A Menopausal Confession About Confession: A Novel Plan



In the Presbyterian order of worship, a brief time is set  for silent confession.

A few years ago, those thirty seconds sparked in me a brilliant idea for a novel.


Suddenly, during the sacred silence, my main character, a woman, is empowered with the ability to read the minds of the congregation.

Mr. Bradford in the front row.

A visiting couple in the back.

The soprano in the choir.

The pastor.

The pastor’s wife.

The usher leaning against the door.

The nine-year-old reading the book hidden in his hymnal.

The teenagers slumping in the balcony.

Her own husband, whose shoulder touches hers in the pew.


She learns each and every sin confessed.

And my character is not known for her tact.


Troubles worse than the chaos on Noah’s Ark blow the lid off that church.

Nancy Kiehne Noah's Ark

Said novel has yet to be written, but I plan to, someday.

Until then, I’m going to confess my sin. To all of you. Right now.


For the last ten years or so, I’ve had the same sin EVERY WEEK.

How boring is that?

Here it is:

My sin is self-centeredness.

Not that I think  I’m so great or so important.

More that I beat up myself enough, worry about my own stuff so much that I don’t focus as I should on the needs of others.

A true sin. A sin of omission.

But last Sunday, a menopause angel hopped on my shoulder and said, “Barbara Younger, it’s time for  a different sin.”

And so I’ve decided, in honor of the reaching and creativity and new imaginings of the Great Pause, that I’m going to confess a new sin each week.

I won’t go out and intentionally sin  just so I have something dramatic for Sunday.

Rather, I’m going to be more mindful of  the variety of ways that I transgress against people and the Earth and God.

And list them, week by week.

Every week, a different sin.

Good plan?

Top Photo:  The bulletin on Sunday. My last time to confess the same sin.

Noah Photo: The watercolor was done by my mom, who is an artist.

Photo Below:  I’m going to use this toy church for inspiration as I write the novel. Oh the secrets that lurk inside. Just like the mighty walls of Jericho, those  old church walls are going be a tumbling down…

Wooden Church

20 responses »

  1. This ties in nicely with your Blue Cross video discussion with Kath on mindfulness. In addition to being mindful of our surroundings and our place in the world, we need to be mindful of what’s going on inside us, including our perceived “sins”. I’ll try this, too. Sounds intriguing!

  2. OK, so I was so visualizing the book – and I did laugh out loud – just applying that to my being in church and knowing what the others were thinking – oh man. as for the menopause angel on your shoulder – I’m thinking it may appear for me this week now that I know it is out there – good luck this week.

  3. Can’t wait to read it! ……awesome post, I too will be working at being more mindful of those areas of my life. Thanks for awakening me to the need to do this!

Comment on this post

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s