Abiding in the True Vine

The gnarled oak toppled overnight, stressed by the torrential rain and wind that suddenly became too much. Wide-eyed children gasped as we drove by in the morning light, wondering aloud how something so mighty could be grounded with a bit of wind. While the outside had been unremarkable enough that I never previously noticed this…

Daring to be Bold

I’ve been planning a tattoo with my daughter, who has almost reached her 18th birthday. She has sketched it over and over, perfected the slopes, and debated whether to add trees or birds within the circular border. Above it all is etched two small words I knew needed to be inscribed on my body the…

A Wrap of Seeking Whole in 2018

This will be my 6th year with a “one word” new years resolution. Rather than choosing something to “work on” I pray about the themes I see God weaving into my life. My word is less of a goal, and more of a treasure hunt through God’s action in my life. Just over 365 days…

Holy Christmas Nearness

I caught a moment of silence, my living room illuminated by warm white Christmas lights in the pre-dawn chill. There is very little quiet in my home full of humans trying to learn to coexist, trust, and love one another. We are new to one another still, having welcomed in two little people via foster…

Gathering Wanderers

There is a story that has become etched into the structure of our family.  My grandma has always been one to host, and more than that, to gather people. A visiting missionary who has devoted his life to Cote D’ivoire was in town (circa the 90’s), and our family and extra friends had gathered to…

Grocery Doubts and the Storms of Faith

I was slogging through my grocery trip, pushing the cart and handing the cranky baby things to keep her occupied, when I turned a corner and almost ran into another shopper. I quickly apologized for my lack of shopping cart skills, and she replied with something that has pricked my heart ever since. “It’s ok….

Convicted: Let Yourself Be Known

I can still remember exactly where I was standing when it hit me. For several years, I had been fielding the same set of questions from well-meaning people, about that one painful place in my life that refused to be ignored. Each story may be different, but I’ve found we all have our own pain…

Celebration of Freedom

Imagine with me: You’ve just had the most amazing, first-hand encounter with God. It seemed like spectacular showing off from the creator. It reached into dreams you had long set aside, and even though you doubted if He even cared about your suffering, you are now assured that He heard your cries. There is no denying what you…

Remembering the Birds

Numbers are not my favorite. I line them up, pencil it out, move things from one category to another. Every month, my heart rate unconsciously rises and the same budget conversation happens: Why am I so anxious? I remember before, when we had so much less. Why am I more high strung now, when so…