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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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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Living the Truth in Broken Relationships

Living the Truth in Broken Relationships

I didn’t want to go. At. All. Normally I would be excited to help lead a worship night, but this time I knew there was likely to be someone in attendance who I was struggling with. There had been some things said and done that were profoundly hurtful and unacceptable, and I had no desire to see this woman, much less worship together. My guitar weighed a thousand pounds and my footsteps were even heavier as I entered the room, praying the whole time for the ability to worship in spite of the company. The woman was there already, and as anger bubbled in my chest I had to fight the urge to turn and walk out the door. Breathe. Grit my teeth. Just get through the evening… Please let me worship even though she’s here. As I closed my eyes and the music began, the noise...

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The Problem of They

The Problem of They

Ok, friends, I’m going a bit grammarian on you here for a minute. I don’t like how people have been using third person plural pronouns. Them. Their. They. “We have to stand against them or they’ll take away our right to bear arms.” “They care more about their guns than about our children.” “They are killing babies.” “They want to take away our right to choose.” “They are coming into our country illegally.” “They don’t care about people who are suffering” Every time I check Facebook I feel like I need to duck and cover because of all the memes flying back and forth like arrows across the political aisle. Complex issues that should be a conversation have been reduced to an angry exchange of one line jabs. And the faces behind the issues have been reduced to a...

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Friends are Food, Not Fish

Friends are Food, Not Fish

My girls love the movie Finding Nemo, so I’ve seen it more times than I can count. But, without fail, when Bruce the reformed shark repeats “fish are friends, not food”, my brain grabs the words and rearranges them into “friends are food, not fish”. No, I don’t secretly have cannibalistic leanings. But the idea of friends as food has become an interesting metaphor for me. The people in my life really are like a banquet, spread out and varied and plentiful. Some are warm and hearty, some are spicy and exhilarating, some are sweet and delightful. Some are comfort food, the ones who go best with sweat pants and a good cup of coffee. And some are kale, necessary and good for me, but a little hard to swallow. I need all of them. As much as I enjoy my comfort food...

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Arming Warriors

Arming Warriors

I’m a girl mom, and it really doesn’t look that pink and fluffy. When I found out that my first was a girl, moms of only boys occasionally told me that they wished they could have a girl so they could have at least one calm, mild, clean child. It wasn’t long before I discovered that my beautiful little daughter was a lot more spice than sugar, and my illusions of calm, clean, and mild went right out the window. And then my second came roaring in like a pint-sized hurricane, demolishing all remaining sense of order in our home. Some sisters have tea parties. Mine are much more likely to wrestle and try to sit on each other’s faces. They do love to dress up and be pampered, but they’ll probably be outside a couple minutes later taking their fancy clothes and...

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