In the Wake of Miscarriage

We found out we were unexpectedly expecting in April. I’m ashamed to say that I was not at all glad about this; me, mother of five wonderful humans. I was near to turning forty. The morning I took the test (in a Target bathroom, the family one), I’d gone with my oldest daughter to enroll her in high school. Stephen had lost his job right around the time of the positive pregnancy test, so the timing was horrible.

Turning forty is weird. Jane, the youngest, would be starting Kindergarten. What would I do with myself all day with no little ones at home? And since Jane had come along, there’d been no other babies, though we’d been open to more. I had settled on directing my aging self into becoming one of those older yoga ladies in the Athleta catalogue. Mornings, I’d be the Athleta lady, all yoga and zen and slim-ness, and in the evenings, I’d be more like the ladies in the Sundance catalogue, all tan and fresh and western and artsy. The idea of me, forty, looking too old to be pregnant, sporting a big belly on my approaching birthday, and then lugging a car seat not long after, took some getting my head around.

Read More

Loss and Gain

Seasons in life are rarely solely about what you think they’re about.

Last August, I had just gotten through my first year of being totally self-employed after eleven years at a salaried job. I left that job to pour my time and effort into the music I create with my husband. When I surrendered my old career, though, I lost a lot more than my salary.

I lost part of my identity as a teacher.

I lost the confidence of knowing how to do my job.

I lost the familiarity of routine.

I lost daily human interaction. 

I lost coworkers to laugh and commiserate with. 

Later that year, I lost harmony with my best friend.

I lost my perception of reality surrounding my family. 

I lost the ability to process all of these changes and stresses myself.

I lost the illusion of success.

I lost my hustle. 

I lost the bubbly parts of my personality.

I lost the feelings of excitement and joy.

I lost the will to get out of bed some mornings. 

When God wants to rebuild your heart, he doesn’t just focus on one part. This renovation went after much more than new paint colors and carpet. It stripped me down to the studs. 

Read More

Island Memories

I’m longing for a place. My island home away from home. It calls to me as it always does when it’s time for me to return. Visions of its beauty and happy memories dance through my mind. It feels so far away. It’s just a small island. I know there are many islands and beaches in this world and frankly it’s gotten way too busy for my taste in recent years, but it’s an old friend to me.
My family has been blessed to return to the same spot for family vacation year after year. Driving across the bridge to the island after a long car ride was always a moment of excitement and joy while actually feeling the cares of the world slip away a little.

Read More

Creativity is Your Heritage

Do not lose sight of who you are, my friend.
Creativity is your heritage by divine nature.
It is not a mood or a muse.
Creativity is not a gift that one may have and not the other.
No. Creativity is foundational to your creation. Just as your life is changed and shaped around the resurrection of Christ, so, is your life, formed and created by the divine Creator.

Read More

Playing in the Dark

There are a number of quarries in and around Knoxville where lanky, dusty men used to blast marble out of the hills before the Depression. In fact, if you read the odd town-centric indie publication here or there, you’ll eventually dig your way into a vein of prose in which some loafered, office-bound journalist will wax poetic about the geological intricacies of East Tennessee’s pink marble. We should all dream so big. In earnest, marble from Mead’s Quarry has made it all the way to New York and the District of Columbia. These old holes in the ground, however, have become the stuff of dreams nowadays. They tend to attract college students and hometown creatures alike to their emerald green waters, beckoning the sweltering and the summer-skinned to the coolness of placid depths. As for myself, though, I go in the deep dark of winter.

Read More

The Bodacious Prophet of Cool

Recently, during my Bible study, I concluded that Elijah was by far one of the coolest prophets of God to walk this planet. Can you imagine standing against an entire kingdom, against the pagan worship leaders, against superior authority that wants you dead, boldy pronouncing their punishment instead? How about openly mocking their pagan worship and failed attempts to prove a false god?

Read More