Category Grief & Loss

Birthdays Where the Lost Things Go

It’s been six years since my mom died on my dad’s birthday and a week before mine. We celebrated her life at a memorial service worthy of her faithfulness and flair the Wednesday between our Sunday birthdays. That first birthday and one week anniversary is a blur, though amazing friends tried their best to help […]

Journeys of the Janky Van

“Travel brings power and love back into your life.” I’ve often found this to be true, yet the last seventeen days, Rumi’s words were more viscerally prevalent than ever. While it is impossible to fully express what leading a group of 21 college students on a spiritual journey through the American West entails, here is […]

Gratitude, Grief & Gumption

On November 23, 1982, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since that gut-punch Tuesday, Thanksgiving in our family has been forever different. Years like that, shock and fear greatly outweighed the size of the turkey. And years like that, we wanted to hold each other close and curl up under […]

Unplanned Community at Planned Parenthood

Yesterday I was asked how I can support Planned Parenthood as clergy. I don’t speak for all clergy, but here’s my story: After I learned of my clergy spouse’s affairs, I called my OBGYN and requested an appointment ASAP. Since we had been seeing her for infertility, she enthusiastically returned my call thinking I wanted […]

And Some of the Words are Theirs

Today would have been my seventh wedding anniversary. Instead, it’s the second anniversary marking that our lives no longer one. In many ways, I’ve already given today its due during the eighteen days I was recently in Montreat. He and I worked together on Montreat Summer Staff as college students. He proposed at a dear […]

This Is Our Story

We’re a mess, but we’ll be alright, in this glorious story you write. I spent the last two weeks keynoting Montreat Youth Conferences with my colleague and friend James Goodlet. While we did not meet until seminary, James and I grew up attending youth conferences with our home churches. We are products of Montreat. It’s […]

Birthday Candles

My mom died about thirty minutes after midnight on a Saturday night. Since Monday of that week she told everyone she was going to die on Sunday, and sure enough she kept her word with that just as she always did. Earlier that Saturday night, while I was washing her sparkly silver hair, I mentioned […]