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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?