Dear Mama: First Foster Care Placement

May 26, 2016 · 8:15 am

Dear Mama: First Foster Care Placement

Dear Mama of the sweet little girls in my care,

I love your children.  I didn’t know I would so soon.  I worried about your kids and my kids, tangled together in daily activities. Could I treat them fairly?  How would I react when your youngest pushed my youngest? Or when my son wouldn’t share with your daughter?

I didn’t know how long I would have these children when I picked them up in the middle of the night, my hair and clothes in disarray. They reached for me so eagerly, and I was afraid.   I’m not your mother, I thought to myself, and in the back of my mind lingered the word, yet.  How long does it take to feel like a mother? How long will they be mine? Read More →

Comic Relief

March 15, 2016 · 3:09 pm

Sick Day

Our family has suffered through two cycles of viruses in as many weeks. This week’s cold/flu seems to be tapering off, and thankfully it did not have the shock and awe force of last week’s stomach bug.  Did I mention that our clothes dryer is currently out of commission? Read More →

Harvard University: Free World Religions Series

February 27, 2016 · 6:30 pm

God is love.

A friend on Facebook recently drew my attention to the fact that Harvard is offering a series of free courses about world religions. I signed up and I’m really excited to start next week.  This is a great opportunity to learn a little more about a subject that most of us don’t know much about, apart from the snippets we hear from politicians or on the news. You can take the courses for free, but each course also offers the opportunity to pursue a verified certificate for $50. Read More →

A Book A Week: January 2016 Reviews

February 1, 2016 · 11:19 am

A Book A Week

The January book reviews are here!

Favorite read: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Most Informative read: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman Read More →

Project 2015 Results: Failure and Success

January 6, 2016 · 2:12 pm

Shoot for the Moon`

In 2015, I decided to edify myself by trying to read a book a week. I knew going in that it was extremely ambitious and I don’t have a great track record with following through on my grandiose goals. But I do love grandiose goals. Read More →

On Refugees: My Story and Some Facts

November 19, 2015 · 7:28 pm

Aylan Kurdi

I grew up in an area of conflict. The conflict rose and fell like the tide—sometimes the fighting increased, and sometimes the calm.  It could be measured by how often in the night we heard the war cry echo between our mountain and the next, and by how many late-night knocks came to our door asking for my father’s help to chase cattle thieves.  This, to me, was normal.  This was the way things were.

There came a time when things changed.  We heard less about raids and more about battles.  I was forbidden to play at the river with friends.  We stopped taking walks when we found a warrior’s arrow on a path near our house.  I was too young to understand the politics of this war, but the tension I could feel.

Late one night, my father’s truck rumbled into our yard full of women and children from a nearby homestead.  Mattresses were spread out on every corner of the floor, and I felt simultaneously happy for the company and annoyed by the invasion of my private space.  In the days that followed, we drove past their homestead and saw what remained.  Every house had been burned to the ground. Read More →

On Terror, Grief, and Love

November 14, 2015 · 7:30 am

On Terror, Grief, and Love

Dear children,

Last night I told you that there’s a darkness in this world.  Sometimes people can’t get past the pain, and the anger, and the wanting to be right.  Sometimes people hurt each other. Yesterday a lot of people were hurt and killed.

Today people are grieving. Grief if what happens when you lose something or someone that you love. Grief can make you feel sad and angry and empty all at the same time. Grief can make you want to hold on tightly to the people you love and the things that you know.  Grief can make you want hurt whoever hurt you.  Grief can make you feel anything.  You don’t get to choose how you feel when you’re grieving.   Read More →

A Lament

October 24, 2015 · 5:43 am

A Lament

Lancaster bishops affirm proposal to leave denomination.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to make requests and a time to demand a hearing,
a time to hold my tongue and a time to rage.

Read More →

Partisan Social Media: Why I Don’t Unfriend

October 3, 2015 · 7:19 pm

Partisan Social Media: Why I Don't Unfriend

“If you’re voting for Hillary, unfriend me now.”

I’ve read this more than once while scrolling through my news feed.  I try not to take it too seriously, but it’s still a little hurtful.  The truth is, I don’t know if I’ll vote for Hillary Clinton.  I don’t fall neatly into one political camp, although I do tend to lean decidedly left of center.  But the fact that we might disagree about politics doesn’t stop me from wanting to hear about your new baby or that crazy thing that happened to you at work yesterday. It also doesn’t stop me from wanting to hear your point of view. Read More →

My Son’s Memoirs: First Grade Orientation and the Zombie Apocalypse

August 25, 2015 · 11:47 am

My Son’s Memoirs: First Grade Orientation and the Zombie Apocalypse

In the summer of 2015, I was five years old and gearing up for first grade.  I had been looking forward to orientation for weeks, and I couldn’t wait to meet my new teacher and see my classroom.  As luck would have it, I came down with a fever a few days before my orientation, and a sore throat crept in on its heels. The day of my scheduled orientation, I woke up with a fever of 102 degrees, severe pain in my throat, and a painful cough.  Read More →

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