Talk with the Preacher


This post was written in January, 2006.  The second grader referenced below is now an eleventh grader.  But I still think his art is cute.  Just for a little contextual reference I’d like to tell you that I clearly remember hot controversy the fall I entered kindergarten. The parents were talking in hushed tones, I remember, about “busing” but it didn’t mean much to me–all I knew was that this very cool new… Read More

Alright, alright, alright. Every time I open the mailbox and dive into holiday greetings from friends I have to work to push away the guilt because this will be the second year in a row that we have not mailed a Christmas letter. Or pictures of our adorable children. Or cards. We haven’t even sent cheery emails. Some of our friends don’t even know where we live. Pathetic. Last year we were… Read More

Caution: reading this might make you want to throw up.  Me?  I feel much better now. Monday: no rest for the weary (why do Mondays come after Sundays?) . . . This is Sam’s (age 10) early day so we’re leaving the house at 7:25 . . . but there’s drama with the dog-sick, sick, sick-lots to clean up and no opening at the vet until noon. Mark stays home with said… Read More

Turns out that my very own offspring, who has a tendency to do everything exactly like the idol he currently adores–his father–might also be just a little like me.  He loves to write, so this fifth grade assignment–to spend the weekend writing a story about someone who overcame a hardship–felt like playtime to him.  That’s my boy! (Reprinted here with no edits by permission.) Overcoming the Local Boys By Samuel Butler Hi… Read More

One week until school starts. Children about to kill each other or get killed by their mother. Cries of “I’m BOOOOOOOORED” echoing through the house. Time for the Olympics. At our house this week that meant spending a whole morning in an assigned wing of the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery; choosing a piece of art; researching said art and artist; creating a report that followed an assigned rubric; making an oral presentation to… Read More


I gave up the dream of my children bragging about me on the playground long ago. When I decided to go to seminary I already knew what it felt like when your parent is the preacher because when I was in high school I was a friend of the pastor’s daughter.  She would beg us to please NEVER mention in public what her Dad did for a living.  Like, she cried about… Read More

I’ve been thinking about confession lately. Lent, as you know, is almost upon us. This year at Calvary we’re spending a few weeks learning how to confess-the value of sharing our challenges, fears, failures with others and mostly, with God . . . as a blessed way of unburdening our heavy, heavy souls. To help us do that together in Sunday worship I’ve been on the prowl for creative ways to experience… Read More

This is the way I heard it: Our friend Carol was standing at the counter in her kitchen rolling out cookie dough for the hundreds of sugar cookies she’s baking for our church Christmas craft fair. Candy canes and stars, Christmas trees and angels-they quickly spread out over the counter as pan after pan came out of the oven. The word in the kitchen was: you can have ONE since the rest… Read More

New camera . . . cute kids.  I had to share.

Most free moments of this day have been spent eking out any last modicum of creativity left in the aftermath of the aforementioned Cree Indian craft projects. Yes, we’ve dug through closets, rummaged in the backyard shed, visited the attic and consulted the Internet. With ingenuity that would make the US Patent Office proud, we are now awaiting nightfall with two Samurai warriors and one pirate (with accompanying canine pirate). I don’t… Read More