Shoveling Mulch onto the Leaf-Mold of the Mind

When we built our house on this back corner of the neighborhood, we told the builders to leave as many trees as possible because the line of woods at the back of our property gives way to family land. We cleared out the underbrush to make it traversable and brought in loads of mulch to protect the barren ground from erosion. That was four years ago. Our back lawn is still a work in progress. We aerate and overseed season after season, trying to get enough grass to grow to choke out the weeds. The clay that they dug for the foundation just makes for poor soil. In the woods, however, all the mulch we put down has mixed with […]

She Has Done What She Could

This morning I discovered what I want for my epitaph. (No, I’m not dying. At least, not any faster than anyone else. I just think about these things.) I read it in this passage in Mark: While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave […]

The Trust-Fall of Faith

I reached the top of the wall and turned my head to take in the view. I was higher than I expected to be, and for the first time I noticed that I could feel no tension in the belay line. Was there supposed to be tension? I hadn’t thought it necessary to prove it first–why should I? But perched near the top of this wall, I suddenly realized the gravity of my mistake. I tried to lean back to put tension on the line, to feel it catch me, but the line gave me as much slack as I desired to allow me to climb freely. We were climbing at an indoor facility with the boys to honor a […]

Rejoicing in the Waiting

It’s 4:30 in the morning in the middle of Advent, and I am waiting. Over the past 48 hours, eight people have been vomiting in our home. As I sit in the stillness between sick bay and those who are now resting, I wonder. Will it hit me? Will I suffer, too? How long, O Lord? You have spared me thus far, but what is to come? It’s not the kind of waiting that’s typically associated with this season. Yet in the midst of it all, my heart is stirred. “Rejoice,” said the apostle. “Rejoice,” said the preacher. “Rejoice,” said a friend. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” I hear restless stirrings, and I pause […]

The Many Meanings of “I Love You”

These three little words that we use every day have many more nuanced meanings today than they did seventeen years ago. I remember the first time he said them. It was right after our first kiss (which also happened to be my first kiss). I had made him wait because I was determined to make that first kiss a special one. He had been ready to say “I love you” for a while, but he didn’t want me to feel like he was just pressuring me to kiss him, so in love, he waited for that, too. I remember the first time I said it back to him. It was a couple weeks after our first kiss. Even though he […]

If even one…

The other night I attended a webinar for writers. The question was posited: How big does your audience need to be to make your writing worthwhile? Anyone would be happy to be read by millions, but what about thousands? Hundreds? What about ten? A friend joked that it felt like Abraham bargaining with God over Sodom. I responded with “If even one…” (The voice in my head was overdramatic and funny.) But there was some pushback: Is one really enough? Who is that one person? Hold that thought. Last night we watched the last installment of Tim Keller’s Questioning Christianity livestream. The series has been looking at the existential side of Christianity and how it compares with secularism (and other […]

Kicking the Habit: Managing Electronics (and Managing Me)

Kicking the Habit: Managing Electronics (and Managing Me) Last night we were reminiscing with some college friends about the good old days. “Remember when you had to print out MapQuest directions to get to someone’s house?” “Oooh, or when you had to actually give directions on how to get there? ‘When you see the Waffle House, turn left and go about two miles until you get to the neighborhood… take the first left, then the first right, then we’re the fourth house on the left.” “Haha! Yes! Oh, and what about the days before the internet? Remember those?”“Yes! They were glorious.” “I would go home from school and play outside and not have to deal with those people any more […]

12 Ways to Pursue Better Rest

After the holidays, I had a Sunday-morning conversation with a friend, asking how she was doing. She responded with frustration that despite trying to rest, she didn’t feel rested. I know that feeling. You kick back to watch a movie, or you curl up in a chair for half an hour to scroll through social media, and you’re resting, right? Your body is pausing activity to be still, possibly even dozing off for a bit. Then why on earth do we not feel rested? Our family had to suffer through burnout and depression in order to learn that pausing from physical activity alone is not restorative rest. True rest involves the mind and emotions, too. We personally had to change […]

Hoping for Real: Songs Inspired by The Velveteen Rabbit

I love a good children’s book. I mean, I *love* a good children’s book. (We’re planning a post to share some of our favorites with you soon, so stay tuned for that.) Just as much as I love a good children’s book, I love good music made from a good children’s book. Let me introduce you to my new friend Hope Kemp.  Hope is a talented singer and songwriter who put her music career on the back burner as she stayed at home to raise and homeschool her kids. However, she never stopped working on her craft. Now that her kids are grown, she’s on the music scene again in a surprising and delightful new way. Hope’s daughter suggested she […]

The Advent of the Lamb of God

Thanks to a hack on our WordPress site, I have been unable to blog for the past couple weeks, which is sad because I have good things I want to share with you all! Forgive my back-to-back posts of favorite things, but I want you to hear about these before Christmas! First up is an advent resource I used last year to help prepare my heart for the Christmas season. With the hustle and stress of a busy month, I wanted to slow my heart down and engage with the story of Christmas in a meaningful way. I had heard good things about The Advent of the Lamb of God (published previously as Behold the Lamb of God), and I […]