and Hate the Sin.

In fact, I haven’t done that for years.

I’m writing as a Jesus follower to fellow Christians here, and also to, oh, whoever else wants to listen in, fly-on-the-wall style, as I put down my fork at family dinner and stare at the table and wipe my mouth and swallow the lump in my throat and whisper, “Enough.” ...  read more