Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

How to Talk to People When The Ship is Going Down and Everything is on Fire

Jun
25

photo: Jure Širić

So this week has felt like one long horror movie, only the doors are locked and they’re not letting anyone out of the theater. We’re just forced to watch as thing after thing after thing happens, and suddenly everything is exploding and we don’t even know where to look.

Right?

We’ve watched little kids be separated from their immigrant parents at our southern border and felt helpless. We’ve argued about whose fault it is on social media. We’ve seen the photos and tried to figure out where to donate and listened to the recordings of toddlers crying themselves sick because they just want their mama, their papa. I have felt emotionally exhausted all week, and I’m sitting on my comfortable couch in Kansas City. Trying to imagine how they must feel makes me physically dizzy. We are creating So. Much. Brokenness and trauma. Dismantling families like we sort through old clothes for donation: this one here, that one there. Send this one, keep that one, this one is a maybe. Cages full of kids with hearts full of breaks.

I’ve noticed the same fight break out on social media eleventy hundred times this week.

“They shouldn’t have come here, then none of this would have happened.” (As if it’s that simple when you fear for your life and the lives of your children every day in your own home.)  (more…)

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 31: Forward // 31 Days of Hope in Brokenness

Oct
31

photo: Kasuma F. Gruber

Hi there! This is day 31 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.

Well, here we are. We’ve been diving deep into hope in brokenness for a whole month now, and I’ve been thinking about how I want to end this time together. I wish instead of interacting over a computer or phone screen, we could say these things over coffee on my couch, but for some of you that would be a pretty long drive. That being said, feel free to pause and go make a cup of your favorite warm cozy drink and pull up to this post when you’re ready. In my neck of the woods, where scarves and sweaters are coming out of hiding as fall temps drop, hot cider actually sounds even better than coffee today.

When I think about what I want you to take from this series, and what I want to be reminded of when I look back on it (because honestly, I mostly wrote it for myself as part of my own healing), my heart and thoughts are drawn straight back to the Gospel. To clarify, this is a safe place for Jesus folks and non Jesus folks alike – whether you are atheist, Christian, agnostic, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or anything else, you are safe and welcome and wanted here. Completely and without strings. I also think that if I am going to talk about hope, but this core part of my own hope is not mentioned, it won’t be a very honest conversation.

One of my favorite hope stories comes from the Bible, and it’s one that Jesus told Himself.  (more…)