Category: faith

Two podcast suggestions for Lent

For the past few years my Lenten practice has been to give up fiction and read spiritual/religious/vexing nonfiction instead. It’s not the biggest challenge in the world because I love reading in all forms, but it helps me center my thoughts for the duration of Lent during times I’d rather be lost in another realm. I’ve already read Searching for Sunday… Read more →

On International Women’s Day, I say Thank You

To my mother, who shuffled us here and there, took us to church, taught in our schools, made us laugh, passed down Grandma Wehrwein’s banana bread recipe, and taught us that joy comes from God and not circumstances, thank you. To our two birth mothers, who made the hardest, most sacrificial choice one can imagine and made me a mother,… Read more →

Book Review: Searching for Sunday

If this reads like a break-up letter, that’s because it is. Rachel won’t receive it, and that’s fine. Her pool of fans is large enough, so she won’t notice me quietly slipping out the back door. My first experience with Rachel Held Evans was with her first book, Evolving in Monkey Town, and it was a breath of fresh air.… Read more →

CS Lewis Doodles

For those of you embarking on a spiritual journey for Lent, I want to suggest a delightful YouTube channel you might enjoy, particularly if you appreciate the works of C.S. Lewis. I have no idea who’s behind the channel or what prompted this person to share essays and book excerpts from C.S. Lewis in doodle form, but I’m pleased as… Read more →

Signs of Life Day Twenty-Two

In October 2000, a 14-year-old girl who’d concealed her pregnancy secretly gave birth and placed the newborn in a shed. The baby died from severe dehydration and the young mother was sentenced to state custody. It was then that two women in our county, along with state officials, decided to act, and in June 2001, Tennessee’s State Haven Law went… Read more →

Signs of Life Day Sixteen

The day was lovely. Classes went well, and Chuck and I enjoyed a lunch date. Please look at these donuts and imagine how delicious they are: Once the boys and I got home from co-op, the sun was still shining and Major followed me around hinting that he was ready for a walk. Despite how comfortable my pajamas would feel,… Read more →

Signs of Life Day Fourteen

For the last four years my boys have participated in a volunteer program at our church that provides a hot meal once a week to anyone who’s hungry for food and fellowship. I’ve only mentioned it once before because advertising efforts in this way is unbecoming. They don’t need a spotlight. However, earlier last year, their efforts moved from setting tables to… Read more →

Signs of Life Day Seven

I had final interviews this afternoon for the piece I’m writing about death according to five major religions. I know what you’re thinking — JENNIE, You said Signs of LIFE, not Laments of DEATH. Please stop.  I hear you, I do. But it’s all connected, and that’s something I just can’t shake. This last conversation was the most helpful to me… Read more →

Signs of Life Day Six

I’m nearly finished with my freelance piece about death according to five major religions, and this morning I spent about an hour on the phone with Rabbi Deborah Goldmann. Similar to my conversations with an Imam and the director of a Hindu temple, I went into the conversation knowing very little about the topic. I wanted to learn from a… Read more →

Signs of Life Day One

My first thought upon hearing the alarm song at 7 a.m. (“Across the Great Divide” by Nanci Griffith) was – Absolutely not. No way it is time to wake up. Nope. – and then I hit the snooze button. But then I heard Chuck shuffling around the room, and then I heard the faucet turn on and off in our bathroom, and… Read more →

16 Things I Learned in 2016

Over the last week, and then again today while on a run, I sorted through 2016 and whittled down a collection of lessons I’ve learned in the last year. I’ve never been keen on setting resolutions, but in recent years I’ve worked hard to be mindful of my mistakes and efforted not to repeat them. I look critically at myself,… Read more →

Negativity is the enemy of creativity.

This is a quote by American director David Lynch, and right now it paints an accurate picture of my current headspace. Something has happened to my brain, and my impulse is to blame social media, or rather, the garbage that is projected from people who use social media. Paired to social media is also this election cycle. I am down,… Read more →

One foot at home, one foot in the Abbey

It has been terrifically challenging to fold back into day-to-day life after three days at the Abbey. I know – the math of that statement doesn’t make sense. Three whole days versus my entire life? Nonsensical. And yet, that’s how I feel. Each day has been a careful step into what I hope will be my new normal. Less noise,… Read more →

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