on living through a close call

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My life has been a series of close calls.

Late one Fourth of July night back in college, a friend, my sister, and I were driving home from a day at the lake. The truck ran off a slick country road, hit a tree, and bounced. My baby sister and I weren't wearing seat belts, and as I realized we were out of control, a thought - from God - ran through my head. "It's just like 'crack the egg.'" In one motion I curled into a ball and pulled my sister down with me, and we pinged inside the cab like kids playing a game on a trampoline. When the truck stopped, we were lying on the roof. A potentially fatal accident, and the three of us rolled down the window, climbed out, and stared at the truck, amazed. In fact, rather than hospitals or worse, that accident was the catalyst to a love story. Sixteen years later, that friend is asleep in my bed right now.

For the days when you'd rather hide backstage

Monday, July 14, 2014

The baby is screaming, the toddler is in the almost-but-not-yet stage of potty training, and one of the big boys has a cold with the snotty attitude to prove it.  Some mornings I long for a stunt double.

A nanny, a tutor, a housekeeper ... anyone willing to step in for the impossible, disgusting, and  dangerous parts of my life, while I drink coffee backstage.  To un-goop floors, enforce the media restriction, soothe the fussy baby, wipe the runny noses.  I want someone to show up and make being a mom easier.  I'll take over again when life gets to the good part.

The problem is, I suspect this is the good part.

healing takes a long, long time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

One thing I know for sure: healing takes a long, long time.

It's been not quite two years since we left a destructive theology. Six months later we moved across the country, decided to stay married, and wandered into a little Anglican church one Sunday morning. We are now in our second year of healing. As far as I can tell, the roots of damaging thinking have been pulled out of my life. I no longer cry when I hear them, the way I once did. I've rejected the idea of a temperamental, abusive god who is dangling us all over the pit of Hell - the "even when you're repenting, you're still sinning" god.

what I learned when my son went to work with me

Thursday, July 3, 2014

He asked to go to work with his dad. The neighbors' kids were planning a "bring your child to work" day, and he wanted to do the same. But it's not safe for children to be on site at my husband's job, so he had another idea. "Mom, can I go write with you?"

I don't make a dime writing. There is a small stipend for the editing work I do, but honestly my time as a barista was more lucrative (though not nearly as rewarding). Right now I'm not making a meaningful contribution to my family's income, but in my house, writing is my job, not my hobby. Because I love words, because I love you guys, and because I'm convinced words have the power to open our hearts and move us out of our cells of isolation and fear.  Though it's not a source of income, my family refers to the time I spend writing as my work time.

So one afternoon last week, my oldest son went to work with me. First he perused A Wide Mercy. Then I showed him how to write an article, choose and format images, publish, and share on social media. He wrote a submission letter (and even sent it, because I have very patient and generous coworkers), heard about the importance of editing, and studied my magazine's internal database for sharing information. Then he wrote for a while.

Work has always been my biggest source of insecurity in parenting. I know all the arguments for

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