Family

Common Prayer and Common Life

Give them wisdom and devotion in the ordering of their common life, that each may be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy. We are a liturgical family. I am drawn to the liturgical church for many of the same reasons I […]

BronyCon and Belonging

I’ve never been one for personality tests. When I was first introduced to the Myers-Briggs in college, I found the test ridiculously limiting. Either/or choices have never been my friend: Would you prefer nitrogen or oxygen in your air? Pick one. My feelings haven’t changed much since then, even with the surge in popularity of […]

5 Don’ts for Authentic Talk with Kids

I’m not always authentic with my kids when it comes to saying what I really think or feel about them. Or what I want from them in the moment. But I do try to be true to myself as the kind of parent I believe they need. I realized this lack of “authenticity” when I […]

The Ten-Year Challenge

Not too long ago, my (admittedly limited) social media feed blew up with something called “The Ten-Year Challenge.” I scrolled through predictable pictures of glossy people apparently untouched by time, alongside regular folks like me who have (shockingly!) aged ten years in the space of a decade. I pulled up a random picture of myself […]

Authentic Living is Hard

You know I am from the Midwest because when you ask me how I am, I answer you. This is, as my children’s minister pointed out to me, a trait I have passed on to my girls. Lucky for the Norman girls, she finds us charming. Don’t ask us how we are if you don’t […]

The Math of Friendship

Math has always been my hardest subject. I still count on my fingers and only know my times table by rote. If my life depended on solving a quadratic equation, I would be absent in the body and present with the Lord. But no math vexes me quite like the math of friendship with my […]

A Prayer for My Children’s Teachers at the End of the School Year

Dear God, Hi. It’s me again. First off, thank you for making the hot water heater start working this morning when I kicked it really hard. I promise I will call and schedule a repairperson to come and look at it tomorrow. For real this time. It’s just that I’ve been a little busy, Lord, […]

When Narrow Bends Wide

“Devil’s Backbone Trail?” I smirked to myself. How strange the ink read on the church bulletin, announcing the hike. “How ironically appropriate.” A gentle wind scurries past us at the trail head, whispering rumors of spring. She stirs drowsy-eyed in a valley that is barely awake. We tread lightly, least we summon the slumbering rattlesnakes […]

In Like a Lion

On the night before my grandmother died, a tornado struck Mills County. You can always tell when it’s on the way; just slip your hand behind the sash and press your nose against the screen.   Can you hear the echo of sparrows? Do you smell the sweet- ness of rain? Then draw in your […]

The Absent Ones | A Conversation with Christie Purifoy about Placemaker

The morning light filters in through wavy glass windows in a little nook off a farmhouse dining room. I sit across from Christie Purifoy, watching a squirrel foraging outside in the winter-bitten grass, and it strikes me that the drab brown of mid-March is a perfect backdrop for our conversation about placemaking–a visual reminder that […]

Why Didn’t You Call Me?

I never need to call #SQUAD in a crisis. They’re already here.   Every single time life takes me to the gates of hell, I remember that I haven’t yet determined effectively how to clone myself. Each time, I thank God for Grace, since I never need to know how to do it all.  This is […]

When Hospitality is Radical

  She pauses, the doorbell’s eerie reverberations beat a note of panic through her veins. She wipes her hands on the linen apron wrapped around her and hurries to tell them to hide themselves in the basement or attic.   She breathes deeply, realizes this is the moment she and her husband have talked about, […]