A Life of Reckless Abandon for God

"God will not fail to do His part, which is ultimately the only part that matters." Elisabeth Elliot

Becoming Elisabeth Elliot When I began reading Elisabeth Elliot's books, I kept a dictionary nearby — her vocabulary far surpassed mine. During the mid-90’s while I was raising babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, Elisabeth had a daily radio program, so I arranged my mornings around Gateway to Joy. On the one occasion that I attended an event where… Continue reading A Life of Reckless Abandon for God

The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

"If the Lord thinks you need punishing, you can trust him to see to it. He knows where to find you. If he's showing you a little grace in the meantime, he probably won't mind if you enjoy it." Marilynne Robinson

I'm watching a miracle unfold in my family. Four sons, imperfectly parented, are growing into healthy, responsible, and strong young men. Two of them have even gone on to become imperfect parents themselves, and somehow, by grace, we just keep on forgiving one another for offenses, both big and small, with the understanding that family… Continue reading The Challenge of Faith and Forgiveness in a Christian Family

Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

Prayer begins with simply showing up, committing yourself to the discipline of focused attention toward God and away from yourself.

"Let's try again," I said, starting the music and extending my hands with a hopeful smile. Who knew that it would be so hard for a class of first graders to agree together on clapping the beat of a simple song? For some, the process was as natural as breathing, but not for everyone. By… Continue reading Learning to Find the Rhythm of Prayer

Marriage in Midlife: A Crisis or an Opportunity?

"One of the gifts of midlife is learning to recognize our own limitations and then extending grace to ourselves and others." ~Dorothy Littell Greco

An Author Q and A with Dorothy Greco It couldn’t have been original with me, but one life goal, scribbled into a journal as a teen, comes to mind often in this season of midlife. In adolescent, loopy handwriting, I inscribed the words in hope. GOAL:  Organize your life in such a way that when… Continue reading Marriage in Midlife: A Crisis or an Opportunity?

Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation

I love it when our kids call home. Often, it becomes a three-way (or even four-way) conversation, but sometimes our sons call and ask specifically to speak with their dad. When that happens, I know there's likely a decision in the pipeline, or they're working through a wrinkle in a relationship and want to vent… Continue reading Listening In to One Side of a Father/Son Conversation

How to Engage Faithfully in Our Fractured World

Two words have a way of melting hearts and building a bridge between people--no matter how marked or seemingly insoluble their differences: "You Matter" When we manage to see a beating heart behind words that inflame our anger or challenge our patience, we begin to engage faithfully as Jesus did when he wore out his… Continue reading How to Engage Faithfully in Our Fractured World

Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

The local church reminds me that we are lovely because God loves us--and not the other way around.

There's a piece of very good advice circulating these days, and I followed it several decades ago without even realizing it. Hearing it set to the music of wise words, I can see how much energy it has saved me over the years. It goes like this: Make the Decision Once. Of course there is… Continue reading Have You Made the Decision to Love the Local Church?

My Turn to Be the White Person in the Black Room

"The disciplines of prayer, spiritual direction, and soul care are needed in all communities." Barbara L. Peacock

I have a long list of spiritual giants to whom I've looked for inspiration in my following life. Names like C.S. Lewis, Teresa of Avila, Madeleine L'Engle, and Eugene Peterson come to mind, and it's likely that you also have a list, different from mine, but comprising familiar names from church history or Christian culture.… Continue reading My Turn to Be the White Person in the Black Room

Inspiration from the Servant Life of Amy Carmichael

"As you give all, you find all." Amy Carmichael

One morning, three-year-old Amy eagerly pushed her chair close to a mirror and climbed up. The night before, she had prayed for her brown eyes to be changed to a beautiful blue, and because her mother had assured her that Jesus always answers prayer, she was certain that she would be gazing into beautiful blue… Continue reading Inspiration from the Servant Life of Amy Carmichael

Uncomfortable Reading to Explore Your Own Heart of Darkness

"Like a running blaze in the plain, like a flash of lightening in the clouds. We live in the flicker.” Joseph Conrad

This summer, two of my sons spent the better part of a long weekend at my house working on their trucks. One came equipped with tools, the other with his wife and two delightful children. In telling the story of those three days, my grandchildren would report on story time, art projects, and the mingling… Continue reading Uncomfortable Reading to Explore Your Own Heart of Darkness