Joy

There is no integrity without GRIT

I considered writing about my wish to offer some magic bullet encouragement. About wishing that I could assure you that everything is going to be alright, and that if your prayers are fervent enough, you’ve lived sufficiently righteously, etc., essentially held your breath long enough, bearing your burdens in silence, then everything would be okay. […]

Integrity Is The Opposite of Cutting Ourselves

Can I tell you an embarrassing story? Picture me and a guy I liked sitting together on some stairs on our college campus. We’re having a serious DTR. Since the first time I met this guy, I thought he was super-cute, and over the last year and a half, we’ve spent more and more time […]

Your Fear Will Make You Strong…a Lesson in Faith and Trust (or first feeling broken and then redeemed)

For God is not the author of confusion but of peace … 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) My Beloved lets me sleep late some mornings. It is one of the many gifts he gives me…rest. I tried committing to resting my temple this weekend, I promised the people who love me that I would, and have mostly […]

Bellows

  For National Poetry Month we’re reposting this amazing poem by Anita Scott. #poetrylife   Be the bellows of my soul. Be the bellows in my soul. Be the push and the blow that reconciles gaining with letting go, releasing while receiving.   Be the reason that hope lives in tears. Be the One who […]

The Mudroom Turns 4!

We have been going strong for 3 years and we want to make our 4th year something special too. We’ve added a few features such as Dear Portia, our advice column with Heather Caliri and Flashback Friday starting next week, where we’re posting a piece from the archives. There’s too much good writing on here […]

Bringing Down the Wonder

I’m not known for my patience, and sadly it seems this trait has been passed on to my daughter. But we wait differently. I wait for good things to happen, but don’t expect much. Phoenix waits for good things to happen with unfiltered excitement, joy, and expectation. She literally jumps up and down ecstatically. She […]

I Won’t Say I Read Trashy Books Anymore

My friend Melissa has a way of being kind that also makes me think. We were out for coffee, talking about books. Specifically: about my anxiety about wanting to read more. By most measures, I read a lot, but with the advent of smart phones and parenthood, I read less then I used to. Recently, […]

Portrait of A Both Girl

I am not black. I am not white. I am somewhere between the ink and the page, the word that is blurred      out. I am not what you assume She speaks Spanish… can’t quite place her…. definitely not from around here I am from around here. I grew up down that stone road […]

Whatever Darkness You Are in Right Now

“A speck of light can reignite the sun And swallow darkness whole.” Ryan O’Neal Our theme this month is an important one. It brings the year to a close with essays about what rescue looks like, how deliverance can transform life, where redemption can be found. It’s especially close to my heart. I’ve been rescued […]

When Compassion is Exhausting

The first year of giving a crap, that’s the exciting one. For me, it was back in 2009 and Twitter was a twinkly new toy and microgiving was a new buzzword and everyone had a birthday campaign. “This year for my birthday, all I want is clean water for a village, all I want is […]

Joy in the Pain

I sat on my couch listening to the words of an “oldie but goodie” song that I love. “Joy and pain, like sunshine and rain…” I had been dealing with a lot of anxiety, fear and just the craziest up and down emotions. I wasn’t feeling my best and I really didn’t know why. Well, […]

The Mercy of Speckled Stars

Memories are like stars speckled across the night sky. Rarely linear in form, they’re merely loosely connected dots in the synapses of the brain. They appear and disappear. They reappear in different places, in different forms. Their stories change every time. They differ from person to place, perspective to circumstance. They’re pieces of the past […]

How alive do you want to be?

  “Searching for an objectively ‘better’ home is a poor reason to live abroad.” Ta-Nehisi Coates on Twitter   They say that when you live abroad that it goes in cycles: the first year is the honeymoon year. You swoon at the language, the accent, the magic of it all. It’s like Liz Gilbert in […]

The Repentance Which Must Be Repented Of

Recently I sat some friends down, individually, and confessed. I felt embarrassed and ashamed and terrifyingly exposed. These women know my life and my brokenness. They didn’t know how present the sin has become, how intrusive, oppressive, and persistent the temptation. I know what happens when you “give the devil a foothold,” I know about the sin “crouching at […]

For the One Who Questions If Your Offering Matters

The hardest part of the trip for me wasn’t the twenty-four hours of travel it took to arrive. It wasn’t the food or culture shock or the bone-deep exhaustion of jet lag. I traveled halfway around the globe to discover the hardest thing was the same struggle I have at home: Believing my small offering […]

How Our Weeds Become Offerings of Love

His chocolate-brown eyes glitter with such an innocent joy that I can’t help but scoop him up in my arms. At four, my son still has a touch of baby in him that allows him to come running to me when hurt and lets me lie next to him until he falls asleep. But he’s […]