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what happened with my daughter during the Eucharist

Friday, February 28, 2014


"Spiritual hurt – and healing – runs so deep, I can hardly find words to pin to it.  My soul shriveled and cracked, half-baked and dying, when it was  exposed to  the oppressive heat of harmful theology.  Liturgical worship runs now like water into the driest, deadest parts, bringing tiny sprigs of green life into ideas and emotions I thought would never be revived.  Healing flows in a trickle.  Most of the time, it is imperceptible.  Drop by drop, week by week.  Slowly, gently, naturally.  I don’t have to chase it, seek it, or demand it.  Instead, healing searches for me.  It flows naturally, but it does not flow quickly."
 Today I am over at Carly Gelsinger's blog, sharing what happened with my daughter during the Eucharist last week.  I hold this story very close.  I hope you like it.  You can read the rest here.

If you are here from Carly's blog, welcome!  You may enjoy reading why I gave up on God's will, and how my faith grew stronger as a result.  You may also be interested in how I finally found spiritual peace (and why study never helped).  So glad you stopped by!

life hacks and how to have a more peaceful day

Thursday, February 27, 2014

photo by Jesse
This is not my typical post, but in honor of 7x7 I thought I would offer some of my life hacks today.  I don't usually blog about organization, housekeeping, or the how-tos of parenting because, well, I'm no expert.  (If you are looking for consistent practical tips on daily life, check out Leila, my favorite how-to guru.)  When I do discover something that works, I am extraordinarily proud of myself.  I want to share it with everyone I know, because the rest of the time, I'm making it up as I go.     

what brave parents do

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Most of parenting is like that, don’t you think? Maybe education is not where you question yourself. Maybe it’s bottle feeding or when to send a child to preschool. Maybe you doubt your discipline strategy, or your stance on video games and technology.Whatever the decision is, most of the time our hearts know what our children need, but our head gets in the way. We second guess our intuition, we remember a neighbor or aunt’s insistence that our approach is completely wrong, and we freeze, paralyzed by the fear of doing the wrong thing."

Today I am over at Middle Places, talking about the courage it takes for parents to put one foot in front of the other and live out their convictions, day after day.  You can read the rest here.  

when love came down: a guest post by Carly Gelsinger

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Today I am honored to introduce you to Carly Gelsinger. I followed a link to Carly's blog, and couldn't stop reading (my favorites are You can find your rest here and They can't take grace away from us:  a love story.)  Carly has a gift for capturing beauty, and I feel certain you guys will love her words as much as I do.



After a decade-long string of disappointing, heartbreaking and confusing experiences in church, I walked away from God. A newly married grad student facing a death in the family, I was too fragile to sort through the anger and pain. So, I folded them up neatly, put them in a dark closet, and tried to forget that part of my life.

It didn’t take me long to figure out life is a lot more fun when you’re not a fundamentalist.

how giving up on God's will strengthened my faith

Monday, February 24, 2014


It's been six months since I gave up on God's will.

Six months since I stopped seeing life as a box of Legos, believing that the components of my story have been predetermined, counted out, set aside.  Most of my life I stood staring at the pieces.  I constantly wondered what God wanted me to do with them, and what would happen when I did.  My spiritual life was preoccupied with two questions:  What does God want me to do? and What is God doing to me?  Meaning, where did I go wrong?  What trait am I lacking, that He is increasing through this hardship?  For most of my spiritual life I have viewed God, and life, through a lens that searched - desperately - for meaning in every detail.  I earnestly, deeply loved God, and still I believed one false move would cause me to miss out on "God's best" in my life.

7x7

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This week I am doing something I've never done before.

I am tackling Conversion Diary's challenge to write seven posts in seven days. Stop by every day this week to hear about what's inspiring me, my own Sacred Scared confession (if I drum up the courage to share it), a guest post by the very talented Carly Gelsinger, and what life is like one year after moving 1400 miles West with four small children.  

Is there something you want to talk about this week?  Mention it in the comments, or send me an email (awidemercy at gmail dot com).  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Looking forward to spending more time with you!

what healing looks like

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I sat in the coffee shop, laptop open, an unusual stretch of free time in front of me.  Normally I would have loved the extra time to write and read, but today I couldn't settle my mind.  I opened a tab, stared at it, closed it again.  After several minutes I gave up, closed the screenand let my mind wander.

Sometimes healing requires all of our mental energy.

My husband had the kids for the morning.  Though he often takes care of them for a few hours at a time, it was the first time he'd been with all four this long, or during the busiest part of their day   When I asked if he was up for it, he rolled his eyes.  "That's a little insulting," he says.  "I can take care of my own kids."  

We seem to be having that conversation a lot lately.
When he stays up to talk to me instead of going to bed early, when he offers to go to the grocery store, when we talk through weekend plans.  "No," I say, over and over.  "You're going to get too tired."

"Then let me be tired," he keeps telling me.  "I'm ready to do things again."

how to be brave

Friday, February 14, 2014


"The hardest part of following God isn’t knowing what He is asking you to do.  He tells us we will recognize His voice, and if we are honest, we always do.  The hardest part is trusting yourself.  Do you trust yourself enough to believe what you hear is really God?  When you do, do you trust yourself enough to ignore all of  the other voices (including, sometimes, your own)?  To take the step He tells you to take?"
I am over at Middle Places, talking about what bravery really looks like.  Click here to read more.

the most important thing you can say to a mom

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I clearly remember the first time I heard it.


I don't remember the exact scenario, but I do remember this:  things weren't going well.  I was probably carting a screeching toddler under one arm while herding her ill-tempered brothers away from a playground, most likely as my infant wailed in his sling.  I had only met  her a few times, and I really hoped we would be friends.   We walked toward the parking lot together, her older children starkly serene beside to my grumpy crew.

when the day runs off the rails

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

At this moment, my five-year-old is sitting in front of a show I swore my children would never watch.  My three-year-old is standing beside him, eating an apple, when food belongs in the kitchen and she should be resting in her room.  My one-year-old has finally fallen asleep after an hour of whining, throwing books out of his crib, and taking off his clothes.  And my seven-year-old just walked out in the snow to go to play video games at a neighbor's house, his way around the "we are not a gaming family" rule. 

It's 2:48 pm, and I'm losing at motherhood.

 

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