10 Observations from Escape to the Lake 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 […]

For All the Suffering

I wonder if every generation thinks about the state of the world, “This is the worst it’s ever been.” Our generation’s current troubles—acts of terrorism, rampant abortion, random school shootings, clergy sex scandals, police brutality, racial divides, and human trafficking—are just a few potential sources of injustice and suffering that plague us. And that’s on […]

Reflections on the Festival of Faith and Writing

It’s been two weeks since the 2016 Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI—a gathering for Christian readers, writers, editors, and book pitchers. It took me that much time to process it, because like the pile of papers and books I brought home, there was a cluttered pile of mental sentiments […]

A House Concert and an Oasis

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 […]

I Used to Think Faith Was Black and White

I used to think ____ but now I think _____ . (An #OutofSortsBook synchroblog) Sarah Bessey, my of my favorite authors and bloggers, challenged the on-line community to write a post on their own blogs based on this prompt: “I used to think ____ and now I think ____.”  To tell us a story of how you’ve […]

Belonging Day 21: On Belonging to Another World

From the outside looking in, those of us who base our lives on the words and actions of Jesus and his Word look foolish, different; we stand out. Our relationships and sense of belonging are challenged by the way our choices differ from the norms of this world. As believers, we will have many situations in this life […]

Belonging Day 2: What Does It Mean to Belong?

It took me just a few minutes of considering the 31 day writing challenge for this word to pop into my head: belonging.  It’s not surprising really. Even though I’ve never dwelt on that word before, we recently moved and I know the feeling of not belonging. To kick off this #write31days challenge, I thought […]

So You Think You Have A Boring Testimony?

We were finally sitting around a camp fire after several miles of hiking on a women’s backpacking trip I was leading in the Weminuche mountains of Colorado. The tents were pitched, the dehydrated meals had been reconstituted and we had nothing but a sunset to gaze at and time to kill. Someone suggested that everyone […]

On Moving and Grace

Old digs as we were packing up… It is finished. Our move is over. And before I jump into the lighter posts of showing you all of our nooks and crannies with just the right Instagram filter, there will be this post. I believe I will forever have a new appreciation of  (I don’t appreciate it) […]

Peace in the Chaos

I should be coming undone right now… I have lots of littles. (Always a complexity factor). I just got done working full time hours for six weeks (when i usually work less than 1/2 that). We’re in the middle of a move. (Why do we have ants in our pants? We’re always moving but at […]