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

Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

Every year I write a Christmas Eve Reflection. Usually it's in a fully decorated home with Christmas music playing in the background. It's written in the midst of the frenzied joy of Christmas in the West and I usually have presents to wrap and stockings to fill. This year I write it from the sunshine … Continue reading Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

Deck the halls with calls for charity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! ‘Tis the season of incongruity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! #CottageChristmas or starving children? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! My heart is caught and I cannot win this thing! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laa. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do this. The sense of incongruity is overwhelming me this Christmas. I go from essays … Continue reading A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

The Rain Came

The rain came. One minute it was the hot, dry sun of a high desert and rays of light spread across my living room and peeked into the darkened hallway. I took a quick walk to our plant store nearby – we call it our arboretum – and walked back with a green treasure, its … Continue reading The Rain Came

“Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

  "Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam... And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva... So tweasure your wuv." In the beloved classic Princess Bride, there is a wedding scene where the villain, Prince Humperdinck, is attempting to rush his marriage to Princess Buttercup. … Continue reading “Mawage is Wot Bwings us Togeder” Thoughts on 34 Years of Mawage

Healing Words

In January of 2011, seven and a half years ago, 19 people were shot and six people died in Tucson, Arizona. The target was a U.S. representative, Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head. She survived, but her life will never be the same. The tragedy caused a nation that was hyper focused on … Continue reading Healing Words

Be Still and Create

“In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.” Pico Iyer in The Art of Stillness I sit on my couch, coffee beside me, mindlessly playing a game on my iPhone. This has never been a problem for me before, but … Continue reading Be Still and Create

A Baby and the Cold Slush of Winter

I slog my way through dirty, melting snow as I walk to work. The pristine fluffy white of one week ago is replaced by the dirt and grime of the city, coupled with slush caused by rising temperatures. It is Thursday, my last day of the work week, and I am tired. In winter everything … Continue reading A Baby and the Cold Slush of Winter

Soul Care and the Reconstruction Process

When you live in a city you cannot avoid the ever-present construction/reconstruction process. Cranes, detours, iconic orange cones, and construction workers with yellow hard hats and vests are a part of the city landscape. Healthy cities know that to continue to serve both residents and visitors, they need to repair, construct, and reconstruct. City planning … Continue reading Soul Care and the Reconstruction Process

The Resilient Orthodox – Explosions of Life

There are times when I feel like life has exploded, as though all parts of it collide and nothing goes the way it is supposed to go. From unexpected expenses to surprise illnesses, life laughs in the face of our careful planning, mocks our ideas of control, and smiles sarcastically at our shocked expressions. I'm … Continue reading The Resilient Orthodox – Explosions of Life

The Holy Experience of Watching Les Miserables

Last week we watched the Tom Hooper production of Les Misérables. We have all seen it live (in London, no less!) but I believe that the next best thing to a live performance is this movie. I cannot see Les Misérables without crying. The story,full of redemption and grace, is timeless. For those who don’t know the story, … Continue reading The Holy Experience of Watching Les Miserables

A Psalm for 2016

A Psalm for 2016 by Robynn (Based on Psalm 136 and written at Sister Irene Nowell’s suggestion)  2016 has been a difficult year. The entire globe can testify to this. War, terrorist attacks, the zika virus, political chaos, hacking and doping. Social contracts, that we’ve assumed to be universal, have been shredded. Nothing feels safe or … Continue reading A Psalm for 2016

Called by Grace; Called to be Gracious

"There comes a point in life when our major spiritual struggle is no longer with the fact that we are weak and desperately in need of God’s forgiveness, but rather with the opposite, with the fact that God’s grace and forgiveness is overly-lavish, unmerited, and especially that it goes out so indiscriminately. God’s lavish love … Continue reading Called by Grace; Called to be Gracious

“I’ve Always Been a Good Girl”

"I've always been a good girl." I couldn't help overhearing the woman at the table next to me. I was sitting outside at a coffee shop. Sound carries, and though I had no intention of eavesdropping, the phrase stuck with me. Her voice shook slightly and I could hear the angst. I thought about all … Continue reading “I’ve Always Been a Good Girl”

Hit and Run

Last Thursday, a car ran over two pedestrians just outside my office. It was in the center of one of the busiest tourist areas of the city. The car was on top of the victims as the driver ran off into the crowds. Several people helped to lift the car off the victims and they were … Continue reading Hit and Run

Eyes to See

"What is true is that the world has always been this way, people have always been this way, grace always bats last, it just does--and finally, when all is said and done, and the dust settles, which it does, Love is sovereign here." Anne Lamott on Facebook It's been a hot, dry summer. Though I … Continue reading Eyes to See

A House of Cards

Note: I wrote this piece four years ago, right after my fifth child graduated from high school. Before this past weekend, I felt exactly like this post. Then came the weekend and the gift of rest, the gift of peace. So I'm not in the same place right now. But perhaps some of you are … Continue reading A House of Cards

Simply Grace

Frustrated, I stood outside a movie theatre. I had two extra tickets to a show, completely free, no strings attached. Two tickets on opening weekend of a show everyone was talking about - everyone wanted to see it.  My daughter's two friends had been unable to attend, so rather than let the tickets go unused, we found … Continue reading Simply Grace