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  • Why the Battle for Joy is Really Worth it {Crazy Joy 17}

    On Wednesday, October 17 th, 2012

    Back then I said I’d never be like him. I slammed doors to punctuate the point and to make sure my dad knew it. You can be tall and 15 and think you know a lot of things. And you don’t think about growing old and looking squishy around the middle and telling teenagers to just turn out the lights. You don’t think about how you can open your mouth and let the sh...

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  • Why You Should Smile Right Now . . . . {Crazy Joy: Day 10}

    On Wednesday, October 10 th, 2012

    When a nurse calls early and says she has the results of the chest x-ray, I’m standing in the kitchen. A kitchen of muffin tins and cracked eggs and two frying pans and the bacon already gone. She puts me on hold to get the file. I scratch away at the glass splattered stovetop with a razor, as if there’s this way — this way to cut things right down to the bone...

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  • When You’re Feeling a bit Lost: How to Find Your Way back to Joy?

    On Wednesday, October 03 rd, 2012

    ‘You look a bit lost, girl.” I sink down beside her on the kitchen floor and I know sinking. The cork floor’s cool. “You feeling lost, Shalom?” She’s got her arms wrapped around her knees, pulling everything right under her chin, those curls of hers spiralling down everywhere, everywhere spiralling. Shalom, her name means wholeness, delight, ...

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  • Because We All Have These Days: When We’re Just Hanging on by a String

    On Wednesday, September 26 th, 2012

    I crack the eggs and the pan sizzles and there’s a kid hanging upside down off the couch, trying to knit a scarf. “Remember to use the plastic spatula and not the steel one, Mama? Remember what Dad said?” And her curls are all hanging down touching the floor and she’s doing a row of pearl with the blood all running way too fast to her face. I switch spat...

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  • Dear You… a letter for the hard days

    On Wednesday, September 19 th, 2012

    Dear you, Dear Self and me and you and us, Really, it’s all going to be okay. You’re going to be okay. Promise. Remember when you were 16 with that ridiculous hair? And how you’d thought that by the time you got to here, to now, it was going to be good? That by now everything would be all good. That by now you’d know down in the very marrow of your...

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  • The 1 Habit We Can’t Afford to Forget

    On Wednesday, September 12 th, 2012

    It’s after the Farmer checks over the combine that I crawl in the cab, in beside him in that ratty old t-shirt. Something about a man who wears his work with no shame. “Ride a few rounds with me?” The engine’s drowning out that quiet voice of his. I sit closer, my shoulder pressing against his. His dirt-lined hands man that steering wheel arou...

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  • How to Cultivate the Habit of Focus . . . . . in an Age of Distraction

    On Wednesday, September 05 th, 2012

    The rest of us cracked open books here. A certain little someone walked around with posies of pink erasers on the end of slim yellow stems. We read about maple trees and conifers and the Canadian Shield and made the ivories sort of sound of mostly like Ode to Joy. When I turned a page and read about the ceremonies of native Indians, the kid with the curls and the posy of pen...

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  • 3 Ways to Really Make New Habits . . . . {Free Printables}

    On Wednesday, August 29 th, 2012

    When we read this book , there’s this character that puts on her “habit.” A little hand here pats my shoulder and asks, “What’s a habit?“ The amaryllis on the sill, it’s swelling in hope. And I tell Shalom this: a habit is something that is worn. She flickers recognition, nods, turns back to the page. She waits for me to read the next l...

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  • When You’ve Been Waiting for an Answer …. and Life seems Silent

    On Wednesday, August 22 nd, 2012

    When Malakai’s afraid, he chews on his bottom lip like his grandmother. And there’s no getting around it: He looks like a caged coon up there in the pew before the piano — biting at his lip, hands fidgeting. He’s eight. How can I really tell him — that catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead. That...

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  • 10 Ways to be a Happier Mom

    On Wednesday, August 15 th, 2012

    10 Ways to be a Happier Mom   1. Life is not an emergency. Life’s a gift. Just. Slow. Down.   2. Now is not a forever grace but amazing grace. Do whatever it takes to wake to wonder right here.   3. Sometimes the slowest way is the fastest way to joy. Make time today, even a moment, to read Scripture and memorize it. Without the lens of Hi...

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  • If you’ve ever been wounded by women

    On Wednesday, August 08 th, 2012

    The dark’s never bothered me much. It’s women who have scared me. Because women can haunt with shadows of their own. I don’t know what grade I was in when Alexa Richards* murmured to Judith Nolan* in the back of gym class that the whole school knew I’d likely end up in a loonie bin. But I know I vowed right then I’d hide from girls. Just hide out ...

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  • How to Live Your Best Life?

    On Wednesday, June 20 th, 2012

    ‘Idon’t have much time left, really.” My father’s voice on the other end of the line reminds me of my grandfather’s. It’s been nearly ten years since I heard that voice. I’m making beds. I can see Dad at his breakfast table. “At best, maybe fifteen years. I’m on my last chapter.” He pauses and I let the empty space beckon answers. Grandpa died at...

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