Altruism Isn’t The Goal

We not only need to give, we also need to receive. Somehow, somewhere, I began believing the lie that since friendships weren’t altruistic, they shouldn’t take priority in my life. I believed the lie that life needed to be all about volunteering, serving, mentoring, counseling. In my desire to be a helper, I stopped showing…

Brave Enough to Enjoy

I stood alone on a heavily trafficked side street in Prague. I missed my family; I had not yet met up with my Czech friends, and I was emotionally struggling in this beloved city. Having visited Prague a dozen times, it was practically a second home, but the loneliness, that feeling was new to me….

Forty Days

For forty days Jesus lived in the barren and desolate places. Hour after hour he endured the leering eyes and manipulative lies of the one who craved his destruction. No sustenance in his belly, no solace from a friend, just the mocking hyenas wanting the carcass after Satan finished with the soul. Jesus knows the…

No Unsabbathed Life

We expect hard work in our house. Early in our marriage, my husband went 5 years without taking a vacation for a variety of reasons. After five years of no time to slow down, no time to assess, no time to renew, we had some very serious talks about changing our rhythms. By the end…

Off the Pride Ride

The rollercoaster of pride keeps us measuring ourselves to others. “I am better than…” “I am worse than…” Versions of these sayings speed through our heads, self-promoting one second, self-destructing the next. But where pride leads us to compare, humility leads us to celebrate. If we can get off the pride ride just for a…

Slinging Stones

I cried in the bathtub last night. My dear husband lit candles, poured in extravagant amounts of bubble bath, and set a cup of ice water on the small wooden stool my grandpa hand-carved. Earlier in the day I had hopes of a nice, relaxing bath to end the week. Instead, I sat in the…

Brown Moments

My entire life I have loved colors. When picking markers for school, or adulthood, give me the classic or bold sets. No pastels, no muted tones. I want emerald, azure, raspberry. Give me the vivacious reds, purples, yellows. I want strong statement colors. I never liked the brown, tan, peach or gray. Neutrals often felt…

Mess before Masterpiece

Before the lovely comes the mess..While I take photos for my profession, I love to play at various forms of art. And here is the thing I have found to be uniform across almost all mediums. The process is messy..Block printing-messy, wood carving-messy, chalk art, writing, watercolors-messy, messy, messy. Before the reveal of a finished…

Christmas Cactus

The Christmas Cactus A small and powerful reminder that there is still hope and growth in the cold, dark seasons, just as there is in the warm, bright seasons. I guess it makes perfect sense that it blooms at Christmas time. A time when we remember: In the soft infant skin, in the wonder-filled infant…

Treasures Among Trash

 If there was a collective attribute given to 2020, I believe it would be something like disappointing, unpleasant, grueling. Hopes set in 2019 dissipated, goals became unachievable, dreams faded as weariness set in..  All the plans we laid out were run over like a soccer ball on an interstate.  “Mask up”, “In this together”, “Six Feet Apart” and “Ability…