• Step Into the Spirit’s Open Embrace

    My hands are dripping wet and I’m holding the lid to the butter dish when he walks into the kitchen. “I haven’t kissed you yet today,” he says, as he stretches out his arms to pull me in. I want to push him away. To tell him now is not the time. For one thing, can’t you see I’m in…

  • When You Can’t Meet Every Need

    We went on an impromptu date the other night. Just me and him, while the older girls babysat the kids. We chose a nearby restaurant where we could sit outside and watch the boats in the marina. Our conversation was mostly light. Books we’re reading, the kids, his job, upcoming travel—his not mine, writing ideas—mine not his, and of course…

  • Step Into the Sand & Dip Your Toes in the Water

    At the end of our street is a public beach access point to the Chesapeake Bay. So, when we moved to town, we immediately went to scope it out. Now,  you need to know: it was the end of January—cold, windy, and damp. And we had come from the white sands, turquoise water, and perfect temperature of the Florida gulf…

  • Cords Have Memory

    For six years, we had a minor marital dispute over a vacuum cleaner. Whenever my husband would pull it out of the closet, he would instantly become frustrated because the cord was twisted up and couldn’t reach very far. Each time, he would remind me, again, to unwind it before storing it after each use. And I tried, truly. But…

  • When The Light Spills In

    Almost a year ago to the day, I sat in an airplane and watched the sun rise. It was the first time I was by myself in over a year. The silence and solitude were just as heavenly as the view. On the tray table in front of me sat a journal, my Bible, and a scrap piece of paper…

  • Nothing is Too Hard for God

    I turn to the last page in my prayer journal for the assigned day, and continue praying. Friends, family, the world, my own heart—there are so many burdens to carry to the Lord. My heart feels heavy, my mind and soul are weak. As I pour out my heart and intercede for the needs of others, the Spirit whispers to…

  • What It’s Like to Feel Secure in God’s Love

    She hands me a wilted camellia and three droopy dandelions. “Put them in a jar, Mommy! Put it on the table!” And of course I do. What Mother wouldn’t receive such a gift from her daughter? She didn’t feel the need to perk up, shape up, or fix this simple bouquet before placing it in my hands. Never mind that…

  • Don’t Quit Your Bible Reading Plan, Just Slow Down.

    Four years ago, someone recommend an intriguing Bible reading plan. Her suggestion: read the Bible through, start to finish, as quickly as possible. She said if you read as much possible each day, you could finish reading the Bible in about three months. At first, I was skeptical. My typical Bible reading included a slow, in-depth, sometimes three month study…

  • How Wallowing Can Become Worship

    Four years ago, I wrote an article for Abbey Wedgeworth’s Advent Devotional, on the topic of self-pity. I’ve often wondered if she asked me to write this piece because she could sense my tendency toward it. You see, I regularly struggle with self-pity. In many ways it feels like the sin Satan likes to trap me in when life feels…

  • When You’re Weary of Doing Good Work

    My earliest memories of summer include sitting in my Granddad’s blue pickup truck, barreling along the bumpety-bumpety road and over the rickety-rackety bridge to his garden. He always had a cooler filled with bottles of coke, a jar of peanut butter, a knife, and a sleeve of Ritz crackers somewhere in the front seat of the cab. We sat crowded…