You Are NOT at the Mercy of Your Feelings!

“Things happen which would not happen without prayer. Let us not forget that.” ~Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday Scripture Autumn has landed in the Northern Hemisphere, and with this seasonal change comes early darkness, chilly mornings, and the subtle warning that winter is on its way. Of course there's the compensatory aroma of apple pie and the eye-popping beauty of bright foliage, and the truth is, I have a choice to make… Continue reading You Are NOT at the Mercy of Your Feelings!

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

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

Standing Beside You, Teaching What Is Good

"Mentoring is a discipleship relationship that focuses on equipping younger believers for the work of ministry so that they grow in maturity and unity in the faith with the ultmate goal of glorifying God."

My granddaughter's ponytail falls in blonde ringlets, and her wardrobe manifests all the many moods of pink and frilly. Having been a girl of a very different stripe, and then having raised four rowdy sons, I am in quiet awe of her unmitigated girliness. Together, we have made jam, blown bubbles, and painted messy pictures.… Continue reading Standing Beside You, Teaching What Is Good

It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

The discipline and delight of steady and methodical Bible reading is life changing.

My ten-thousand-steps-a-day routine is a lot easier to accomplish in June than in January, the month when we all set our intentions for the year. The green world beckons, the garden needs tending, and our mowing business is in full steam ahead mode. (On a recent six-lawn Wednesday, I passed the ten thousand step mark… Continue reading It’s Time to Conquer that Midyear Bible Reading Slump

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

The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life

Accept your limitations. Accept Jesus's easy yoke. Learn the "unforced rhythms of grace."

It's true that our greatest strength can also become our greatest weakness. In this mothering life, it's a great mercy that I can fold laundry, listen to a podcast, and monitor dinner on the stove, all while pondering the introduction for my next book review. The real question is, "Can I stop the multi-tasking when… Continue reading The Freedom of Choosing an Unhurried Life

Enneagram Three: You Are More than What You Can Do

We are all ever so much more than what we do.

Oblivious to the hum of classroom activity, I turned page after page as silent reading time flew by. In the fifth grade, I was riveted to the story arc of Helen Keller’s life. Only just barely old enough to fathom the complexity of getting an education without sight or hearing, my laser focus had found… Continue reading Enneagram Three: You Are More than What You Can Do

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

Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth

I cannot make spiritual growth happen on my own, so I'm trusting the recipe.

Bread dough the color of molasses yielded to the pressure of my working fist. Fold, press, turn, repeat, and soon I lost count of how many times I had kneaded the fragrant lump. With the recipe calling for three hundred repetitions, I began to wonder— Three hundred? Really? But switching to the heel of my… Continue reading Creating the Conditions for Spiritual Growth