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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When I Slept Under the Bed (Or, The Importance of “Hiddenness”)

By | August 25th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Identity, On Writing|

Photo by Kate Williams via Unsplash From the time I was six years old until I was around ten, my family lived in a great, sprawling farmhouse with a covered front porch and two huge oak trees in the front yard. There was a garden and barns made [...]

My 17-Year Journey to a Book Deal (or, Keep Going)

By | August 11th, 2016|Books, Fiction, Identity, On Writing|

This is me rocking a spike, oversized glasses, and headphones that are either playing "You Can't Touch This" or "Go West Young Man." Also, that's either an Ocean Pacific or Bugle Boys sleeveless T because, obviously, who covers up guns like that? But even then, I cared most about [...]

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. [...]

Under My Hand, the Softest Splinter (or, Hope, Even Now)

By | June 14th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Faith and Doubt, Identity, The Little People in the House|

Maile exhales in her sleep. The window that looks out onto James Street is open, the summer air still against the screen. Maile stirs in bed, pulls a pillow in under her belly, under our baby yet to be born. It is 4am, and I am awake again. A car [...]

What I’ve Tried to do for 17 Years (or, The In-Between)

By | June 13th, 2016|A Contemplative Life, Books, Identity, On Writing|

It would be so much easier to wait a week before writing this post. In a week I will know a lot more. In a week I could write a strong piece in the vein of a "disappointed-but-not-giving-up" writer. Or maybe it will be a shocked, celebratory piece. It all [...]