Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment

“To listen to one word and go out and obey it is better than having the most exalted ‘religious experience,’ for it puts us in touch with God Himself—it is a willed response.” Elisabeth Elliot

My young friend’s question was as deeply earnest as it was misguided: “I know I need to read and pray every day, but isn’t it just hypocritical to go through the motions on days when I’m not feelin’ it?” It’s not hard to trace this line of reasoning to its source. In Western thought, a… Continue reading Hear, Do, Know: The Christian’s Clear Assignment

The Humility of the Given Self

“The best way to find out whether or not you really have a servant’s heart is to see what your reaction is when somebody treats you like one.”

I pushed the damp mop across the kitchen floor, knowing full well that I would be finding sticky spots on cupboard doors and drawer handles for days to come. The transformation of a bushel and a half of apples into smooth, pink applesauce is the work of a couple hours on my own. However, with… Continue reading The Humility of the Given Self

Is It Time to Declutter Your Soul?

As we learn to clear our cluttered tables and souls, we make room for life-giving activities and create space for listening to the voice of God.

My friend Joanne was continually clearing off her kitchen table--with little success to show for her valiant efforts. Whenever we talked on the phone, I could hear her moving about, tethered by a 1970's era phone cord, and I knew what she was doing. She was clearing off the kitchen table. Again. Even so, whenever… Continue reading Is It Time to Declutter Your Soul?

Self-Discipline: A Wholehearted Yes to the Call of God

A right understanding of discipline requires a right understanding of the God we follow, for any effort in that direction is truly a "wholehearted yes to the call of God."

Child #1:  "But I don't want to do my spelling lesson." Child #2:  "I really don't feel like cleaning my room." Parent:  "I'm not asking you to want to. I don't expect you to feel like it. I'm asking you to do it anyway." There was a season in which conversations like this were standard… Continue reading Self-Discipline: A Wholehearted Yes to the Call of God

Self-Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

Self-discipline is a matter of grit and grace.

With an empty house, a clean kitchen, laundry on the line (and even a sleeping dog!), it was a perfect afternoon to study or write. Deadlines were looming. However . . . the sun was shining, bath towels flapped and danced on the clothesline outside, and suddenly, while there was plenty that needed doing, the… Continue reading Self-Discipline: A Matter of Grit and Grace

Musings: April 2019

A worn banister sits at the center of a colonial-era farmhouse in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. There, the winter of 1777-78 brought deep suffering, privation, and grueling labor in freezing cold with the goal of building adequate housing for the Colonial Army--two thousand small cabins. Once his men were settled, George Washington took up residence--along with… Continue reading Musings: April 2019

Knowing God in the Midst of Our Pain

"Suffering is never for nothing." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Elisabeth Elliot offers the most durable definition for suffering I've ever heard: Suffering is Having What You Don't Want -- This covers everything from cancer to a flat tire. Or Wanting What You Don't Have -- A spouse, a child, a new job. Life on a fallen planet includes suffering of all types and intensities,… Continue reading Knowing God in the Midst of Our Pain

Why It’s Great to Be a Woman

Be at peace as women, be grateful for being made women, and see it all as an essential part of Christ’s mission and work.

According to popular wisdom, ten thousand hours of deliberate practice are required for excellence in any field. After 20 years of homeschooling, 25 years of mothering, and 30 years of gardening and canning, I'm doing the math and wondering if mastery is even a possibility in any of these life compartments. Maybe a more realistic… Continue reading Why It’s Great to Be a Woman

Musings: March 2019

Hope in Christ is an anchor for the soul.

One thing so often leads to another, and, in retrospect, it takes a conscious effort to trace the trail of God's active participation in our lives. Here's a fresh example: In August of last year, I wrote a piece about praying for our teens because that's something I do. (A lot.) When Desiring God picked… Continue reading Musings: March 2019

Jim and Elisabeth Elliot: A Deep and Delighted Love

Devotedly tells the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot's unique devotion to God and to each other.

He said:  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." She said:  "The deepest lessons come out the deepest waters and the hottest fires." And all the world still takes note, for Jim Elliot was a courageous missionary pioneer and martyr. Elisabeth Elliot was a superior… Continue reading Jim and Elisabeth Elliot: A Deep and Delighted Love