Braver/Wiser Archive
Braver/Wiser Archive
Worship
  • The Guest of Grief

    Sometimes grief sends notice ahead of time; sometimes, it shows up as an unwelcome, uninvited guest.
    By Monica Dobbins | 10/30/2019
  • Becoming Ourselves

    Who are you going to be, today? And tomorrow? Who are we all becoming, together?
    By Amanda Poppei | 5/8/2019
  • Brilliant Collisions

    We can’t always predict which choices will wind up having a huge impact on us, whether it's bringing home a stuffed animal or taking a particular train to Oxford Circus.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 4/17/2019
  • Try Again Tomorrow

    When I internalize cultural messages about the definitions of success or failure—or anything, really—I undermine my own sense of self-worth.
    By Helen Rose | 4/3/2019
  • God Manifest

    I saw a woman surrounded by the pressures to conform to adulthood, being the adult she always wanted to be when she was a child. She was as God made her, not who everyone else wanted her to be.
    By Nathan Ryan | 3/20/2019
  • This Is What We Do Here

    Despite being warmly welcomed over and over by the greeters, by the family sitting behind me, and by the lead pastor, I couldn’t shake that “guest” feeling.
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 3/6/2019
  • Big Shoes to Fill

    Traditions and habits can be changed or broken and that’s not always bad. It doesn’t mean we didn’t learn or like what we did in the past, it just means that we moved on to something else and that’s okay too.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 1/16/2019
  • Too Much of Everything

    In real life, sometimes grief looms largest in December. Sometimes there's one too many dress-ups and the gold tulle makes your legs itch. “I just needed it to stop for a minute. Next time I will take calm breaths.”
    By Misha Sanders | 12/19/2018
  • Blessed Are the Magic-Makers

    We could see the main path to the swimming hole ahead, but we had to pick our way through sand spurs to get there. Behind us were rattlesnakes. What did the youth do? They started playing.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 10/10/2018
  • Amen-Peanut Butter-Eyeballs

    Our family prays at mealtime to practice gratitude in our lives. I love that my children are taking it as their own, finding their own meaning.
    By Christian Schmidt | 9/19/2018
  • Someone Loved by Someone Else

    If a friend were in my situation, I would have seen their failings as human. So why hold someone to an unforgiving standard just because that someone is me?
    By Kat Liu | 8/8/2018
  • Red Bubble Letters

    It is my only memory of a lesson from Kindergarten Sunday School class. Maybe it’s the only one that counts.
    By Misha Sanders | 8/1/2018
  • Be a Blessing

    I’d gotten in the habit of keeping my head down and hardly noticing where I was or who was around me. On this day, I decided to greet the world differently.
    By S.J. Butler | 5/30/2018
  • The Story of My Birth

    Tell me the story of my birth, and help me understand how you were changed the day I entered the world. Help me know love, deep in my bones.
    By Mandie McGlynn | 5/9/2018
  • The Strength That Defines Us

    My heart broke the day my son stood in the bathroom crying. He handed me a pair of scissors and told me to just cut it . I told him how beautiful his hair was and how sad I would be to see him cut it.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 4/18/2018
  • Faithful

    Being faithful doesn’t mean endless work. It also means attention to the movement of spirit that can appear as an hour of sleep, the truth of a toddler, or a donut in the middle of the day.
    By Robin Tanner | 2/28/2018
  • Another, Truer Song

    I wanted so much to believe that God was watching over this boy, that God was tender and protective and fiercely on the side of life and that this boy would not slip away.
    By Elea Kemler | 2/21/2018
  • No Longer Claiming "Divorced"

    I spent time feeling embarrassed—that somehow I had failed—because I had filed for divorce. It’s been over nine years now, and I wake up every single day happy with my decision.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 2/14/2018
  • Telling a New Story

    I’m not the same person who stood in that tattoo parlor eleven years ago. Still, I don’t for a minute regret being permanently marked with this snapshot in time, of my wounds and my hope.
    By Mandie McGlynn | 1/20/2018
  • Mrs. Cash's Oranges

    Liking somebody, even loving somebody, is not enough to protect them from shade that you cannot even see, much less understand.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 1/10/2018
  • Stopping to Help

    My oldest child was confused: why would no one stop and help us? Even though people weren’t stopping to help us, my son said, he wanted to be more like me and stop to help someone anyway.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 1/3/2018
  • I Ride Bus

    My three-year-old is almost completely nonverbal. Every day when she gets off the bus, I ask her the same question: I ask her how her day was, and every day I get the same answer: ”Momma, I ride bus.” I ask her what she had for lunch and who she played with. I ask her if she...
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 11/22/2017
  • Making Space for Our Doubts

    “If I ask you a question, do you promise to tell me the truth?" For future reference, if a child asks you this question at Christmas time, EVADE.
    By Becky Brooks | 10/18/2017
  • Pulled by a Fragile Thread

    We, the willing, follow the threads to one another; past rightness and quips and tweets. We will find one another and persist past sunrise.
    By Robin Tanner | 10/4/2017
  • Love's Pronoun Is Plural

    My son, Caleb, and I went to Starbucks on a recent Saturday morning. We often do this as a prelude to the weekly grocery shopping. It sweetens the deal, which is important, as he is about to be 14 and on the autism spectrum. Both of these factors contribute to his resistance to...
    By Elea Kemler | 7/19/2017
  • Do the Next Thing with Love

    What DO we do in the face of evil? Anything. Everything. Pray, protest, bake, hug, grieve, wail, laugh, explain, linger, research, fight, cry. What we absolutely must not do is ignore it.
    By Becky Brooks | 6/14/2017
  • All Our Relations

    I am ever grateful for the friends who are my family; who have pieced me together each time I’ve fallen apart; who laugh, cry, dream, and age happily by my side.
    By Marisol Caballero | 12/28/2016

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