When Winter Ends

Two weeks ago we had snow in the Ozarks, drifting into the road on the Sunday morning drive to church, catching in my hair as I darted into the big red doors.

Today, the windchimes sing in the warm breeze that dances into my open window. The irises are budding, ready to bloom. Dogwood and redbud color the woods. Northern Orioles taste the orange slices I strung up to bring them close enough to watch in wonder.

Spring has finally come after the never-ending winter.

As the sun’s warmth soaks the earth, I keep finding excuses to be outside, to drink up the light and heat. I have always hated winter, and this winter I have hated in particular. I resent the long dark nights, the forced days inside, the waiting for unseen processes. I want green shimmering leaves and fresh tomatoes in the garden. I want lingering evenings speckled with fireflies.

Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend discuss seasons of personal growth in their book “God Will Make a Way.” Like seasons of the earth, seasons o…

Goodreads Book Review: DeYoung's "Glittering Vices"

Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read about this book on Scot McKnight's blog, Jesus Creed, about four years ago. Intrigued, I ordered a copy, which I promptly placed in a stack of books I was meaning to read.

A couple false starts later, I began to make real progress through "Glittering Vices" about a year ago, and finally turned the last page this afternoon. It's not a long book, but it was a crazy year, and since each chapter can almost stand alone, it was an easy title to pick up and put down as time allowed.

Having spent most of my life firmly within the Evangelical camp, I had only the most rudimentary understanding of the seven deadly sins prior to reading DeYoung. For this reason, I especially appreciated how thorough and accessible her treatment of the vices is throughout her book. She references both church fathers and popular movies, linking historic wisdo…

One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns!

Hot-cross buns!
Hot-cross buns!
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons;
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot-cross buns!
I grew up on the Mother Goose rhyme. I sang it as a girl, skipping through a world as sweet as the sticky buns I chanted about. Centuries of lore and tradition, Christianity and paganism, woven into a simple children's song -- isn't this history? The long story of people, remembered in our poetry and on our palates. 
Today is Good Friday, so in keeping with tradition, we made hot cross buns. We tried a new recipe, which promised to be authentic. We ate them hot out of the oven. Delicious. 

Redefining Old Maid

"Eww! You're the Old Maid."

The cacophony of childish voices would shriek and dissolve into a babble of laughter. Sometimes my voice was among them as we sat pointing and jeering at the unlucky child holding the only card with no match in the deck. Other times, I was the one left with the card bearing the image of an awkward-looking older woman. I would roll my eyes and shake my head in defeat. It was only a game — next time I would be luckier.

More than two decades later, I remain a fan of many childhood games. I still spend lazy Sunday afternoons sitting around the coffee table with my nieces, playing Candy Land, Go Fish, and Chutes and Ladders. As a single woman in my 30s, however, Old Maid is one game I hope they never play.

Read more at Boundless.

Thoughts on Hope and Sadness

I sometimes wonder why others don’t see it or feel it. Life is sad. People are hurting. Why aren’t more people sad? But sadness doesn’t sell well, and it doesn’t seem to preach well either. But it’s there. It’s there in our families and ministries. It’s there in our churches and friendships. ~ Jonathan Trotter
I stared at the screen, smarting at the editorial suggestion: “I am not sure about these details. People who don’t know the whole story may wonder what you did wrong to experience these things.”

To tell the truth means to tell it naked, the story unprotected by modesty’s embellishments. I had described uncomfortable truths about the Christian dating scene, and my editor sent reality back. It wouldn’t sell. It may not even be believed. 

The preferred narrative is positive. God doesn’t lead people into pain.

So I took out lines to blur the story, allowing the imagination to smudge hard facts. Things may be bad, but we don't have to know they are that bad.

Isn’t this how we live --…