Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

When Father’s Day is Hard

Jun
11

photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán

My first father was Danny Tanner. Kind but firm, wise, and good at cleaning up messes both physical and emotional, he was who I sometimes pictured as a kid when I thought about what fathers were like. In case you didn’t grow up in the 90s watching basic cable after school, I’m talking about DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle’s dad on the TV show Full House. He always had the answers when his girls got into trouble, and even when they really screwed up, he always let them know he loved them and would always be there for them. This was a far cry from my own father experience. Maybe I gravitated toward Mr. Tanner because my own concept of what a father was was blurry and ungraspable, sort of like trying to remember what someone looked like in a dream. I had a vague outline, but the details never came together. Mr. Tanner was a concrete figure, an example that made sense. (As a little girl, I thought he was a real person, a real dad, so you can imagine my shock later in life when I watched Bob Saget do some standup and my beloved TV dad evaporated into thin air.)

I’ve never met my biological dad. I think the first time I remember realizing this loss was in kindergarten, when the time came to make Father’s Day cards and crafts. Everyone around me had a dad to make something for but me. I don’t say this to get you to feel sorry for me, but to get you to understand that this is when it hit me that I was different from the other kids in this way. I knew what a dad was, I guess, but I had never really thought about where mine was until that point. I went home and asked my mom, and after a long pause, she told me he “ran away.” I’m sure she was just trying to find simple words to explain a complicated thing to a little kid, but I remember thinking, from what? I began to internalize the idea that I was something to run from, or at the very least, not worth sticking around for. (more…)

A Word About Guns

Feb
17

photo: Fancycrave // CC0

If you’re anything like me, you’re scrolling through social media and article after article following Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida with a broken heart and a lump in your throat.

“Thoughts and prayers.”

“Other countries don’t have this problem. Gun control now!”

“More laws won’t help. Arm the teachers!”

There are a lot of comments on social media regarding guns and gun control that I would like to reply to with words that are less than kind, but after a little prayer involving lots of asking God to put his hand over my mouth, I’ll just say this. We are in a tense place right now as a nation, and most of us are full of fear. Fear of our kids being taken from us, fear of our guns being taken from us, fear of nothing changing for the better because we cannot agree on how to move forward. In an environment so charged with fear, we turn to blame. The democrats, the republicans, Congress, the president, past presidents, your neighbor who wants or doesn’t want gun control – all of these folks are easy targets for blame when we are afraid. But if we consider ourselves people of faith, we do have another choice. When we’re afraid that the world has gone to hell and there’s no other option than to start firing back, let’s listen to Jesus.  (more…)

Day 29: When the Lights Go Out // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
29

photo: Simon Robben

Hi there! This is day 29 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness.

When it gets really bad, and I feel the most broken, I imagine that Jesus might not have any use for a screwup like me.

If you could watch a 5 minute video of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life, you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with me. You sure as heck wouldn’t want to sit there and read what I share.  (more…)

Day 27: Turn On the Light // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
27

photo: rawpixel.com/CC0

Hi there! This is day 27 of a series I’m writing this October called 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. You can find the entire series here: 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness. 

It’s been a while since I’ve played hide and seek. Even though my biggest life goal is to raise a gaggle of tiny humans, I don’t have any of my own yet, so I have to live vicariously through your stories for a while longer. A girlfriend of mine who works at an after-school care program told me one the other day about a game of hide and seek that went sideways.

The kids were K – 4th grade and all playing together. Someone, or a bunch of little someones, decided on a massive game of hide and seek using the entire gym/playground area (where the after-school program is held). My friend and the other teachers kept an eye out, doing a headcount of all the hiders, but somehow one kindergartener escaped everyone’s clutches. No one could figure out where she hid for a good fifteen minutes after all the other kids were found, which turned into twenty minutes, then half an hour. A couple of her buddies realized she wasn’t found and told my friend, who suppressed rising epic level panic as she and the other teachers hunted for the missing hider. (more…)