Intentionality

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Releasing All But the Main Thing

 “In every circumstance, regardless of the outcome, the main thing Jesus has asked me to do is to love God and my neighbor as religiously as I love myself. The minute I have that handled, I will ask for my next assignment. For now, my hands are full.”[1]   The Main Thing is Seeing All […]

Simply Writing

Recently I began the practice of handwriting verses in calligraphy. Fingers grasped around a pen, slow movement forms each letter, each word, each phrase. This intentional placement on a vellum page brings me peace and focus. Ink outlines the meaning of each line, causing me to ponder….why did the author choose this word? What meaning […]

A Few Simple Words

A recent Twitter thread asked for folks to respond with six words that could change the world (with the hashtag #6wordworldchange). People responded with statements such as: “Help me understand what you mean.” “This is hard. I need help.” “I believe you. I’ll help you.” “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” “You have something to […]

In the Dirt

“Why don’t you try listening first?” my kids asked. Ouch. Those words struck and halted me in my tracks. I had retorted a response too soon, and immediately felt that pain in the pit of my stomach and a wave of regret. Have you been there, too? Spoken words too quickly and wish you had […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]

Unmasked

We wait under a warm October sun—in a long line of anxious and eager pretenders. Princesses, pirates, and Baby Yoda wiggle away in excitement as parents corral them back to their designated, socially distanced marks. In front of us stand a pair of brilliantly-costumed frappuccinos (pool noodles attached to headbands for straws = brilliant) and […]

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 […]

The Spiritual Practice of Remembering

Maybe it’s the desperate hope that somehow the tide of the pandemic will finally turn and we’ll see a return to some semblance of the life we knew before. But I’ve been feeling the need to mark the days lately, to remember.  As summer unofficially ended in the U.S. with Labor Day, I noticed something […]

Encoding. Storage. Retrieval. (For the women who came before and after me, who make me who I am.)

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your […]

This Open Table

Not long after my husband and I were married over 15 years ago, one of our first “grown-up” purchases was an antique, oak kitchen table. It can expand to make room for more guests. Through the years, many guests have indeed dined there, resulting in several scratches and knicks that add to its charm. The […]

Disruptive Love

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34) I am talking to my neighbor and friend, Rosa. I’m sitting in her […]

I Won’t Look Away

Our eyes grew wide in disbelief at the yelling, shoving crowd. We had been warned, to be fair, that our trip to the Mogamma, the towering government building in Tahrir Square, would be difficult. But this was something entirely otherworldly. We clutched our passports to our chests and braced ourselves against elbows to the ribs. […]

Epiphany: Learn to Do Less

Sabbath, rest, learning to do less requires trust. It requires faith that declares today is not all we have, this is not the end, and better-rested means better equipped.

Unrequited Horse 

I wanted a horse. I wanted a lot of things and I never reached for them. I wanted to study in Mexico for a semester (too much effort?). I wanted to switch majors and train orcas and dolphins at Sea World (this was before Blackfish). I wanted to win a debate trophy.  When I was […]

Praying in Bed With You

My arms wrapped around your waist, your arms holding me. My head nestled against one of your broad shoulders. Something I didn’t pray for in a husband, but that I’m glad I got. The sheet is half yanked down our reclined bodies because one of us, usually you but sometimes me, gets hot when we […]