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Refiner’s Fire

  • When You are Looking For Hope

    On Friday, July 13 th, 2012
    ‘If there are hopeless places — Haiti is almost a hopeless place.” That’s what the guy in jeans and the stamped up passport had told us before we went anyways. On a street to the south, a man bent and twisted by struggle and sun, he slugs a shovel load of rubble high up into
  • how the size of your house has nothing to do with the size of your life

    On Tuesday, July 03 rd, 2012
    After such a week as last week, I’m feeling very small & hushed & I’ve slipped away to the woods with the Farmer & kids. Thank you for prayers last week, for grace as our family tucks away quiet for just a few days…and we’re delighted to invite you up to the front porch to share
  • Why You Really May Need to be Done with Safe: Being a Dangerous Disciple of the Unsafe God

    On Thursday, June 07 th, 2012
    My Gran, she’s taking slow walks outside the hospital now. Her heart’s growing stronger, beating certain. I wash down the cupboards in the kitchen. I pray for Gran’s heart attack recovery, for each step she keeps taking, ninety-one and frail-boned and Irish-determined. Life’s a risk and maybe she’s stronger than I am, accepting each heart beat,
  • A Prayer for the Broken Hearted

    On Thursday, May 31 st, 2012
    The best way to tend to your open wounds is to open your arms. Out-loving is the only ointment that healed anything. : : We’re over here today…
  • The Best Way to Start the Week

    On Monday, May 28 th, 2012
    If we aren’t thankful to God for now —  why would we be joyful for more? The dandelions keep shaking out their happy manes on the lawn, roaring summer’s triumphant entry. There are campfires and hymns and these boys with sparking light at the end of their fingertips. There is the sun coming up in
  • When You Feel like Your Life’s a Mess …. The Real Truth About Your Dirt

    On Thursday, May 17 th, 2012
    When he walks through the kitchen with his hair showered clean but his face looking like that, I just have to laugh. “What?” he says. “Really, I showered, Mom, I did.” Levi stands indignant, hands on hip, and I nod half serious. “You showered?” “Yes, Mom! It’s only my clothes that are dirty.” He’s been picking
  • The Purpose of Pain: When Life Hurts

    On Tuesday, May 15 th, 2012
    She stood under all that blue sky and watched the windmill spin round and was it the all the world turning that she could feel? How it spun and hurt and unfurled. Dandelions unfolded at her feet — suns, risings everywhere. The rooster turned. Laundry slapped on the line. Something in her, the hurting places,
  • When You Feel like Everyone is Bigger, Better, Smarter… { or ‘How to be a Star’}

    On Thursday, May 03 rd, 2012
    When the fog meandered in lost on a spring evening in May, she hung her apron up in the back mudroom. She wandered down the back lane too. Down in the woods, she could hear them, the frogs singing, an invisible symphony. She knotted the one side of her skirt up to step over a
  • 3 Things to Hold on to When Life Hurts {Cherry Blossoms in Rain}

    On Wednesday, April 25 th, 2012
    S he learned it haltingly in early spring, when the rain fell. When the edge of Japan washed away. When the sky slid down all the window panes. And a Sunday in spring, when a tornado sky rips up the earth, leaving this fury of questions, she plays on, the same song. Now surer, steadier.
  • What Your Scars Can Really Be …

    On Monday, April 23 rd, 2012
    In the kitchen, after supper, while we stack the plates, she pulls up her sleeve to shows me her scars. “Did you see this one here on my arm?” When she bends, a tendril falls across her face, and her finger traces this whorl and I can see how the skin pulls, how pain is
  • 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,
  • for when your life seems turned upside down … {the practice of living Easter}

    On Wednesday, April 11 th, 2012
    Turns out that all it takes to snap your back at the base is just a turning and a bending over to pick up a book. Turns out ‘safe’ isn’t a place you live at — but a Person you live in. Pleated there at the window, trying to straighten the back out again, trying
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