God is Not Culture


Last week  at church, I sat in the midst of a discussion about the will of God.

We took turns telling our stories, sharing our points of view, discussing whether or not we can hold the will of God for another person, and what the will of God means for each of us.

Inside, I told myself over and over again that God is not culture. Because what we know in our churches is that God is good and Jesus is just, but it takes a lot to swallow that neither are American. Neither are any other culture, for that matter; they do not belong to a nation or a people, but hover over and in all of us, with the vastness of shalom as their greatest attribute.

I walk this ever- dissonant  line between learning my Native American heritage & spirituality and my place in today’s western Christian world, and as those lines become thinner and the black and whites become grayer, I discover that the journey toward God is the journey out of every culture I’ve ever known and into something sincerely other.

So all the characteristics that used to define my days are being re-arranged and re-structured, and I find that while it is difficult to strip myself of western culture in order to find God, it is possible.



As a young girl and on into my teenage years, I followed every rule according to my Baptist upbringing. I never kissed and hardly dated, I worried myself silly over missed assignments or classes, I feared for my salvation because I felt excessively guilty over sins like forgetting to do my quiet time or my judgmental attitude. Some was personality, some was baggage, but a lot of it was culture.

In college I took a world literature class, and when an old testament bible story was called crazy by many of the students sitting around me, my childhood world was shaken and shattered and I faced a big, wide open world that I hadn’t realized existed– and I had to ask myself, what relationships had I missed living in that bubble?

While I let a western Christian culture define me, what good things were actually waiting on the outside of that culture?

While fear and guilt felt overwhelming, what brought me true peace all those years?

I cannot say that I regret my childhood, of course. It created and molded me, sent me into the world as who I am. But I certainly see that as the woman I am today, the shift has been a liberation.

There are a lot of problems we face today– problems as citizens, as creators, as investors, as families or parents or friends, as leaders or followers, as human beings. Perhaps the best way to break apart the cultured answers to those problems is to forget culture all together, to unpack it from where we stand now, and to ask ourselves, those closest to us, the waiting air, the God who’s always known a way– Who am I and where am I going?

Last week at church, I asked that question again.

And God answers with snippets of dreams and voice and relationships that speak truth.

God answers in the life of my great-great-grandmothers and their mothers before them who knew that journey was a sacred, good thing.

God answers in my modern day, Cooperative Baptist Church, where I lead people in singing out, in proclaiming that we are all hungry and wanting and waiting for liberation.

So I plant my feet in my moccasins in the morning, I greet the autumn air, I wish for my boys to know the world through song and dance and story and miracle, and I wish it for myself, too.

And next week, you and I will gather in our churches or shake hands in our communities or bring friends into our homes, and a few weeks after that we will stand in line at polling stations and make decisions and ask what is next for ourselves, for those we love, even for those we disagree with on every level but that still belong to us.

May we hold those spaces with reverence, accepting that what we know to be true today shapes us tomorrow, and what journey awaits us in the days and nights from here on out could be something completely other, a reality foreign to us, but forever necessary.

While reading poetry with my boys, I came across a poem called “Evolution” by Sara Holbrook and I think that’s exactly us, exactly what the journey is meant to be, a deep want and need to move and exist and change:

TV came

out of radio,

free verse

came out of rhyme.

I am

coming out of middle school,

changing all the time.

It’s time to lose the water wings,

crawl out of this lagoon.

I want to stand upright.

Get on my feet.

I want it soon.  





A Bucket List Lesson: adding miracle-seeking to our daily life goals

Eliot ran into the kitchen with his hand over his heart as I finished washing the dishes.

“Mom, you’ve GOT to see this! It made my heart cry, because I’m so happy.”

We all met in the office, where Travis pulled up a video of someone “hunting” the aurora borealis, the northern lights.

We watched as the screen glowed vibrant green, pink, purple, and yellow.

We saw an item added to our four-year-old’s life bucket list, a future dream to see those lights in reality someday.

It is clear to me, watching through the eyes of my children for even a moment, that we are surrounded by miracles.

The very fact that we breathe is a miracle;

the rhythm of our feet walking on the grass;

the birds who build their nests in the heights and the chipmunks who burrow beneath us-

we co-exist with miracles, great and small.


But we are taught from an early age to reserve miracle-talk for special occasions, like resurrection or the homeless stranger who speaks truth to us in the dark of night, who could in fact have been an angel.

We miss the full spectrum of life, the greatest to the least.

We miss the chance to see the world new again just because we are alive today to see it.

Isaiah, my 3 year old, fights dragons inside his head from the moment he wakes, singing the theme song from Bob the Builder as he zooms his trucks through the dirt in our front yard. His imagination is a miracle.

So in preserving our children’s childhood imagination, we preserve their God-given ability to be miracle-seekers, and on other days, miracle-makers.


We are not without wonder, even in a world so full of hate; our children teach us that if our imaginations stay alive in us well into adulthood, we have then power to create something good, to see the undercurrent of life taking place around us.

And we are humbled again, taught by the children we teach, given instruction on how to be more human, more loving, more in awe of every aspect of our lives.

I notice that on my worst days, I miss what is important to me– quiet moments, real-life conversations, small wonders.

Maybe as adults we need to re-write our own bucket lists, adding MIRACLES to the top, so that the vision stays with us, speaks with us, haunts us and reminds us that we have the ability to make life sweeter right now, and tomorrow, and all those long days after.

And if you need a little inspiration right now, join Eliot in admiring this miracle, and maybe making a point to see it one day:

The Road Less Traveled: for the ones who take a different path


In the mornings when we wake up, we set our feet on the cold wood floors of our rented home nestled deep in a community-neighborhood in the middle of our city, and we embark on the good work of our day.

We take things slow and steady, and because one child is a morning person and one is a night owl, every sunrise is a little bit different, a little unsteady, a little challenging.

But we’ve chosen our way and we will cherish what we have.


It is an exhausting world and time we live in.

We are busy and hurried from the moment we open our eyes; even in our sleep we plan and calculate our days to achieve the most success.

But what does success look like when we’ve chosen a different path?

We take our mornings seriously as a family, and because it’s important to us that we choose wisely how we’ll spend that time, we take it slow, read books and drink coffee and eat breakfast, snap puzzle pieces into place and walk the husky three or four times because he’s old and needs our attention.

We make life choices out of necessity, by reading our bodies and our souls and making decisions about what is best for us, for our kids, for our pets, for our relationships, for our environment; and for the Curtice family, it means we’re swimming against the current in a lot of ways.


I do not think the idea of the straight and narrow only appears in the Christian religious tradition. I see, even in our western culture, the idea that if you’re different from the rest of the pack and the norms of a place or a people, you’ve left the good path and you’ll be ostracized for it.

The boys and I have been reading a lot of Native American stories about those people who chose another way and found themselves-

the boy who should have been a warrior but became an artist;

the girl who should have been a woman of the tribe but found her soul with the horses;

the outcast, ugly sister who became the bride of the most sought-after hunter around.

Their paths were set until everyone realized that something different was being asked of them, and they had a choice to make:

they could ignore their calling and do what they were told, or they could muster their bravery and go.

I’ve seen in the few short years that my boys have been alive how different they are from each other.

Whatever the straight path seems to be, they will both walk from it. They will make their own ways into the world and they will do it humbly, I pray.

And my prayer is that they find what their journey should be, not what our culture tells them their journey should be.

And that is a very difficult decision, indeed.

If we search our own histories enough, we see moments in our lives when we’ve taken the other route, done something unexpected, maybe became outsiders to the people who always thought we’d make the better choice.

But I think it’s time we ask ourselves what that better choice looks like, where we are headed, what path is right for us to take and what path should never have been trodden in the first place.

We learn and we step forward, or sometimes we step back, and if it’s necessary, we shift into a mode of living that takes into account what is best for us and those we love.

If we need slow mornings and steady breathing and quiet, we are not lazy, but we are settled into a different path, another way.

If our minds process things slower or if we create in a way that is unique to those around us, it is not a curse, but an opportunity to change the world.

And there, the minorities are lifted up and appreciated, the tired find rest again, those who are on the outside are welcomed into a spacious place that calls them beloved,

and something of Kingdom finds itself on earth, all around, in the corners and where we least expect it, even as our feet are lifted from the bed and set to the ground to begin another day.


Photo by Connor Dwyer


birthday lesson #28: who am i, again?


I turn twenty eight this week.

Last Sunday at church all the songs I led for worship echoed the seasons, the way our lives shift and change and become something different every now and then. We all remembered there in that space that if life is one thing, it is not boring.

And every year we are reminded of those seasons on the one day that celebrates that moment we were born, that space where we entered into the world of oxygen and music and sight and miracles.


Last week, we got a batch of files back from a photo shoot  with our friend Connor, and I as pulled up the pictures of myself, I became so nervous and embarrassed, sitting there at the computer with all my guys– my husband and our two sons next to me.

And I realized that there is this disconnect between who we think we are and who everyone else sees us as–

it’s so multi-leveled, of course; and with the continual advent of social media, it becomes more difficult, because we give the world the view we think the world wants of who we are and we hope to be.

So it’s good timing, then, that I turn twenty eight soon and that fall is coming to show me something new of myself.

I told my family that I wanted practical gifts that reflect my Native American heritage. I want to visit some tribal sites and hike places in Georgia where my ancestors once walked.

I look at these pictures of myself and my family and realize how old I look, how different I look from the 27 year old that I was or the 19 year old who got married eight years ago and was changed forever.

As an early gift I received moccasins from my mom, and so I place them at the floor by my bed and slip them on in the mornings, remembering that ritual is something sacred to me now, in a way that is different than before– a lesson learned.

As we grow older, we collect lessons– we learn and we mistake and we learn again, and if we’re lucky we recognize that there is grace in all of it.

When I was very young, I learned lessons of giving and sharing and being part of a family.

In adolescence I learned grief, the hard pain of losing someone close and steady, the lesson of finding God where I did not know God could draw near.

And then I got married, and I learned that God is different and bigger and more kind than I’d ever thought, that those kindnesses could help me love a spouse and one day bring children into the world.

When I had children, the lessons became more tangible and they humbled me deeper, to the most closed-off parts of myself. They taught me all over again that I am like the child as I lean into my own children, that curiosity is our best guide.

Last year I became an in-the-process-of-being-published writer with Paraclete Press, and I learned that life is never what I expect and God is Mystery, always full, always life, always more.

And the lesson for this year, for the first day of my 28th round of 365 days?

This lesson is to ask who I am again.

And perhaps that’s the ultimate lesson, after all, but for this particular year I’m asking who I am as a Native American woman, as a Christian, as a person being molded into a craft, as a wife, as a human who holds a sacred soul that needs to be listened to.

I’m learning to take my health seriously, to rest and breathe deep and enjoy quiet in a new way.

And I’m holding onto that hope that lessons find me year after year, decade after decade, mysterious secrets revealed little by little, puzzle pieces fitted together each day that I take the time to ask the questions and ache for a fuller living.

A happy birthday, indeed.






When You’re the Loved One: responding to privilege with responsibility


I can count a handful of times in my life that I’ve felt truly unloved.

From what I’ve known of it, it is a deep hole, a penetrating wound that aches in you and eats at you until you can find something that will take you out or away, or at least distract you for a while.

But most of my life, I’ve been a loved one–

my mom and I are close, and with my husband’s family I have found so much comfort in their acceptance of who I am as an extra daughter and sister;

I have always had a church family to sustain and support my family;

I’ve been cared for.

And for my people-pleasing and people-helping tendencies, it is good, of course.

So I am privileged in this realm of my life, but that also means I’ve got a responsibility.

There is a difference between FEELING loved and BEING loved, and I’d say that while people are loved, they don’t always feel it, and after a while, they’re convinced that they were never loved in the first place. 

And so that’s where the privileged voices must step in.

If I have an abundance of something, I share it, I give out of that space of plenty.

And so with love, with this deep well, those of us who are privileged to have it and know it must ask ourselves what we’re doing with that privilege.

We become the reminder, the whispered word, the written letter of hope to someone’s dying heart.

And with any good gift, it is better shared in quiet good, in graceful humility.

So it comes to choice-

who will you advocate for?

who will you choose to give love to, who will you remind that they mean something sacred to the world?

or what other form of creation needs your attention today, is found neglected and left uncared for?


A Native American reservation and others around the area in North Dakota have been threatened by a pipeline, and some voices have gathered there for days and days to speak, to share, to grieve, to hope, for the people who risk being arrested because they are using their voices to protect something holy to them.

Some of them are Native American, and others are not– they gather in solidarity to say, “We’ve seen the ways you’ve not been loved, and we are here to say that you matter to us.”


There is a refugee seeking community down the road,

or a familiar face that needs to tell you their story.

There is a homeless teen wandering downtown,

a mother who has just lost a child,

a grandfather who is struggling with easing into retirement smoothly.

And while love exists, breathes and moves and has its being,

we have the tools to speak it– to make it tangible and real and felt.

And so, we choose wisely and with compassion, with a heart that knows what it has meant at one time or another to feel unloved.

And so we move out of that space, and we breathe hope, and we ease another person back into the light of the day, back where the sun meets their face and calls them loved again,

and again,

and again,

and again.




Let Autumn Come: a toddler’s dream & a home ready for fall


Every fiber of my being wants autumn.

The first day of autumn comes on the day of my birth and so the month of September is something incredibly sacred.

In my Native American tribe, the Potawatomi, seasons are celebrated by lighting a fire at the equinox of fall, spring, summer and winter for four days at a time, to celebrate each of the four seasons.

Instead, I’ve been pacing myself. I’ve been waiting and practicing patience, because, after all, it is still summer.

But I raise a son, a four year old boy who loves the changing of the seasons.


He’s watched me decorate and re-arrange rooms for four years, putting out pumpkins and wreaths, replacing them with a Christmas tree and nativity in December, later with winter whites followed by spring blooms.

So it is no surprise that when September hits, he is ready to celebrate fall- and my birthday.

For days I tried to distract him from it, but he persisted–

“Mom, let’s decorate! It’s fall!”

And finally, after days of struggle, he woke from a nap one afternoon in tears, waiting another day to see fall come to life in his home.

I was ready to resist again, just one more week, but my husband, who sees his boys with intense love–

he looked back at his oldest on the car ride home and said, “Sure, son.”

And he and Eliot planned our evening– pumpkin waffles for dinner followed by a fall decorating celebration.

I found an autumn jazz Pandora station.


And we listened to it and ate popcorn and read poetry while the bacon sizzled in the pan; the event was just as it should be, full of impatience and excitement and a tantrum or two.

Our ideas or reservations mean nothing to the dreams and hopes of our children, no matter how small.

Eliot longed for something beautiful and good; he longed to welcome autumn, just a little earlier, into his home this year.

So we let autumn come, even though summer is still lingering for a few more weeks.


And in the mornings we wake up to orange leaves and red raffia and pictures of acorns, and we take life slow and steady and let it seep into us, the promise of a new day, the treasure of time together, the magic of the season happening upon us, giving us permission to see each other, to honor each other, to remember that we hold a fire never to be snuffed out.

A New Practice in Remembering Others: Lazarus & the global millennial


I found a Catholic prayer candle at Goodwill a few afternoons ago.

It hadn’t been lit yet, so all prayers resulting from its wick’s glow would be the first.

On the front, San Lazaro, Saint Lazarus, Saint of the Poor.

I took the candle home and placed it on the kitchen window by the sink, the window overlooking our neighbor’s side yard.

Our new home doesn’t have a dishwasher, so doing dishes isn’t just work, but an event, a challenge to keep the kitchen organized and clean.

So I light the candle and I say hello to Saint Lazarus. I remember the story of his life, the way he and Jesus cared for another like kin.

I can hear the boys arguing in the living room behind me, their voices rising and falling again as they move on, playing together.

I scrub the bowls clean and place them on the dish rack to my right, wondering what it means to be poor, to not be poor, to be poor of spirit, to be poor of heart.

I rinse the knives and forks and spoons and say thanks for what I’ve seen and known in my days, but there is Lazarus, speaking to me with his eyes, reminding me that I am not alone, because my people, my generation, my living– it’s not just mine. It’s a global reality.

In a collection of essays by young Syrians, I remembered what Lazarus’s life meant.

I remember the beggar sitting outside the rich man’s house;

I remember the way we listen to what we want to hear and avoid what we don’t;

I remember our obsession with Mercedes and Frank Lloyd Wright and the iPhone-newest;

we are bombarded with sales racks and celebrity gossip and religious piety;

and it becomes easier and easier to avoid the eyes of Saint Lazarus, his presence and his challenge to never forget the ones who are far away and walk a terrifying path.

“The first full day at Saarbrücken was very hard on me. I had to wait in lines for food and papers. But I had to just deal with it. I am no longer in my house. I am not sitting in my kitchen with my family, waiting for my mother to prepare a nice meal. This is my new temporary life now.” —Hassan Jamous, 24.

And so I grab the towel and begin to dry those extra dishes that couldn’t fit on the dish rack, and I see faces this time, hear names and imagine stories playing over and over again in my mind.

I am a millennial– a western millennial, a Native American millennial, a female, mother, partner, worship leader, writer millennial.

But what do generation gaps mean for the rest of the world? I look at the eyes of Zozan Khaled Musa, 25,  and realize that while I sit here and drink my coffee in a coffee shop in Atlanta, she sits in Germany as a refugee, with hopes and dreams for things that are similar to my hopes and my dreams–

a young woman my age who knows wisdom and grace because she has walked so far and so hard to get to where she is today.

Or Rena Khalid Moussa, 29,  a year older than me. I see her, too.

Please read their stories.

Light your candle and remember.

To be better world citizens, we remember that we are not the only citizens, and that we belong to a whole creation of others– every generation coming after the one before, every life marked by sweat and tears and the hope for connection.

It is so good to remember what is beautiful, to look around us and bask in thanksgiving, to give ourselves over to gratefulness every single day.

But a practice is demanded of us, one that has existed for centuries and will never die out as long as there is suffering lurking across the earth–

we practice lighting that candle and we practice stepping outside of ourselves and if we’re lucky, we learn to take our children and our friends and our churches and our everything along with us,

and there the world’s borders are broken, and we find that every refugee belongs to us and we to them,

every brokenness is ours,

every poor heart is our poor heart,

every glorious reality is shared between us,

and the eyes and spirit of Saint Lazarus tell us again that the way we are resurrected day after day is by knowing that life exists outside our tombs and broken places, where we find each other at the light of the new morning.




Work and Non-work: the practice of finding something in nothing


“God is in the body, where we look out for each other.” –Peter Rollins

I’ve had a part time job on top of finishing this book for over a month now, and I find that my mind is cluttered–my brain is literally compartmentalizing itself again, creating new pathways and figuring out new rhythms, and by mid day it is exhausted. And in this, I see a tiny glimpse of the working family’s dilemma to keep up and the need for the body to slow down.

And we’re preparing for another PhD fall semester, and as much as we long for fall and the craziness, it creeps up and takes over and you’ve got to be ready for it.

I’ve noticed that I’ve had a headache for a few days now, a sore throat, less energy and a little more anxiety than normal.

I’ve noticed these little things changing inside my mind and heart, and deep down the red flags are going up as an early warning that rest is needed, sooner than later.

And so, I attempt to set boundaries, to non-work, to keep the laptop closed until nap time, to purposefully lose my phone and look at books instead, to intentionally make the morning a slow one.

There is so much something in nothing.

There is so much life in the quiet, so much rejuvenation in the unordinary rest period. So we over schedule ourselves for days and days, and to protect ourselves from completely burning out, we stop while we can–even for an hour–and we do NOTHING.

We turn off the phone and hide the MacBooks and Kindles; we sit by the fire and read, we do puzzles with the kids, or drink our coffee and tea–slowly this time; we talk and we share and we process and we stay in bed a little bit longer, dreaming.


No hurry.

Just rest.

At some point in time, some voice started to say that life needed to be done this way to be a successful one: fast and hard and with money in mind.

And that lone voice was joined with other voices until that chorus began to dictate what regular life became.

But today, we fight back.

We read ourselves, check our vitals, know our boundaries, trust our boundaries.

We use that vacation time that’s been adding itself up over the years and we take a day for ourselves, for our family, for our sanity, for our good.

We are so less useful to ourselves and the world when we are completely used up, so we learn to say no more than yes, to stay in more than out, to disengage what takes up so much of our lives and engage the quiet of our own souls, just for a little while.

We practice eye contact with those closest to us, re-learn what it means to listen and engage, to learn and practice wide-eyed curiosity.

And in knowing ourselves, in caring for ourselves, we know and care for each other.

And there we find God, we find holy, we find good and true.

We hearken back into the spaces we may have abandoned for months, maybe years.

The good news is that those quiet spaces always take us back.


Do not be afraid of the non-work, friends.

It may be exactly what keeps you working in the first place.



To You, the Teacher: the non-linear, everyday work of learning and teaching



One year at the Carl Junction school book fair, I bought a teacher’s kit.

I administered tests to myself, pretended to be the student, missed a spelling word here and there so that, as the teacher, I could give myself a 98% instead of 100% with a bright red ink pen.

I wrote on my little chalkboard and used my apple stickers and recruited my stuffed animals to be adoring students.

As I got older, the desire to teach subsided, became replaced by other passions and pursuits. I got married, learned to lead worship, studied psychology and social work, discovered my love for people and community.

Later, after my boys were born and when they became old enough, I saw this most unexpected phenomenon come about– they could learn anything, anytime, anywhere.

And suddenly my sense of adventure was heightened, and I became someone that I’d left behind all those years ago– that little girl with the school teacher kit who ached for learning and teaching.

Only now, I was honing my craft morning by morning, those two boys guiding my way as much as I guided theirs.

One Sunday in church, our friend Jeremy began our sunday school class with a simple enough introduction– say your name and one thing you could teach somebody else.

The struggle to find the latter seemed to permeate the room as we went around the circle. What exactly am I good at? Can I actually teach something to someone? And am I willing to admit it?

I struggled for an answer, embarrassed that I might be good enough at something to help someone else learn from it, and terrified that I might not be.

But the humbling, beautiful truth of gifting is that every single person has something to give.

And a life lived in wonder engages every opportunity as a lesson, every moment a chance to gain something from the experience.




We’ve told ourselves over the years that learning looks like one thing in one environment, so much so that we fear what teaching would even look like in our everyday moments;

but we forget, then, that life is lived in so many spaces:

at the dinner table, we learn about one another as we explore our day;

on the front porch, we study rocks and birds and know that the world is something marvelous;

at the work desk, we stretch ourselves into new capacities and challenges;

on a short neighborhood walk we encounter and engage with the people around us and remember why the human experience is so sacredly beautiful;

and on our beds at night, we search our hearts and seek to understand who we are in this world.

And so, to teach anything to anyone comes from a heart that learns and seeks to learn. 

It is certainly intimidating to teach as a mother– even more so as a school-at-home mother, but I see with every minute spent invested in learning that teaching is a gloriously natural part of our life cycle.

We teach, we learn, we discover, we teach again, and nothing about it is linear, and nothing bout it is calculated exactly the way we’d expect it to be. 

Right now, in ten minutes, tomorrow morning standing over the coffee pot, is a moment asking to be noticed, and if we remember who we are and what we are wired for, that moment becomes something monumental, something holy and good in our day.

To you, the learner, I say:

Learn and do not be afraid.

And to you, the teacher, I say:

Learn more and teach, and do not be afraid.

And on and on ’til Kingdom come and then after,

may our perpetual learning be lead to perpetual teaching, glorious transformation meeting us at every turn.



The Displaced Soul: finding home again

I think that perhaps many of us underestimate what it means to be displaced.

We hear stories of war, of families ejected from their homes.

We see apartment evictions and job loss.

But there is also displacement that happens slowly, over time, trickling into the spaces in which we live.

Sometimes the season we find ourselves in is raw– emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally– and we find that we ourselves have become lost to what once tethered us.

We just moved out of a two bedroom apartment into a three bedroom house in a coveted neighborhood at the center of our city.

We do not quickly forget the grace of God that brought us here, and because of that kindness, it’s not quite real that this is ours for a season.

We’ve been here a week, but somehow we are still expecting to go back to that apartment at the end of the day.

But with every morning we wake up and go to the front window to see bird feeders and blooming flowers, we realize that this is truly our space.

And suddenly we realize that while we so needed that little apartment, we were a little displaced there, waiting for something else to come along and bring us home.


We forget that where our bodies go, our souls go, too–

and we leave an imprint on the walls of that apartment, on all our past spaces.

We leave those imprints for someone else and we acknowledge that his new place is for everything that we are and everything that we hope to be, the culmination of stories and hard work and dreams holding themselves within its walls.

Not everyone has the luxury of hand-picking a home, but we all choose what we bring to the home we have.

We choose simplicity or busynesss; we choose which broom to sweep the front porch with; which room will carry the home’s heart; what music will play while we do the dishes at the kitchen sink.

Our children choose where they will read their books and imagine that they are flying into outer space; they will choose how to sleep in bed every night and how long morning cuddles should last.

And so, every choice made is tethered to who we are, giving life or taking life away; giving grace to our souls or telling them that they have some things to work on.

It may not take a physical move to change us, to remind us of the grace around us.

It may simply mean looking, seeing what we thought wasn’t there before.

So we plant a small garden, we watch something grow, we get to know the neighbors we already have, we engage community and tether ourselves to something, remind ourselves that we are alive and well.

In all things, the way we inhabit decides the way we will live and move and have our being.

So for now, for us, that means morning coffee by the hummingbird feeder, a few moments every now and then to rest instead of hurrying along.

It means a place for my husband to work and think and dream by an open window overlooking the garden.

It’s an art desk for my oldest, Eliot, to color and imagine the world as bright as can be.


It’s a cool, red wood floor for our husky to sprawl out on and rest in his old age.

And it means a front lawn where my littlest one takes his Goodwill-bought toy lawnmower and walks back and forth, back and forth, clearing space for new living to begin.

And if we cannot find our souls here, we will have a hard time finding our souls anywhere.

So let us place ourselves when we find that we were once displaced, and let us lean into grace, into peace, into the glorious good where it finds us in our everyday living.