Sylvia Schroeder


Clouds over the Lugurian Sea hide the mountains behind.

When Clouds Hide the View 

I’m a cloudy kind of person. Sometimes something in my soul shuts out the light and then the cloud passes and suddenly it’s as if the glory of the sun explodes inside of me and everything is brilliant again. Gloom is part of my life, shadowy and rainy. But so is brightness. The clouds at […]

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leavening the whole lump

Leavening the Whole Lump

Flour frosted the kitchen like snow. A flour bin, a half-empty bottle of vegetable oil, and baking pans fought for territory on my counter. Little fingers thick with dough punched and kneaded gooey mounds. Lined up, varying heights on chairs and stools, three children made a ragged profile of chattering bakers. “Pooooof,” the littlest voice […]

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Where Do the Prayers of a Mom Go?

“No rest for the weary,” mom sighed. She bent down to pick up muddy boots and move them off the kitchen floor where they lay on their rubber sides, shells without spirits. She carried them out the back door and set them outside on cement steps marked by clumps of wet dirt.  We cook, clean, […]

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An Audacious Crown of Thorns

“Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate.  “You have said so,” Jesus replied. (Mark 15:2; NIV) Easter mornings looked like new clothes and smelled like ham baking. It culminated with Easter Egg hunts and marshmallow peeps.  With my new little pink dress spread out like a cloud around me on a wooden church pew, […]

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Till Kids Do Us Part

Okay, so it’s possible I don’t like her child. That friend who’s been a friend for as long as I can remember, the one who dried my tears after break ups and sad movies, the friend who knew my fiancé and I were engaged before we really were…that friend’s kid drives me crazy. In fact, […]

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Delight and Desire

Fire darted from blue eyes. “I don’t want to go.” White ruffles flounced around her squirming legs as we clicked the strap into her car seat. She crossed her arms, defiant. A frown like an angry arc puckered her lips. “Already,” I thought? “She’s only four.” For the Psalmist, the long process of a once-a-year […]

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How can we encourage our children’s honest questions but discourage disrespect, criticizing, and argument?

The Art of Talking Back

One of my daughters, might have had the advantage of most lawyers at age two. By the time she turned ten, she could befuddle my brain to the place where not only did I forget the point of my argument, I couldn’t even remember for which side I fought. As parents we did our best […]

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Where Common Sense Meets Brains

“Ain’t got the brains God gave a goose,” Dad muttered, shaking his head.  He sat in his chair in front of the big old Zenith. Encased in a piece of furniture that fit the previous TV, the new one left a space of several inches of dead air around it. Its curved globe front took […]

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What the Fig Leaf Won’t Cover

Well, the first lesson should be, never, absolutely never engage in  conversation with a serpent. That is where everything started to go downhill. Because where else would Satan strike but at the heart of relationship? And what was Eve thinking?  “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were […]

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Echoes of Babies Never Heard

“Mamma, where are you?” I hear it in my thoughts like light feather snow around me. It drops into my silence and stirs memory sticky and sweet, of little hands that cup my face and turn me to look into crystal pools. Echoes of babies wrap me like gifts. I put them on shelves with […]

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