My Mother and My God by Erin Lane

Erin LaneI met Jesus at the age of four.

In my memory it happened like this: I’m lying on my back with the faded rose and ivy comforter of my parent’s four-post bed beneath me, and my head is dangling off the edge. Charlie is there, just a few years older than I but already my idol. And my recently born-again Mom. She is glowing, and talking fast, giddy but sane as day.

She tells me about this Jesus,  this Jesus who I can talk to, this Jesus who already talks to her. I do not know her exact words. But I know that if she loves him, I can, too. Continue reading “My Mother and My God by Erin Lane”

One Thing I Like About Christianity by Erin Lane

Erin LaneI never have good dreams. They always fall into the weird, creepy, or just plain terrifying category. Last night was no exception. I’ll save you the diary entry but after sharing the short saga with my husband this morning (who I’m sure dreams of lollipops, if he could only remember), he looked at me and said, “Geez, Erin. You really care that people like you.”

It was a neighborhood prank gone wrong. In the dream, I had been running through people’s lawns and hiding in bushes with my husband and two other guy friends. We were armed with squirt guns, except that they weren’t squirt guns; they were household cleaners. I don’t know what we thought we were doing exactly – take that organic tomatoes! and that you meddling cat! –  but we soon got caught and I proceeded to be excluded, shamed, and taunted. First by a group of wives who snickered at me from a safe distance in their convertible and whispered, “She’s always trying to be one of the guys.” Then by a work colleague standing nearby who asked me, “How would Jesus feel about your actions?” and then let his wife hose me down with a sprinkler, which in retrospect was very un-Jesus like. And lastly by one of my guy friends in crime who called me “snotty” for hamming it up for a photo opp when the press arrived. Continue reading “One Thing I Like About Christianity by Erin Lane”

This is Why I Don’t Pray by Erin Lane

Like most Americans, I hold the overblown belief that a book about my life would be worth reading.  And, like most Americans, I have had the gumption to title it before I’ve even lifted a finger. It’s called “Should I Be Praying Now?”

Erin LaneAs if you’re surprised, it has an obnoxious subtitle that helps marketers at Barnes & Noble know whether to put it on the Christian living shelf with the likes of Beth Moore or drop it behind the David Sedaris memoir with the naked barbie on the cover. It will read, “Moments of indecision during mealtime, bedtime, teeth-brushing, love-making, test-taking, baptisms, funerals, and the opening few minutes of small group.” It’ll be like Anne Lamott’s “doesn’t that make you feel better about  your own spiritual life” kind of writing but more pedestrian. Continue reading “This is Why I Don’t Pray by Erin Lane”

That’s Good, Do it Again by Erin Lane

It happens almost every Sunday night. I get a little tickle in my stomach thinking about the week ahead. And all I want to do is call my mom and whine, “Do I have to?” It’s about to be Monday.

The crazy thing is I love my work. But there’s something about what I’ve been calling “the infinite abyss of adulthood” that gets me all turned in on myself every time the week starts anew, the day comes up for air, and the next project begins. I wasn’t until I read Kathleen Norris’s The Cloister Walk that I realized there was a word for my spiritual malaise. It’s what the church fathers and mothers referred to as acedia, a sort of listlessness of the spirit. Norris also attributes this feeling of time’s expanse to our  ”noonday demons.” The sun is high and a warm meal, glass of wine, and good night’s spoon is far off. The road of perseverance appears long and boring and repetitive under the deadpan heat. Continue reading “That’s Good, Do it Again by Erin Lane”

A Throwback to Earnestness by Erin Lane

I’m so over doubt. As a theological category, I find it as interesting as boiled wool. These days I’m more compelled by the faithful few who risk looking foolish in their beliefs, who are—in a word—earnest.

It’s true that I’ve been called a hipster. An ubiquitous archetype of my generation, the hipster is known for her lack of interest in all things conventional. Instead, her taste is unflinchingly ironic. I’m guilty of waxing wistfully about leggings and crew neck sweatshirts. Or wearing over-sized glasses that reference my Aunt Colleen living in Minneapolis in the 80’s.  I like my hotels to be cheap but modern—like chic hostels—and my restaurants to serve upscale versions of corn dogs and cotton candy.  The only thing that distinguishes hipsters like me from being dorks is that we know we are dorks. And we don’t care. Or at least we pretend not to. Continue reading “A Throwback to Earnestness by Erin Lane”

Girls Gone Gray by Erin Lane

My hair started “going gray” at nineteen. Prophetic, you could say, for a college girl whose life was going the same way.

The gray hair began around my temples, curling around my ears like a vine before following my hairline to the forehead and down the spine of my scalp. I remember calling my mother and telling her between tales of new classes and new boys of my new whiskers. “Oh, and mom, you will not believe it. I found a gray hair. What is that?”

Her laugh vibrated though the phone. “That is normal. I went gray at 19. Your father went gray at 19. Your brother has it coming in, too, nowadays.” She added, “Sorry.” But she didn’t sound it. Continue reading “Girls Gone Gray by Erin Lane”

If I Had Breasts by Erin Lane

A friend recently sent me the following excerpt from the Los Angeles Times’ obituary for author and screenwriter Nora Ephron who died this week: In a 1972 essay called “A Few Words About Breasts,” Ephron wrote, “If I had them, I would have been a completely different person.”

I am quick to champion the underdogs of the beauty world: freckles (clumped together they make you look tan), thin hair (it takes half the time to dry), and small breasts included (you can wear deep v-necks without looking vulgar). My optimism no doubt comes from the fact that each of these attributes can be found on my own body. Make the best of what you’ve got, right? Continue reading “If I Had Breasts by Erin Lane”

Why Feminists Should See Snow White and the Huntsman by Erin Lane

When all the taco meat was refrigerated, the grease-stained plates loaded into the dishwasher, and the church volunteers departed, my husband peeked into our bedroom where I had been hiding out (er, I mean reading my Bible) for the duration of his adviser meeting. “Put some pants on, Erin. We’re going to the movies.
It was a magic Monday night at the theater seeing Snow White and the Huntsman, a sort-of Braveheart-like retelling of the Brothers Grimm fable.  I was hesitant to go, afraid it would be too dark. The Walt Disney version, after all, had me running off to a child psychologist who assured me the wicked queen wasn’t all that bad. I spent more than a few nights sleeping in the bathtub with my Micky Mouse comforter, safe from her clutches. Continue reading “Why Feminists Should See Snow White and the Huntsman by Erin Lane”
%d bloggers like this: