Saturday, August 29, 2015


             The prairie grass waved as the wind cooled the walkway; the green expanse was freckled only by clouds’ shadows. The natural beauty of the plains was broken only by classic wooden farmhouses and the red brick buildings were we slept. These stunning surroundings seeped into my soul, as beauty tends to do when we allow ourselves to be immersed in it. That weekend, in the silence imposed by the retreat, I was absorbed by the wonders of creation. The quiet created a space within myself to slow down and really look: to look more closely at my own life and relationship with Christ, as the retreat intended, as well as at the beauty around me.

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

God's Will

            In the past year, my family has driven to my sister-in-law’s house in Fayetteville multiple times.  Once, we drove out through the plains on I-40 before heading north in the Ozark’s, but usually we stop to see my mother and father-in-law in Tulsa on the way. From Tulsa to Fayetteville, we’ve taken state highways offering a glimpses of the wooded mountains and meandered our way slowly through trees and lakes. We have re-adjusted our route after making a wrong turn.  Each time, we have happily arrived at our destination and a warm welcome.
            The freedom to travel different paths to the same destination is the same freedom with which God gives us to live our lives. We can choose which path we want to take on the way to our destination, which is (hopefully) heaven. We can even make a wrong turn but still end up at the right place, sometimes by completely re-routing our path.  While there are wrong paths, there are also many right ones that can lead us to our ultimate destination.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015


“St. Mark the Evangelist,” the canter rings out while children and their parents file to the back of the large, suburban parish. 
            “Pray for us,” the congregation echoes back, as we prepare to welcome a new member.  A dark-haired, sleeping baby girl is about to be awoken with the waters of baptism.  I recognize her parents as fellow parishioners, though I have never met them. 
            After the baptism has taken place, the priest carries the newly baptized, now dressed in white, to the front of the church; as he walks, he says this is the first of four times she will come down this aisle in white: the first at baptism, again at first communion, later for marriage, and, at the end, for her funeral. 
            This aisle, he says.  Not an aisle, at a church, but this aisle, at this church—the aisle I was about to walk down for the first time, as a bride, after reluctantly becoming a parishioner where my parents had joined after I left for college.

Sofia's baptism

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