Sermon, Last Sunday of Lent

IMG_1081Today’s sermon preached at St. A’s, the raising of Lazarus and Grandpa Chuck’s death.

Sermon Audio

It is because of my grandfather’s death that I stand before you this morning.

During a particularly difficult moment in my ministry, my grandpa Chuck, after whom Charles is named, fell ill and breathed his last. We were living in South Carolina at the time, far from snowy Minnesota, but I still visited him a few times in his last weeks and was even there to give him last rites the day he died.

Back home, I was struggling with my call, feeling stonewalled at every turn, denied at every door, frustrated with pouring so much effort into what seemed like a bottomless chasm. It was more than exhaustion, or a period of thankless plowing through; I was suffocating, like a flame submitted to a snuffer, gasping for enough air to keep breathing. In some ways my depression felt very much like death. Continue reading

to my loved ones

for all friends, acquaintances, and family (gathered from Minnesota and Ohio, Canada and the UK, New York to Texas to Georgia and Washington, and so many places in between):

I am feeling so very blessed to have been loved by so many beautiful, faithful, goofy people for all of my 30 years. I very much wish I could stick pericopes here, but I know I’d forget a dozen important ones and I wish least of all for any ill feelings; those who have fallen in love with me, who have been on sports teams and drama casts with me, who have sat on the couch and have traveled and have drunk and made dinner and walked and learned with me–I am so, so very grateful to have met you and shared life with you. Continue reading

anxiety attacks and the fallacy of linear progression

IMG_0913Exactly a year ago, up here in the mountains, I fell upon reading Katharine Welby’s blog, and began to admit to myself that I wasn’t “just blue” or “tired” or “having a tough week”–I was depressed.

Katharine Welby-Roberts had been suffering anxiety and depression for many years, and wrote with such clarity and compassion that I was both horrified (at how much I identified with her experiences) and comforted (there was actually something wrong, but it was something at least somewhat treatable which I was suffering, and which millions of others suffered too).

In the ensuing year, as has been cataloged in this very space, I’ve started medication, sought healing through less work and more prayer and yoga, and continue to pursue honesty along the path I trod.

So, a year out, I had my first anxiety attack in several weeks just yesterday. Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

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A meditation I wrote for today sent out via the Living Church Daily Devotional: CLICK HERE.

(Subscribing is FREE, just click the link in the upper left corner of the new window; you’ll get a sweet short devotional in your mailbox every morning!)

Detail of tiled wall, All Saints Church, Margaret Street, via Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P./Flickr

analogies

IMG_1715These pairs of words were the bane of my existence in fifth and sixth grades. Discerning the most representative relationship between two words seemed like a pointless, tedious, exhausting job. And yet, after so many worksheets got so ground into my psyche, I’m counting on the deep recesses of my mind to know what to do with the analogies I’m acting out today. Continue reading