The Powerful Message of the “Grinch Gospel”

Understand the message of the Christian faith more deeply through the Grinch Gospel. The actors lined up backstage, ready to perform their roles with dignity and clarity. But one by one, they messed up. She forgot her lines. He wanted someone else’s part, so he didn’t play his role and an entire scene became confused. She didn’t understand her character. The choir sang out of key. Was it my child’s most recent Christmas play? Nope. It is the chaos that is humanity. We forget our parts, misunderstand our roles, desire to be someone other than ourselves, and generally create a cacophony of brokenness. But in the midst of the brokenness, Christmas reminds us of the incredible moment that God joined the actors of human history onstage. No longer content to merely author the stage play from backstage and touch down occasionally, He chose to join in as a full participant. … Read More

finding peace in the remembering

I pull the ornament out of its box, calling my son over. “See this one? This one is from mommy and daddy’s wedding. We made these for everyone who came, hanging them all on the Christmas trees. Everyone took one home, including us.” The painted glass feels warm in my hand, the black lettering just beginning to flake off. After 12 years of coming in and out of storage, it is beginning to look less shiny. After 12 years of living, a marriage looks less shiny as well. I flip over the tag that I attached to the ornament in the thrill of passion and new love. “Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot overwhelm it.” I inhale deeply as I remember the promises of God to me and my husband. Many things happen in life that threaten to drown out love, and the rivers of time easily chip away at the … Read More

5 ways to enjoy church as an introvert

introvert church service

Let me tell you a story… You walk into church and a greeter gives you a handshake and says welcome. There are about two hundred people milling around. They stand in groups with their backs to you, drinking coffee. None of them turn to say hello. When people do talk to you, it’s small talk and you never really know what to say. Or, if you show up just as the service is starting, you have to walk past all the eyes to go sit in the front because all the regulars have already claimed the back pews. So many eyes. In the middle of the service you have to turn around and shake hands with everyone around you, possibly engaging in more small talk or even a series of hugs. At the end of the service you are asked to stand up (in front of everyone) if you need prayer. … Read More

Christmas gifts that make a difference

gifts that make a difference

“True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity. False charity constrains the fearful and subdued, the “rejects of life,” to extend their trembling hands. True generosity lies in striving so that these hands–whether of individuals or entire peoples–need be extended less and less in supplication, so that more and more they become human hands which work and, working, transform the world.” ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed We all like to support our favourite organizations, especially at Christmas. My firm belief is that true charity should empower. So much of charity work is done with good intentions, but with the ultimate result of leaving more people dependent on handouts, or worse. Donating reams of old clothing and shoes to the developing world? This puts many local tailors and clothes stores out of business. Donating infant formula? This causes babies to sicken as the formula is mixed with dirty water, … Read More

lessons from the potty chair: the spirituality of potty training

frog potty training

I was dreading potty training my third son. He’s quite stubborn and he doesn’t talk so I was expecting a horrible weekend*. But as with anything mandatory with kids, I jumped in and did it anyway. Partway through the day I had this sudden realization that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be, and not because he was miraculously potty trained in 5 minutes. (he wasn’t, just to clarify) I had this little epiphany: God is helping me. He is giving me wisdom and patience (LOTS OF IT) and energy so that I can continue the dreaded P-Day with joy. The revelation surprised me, because I had not thought to pray about potty training. It is easier to remember to call on God when I’m working at church, or leading a Bible study, or praying with my kids. But perhaps I had compartmentalized my … Read More

Why I’m not going trick-or-treating this Halloween

halloween pumpkins

The black and yellow wings tugged at my shoulders and the tights scratched my legs. Little bits of sugar clung to my chin as I peered behind my grandma passing out candy to the neighbor kids. We were passing out candy and in my preschool mind, Costumes + Candy = Best.Day.Ever. But except for the one time I helped my grandparents pass out candy, my family didn’t really *do* Halloween. Most years we avoided the issue altogether by hiding in the basement, and other years we had a fun family night at the indoor amusement park. One year we attended a “harvest festival” put on by a local church and I discovered that Pentecostals are a lot of fun. True story. As a teenager my friends weren’t terribly interested in trick-or-treating (although we were known to go Christmas carolling in mid-summer…) and as a young adult I helped out with my … Read More

when you peek beyond the veil of this reality

dual reality

So *ahem* this isn’t common knowledge, but I have watched every single episode of Stargate. Twice. In case you’re not a nerd like me, Stargate is about a top-secret group of scientists and military personnel that explore the galaxy by traveling through wormholes to other planets. It’s archaeology and science fiction all wrapped up in one beautiful story. There is one episode where the characters find a mirror, and when they touch it, they find themselves on the other side of the mirror in a parallel reality. Of course, good screenwriting determines that they must run into themselves, which they do. In the parallel reality, each character is fundamentally the same, yet altered in at least one small, but crucial way. You and I also exist in dual realities. In my parallel reality, the deepest parts of me, the parts that make me Christie, they are fundamentally the same. Yet I am altered … Read More

when everyone seems to be tuning you out

tuning you out

Do you ever feel like no one is even listening, like the world is tuning you out? Your voice seems to bounce right off your children. Your voice isn’t heard on the committee. Someone has actually told you to shut up. You’re a blogger and it seems like no one ever reads what you’ve written. Your spouse is so invested in social media that they absorb your words without hearing them. There are just as many ways to be unheard as there are ways to be heard. It’s a noisy world, I get it. We can’t listen to everyone. But what about when you have something really important to say? When your kids desperately need to hear the caution or the grace you are offering… When the committee would honour God so much better if they implemented your ideas… When the world would be safer if you stood up for yourself … Read More

Embracing the dual callings of Mother and Creative 

encouragement for the creative mom

On any given day a quick peek through Instagram or Facebook reveals perfectly decorated cakes baked for a child’s birthday, tutus sewn for princess daughters, artful photos taken of children, monogrammed blocks for a baby’s bedroom, art projects created by homeschool moms, graphics designed for ministries, and so many other creative projects all coming out of the overflow of my friends’ lives. Cooking gourmet meals, creating adorable crafts, creating songs and poems: they all make us feel alive. The ability to create sets us apart from the rest of creation and is a part of God’s glorious stamp on us. But is a mom actually allowed to be creative in the midst of motherhood, or should motherhood an all-consuming sacrifice? Must a woman set aside all creativity while raising children, or is there a space for her own individuality even in the midst of the long days of motherhood? Enter: Life … Read More

GIVEAWAY! (and what I’ve been reading)

books and giveaway

Reading is my favourite thing, although most days I wish I was more intentional about it. But the truth is, most of what I write is heavily influenced by what I read. The Bible (obviously) has a pretty big impact, but so do novels and non-fiction books. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the things I’m reading these days, because maybe there will be some fabulousness in there that will also be a cool part of your life. (also, there’s a GIVEAWAY for a book at the end of the post!) I’ve included links in case you want to buy the books, but feel free to check them out from your local library or borrow them from a friend instead. 🙂 Anyway, TO THE BOOKS! FICTION This is the WWII perspective you’ve never read because it’s told from the perspective of Ukrainians, and most … Read More