Rhythms of Work and Rest

This summer was a busy one. We had a huge international trip to two different countries with four young kids in tow. (Yeah, I know. Don’t worry–we had help.) All this travel was exciting and fulfilling in ways we never expected as God allowed us to encourage and help a number of friends serving in hard places, as well as reconnect with friends in our old neighborhood. Upon our return home, all we wanted to do was crash, but we had given ourselves exactly three days to unpack, do laundry, and repack for the long drive to a conference near my hometown. Needless to say, by the time the conference was over and we made the drive back, I was never so happy […]

The Boy Who’d Never Tasted an Apple

There was once a boy who lived 15 years without ever tasting an apple. Oh, he knew what apples were. They were everywhere. Apples on billboards and bumperstickers, t-shirts and magazine covers. The lady on the car commercial was holding an apple. The hero of his favorite movie had a thing for apple pie. But the boy had never seen an apple in real life, much less tasted one himself. The boy’s parents ate apples in secret, and the boy knew it, but in public the boy’s parents pretended that apples didn’t exist. The boy wanted desperately to know more about how apples grew and what they tasted like, but he was afraid to ask. The boy looked to the internet […]

A Death on Our Wedding Day

This week we celebrate fifteen years of marriage. Sometimes when I look at the photo on our bookshelf, it’s hard to believe we’re so far removed from that momentous day. (Then a kid screams at his brother and the harsh jolt makes it seem like an alternate lifetime. *sigh*) Our honeymoon didn’t start off at all the way we’d planned. After a perfectly smooth ceremony and a delightful reception filled with family and friends, we were whisked away by a chauffeur in a classy car. It was supposed to be a quick little drive to Nashville–less than an hour from my hometown to the hotel–but shortly after we got on the interstate things came to an abrupt halt. A fatal wreck happened between our classy […]

The Taste of Selfishness

We were poor newlywed college students looking for a way to pass the evening when we had the brilliant idea of popping over to the local mall for an ice cream cone from the fancy creamery. Since money was tight, we decided to get one double-scoop cone and share it, each of us picking a topping. It was going to be the best ice cream ever. We each selected the thing we were most craving and we peered through the glass as the attendant folded our independent choices into a single pile of ice cream on the cold marble slab: fresh cherries and Oreo cookies. It was indeed one epic ice cream cone. Hands down the worst we’ve ever had. It was so bad, in […]

An Open Letter to My Mom

Dear Mom, When you said recently that you didn’t homeschool us because you didn’t think you could, you were wrong. The truth is, you did educate us at home, even though we pursued academics at school. The more I learn about everything involved in the education of a whole person, the more I see how much of my education was shaped by you. You taught me to read before I started kindergarten, and you instilled in me a love for books by reading to me at an early age. You fed me books that stirred my imagination and inspired me.  You taught me to pursue excellence in all things, because you knew what I was capable of.  You showed me how […]

Death by Socks

“You don’t make sacrifices.” I hear his belligerent ten-year-old voice in my head as I pick up another sheet and fold it. “I die daily,” I argue back as I dump the basket of towels and pick up the one on top. The laundry today feels like a slow death. Death by socks. I daydream a little as I fold and stack, fold and stack. How much easier it would be to leave this house every day and move among a world of rational adults who appreciate the contributions I make! How much easier to ship my kids off somewhere so I could pursue lofty goals and dreams instead of keeping house and tending to needs day in and day out! […]

Sonderous Thoughts

I see the world from my own personal point of view. I know my own story, and I can see the roles other people play in it. But the world doesn’t revolve around me. I play a role in other people’s stories, too. Sometimes I’m an extra–another face in the grocery aisle as a widower goes to the store alone for the first time in forty years. Sometimes I’m a villain–the one who was in such a hurry that I cut off a lady in traffic and made her sit at that long red light twice, causing her to be late for an appointment. Sometimes I get to be an angel–swooping in to someone’s rescue before flying off again. Sometimes […]

When You Wake

This is my favorite time-with-you of day, These moments just after you wake With the pink flush of sleep Upon your cheeks And the glisten of a tear Caught in the round place Beside your nose. Your lashes bat away the light That brightens blue your slumbered eyes As you up-reach two dimpled hands And sweetly call my name. I pull your tiny frame up Up into my arms and you Golden-nestle softly tussled head Upon my chest And rest Until the siren call of play Sweetly beckons you away And you scramble from my arms To leave.

Not Yet, Spring

As I was out with my children yesterday, I noticed the trees in bud along the road beginning to blossom. Half-open pinks and whites heralded the awakening of spring and new life. Joy and beauty bloomed before my eyes. But my heart wasn’t ready to see it. With a pang I thought, “No! Not yet! It’s not time!” The reaction startled me. Every winter I long for spring and I rejoice with the green and gold and dappled things. But it’s mid-February—these things are out of season. And my heart is grieving. Singing cheerful songs to a person with a heavy heart is like taking someone’s coat in cold weather or pouring vinegar in a wound. Proverbs 25:20, NLT The […]