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…

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…

Learning from Mary at the Feet of Jesus

Mary of Bethany is mentioned three times in the Gospels and each time she is at the feet of Jesus. In Luke 10 she quietly sits at Jesus’ feet listening to him. In John 11 she sorrowfully falls at Jesus’ feet because her brother has died. And in John 12 she worshipfully wipes Jesus’ feet…

Waking to the Faithfulness of God

This past summer, most mornings I waited and watched as the sun made its slow ascent over the hill behind our farm, streaming light through the enormous Douglas firs of our forest and illuminating my little corner of the world with its warmth. Sunrise and Coffee became part of the liturgy of my summer days. …

Finding Renewal While Wasting Away

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For…

When Hope Feels Unsteady

The world around us is shifting sand. I suppose it always has been, but the past four months have revealed its instability in profound ways. Medical advice and predictions regarding COVID-19 change daily. Businesses have closed, never to re-open, while others struggle to adjust their models to new and ever-changing standards. Neighborhoods near my home…

Safe at Home

Right now my family and I might have been reclining on a beach in Mexico with extended family, reconnecting in the sun and surf after too many months apart. Instead, a chill Oregon drizzle drips from my windows and I haven’t left my house in days. I have to check the calendar to figure out…

Making a Home

May the beauty of the Lord our God rest on us;  establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands.  Psalm 90:17  “Your house reminds me of my grandma’s.”  As a 22 year-old newlywed hosting friends for dinner, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the comment. The “house”…

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,…

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…