How Pandemic Isolation is like Missionary Life

How Pandemic Isolation is like Missionary Life

When my good friend Cathy shared this with me, something clicked. I had been struggling to understand why I couldn’t keep on top of my daily responsibilities. Sure, I’m suddenly helping my kids navigate distance learning, but I’m used to working from home and I’m no longer spending hours in the car shuttling people around. Every evening, though, I’m exhausted, feeling like the day held too much. Cathy’s gentle reminder helped me define what I’ve been feeling. I know this struggle. This time really does mirror a lot of our life overseas, both the hard and the sweet. I’ve benefitted from Cathy’s words for years, and I’m grateful for the chance to share some of her grace and wisdom with my friends. Let’s be gentle with ourselves right now, and let’s remember to pray...

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Still

Still

I mowed the lawn with a vengeance this morning. I mean an actual vengeance. Like, “How dare you sit there so smug and tall and defiantly bushy?!” I needed to have dominion over nature in some way, and the grass was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because here we are in a spot few of us could have foreseen at the hopeful beginning of this year: the whole world held hostage by a few runaway bits of RNA. And, just like that, no more school or church or ballet classes or prayer group. No more travel, no visits with our parents, no concerts or field trips or coffee with friends. Only an indefinite stretch of cloistered days that just might have this extrovert chewing holes in the wall and hugging random trees in our yard before it’s all over. My husband and...

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The Bible Makes Me Uncomfortable (And That’s a Good Thing)

The Bible Makes Me Uncomfortable (And That’s a Good Thing)

I jumped off a cliff the summer I was 16. It seemed like a good idea at the time… until I was hurtling toward the water below. Let me tell you, water isn’t always a great cushion. Flailing like Wiley E. Coyote trying to run on thin air, I tilted back just enough that the force of impact dislocated my right shoulder. I didn’t know what was wrong. I just knew I couldn’t move my arm. Without my bones, muscles, and nerves laying where they were designed to, I had no feeling or function at all, not even in my fingers. As I struggled to hoist myself up onto the rocky bank, my shoulder snapped back into place. It hurt. A lot. And it took several weeks of rest, ice, and careful exercise for the ache to fade and my strength to return. There wasn’t a pain-free way to...

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The Gravy Promise

The Gravy Promise

We didn’t need words. We had chicken, fresh off the grill and perfectly juicy. We had corn on the cob, roasted garlic zucchini, and deep amber honey dripping off buttery biscuits. We had some gentle quiet at the end of a week of sweet chaos, with their family and ours all under one roof. And we had memories of meals shared on the other side of the Pacific, where a steady thread of holidays and birthdays, weekday dinners and afternoon iced coffees had first woven us together. As the food disappeared, the words came like a slow tide. We stayed long at the table and talked about graduating kids and losing parents and about how grief feels anything but natural. The next day our friends got on a plane and flew back to where God has them for this season, and we stayed...

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Again and Again

Again and Again

We’re in a season of some pretty big change in our house. Our oldest is leaping from childhood into the strange new world of college classes, car insurance, and grown-up decisions and responsibilities. And for the first time in his ministry career, my husband is serving primarily adults instead of teens. He’s upgraded his goatee to a full beard and his office décor from a plunger in a vase (seriously) to coordinating wall art and real, live potted plants. I love my new role with Wycliffe Women of the Word – like really, really LOVE it – but after years of homeschool and coffee dates and leading Bible studies and writing mostly whenever the whim hit, it feels weird to have deadlines and an editor and a swanky new podcast on the horizon. (I told my unendingly...

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Toast and Fish Sticks

Toast and Fish Sticks

The bigness of life has surprised me. When I was young I expected life to become simpler as I grew older. I thought my days would get easier because I would be more equipped to handle the things that would come along. What I didn’t understand then was the sheer size and complexity of the mess left by that choice in Eden. Recently my husband and I have been asked — both personally and professionally — to speak truth into some pretty profound darkness, and it can feel overwhelming at times. I spent a good part of last week preparing for a couple significant projects on the horizon, and I have to be honest that it’s easy to feel unqualified to add my voice to such important conversations. The other day I texted my sister about some of what I’ve been asked to do and...

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Remembering Reality When Evil Smiles

Remembering Reality When Evil Smiles

It’s been a couple months since I’ve written anything here. I’ve been busy writing for my day job, but I’ve also just been choosing to use the time I have to be present with family and friends, some of whom are going through really difficult things. Nothing is harder than watching the sharp edges of a broken world slice deep into tender souls. There’s so much — so much — to grieve over in this place. From smirking politicians signing away our tiniest citizens’ right to life, to nauseating abuse that’s ignored and excused, to shattered families crushed under the debris of devastating sin, evil seems to be gloating in victory far too often. I get it, friend — how the weight of all that isn’t right can squeeze the air from your chest. How it can drain the fight and...

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