The Way He Should Go

The Way He Should Go

It's the morning after the last TCAP (Tennessee's standardized tests), a soft rain just the permission we needed to sleep in. As a third grader, this was Jake's first experience with the tests that somehow mean everything and nothing. Jake is more of an athlete than a scholar, and I'm still trying to figure out what to [...]

My #1 Way to Actually Enjoy Cleaning the House

My #1 Way to Actually Enjoy Cleaning the House

You walk into your living room and suddenly it hits you: Wait, this place is a mess! Was my house this dirty yesterday? What happened? Who lives here, a gaggle of vermin? Didn't I just clean... um... a couple days ago? Naturally, the next thought is: the last thing in the world I want to do right [...]

All Things New

All Things New

In many ways, I am starting over. Beginning again. Stretching my wings back into the work force, looking for a new church home, mothering and managing exclusively school-aged children, laying down my 'calling,' searching for beauty and significance on a level deeper still.  All Things New: it sounds so fresh and clean and promising... until you get there... [...]

The Gift of Seeing Upside Down

The Gift of Seeing Upside Down

The West Wing is one of my all-time favorite TV series. I've seen every episode at least three times, and am currently working my way through another full run-through while I sew in the afternoons. In season two, the press secretary, CJ Cregg (Allison Janney), has a little encounter with the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality. The mapmakers highlight the [...]

To Mallory, On Her Surpassing Glory

To Mallory, On Her Surpassing Glory

I met Mallory almost fifteen years ago, a Belmont communications major ten years after I was (there weren't many of us), full of energy and joy and laughter and spunk and beautiful words and big dreams and passionate worship. (Worshipping with her at Grace Center was the best.) She and a handful of others were Jay and mine's pride [...]

How to Be Job’s friend

How to Be Job’s friend

We all know the story of Job and his three friends who came to visit. These three men are generally disparaged for their tiring, all-knowing speeches explaining Job’s misfortunes. It’s true, they talked so much that they ran out of words. Despite their pompous speeches, you know what I think of them? I think they were [...]

2016 and a Fragile Faith

2016 and a Fragile Faith

Dude. 2016: That's gonna leave a mark. Not so much here -- or here -- but right along in here. (If you know what I mean.) Looking back over the past twelve months, I find myself deeply grateful for God's nearness, for unexpected gifts, for my children, for so much. So very much, it's stunning. [...]

Quit the Crowd[ed inn]

Quit the Crowd[ed inn]

My son played the innkeeper in the church Christmas play this year. He's a fifth-grader, aging out, a good foot taller than every other child. Cas was, of course, a great innkeeper. Molly even drew him into her nativity scene, as pictured. The children's voices rang out so pure and strong! "Those were the days," Bing [...]

Let every heart prepare Him a dirty room {He doesn’t mind the mess}

Let every heart prepare Him a dirty room {He doesn’t mind the mess}

Every time I think about the King of Heaven choosing a stable as His grand entrance to the world He'd been waiting to save, I can hardly breathe. It makes NO SENSE. None. And yet it is just like our God of an upside-down kingdom. I wonder if He designed such a coming because He so badly wants [...]

When All Is Well, I Say to My Soul

When All Is Well, I Say to My Soul

Grief is distant health is near gratitude is easy   roof is sturdy table is bountiful every need is met   and yet I must remember to say to my soul:   Go deeper to find Hunger and Thirst   Desperate Need Complete Dependence Full Surrender   without these treasures a heart would spoil not knowing how to be given [...]