Ministry

5 Things Your Pastor Wishes You Knew

I wear a lot of hats: mom to 4, author and speaker, academic, and pastor’s wife to a church planter. Most days my life looks small: walk kids to school, get in some writing, go to the grocery store, build relationships with neighbors, work towards growing our church plant. It can be a lonely, isolating […]

The Practice of Blessing

When we were moving last time, I did my best to fit in final coffee dates and chats with all the people who had been meaningful to me. One hot afternoon I found myself in the home of a Catholic friend with whom I’d had many deep conversations about theology and practice. We talked for […]

Celibate Living in a Sex-Obsessed Society

Driving home from another ministry excursion, I pass billboard after billboard saying there are sex shops nearby. With each sighting, my stomach turns with sickness, my face falls into a frown. I am tempted to ignore the anguish, to shield my thoughts, to avoid that which feels judgmental and ugly within me. Instead, I take […]

You Were Made On Purpose

The first time I read the description of the ENFP in the Meyers Briggs personality test I took, I cried. Gregarious, full of energy, passionate, an ability to inspire others, I knew who they were talking about because I was who they were talking about. I cried because if I was one of 16 types […]

The Enneagram is a Jerk

I remember my first experience with the Enneagram. A few friends had been talking about it consistently and they encouraged me to take the test myself. I completed the quiz, looked up my number, and began to read. I found myself scoffing and huffing more with every page I read, until I finally threw the […]

Hope Sings. Arrebato.

It’s Wednesday, and on a hill in San Tomás, Guatemala, hope can be heard. It’s faint at first, like the delicate rustling of trees responding to the touch of a spring breeze. If you close your eyes and lean in, the melody grows clearer. Rustling becomes wind chimes that hint to a tune your heart […]

Rescued and Redeemed

I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to […]

Breakfast Casseroles…Again?

Twelve times a year I make breakfast casseroles. They’re my monthly contribution to the local homeless shelter. But this week, I wondered (read: grumbled) how it could possibly be time make casseroles again. It seemed like I was just buying eggs, cheese, sausage, hash browns, and baking tins last week. The twelve commitments were becoming […]

Turning Compassion Inward

Amy sat with me on my screened porch at the lake, listening the way only a woman who has spent thirty years as a cloistered nun in a monastery, then three more years training to be a therapist, can listen. “You have compassion fatigue,” she said. “What?” I asked. “There’s an actual name for this? […]