Joy in Spite of a Limited View

I enjoy planning parties and am always on the lookout for good group games that don’t require a lot of preparation and supplies. Just recently, I discovered a fun one that only needs two kiddie-style puzzles. To play, a group of people needs to be divided into two teams, and then each team is given a puzzle. Finally, each player is given a few pieces from his team’s puzzle and must work at fitting his pieces together with the others on the team in order to be the first team finished. This game is fun because it is competitive and harder than it looks. When you only have one or two pieces, it is hard to figure out how those belong in the big picture.

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The Well-Curated Life

What is a curator?

A curator takes care of valuable belongings: discovering, tending, calling out the very best.

Search “well curated” on Pinterest and your eyes behold beautiful homes and museums where everything is in place. A mastermind was behind the scenes, a curator who knew what she was doing and why. No disharmony is present. The best in every object is called out. Even a simple bookshelf is an object of beauty under a curator’s touch: colors together, organized, arranged with care.

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The Lord is My Peace

Hurry, hurry! Get the beds made, the house back to order, and a big batch of food stirred up! Company is coming again after two families left a day ago. Several more parties, a total of 21 people, will be here by suppertime. One daughter is off to her gardening job, another to the bakery, a third is desperately trying to meet her DOP photography deadline. Garden produce is popping and needs to be harvested. A disagreement breaks out between the two remaining girls at home about who is responsible for what jobs.

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Words of Life

In this age of technology, where everything is designed to be quick and efficient, it seems that we think our communication needs to fall under this category as well. There are many times I am thankful for this technology since things like Skype, FaceTime, and email have introduced a wonderful avenue to stay in contact with our friends and family that live miles away. But sadly, our reliance on technology seems to be crippling our ability to communicate with those we love using our very own heartfelt, handwritten words. Instead of finding words to describe our compassion, love, or joy, we quickly send a text with the words, “Congratulations”, “So sorry for your loss”, “praying for you”. Then off we go, rushing back into our day, with little or no remembrance of our friend’s joy or sorrow. That may not happen in all cases, but I fear it happens far too often. Is there a beautiful, deeper way to correspond with one another which has seemingly been forgotten over time? God has created us with a desire for communication. One way to satisfy that yearning is through the written word.

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The Armor of God for Women

Eowyn from The Lord of the Rings has always been one of my favorite characters, the brave shield maiden who straps on her armor and rides forth into battle. But as great and wonderful as that sounds, the average person has not worn armor for roughly five hundred years. So, when the Bible tells us to wear the armor of God it can be a little hard to envision it in a practical way.

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Laughter: Good for the Body, Good for the Soul

We had attended the funeral of an uncle and then met at my sister’s house later for supper. My mother and her sister (siblings of the deceased) joined us, visiting together in the living room. Our children played together while the adults gathered around the dining room table to play Taboo. My brother-in-law Ralph, who rarely plays table games, decided to join us. We had no idea when we started the game that his participation would be the best comic relief of the day. As it turns out, it was just what we needed.

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Gather: Mama's Strawberry Pie

I don’t know where this recipe originated from, but it’s one that has been in my mama’s recipe arsenal for as long as I can remember. Strawberry pie has to be the crowning glory of berry season. There’s nothing like flaky pie crust piled high with sweet, red strawberries and fluffy whipped cream. This recipe is simple to make and bursting with flavor. As crazy as it sounds, don’t omit the dash of salt and pepper. Somehow they both enhance the flavor of the strawberries!

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A Love Story Charge

Sometime between watching from a third floor balcony as he played in an open fire hydrant with a crowd of children and saying good-bye a summer later, I realized I could love this guy. Sometime between the phone call from Indiana and the stroll through Central Park a year later, I knew I loved him. And sometime between that moment when our strolling stopped as he reached for my hand and when I walked down the aisle toward him, I knew that our love was deeper than I’d ever dreamed love could be.

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On Perfectionism and Servanthood

I sighed. It was 4 PM, time to make supper. I’d planned to study for three hours, and work on my fledgling business for three hours. Evening approached, and I’d not given an hour to either of those two concerns. “Think of how much I’ll have to work just to catch up!” Ignoring such despair, I stroked my baby’s cheeks, and relaxed deeply.

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Connecting the Dots: Tracing Our Image to Its Artist

Welcome to a mystery that has plagued the ages—that is: what exactly does it mean to be fully human? The deepest parts of ourselves—the overwhelming longings, keenest emotions, and most intimate thoughts—where do they come from and why are they there? Humanity has grasped at a myriad of answers and found dead-ends and brokenness. Blessed are we, the children of God, who have been given the truth. God said, “Let us make man in our Image, according to our likeness.” We—broken and deprived people—have traces of our Almighty God inside us; traces we can follow back to Him. What greater cause for wonder is there than this? I invite you, dear sisters and brothers, to come along with me and take a little peek at what this means for us.

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Does God Care?

It was a beautiful summer evening. A fire was crackling in the outdoor fireplace. I was surrounded by friends dear to me who were in discussion of the ins and outs of normal life and how to make it glorifying to God.

Then, the conversation turned and went that direction. Once again, I wondered if I would ever not hurt and feel sad when my friends discussed pregnancy and childbirth. It was no fault of their own that their bodies functioned normally and mine did not.

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Tiny House Living 2.0

Two adults and a Cocker Spaniel living in a tiny house in Florida. Sounds like a dream right? Or at the very least, an episode of a TV show. It’s close, but not quite. The reality is that our tiny house is a 1950’s mobile home that boasts a whole 400 square feet; and we aren’t located on the beach, but actually in the middle of Pinecraft. Our tiny house doesn’t feature sleek, modern decor or trendy fold out tables and we certainly don’t have a loft. Instead we have a blue kitchen sink, a gold bathtub and painted plywood walls. But what it lacks in trends, our tiny home makes up for in charm, storage space and cheap rent!

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Closet Cleanse: Steps to a Healthier, Simpler Closet

Have you ever stood in front of your closet and moaned, “I don’t have anything to wear!” I have, lots of times! Of course, it’s a ridiculous statement, since usually we say it staring into a closet jam-packed with options. A thrifter by nature, I’ve never lacked cute clothing and my closet shows my affinity for good deals. I love putting together an arresting outfit and for years I felt like the best way to do that was to have lots of options.

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