The Song of Redemption

Have you ever stood at the edge of the ocean? Felt the tide lap at your feet? Heard the roar of the water as the waves crash? Maybe you’ve seen the sun slip lower and lower on the horizon, turning from gold to pink to fiery red, fading into purple, and finally the dark blue…

Psalm 104 and the Goodness of God

Nearly eight years ago, my family left our tidy neighborhood home on a city lot and settled onto an eight-acre homestead with two Hereford cows, a 2,000 square foot garden, and a small orchard. We were naive and inexperienced, but nurturing the spark of a dream in our hearts, we were committed to learning. A…

The Ache of Beauty

As a girl, I remember buying a classical music cassette tape with my own money and pushing play in a pink bedroom tucked under the eaves. When I heard Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the first time, the perfection of that sweet melody caused a queer aching to well up inside of me. It was…

Beauty in Hard Circumstances and Unbreakable Joy

Unbreakable Joy: A 10-Week Bible Study: Joy. We all want it, and in Christ, we can all have it. Regardless of our circumstances, our blessings or challenges, we can have unshakable unbreakable joy in Christ. And this joy begins by understanding what true biblical joy is, where it comes from, and how we can best…

The Blessing of Beauty

As I sit at my computer building an online jigsaw puzzle and glance out the window at the front yard a sense of peace and contentment settles in my soul. I say a quick prayer of thanks to God for the beauty, both man-made and natural, in this world. When I’m struggling with stress and…

The Beauty of Darkness

I don’t know about you, but I am on the lookout for beauty these days. It feels like so many things are ugly, marred, broken, and difficult. I long for the perceived “easy” days of childhood, when my parents navigated the waters of adulthood and brought magic and beauty into our days with a simple…

The Unknown

In the past, as I closed out one year and welcomed another, I would plan, set goals, and resolve.  And while I acknowledged a certain element of the unknown ahead of me and desired to “hold my plans loosely”, I generally felt confident that the story of the coming twelve months was mostly mine to…

Seeing the Invisible

Early in our marriage, my husband and I attended a church with a memorable tradition: on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s, there would be no sermon. Instead, anyone and everyone was encouraged to walk up to the open microphone and share a few words with the congregation. The basic question, on which we…

The Weary World Rejoices

Jesus Christ was born into a weary world, unto a weary people. God’s last word to the Jewish people had been four hundred years prior in the book of Malachi. A vast silence had echoed in the following centuries. Israel had been ruled by Greece, Syria, and finally at the time of Jesus’ birth, the…

10 Ways to Find the Calm of Christmas

This phrase has a hold on me this year. “All is calm, all is bright.” My heart yearns for this. You will recognize this second line of “Silent Night” describing the first Christmas. As we sing, we’re tempted to picture Mary and Joseph haloed in light in a nice clean stable, surrounded by serene animals,…