How to visit an art gallery with kids without losing your cool


Looking at art with kids is a way of exposing them to the marvelous diversity of artistic expression and to a range of cultures. A visit to an art gallery or museum can be an opportunity not just to cultivate self-control and attention, but also to nurture creativity and curiosity.

Read More

A blessing for my daughter on her birthday

pencil sketch of my daughter

My oldest baby turns twelve today. She’s my responsible, independent girl who loves walks in the fresh air, spaghetti bolognese and chocolate ganache drizzled over cupcakes. Occasionally she still lets me sing her a song before turning the lights out for bed, but these days she usually falls asleep with the light on and a […]

Read More

When wedding gifts become wedding blessings: Memory and presence


Sixteen years ago today I was staring out a window in Texas watching torrential rains flood the garden where I was supposed to be married later in the day. I learned then, what I’ve learned many times since, that a marriage takes improvisation and the willingness to change course, sometimes at a moment’s notice. We […]

Read More

From curse to blessing: How grace gets the last word


“The last word of the Old Testament is ‘curse’ (Mal. 4:6), and it is meaningful that the opening sermon of our Lord’s ministry commences with the word ‘Blessed.’” —Charles Spurgeon   “What have you got in here?” I ask my son, slinging his backpack over my shoulder. “Did you fill your bag with rocks?” He’s […]

Read More

Breathing room for my soul: How to find rest in the noise of a day?


My eyes flit across the surfaces of things, as if I’m rushing around glancing at scattered pieces of a puzzle without the attention to start finding connections, much less meaning. I can’t still the turning of the world; but I do have some control over the degree to which my mind and soul are carried along with it.
Here are a few things I’m trying in order to cultivate internal stillness.

Read More

A blessing for resting and waking

sunrise copy

May you sleep in the shelter of the shadow of God’s wings, May you wake in the light of his love For a little more than a year I’ve been praying this blessing over my kids just before they drift off to sleep. I turn out the lights, sit on the edge of the bed, […]

Read More

Traveling to Cappadocia with the church fathers


Leave it to a five-year-old to turn a  World Heritage site into a playground. The churches, monasteries and cave homes carved into the soft rock of the Cappadocian landscape were irresistible to my kids who filled our days there climbing, exploring and racing between fairy chimneys. For kids, play always takes precedence over reflection. I […]

Read More

Interior space and exterior surface: Anish Kapoor


Sculpture, I thought, is the opposite of void. Sculpture, I thought, projects itself into space. Sculpture, I thought, is presence. That’s what I thought, at least, until I met Anish Kapoor’s voids. I expected to see sculpture at the Kapoor show at Sakip Sabanci Muzesi in Istanbul, and I wasn’t disappointed. Kapoor has garnered international […]

Read More

Emotional Women: Grief contained and grief exposed


When I walked through the doors of Santa Maria della Vita, a baroque church on a side street in Bologna, Italy, it took awhile for my eyes to adjust to the dim interior. A friend had told me there was something in this church that I needed to see. I made my way to a […]

Read More

Gardener or God: An extraordinary case of mistaken identity?


This time of year when the plum trees outside my bedroom window start to bloom, I always have an urge to plant something. So this past Friday I packed my two-year-old into the car and we headed to the nearest plant center (a trip that nearly ended in disaster and with the loss of a […]

Read More