A few years ago, on my anniversary of ordination, I searched through a few old photos and found this one from my seminary graduation, a year and a half before my ordination. In this photo I'm wearing a stole that my mother (left) and my aunt (right) embroidered as a graduation gift. The picture was … [Read more...] about Anniversary of Ordination
This is a guest post by my sister, the Rev. Susan Joy Huizenga, who donated her kidney to Buddi on September 12, 2016. Related posts are archived here. I visited my new sister Buddi yesterday. We enjoyed ourselves. Her grandson, Samar, 18 months old, acts as if he likes me. Buddi says "He loves … [Read more...] about God’s Sister: Reflections on What Makes Someone a Sister
I come from a long line of coffee-drinkers. My parents drank coffee with every meal and frequently in between. At age 16 I started drinking it too, following my mother's advice to forego any sweetener. Coffee-drinking is a lifetime activity so its best to fend off those spoons-full of sugar. For … [Read more...] about Why I Quit Caffeine
Doug and I had already made plans for our anniversary, but then I saw that Gordon Lightfoot was playing an intimate concert on our actual wedding date. Could we pass up that opportunity? In my memoir I recount how Doug and I sang "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" as we paddled about on Lake … [Read more...] about Thoughts on Longevity
Perhaps you've run across this unlikely noun: Influencer. I heard it often during my last book launch. My publisher asked me to create a list of people who were in a position to influence others to read my book -- writers, bloggers, pastors, and Good-readers. At first it was excruciating. I hated … [Read more...] about Influence: Do you have it? Do you want it?
Do you sometimes have body memories -- that is, memories triggered by bodily experiences? Today I sat down in a dentist chair, opened my mouth for Abby, my dental hygienist, and was pierced by grief and a sense of doom. My body seemed to recall -- more clearly than my mind -- a teeth cleaning … [Read more...] about Body Memories of Grief
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to be a writer. I just never imagined I would write about sexual assault! Instead, I imagined traveling the world to research ?The 25 Most Adventurous Vacations.? Maybe I'd create a brightly colored board book about baby hippos who wear polkadot tutus. I … [Read more...] about Shame Thermometer or Shame Thermostat?
We live at a time when sexual violence is commonplace and even sanctioned in subtle ways. The downfall of Fox News' Bill O'Reilly ? followed immediately by his receiving a $25 million severance and new podcast ? shows how slick and impenetrable a powerful man can be. Perhaps certain parts of a woman … [Read more...] about “Raped Perfectly”
My little church experienced two unexpected deaths in two weeks -- fatal heart attacks of otherwise healthy persons. During that same period, a good friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died within a month. I did all the things a pastor does. I visited hospitals and put … [Read more...] about When Grief Sucks Us Dry: A Funeral & “Fun Home” On the Same Day
This is a guest post by my sister, the Rev. Susan Joy Huizenga. She preached this sermon on Good Friday (4/14/17) at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center; Saginaw, MI. Some of you know Susan from an earlier?post about being a living kidney donor. One day when I was about twelve years old, my sister … [Read more...] about Blood is Thicker Than Water, a sermon for Good Friday, John 19:16-30
There are times when I feel sorry for myself. You too? I hate having the particular story I have. I hate that I spent years writing it down. Why did I go through all that agony? Then I get a letter like this one, and my self-pity washes away, like sidewalk chalk after a rain. What's left behind are … [Read more...] about Why I’m Glad I Wrote a Rape Memoir
Certain loves are more difficult to keep alive than others. These are the loves that no one assumes you harbor. Some loves are normative. I can tell you that I love my husband and daughters and you will understand me. I could say I love Jesus, and most of you will understand what I mean to say, … [Read more...] about Feeding the Writer Within