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  • Why You Really can Celebrate in the Midst of Messy

    On Monday, April 16 th, 2012

    She asks me how it’s going. And I have to smile. And I tell her that there are pots on the stove and crumbs on the counters and yes, wherever we are, there’s always so much good and there are always hard things. There’s the lists. And the laundry, the books and the homework and the learning. And these kids we’re raising, they keep falling, a lot like...

  • What You Really Need to Know the Day After Easter

    On Monday, April 09 th, 2012

    The shoes they wore Easter Sunday morning, us all sitting there in the very front row of Gorrie Bible Fellowship, they looked like they’d crossed 47 rolling dirt fields with a herd of tramping camels. And then had an all-out dust bath with a flock of sparrows. So much for new Easter threads and crisp white shirts and rooster tails smoothed down with a spit and a lick. For...

  • If You Want to Start Your Holy Week off Well {A Holy Week: Day 1}

    On Monday, April 02 nd, 2012

    My Grandma, she told me if you found a man who’d weep over a story — that was a man you could marry. The morning of Palm Sunday, the porridge boils over and burns on the stove. Hope tries on three dresses, slumps into the kitchen and declares she has nothing to wear. Shalom can’t find her pink hair bow — only a blue one that’s missing the barrette....

  • 15 Happy Ways to Teach Kids to be Grateful

    On Monday, March 26 th, 2012

    How long do I really have to figure it out? How long do I have to figure out how to live full of joy? So my husband might find himself married to a woman he loves being with. A woman who knows how to laugh at the days to come? So our children have these memories of a mama who smiles easy, listens long, makes jokes and praise and all these good days out of crazy messes. So the...

  • How to find God in the Messes?

    On Thursday, March 22 nd, 2012

    ‘How do you find God in all your mess? How do you see Him here? The Apostle John whispers it clear: “We [actually] saw his glory… For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift...

  • When You’re Feeling Unseen & Unappreciated {Words for Lent}

    On Wednesday, March 21 st, 2012

    It’s hard to know what that is — when it’s a spotlight that heats up a prophet’s fervor.   When ardency kindles with a microphone and holiness is this blazing performance for audience and applause.   But what is that, that zealous ember in the dark, when a woman wipes the drool from her father’s chin and carries him down the hall to ...

  • The 1 Reason Why You have to Slow Down

    On Monday, March 19 th, 2012

    We hear them far off in the woods, just as the sun sinks further down. And I stop. Because who doesn’t stop when the world slips up behind and surprises you? So we stand there and listen long and neither one of us can stop smiling and I almost forget to breathe. The frogs have returned, the frogs and their song.  Why does the trilling in the throat of a frog do thi...

  • The Best Gift: When You want to Give Someone Joy-in-a-Box

    On Monday, March 12 th, 2012

    A bird flew straight into the kitchen last night. Perched  right on the top of that weather van on the mantle. And I looked up from the sink and thought it was you right there, your heart pounding right there out of your chest. It’s hard to be overwhelmed. What if we could do that — hand each other Joy in a Box? That one overwhelmed swallow perched there ...

  • What’s Real Success & Kathie Lee Gifford & One Thousand Gifts

    On Tuesday, March 06 th, 2012

    A beautiful homeschooling mama invites me to come have lunch with her and her friend in New York City. I wear all black. Pull on my black boots. And in my black boots – This armour — this crazy pair of handknit rainbow-striped socks. Sometimes you have to wear His promises to remember to keep walking. I’m not going to lie: My knees trembled. But when  you...

  • Why Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

    On Monday, March 05 th, 2012

    Do not let anything keep you – not anything — from flinging out of that sagging comfort zone, and right into the streets, eyes and mouth full of His wonder, to pant it in the marketplace the back alleys, the front fields, across the crackling wires   that you have seen Him, yes — you have seen the light — and with these very eyes, and you h...

  • When You Want to Turn Your Life Around

    On Monday, February 27 th, 2012

    It’s after I cut the squash right open. The two halves split and quartered there on the cutting board. After the paint brushes are washed out, after the pawns of chess game are all returned to their squares, after the potatoes are baked and served, the dinner plates are pushed back empty. He splits the Word right open then and that’s when I’m cut to t...

  • What God means to Make of Your Stress

    On Monday, February 20 th, 2012

    There were guitars this weekend. There were guitars and a hymn and there were voices rising and raised hands, and who could help it? Were the whole realm of nature mine, even this, the raised hands, the bowed head, the murmuring of thanks — it would be an offering far too small. I had thought that. I had thought that standing there worshiping with the guitars and strings...

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