When the Pew is Just Too Hard

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At the Call to Worship, I stood and sighed.

The calendar was on its last page and I was on my last leg, tired from holiday prep, tired from my work, and honestly, too tired for church.

Don’t get me wrong… I love my job. I love ministry. I love my church. But there are times when the pew is just too hard.

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The Morning Tide

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There is that moment in the very early morning, when I’m half awake and I don’t quite know where or when I am.

When the light hits only the highest places, when the heat of the day is still distant, and I’m still allowing sleep’s current to take me wherever…

It’s the sweet moment when the quiet fills my room and my soul and I can’t remember anything.

Then, the alarm sounds and it all rushes back.  Continue reading

The Mom Behind the Machine

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I used to go to my room to cry.

I would hold it together until I fixed a snack for one child, pulled down a toy for another, and assigned math pages to two more. Finally, with trembling lip, I’d hustle down the hallway to the privacy of my bedroom.

There, my God and my pillow absorbed the tears. Because someone called with bad news. Or I didn’t get my way in marriage. Because it was the wrong time of the month. Or mothering and homeschooling four kids was just plain lonely and hard. Continue reading

Sunday School Lessons I Wish I Never Taught

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As a Sunday school coordinator, and as our session is ending, I’ve been thinking a lot about what our students have learned this year.

We studied parables, Old Testament prophecies, the significance of the Passover, and The Great Commission. I expected them to learn these things, and I’m glad they did. But as I observed, taught, and listened, I realize they also learned some lessons that we didn’t plan, lessons that might end up hurting them – and the church – in the end… Continue reading

Heaven Off Highway E

Recently, my sister sent me a link to a real-estate listing. Because neither one of us is house hunting, I was curious. I clicked on it and saw a picture of a small white house with black shutters sitting between a field and a pond. Immediately, I recognized it as the ranch that my paternal grandparents lived in when we were growing up.

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My grandparents have been gone for many years. I hadn’t seen it since I was a teenager and my Granny was in the kitchen and my Pa was sick in bed.

Each photo in the gallery brought with it memories I didn’t even know I still had: picking apart cattails by the pond, the smell of fish food in a container by the dock, the sound of our station-wagon tires turning onto the gravel driveway from Highway E…

By the time I clicked to the last photo, tears were rolling down my cheeks and I couldn’t speak. I wasn’t exactly sad, but I wasn’t happy either … sometimes tears are mysterious.  Continue reading

Twenty Years

As of last month, it’s been twenty years since my first-born was placed into my arms. It seems like yesterday, and so long ago at the same time.

I look at his tiny body in the picture and can’t believe that he is now a man: strong, talented, intelligent, sensitive, and godly.

And I look into the face of the young version of myself and remember. She is clueless about being a mother, but Continue reading

The Only One

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Recently, my pre-teen daughter went to a birthday party. When I picked her up, she got in the car and slumped on the seat, frowning. No “Hi Mom”, no “Thanks for picking me up”, no nothing.

“What’s wrong? Wasn’t the party fun?” I asked.


”Mom, I was, like, the only one, pretty much, without an iPhone.”

I exhaled, trying to blow out my frustration and away words that I didn’t want to say. 
You see, lately, I’ve been hearing “I’m the only one...” statements a lot from my kids Continue reading