Keeping My Eyes Open

By | March 16th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

I'm not sure why I went with this photo, other than it's one of the few recent photos of all of us, from Mardi Gras, and I've been wanting to work it in anyway. Eight years ago, when Maile and I were at the bottom financially (or the [...]

Making Sense of Ash Wednesday and the Crosses on my Children’s Foreheads

By | March 10th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

Photo by Laurie-Anne Robert via Unsplash It was a beautiful thing to do in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week, at the beginning of Lent. We crowded into our church’s small chapel, the adults in chairs, the children sitting on the large, red [...]

What I Discovered in an Old Christmas Video From 2009

By | January 12th, 2017|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Steve Halama via Unsplash Seven years ago, Maile and I had just gone through one of the most difficult holidays of our young lives. I had just turned 33. We had walked away from a failing business, left a community we loved, and moved into my [...]

What We Leave Behind

By | October 20th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity|

It’s strange, driving down a back road through farm country in October when the corn has been harvested and the trees are changing color. And it’s 85 degrees. My mind and body are connected to this land, and after 39 autumns, most of them spent in this part of the [...]

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Like Breath Over Still Water: The Arrival of a Baby

By | August 8th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Courageous People of Lancaster, Faith and Doubt, Identity, The Little People in the House|

I drive the truck faster, weaving past cars on the city streets. I nearly pull out in front of someone and hit my brakes. We are 35 minutes from the birth center, and Maile’s labor has started. I stop at a red light just as another contraction builds inside her. [...]

Regarding the Long Days Before the Baby Comes

By | August 2nd, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, The Little People in the House|

There is the tedious movement of the last few days of a pregnancy. The summer days well up like drips from a faucet, slowly gathering mass, then hanging there much longer than you thought possible. Maile's stomach drops as the baby seeks out more space. At night she reaches over [...]

The Problem With Protecting Ourselves

By | August 1st, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt|

One of the greatest temptations faced by American Christians today comes in the form of voices demanding that we, first and foremost, protect ourselves. In response to the very real dangers present in the world, these voices encourage, no, demand, that we withdraw, face inward, and put the well-being of [...]