All posts tagged: God

When Sorrow Shadows Our Days

In light of recent tragedies, people are grieving on a global scale. Collectively, we are more aware today of our loved ones and of our fragility than we were yesterday or even last week. With much to hold dear and much to say in times like these, we can turn to One who knows just what to do when death stops the world in its tracks tracks.

The Inevitable Aftermath of Travel

I’ve written a lot lately on positive perspectives because, in this season of life, it is incredibly easy to operate in the opposite frame of mind. Yesterday, we returned from a two-week vacation in the Pacific Northwest. It was, at times, as slow going as Sun Road traffic. It was, at other times, as swift as cold currents. By plane cross-country and by car through three states, from Montgomery to Dallas to Kalispell to Essex to Spirit Lake to Spokane Valley – and back and forth between Spokane Valley and Spirit Lake a dozen times – all in the name of visiting family I miss dearly everyday. In the throes of such travel, it is the promise of familiar faces – and the pleasantry of familiar places – that fill the hours of travel with joy, not dread. Though traveling with two young children graces that mileage with an extra challenge. Still, I was happy to carry sleeping Izaak on my chest, sleeping Abigail on my hip, and loaded diaper bag on my back from …

Blessings, Not Curses

I never did muse about the “terrible twos,” that phrase I loathe as much as the warning, “just wait until she’s a teenager.” I happen to love teenagers. And I wasn’t so bad. (Right, Mom and Dad?) And who’s to say that my daughter will end up like the worst teenager you ever strived to avoid? No. We ought to speak blessings, not curses, over the lives of others. Sometimes, negative phrases are shared with well-calculated intent, but often they fly out of our mouths mindlessly. We say them because society generally accepts them as truth. Most healthy two-year-olds happily explore life on a day-to-day basis only to discover boundaries. Boundaries tend to infuriate the folks who do not expect them. Tantrums happen. It’s an emotional time of growth. (Oh, but bless the gift of growth!) We coin “terrible twos” to make light of an otherwise unsettling phase. Such phrases, when applied too liberally, take root. The negative nature of such phrases sprout ugly lies. These lies wheedle through our “comedic” attempts and make unsettling …

In the Midst of the Temporal

Read Psalm 103:13-17 When I moved from Texas to Butte, Montana, everything was different. The spring air was cold, the jagged earth elevated, and we felt lonely in that historic mining valley. Unwanted, maybe. I’d swing on that blue swing set the yellow Red Ryder truck had brought all the way from Wichita Falls and look at the sky. If I focused only on the sky, I felt like I was back home. Each time we’ve moved since, I have only to look up and feel at home. The earth and everything in it is temporal. The sunshine, the seasons, the people, the items we tow behind us, the memories we keep, and the dreams we nurture. Even the autumnal changing of the leaves is a tangible lesson in the temporal nature of our existence. Yet, the reliable changing of the seasons and the way the sun burns on through the centuries gives us a taste of constancy. Some things last longer than others. Some things outlast our own lives. Every good gift and every …

Story for My Daughter on Her First Birthday

Thirty years ago, the nurse did not ask my mom, “do you have a playlist?” And because I – a tangled mess – was cut out, I’ve always wondered which song played the day my mom and dad drove me home. It must have been some country song because the car radio was usually tuned to 99.9 KLUR. So, twelve months ago, when the nurse asked if I had a playlist, I paid close attention to the songs streaming through my phone. Which song would welcome you to the world? “Why aren’t my songs playing in order?” “It’ll only shuffle unless you pay for the upgrade,” your dad said. Minutes became hours, and it was anyone’s guess if an electric guitar or a banjo would introduce the next song. That evening, the doctor and nurses and strange shadowers experienced my eclectic music taste: Switchfoot, Judy Garland, City on a Hill, The Rolling Stones, Chris Tomlin, Bob Dylan, Jakob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Jars of Clay, Modest Mouse, Doc Watson, Tom Petty, Jill Philips, and Aaron Shust. …