Space to Breathe

I hear it. My soul, breathing. Nestled in a rocker that’s held its place on the wide, teal-painted porch chipped with life and history, it sighs as I stare at a carpet of rich greenery, forest tips of trees leading to the cut of Smoky Mountains. Blue silhouettes brush the sky drifting lightly pastel pink […]

Why I Live in a Yurt, Off the Grid, in Idaho; Or: The Empty Space

Everything that ever needed to happen to me happened by accident. I don’t know if this is just my personality. Or if it is a deep truth that penetrates the whole world. But in my experience, intentional living isn’t particularly intentional.  It’s been almost five years since my husband and I closed on a little […]

Lessons Learned Through Revision

  Last winter I mustered up the courage to query an agent in New York about a novel I’ve been working on. I sent him the first fifty pages of it. It’s a big fat fantasy love story that just so happens to hold the keys to my heart. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever […]

Simply Love

It’s easy to get caught up in the next, latest, and best thing when it comes to your kids. It’s something I didn’t even realize I’d done for two decades (my daughter just started college), until a foster child came to my home for respite care. She’s a three-year old toddler who has already, in […]

Simply Beautiful

I’ve longed to be one of those women who can throw on a plain white t-shirt and jeans and look effortlessly stunning. They gather their hair in an “I can’t be bothered” pony tail; their unadorned skin glows, flawless. They travel light through this world, floating serenely with one chic carry-on while the rest of […]

Sharing: A Practice of the Heart

How do you decide to voluntarily limit the space you occupy in the world? When I moved to Germany four years ago with my family, I thought we’d live the romantic European life. An apartment instead of a house and garden, string bags for the daily grocery shopping, errands by streetcar, vacations by train, and […]

Dreaming Big, Living Small

I am a dreamer, and I dream big. I’ve always wanted to live a dramatic story, to Do Something Big For God! Make an impact! Change the World! Build the Kingdom!!! – and other slogans that require multiple exclamation marks at the end. So many are writing these days about the finding joy in the […]

On the days I’m tempted to throw out everything I own

If you’re anything like me you pendulum swing between extremes. One day, I’m browsing Pottery Barn and CB2 catalogs and am determined to save my pennies for all the sparkly things in the West Elm store or for the best pair of leather boots on sale at Nordstrom (because, people, when you snag a sale, then […]

How I Went from Stinginess to Simplicity

  The other day, my husband caught me darning my underwear. The pair had a hole near my hip. They’re a few years old, so I had thought about tossing them, but pulled out my needle and thread instead. This frugality runs in my blood. My mom grew up poor, her mother was a child […]

The Persistence

The sound can be heard along the backroads of Aizawl, a hillside village in Mizoram, India—the clacking rhythm that hints of life inside hollowed-out buildings with broken windows and lockless doors. Cooled only by the shade of jackfruit trees, Burmese refugees work to provide for their families, surviving on pennies per day. Liana sits inside […]

Simplicity and Meaning

    It seems like I was born into forced simplicity or at least semi-poverty. I never had a lot of things. When I was taken to my first foster home my whole four-year-old world could fit in a half-full paper bag rolled down at the top.    After my second move the foster mother […]