The Heart of Love

God allows us to experience the frailty of human love so we will appreciate the strength of His. C.S. Lewis I sighed as I picked up the dirty socks and put them in my boys’ hamper and closed their door for the night. Behind that door were two sweet boys who God was slowly transforming into…

A Second Chance for Love

Valentine’s Day is here and love is in the air. The allure of chocolate is everywhere! I’m definitely a fan of both. A little over a decade ago, however, I wasn’t sure love was an option for me anymore. I thought I might have to settle for chocolate. My first marriage of almost twenty-one years…

Loved Already

The 12-pound black-haired baby had ridden all night on a train through the vast Chinese countryside. She was giddy with exhaustion and passed serenely into my arms. I stared into her familiar eyes—eyes I had stared at for countless hours in grainy orphanage photographs. Who are you? I wondered. Of course, she was my daughter,…

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…

A Decade's Worth of Spiritual Formation

Everyone’s spirits are shaped.  A lot of the time we aren’t aware of it, or if we are, we feel like formation “just happens” as we pray, read our Bibles, and serve others. But there’s more! A decade of motherhood has formed my spirit profoundly, actively, and relentlessly. As 2010 opened, I had a 3-year-old,…

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…

His Perfect Plan

By Kara Williams Many are the plans in a man’s heart,  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.  Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)  Every person reading this has received the time-gift of living through the past decade: ten autumns and winters, springtimes and summers; 3,652 sunrises and sunsets; air filling and leaving your lungs over a…

Making Room for the New

Author: Beth Vice On days without sunny skies and fluffy white snow, January can feel dark—leafless trees, decay-matted flower beds, and unrelenting cold. It’s a stark contrast to the color and exuberance of Christmas. This is the month I struggle most with depression, overeating, and the desire to hibernate. But taking time to celebrate the…

The Wait of Christmas

Immersed in the sight of snow-packed roads and lightly dusted evergreens, my husband and I drove over the Cascades for Christmas with my family. We were deep in waiting. Waiting to find out why having children wasn’t easy for everyone. Waiting to see if the doctor would take young newlyweds seriously. Waiting for the perfect…

Remembering We are Loved at Christmas

Our pastor sometimes says at the end of the church service, “He loves you and He likes you. Go in peace.” It’s one of my favorite things he does. God likes me? This wasn’t a concept I had any notion of until my adult years. Up until that point, I was still pretty focused on…