The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope

The Solid Joy of a Better Hope

Hope has become one of those words that might show up on a couch pillow or stenciled onto a wall hanging. We’ve domesticated the word, taming it until it’s become a floating, sentimental abstraction:  "Faith, hope, and love... now you may kiss the bride." The truth is that hope is our lifeline, but we do… Continue reading The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope

The September Book Talk Plus a FREE Printable to Guide You Into Scripture Meditation

Who would imagine that biblical lists could be a rich source of spiritual insight? It's really tempting to just skip over them, but lately, I've come upon a better plan. Rather than skipping over the lists as if they were somehow “extra,” what if we viewed them as a string of beads to finger and… Continue reading The September Book Talk Plus a FREE Printable to Guide You Into Scripture Meditation

The July Book Talk Where We Want to Know, “What Are You Looking Forward To?”

What Are You Looking Forward To?

Our family has been looking forward to July ever since Joel's and Emilee's engagement in December. Here on the hill, weddings mean family gatherings, lots of laughter and (of course) food. Then, there's also the bittersweet reality that while we rejoice and welcome a new daughter, we say goodbye to a much-loved son and go… Continue reading The July Book Talk Where We Want to Know, “What Are You Looking Forward To?”

The June Book Talk Where We Welcome Summer with Reading Friends

Morning by morning manna

The gardening challenge here on the hill every summer for the past twenty-seven years could be summarized in four words: Big Garden, Small Well. Watering the garden has always taken a back seat to laundry and showers, but this year, with our nest officially empty on the date of our son's July wedding, I have… Continue reading The June Book Talk Where We Welcome Summer with Reading Friends

The May Book Talk with Thoughts on Marriage, Perseverance, and 3 Books I Recommend

Marriage and Perseverance

Last Wednesday my good husband and I celebrated thirty-one years together. Would it be unromantic to say that a good marriage requires perseverance? Of course, it's pleasant work, and the rewards are great, but here are three small ways that I've noticed us persevering in our years together: Persevere in Believing We've come through some… Continue reading The May Book Talk with Thoughts on Marriage, Perseverance, and 3 Books I Recommend

The December Book Talk Where Reading Friends Pause to Ponder

Persevere

Farewell, 2020!Welcome, 2021! If I've learned anything from the year we've just experienced it's the need for (and the importance of) compassionate listening to those who are different from me in any number of ways. As a majority culture, rural-dwelling woman on "this side" of fifty, it's tempting for me to throw everything I don't… Continue reading The December Book Talk Where Reading Friends Pause to Ponder

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

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