I Am From: The Roots Of Me

I Am From: The Roots Of Me

I Am From I am fromA hard-rock maple, leaves-in, dining room tableA rusty Ford Granada and Dad’s brassy menorah I am fromA parsonage beside the red barn churchA little white goat barn and the huge console radio where the Sugar Creek Gang came I am fromVegetable field gardensWhose open arms taught me there’s return on…

Hygge, on Earth as in Heaven?

Hygge, on Earth as in Heaven?

Here we are traveling and our home is a distant home in another world… Though we meet with traveler’s fare sometimes yet it should not be grievous to us…. Consider what your condition is, you are pilgrims and strangers, so do not think to satisfy yourselves here. —Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment What’s…

He Will Complete It

He Will Complete It

Are you ever going to finish that meek book, Abigail? Give birth already. It’s been six years since you started. Kate was blunt. But she was not the first one to mention my unfinished book. Not Complete Do you have piles of unfinished projects? I do. A glance at piles of notebooks with unfinished drafts…

2 Things Great Lovers Do

2 Things Great Lovers Do

Love is spelled T-I-M-E but that’s not the only way to sound love out. It’s also spelled I-N-I-T-I-A-T-E. Initiate. 1. Great Lovers Initiate We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 Initiate. There’s not much zing to this 4-syllable, 8-letter ‘i’ word. Love is spelled time has a better ring. Don’t get me wrong. Love is spelled time. But…

But Hypocrites We’re Not

But Hypocrites We’re Not

We get stronger by lifting others up. The words on my friend’s shirt caught my eye, and I mentioned it. Yeh, John looked at it and said, “Really?” My friend is not a hypocrite for wearing that shirt even if her “domestic encouragement” lapses — even if she’s not constantly lifting, as on mother eagle’s…

No Excuses, Real Forgiveness

No Excuses, Real Forgiveness

The trouble is that what we call ‘asking God’s forgiveness’ very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses. —C.S. Lewis, “On Forgiveness” My tongue burned to tell all. All that led up to that rash word I spoke to Carrie that morning. How she was silent when I needed her most. How…

What Is The Purpose Of Grace?

We all need refreshers. We need to hear the old and familiar explained again so it doesn’t become stale and taken for granted. That’s what this quote was for me: a timely reminder of the purpose of grace; the reason for the grace in which we—and that includes me—stand (Romans 5:2). It’s from a chapter…

The Some Value Of Exercise

The Some Value Of Exercise

For physical training is of some value but godliness is of value in every way, holding promise for the present life and the life to come. 1 Timothy 4:8 It didn’t surprise me one bit.   Elizabeth Elliot exercised daily. This bold-meek saint and spiritual mother to so many trained her soul and her body. Theeulogy said…

Hey, Jealousy: You Can’t Have Me

Hey, Jealousy: You Can’t Have Me

Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?Proverbs 27:4 Hey, Jealousy Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend’s success. By this measure, Oscar Wilde’s measure, my nature is not very fine. I get jealous. Sometimes—when a friend shares a joy I…

Learn to Pray by Praying

Learn to Pray by Praying

I love to hear my friends pray. Hearing them pour out their hearts to God encourages me. When Prayer Time Is Silent Conversely, one of the biggest deflators I face as a small group leader is deafening sound of silence. Sometimes it’s like this: I pray. Others are invited to pray. But if the people…

Power Outage, Power Source

Power Outage, Power Source

When’s the power coming back on, Mom? the 13 year-old called from somewhere down the pitch black hall. By 8 o’clock, I hope. For Roboman from the electric company had assured me of that time when I called at 4:45. Well, Roboman was wrong. He was off by almost a day. We did homework by…

Bad Infection & Good Infection

Bad Infection & Good Infection

Something bad happened, Mom. You don’t want to know. So ended our easy Saturday morning. I do want to know, Gabe, I assured, kneeling before him. Then my seven year-old showed me two of the most obscene gestures I’d ever seen. The sun went dark. But ever the prisoner of hope, I thought: Maybe they’re only meaningless motions to…

No Evil Shall Befall You: What Real Rescue Means

No Evil Shall Befall You: What Real Rescue Means

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler    and from the deadly pestilence.He will cover you with his pinions,    and under his wings you will find refuge;    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.You will not fear the terror of the night,    nor the arrow that flies by day,or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. Because you…

Death by Chocolate Spot-or Not

Death by Chocolate Spot-or Not

Nooo! I am so embarrassed! I half shouted, half cried. Why didn’t you guys tell me? Didn’t you see this spot? Death By Chocolate Spot No one has ever died of embarrassment. And I’ve lived through other wardrobe malfunctions. But, my oh my, how they hurt my pride. Parent-teacher conferences were last night. I’d sat across from…

Why This 40-Day Sugar Fast?

Why This 40-Day Sugar Fast?

“Why you putting all that chocolate in there, Mom? That was from Christmas. You like that stuff,” Gabe wondered aloud as he watched me pack it all in the little plastic bin. “I’m not eating sweets for 40 days, Bud. Because I want to be more hungry for God.” He shrugged and then begged for…

Be Freed From Perfectionism

Be Freed From Perfectionism

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.”  G.K. Chesterton Perfectionism Paralysis Perfectionism paralyzes. For perfectionists, the perfect is the enemy of the good. According to productivity gurus, it’s also the enemy of the done.  Because perfectionism is crippling. When the project looked great on Pinterest, but then the drive to make…

Contentment & Things Too Wonderful

Contentment & Things Too Wonderful

I have not learned the secret of contentment. I am learning it. But my old soul still gets ruffled and squirmy when I’m not in on decisions that affect me. And maybe that are just, like David wrote, “too great and wonderful for me.” But this last time around taught me that having a weaned soul, a content soul, must mean trusting that our Father sees what we can’t see, knows what we don’t know and and can manage what we can’t manage. Believing this calms the soul.

Optics Matter. So Smile.

Optics Matter. So Smile.

Optics matter.  As much as it hurts a no-pretense, country girl like me to admit it, they do. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, optics means how a thing looks to an outsider. The word is often applied in the worlds of politics and business. A politician playing golf as his home state is…