Here, Between the Storms

Mirror Lake shimmers in its craggy casement like a portal to another world. It begs a closer look, so we break from the trail and summit an obliging boulder. Our breathing slows to the rhythm of waves lapping up the muddy shoreline. A granite peak looms overhead. There’s a moonlike tranquility here that I’ve never […]

Seven Suggestions for Living a Creative Life

Do you consider yourself to be creative? You should. Poet Luci Shaw explains why: “We who believe we bear God’s image must realize that the image includes the capacity to imagine and create, because God is himself an imaginative Creator.” All day every day, every one of us relies on our creative capacities to resolve […]

This Is How I Talk to God

This Is How I Talk to God Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 NKJV Cru defines prayer as a way. . .  to communicate with God. That can mean thanking Him, praising Him, confessing something […]

W(hole)

With summer in the rearview mirror, Christmas in the U.S. officially begins. I pretend to be disgusted with this premature nod to my favorite holiday. I may even roll my eyes and heave out a very audible sigh as I push past the seasonal aisle at Target (where green and red replaced sequins study pillows […]

The Biggest Hindrance to Creativity Isn’t Time

Originally posted April 1, 2016. Before I had kids, I got a master’s degree in creative writing at San Diego State. I had quit my job as a technical writer not long before, and my husband earned enough that I didn’t need to work. So throughout my degree program, I had all day to write. You would […]

Kill Your Sunflowers

In March, I started my tomato seeds in black plastic trays in our farm’s greenhouse. To overcompensate for the old seed I was using, I put two seeds in each tiny cell of soil. When both of them grew, the little square was crowded; I had to pull and discard one of the seedlings to […]

Lifting the Veil

Our collective imagination is haunted by a certain image of the artist: a solitary bard, brooding alone, awaiting a burst of inspiration from a mysterious and magical muse. We see the person with the creative spirit as one who stands above and apart from the common lot, a secular priest who mediates between regular folks […]

We Need Whitespace to Create

The responsibilities keep piling on. The calendar gets filled up with more events. We’re moving from one thing to another with barely a moment to breathe. I run the family around from home to church, on errands, on playdates, to Target and back. Everything is always rushed. My temper is short, and my patience is […]

All Season Breeze: A Creation Poem

Who knew that You were the breeze hiding behind the trees playing hide n’ seek only to capture me? Who knew that You taught the eagle how to fly so I could learn how to soar? And who knew that You gave the sparrow its song so I could listen for dialogue between Heaven and […]

Can We Survive on Inspiration?

I was more surprised than anyone when I signed up to run a half marathon two years ago. I’d never been much of a runner and had not participated in an organized race before; starting with 13.1 miles was, I admit, a little bold. I had some friends running with me and was looking for […]

Waiting for Twilight

The summer before I got married Dave went away to teach at a program for brilliant young writers and I stayed in Pittsburgh, trying to finish my master’s thesis, which I hadn’t started. One night, there was a terrible thunderstorm, and my friend Rachael came over to keep me company. We drank mint juleps and […]

Writing for Ducks

Today, we watched Frozen twice. Once because they were tired and once because I was tired. Usually we do puzzles and read and bake and play in the little pink kitchen that’s always askew in the corner. But today we snuggled, we danced, we sang. We also ate Kit-Kats and had chocolate smeared on our […]