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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Where’s that eye cream my friend gave?
This was my thought the minute I saw my eyes have crow’s feet when I smile.
When I noticed wisps of silver at my ears and temples: I’m too young for grey hair. Where can I buy some brown tinted shampoo?Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
The orange and blue bath towels made it through the laundry yesterday, but they’re still in a pile waiting to be folded and put away. The few dishes I’ve used in the last days are balancing in the sink, waiting to be washed. Then, I overslept this morning, perhaps from the relief of not needing to get up at 4am.Read More
When my youngest brother was still a babe in the crib, I used to sit in the rocker in his room and read while he napped; it was quiet and peaceful. Often, I liked to just watch his rhythmic breathing, steady and restful. It meant life.Read More
People are confusing. They break promises, grow, move away, change their opinions—they’re hard to trust sometimes.
But God doesn’t change. He keeps His promises. He’s omnipresent, so He couldn’t move away. He should be easy to trust.Read More
"So what do I do now?" I said to myself as I thought about the months stretched before me. I had just returned from Iraq and life in the states looked hard. There would be nine months of my life to live before I returned to land where I had felt purpose and fulfillment. Nine months of reading books and training to prepare me for my return. But what is a person supposed to do with nine months of waiting, of expectation for something?Read More
My labor began late in the evening of the first day of spring. Nine long months of pregnancy, many of them bed-ridden with acute morning sickness, had finally turned into the countdown we’d been waiting for. I was one week overdue. My husband was so excited to be a daddy; I was so excited to meet the cherished little person who had been forming inside my body for nearly a year, and our families were excitedly waiting by their phones for the announcement. After being awake all night with contractions, the sun finally rose on Friday, March 21. We put the finishing touches on our hospital bags, took a long walk, and headed for our midwife’s office.Read More
I sit down to write these words with my baby girl snuggled beside me. She’s a slobbering, giggling, big blue-eyed chunk of love. And the fact that she’s here, that I’m here, is nothing short of love.Read More
When the Romans in the first century were trying to figure out magnification through glass, they probably had no idea how popular that concept would eventually become. But they should have figured it would become popular because we, as humans, are born with the desire to magnify something.Read More
Many of us have had the privilege of growing up in Christian homes and attending church ever since we were babies. We could recite Psalm 23 before we could read. We are liberally doused in the Word of God; and yet, it’s so easy to not let the Word penetrate our hearts and truly change us. Our greatest spiritual growth will not happen on Sunday morning, but in the quietness of our own homes as we let God speak to us through His Word. How do we move from a quick reading, that we soon forget, to digging into, learning from, and applying the Bible?Read More
As a mental health professional I am in a trusted position. By the time people come to see me they are often feeling a mixture of desperation, anger, sadness and hurt. Let’s face it, no one seeks out help when life is working for them.Read More
As a child I remember the thrill of unwrapping the family Nativity scene every year at Christmas. Mom allowed my siblings and me to set all the pieces in the perfect arrangement. We carefully rotated the shepherds, wise men, and animals so that they surrounded Mary and Joseph, and most importantly, the baby Jesus.Read More
I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
Would all go away if You'd just say the word
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone
Imagine you are stranded in the middle of the Atlantic. Your ship has sunk and now you are in a lifeboat with six other people, about to sink if you don’t get rid of some weight. Someone has to be thrown over.Read More
18th century, Paris, France. Times are hard and money is scarce. Within the city, though, there is a tiny basement that’s filled with warmth and light and joy. This is because the basement is inhabited by a cobbler, Alaire, and his good wife Sophie. The basement serves as a home and workshop for the couple, and, although their earthly possessions are few, the couple lives a happy life, for they love each other and have learned the art of contentment. Alaire expresses his joy through singing, and as he works the shoe leather with his skilled and experienced hands, he warbles with vigor and gusto.Read More