• Faith Reflections

    Puzzled Lessons

    This past weekend we received an abundance of snow. While nine inches fell at my home, some nearby were blanketed with over 14″ from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. It is a winter wonderland here and I love it. We weren’t surprised by this storm, so I took the opportunity on Friday to go to my parent’s house and borrow a couple of puzzles from my mom’s stash in the basement. She has a collection of puzzles she purchased for her mom when she was in the senior care center and I’m cheap. Free puzzles! I decided a potential snowstorm was the perfect opportunity to tackle one of the larger…

  • Faith Reflections

    Planting Seeds

    “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” Nelson Henderson I’ve always loved this quote. I have a deep affection for trees even if I don’t go around sniffing them like my friend, Heather. Hoisting my hammock among the trees and resting in the cool, comfort of the shade is one of my favorite activities on a warm summer’s day. Give me some chocolate ice cream while I sway in the wind and I’m in heaven. Maybe my tree-love is why I love this quote, but I think it may also be the hope that things we do now can make a difference…

  • Faith Reflections

    When Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect

    A brand new planner is a beautiful thing. Clean, crisp pages full of potential and possibilities. Everything is neat and clean and begging to be made into memories and moments. What will March 2019 hold? What adventures will I take in September? What will I reflect on in December? Who knows? All those stories have yet to be lived and told. While exciting, a new planner is also intimidating. I purchased a new planner for 2019 and it took me about two weeks before I wrote anything in it. I looked at it nearly every day but I didn’t know where to even begin. This planner is not just for…

  • Faith Reflections

    Why I Hate My Word for 2019

    I’ve blogged before about my annual tradition of choosing a word/intention for the year rather than making resolutions. It has been a game-changer for me in my pursuit to continually grow and learn how to become more like Christ each year. Here are my past words of intention: 2014: Courageous 2015: Freedom 2016: Today 2017: Health 2018: Awake This is my sixth year and usually, the words I choose are inspiring and positive – words I can find on shiny jewelry or flowery, hand-lettered prints for sale on Etsy. But not this year. I can’t imagine it will ever be cross-stitched on a pillow or etched into silver, hanging around…

  • Faith Reflections

    Christmas Year Round

    A confession: A few years ago I started decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Don’t hurl snowballs at me. I wait as long as I can, but I never last until after the fourth Thursday in November. I adore Christmas. I love decorations and twinkling lights. I delight in music and holiday food. I have a real obsession/addiction with Hallmark movies. December is my jam. But it’s easy for me to camp in the shallow end of the holiday, missing what I really love about the season. More than other times of the year, I believe Christmas finds us closest to living the way Jesus calls us to live. Despite the…

  • Faith Reflections

    My 2018 Word-for-the-Year

    For the past five years, I’ve done a “word-for-the-year” rather than new year’s resolutions. I wrote about it first in 2014 here. I wrote about my word for 2018 here. Many of you have joined me in this new approach to embracing a new year with a single word and I love it when you share your word with me. I love a single word so much more than resolutions. Resolutions tend to make me focus on behavioral changes which don’t always last and often result in more guilt rather than growth. But a guiding word for the year makes me hopeful and excited, like the beginning of a scavenger hunt where the things awaiting…

  • Faith Reflections

    Sacrificial Love

    I never dreamed I would one day love attending basketball games, but a boy named Blake changed this for me. My nephew is passionate about basketball and, as a six-foot-two eighth-grader, he gets to play a lot of it. I’ve taken him to the gym to practice drills. I’ve watched him go outside for hours, practicing shots and ball handling. He loves basketball and because I love him, I attend his games and cheer like crazy. It is my duty and, even more so, my joy as his aunt. Loving Christ means we take on Christ’s passion. Out of love for our Savior, we follow his lead, his heart, his…

  • Faith Reflections

    Morning by Morning New Mercies I See

    I don’t drink coffee (yes – I’ve tried everything. No amount of sugar or cream or milk or pumpkin spice helps.) As much as I want to be one of the cool kids addicted to liquid energy, I’m destined for uncoolness in all areas of my life. But despite this, I do savor the richness of this liturgy for the ritual of morning coffee. As you read and, hopefully, pray this prayer below, remember yesterday is not limited to 24 hours. As I prayed this morning, my yesterdays expand far beyond twenty-four hours on the clock. The wounds can feel raw even if inflicted months or years ago. Each morning…

  • Faith Reflections

    Jesus, the perfect mirror of God

    In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 Three years ago, my family made the trek to…