Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

The embedded the spiritual practice of noticing God at work in the beauty around us sharpens our prayer life and leads to worship in the present moment.

My grandson's favorite grape tomatoes ripen to a vivid orange in the sunshine on one of the outside rows of my garden. He literally quivers with delight when we pick them together, filling container after container with their bright beauty--and a small one to stow in his cup holder for the ride home. Children do… Continue reading Wonder 101: What Your Kids Can Teach You About Delighting in God

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?

The Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

Language is a gift from God through which we sing and pray and, using the very same syntax and parts of speech, can also order a burger at the drive through or tell a story to a two-year-old.

The recent biographical movie featuring the life of J.R.R. Tolkien captures him saying, "After all, what's language for? It's not just the naming of things, is it? It's the life blood of a culture, a people." Language and the way we use it reveals our thinking and our character. The structure of a language reveals… Continue reading The Gift of Language and the God Who Speaks

What if Christians Became the Best Advertisement for Jesus?

What if Christians' irresistible faith became the best advertisement for Jesus?

The philosophical underpinnings of Christianity point the way to a community where each one competes to show maximum honor and respect to the others. The Bible describes a rule of life that values individuals as carriers of the image of God and the church gathered as a place to be refueled for maximum impact when… Continue reading What if Christians Became the Best Advertisement for Jesus?

You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World

In a lonely world where isolation is the norm and competition is the default, the deep connection of friendship is a rare gift.

There's Abby, my resource, the friend I call on when I need advice--or a place to vent; There's Sandi, my ministry colleague and voice of reason; the friend I laugh with and work alongside; There's Lori who sets the example for me:  hard-working, huge-hearted, and the friend with whom I have grown into mothering. There… Continue reading You Can Cultivate Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World

The Hard Work of Hanging On and the Brave Work of Letting Go

The Hard Work of Hanging on and the Brave Work of Letting Go

Twenty years ago, my husband and I made one of the most difficult decisions of our married life:  we decided to leave a church and to worship elsewhere. Leaving behind dear people we loved (and likely offending more than one person in the process), we left that fellowship convinced that God was telling us it… Continue reading The Hard Work of Hanging On and the Brave Work of Letting Go

Practical Help for Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline

A review of Journaling for the Soul by Deborah Haddix

Among the assorted ranks of those who practice journaling, you can record me in the column labeled "intimidated." Observation, application, and interpretation of my reading primes the pump, but never are my entries particularly stirring or insightful. My pages are scattered with partial outlines, first and second drafts of biblically-inspired poetry, and lists of questions… Continue reading Practical Help for Journaling as a Spiritual Discipline

Your New Life Beyond the To-Do List

Review of Make a List by Marilyn McEntyre: Your New Life Beyond the To-Do List

As one who lives by a list, I have come to appreciate the satisfaction of a neat column of check marks at the end of a day, the faithful reminder to pray or to do or to go, and the convenience of a resource close at hand: "Didn't we buy slippers for her last Christmas?"… Continue reading Your New Life Beyond the To-Do List

4 Ways to Boost Your Self-Care Quotient

4 Gifts: 4 Ways to Boost Your Self-Care Quotient

"What would you like to do?" he asked. My good and faithful husband had hired a babysitter for our four sons (Combat pay!), and we were driving away from the house, the cavernous mini-van feeling empty and oddly quiet. "Good question," I thought, "What would I like to do?" As a homeschooling mum, church woman, maker of beds and… Continue reading 4 Ways to Boost Your Self-Care Quotient

The Importance of Becoming Curious at Mid-life and Beyond

Becoming Curious: God has equipped our souls for exploration.

Part of the delight of spending time with my tiny grandson is that he takes nothing for granted. Nothing. “Bam, why bubble pop?” “Because you stood on it.” “Why?” Well, good question.  Why, indeed, but our conversations routinely run on in this vein of relentless curiosity.  They move forward not because “Bam” comes up with… Continue reading The Importance of Becoming Curious at Mid-life and Beyond