Feeling Frayed? Me too. That’s Why We Need Advent

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world…” —Annie Dillard Last week I spent a day staring at the mod ceiling lights in a hospital room. I don’t like needles, IV bags, pokes, prods, plastic caps, flimsy slippers or lunch served on plastic trays. Everything about the sterilized medical environment produces a […]

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When Weaving Becomes a Lens for Seeing Life

Imagine life as a loom. The lengths of string composing the warp are pulled taught, stretched out like so many days, months, and years—a suspended vertical calendar. And making up the weft are threads of varying color and texture mingling in a sometimes chaotic and sometimes beautiful way. Each thread represents the presence of a […]

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Navigating a Midlife Crisis: Three Wise Women Shining a Light Through the Fog

Total exhaustion. Gnawing feelings of anxiety. An uneasy sense that I haven’t lived up to my potential. An occasional wistful glance back at the lives I might have lived. Fear that I might be poised on the cusp of a slow but steady decline. Yep. This is middle age. Roughly around the time I hit […]

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Perfect Age in an Imperfect World: 7 Blessings for My Son

Seven is the perfect age. I’m sure of it. This morning my seven-year-old son woke up early, padding into the den in sock feet. I can see the sleep still lingering in his eyes as he curls up in my lap, all knees and elbows. I rest my chin in his tousled hair and breathe […]

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A View from Way Up High: Summer with Ezekiel & Jeremiah

The broad wooden planks feet warm beneath my feet as I stand leaning on the rail of the deck overlooking the valley. From my vantage point on the high ridge, I can see hundreds of miles in the distance. I watch the clouds gather and darken and roil low on the horizon. Occasionally lightning electrifies […]

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Sketches of Love: Postcards from My Father

When I was fresh out of college, I moved overseas. And while I was living in Sofia, Bulgaria, my father used to send me postcards. The internet was still in its infancy (a reality my kids find impossible to fathom), so people sometimes sent real stamped paper mail that arrived in actual mailboxes. Emojis hadn’t […]

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The Inestimable Value of Unintentional Mothering

When I was in high school I had a sort of on-again, off-again relationship with God. My mom would often see my navy blue Bible with my name printed on the cover in silver laying on the clothes dryer at the foot of the stairs to my room over the garage. She knew I’d dropped […]

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The Arena of Wonder…and Laughter

My grandfather had a shock of white hair and a physique that testified to his love for food and celebration. He was a Baptist pastor born and bred in the Appalachian mountains not far from Hickory, NC. He had seen moonshine devastate so many families in his community that he was a strict teetotaler, but […]

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A Flame in the Desert

The way we pray shapes who we become. Our prayers reflect our understanding of God’s work in the past and our hopes about the way God will interact with us in the future. This Egyptian Coptic prayer testifies to the expectation that God walks with believers through the storm, that His presence is a sustaining force and source of joy. And it reflects their desire to become a flame of love.

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Lamentations & the Steadfast Love of the Lord

I glance over and see my four-year-old daughter sitting on the couch. Still in her pajamas, she’s coloring happily, a spray of multi-hued markers in reach of her right hand. She’s healthy, she’s safe, she’s here with me. Glancing over to my computer screen I gaze at a photograph of a four-year-old girl in a […]

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