Learning from Laughter and the Trees: Yogurt and Blueberries

kiddos-2By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann. Written on January 11, 2017.

11 years ago today, I was heading back to school, to community two weeks after my mom died.
9 years ago today, I was getting off a plane from France having just met the love of my life.
8 years ago today, I was in Washington DC protesting Guantanamo as Obama prepared to take office.
2 years ago today, I was working on a Word and World school in Detroit on Environmental Justice.
1 year ago today, after a labor that was cooped by the medical industry, I gave birth to Cedar.
And today?….

Today I lost the battle to get Isaac to school. I couldn’t get him out the door. Knowing that I couldn’t let him just stay home and have fun if I wanted him to go next week, I told him that I could not play or engage. That this was my working time. I set a timer for when school would end. Told him I loved him and I would talk to him when the timer went off (a mantra I would repeat a hundred times over the next two hours). I handed him a yogurt stick and a box of blueberries and left him alone. After some protesting, he got quiet…so I peaked in. There he was in the living room, using his yogurt stick to make twenty yogurt circles on the floor and carefully putting one blueberry on top of each pile. When his work was finished, he yelled “Mommy!” He was good at this game. He wasn’t going to let us not engage for two whole hours. He was ready to destroy the house if need be. I took a deep breath and told him I would talk to him after the timer. Continue reading

Tasting and Baking our Call to Discipleship

ira2

Since writing this, my nephew Ira Cole was born on Christmas Eve.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Over the last several weeks, I seem to have developed a chronic chocolate chip cookie baking problem. I would say that Isaac and I are baking a batch almost every other day. And it’s not just the baking that has become chronic, but the eating too. I think it is because I am waiting for my sister to give birth. It could really happen any second. It feels like all I know how to do in the waiting is bake these cookies. Continue reading

Praying for a different kind of darkness

flameAdvent Prayer by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Oh God,
This Advent we come to you
bent over with an ache in our soul,
with muscles that have held rage,
with eyes bloodshot from tears,
for there is a darkness this year
that is crawling with monsters.
The creatures of patriarchy, white supremacy,
and Christian hegemony
are emerging from their shadows.
Arrogantly crawling into our schools,
our churches and social media.
They are emerging as weaponized water
against water protectors
who are freezing to death.
They are emerging as walls and registries.
And it isn’t going away. Continue reading

Candles on the Street

sisters snow.jpgBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

Darkness started to fall as we foraged through the pile of snow clothes in the backseat of the car. My dad drove the same route we had done so many times as my mom helped us find the lost mitten or wool sock. We pulled in across the street and rolled out of the car barely visible inside the bundle of warmth. We crossed the street and stood as a heavy stream of cars exited the driveway beside us. My parents held signs and lit a single purple candle for it was the first Monday in Advent. Continue reading

An Unusual Wedding Gift

outhouse.jpgBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I spent the summer building an outhouse.
I spent the summer building an outhouse for my sister.
I spent the summer building an outhouse for my sister because she was getting married.

Forty-eight hours before the wedding as darkness fell and rain poured, even the groom was still drilling and cutting.

Lucy got married at our cabin in a pine grove a short walk from where my mom is buried. In order to accommodate 150 people for the service and thirty campers on our shallow, illegally plumbed crock well, we needed an outhouse. Continue reading

Silence

geez black lives matter

“White Silence Kills” Theresa Zettner and Midwest Catholic Workers shut down baseball traffic calling for Justice for Jamar in Minneapolis.

By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

An attempt to grasp for words when it feels like there aren’t any.

I’ve never seen
A gun.
never
up close
In my face.
Never seen one drawn
In threat
Or aim
Or play
Or hunt
Never heard the trigger
Or felt the fear.
It is my privilege upon privilege upon privilege. Continue reading

10 Reasons I believe in the Sacrament of Marriage

weddingBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann,
(first published on Converge’s website a couple years ago)

Lately, I have found myself in conversations with friends about relationships and commitment. I’ve been hearing them say, “We will be together as long as it works and if it stops working, then it will end.” There seems to be a distrust and even suspicion of the act of marriage. These are friends who have relationships I admire and who are clearly in it for the long haul. I trust their decision making and discernment, but it has made me pause to reflect on why we choose marriage.

1. Community

A marriage is rooted within a community. We prayed that our relationship would be a gift to the larger community and asking for the help of accountability and support when things are difficult. Continue reading