In the Valley

I took this picture of a Grand Canyon valley because it gives me hope. It is a steep and far descent to the lowest place. But there, at the very bottom, is a bit of green. Looking from the top, you can’t see the stream that runs there, but it does. When you feel like…

New Every Morning

Particularly after having kids, I was struck by how different one day could be from the next. As an infant-mama, I might have had a great day that included a shower and engaging with the world alongside a baby who is both napping and feeding on a predictable, doable schedule. These days would include sun…

Crowns, Kingdoms, and Us

Are you familiar at all with the story of Prince Philip, the Queen of England’s husband? Watching the first few episodes of The Crown on Netfix gave me pause. I have since looked up other biographies of Prince Philip. I’m not sure how accurately the show portrays his character, but there are facts of history…

A Model Substitute

I sometimes substitute teach at the elementary level. I showed up to a classroom one day, adorned with my official substitute badge on a lanyard around my neck, to find an observer standing outside, waiting for me to arrive. Well, she was waiting for the actual, real, certified teacher to arrive, but she got me…

Why I Cry

It doesn’t take much for me to cry. Or smile for that matter. I have a very hard time hiding what is in my heart. But what is the reason I cry? I remember a time long ago when I didn’t know Jesus, when I misrepresented Jesus, when I had no idea who He really…

A Celebratory Dinner

We had been sitting at the table waiting on our food for over an hour. “We” included me, my husband, all four of our children, and all of their grandparents. We had called ahead to make sure a table would be available for us when we arrived. We were coming to celebrate. A few hours…

On Welcoming and Being Welcome

A young boy smiled delightedly at the line of children waiting at his front door. He clapped his hands awkwardly and looked to his mother for verification that it was really true—his entire class had showed up for his Christmas party. And his mother smiled back down at her sweet son, her son who must…

Fixing the House

I’m listening to my husband and my son walk around the house fixing things. They declared to me, “We are fixing the house!” There’s talk of plungers, squeaky hinges, baking soda and vinegar in the sinks, screwdrivers, and safety rules about the garbage disposal. It makes my heart happy. My husband is being intentional to…

The Beauty of Being Still

For my birthday, my mother gave me this beautiful weekly planner. A soft shade of blush, it is adorned with pretty flowers. I imagined writing out my weekly plan in beautiful calligraphy-type handwriting, floating through each week in beautiful, elegant peace. I haven’t written on it yet. I like looking at it, though, all pretty…

On Hiking and Husbands

So let me start by telling you how I feel about hiking. First, my husband loves to hike. He’s hiked in places all over the world. He has a Camelback and one of those fancy overnight hiking camping backpack things that strap around your waist. He’s legit. I am not a natural hiker. I do…

A Gallon of Water and God

Have you ever poured liquid quickly from a gallon jug to another container? At first, because of the jug’s small round opening, there is—for lack of a better word—“glubbing.” The water pours in glops that splash and then there is a smaller stream and then another glop. Eventually, you pour enough water out of the…

How I’m Coping with Kindergarten

So, I sent my baby to full-time big school this week for the first time. For the first time in thirteen years, I am home without a little person. For the first time in thirteen years, I do not have to be at home during nap time. It is weird. I tried to spend some…