70,000 Words

Earlier this month, I took a Memoirs 101 online class with the Writer’s League of Texas. The instructor emphasized structure and form, both of which feel like high ideals for the random assortment of memories that are currently cobbled together in a massive Word document that takes forever to open on my laptop. I shouldContinue reading “70,000 Words”

News From My Kitchen

Most people see Cooking with Elsa and assume it’s a cooking blog. I love to cook but on this blog you’ll find Ingredients for Worship and Recipes for Ministry and not so many actual recipes that you could cook up in your kitchen. It is, after all, a play on my married name. I’ve posted menus. I even thought about thatContinue reading “News From My Kitchen”

Ready, Willing and Able for Peace

We were told that there would be booms. It was one of the first things that we were told about our new home. We’ll hear the booms, they said. Booms that shouldn’t frighten us or cause alarm, but are simply the noises of the military base thirty miles away. It was just something they hadContinue reading “Ready, Willing and Able for Peace”

Character: Essays by readers

Some time ago, the Christian Century invited readers to submit first-person narratives (under 1,000 words) reflecting on the word character. They are requesting essays from readers on other words in the future, but it was to this one that I wanted to respond. It was for this word that I knew which story I would tell and soContinue reading “Character: Essays by readers”

Spirituality for the Resistance

I have not felt like an activist in years. In truth, I’m not sure that I ever really felt like an activist even though ministry called for it. I couldn’t faithfully preach the gospel on Sunday without taking to the streets on Wednesday to advocate for that hope that had been in my words. WhileContinue reading “Spirituality for the Resistance”

Self-Care is Not Just for Clergy

In the wake of the presidential inauguration, with the tsunami of executive orders that immediately followed, I have watched as my friends on social media have retreated. One by one, they’ve announced they are taking a break. They need to rest. Their souls must retreat.  Of course, as these posts appeared on Facebook, that peskyContinue reading “Self-Care is Not Just for Clergy”

Bit By Bit

It is the First Sunday of Lent and I’m missing church. I miss good preaching. Today I could not push myself out the door to find some place to relish in the mystery of these holy forty days because I didn’t want to hear another bad sermon. I don’t believe that my colleagues are badContinue reading “Bit By Bit”

My Sexual Assault is More Than Locker Room Banter

Trigger Warning: The content of this post may be triggering for people who have experienced sexual assault. I was in college. I was drunker than I should have been—much drunker—and I was flirting with a boy. We kissed sloppily. One thing led to another and I left the bar with him. We went back toContinue reading “My Sexual Assault is More Than Locker Room Banter”

What is the Meaning of Life?

I’m working on my first chapter. Or I’m trying to work on this first chapter. I’m trying to stick with it. I’m trying to actually finish it rather than jumping ahead to some other chapter that is not quite so hard. For this is the chapter that frames the entire thing. It’s the bit that explainsContinue reading “What is the Meaning of Life?”