Learning how to breathe, intercede, and trust God for some healthy introspection will give power to our prayers.

What do we do in this moment of howling chaos? For some of us, we may need to start with our breath. We can ask God for wisdom when heart palpitations arise. Do we grab a brown paper bag? Do we simply inhale and exhale deeply, grounding ourselves in our immediate environs? Do we call the doctor? No matter what response we ultimately need, we can first bring our bodily responses to God in prayer.

Tending to our breath draws us closer…


That wrapped package is all about relationships. The question is, which ones?

We’re in the thick of eggnog season, which means I’m scrambling to buy holiday presents for loved ones. My credit card’s running hot, and I’m juggling to coordinate wish lists from all directions. Sound familiar?

Sometimes, if I’m honest, I wonder why we go through this annual rigmarole. We’ll hustle to exchange those unwanted surprises come December 26th, and we’ll worry if we spent just the right amount of money across the board. Seriously, y’all, why do we subject ourselves to this?!

The answer: relationships. The ritual of…


As author Leslie Verner contends, hospitality is about keeping it real.

In her book Invited, Leslie Verner offers many provocative answers to the question, “what is hospitality?” A self-described goer who is learning to stay, Verner defends hospitality as a Biblical command. According to Verner, hospitality is for everyone, and it involves “unearthing people’s stories.” Hospitality is not only playing host, but it also honors others when we depend on them as their guest. Hospitality is even “the marrow of community, the life source that produces the very cells our collective humanity needs to function.” So what is hospitality? …


Because of Charity Singleton Craig, I now see adumbration everywhere. I didn’t even know what adumbration meant before I read her book The Art of the Essay. But now, when I see an author subtly weave a word, sense, or feeling into her work in order to build intensity and meaning, I can’t help but imagine Craig’s mind map example of “visual cues in ordinary life.” The hoot of an owl may mean more than the sound that initially hits the ear.

Before we dig our talons into mind mapping, however, let’s start with the basics: what is an essay…


Who are we as individuals, as well as a country? Baptism and baptismal vows have answers for us.

We talk a lot about identity nowadays. We are currently wrestling as a country over the identity of our national character. We struggle to understand who we are in terms of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and occupation. Our resumes and social media profiles also portray a certain identity: what degrees do we have? Where are we from? What have we done with our lives?

The story of baptism speaks deeply to identity politics. Not only the baptism of Christ, but also…


A prayer for those of us, including my own family, who felt a lapsed paycheck yesterday.

Loving God,

We give you thanks for today. We thank you for the breath in our bodies, and for waking us up this morning. Our lives are your good gifts to us.

Yet you know, Lord, that we are hurting. We feel the lack of a functional government. Some of us feel the lack of paychecks and provision. We are hungry, angry, and scared.

We call our leaders to repentance, Lord. Take away their hearts of stone, and give them hearts of flesh. …


What do we do when everything’s crumbling, and our old standbys no longer work? Ezekiel chapter 1 has some answers.

When I was little, I had a fuzzy blue blanket that I took with me everywhere. I called it my “blankey.” I would suck my fingers while I rubbed one of the soft corners. Apparently I would also pitch a fit if I couldn’t find it! Why was this blanket so important? Because it brought me comfort when I felt stressed or frightened. My four-year-old self believed that as long as I had my blankey, then I would be safe.

If we’re honest, it’s not just children who cling to these comforts. Many athletes wear lucky socks on game day…


A poetic reflection based on Malachi 3:1–4.

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight — indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold…


In the Book of Judges, the health of women is the canary in the mine for the health of a culture. When women lead, we all win.

The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, after Ehud died. So the Lord sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim. …


Not long ago, some friends and I wanted to enjoy a Saturday evening together. I made the first suggestion to the group text, a picnic in a nearby park. Another friend said she would prefer a build-your-own taco bar. “No big deal,” I thought. “I’ll just do what she wants.” This friend then added that she wanted me to host it. She also wanted to bring along a high maintenance friend of hers. “No big deal,” I kept saying. By the end of that Saturday evening, I was left with a huge pile of dirty dishes. I had paid for…

Melanie Weldon-Soiset

* poet *contemplative prayer leader *returned immigrant from China *follows Jesus and social justice * #ChurchToo survivor *MDiv grad *melanieweldonsoiset.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store