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  • Why It’s All Okay at the end of the Week

    On Friday, April 04 th, 2014

    When I get home, the Farmer shows me these three stapled pages sent from the vet. A to-do list the length of your arm of what has to be done to protect all the pigs from some new disease. He talks in low tones, but I am really listening to what his eyes are saying. These three pages of protocols have to be done immediately. The Farmer pulls me close. His T-shirt smells li...

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  • The Secret You Have to Know About You & That Thing You’re Going Through

    On Tuesday, March 25 th, 2014

    Dear Daughter, I know it seems the unbelievable impossible— but really — it’s going to happen one day to you too. Turns out you can blink and find your mother’s very words rolling right there off the tip of your tongue. True Story. So hear me out on this, okay? (I know, I know — How in the world does it turn out that you become your mother and really, how do her words...

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  • How to Live Through the Really Hard Storms

    On Monday, May 20 th, 2013

    {because my heart is with all the folks living through all kinds of bad storms this spring…} ‘If God really works in everything — then why don’t we thank Him for everything?” She asks me this straight out. My daughter, Hope, and I, we sit in the truck on the field’s hem, waiting to give the Farmer his lunch. The Farmer’s planting bean seeds into ea...

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  • The One Song No Woman can Afford to Miss

    On Tuesday, April 23 rd, 2013

    I heard of a woman once, who when she was with child, she turned and this song swelled in her, her child’s own song, and she would hum it as she washed pots. Hum it as she did her hair up, hum that song like a beckoning. And when that woman swayed at the end of her ripening, just before the child came, she had hummed it low between each tightening, how she had hummed that...

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  • When You are Tired of Worrying

    On Thursday, February 28 th, 2013

    The child at the orphanage, she grabs hold of my Mama’s hand like might she blow away. Like you could be carried straight away into the unknown. And she pulls Mama down, right down to the earth, forces Mama to sit and she starts pulling strands of Mama’s chiffon hair out like she’s white cotton candy in the wind. “Looks like you’ve explode...

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  • The Truth about Sandy Hook: Where is God when Bad Things Happen?

    On Monday, December 17 th, 2012

    When the guy with the glasses and guitar stands at the front of the chapel, in the middle of Nowhere Country, and tells us all to stand, I’ve got no idea if I can. I don’t know if legs can hold a heart this heavy. I don’t know if anyone can stand straight in a fallen world and why don’t we all just fall on our skinned and bloodied knees? When grief is deepest, words ar...

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  • In the face of Unknowns: Electing to Trust

    On Tuesday, November 06 th, 2012

    On the eve of all the unknowing, when sitting and looking back over everything, you could see it – Somehow all of life’s failings are a failure to somehow trust God. Light caught in the trees. The trees stood in light. Stood in this quiet willingness to grow into the unknown. And there, it comes in the stillness, comes like a light warming the wood and all the ye...

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  • When You’re Broken & Don’t Know Where to Go:

    On Thursday, August 30 th, 2012

    When she was standing there in the spring, under the blaze of the blooming trees, I could remember 13. I could remember the burn of the unfurl, and how the becoming sears, and how does a mother help a daughter light? How does a woman be a light? We had walked down to the water’s edge. The sky smothered like a grey blanket and I could feel her struggling flail, al...

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  • how the size of your house has nothing to do with the size of your life

    On Tuesday, July 03 rd, 2012

    After such a week as last week, I’m feeling very small & hushed & I’ve slipped away to the woods with the Farmer & kids. Thank you for prayers last week, for grace as our family tucks away quiet for just a few days…and we’re delighted to invite you up to the front porch to share with some of the best writers on the Web — today, with a ...

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  • Why You Really May Need to be Done with Safe: Being a Dangerous Disciple of the Unsafe God

    On Thursday, June 07 th, 2012

    My Gran, she’s taking slow walks outside the hospital now. Her heart’s growing stronger, beating certain. I wash down the cupboards in the kitchen. I pray for Gran’s heart attack recovery, for each step she keeps taking, ninety-one and frail-boned and Irish-determined. Life’s a risk and maybe she’s stronger than I am, accepting each heart beat, ea...

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  • When You Feel like Everyone is Bigger, Better, Smarter… { or ‘How to be a Star’}

    On Thursday, May 03 rd, 2012

    When the fog meandered in lost on a spring evening in May, she hung her apron up in the back mudroom. She wandered down the back lane too. Down in the woods, she could hear them, the frogs singing, an invisible symphony. She knotted the one side of her skirt up to step over a pothole. She tried to make her way. In a world of reaching, how do you rest? In a culture of numbers h...

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  • 3 Things to Hold on to When Life Hurts {Cherry Blossoms in Rain}

    On Wednesday, April 25 th, 2012

    S he learned it haltingly in early spring, when the rain fell. When the edge of Japan washed away. When the sky slid down all the window panes. And a Sunday in spring, when a tornado sky rips up the earth, leaving this fury of questions, she plays on, the same song. Now surer, steadier. I stand at the windowsill. It still rains. The tomatoes plants try to stand in west winds, ...

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