The Price We Pay for Delaying Decisions

What do you do when you’re not sure about a decision? If you’re like me, you debate it endlessly in your own mind. You go over the pros and cons. You try very hard to figure out what the best choice might be. But all of this striving is exhausting. And often, we expend so much effort trying to make the “perfect” decision that we don’t make a choice at all.  …
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Do You Risk Reaching Out?

Have you ever received an invitation that made your heart say YES before your mind could even catch up? Ever had such a strong gut feeling that you needed to be at this exact place, doing this exact thing? That’s how I felt when I was asked to give the keynote speech at this year’s Heart of L’Arche Fundraising Breakfast in Arlington, Virginia on April 25, 2018. Titled, “Risk Reaching Out,” this talk was part of a program that helped raise over $135,000 to support the L’Arche Greater Washington DC community. L’Arche is a worldwide nonprofit that creates homes where ...
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Wanting to Leave is Enough

Let me guess: it used to be good. That job, that relationship, that volunteer position … whatever it was, it started out fine. But over time, things changed. Or maybe you did. Either way, you’ve got a secret: wanting to leave. …
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The Work That’s Never Done

There's one item in our house that always catches people's eyes. The item in question? A photo collage that my husband Jonathan received when we moved away from the L'Arche community where we met. Farewell collages are a tradition at L'Arche DC; they feature the faces of every person that was a part of L'Arche during the years one lived there. In Jonathan's case, that means five years of faces, five years of relationships. When we first moved, I hesitated to display the collage. The goodbye was still raw; there were (are) so many people we love and miss. And ...
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How to Betray Your True Self (And Then Make Amends)

This is a tale of treachery, but it doesn't start out that way. 'Betrayed' faces, 2011. Instead, it starts with a group of direct-care assistants hanging out in the kitchen of the L'Arche home where we lived and worked in 2008. I'd just finished a strenuous workweek, and I was exhausted. Why? I'd recently said yes to becoming a Home Life Coordinator. In addition to doing caregiving routines, I wrote schedules, mentored assistants, and oversaw home life. We had a number of crises that summer, so I served in the new position while training for it and simultaneously ...
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Announcing: A New Documentary (Hula Skirts Ahead)

Dear friends, It's Tuesday afternoon, and I'm camped out in the guest room of my dear friends' home. I've been traveling for two weeks, from an Alabama lake house to a Pittsburgh conference center and everywhere in between. There are plenty of stories to be told, but today, I'd like to share a short documentary with you. Longtime A Wish Come Clear readers may recall a mention or two of this film; it's been in process for two years. In 2011, Edwin Mah -- an American University professor and independent filmmaker -- wrote to me and asked if I'd be ...
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Coming Home: The Liberation I Found at L’Arche

Happy Memorial Day, U.S. readers! This article was originally published in America, February 11, 2013, and is reprinted with the permission of America Press, Inc., americamagazine.org. I remember exactly where I was standing. It was in a small hallway at a L’Arche home in Washington, D.C., when I met my friend and housemate Pedro. At the time, I was visiting L’Arche for a series of interviews. I had not yet received an official job offer, but even so, I knew that I would be coming to live and work there. I could feel it in my bones; this was where ...
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Have You Been Imagining Those Prison Bars? (Or, Don’t Re-Enroll In High School)

I had this dream one night. In the dream, I was in my twenties. I was living with my parents in New Jersey, in the house where I grew up. Since my career had apparently stalled, a faceless, intimidating authority figure strongly recommended that I re-enroll in high school, to 'get back to basics' or something like that. Good news: you've already graduated! The thought of re-enrolling filled me with dread, but I did it anyway. I didn't think I had a choice. For weeks, I struggled to re-learn my old routines, fumbling through locker combinations, math tests, ...
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To See Beauty First: A Video

Hello and Happy Monday! Since I'm traveling this week, I'd like to share a video with you in lieu of the usual post. It's a 10 minute talk I gave as part of the Faith Inclusion Network's March 2013 "That All May Worship" conference. (I thank Karen Jackson for her wonderful work in organizing the event, and for sending me the recording as well.) A Wish Come Clear readers who receive posts via email may recall the story I sent out about my experience speaking at the conference two months ago; it's reprinted below. To make sure you don't miss ...
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Completing the Party: Thoughts on Grace

This is the (edited) text of a talk I gave at Living Spirit Church on Sunday, April 28th. Enjoy!  Once upon a time in 2008, I was on routine at L'Arche*, feeling downcast. Most of the assistants on our house team were leaving that summer. Yet even as I dreaded saying goodbye, I saw a silver lining: I'd build stronger relationships with those who remained. You can't always get what you want ...   I wanted to mark this place and time when I decided against despair. So I asked Theresa** and Cassandra** if they'd like to do ...
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