What if Your Loneliness is an Invitation from God?

"The answer to our loneliness is love--not our finding someone to love us, but our surrendering to the God who has always loved us with an everlasting love." Elisabeth Elliot

Soon I will discover what it is like to be alone in the house after my husband leaves for work. There will be no sleepy teenager glued to his bed and in need of resurrection. For the first time in twenty-one years, there will be no homeschooling routine to wrestle with--a change I welcome, but… Continue reading What if Your Loneliness is an Invitation from God?

Frederick Buechner’s Beautiful and Terrible World

"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." ~Frederick Buechner

First impressions are usually lasting, and that was certainly the case with my introduction to Frederick Buechner, which came through a Luci Shaw poem. She quoted these nourishing words in a season of seeking intimacy with God:  "Beat a trail to God long enough, and he will come to you on the trail you have… Continue reading Frederick Buechner’s Beautiful and Terrible World

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

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

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

Praying Parents and the Trauma of Addiction

"Seeking God is always better than not seeking God no matter what the circumstances."

Andrew loved my lemon pound cake muffins. He constructed fat sandwiches from the chopped vegetables and the sliced meat and cheese I had packed in a cooler for the twenty-mile journey by lobster boat to his grandparents' island cottage. "These are killer!" he declared, and as I thanked him, my hand rested on his shoulder… Continue reading Praying Parents and the Trauma of Addiction

Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

Let's war against doubt and discouragement with a borrowed confidence that defies our unbelief and keeps us running by faith as we trust in the carrying mercy of Christ.

Portrait #1 My friend Lori does not fit the profile for a church treasurer. With gifts that lend themselves more to giving hugs  than to writing checks, and with a ready smile that makes her a favorite with all the kids in the school cafeteria where she works every day, she has persevered in faithfulness… Continue reading Portraits of Endurance to Jumpstart Your New Year

How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?

"Writing is hard work. Writing well is even harder." ~Andrew Le Peau

As a true fan of certainty, I am filled with longing whenever I read Old Testament stories in which God shows up in unmistakable clarity. He speaks from a bush on fire, gives audible instructions for travel, and issues a rebuke from between the squared off teeth of a donkey. Even when Samuel, young and… Continue reading How Do You Know if You Are Called to Be a Writer?

A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

As we find our voice in Christ, we learn to know and sing the music of our soul.

I came of age in an era when all the truly devout and discerning were in search of "the dot." Certain that there was one particular place, vocation, spouse, role, and educational path for me in the mind of God ("the dot"), I agonized, prayed, agonized some more, listened for a clear voice of direction,… Continue reading A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

Exploring Depression and Anxiety as Companions in Sorrow

Jesus himself comes to us as a companion in sorrow, keeping company with us in everything that's hard. He sits with us in the chair of unknowing as we wait for shades of light to break through.

Whether you suffer from mental health issues yourself, or you are living alongside someone else who is struggling, you know the challenges that come with depression and anxiety. Counseling, medication, support groups, and pastoral care have saved lives and moved the afflicted into healthy space. Management of our grief and the entire menu of suffering… Continue reading Exploring Depression and Anxiety as Companions in Sorrow