Category Archives: Introspection

a letter to atticus about world vision. 0

When there are difficult things to talk about, I find that it’s easier if I think about what I would want to say to Atticus. So I’m breaking out the old-school letter to clarify a few things for myself. This is my attempt to explain why things have been a little quiet here the past […]

reading the bible with my toddler: casting pearls before swine. 0

Verily, I say unto you, cast not your hotwheels on the floor lest your father trample them with his feet and turn around and tear you to pieces. –The Book of Atticus I’m afraid I’m not very good at playing, even with kids I like quite a lot, so I have worried that playing with […]

on being a bell. 2

Atticus tells stories now, complicated narratives about his trucks that usually end AND THEN THEY CRASHED! I try to understand them, but they seem to make sense only in his head, at least from the details I can hear. They pulled on the rope! We are coming to save you! There goes the fire truck! […]

specificity. 5

Sacredness requires specificity. The grand esoteric themes of theology have their place, but love takes root in those specific moments when we voluntarily and intentionally enter one another’s pain. “God so loved the world” makes sense when love has a name and is lying in the manger. The Incarnation (big theological concept) comes alive in […]

prone to wander. 6

Atticus and I have been walking the streets of our neighborhood, counting political signs and dogs and (of course) trucks. He cranes his head to look for airplanes from the comfort of his stroller. We talk about his day. We watch the leaves fall. Mike made a playlist that features songs we think Atticus can […]

on being anointed. 14

On the last night of Glen East, we had a worship service. At the end of the service, my priest friend explained that we were being anointed to remind us of our calling as artists. “Beauty will save the world,” Image declares. They wanted us to know that what we had done all week was […]

yes, and. 1

I went away for a week with one carry-on suitcase and a big purse. Packing is one of my spiritual gifts. The only thing that I forgot was to grab a notebook and a pen when I switched purses. Who goes to a writing workshop without a notebook and a pen? Apparently I do. I […]

mutuality. 7

Atticus and my grandma. When I was 14 or 15, I was handed a copy of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. I have written about it several times, so all I will say here is that reading about a girl my age who could mentally keep up with Sherlock Holmes was a game […]

in the doing. 6

I could sing the praises of the wild, untamed grace I have experienced. Kind words at just the right time. Forgiveness, given and received. The ability to grow and change. The beauty of common graces, if I will only have eyes to see them. But sometimes I think we talk about grace so much that […]

tender. 4

In my mind, they hear my patient tone and see my love of reading. But reality is more complicated, and they don’t just see the things I like about myself, the things I want them to see. The girls ask why I am drinking Diet Coke and the boys ask why I am eating salad […]

new life. 3

The question before me, now that I am old, is not how to be dead, which I know from enough practice, but how to be alive, as these worn hills still tell, and some paintings of Paul Cezanne, and this mere singing wren, who thinks he’s alive forever, this instant, and may be. –Wendell Berry, […]

Still by Lauren Winner and some thoughts on the middle. 4

Atticus has been sick constantly over the past month, fighting ear and sinus infections. I am not the first to note the desperation that comes with being the parent of a sick child, when you have tried everything you can do and still he cries out with pain and discomfort. It was on one of […]

saying yes to 2012. 7

Last year, I resolved to lose weight in 2011. And on 1/1/11 at 1:08 pm, I lost 6 pounds and 15 ounces. Plus the placenta (sorry). I kept that weight off. I think this means I win at New Year’s, achieving my goal on January 1st. Other than that, I am not big on resolutions. […]

Dear 16-year-old me. 15

Our church’s fall sermon series was on letters to our 16-year-old selves, and I was asked to write one to poor little 16-year-old Kari. After a lot of tears, this is what I ended up with. I can’t decide if it replaced years of therapy or caused me to need more. Portrait of a 16-year-old […]

it gets better. 21

One thing that drew me to our church was the bulletin. When we visited, there were a list of celebrations in the bulletin, things like, So-and-So got his Eagle Scout badge and This Person just completed a marathon. I wanted to be part of a church that cared enough to celebrate those things. In high […]

learning to say yes. 11

In college, thrilled to be involved in campus ministry, I said yes to a lot of things and spent a lot of nights per week being busy. Bible studies plus working plus, you know, college and homework. I learned a lot of things about planning events and friendship. But mostly what I learned was how […]

thin. 8

Stack by Kate Andrews. Happy Shrove Tuesday! I have only been to church once since Christmas Eve. There was snow and then Atticus and I am finally just at the point where I recognize the days of the week again. This past Sunday I stayed on the couch in my pajamas. It was raining. Atticus […]

sacred. 2

While digging through Susan Isaacs’ archives, I found this gem about writing as a sacrament. It got me thinking about sacraments, about sacred and healing things that happen in life. If, as The Book of Common Prayer says, sacraments are “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible Grace,” it almost seems as […]

Holy thoughts that star the night. 2

“Barter” by Sara Teasdale Life has loveliness to sell, All beautiful and splendid things, Blue waves whitened on a cliff, Soaring fire that sways and sings, And childrens’s faces looking up Holding wonder in a cup. Life has loveliness to sell, Music like a curve of gold, Scent of pine trees in the rain, Eyes […]

My object in living is to unite. 7

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day! Today I am carrying around the last stanza of Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time.” But yield who will to their separation, My object in living is to unite My avocation and my vocation As my two eyes make one in sight. Only where love and need are […]