Melissa Musick Nussbaum is a teacher and writer and speaker. She is the author of seven books and a contributor to many more. She has written articles for publications from Notre Dame Magazine to First Things. She is a regular columnist for NCR and its sister publication, Celebration. She and her daughter, Anna Keating, are the authors of The Catholic Catalogue: A Field Guide to the Daily Acts That Make Up a Catholic Life. She and her husband have five children and eleven grandchildren. Melissa is working on a memoir about her family and hometown, Tulia, Texas. She makes a mean chocolate chip cookie and what her grandson, Leo, swears is the world's best chocolate cake.

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Robins' nest-building reminds me of parents at border

My Table Is Spread: My husband and I began to notice the rising pile of debris on the wooden bench just behind our garage. The bench was a construction site: Robins were building a nest.


To understand our images of the afterlife, look to the weather

Our notions of hell and heaven have traditionally been reflections of the landscape in which our forbearers dwelt and the climate they endured. What will my grandchildren's visions of ruin and paradise be?


Even if we're 'Where the Wild Things Are,' God's table awaits

My Table Is Spread: For our parish's first holy Communion program, I suggested a book that parents could read with their children to help them better understand the Eucharist. I chose Where the Wild Things Are.


Learning to be 'all in,' on Easter Monday and beyond

My Table Is Spread: It is Easter Monday as I write and I am waiting. I am grieving. I am rejoicing. And I am grateful for new life and new love and old friendships and old stories.


Being a stand-in for God