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Clear vision, rose-colored glasses, and hate versus love

By Teresa Bruce

Fluorescent lights don’t impede my vision, but they impact my brain, so I gear up against them: Clear trifocals off, rose-tinted trifocals on. Dark UV sunglasses wrap around peripheral exposure. Sun visor, pulled low over glasses, covers the gap at my eyebrows. I’m vain enough to realize I look ridiculous putting these on to leave …

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End at Start, Light with Dark, Holiday or Ho Hum, Go and Come

By Teresa Bruce

The holiday season can be joyous, but it can also be jarring. Voices raise in harmonic “alleluias” or in discordant disagreements. Thoughtful, generous giving can elevate giver and receiver, but keeping-up with others’ expectations can break or badly bruise budgets. Family gatherings draw loved ones closer into togetherness … or conflict. Loneliness lengthens into life-altering …

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Tell Me So

By Catherine Arveseth

Maybe it’s the cold, moving in like an unwanted neighbor, that has we me curling inward with my thoughts. Maybe it’s the family transition we are watching — a second marriage, more letting go, and leaning into the Lord to learn that kind of love. Maybe it’s this season of soft October light, leaf-littered lawns …

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Considering the Sunflower

By Rachel Rueckert

The sight of it is common enough. A fist-full of orange-yellow feathers with a dark center like an eye without a pupil, the texture of a black bee. The soft petals open like an awkward yawn on a Saturday morning, sucked into the core by spades of green sandpaper, propped up by a fuzzy stem. …

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If You Only Knew… Another Side of Infertility

I wanted to start IVF sooner rather than later, and had begun to nag my husband, B about it. We were both over 30 when we married and weren’t getting younger.  Now that I was a wife, I desperately wanted to be a mother. He desperately wanted a life together, with a family and, in …

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Broken Pattern — If Only You Knew: A Laugh or Cry Look

By Teresa Bruce

My phone fought me first. It froze me out, cut me off, and refused to respond. It couldn’t have curtailed communications any better if it had been thrown into a pond by Sun Tzu. Meanwhile, my washing machine wobbled its way into the rebellion. It acted out by spinning tales of trust instead of laundry. …

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The Only Life You Could Save

By Jes Scoville

It is better for the heart to break, than not to break. Mary Oliver taught me that. This isn’t an ode to Mary, exactly, now that she’s moved on to a vast prairie or the lip of the water or the crook of the moon to watch the rest of us muddle through but I …

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Botched Murder Plots, Unwritten Dress Codes, and Morning Yoga

By Sandra Clark

The night of my baptism I went to sleep disappointed I hadn’t been murdered. I figured showing that I was big enough to demonstrate my devotion to God and also the absolution of a life cut off early, unburdening me of the hard work of actually living out my devotion seemed like the best option. …

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Map to the Land of Well

By Rachel Rueckert

February smacked me in the face, hitting me squarely between the eyes and sending shockwaves to my brain to communicate this angry, urgent message: Get a grip on your routine! Don’t you know the holidays are over? Don’t you know how much you have to do?   While many people have spearheaded ambitious goals for …

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Grandma’s Desk: A Mingled Artifact of Family and Church History

By Teresa Bruce

My grandmother’s secretary desk moved into my home last week. An heirloom of both classic and outdated beauty, its story has made me wonder for as long as I can recall. One of Grandma Leone’s beaux presented the fold-down desk to her as a gift in the early 1930s. When I learned this origin as …

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