• Faith Reflections

    Forgiveness

    The other day I was walking with God and processing my hurt over a friendship that has greatly faded under the intense rays of distance and neglect. It was some healthy, gut-level vulnerability as I expressed my frustration and disappointment and confessed my need to surrender – yet again – my emotions and unmet expectations at His feet.  As I walked the mulched trails, I went back and forth between surrendering my feelings and wallowing in them a little longer.  I muttered some indictment about actions speaking louder than words, blah, blah, blah. After one pretty decent wallowing when I was finally quiet for a second, I sensed God asking…

  • Faith Reflections

    Running To Instead of From

    I’m writing this blog post from my annual introvert intermission – a week of rest, renewal and reading gifted to me by my parents for my birthday. I’m also writing this nearly a month after my last blog post, a reflection of how crazy this past month has been and how I’ve given busyness the keys to my life.  My struggle with busyness is no different than 85% of you reading this. We are perpetually busy.  Constantly running. Overwhelmed with responsibilities and resigned to the fact that we will always be running in desperation with the bull right on our heels. That is how it seems when you are in…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    A Life Well-Lived

    I wrote yesterday about the importance of showing up. I’ve thought a lot the past month about how important it is to be present with others simply because I saw one person do it exceptionally well.  Someone who showed up in the lives of others – even when he was miles away.  If there was an Olympic event for being present with others, Chad Rogers would have won gold and broke records doing it. And then he would have made all of us come up and stand with him on that little box to receive our medal together.  The dude excelled at the ministry of presence and I, along with…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Rafting Ruminations

    On Saturday I did something that surprised some people who know me well. I went rafting. For a second time. The first time was over 15 years ago and it didn’t go very well. I wrote about it once but to sum things up, I nearly drowned when my raft flipped in some rapids on the Snake River in Wyoming and I got trapped under the raft, unable to surface to get air. As you can tell, I survived. OR there is internet in heaven. Something that must be true based on the amount of joy we feel when we find free wireless. Heaven must be one big hotspot. Anyway,…

  • Faith Reflections

    Running with Jesus

    I’ve never run a marathon. I have friends who have. I have a good friend who ran and won his first marathon in June. I have mad respect for him and for all winners of marathons. I also have mad respect for the runners who cross the finish line last. The ones who keep going when everyone else has gone home. The ones who have to walk some of the way, the ones who fall and get back up, the ones who’ve messed themselves yet keep on going after the lights, cheering crowds and vendors have all gone home. If I ever run a marathon, those will be my peeps. The…

  • Faith Reflections

    I Will Disappoint You.

    There aren’t a lot of things I’m certain of in life.  There are some obvious things I am certain of like gravity, the negative effects of reality television on our culture, and the existence of Smurfs. One of the things I am more certain of than ever is I will disappoint others. I have all the potential and the ability to let you down and most likely have already and will again – as a friend; a daughter; an aunt; a pastor. Definitely as a blogger. I have spent an inordinate amount of my life trying to avoid this certainty. I don’t want to disappoint anyone. And by “don’t want”,…

  • Faith Reflections

    How My Niece Schooled Me on the Playground

    Recently, I was at a local park with my family for my nephew’s cub scout picnic. During some down time, I took my five-year-old niece down the hill to the playground to burn off some energy and enjoy the gorgeous spring day. She went straight for the swings. After hopping up in the seat and grabbing hold of the chains, she gave me the “push me, Aunt Moe” look followed by verbal confirmation. So I pushed her, she started pumping her legs and everyone was happy. Except for a little girl sitting on the swing next to my niece. She was around 4 or 5 years of age and was…

  • Faith Reflections,  My Life

    Dancing with Papa

    On the last Sunday of April, my dad took my 5 year old niece on a date. Every year our local public school district puts on two dances for girls in grades kindergarten through fifth and a man in her life. Sometimes it is a dad or a grandpa or an uncle. Sometimes it is a friend of the family or a caring adult from church. The girls get dressed up and they spend a few hours one afternoon being treated like a “princess”. They dance. They paint fingernails. They make crafts. They eat. They feel special. They feel important. They feel beautiful. They feel loved. I love that the…

  • Faith Reflections

    Learning to Sit Before You Run

    One of the things we tell people over and over again as we prepare to travel to spend time with our mission partners around the world is that relationships trump projects. Always. Every culture that I’ve spent time with values relationships over projects – except American culture. Obviously, this is a generalization but I believe there is a lot of truth to this statement.  We are a very project oriented culture. Success is based on whether we accomplished a goal or completed a project satisfactorily or have something to show for our day. Otherwise, we’ve wasted it. One of the greatest benefits we receive from our time with our family…

  • Faith Reflections

    Quit Searching

    Several years ago, I was packed in a church van sitting next to an adorable little boy named Cole who was probably three or four years old. He was in his little booster seat with a portable VHS player and we were movies buddies. I’m sure his mom packed a few movies for the never-ending hours across the abyss known as “Kansas” but Cole wanted to watch only one movie – “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island”. And Cole not only wanted to watch only that movie; there was one particular two-minute clip that we had to rewind and watch over and over again. It was a scene where after seeing…