Weariness and Renewal

Do you not know? Have you not heard? It was 1995, I was sixteen years old, and I thought I did know and I had heard. I’d grown up in the church: sang the songs, memorized the verses, assembled the Vacation Bible School crafts. So when I opened the devotional booklet during the “quiet time”…

Hope in the Midst of Affliction

I sat at a chic bistro table on a sunny back patio sipping iced coffee with three other women. I’d asked a friend if she wanted to start a Bible study with me, and she’d invited two of her friends, and here the four of us sat, trying to work out the ground rules of…

The Rhythm of the Days

What was the rhythm of my days, in the Time Before? I can hardly recall. There was an alarm clock, I know—the same 1992 Sony Dream Machine that still sits, silent now, on my bedside table—and I used to set it for 6:15. There was blundering into the shower and wrapping a dish towel around…

Wrestling with Shoes

Step through my front door, and you’re greeted by shoes. Running shoes. Slides. Rubber boots. Loafers. There are shoes for playing soccer, shoes for playing baseball, shoes for church, and shoes for band performances. Oh, we can’t forget,  shoes for stuffing your feet in when you have to run through the rain real quick to…

Jim Elliot and the Deadly Pestilence

I’ve been thinking a lot about Psalm 91 lately.  Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers,  and under his wings you will find refuge;  his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night,  nor…

All She Had

Wherever I go, I’m looking for words. As a kid, I used to flip past the “wild rumpus” pages in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are: though gorgeously illustrated, they have no words. I had no patience for pictures. (Richard Scarry’s pages, on the other hand, studded with words as they are, I could…

First Love

“It was a flower,” writes Denise Levertov in the opening line of her poem “First Love.” She goes on to describe falling in love with a pink convolvulus at a tender age—“barely / old enough to ask and repeat its name.”  It looked at me, I looked  back, delight filled me as if I, not…

Becoming Who You Are

By Sarah Sanderson I’ve lived through a little more than four decades, and each has brought a tremendous amount of change. I began the 1980s as an infant, and ended them an adolescent. I entered the 1990s in middle school, and left a college graduate. In 2000, I received an engagement ring; by 2010, I…