I stared in bleak desperation. Two burners, one pot, one frying pan and a microwave. The logistics of preparing a full-fledged Thanksgiving Dinner to remember seemed impossibly complex. Maybe we could eat dinner in several courses, and do dishes in between? Maybe I should give up and forget my favorite holiday? Plus, throngs of mopeds stood between me and the grocery store; the adrenaline rush seemed counter intuitive for a pleasant ... Read More about When You’re Homeless for the Holidays
If you’re a book-lover like me your bookshelves are perpetually bursting at the seams, overflowing with cherished books and serving as the consummate conversation starter in your living room. Maybe bookshelves are the staple in your living room and maybe you’ve decorated your home around the number of bookshelves you’d need to keep (most of) your books out of boxes. Sound familiar? Friends walk into your living room and comment on the sheer ... Read More about How to Declutter Your Bookshelf
My mom tells the story of her college days, when she held a part-time job, managed a full class load, had a fulfilling social life, participated in extracurricular activities, turned all her assignments in on time, and maintained a decent GPA. Her classmates who didn't have a job or extracurricular activities complained about not having enough time and struggled to get their work done well, she said. "Busy people get a lot done," she has told ... Read More about You Are Not Too Busy
My whole job is reading people. Or, as I am learning, I do my job well because I am good at reading people. I watch body language, I pick up on preferences (Do they like my corny jokes or my attempts at intelligent wit? Are they comfortable with PDA or do I need to coach them into position?), I see tensions in the room and work to diffuse it. My job as a wedding photographer is to find ways to ensure my clients are as comfortable as I can make ... Read More about Reading People: How I See through the Lens of Personality
I am not a prayer warrior. There, I said it. I'm not a prayer warrior. I avoid praying in public whenever possible. I don't say "I'll pray for you" because I know it's a lie. I tend to rely on prayers of desperation. I use prayer as a band-aid. I don't pray. Corrie ten Boom's question challenges me: I am loathe to admit it, but prayer has been my spare tire. Before you judge me, I think you should know that I am judging myself. I ... Read More about Four Weeks to a Stronger Prayer Life
Despite doing everything right and following best practice, even thrown in some extra precautions for good measure, our day turned sour. Fast. In a foreign country, halfway through our long anticipated vacation-for-the-memory-books, the bliss turned bad. Our practically perfect day of waterfall-swimming and wave-jumping ended with a jolt. A jarring sense of violation. The locked car had been forced open and the locked glove-box was ripped ... Read More about When Life Goes Sour
I was surrounded by ladies yet had never felt so alone. The new girl, I assumed loneliness was my new normal. I never went back to that women's ministry event. Instead, I chose aloneness. Making friends, being vulnerable, living in community felt too hard. Last week, I went back to the same women's ministry as a guest speaker. The same place I had felt so alone, the same place I refused to return, the same place that had been so ... Read More about Why Life Is Not Meant to Be Lived Alone
I looked at blue skies and knew the clouds were coming soon. I marveled at a shadow cast across my floor and wondered how long it would last. I saw an autumn scene and saw only gray, ignoring the greens and browns and reds of the trees. I saw the world half empty, the glass barely even watered. Moving from the deep south into the Canadian Raincouver created in me a loathing of the rain, a tendency to see the negative without acknowledging ... Read More about Choosing Joy in the Rain
“Are you doing pre-marital counseling?” The bride nodded. “Do you have plans for post-marital counseling?” The poor bride cocked her head and looked at me in confusion as if to say: “Post-marital counseling?! But we’re fine!” Marriage counseling isn’t just for the hurting, the almost-divorced, the dysfunctional. Marriage counseling is for everyone. A veteran wife, our newly engaged friend, and me. Sitting on the sunny Starbucks patio, I ... Read More about Marriage Counseling is for You
In a room of 45 ladies, we counted off 1 through 5 nine times and every fifth person stood up. I stood up. I stood up and looked around the room, marveling at the statistic that 20% of the women in that room have battled mental illness or are battling mental illness. I am that 20%. I am the statistic. My battle with mental illness is a relatively mild story compared to many, but it’s my story. It has been a painful journey, it’s been ... Read More about Depression: How to Help
I’m perpetually desperate for a good read and ridiculously horrible at finding new books. My typical system? Filter through Amazon.com’s free Kindle offerings, choose the prettiest covers, download to my tablet, read as little or as much as my attention span will allow, ultimately devouring (up to) a book an evening. My pickiness in five steps: I want clean entertainment, a biblical perspective, an engaging and entertaining storyline without a ... Read More about I loved Steadfast Love.
My Mom has cancer. My friend lost her full-term baby. My cousin has a terminal illness. How many times have you faced your own similarly jarring realities and been forced to acknowledge the fallenness of this world? Everyone has a story of unfairness, an ache, an injustice; mine is just an example of the pain I know you feel daily. My daily morning routine is usually simple: coffee, emails, hair, makeup, breakfast, pack lunch, leave for ... Read More about I can hope.