It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life changing.

My ten-thousand-steps-a-day routine is a lot easier to accomplish in June than in January, the month when we all set our intentions for the year. The green world beckons, the garden needs tending, and our mowing business is in full steam ahead mode. (On a recent six-lawn Wednesday, I passed the ten thousand step mark… Continue reading It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

Parenting is a risky business. Like a high wire act without a net, we hang on to Truth, keep our balance, and trust for equilibrium, but, ultimately, our children are free to choose their own paths. We do not determine their spiritual direction or their response to God's claim on their lives. Nevertheless, wise parents… Continue reading Practical Steps for Nurturing a Vibrant Household of Faith

What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church

As the old saying goes, if you think you've finally found the perfect church, run like crazy before you ruin it.

Church has been the influence that has pushed me, challenged me to a greater faithfulness, and stretched me outside my comfort zone. It has also been the pebble in my shoe, the sandpaper which has knocked off some of my rough edges. There's no doubt about it:  Church can be difficult. By definition, church is… Continue reading What to Do When You Think You’ve Found the Perfect Church

Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

"This is what gratitude does. It makes us spot and sing and shout our messy blessings for anyone to see." ~Jamie Sumner

I must have written the words long ago and on a really bad day, but I found them recently, scrawled on a page torn from a notebook and paper clipped into a pile of scribbled notes:  "Homeschooling is one more way for you to imagine you have failed your children." Chances are pretty good that… Continue reading Pay Attention to What You are Doing Right

Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

When Elisabeth Elliot's second husband Addison Leitch was dying of cancer, he suffered intense physical pain. Even more devastating to both of them, though, was the crisis of faith that accompanied his final suffering. Elisabeth wrote that the weight of sorrow from witnessing his daily despair was one of the deepest trials of her life.… Continue reading Strength and Comfort from an Ancient Prayer

Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond

There's no age restriction on spiritual growth.

My son rolled his eyes in disdain as he vented his outrage. “Doesn’t she know she’s a grown up? There’s nothing cool about an old person trying to act like a kid!” Leave it to youth to give us the straight and unvarnished story. We’ve all witnessed the desperate measures of the middle-aged, stuck in… Continue reading Spiritual Formation at Mid-Life and Beyond

The Story You Have is the Story Worth Telling

Don't forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes." (Deuteronomy 4:9)

I'd never taught with laryngitis before, and it was enlightening, because in losing my voice, I realized what an important tool it has been to me in the communication of content and the conveyance of mood and emotion. A class on parenting is nothing without a few accounts of real life encounters, and even though… Continue reading The Story You Have is the Story Worth Telling

Moments of Stillness Focused on the Truth

As we meditate on God's Word, we grow, and those moments of stillness focused on the truth impact all the other moments in our busy and full lives.

Words have the ability to change our lives. It's no accident, then, that Jesus is referred to as "the Word," and I have to believe that if God had wanted to communicate with us through video, he'd have found a way to do it. Instead, he has chosen to speak to us in written words.… Continue reading Moments of Stillness Focused on the Truth

What You Need to Know About Loss

"Trust in the good ending for the whole story. Even if the chapters don't finish the way we want them to." Sharon Garlough Brown

I landed in my seat at Bible study feeling like a refugee. Two tiny sons were happily entertained in the nursery, my study questions were only half answered, and I could just barely recall the point of the lesson, but community drew me to that space like a magnet. In that season, I craved the… Continue reading What You Need to Know About Loss

The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life

Accept your limitations. Accept Jesus's easy yoke. Learn the "unforced rhythms of grace."

It's true that our greatest strength can also become our greatest weakness. In this mothering life, it's a great mercy that I can fold laundry, listen to a podcast, and monitor dinner on the stove, all while pondering the introduction for my next book review. The real question is, "Can I stop the multi-tasking when… Continue reading The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life