One Word 2021: Embodied

Every January, in lieu of resolutions, I choose a word to help guide the coming year. It helps inform my thoughts, my words, my actions; it reminds me of what to spend precious emotional energy on. Sometimes, the word is directly linked to my hopes or desires for the coming months. At others, it’s more of a lesson that I began to learn, and I want to walk it out in the new year. Such … Read the rest

A blessing for weeks when joy feels impossible

Today is the third Sunday in Advent, and as we light the candle for Joy, I close my eyes and breathe a silent prayer, a confession of sorts. For these days, if I’m being honest? Joy seems so very far from my reach. Maybe it’s the same for you?

We are walking through the darkness of these Advent days, friends, magnified by the literal darkness that permeates our days as we inch ourselves closer to … Read the rest

A blessing for weeks when we’re waiting

It’s Advent. For most Christian traditions, it’s the beginning of our liturgical year, marked by the expectant waiting and preparation for Christmas. Christ-mas. Christ’s coming.

We are a people in waiting, aren’t we? Waiting for a cure. Waiting for a vaccine. Waiting for the test results. Waiting for that phone call. Waiting for an opportunity. Waiting for a second chance. Waiting for that apology. Waiting for the big break. We spend so much of … Read the rest

An embodied Advent

The moments just following my son’s birth four years ago were some of the most holy ground I have ever experienced. As his full-bodied screams pierced the room, the very space between heaven and earth felt thin, and hallowed, the lines between sacred and worldly bleeding into one another, much as the elation and the pain coursed simultaneously through my body.

Birth is an altogether spiritual experience, and so it seems fitting that one Read the rest

The Goodness

I lay my head on the pillow, close my eyes, breathe in through my nose. My thoughts wander over my day, stopping when I remember a moment that brought me joy, or a word I wish was unspoken, and I sit with it, that moment; I cup it, stretch it, hold it up to the light. Where were you in that moment, God? I ask. What do you have to teach to me?Thank you, … Read the rest

So, A Pentecostal and A Presbyterian Walk Into A Bar…

Alternative title: So, I Have Some Thoughts About Church.
Or: It’s Good to Reflect On Our Faith.
Or: I Think Sarah Bessey Might Have Written a Book Just For Me.

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When I was six years old, I found God. Or rather, God found me.

I grew up Catholic, not in practice, necessarily, but definitely in name. The daughter of two immigrants, I was enrolled in Catholic school because religion was a tie to the … Read the rest

in this place

sometimes people ask me about when i first got “saved”, and i tell them the story of the old Pentecostal church and a preacher who spoke with a slow, Southern drawl. i was young, not yet 18 years old, and still finding sure footing in my new country, in my new family who had taken me in as their own. i sat in that church and listened to stories about Jesus, and then i … Read the rest

saying goodbye to Lamie

today, i write to honor the life of a friend. i met Lamie around Easter of
this year, while i was still in Liberia. he was sick and listless, unable to move (presumably because  of a stroke he had suffered.) he was sleeping on the ground, in a pile of garbage, directly across from a dumpster. during the day, he was there, baking in the hot sun. at night, he was there, exposed to the … Read the rest

eat the mystery

a few weeks back, i found myself re-reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. Spirit-filled and poetic, her words were like water for my thirsty soul.

and recently, i find myself going back to a particular passage, one i have underlined in ink and even copied into the pages of my own journal::

“when we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. for forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna–a Read the rest