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  • A Mother’s Perfect Work

    On Thursday, June 14 th, 2012

    Seven. She wakes up this morning that number of perfection and I don’t ask where time goes when she crawls into my bed, her nose crinkled in this giddy giggling. She had told me yesterday, “Let’s all be the happiest today — because it’s the last day I’ll ever, ever be six.” And I had watched her long after that. How she stacked the b...

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  • What Grateful Love May Look Like

    On Wednesday, May 23 rd, 2012

    The bride, she always wears white. And the day I get married, I do, yet most of my life I’ve worn black. I know who I’ve been. The first memory I ever held was the blood of my sister running, ponding, everything alive draining away. I came from there. We breathed grief. Black fears formed me. There were years I cut myself along the thin skin of the wrists, wild for a way ou...

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  • Why We Honor You This Mother’s Day: Because You Really Mother Thousands

    On Friday, May 11 th, 2012

      Because there’s something about the sound of opening up a bag of seeds in spring. Something about holding a promise right there in the palm of your hand. And the Farmer’s whole tilled field, she’s laid right open, expectant and waiting. The Farmer’s got his Wranglers on and he’s got his hands into those seeds all like pearls and the man’s ...

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  • Because this is the Truth about the real “Mother’s Day Card Mothers”

    On Wednesday, May 09 th, 2012

    I became a mother on the eve of Mother’s Day. And when they placed that vernix-covered, wrinkled babe into my 21-year old arms that muggy Saturday evening in May, no wave of relief, or ecstasy washed over me. Being the first to caress another human being’s cheek, I only felt raw, unadulterated, strangling terror. If I could have ran? I would have. The newborn baby bo...

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  • The Habit of a Mother Who Changes The World

    On Tuesday, May 08 th, 2012

    Houses may be bought, built, or borrowed. But homes can only be made. And  only with bits of ourselves. The kids and I sit together close in a house with dishes on the counter and read about painters and artists and look at a flock of ducks, preened and nestled, a painting, oil on canvas. The children press in close for a better look at the open book, at Alexander Koester...

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  • 15 Reasons Why Community is Important …. {Even if You’ve Been Hurt}

    On Thursday, April 12 th, 2012

    : 15 Reasons To Keep Reaching out {Even When You’ve Been Hurt}   1. Christ is the Body and He is Love and both can only exist in community   2. God’s people are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5) and reconciliation begins first in our homes, down the street, in this pew, around the corner, in community — or we are ministers of misrepre...

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  • Why Be Crazy Enough to Homeschool?

    On Friday, March 30 th, 2012

    Why be crazy enough to homeschool? So a series of questions land in the inbox for a print article on homeschooling, asking how a Christian family makes educational choices for their family? {Why would anyone really be crazy enough to homeshool?}… And I smile and nod… and tentatively, prayerfully, attempt to meander through some of these queries…...

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  • What to Do When You feel like a Loser…

    On Wednesday, March 14 th, 2012

    It’s half way through Lent and forget that sign of of dust they brush on the center of your forehead. I’m bowed over the sink after a teenage daughter’s slammed out the backdoor. Slammed out of my ugly diatribe. And I’m thinking I need something more direct, right there on the middle of brow. Like the “L” sign. The one the Farmer frowns deep ...

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  • A Man, A Dog & How to Form Up a Life

    On Tuesday, February 28 th, 2012

    She watched him from the side of the road, there at the woods, watched as he called to his dog. How the snow was deep, how the ditch was deep. How the dog dug. She watched how the Farmer came. Waded down by the fenceline, snow up to the waist, bent and filled his arms with his dog. That is how he did it, how he formed his life into something hallowed. He bowed his head, bent...

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  • 4 Ways to be a Better Friend

    On Thursday, February 23 rd, 2012

    It was after Mare Griebe* said she was done with me, that I knew. Mare, she had taken me to my first youth Bible study. She delivered the thick folded notes from the first boy who ever asked me out. And I had flown half across the country to be her maid of honor, then again, ten years later to hold her first baby. We talked lactation and I helped with latch and I thought we...

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  • One Way To Help Your Marriage Be Even Better

    On Wednesday, February 15 th, 2012

    When my Grandma told me to marry a man who wasn’t much to look at  – so I wouldn’t worry of him wandering – I had nodded ‘cause I loved her. But I confess. I didn’t intend to pay her any mind. I did ask her if she had taken her own advice. She said yes — and my grandfather had slapped the worn knee of his jeans and roared with laughter and I saw it w...

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  • The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift for a Mother

    On Tuesday, February 14 th, 2012

    When he asked me what I wanted for Valentine’s Day? I’d grinned and said all I wanted was a clean house.   I mean, National Geographics wave across the study like a sea. Boys erupt here, lego this lava everywhere. There are dolls, two girl in this blast of boys, and their stream of scissors, and papers, and scraps. There are days I’m the volcano on th...

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