Posts by Annie Reed

Complex Operating System

I recently got a new phone, and it was an unexpected adventure. First, I decided to change carriers, which involved being on hold for long periods of time and then porting my old phone number to my new carrier. I felt like I was on a maritime expedition or in the midst of a Harry Potter journey. But more than my port situation, it was harder than I expected to choose between an Android and an Apple phone. I’ve had…

Heart and Soil

When I was eight years old, I walked slowly out of church on a sunny, humid Sunday morning in Hong Kong. I remember looking at the large white cross that stretched to the sky amidst sloping green mountains overlooking the South China Sea. Church of All Nations, this gathering of Christians was called—made up of people who’d come to Hong Kong from all over the world, for many different reasons. There were business families there for short appointments of two…

Scattered

I recently ran into an acquaintance, someone I had been in a moms’ group with three years ago. Johanna was a leader in the group and had always been kind to me. I’d always admired the classy wool sweaters, capes, and scarves she wore, and I even considered asking her to help me shop for such items but ended up concluding she would think I was too weird if I did that. I decided that by the time you’re in…

Supernaturalcuts

My husband comes home early on Tuesdays so that I can go to the gym. But over time my “gym time” has morphed simply into “relaxation time.” Most Tuesdays I lace up my sneakers and spend a half hour on the stationery bike, and the rush of endorphins brings relaxation in the midst of a busy week taking care of my kids. But sometimes, maybe once a month, I’ll do something else I find relaxing: go for a walk, get…

Good Work

I was yelling at my kids again. It was 2 pm, the beginning of the more difficult half of my day as a stay-at-home mom. Mid-July, ninety degrees, stifling, humid indoor air choking me. I thought of my days as a child in tropical Hong Kong, coming inside from hours playing Four Square and Capture the Flag with my friends, drenched in sweat. My siblings and I would crowd around the tiny air conditioner in the front room of our…

Benzos in Buffalo

It had been an exhausting summer. It started with a surprise pregnancy that was very difficult and eventually ended in a miscarriage at 18 weeks gestation. But in early August I had no idea that the baby I carried would have such a short life. I was simply putting one foot in front of the other, and though I didn’t feel well, I loved the baby and was glad to be pregnant. Our family of six-going-on-seven embarked on our last…

Unreal

Shortly after my husband and I started dating in 2002, I began sensing the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life in ways that I never had before. I felt unusual promptings to speak with specific people about specific, sometimes awkward things; I felt a primal urge to spend time in worship, needing to sing or listen to songs of praise for hours at a time; I had a prophetic dream that was clear and made sense, unlike most of my…

Where Are You From?

My heart raced and my throat tightened, two of my trademark anxiety symptoms. I had no appetite for breakfast, so I downed an instant breakfast protein shake. No, I wasn’t getting ready to go skydiving. I was driving my kids to school, and I was thinking again, “I just don’t like this place.” My discontent festered in my stomach, making me nauseous. My daughter whined from the back seat, “How come the heat’s not on?” I don’t like this place…

Choose Joy

You may have noticed that in many Advent wreaths, the candle marking the third Sunday of Advent is pink (sometimes called “rose-colored”) instead of purple. This is because the third Sunday is called “Gaudete” or “Joy” Sunday, translated from Latin. The change in color represents a lightening of the mood of Advent. While Advent is a time of expectancy and anticipation, it is also a time of waiting. And waiting is hard. Joy Sunday tells us “you’re over halfway there,”…

In Praise of Facebook and Fridge Friends: Where is God when I feel alone?

I have a dear friend who is 91. She raised four children, as I am doing now. A few months ago, eating dinner together, she said to me, “You’re lucky to have Facebook.” I stared at her. Did she just say I was lucky to have that thing I have a love-hate relationship with, that I feel guilty about spending too much time on, that people use to say things they would never say to someone’s face? Furthermore, I’m used…