Some Words of Hope After the Election

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I get that enough has been written about this election already...and yet I write on. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I write to figure out what I'm thinking, to pull myself out of darkness and fear and into light and truth. So, if you have found your way here, I appreciate the time you're taking with me as I process this. Whew. I'm tired and I'm guessing that many of you are, too. This election cycle was emotionally and spiritually exhausting, and I wasn't expecting to to feel this … Read More...

HerStory: Meet Roxie

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I grew up in a small Midwestern town. We had good schools, a lovely rural landscape, and nice people. And probably THE nicest was Roxie Kaminski, the secretary at my junior high school and mother of one of my classmates. We've recently reconnected over social media and I discovered her delightful parenting memoir Puzzle Piece Heart. She raised four children as a single mother and from an outsider's perspective, made it look easy. She was at every school event, her children were smart and kind, … Read More...

Why I’m Kissing the Christian Subculture Goodbye (Sort-of)

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When I was a college freshman in the late 1990s, one of the most influential relationship books for Christian young adults hit the shelves. In I Kissed Dating Goodbye, author Joshua Harris encouraged readers to forgo traditional dating for courtship. It was a movement broadly embraced by the evangelical church as a manifesto of the purity culture. When a male friend started pursuing me romantically shortly I after I read it, I laid out the tenants of Harris' book. They were ones I'd embraced … Read More...

La Dolce far Niente (The Sweetness of Doing Nothing)

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I recently headed to the mountains of Colorado for a 5 day backpacking trip. My husband, Josh, my brother-in-law, Joe, and I finally reunited in the wilderness; I hadn’t joined the guys on a trip in over five years—pregnancy and nursing benched me for awhile. It may seem counterintuitive to choose backpacking as a vacation, it has it's share of challenges, but it's so worth them all. Yes, it's physically difficult to carry 40 lbs all day long, a health hazard to travel from sea level to … Read More...

My Interview For “Don’t Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket” & A Book Give-away

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My friend Jenny Rae Armstrong just wrote an incredible book, Don't Hide Your Light Under a Laundry Basket, a compilation of creative ideas for wanna-be world changers. I love this book, and not only because she was generous enough to include several friends from her writing community to be a part of it. You will be encouraged, challenged, and inspired by the more than 150 ideas for doing kingdom work in your everyday lives. I will send one reader who comments below or on The Blessed Nest … Read More...

10 Observations from Escape to the Lake 2016

Ten Observations About ETTL 2016.

A few weeks ago our family attended our third Escape to the Lake (ETTL). What is ETTL? We all laugh about that question because it's actually kind of hard to describe. Is it a conference? Is it a camp? Is it a retreat? Is it for artists or fans? Kids, families, or singles? Is it for young people or old people? Is it a religious thing? Is it church? Is it a workshop? It's really a little bit of all that. And though she wasn't talking about ETTL, from the words of a Jess Ray song, "And it may be … Read More...

End of Summer Reflections

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Summer is drawing to a slow close. The daylight hours are slipping away earlier. Mothers like me are cleaning out closets, gathering their children's school supplies and figuring out the schedule for the coming months. Perhaps we are all longing for a little less spontaneity and vacationing in favor of routine, stability, and the comforts of home as we begin to retreat back. I admit, this summer has left me tired instead of refreshed. It was a whirlwind of a "break" and I'm glad to be part of … Read More...

A Theological Coming Out

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A few weeks ago I co-taught the Bible lessons for a Vacation Bible School program at the Presbyterian church next door. I loved it. I really enjoyed making the stories come alive and thought nothing of the fact that the leaders shepherding the kids through our station were also listening. Along with my co-lead, I was able to use my gift of teaching to ad lib, provide history behind the stories, and create meaningful off-script take-aways. There were many moments where I felt the Holy Spirit at … Read More...

The One Thing I Can’t Give Away

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For nearly five years, our grey and green infant Chicco car seat accompanied me everywhere. I gently rocked it during Bible study (while praying for a nap), it sat next to me on the booth while we dined out (totally frazzled), it secured each of our (often screaming) infants during car rides, and it provided the transfer of a still sleeping baby (fingers crossed) from the car to our next activity. Twice I've put that infant car seat on the front porch for a Goodwill donation pick up and twice … Read More...

HerStory: Meet Chelsey

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Oh, this girl. She's pretty amazing. I'm lucky to claim her as family, we're cousins-in-law (is that a thing?); she married my step-cousin a few years ago. We live geographically far apart, but stay in touch pretty well through social media. When I attended my grandmother's funeral in North Dakota last month, we were able to spend quality time together, and wow, she and her husband David are the real deal. I loved their hospitality, kindness, and honesty. If we lived closer, there'd be … Read More...