How the Meaning of the Hagia Sophia Made Me Rethink My New Year’s Resolution

What relevance could a 6th-century cathedral possibly have for the life of a 21st-century girl? That's a fair question. But a visit to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey taught me that Christians from the past can speak into our present.


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.

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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When a Blessing Breaks your Heart

“Blessed are you among women, ” Elizabeth ecstatically exclaimed to Mary, but I wonder. In the run up to Christmas this year, I’ve been thinking about Mary, about her experience of motherhood, about what it means to say that she was “blessed among women.” How could a mother who would one day witness the suffering …

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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.

A Blessing for Resting and Waking

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, …

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Victim or Survivor?—Giacometti, Ovarian Cancer and a Glimpse of Glory

Victims of a shipwreck—that phrase stuck with me. It’s a description I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks as a friend’s long struggle with ovarian cancer nears its end. I read the words last spring on the wall of the Pera Museum in Istanbul one morning when my husband and I …

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Too many Goodbyes: Turning Leaving into Blessing

Lately I’ve been saying goodbye too often. I’m nearly at the point where I’d rather skip over goodbye entirely and shift from one reality to another without acknowledging the pain of loss. But I know there are no shortcuts to joy. Skipping goodbye would only allow the emotion to pool in my heart acidic and …

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Alice Neel: Painting as Encounter

Alice Neel was eighty years old when she resumed painting a self-portrait she had begun some four years earlier. In it she leans attentively forward, one eyebrow raised in critical assessment of her subject, glasses perched on her nose as if to sharpen her clarity of vision. She wields her paintbrush as a suggestion that …

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