True Prayers, Baked Goods & Tattoos
Birds of Pray
In high school I was the weird kid who drew designs on my arms with a pen. Before long, I was the weird kid who drew on a lot of people’s arms before track meets. Eventually the IHSA said I couldn’t do that anymore, so then I was just a weird kid.
I’ve been dreaming about what my first visible tattoo would be since I was probably ten- so I think it surprised everyone that it didn’t happen till I was thirty. Turns out it’s a lot harder to decide on something that won’t wash off when you get tired of it.
When you think of driving in the Midwest, you probably picture miles of boring interstate, sandwiched between flat cornfields stretching to the horizon on both sides—broken up only by the occasional exit for a small farm community, consisting of nothing but two or three churches and a Casey's gas station, which also doubles as the only pizza joint in town.
"Maybe God is Like That Too" - A Reflection
I got my first tattoo when I was 18.
It’s a terrible tattoo.
I got my second tattoo a few months later.
It is also a terrible tattoo.
Many, many years and a few tattoos later, I got my first “visible” tattoo: a delicate strand of leaves around my left wrist, with a rising phoenix and the word “hope” on the inside.
And for ten years, that was my last tattoo.
How to be a Christian: As Told by Hindus and Children
We bought a new book for Kaylynn this year for Easter. I had seen one I knew I wanted to grab for Kristin, and because keeping things as even as possible in our household seems to be the best approach, I obviously needed to find one for Kaylynn as well. I landed on one entitled, “Maybe God is Like That, Too” by Jennifer C. Grant.
The book begins with a boy who lives in the city having a conversation with his grandmother about God. The boy, having never “seen God”, is wondering what God is like.
It was last September and, emotionally, I was perhaps in the worst place I had ever been. I had experienced my first real heartbreak and was not taking it well at all. Between anger and grief, I a felt like a burden to be around, even to myself, and then I received an email invitation to a special celebration, Ganesha festival.
All or Nothing
I have been asked leave or been kicked out of two churches because of my sexual orientation. One of the pastors of these churches told my siblings and mother, “treat him as if he were dead.” I believed in God and asked him to be my savior, long before I ever knew I was going to have an attraction to the same sex. I have known no other way of life, so how can this be a sin? And who created the concept of degrees or levels of sin?
Peaks & Valleys
I’m not sure where my all-or-nothing view of life started.
Was it growing up Lutheran? Things were pretty simple at my church, and people were basically good or bad. Mostly good, to be honest, because that’s how we saw the world. Bad guys were somewhere “over there” and not a real part of our lives.
High's & Low's of Change
In life, everyone has ups and downs. For some, these can be a series of ant hills; for others, they can be great peaks and valleys. None should be discounted, as we know everyone grieves each situation differently.
A couple of years ago, my family was feeling the effects of a joyous season when my sister, who had struggled mightily with infertility, had announced she was pregnant with twin boys.
Peeling the Layers
Sometime last year I realized my life was about to change. This change wasn’t one I was orchestrating, managing or really playing more than a supportive role in. I was the mother of a senior in high school and my oldest daughter was about to leave for college. I realized things were getting serious when I watched my eighteen year old daughter look people straight in the eye and say, “ I am moving to Chicago in the fall and I am attending North Park University.” Wait…what?
I’ll never forget this one time when my daughter was around three years old. It was soon after a family birthday party, which meant we had been eating leftover cake for days. She had just recently perfected the art of using the toilet on her own, but was still a little messy with the clean-up portion of the process. Knowing this, I was trying to insist that she just let me do it since we were getting ready to leave the house. In her frustration and desire to do everything by herself, she blurted out, “Mom, stop! Just go in your room and eat cake!”