Ordinary Marriage: The beauty of the hidden yearsJun 3, 2019 | 0 comments This is part of a new...Read More
His bowtie was perfectly situated. Half of my classmates in the lecture hall wanted to laugh, the other half thought it was cool. All of us were nervous. The class was known for its difficulty, due for the most part to the well-dressed man standing before us. For the next seventy minutes, I joined my classmates with silent groans as we looked at the grading rubric that would be our standard for the next sixteen weeks. My pride beckoned me rise to the challenge the man in the bowtie dared me to accept. Yet as the weeks unfolded, I found that Professor Boyd had much more to teach me that semester than Perspectives on Communication.
For the following weeks we learned about concepts like dialogue, rhetoric, and ethnographic studies. Through our lectures and yes- even bowtie-tying demonstrations- we were taught the material, not only with the goal of good grades, but for the purpose of knowledge. Though I struggled at times, I couldn’t help but come to class wanting to learn. Woven into each lecture, my professor shared not just a textbook, but he shared his passions with us. He sought to change us. Not long into the class I soon discovered another of my professor’s passions.
They say senses hold memories. I know it’s true. The sound of birds. The warmth of a breeze blowing through a screen door. The sight of light refracting through the hundreds of edges of a crystal chandelier.
These memories take me to another place. I see myself running through the yard of my grandparents’ house picking the hard red berries that fell from their tree. I can feel the bushes against my arms while I run the path at the back of their property and smell the prize of the small lemon tree. I can hear the boards of the treehouse groan beneath my feet while I play house with my baby or pretend that I’m a navigator on a great ship.
The grip of memories is fascinating. I barely recall what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can still taste the dates in my six-year-old mouth as I held my grandmother’s hand walking through the neighborhood farmers’ market.Read More
Apr 18, 2019 | Daily Faith
We recently returned from a family vacation in Florida where warm sand castles and cool salty waves filled our days. The break from the ordinary was welcome, but as we pulled into our driveway and were greeted by the chilly air- I was reminded again of the routines we were plunging into.There is work to attend to, meals to cook, dishes to wash, school to teach, and oh- the laundry. There are lawns to mow, pipes to fix, health issues to hash out, and kids to continue to care for. Our week away was only a band-aid. It lured us with its turquoise blues and noble palm trees making us believe that we could escape it all.Except of course- we couldn’t.Read More
Mar 12, 2019 | Daily Faith
Snow carpets the earth beneath my feet
As I trample overhead I think of what lies below.
Is it still there?
Months ago I dug my hands into that cool dirt.
The small bulbs shook my hand with a promise
Not now, but soon.
But I want to see the purples, yellows, and whites.
I covet stalks that reach to the sky,
For petals of beauty.
Instead the harsh winter chills the ground
And thawing snows gives way to mud.
The pledge feels gone.
Yet hidden in this dirt sits life.
Slowly it pushes aside what doesn’t belong,
Slowly it grows-
Out towards neighboring soil for nourishment,
Deeper into the anchor that holds it firm-
Always with purpose.
One day I’ll catch a glimpse of its green.
I’ll see a tiny shoot and hope will remind me-
Not now, but soon.
For now I await the promise that was made
And remember that colors won’t ever come
‘til they move the mud.
The promise is firm, but ever patient.
So I fasten myself to the hope of soon
But even now, too
Yes- even now the Spirit moves and gives life.Read More
Mar 12, 2019 | Published
I have five small scars on my stomach. They might not hurt, but my heart does each time I catch a glance.
A doctor’s cuts can offer us the end of pain, healing from disease, even the hope of a new child. Yet some cuts don’t cash in on what was promised. Some—like those that made my five scars—are just another step in an unending search for a cure. They lead to more tests, more questions, and the nagging feeling that nothing will work.
You may never be wheeled into a cold operating room, but as followers of Christ we are never free from the surgeon’s cut. When the Holy Spirit descended into our hearts, he came with a scalpel. As saints justified by Christ’s blood, we are constantly being sanctified while we await the presence of Christ and the glorification of our souls.
This sanctification in the middle is not always easy, and certain periods of our lives often feel too burdensome. Does God know what he’s doing? Why is my growth so slow? Is this pain doing something? In these times, we find hope in understanding the work of the Spirit and his purpose in our lives….Read More
Mar 8, 2019 | Published
“I can’t eat what?”
My eyes scanned the list of foods on the sheet in front of me as my stomach twisted into knots. Surely, this was a joke. I had reached the end of the road with doctors, unable to find an answer to the stomach issues plaguing me. For the next year, I’d turn to various diets eliminating food groups, allergens, and certain carbohydrates in an effort to heal the unknown. My complicated diet continues today, but though I’ve said no to countless sweets and junk food, I find that I’m just now learning what it means to have self-control.
Of all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5, the final one seems the most difficult to me. Virtues like goodness or joy sound enticing, but the ring of self-control strikes feelings of condemnation in my heart. My head fills with visions of throwing out our ice cream or taking a mallet to our phones and tvs.Read More
Feb 14, 2019 | Daily Faith
Maybe I should just quit.
Lately these words keep turning in my mind like a merry-go-round pushed by the latest Christian controversy. Today they are forced to the forefront by the news of James Macdonald’s firing and the wreckage of lives hurt from his seedy underbelly. Tomorrow it might be something else. Since submitting my pen (or maybe my fingers?) to write in small ways for the broader church I have found myself plagued by this thought.
Watching the rise and fall of celebrities within the Christian writing and preaching world, I’ve become more convinced we need a lot more nobodies than a lot of big somebodies. The small and the unseen seems better than the platforms for the masses. Surely a written note of encouragement to a sister nearby is more lasting than the fleeting swipes of the finger. Do my own words contribute to the problem?Read More
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