If I asked you to describe 2020 in one word, what word would you choose? Pandemic? Chaos? Disappointment? Virtual? Social-distance? All of the above are apt descriptors for this merciless year but at least for me, they don’t quite capture it as succinctly as this one: powerlessness. I’ve felt incredibly powerless in the past ten […]
Lyrics & Light image designed by Amanda Tingle Taylor.
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 […]
Our histories play an important role in our marriages, particularly when storms are raging. The twenty-one years that my husband and I had together served as ballast to keep us from capsizing during a string of tragic losses. We remembered how God helped us to forgive each other during our broken engagement. We remembered how […]
We’re entering week seven of shelter-in-place here in Massachusetts. COVID-19 has hit us hard. The direct effects are visible in the obit section of the city paper (all 21 pages!) but also in the everyday lives of men, women, and children whose worlds have been turned upside down. My husband and I do pastoral care […]
There is a lazy Susan in my head. It spins around and around, presenting me with infinite ideas, concerns, and undone projects. The teachings for the weekend conference. The adult son wrestling with his faith. The maple tree that leans ever closer to the house but also has the most beautiful foliage on our property. […]
The most damaging and hurtful criticism frequently spoken over me as a child was this simple phrase: “You’re too sensitive!” I was three or four the first time I remember hearing it. The hours I spent playing in our small sandbox were punctuated by frequent requests for my mom to take off my navy blue sneakers, […]
Sex matters. Not simply how we have sex, but how and what we think about sex. Figuring all of this out is seldom simple because the extremes views—represented by contemporary hook-up culture and purity movement—dominate the conversation even as they mislead us. The former advocates that we divorce the emotional/relational component from sex and use […]
In my mid-twenties, a fabulously handsome and wealthy man pursued me. He picked me up in his Jaguar, took me to expensive restaurants, and always called the next day to express how much he enjoyed our time together. While I appreciated the attention and affirmation, I felt somewhat ambivalent because I knew I was working overtime […]
I spend most of my waking hours creating. In this very moment, my office is cluttered with dozen of books, sticky notes, 4X6 cards taped to my walls, medical forms waiting to be filled out, snacks, empty coffee mugs, and camera gear needing to be put away. I’m surrounded by chaos. Genesis 1 seems to validate my experience that there is no creation apart from chaos.
What does it mean for God to do a new thing? Seven hundred years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah wrote, For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah […]
What does it look like to walk in integrity as a Caucasian follower of Christ? (I’m focusing on white folks because that’s my heritage and because I believe we need to up our game in the integrity department.) A contemporary definition of integrity reads “to consistently adhere to moral and ethical principles.” To have integrity […]
My top five regrets: Not dropping everything and going to the west coast when my sister’s husband was going through cancer treatment. Not being emotionally honest with friends for the first half of my life. Not traveling to a close friend’s destination wedding because it felt too expensive. Teasing a middle school classmate. Not getting […]
I first read about the angel Gabriel’s exhortation to Fear Not! when I was in my early twenties. My initial thought was, Not fearing is an option? I didn’t know I had a choice. As far back as I have memory, I have memory of being afraid. My fears did not attach to tangible objects […]
If I could choose one word to summarize my emotional state for the past year, it would be discouraged. On any number of metrics, from the environment to immigration to race relations, I see progress not only stalled but going in reverse. This affects me on multiple levels. Instead of finding comfort in Scripture, I […]
God is sometimes perplexing. He encourages us to ask him for what we need and want. But then after we’ve put it out there, He’ll seemingly ignore us, leaving us with unmet needs and doubts about his purported benevolence. Almost twenty years ago, I began experiencing unrelenting fatigue, muscle soreness, and waning strength. Countless tests […]