• Faith Reflections

    When Shame Shows Up

    Most people these days don’t appreciate an unexpected visitor at your home. In the past, the sound of the doorbell triggered excitement as we welcomed a distraction from the monotony of the day. For most today, it seems to bring anxiety or dread or a well-meaning politician or religious devotee with literature and a promise in hand. On a recent trip, shame showed up unexpectedly at my door. I was leading a team of folks from our church and another church on a mission trip to Ukraine and Poland. It was an amazing trip and, considering all that can occur…

  • My Life

    Seasons

    Any time I think of the seasons changing, I start singing the catchy tune, “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds. “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven” I love the seasons and the unique purposes of each. Since I’m not a fan of the cold, I think the sole purpose of winter is to make sure I truly savor spring, summer, and fall. That is what cold, darker times do – make us appreciate the warm, brighter days. The longer the winter, the more glorious the spring.…

  • Faith Reflections

    Grieving Our Way to Growth

    When my niece was little, she always had the corner of a little blanket. She gave up the security blanket on her timing, without coercion or bribes. I’m confident before she completely stopped, there were times when she left it behind and then, moments later, ran back to grab it when she realized she was flying solo. Control is a security blanket for me. I feel safe when things, feelings, and people are ordered, understood, and in their proper place. It is far easier to order my house and office than it is others. There is something deceivingly alluring and falsely…

  • Faith Reflections

    Snow Lessons

    It snowed today. I wasn’t prepared for it – mentally, physically, or emotionally. Three days ago, I was airing out my house as warm winds danced in one window and out another. I was dreaming of tan skin and flip flops and summer adventures, my mind carried away by those same warm winds. Tonight, I sat in my frozen car waiting for the rear defrost to work its magic. No gloves, no scraper. Just the magic of black stripes across the rear window taking their dear sweet time. It’s funny the things that force you to slow down. You would…

  • Faith Reflections

    Hanging Out with Grace

    About a year-and-a-half ago I met Grace – a spunky, joyful, 7-year-old girl with a love for Jesus, her daddy, and life – in that order. We were both attending camp in a new place with new people. At our first meeting with all the new faces, Grace hid behind her daddy’s legs. I hid behind an extroverted alter ego I’d packed for moments like this. Meeting new people can be hard – no matter how old you are. My good friend, Heather, came to camp with me. Heather makes friends with ease. She walks around with love on her…

  • My Life

    I Matter

    I’ll be honest … my biggest struggle with blogging is that it is primarily about me. Which is unfortunate since I think it is more genuine to write about what you know. And what I know is me – my experiences, my reflections, my fears, my joys. I savor this from other writers. I love to read their stories, their mishaps, their wisdom, their life lessons. I’ve never read another person’s blog and thought, “geez… all they write about on their OWN PERSONAL BLOG is themselves. How selfish.” Yet, it is a major hang-up for me. When I sit down…

  • My Life

    It's a New Day

    There’s always a lot of pressure on a new year. So many expectations that, with the turn of the calendar, everything will magically be better. We’ll no longer crave sugar. We’ll never be weak in the knees (and the wallet) at Target. We’ll live more adventures, laugh at more moments, love more people. We’re 10 days into the new year now, friends. Some of us are going strong, owning our resolutions like a boss. And some of us fell flat three days in. Although I don’t do resolutions, I do enter the year with an anticipation that I’m going to…

  • My Life

    A Year Ago

    Just over a year ago I was returning from a three-week vacation. It sounds wonderful. It was wonderful. Unfortunately, the catalyst to take three weeks was less than wonderful. I was on empty – once again. In 2006, I struggled with depression brought on by excessive work, nearly non-existent boundaries, lack of rest, and relationships that depleted my soul. How crazy to sum up that very difficult, long, and painful journey into a single sentence. Yet, I celebrate the summation because it is a testimony to the deserts that feel like death valley when you’re walking them but on the other side…

  • My Life

    My Word for 2018

    A few years ago, I decided to forego the annual resolution gig. Not that I was always good about making resolutions or keeping them. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes which doesn’t always last and often results in guilt rather than growth. Honestly, if I made it to February with a resolution intact, I would celebrate that as a win. Five years ago, I stumbled upon some folks who had sworn off resolutions and, instead, were beginning each new year with a theme word – a word they would aspire to; a word they would grow toward rather than…

  • Faith Reflections

    Watching Somebody Love

    “Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.” Donald Miller in Blue Like Jazz I love this line from Donald Miller’s book. Miller was talking about how some people learn to love something – like jazz music or God – because they witness someone loving jazz music or God and it moves you. You can’t argue with it and sometimes it doesn’t make sense yet the evidence is in front of you in how a person loves. A few summers ago our youth group worked with a guy named…