I was stirred from my nap by a creepy sensation.  Something wasn’t right. Too groggy to identify it, I opened my eyes and saw my uncle’s friend at the foot of my bed. I was 16, and he was 28. He was quietly making his way up the side of the bed with a handful of … Read more


In a conversation with a co-worker many years ago, she described me as religious and I found myself deeply offended.  She didn’t accuse me of it, or even compliment me of it; it was part of a deeper conversation surrounding death, illness and suffering.  She just sort of made note of it. I was initially thrown for … Read more


Hot messes seem fashionable these days, but I say unapologetically and without arrogance that I am not a hot mess. I have been a hot mess in the past (when it wasn’t so fashionable), but I’m not one now.  I’ve been redeemed and delivered from the scorching cost of striving to be someone to everyone. … Read more


Imagine you are twelve years old again; you just moved into a new neighborhood and your mother drives you up to a brown, brick house.  She stops the car, tells you to ring the doorbell and make a friend.  You muster everything you’ve got to shuffle your way up the stairs of the Chicago bungalow, … Read more


Imagine you are at a concert of your favorite artist.  The music surrounds you, it builds and ebbs and fills you.  You transcend time and space, caught up in the bubble of melody and percussion while the rhythm and mood transport you elsewhere.  It doesn’t matter what style of music or what type of song, … Read more


Generosity…the word makes my brain snap to thoughts of money, or at least to the thoughts of money I wish I had.  I have this unfortunate memory of asking an artistic friend to make personalized book marks for a handful of women who were helping me with a presentation.  My friend is an incredible artist … Read more


It was a bad day.  A usual, run of the mill bad day that was cluttered with catching all red lights, red line traffic, lost erring, dead batteries, burnt dinner and tight clothes.  The kind of day that eroded my tolerance as the hours marched on.  No single annoyance was enough to set me off … Read more


When you picture God, what do you see? Whatever picture, thought or feeling you experience, potentially reveals inner secrets to your identity. I recently learned this while being trained in Freedom Prayer.  The instructors had us close our eyes and asked us to create an image of God in our minds.  Some people saw their … Read more


There has been a constant companion in my life, who I didn’t like much.  He’s cast shadows across my days since I was a toddler. He’s not a person. He’s an expectation of behavior that changes within cultures; a real moving target. He can be oppressive and stifle spirits, but he can also offer safety … Read more


[STORY BACKDROP] My ninety-one year old mother-in-law, affectionately known as Grandma Ruth, moved in with us this spring. She lived with my sister-in-law, Pat, until Pat passed away last fall from ALS.  Pat owned a cat, who Grandma Ruth named and inherited.  She called him Scotty. My husband’s name is Scott. Yes, this is just … Read more