Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

Betsy - An Extravagant Friend We are in Athens, mere steps away from the Acropolis that sits high above the city inviting people of every tribe and nation to come and walk its ancient paths. It is the height of privilege to be here and I am deeply mindful of this. And though Athens has … Continue reading Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

Hanging Our Hearts Around the Globe

Through all the travel and all the moves, I've hung my heart a lot of places around the globe. But none is so special as Pakistan. "Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and … Continue reading Hanging Our Hearts Around the Globe

The Resilient Orthodox: Pepper & Salt

My Godmother came into my life around four years ago. At the time, I didn't know she would be my Godmother. In fact, she didn't know she would be my Godmother. When I first asked her to be my Godmother, she looked at me with not a little terror in her eyes. At that moment, … Continue reading The Resilient Orthodox: Pepper & Salt

An Excerpt on Friendship & Loss

Friends, there is a giveaway of Passages Through Pakistan on Goodreads! It ends on June 7th, and two books will be given away. In honor of the giveaway, I've included an excerpt from the book on friendship and loss. I hope you enjoy! Also - the electronic version of Passages will be released on June … Continue reading An Excerpt on Friendship & Loss

The Story of a Christian/Muslim Friendship – a Guest Post

Every September, when cool breezes off the Nile River replaced the sweltering heat of summer, the expatriate community in Cairo, Egypt would reunite. Most employers planned a variety of activities to introduce any newcomers to Egypt in general, and the gigantic city of Cairo in particular. Our employer, the American University of Cairo, put together … Continue reading The Story of a Christian/Muslim Friendship – a Guest Post

Yesterday I Baked a Cake

Yesterday I baked a cake. It’s my birthday on Sunday and yesterday I baked a birthday cake for myself. Later this morning I will spread a raspberry filling between the layers, I will make an almond-flavoured frosting and I will ice it generously. I’ll sprinkle the cake with almond shreds and I’ll carefully load the … Continue reading Yesterday I Baked a Cake

The Simple Pin

Since November 8th, the day that shall live on in infamy, people have started wearing little safety pins. I was unaware of this until my friend Jill explained their significance and gave me one to wear. To wear a safety pin is to make a statement. Where this began is a little uncertain. There are … Continue reading The Simple Pin

Friendship, Facebook, and an Impossibly Soft Couch 

"I miss you and your impossibly soft couch," my friend writes to me. I smile as I think of her and the hot mugs of tea we would drink as we would sit talking together. There was no clock in sight - time was unimportant. What was important was the friendship, kindred spirits meeting together … Continue reading Friendship, Facebook, and an Impossibly Soft Couch 

It Takes a Long Time to Grow an Old Friend

Friends - I am in Cairo, Egypt on a speaking trip. It is a gift to be here in a place that has meant so much to me through the years. Though things have changed, there is a sweet familiarity all around me. It is in the palm trees and dusty roads; in the call … Continue reading It Takes a Long Time to Grow an Old Friend

Love Goes the Extra Mile

We've just come back from a family vacation where we spent seven nights near the Smoky Mountains in northern Tennessee. Every morning we woke up to far off frothy fogs rising up between the hills and ridges across the horizon. Every evening we watched the sun's benediction settle over and under and behind the mountains. … Continue reading Love Goes the Extra Mile

The Story of a TCK Friendship

The first picture that was taken of me with my friend Lois was on the shores of the Dead Sea. There we are, two little girls - one blonde, the other dark-haired; one taller, the other shorter. We are holding hands with our fathers and we are oblivious to the fact that our lives are … Continue reading The Story of a TCK Friendship

To You Whom I’ve Never Met

Last week, my husband came home with a package. After tearing off the brown paper, I opened a beautiful, decorative, handmade sign for our home. Someone who I've never met, who has never seen my world, took the time to make it for me. I couldn't believe her kindness and generosity. And so I began … Continue reading To You Whom I’ve Never Met

When your Heart Finds a Home

Jonny and Yasmin got married on a beautiful day in New Plymouth, New Zealand. While hints of rain threatened in the morning, the afternoon was clear and sunny. It was perfect. Yasmin is a kindred spirit and daughter of my dear friend Jenny. She is years younger than I am, but through background and personality … Continue reading When your Heart Finds a Home

Sacred Gifts: A Basket, A Chicken Jug and A Simple Bar of Soap

Over the last three weeks I have received three very unique and very personal gifts. Each of these gifts has meant something to me. They’ve blessed me in my deep places—partly because of the timing, partly because of the person behind the gifts, partly because they demonstrate that I am loved. But mostly because they … Continue reading Sacred Gifts: A Basket, A Chicken Jug and A Simple Bar of Soap

When Two Writers Meet–A Lunch with Elizabeth Trotter

Yesterday I drove across the great Kansas plain, over and down through the Flinthills, to meet someone, Elizabeth Trotter—a fellow writer, that I’ve only ever known on-line. It wasn’t a very long drive, I think it took me maybe an hour and a half, but it felt much longer. Truth be told, I was nervous. … Continue reading When Two Writers Meet–A Lunch with Elizabeth Trotter

Short Sunday Thoughts: On Politics and Facebook

"Dialogue is best done in relationship, over breaking bread, over coffee." From On Sharing Bedrooms and Dialogue As I think about the next year in the United States, I look back on something I wrote in the past, and I pray I will stay true to that conviction. "We all have strong convictions that could … Continue reading Short Sunday Thoughts: On Politics and Facebook

Sweet Reunion 

Last year Marilyn and I met up for a weekend at a reunion in Colorado. Our time was special but shared with others dear and precious. This year I've come to Marilyn. And I've brought my tribe. Marilyn reached out to me seven years ago. She heard my flounderings and she intentionally initiated a conversation. We've … Continue reading Sweet Reunion 

The Heart Demands Conversation

"The heart does not want coffee or cafe, The heart demands conversation with friends, Coffee is the excuse in this case"* I smiled as I read this quote. It comes from a sign in a coffee shop in Antalya, Turkey and I intend to track it down at some point. The heart may not want … Continue reading The Heart Demands Conversation