Names and a quote

Maddie, left, Patrick, middle, Em on the right, at a playground in downtown Philly.

My first daughter, Emily, is named after the main character of Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery, also the author of Anne of Green Gables. I loved the Anne series, but the Emily series was about a girl who loved to write, who dreamed of writing stories that others might actually want to read someday. Obviously, I identified, especially when Emily (the character) was asked why she wanted to write and she answered, “I have to write–I can’t help it by times–I’ve just got to.”

Madeleine (our second daughter) is named after Madeleine L’Engle. I grew up with her Austin and Murray series; I wrote a twenty-pager on A Wrinkle in Time for a grad-school class; and then I discovered her nonfiction as an adult. Ah, here was the woman and the life behind the young adult books that still made me think deeply.

I discovered a quote from L’Engle today, and I’d like to share it.

“Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”

Here’s to belief that requires ALL of us: heart, soul, mind, strength, and all of them ever-stretching to comprehend more and more of this limitless “God himself.”

Thanks for reading.


Jake and Mads--there is something about being twins. I took this two weeks ago on a day trip to Jersey (hence the backside view of Lady Liberty).

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