Magic in the Mud

Recently I passed a sign at a nearby recreation center that read:  “BALLET BELLY DANCING CLASS!”  A tiny remembering part of me lit up inside, whispering, “Maybe you should sign up.”  Simultaneously, every other part of me screamed, “Absolutely not!  You’d be miserable with embarrassment!”   That wee whispering part of me was born the first […]

The Wings of Hope

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul . . .                                           Emily Dickinson I was struggling with contentment.  The city felt crowded, scary, and full of sadness.  My husband works hard to provide this lovely old home in a safe neighborhood, but I was having trouble being grateful.  As usual, I was […]

Can Coffee Make You Feel Closer to God?

It can happen beneath a starry sky, during a prayer of sincere thanks, upon hearing laughter spill from a tiny child, and almost always while watching the sun rise over the ocean:  heaven draws near.  I’ve been noticing the “thin places” all my life without having a name for them. While reading one of Shauna […]

The Man and the Motorcycle

He says riding feels like flying.  Wearing that ball cap, grinning, he looks like he did when we fell in love at 19. Strangely, I can’t recall a single motorcycle on the illustrated pages of a picture book.  Ralph, riding a toy one in the middle-grade novel The Mouse and the Motorcycle is little comfort.  […]

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Have you ever met someone whose storytelling ability is even more wonderful than the stories themselves?  I haven’t met Kate DiCamillo face to face, but when I’m reading her work, I’m astounded by the tapestry of her words.  Simply by describing a setting, this master storyteller can spin my mind into a place rich with […]

Chasing Heaven

  When I was a child, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, was my favorite book.  In it, a country cottage endures trials (urban sprawl), only to be transported, in the end, to her former life in the paradise of the countryside. The problem with my girlhood love of this book is that it […]

Corduroy on Love

I Corinthians 13 is the famous “love chapter” of the Bible. Its poetry defines love in exquisite detail. I think Mark 10 deserves a similar designation: the “Jesus Loves Me” chapter. In it, right after we watch Jesus drawing the little children close and blessing them, we get to gaze at a person through Jesus’s […]