Posts by Annie Reed

Be With

“I hate life.” My 9-year-old daughter slumped on my lap, a tear meandering down her cheek. “Oh honey, I know. I’m so sorry,” I said, pulling her close. “I hate Zoom and remote learning and I hate it when Daddy gets us school lunch even though we’re not at school and I hate it that we’re not going to Grandma and Grandpa’s for Christmas. Also, I have a stomachache. And my eye hurts.” I almost launched into my Pollyanna speech…

Missing Mike

I wrote a devotion on this blog six years ago, and because the lectionary is on a three-year cycle, the Magnificat passage that I used for that piece is one of the Advent readings again this year. I wrote about my dear friend Mike, who blessed and vexed us with his irrepressible love and badgering for eight years. Mike died suddenly on March 23, 2020, and as I read Mary’s song in the book of Luke, I think of Mike…

Just Like a Day

When we were dating, my husband would occasionally quote these lines to me, from the movie “The Jerk.” The Steve Martin character says to his girlfriend: I know we’ve only known each other four weeks and three days, but to me it seems like nine weeks and five days. The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight…

Laid Bare

Over the course of these last several months, I have noticed a particular phrase used frequently in the media. It goes like this: “COVID has laid bare…” and then what usually comes next are words like healthcare inequality, socioeconomic divides, food insecurity, or the inaccessibility of technology. I find this phrase quite accurate in describing what the pandemic has done both broadly in society and personally in my own life. With so many children doing remote learning suddenly, we have…

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…