Learning to Lament

DESSERTS

In the midst of good in our lives, we fear—because we believe "all good things must come to an end." Something bad is going to happen, we think—and inevitably, it does. Life isn't perfect so we experience—at varying degrees of separation—disease, death, relationship heartache, financial trouble, school shootings, and terrorist attacks—just to name a few. In the midst of evil in the world we fear—because, in the words of a friend, "It seems like the bad guys are winning." In the good and in … Read More...

A House Concert and an Oasis

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Tim and Charla performing at our first house concert ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ If you've never been to one, a house concert is just what is sounds like: a live musical performance in someone's home. It differs from traditional concerts because the setting allows for interaction between the musicians and audience, bringing intimacy, a sense of community, and a shared purpose. As musicians ourselves, my husband and I have … Read More...

Why We Got the Downton Abbey Ending We Wanted

Why We Got the Downton Abbey Ending We Wanted

Maybe like you, I congregated with a group of friends to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey (DA) this past weekend. Like all good DA parties there were inscribed napkins, tea, and scones. There was also a hesitant anticipation knowing we'd never get to join in the stories of these characters again, while at the same time wondering if we'd get the happy endings we craved for each of them. *SPOILER ALERT* Our smiles, cheers, and collective sighs of relief filled the room as we … Read More...

Books on Tap

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The end of February is analogous to reaching Mile 22 of a marathon. You've made it past The Wall, as runners call the point where you think you might die, but there's still a ways to go and you're doubting your abilities to get through this thing. Then your thinking shifts beyond the current pain to the finish line. At the end of the race there'll be bananas, bagels, and probably chocolate milk. You get to eat whatever you want for dinner (Starbucks and Combos, anyone?) because, heck, you … Read More...

At (in)Courage: Weaving the Threads of Change

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I have a piece at (in)Courage today! It's a wonderful site that provides a home for the heart of women—I get their daily devotionals sent right to my inbox for some regular encouragement in the Lord. Here's the beginning of the post, just click on the link below and it'll take you to the rest.  ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ We had just finished remodeling our 1930s-era brick colonial home on a peaceful, tree-lined street … Read More...

A Thing of Beauty

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In my pre-teen years, I was a motivated babysitter. I'd make up games, run around in the yard, and clean up the house—determined to earn every dollar. It was never much in the early 1990s, but still I was excited to get my little stash of folded bills when the parents came home. After one particularly long day of babysitting, the mom returned with excitement. "I got you something!" she sang. That was thoughtful of her. "Here it is. It can be your payment for babysitting today," she … Read More...

One Million Thumbprints

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

I cried myself to sleep last night; it's been a long time since I've done that. Embraced by the power of storytelling; these tears came after reading the reality of war related violence against an Iraqi woman named Amena, which I'll share below. When I hear about Middle-Eastern violence, or African wars, or sex slavery in general, I can too easily write these injustices off as an "over-there problem," but when a name is attached, it becomes very real. I cried out of shame. I cried because … Read More...

My #OneWord2016

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One of my very best salvage finds was an old bookcase spotte on a morning run; it was propped against a tree on the side of the road adorned with a "FREE" sign. I could have been scared off by the matte black color and cat hair stuck to it, but the bones were good. It was crafted of solid wood with clean lines, so I imagined that with just a little work, it could be returned to a former glory. I sprinted home to grab my old Volvo to transport the thing, mumbled something quickly to my husband … Read More...

How The Making of a Murderer Challenged My Parenting

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  Many people are gaining a fresh perspective on law enforcement, our judicial system, and the way the two are stacked against the underprivileged from the Netflix documentary, The Making of a Murderer—me included. But what surprised me about the show is the ways it gave me pause about how I am raising my kids. More about that in a minute. Until this week, we were among the uninitiated few that weren't following the popular documentary. But hearing the outcries of injustice from … Read More...

What Breastfeeding Is Teaching Me About God

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  I know many of you have already heard, but just in case you haven't....I'm at Today's Christian Woman this week with an article on breastfeeding. I am definitely not a militant pro-breastfeeding person, I understand and have personally experienced that it's not always the best choice for mom and baby. But this time, feeding my last little guy—Hudson—has been special for the ways it has drawn me to God. I'd love to have you read the article even if this isn't your season of life. God speaks to … Read More...