On My Grandmother’s 95th Birthday: A Blessing for the Dawn

My grandmother was born in 1924, the same year the lilting melody of “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin was first performed to a packed house in New York City. She is a member of the generation affectionately, nostalgically, deemed “the Greatest.” And indeed, she is great—great at loving long, great at making a life that is stable and meaningful. This is a blessing to mark her 95th birthday.

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

We still wander awed, says Annie Dillard, because this world is dear. And the people in it are beloved. We were made for this word, even in its splintered state. As we take in the ravages of our frayed and nibbled state, we don’t long for an ending. No, we long for renewal.

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When Weaving Becomes a Lens for Seeing Life

We cannot escape the reality that our identity—the fabric of our being—is very much made up by those who are woven into our lives. And many of the threads knit into us are not those we choose, but those that are given.

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Perfect Age in an Imperfect World: 7 blessings for my son

The first seven years of childhood are an intriguing mix of energetic exploration and tenderness, stubborn outbursts and loving affection, curiosity and innocence. And if there’s one thing I don’t want my son to lose as he steps into the next seven-year stretch, it’s his innocence. But I know that it’s the thing the culture is most likely to take from him. Here are 7 ways I’m praying for my son.

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Sketches of Love: Postcards from My Father

Before we meet God as a sovereign, law giver, and judge, we meet him as Maker. Our very first impression of God in Genesis is as a creative, as a visionary. God sees formless chaos, and he envisions the world in all its organic wild gorgeousness. He takes the void and shapes it into something magnificent, something essentially good.

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The Inestimable Value of Unintentional Mothering

I’ve had a lot of spiritual mothers—women who reflected the character of Christ in a way that drew me to him. Some of those women had biological children of their own, and some didn’t. But the wonder of the church is that any woman in the family of faith can mother in meaningful ways, encouraging and inspiring growth in younger women.

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The Arena of Wonder…and Laughter

Some people may have the impression that mirth doesn’t mix well with faith. But the Bible doesn’t eschew laughter; in fact, there are a few places where it’s essential to the story line. When God tells Abraham and Sarah that they’re going to have a baby in their exceedingly old age, their response is identical: they both laugh.

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Fellowship: Can a spiritual reality draw us together even when we feel miles apart?

If I say the word “epiphany,” what immediately comes to mind? I think of a bright, startling moment of understanding or inspiration. I imagine an unexpected insight in which the contours of a truth once hazy snap into place. Once seen, they can’t be unseen. In this sense, epiphany is revelation—something made manifest to us…

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A Blessing for My Daughter on Her Birthday

Blessing is prayer as gift. When my oldest daughter turned twelve, this is the blessing that I wrote to send her into the next decade, the decade of becoming a woman.

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When Wedding Gifts Become Blessings of 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…

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