Category Grief & Loss

Blue Christmas

This time last December 13, I crafted two prayers for Church Health Reader’s winter edition featuring Blue Christmas and Longest Night Services while I sat in a surgical waiting room. My mom had a liter of fluid in her right lung, so a surgical oncologist inserted a chest tube to remove the fluid. This is a […]

Choreographing a Crisis

As a chaplain and pastor, I am inevitably with folks during periods of crisis, trauma, and chaos.  One of my mantras that I repeat time and time again to families during such times is, “Your crisis. Your call. Your choreography.” I say this because often folks try to please everyone else in their extended family, […]

A Life Well Loved

When asked to write a post in support of A Life Well Loved: Remembering Aimee Buchanan, I muttered a colorful, not so articulate version of, “No thank you.” Not because I don’t love Aimee or fully support Asheville Youth Mission, but because I would prefer Aimee still be alive. Also, my mom was Director of […]

Always the Perfect Gift

We are moving this weekend, so this week has been full of goodbye gatherings, boxes and packing paper, remembering to pick up dry cleaning, and forgetting that the silverware is already packed when attempting to eat yogurt. The packers spent nine hours in our condo, and one of the conscientious packers asked me a few […]

Joy in the Mourning

A sermon preached prior to communion at Presbyterian Church of Western Springs, IL July 7, 2013 Psalm 30 I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up; you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me. Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help and you healed me. Lord, you brought me up from […]

On having two hands

The majority of 2013 has been unexpected. And the more life changes occur, the more I’m grateful for my two hands. With both hands I’m able to hold the sacred and horrible, pain and joy, the already but not yet. In one hand I hold that I miss my mom, and in the other I […]

Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend began Friday afternoon in a hospital room overlooking Lake Michigan as a friend and his dad got discharge papers and headed home to begin hospice care. While my friend was confirming the many details, I knelt down by his dad’s hospital bed, held his hand, and told him that I’m so grateful […]

Prayer for Children of All Ages

As with Prayer for Parents and Those Who Want to Be, you are welcome to use as a resource for Mother’s and Father’s Day services with permission © Ashley-Anne Masters. God our perfect parent, we pray: For those who will send flowers to their mom and those who will put flowers on their mom’s grave For those who […]

Why I Need the Resurrection

In response to the prompt: In 100 words or less, write “Why I Need the Resurrection.” I need the resurrection because a father didn’t live to see his son’s wedding because I pushed the “code” button myself when my Mom was unresponsive in the hospital because many still wonder if their stones will ever be […]

Caution: People Grieving

As I was checking out at Target, the cashier asked, “How are you?” Without thinking, I responded, “Well, my mom died, I started a new job, and I think I forgot to put the dog in his crate before I left the house. How are you?” She stared at me, then slowly started scanning my […]