My Blog

A Happy Angst-giving

The season from Thanksgiving to Christmas is usually extra angst-ridden. On one hand it is my favorite time of the year. I love time off with family, decorating, baking, celebrating, pausing to be mindful of and thankful for all of the good in my life. On the other hand I find myself more mindful than usual that life, like the old year, is fleeting

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Body Building

This is a picture of some of the world’s greatest body builders, all assembled in one place for an early Thanksgiving dinner. The little church building on the corner of where highways 309 and 23 meet in Ozark–Webb City Baptist–can’t contain them all at once anymore. Lifting weights, after all, makes you grow.

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My Deerest

We say it takes a village to raise a child, and I believe that’s true. But equally true is that we adults also need raising sometimes. We all need a village.

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Her Hardest Hue

My favorite season is fall. Fall is football, hayrides, and War Eagle. It’s candles in pumpkins, a yellow harvest moon. Crisp mornings and cool nights. It’s Harper’s birthday, deer jerky, and Thanksgiving. It is waking up to scenes like this picture, to mountainsides ablaze with vibrant color. But it’s also darkness by 6:00. A prelude to winter, to bitter cold, to the death of many beautiful things.

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The Bridge

  There's a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. Thornton Wilder I was nine months pregnant with my first baby when Granny died. Earlier in the evening I stood beside the hospital bed where she lay...

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No Place Like Home

Every day I leave the Triple F Ranch to enter the world of academia. In academia I spend a lot of energy in conversations about language, perception, and communication. I do a lot of critical thinking. In between classes I take forays into my writing life where I think about poverty, and justice, and hope and Jesus (and coffee and kids and fiction and memoir and Guideposts devotions). And sometimes I come home with a headache.

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The Original Superprofessor

This is Paola. Dr. Paola Gemme. We met when she walked in the door of Witherspoon 108 to teach Immigrant Literature, a class I was in for my master's. I thought she was fascinating with her impeccable style--she wore these amazing Italian clothes--and fascination soon...

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Monitor and Adjust

When I started the "Gratefulness Project" I had the rather grandiose idea I would write letters every day to express my gratitude. I wrote two. One to God and the other to my mother. The next thing I did was write about how I was grateful for my students, and it came...

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My Books

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