The Comeback

When I stumble in my spiritual life, whether it’s a whole-hog wallow or just a baby toe in the dirt, my comeback is the same:  I turn around and head home to the Father.  And I receive his love and forgiveness.  And then I head into the after-party. Pretty simple, really, regardless of whether it’s… Continue reading The Comeback

Wildflowers

The sun was blinding me through the library windows.  We've had rain, rain, and more rain for weeks on end, so the sunshine was a big deal this morning and was more than welcomed.  It was worshiped. It felt like a long awaited vacation, like springtime and flowers, like a throwback to "normal life" at… Continue reading Wildflowers

The Candy Man

I’ve landed in Houston to meet my 7th grand-baby boy, born last week. The Lyft app just alerted me: "Driver, Maria Patrica, Silver Toyota Corolla. Lane 5, door #E-102."I see no door E-102 where I'm standing outside of terminal A. There's no E anywhere inside either, except for the arrow to the E-terminal, pointing straight… Continue reading The Candy Man

Limping Praise

He walks to the door, As if he's just going out with friends. "Remember, mom, when I couldn't reach this lock?" His memory connects with mine. "Yes, I do," I say. The lock clicks, The door opens, He steps through. It's just an ordinary day. A little rain.  Cloudy. "I love you, mom." "I love… Continue reading Limping Praise

The Purge

The nest is empty.  Our last fledgling is settled into college dorm life and has already slept through his first test, while his mama-bird, blissfully unaware, awoke to her to-do-or-not-to-do list, none of it involving him. I've been preparing Stone his whole life--and myself all year--for when he would be washing his own socks and… Continue reading The Purge

Lake Trip

It looked like the perfect spot for our family's vacation:  a rambling lakefront home in an out-of-the-way cove with covered dock, lots of porches, and plenty of bedrooms for our growing family of 15 with two more on-the-way.  It's a challenge to find a house nice enough that merits dropping everything to be together for a week, but not… Continue reading Lake Trip

Making Arrangements

If Mama were still alive this Mother's Day, I'd have a hard time finding the card I'd most want to send her.  I would have to make my own, and it would say:  "Thank you, Mama, that we didn’t discover any skeletons." That's a Mother's Day greeting I'll bet has yet to appear on any… Continue reading Making Arrangements

Passport to Punta Cana

It never occurred to me to check my passport status. At least, not until the day before we were due to leave. Twenty hours before, to be exact. I had checked Stone's passport details thoroughly when I booked a trip with friends for spring break. He was now 19. Would his passport from age 16… Continue reading Passport to Punta Cana

In Flight

I’m heading to New Jersey, writing as I fly. It was cold and gray in Atlanta when I left, and it is colder and grayer where I’m going. According to my weather app, Princeton will have snow tomorrow. Right now, I’m looking forward to breaking through the clouds outside my window to the sunshiny blue… Continue reading In Flight

Troubling Ourselves

Mama is dying. I’m sitting in her bedroom next to her hospital bed, the metal rail cold against my leg.  The oxygen tube is bothering her and Vicky, her caregiver, is adjusting it as I write.  “That better, Martha?”  Mama moans. Mama normally reads a page from her devotional every night with Vicky.  When I… Continue reading Troubling Ourselves

Sifting

It's late.  Probably most of you are in your beds, cozy and comfortable, sifting through the day's events as you drift off to sleep.  That's where I'm heading after I hit send. But before I do, I want to sift through the events that happened here, and tell you about the day I had with… Continue reading Sifting

The Second Chance

He had been seeing a little boy’s head floating above the door in the hotel room.  And they had flown in an airplane they piloted across the mountain to attend Sadie’s wedding in our backyard.  Both of these stories gave us something to chuckle about at the reception.  Grammy drives a respectable Buick, and there… Continue reading The Second Chance

The Princess

for Sadie on her 29th birthday Sadie, Sadie delights my heart, Sunshine even when we're apart. Leans in to learn, Digs down deep, Pulls out truth both bitter and sweet. Sadie, Sadie child of mine, Strong and good, God's own design. His loving plan To frustrate me, And give me more than I could dream.… Continue reading The Princess

Chautauqua

I hadn't really wanted to get up when the alarm went off at 3 a.m. for a shuttle to the Atlanta airport at 4 a.m. for a flight at 8 a.m., but I did because she'd asked me to come.  This was the daughter who had only recently begun to like me again, and I… Continue reading Chautauqua