Waiting and Giving

My eldest daughter caught on to the concept of “Christmas as gift-giving” long before she caught on to the concept of “Christmas as a single day.” As a preschooler, she’d spend the weeks leading up to Christmas wrapping anything and everything she could find around the house in towels, pillowcases, tissues, etc., before giving them, […]

Especially the Bed

Last summer, my friend Heather and I were on a bike ride and met up with her friend, Todd. It was a beautiful day and we decided to sit and have a beer together on the outdoor patio of a restaurant. I had recently separated from my husband and during our conversation, Todd asked what […]

More

I’m in the city that never sleeps, and neither can I. Fifty-eight floors above are surely enough to free me from the fray below. But even way up here I can’t escape the truth that me and this metropolis are soulmates. Because in spite of every virtuous reason it shouldn’t, like this place my heart […]

Emmanuel and Showing Up

The first few days of Advent, I felt irrationally angry. I tried to call it irritable or easily annoyed, but when I sat down to dig through it all what I found was anger. Advent is an invitation to the waiting, and frankly, I would like to decline. No thanks. Can’t come. Wish I could […]

Muddy-Handed Hope

He’s seven now. But I often remember him as the two-year-old who looked into my catatonic eyes. I have a hard time forgetting what this little one must have felt when I went crazy. Because Grace is real and memory imperfect, his little mind has no recollection of when I had to enter the mental […]

Freedom

It was in that Bible study that I realized I was not free. We were eight couples, all of us fresh into our time as expats in Singapore, struggling to find our footing in what we jokingly called “Fantasy Island.” That group was a lifeline in the midst of our turbulent transition to a new […]

The Key to Our Joy

My best friend growing up was Canadian-American, with a feisty, strong Scottish mother who peppered my childhood with various helpful witticisms, bromides, and proverbs. One such—“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.” And another—“Just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there’s no fire in the furnace.” I’ll leave the meaning of that one […]

When You’re Afraid of the Church

We were church shopping again. I tried to steady my breathing as we stepped into the building. I gripped my husband’s hand as we chose our seats. He asked me if we were going to fill out the connection card to which I shook my head. I showed up. That was brave enough for today.  […]

No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

We who are strong in faith should help the weak with their weaknesses, and not please only ourselves. Let each of us please our neighbors for their good, to help them be stronger in faith. Even Christ did not live to please himself. It was as the Scriptures said: “When people insult you, it hurts […]

Solidifying Joy

I lay awake last night, somehow exhausted and frustrated after a day of fellowship, rest, and play. I’ve been learning to intentionally take sabbath once a week, and it’s rough, inconsistent, and amazing all at the same time.  But yesterday, while the day was filled with activities that normally refresh my spirit, the gift of […]

Confirm Humanity

The sweetness of sugarcane stalks above, numbs me to their anguish below. Unlike my Father, I am slow to hear them, and quick to snap a selfie.   Beneath the canopy of ancient oaks. Blanketed in crimson-pink azalea beds. Shadowed by the Big House with her cascading cream columns . . . Are the voices […]

On Sabbath Joys and Small Leaks

 Beware of little expenses. Small leaks will sink great ships. Like too many people I know, the concept of “Sabbath” is difficult for me. Perhaps I’ve sold out to the belief that my inherent worth is directly related to what I can achieve…or perhaps I’m just a mom with five kids, and some special needs […]