Becoming Unshakable {A Guest Post}

psalm168-FBSocial media is a funny thing. It’s sort of like a party where you’re having one conversation and overhearing bits and pieces of other conversations nearby. Sometimes there’s so much chatter it’s hard to get all the details of the conversation right in front of you. So it was as my writer friend Nancy shared about her fight with cancer. I knew she’d dealt with the diagnosis before and was now dealing with it again. I prayed for her and looked for updates on her wall, but it wasn’t until I sat down with Nancy’s book in hand that I got the whole story: all the pain, all the doubts, all the unexpected healing, all the epiphanies. Reading her devotional memoir, Unshakable, was like leaving the loud party and finding a quiet place to sit and ask a friend, “No, really…. How are you?” Nancy is a refreshingly brave one who will let you ask her the hard questions. She’ll tell you how she lost it in the exam room and how she walked through weeks of doubt and depression following her diagnosis. She’ll tell you how she was shaken. But she’ll also tell you how on the other side of that, she found a new trust in her Creator and Rescuer, a faith unshakable. Please check out Nancy’s book and join me in welcoming her as she shares part of the story at Message in a Mason Jar today.  Continue reading

How God Comments on a Blog Post

rockpilecontemplationI don’t expect much when I hit publish on a blog post. I know there’s a lot to read on the Internet and my writing takes a little longer to dig into than most. I’m just about as slow in writing social media posts as I am with posting pieces on the blog, so getting my work in front of a wider readership has never really been a natural thing for me. And so, when I finish a new piece and hit the button to send it into the ether, I usually look for a comment from my mom and maybe a friend or two (Thank you to those who chime in!). And that’s that.

But with this Stacking Stones post, I’ve been chatting back and forth with another commenter about the theme of rocks, remembrance and cathedrals of stone. Continue reading

Turning Two: A Mini Coming of Age {A Peter Rabbit Party}

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I’ve always called her my snuggle-bunny…a springtime baby who loves to curl up in your lap, put her thumb in her mouth and tuck her head into the crevice of your neck. But even the most gentle of babies must at some point catapult herself from the cradle of the caregiver’s arms. Continue reading

Through Thorny Ways

MasonJarRosesHymn{Gracia Rose turned two this week. I plan to post photos from this year’s party soon, but for now, here is a little background about her name and some recent reflections along with some pictures from the Rose Garden Party we hosted to celebrate her first birthday last year.}

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My thin sweater did nothing to ward away the chill in the air. The smell of wet earth hung on the wind. I slopped my high heels through grass and mud on the way to the stadium where my littlest brother would be sliding the tassel from one side of his cap to the other, crowded in by hundreds of other robed students doing the same.

Murky water seeped into my shoes on my walk to the concrete. I wanted to grumble, but all I could think about were the waterlogged feet of a woman on the other side of the world, a woman wandering with holes in her boots and a gun to her head. She had walked that way for days, then weeks, then months. By now it had been almost a year since she and her husband were forced from a bungalow on their second honeymoon by a gang of rebels.

The woman’s name was Gracia. And I prayed for her. Continue reading

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Lemon Bars

whenlifehandsyoulemonsThis holiday season, we were singing the “Twelve Days of Sickness” instead of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.”  What started in mid-December with puke buckets and snot rags continued all season long and made us wonder if Christmas would happen for us at all. I hardly had a moment to ponder the sacredness of the season, or the sickness, as I had in times past. The attack happened in waves, two or three different viruses descending on our home and knocking the kids down like dominoes. Every night one or another or all of them would wake with a hacking cough or vomit-covered sheets. Our bathtubs and washing machine seemed to exist for the sole purpose of clearing away bio-hazard.

A writing deadline hung over my head, but when I sat down to the computer, the sinus pressure was worse than the pressure to churn out the words. So, I’d take a three-hour nap instead…and still feel like mush. Probably the thing that pained me most was that I wanted to be there for other people who were in pain and I just couldn’t make it happen. Continue reading