My husband and I have been fans of American Ninja Warrior for several years now. I love the stories of the contestants and watching them conquer the crazy obstacles. More than that, though, I admire the community that long-time contestants have cultivated. They travel to encourage other contestants, stand on their side-lines and cheer, and even wear each other's shirts as a sign of solidarity. Even though they are all vying for a chance to advance and hopefully claim a large cash prize, they view each other as comrades rather than competitors. Many of them bring others in and train together.

As believers, such a community should be commonplace to us.  It's how the church should work.

How would the church look to the unbelieving world if we squelched our jealousy of others' gifts, talents, and opportunities? What if we left our comfort zones by choosing to stand and cheer one another? Can you imagine laying aside our agendas and pointing others to another believer instead?…


One morning in late May I faced the reality that I’ve been a terrible steward of the body God has given me. I couldn’t deny it any longer. I knew I had to make a change. I divided my overall goal into smaller ones so that I can celebrate when I achieve each one. I let go of my pride and asked some friends to pray for me. I asked another to hold me accountable. I praise God for their faithfulness.

The past 7 weeks have been a learning experience full of ups and downs, but just as full of God's grace. I've nearly met my first goal. I look forward to exercise. I've never told myself I can't have something. I'm sleeping better. Most importantly, I'm feeling better.

I've discovered more about how my body works. I've been practicing intuitive eating. I tried different exercise until I found what works best. I created a program that is good for me. I don't expect it to work for everyone. God created us as unique individuals, which seems to imply that we…


Recently my husband commented that I hadn't posted anything here in quite a while. It's true, the good intentions I had a few months ago quickly fell victim, I suppose. And the knowledge that my words are often so inadequate for my feelings. The woman I am and the writer I want to be seldom seem to find common ground.

And then there's the constant self-scrutiny of what I expect this place to be - a writing project or a journal of sorts? Theology or everyday life? I'm drawn to all of these, but each has its own particular set of drawbacks. Not to mention my obvious overthinking of every.single.thing.

When I started my first blog back in 2006, blogging was different. I was different. The past 13 years have brought a multitude of changes in my life (family, career, church, theology), yet those changes seem minuscule compared to the explosion in social media and its impact on communication and relationships.

I've wrestled with wanting a platform, a ministry. …


Lately I've been thinking about vacations of days gone by. Before my girl went in the water, I would remind her to look up on the beach every few minutes. As long as she stayed in front of the steep triangle of a particular cottage, she wouldn't be far from our spot on the beach. I stressed the importance of checking her bearings often, no matter how weak the current seemed.

It's been two years since I cut the cord for a short period of time.  Doing so was my reaction to a variety of events that conspired to show me that I needed a break from my phone and social media in particular. After a while I dipped my toes back into the waters, confident that I would stay in the right place.  It's only recently that I've looked up to see how far away I've drifted.

I have forgotten to check my bearings. I underestimated the strength of the current. Or maybe I was pridefully confident in my own ability to stand against it. The makings of a quiet life have become blurry wit…


This space was dormant for nine months. Until a couple of weeks ago I had not visited here since last summer when I wrote two posts from the depths of pain and anger. I suppose I could cite numerous underlying causes, but the fact is that I could not bear to see my wrestlings on a screen. I can't say why I hit "publish" on the two posts I did write, but to take them down now feels dishonest somehow.

These nine months have seen no lack of words in my life. I would probably be crushed under the weight of the words I read, spoke, heard, and wrote. Words have been my friend for as long as I can remember, though I've come to understand how deeply they can pierce us, cut us off at the knees. And I've also learned how restorative they can be.

Nine months of silence broken. A child is knit together in that amount of time. I feel as if I have been knit back together, patched up but stronger. As the Lord has purged the bitter, He's left me with sweet glimpses of Himsel…


There was a forest behind the neighborhood I grew up in. Perhaps 2 or 3 acres of trees doesn't qualify as a forest, but it seemed much larger to me. I would wander through it every now and again. If I lost my way, I would look for a certain uniquely-shaped tree. Once I found it, I knew I wasn't far from the path that would lead me home.

I've been thinking quite a bit about that forest recently. Anyone who knows me in real life will surely laugh at the idea that I know anything about trees, and I readily admit that's true. But I did know that one tree and I knew it well, though in all fairness, it was so unusually shaped that it would have been nearly impossible not to take note of it. But what if I had been preoccupied with the enormity of the forest? Would I have noticed that tree?

There's an expression, You can't see the forest for the trees. Lately I've been wondering if the church has fallen victim to that mentality. Not that I discount the value or ne…


No chilling winds nor poisonous breath 
Can reach that healthful shore; 
Sickness, sorrow, pain and death, 
Are felt and feared no more.
A gentle man, not much older than I, lay on a bed in his living room because his body won't allow him to sit. Our small group worshiped together. The depth of his heartfelt but quiet "Amen" to this verse hummed loud in my ears even after the last chord was strummed and the voices died.

What must it be like to walk in his shoes? I wondered. How could I think my problems count for anything in light of his? His body has been wracked by pain for a decade and still he worships, while looking forward to the day when he will be completely healed. He knows that day is coming. He trusts in it. It is his hope.

The Lord humbles me at the most unexpected times. I often speak of faith as something to be measured and quantified, while this man must literally count the number of his steps each day.  I am reminded of a man who couldn't walk an…