how to find peace in a busy world

How to find peace in a busy world

I lay on the tufts of fresh grass, wind caressing my face, wind chimes playing their gentle tune. The sun warms my toes and thoughts wash to and fro on the sea of my invisible mind. One stray idea, plucked from the waves and held carefully, like a delicate ball of hand-blown glass. I turn it around in my mind’s eye, appraising its value. When did I get so busy? Too busy to sit and enjoy the grass between my toes, too tired to double-bounce my boys on the trampoline, too thoughtless to even sweep the floor. What have I been doing? Many good things. I have been doing many good things. But have I done the good things to the exclusion of the best things? To spend time learning at the feet of my Lord, to worship him as the woman who spent her most precious perfume on him. What is my most … Read More

3 Stories that stir the soul of your children

What if you could read a story that was more than a story, a story that would stay with you long after the final word? What if you could read a story that drew you closer to God? What if you could read that same story to your kids? What if that story would draw your kids closer to God as well, by opening up conversations about faith in your home? Would you read it? With the revival of reading aloud to our children, (even children that can read perfectly fluently), comes the need for stories that stir the imagination and the soul. There are many books in the world that do one or the other, but not nearly enough that do both. Enter…stories to stir the soul! These original stories, written by yours truly, will move both you and your kids as you read, study, and learn together. They are each read-able … Read More

The easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel

The easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel

What’s the easiest way to share (and remember) the gospel? With colors! You may have seen something called “the wordless book” or made beaded bracelets with the colors in Sunday School. But most of the color-presentations are missing something essential. They are missing God’s motivation. As a story-writer, I know that every character must be properly motivated. His/her actions have to have a reason, because that’s how things work in real life. We don’t do random things. Even if they may APPEAR random, they always have a reason. (Whether or not the reason is sane is another story altogether.) When we start our gospel presentations with sin, we have a motivation problem. Why on earth would God want to save us from our sin? The answer to that question, the motivation for Christ’s sacrifice, lies BEFORE sin. The gospel starts at creation, not at the fall. If God hadn’t created the … Read More

why Christians need to care about the environment, and 5 tips to get you started

Environmental awareness is important for Christians! 5 tips to get you started.

My son came home from kindergarten, thrilled about the fact that Earth Day is coming up. His class had a litter-less lunch day and he’s been learning all about the importance of recycling to help our environment. For some reason, this is something all our kids know (and remind us of on repeat!) but we tend to forget about in the daily grind of raising families. Christians are notoriously resistant to the idea of caring for the environment, usually because of misleading end-times theology…if we think we’re going to be raptured off the earth before it goes to pot, why bother caring?* There are, however, two compelling reasons to care for the earth. The best reason to care about the earth is because it is filled with Image-Bearers of God – people created and adored by our God. When our overconsumption and waste affects the atmosphere, severe droughts happen in sub-saharan Africa … Read More

The 9 best reasons to live in a houseful of boys

One mom's humorous take on what it is like to raise 3 sons

If I had a dollar for every time someone said one of the following things to me when I’m out with my 3 boys, I’d be living on a private island right now: Are you trying for a girl? You must be busy. *look of extreme sympathy* Rather than divulge any personal information about my reproductive life, I think I might start printing and handing out copies of this list of all the best reasons to be raising a crop of boys! 1) Appreciation for my poop jokes. I love a good poop joke. No, not excessive ones at the kitchen table, but a witty poop joke can crack me up anytime. Try this one on for size: Knock knock Who’s there? Yoop Yoop who? No, I didn’t poo. Did you? I truly appreciate having an easily-pleased audience when I come up with that type of gem. 2) Less clothes Sometimes I have … Read More

the silvery voices from on high

heavens

A long time ago, before the cares of the world bowed her low, she sat in the night at the base of a circle of wooden risers, staring into the lingering glimmer at the heart of the fire pit. Where there once was a bonfire circled with stones and boisterous children, there now was only the tiny glow, and the girl. Lights in the sky winked at her through lightyears of darkness, and the scent of wet sand gently tickled her throat. A breeze lifted the hairs on her arms as she gazed into the forsaken embers. Her song, hushed and youthful, nevertheless opened the gates of heaven itself, and as it went in, another sound came out. An ensemble of voices lifted in the wind, and she caught her breath. Was it the other children? No. This was too tune-perfect to be them. Besides, they were all off eating snacks … Read More

when your soul is weary and dry

weary

I am weary. Not the kind of weary that can be cured by a good night’s sleep or a cup of coffee, but soul-achingly weary. Do you feel it too? I am weary from doing all the things, carrying the burdens both physical and mental, filling out all the papers…it’s enough to suck a soul dry. Parched. Except my tear ducts seem to be working fine. I laughed a deep belly laugh today, for the first time in a long time, and still the tears were there, blurring my vision but not spilling over. Hidden. Then I look around and see what my friends are dealing with, and say to myself, “you have no right to feel like this. Look at how much hard they have. Your hard doesn’t count.” But like I told a friend other day, tired is hard too. Weary is hard. Sadness is hard. Your hard and my hard, they’re different. But … Read More

3 steps toward walking away from worry

worry

It was like a child had unrolled a skein of yarn and tried to put it back together, then placed the ensuing mess in my mind for me to unravel and place back in the proper order. The things I needed to do today mixed with the list I needed to start for a family trip which overlapped with the appointments that needed to be made and the overwhelm of all the writerly things I wanted to, no, needed to get done. It was enough tangled yarn to hang oneself with. Nearly overwhelming, constricting the throat as my heartbeat raced my car down the highway. The thoughts would not untangle. Jesus’ words on worry almost seemed trite. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body … Read More

The expense of forgiveness

forgive

I picked up another small shirt, shook it out, then folded it. As I added it to the growing pile of clean laundry, the pile of dirty laundry in my heart grew. I had been highly embarrassed by a tactless remark, and was fuming about the lack of apology from the offender. Despite having told the person my feelings, including that I was planning to forgive them, unforgiveness was a stain on my soul. I thought about all the ways that I could remind them about their infraction, all the ways I could manipulate them into an apology. The stain deepened. // My Bible app was playing through Exodus, but I was barely paying attention to all the rules for the tabernacle. As I folded a pair of pants and the reader droned through the rules of sacrifices, I was arrested by a peculiar thought: the Kingdom of God is … Read More

The 3 verse gospel

Share the gospel in 3 verses; includes printable posters!

I was sitting in the first row in my Invertebrates class at University, waiting for it to start. I have no idea why I sat in the front that day, normally being a back-row sitter. It must have been the fascinating subject material…I mean, jellyfish and crustaceans would certainly keep anyone on the edge of their seat. My lab partner came and sat next to me, and we started chatting. I don’t recall the subject of our discussion, except that she suddenly asked me THE question… “What do Christians believe anyway?” My heart stuttered, my mouth went dry. I had been a Christian most of my life, why was I suddenly panicking? I hastily drew a bridge on my notebook and went through the “bridge illustration” with her, but class was about to start. I’m pretty sure I told the whole thing in less than a minute (once I actually got started). Has … Read More