It was almost Christmas, I was five years old, and my class at school was preparing for the Nativity play. Our teacher, Mrs. Davies, allocated the parts while we waited with anticipation, all the girls hoping to be chosen to play Mary, or at least one of the angels. When my name was called, it was to play the part of the donkey. While Katie Hill would get to wear the lovely long, blue dress and put Baby Jesus in the manger, and the other girls ... Read More about Not What I Was Hoping For
It was just like God -- days into my school year in Jerusalem, when I finally had a little time to feel a twinge of homesickness -- to prompt my friend Jan to call. Jan is definitely walking in a tradition as old as Job: "the dark night of the soul." As long as I've known her, she's hardly known which end is up: where God is, and what He is doing with her. I can't tell you how many times I talk with friends and then realize that I would ... Read More about What does God say when my heart is hard?
For the third time in twenty minutes, I crept into the bedroom where my tiny son was napping. I stared at him, dark lashes against soft cheeks, little rosebud lips, petite fingers curled into a fist. Was he breathing? Of course he was… but I touched his back just to make sure. Then I touched him again, giving him a little shake so that he stirred. With a sigh of relief, I left the room, but I knew I’d be back. This constant hovering was more than ... Read More about When Motherhood is Dark
by Anonymous Ever since we got married, I dreamed of Christmas with children. I love Christmas. Always have. Partly because my parents always labored to protect us from materialism by focusing less on the presents beneath the tree and more on stuffing the season with traditions like trimming the tree together, making a gingerbread house, and watching Christmas classics. I grew up the eldest of three, the only girl towered over by two tall ... Read More about When All You Want for Christmas is a Baby
I like to imagine myself in a Jane Austen novel--engaging in witty banter with a handsome member of the landed gentry, whirling around a ballroom into the wee hours of the morning and taking trips to Bath. But if I’m honest, I find myself identifying less with an Austen heroine and more with one of her other characters: Mr. Woodhouse. In the first chapter of Emma, Austen describes Mr. Woodhouse as “everywhere beloved for his friendliness and ... Read More about when fear and anxiety produce tunnel vision
I couldn't read because light hurt my eyes. Screen time was out of the question. I couldn't even sit up. I could only lay there thinking of all the things I needed to be doing. But every minute I kept still was another that helped keep my baby growing safely inside me. I knew eventually the bedrest would not be enough. I knew that one day I'd go for a check-up and be told I couldn't go home. I knew we might be facing a pre-term delivery and ... Read More about Songs We Put On Repeat In Hard Times
At noon on a hot July Friday, my husband, Devin, and I both had routine appointments scheduled with our dentist. After my appointment was concluded, I stood up from the dental chair with cleaned teeth and a clean bill of health. The dental assistant led me to the chair where Devin was still mid-appointment. Our dentist, who had just left me laughing about some joke he had told, was checking my husband's lymph nodes. He hadn't checked mine, so ... Read More about how to look at loss when fear strangles
“Once upon a time …” I love stories that start that way! And this is a true story: A hundred years or more ago there lived a preacher called Charles. He was a young man, but he was blessed by God with great spiritual wisdom and granted the pastorate of a large church in London. Among his congregation was a young lady called Susannah whom Charles encouraged in her faith and baptised. They became friends and they were both invited to attend a ... Read More about Do You Pray for Him?
Oil glistened on her forehead as the elders prayed. Their requests rose to Heaven along with those of hundreds of saints, begging God to heal her physical body. For my precious, beloved Aunt Dee-Dee was dying. Spreading from her uterus, cancer viciously conquered her body. After months of treatment, her doctors discovered the cancer had metastasized to her brain. I was only eleven years old. Like other kids enjoying the long break from ... Read More about How to Trust God Even If He Says “No”
Why do I love reading love stories that really happened? Is it the part of me that enjoys real butter, homemade bread, chicken soup from scratch . . . or the fact that a little suffering creates a great big desire for authenticity? Most of all, I think it’s the fact that true stories show me another facet of our Heavenly Father. They help me glimpse how He works, and Who He is. A year ago, my dad’s baby sister – the aunt who’s a lot like ... Read More about Real-Life Love Stories to Give You Hope While You Wait
“‘You are loved with an everlasting love,’ that’s what the Bible says, ‘and underneath are the everlasting arms.'” If you, like me, grew up listening to “Gateway to Joy” on the radio every morning, you knew the next line was going to be, “This is your friend Elisabeth Elliot.” That soft, deep voice would proceed to tell you what she would be talking about with you today. And it was always biblical, profound, and pertinent. My mom, grandma, ... Read More about “You are loved with an everlasting love…”
You wouldn’t mind going to the dump with us, if you could see the views. On the left, we pass McWenneger Slough, which almost always has an aluminum fishing boat on it. The highway makes a sweeping curve to the right, before you feel like you’re going to run straight into the Rockies. Fields of canola line the road on either side, broken up by an occasional old, red barn and stands of pine trees that no farmer had the heart to cut down. One ... Read More about Knowing God As Father