The only person I want to look like

God's acceptance

“If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until you can hardly bear to look at it. A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”  “The Twits” by Roald Dahl Sometimes I wonder what people see when they look at me. Do they see a goofy person? A thinker? A weirdo? A crazy DIY mom? None of those are particularly flattering, although that’s part of how I see myself. What do people suspect about when they first meet me? Do they suspect that I am kind, … Read More

What happens when a leader makes a big mistake

This week I was reminded about the the responsibility and burden of leadership, especially church leadership. Someone very sweet and courageous reminded me to use my reputation and position in leadership with care. There was a time in my life where I didn’t do that, and it had some serious ramifications that I didn’t even know about until a few years later. I didn’t intend to hurt the other person, but I was not tactful and the other person felt that I had abused my power. We had a conversation about it and I thought it was all solved, but last year I discovered that my actions had a significant impact on her leaving the church. When I heard this, I felt broken. We were in the middle of summer intern interviews at the time and I was almost unraveling. I had always heard about “those church people” that were … Read More

A bruised reed he will not break

How does God care for those who not doing well? Today’s post on depression in the Bible brought to you by Elijah and Erin. (PS You can find more of my “did I just read that in the Bible?!”-type posts over here.) Before I even start this post, let me be honest. I have never struggled with long-term depression. I have occasionally had a day or two where I’ve felt this grey cloud of hopelessness and listlessness come upon me for no apparent reason, but it never sticks around. So you might say that I have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s ok. I’m not offended if you choose to stop reading here. But I believe that sometimes God helps us to have a bit of an understanding of a thing without actually experiencing it. I guess that’s called empathy! I have heard people say before that the prophet … Read More

Are there shades of love?

In case you hadn’t noticed, there is currently a big maelstrom online about the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, set to come out in theatres on Saturday (Valentines Day). It’s like the world suddenly woke up and noticed how this insidious shadow has captured the imaginations of so many women, and they abruptly realized that there’s no light in it. The book and the movie are essentially glorified abuse (read this illuminating article written by a survivor of an abusive relationship). Even the co-stars seem as though they’re wishing they hadn’t signed the contract. When even the non-Christian world is calling for the plug to be pulled on a movie due to its pornographic, abusive, misogynistic, violent premise, there’s something wrong. But here’s the thing – mothers all over the globe have jumped on it as an acceptable form of “mommy porn”, hoping that it will rejuvenate their marriages. And I’m … Read More

How to cultivate a true friendship

friendship

Friendship during the school years was relatively easy for me. When I was younger there were one or two friends at a time, and in high school we were a group of seven. Those are the friends with whom I spent most of my noon hours, Friday nights, and birthdays. In university I joined Campus Crusade and developed some healthy friendships with people who were like-minded and who challenged me to do more than study. (I also met my husband, who has been a very enduring friend!) Going to school is like being in a friendship hothouse. You become friends with those who are close by, and the friendships grow fairly easily because of proximity. There are some weeds (i.e. teenage hormones), and some people are toxic in close proximity, but I think many of us can trace at least one of our most enduring friendships back to our school … Read More

How to avoid having God veto your plans!

After [David] the king was settled in his palace and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a palace of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”  2 Samuel 7:1-2 I listened to this chapter of David’s reign today, and it made me scratch my head. David has just brought the ark of God to Jerusalem after its many years in exile away from the spiritual heart of Israel. He’s so jazzed about it that in his enthusiasm he doesn’t do his research and gets a man killed by transporting the ark incorrectly (2 Samuel 6:1-11). Then, when they finally get it to Jerusalem, he embarrasses himself by dancing half-naked in the streets (2 Samuel 6:14-15). Obviously he is excited to have the ark, the earthly throne of Israel’s God, back in … Read More

4 ways busy moms can get into the Word

3 ways for busy moms to get into the Word

I hunched over the stove, tears dripping down my nose.  “Why God?” Another wail came from upstairs. It was my baby, who hadn’t slept more than 45 minutes at a time since he came home from the hospital, weeks ago.  I was exhausted, but I hoped against all hope that this time he would sleep for a bit, and that I would get to sit down with God for a while.  But no. My eldest was snoozing soundly in his bed, but this baby needed constant movement to sleep, and my power levels were flashing red.  “Why won’t you make him sleep so I can spend some time with you? Isn’t that a good thing?”  In the midst of his wailing, I was reminded of a Bible passage I’d read a long time ago:  “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us … Read More

A tale of two pigs…er, mothers

This morning was the worst morning ever. No, not because I felt sick, or worried, or exhausted. I was tired, since the baby had been up crying a lot in the night, but I’ve felt worse. Much worse. This morning was the worst morning ever because I acted like it was the worst morning ever. When the boys woke up, I sent them downstairs. They came back up. They were noisy and the baby was actually sleeping, so I hissed at them. They disappointedly went back down. It felt like every thing they did pissed me off, and so I snapped and hissed like a rattlesnake about to kill its innocent prey with its venomous bite. And my prey was innocent. Now, I’ve had times where I’ve snapped and hissed, and it usually doesn’t last long. I snap out of the funk and apologize. But this time it almost felt … Read More

Why a balanced heart is better than a balanced life

A balanced heart

It’s been a long time since I listened to a sermon. In between leading the children’s ministry, spending time in the mother’s room with one of my three babies, and just being my usual distractible self, it’s not very often I have the time or the presence of mind to sit and actually learn from a sermon. Today I found myself in the rare position of not having something on my mind, not having any children around, and not teaching. It’s like all the circles in my life’s venn diagram suddenly intersected and my brain actually felt like cooperating. The pastor asked a question: “What do you think Jesus would say if you asked him how he was doing?”  He concluded that it’s very unlikely he would say “I’m SO busy!” Ask me the same question. Or I’ll ask you. But yes, yes, I know, I know, we’re all busy … Read More