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  • How Your Life Really Can Change [and what to do when change comes]

    On Thursday, July 24 th, 2014

    Audio for this post: if you’d like to listen to today’s post — just click above on the arrow (not the text) for  an audio recording of this farm girl reading today’s post — and then scroll through the post?  {Consider turning off music by clicking the speaker bar near the bottom of  the left margin?} The kid went to get a big machete. A year an...

  • Why You Really Need to be Done with Living Safe: Being a Dangerous Disciple of the Unsafe God

    On Monday, July 14 th, 2014

    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, ea...

  • The Great Challenge Facing All Women
    [ and Why Women Need to Stop Judging Each Other ]

    On Wednesday, July 09 th, 2014

    Rain on a tin roof this morning. The rocking chairs out in the ash grove sit quiet, solid — steady in the wind. Steady in the wind. They’re calling for another inch of rain today, for it to just keep coming. Our Hope-girl makes brownies, shakes the popcorn over the stove. And there’s this deep peace that keeps coming about not coming and going at all. About listening to r...

  • One Way to Kick Your Fears to the Curb at the Start of A New Week

    On Monday, July 07 th, 2014

    Who said only courage wears a Red Badge? Yeah, it’s just khaki capris, a black tee, I pull out of the closet for a day dawning summer, me leaving the house for the heat, appointment and errands. I’m a mess with no no red badge of courage, just a flailer trying to wear prayer, the murmur of the weak made strong in the breaking. Fear can snap the brave bones… stiff twig...

  • What Really Unites a Great Land & People & the Real Power of Patriotism

    On Friday, July 04 th, 2014

      It was when she leaned back to watch the fireworks. When the kids, full of strawberries and ice cream, sprawl about her in the grass, waiting in the thickening dusk, waiting in the sea of blankets spread out and tilted lawn chairs and balding men with bare hearts sit near the white crowned women whose lives had birthed glory. It’s when...

  • Why You Can Stop the Exhausting Work of Trying to be a SuperMom

    On Monday, June 30 th, 2014

    When one of the boys pulls off his Sunday shoes, the filthy ones ridiculously still clinging to “Sunday Shoes” status, he catches my eye and grins like he’s swallowed a canary. “So I only wore one sock to church.” What are you going to do but laugh with the grinning kid? Yeah, I am that Mom… Yeah, after 18 years, there it is: I have be...

  • Why Your Heart Really Needs The Practice of Pondering

    On Friday, June 20 th, 2014

    I met the art who is Jean Fleming several years ago in a blizzard in Colorado. The retreat we were both scheduled to speak at was cancelled because of the flurry quarter-sized flakes —  so her and I watched the snow fall all weekend, heart sisters bound together over a deep love for Jesus. A study leader with The Navigators,  Jean’s  best-selling book,  A Mother...

  • How to Have What all Our Breaking Hearts Want Most this Father’s Day

    On Friday, June 13 th, 2014

    I sat with a man once – who told me about falling in love with a woman who was most alluring not in satin but in sweats, her hair undone and falling, laughing about something long ago, her head thrown back and her neck arching bare and lovely. That he couldn’t take his eyes off her when she was like that, vulnerable and unmasked, and maybe that’s what beauty is, the b...

  • How to Keep Going When Storms Keep Coming that Might Rend You in Two

    On Wednesday, June 11 th, 2014

    So a storm can slam up the willing side of you and you can think the reverberations might kill you. Sure, somebody usually goes ahead and names the hurricanes. They christen those spinning monsters with their one steady eye swirling out storm. Katrina and Sandy, Irene and Audrey. But there are weary women who can’t name their storms — can’t name their prodigals and the pa...

  • What Our Boys Need in This Economy Their Dads Work In

    On Monday, June 09 th, 2014

    Dear Future Men of ours: The flyers are all coming through here this week, everybody looking for something to buy for Father’s Day. I see you four boys flipping through the glossy ads about Dads. I see you four sons of ours trying to figure out how to be men, about how to live in this economy that your Dad works in. And I pray about what kind of men you will be in a worl...

  • When You Feel like You Don’t Really Belong

    On Monday, June 02 nd, 2014

    which is sort of how I’ve awkwardly been feeling: Someone has to be that Mother. That mother who drives a full 3 hours to the border with a packed mini-van and anxious kids and creeps through a 20 minute traffic backup under the hot, beating sun— only to rifle through her wallet and look up feebly to tell the custom’s officer she doesn’t have birth certi...

  • How to Keep Hoping for Things that Seem Impossible

    On Wednesday, May 28 th, 2014

    So if you turned right after Clappison’s Corner and drove real slow around the potholes, you might see it. Sneeze or blink, and yeah, you might not — but it’s there on the top of a mossy stake, pointing the way you gotta take, either way: Hope. No way you want to know where all the other roads lead. Just down the road from Centerton, is where my Dad grew up on a dair...

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