Fear: how two simple questions change everything

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My hands shook as I walked to the front of the chapel.

My throat is closing up, I overreacted inwardly. Just watch. I’ll burst into tears as soon as I start talking. My voice is going to shake and I’ll do that funny nervous twitch thing with my face. It’s going to be terrible.

Despite my inner freak out, I made it to the stage and turned to face the group of people in front of me.

Why did I have to be sick last week?

I missed my turn to share my devotion to the sixty-some college age camp counselors due to an early summer cold, or maybe it was allergies. In any case, now I’d be providing the devotion not only to the counselors, but to a group of theologians who had come on retreat.

They stuck out in this group- dressed business casual among a sea of Chacos and camp t-shirts. I glanced anxiously at the few rows of heads with graying hair in the middle of the man-buns, ponytails and French braids.

Public speaking was bad enough just in front of the counselors… but this? This was just impossible. I was unqualified and silly and had no formal theological training, and here I was. Front and center.

I heard my first shaky breath, picked up by the microphone. It was surprising that my pounding heartbeat wasn’t audible through the chapel speakers.


Blessings these Weeks: 08.19.2016 and 08.26.2016

It's so important, so vital to my mental and spiritual health, to find the blessings every day. In the mundane. In the boring, the routine.

That's where the miracle is.

But then, when you take a break from the routine and mundane- and you get to live a little exotic and unplanned- you're already practiced in finding the blessings, so you find even more of them. Vacations are even more refreshing, even more rich, when you've already learned to count the blessings.

...   ...   ...   ...   ...

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Safe travels and beautiful views


Barn Swallows and Finding a New Place

I woke up one morning this summer, the sun streaming in, even though it was still early.

I took my time getting up; watching the trees swaying in the country breeze, considering that I should probably put a curtain on that window because we've lived here for six months, already and what kind of a grown up am I, anyway? and a curtain would mean I could sleep until my alarm and also, privacy but we don't have any neighbors, so who really cares.

And that's when I saw her. A pretty little barn swallow swooping past my window.

I didn't think much of it. Barn swallows are just one of the lovely gifts that come along with living on twenty-plus acres of quiet farmland.

(I think barn swallows kind of balance out the dusty vehicles from driving down miles of gravel every day.)

Like I said, I didn't think much of it, until I saw her fly past the window again. And again. And again.


Getting It Together: And Free Printable Planner Pages

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I forgot a dentist appointment the other day.


If there's one thing I do consistently, it's forget that stupid dentist appointment. I don't forget the one in February, oh no. I only forget the August one.

And why?

Why, you ask?

Because it's in August. And August is summer time. And in the summer time, my planning binder rides along with me everywhere I go, but it doesn't really get... opened.

But now it's the middle of August, and now it's time to get myself back together again and start acting like a grown up woman again.



In Christ: our true identity and what that means for each of us

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"Well. It's nice, it's just not really... you. "

I was showing my mom a Christmas present- the first Christmas present I'd ever received from a boy. My sixteen-year-old self was annoyed by the comment that the necklace wasn't really my style.

Not "me?" The gaudy rhinestone-studded letter A wasn't "me?" Not possible. My boyfriend had given it to me, so I liked it. I liked the necklace, really. Really, I did. Sort of.

The truth, although I couldn't admit it at the time, was that I didn't like that necklace. My mom was right-- it wasn't something I'd typically wear. But I wore that glittery thing all the time, until the relationship ended (as it was sure to do), and it went into a box and was later donated to a second-hand store.

That necklace was a good representation of the relationship, really. Something I didn't actually want, that didn't actually fit me, but I was going to try really hard to like it.


Blessings this Week: 08.12.2016 Edition

Just a warning- this is gonna be a quick one! 

A busy and wonderful auction weekend, and new quilts gracing the backs of my couches


Favorite Links This Summer

It's no secret that I like blogs.

I read 'em, I share 'em... and it was reading the blogs of other people that got me started writing my own. Because I like blogs.

Working in an office (in front of a computer) means that I have the unique opportunity to fill my coffee break and lunch break with reading blog posts, and this summer has been full of great ones.

And I wanna share them with you!


Even So

Last Sunday, our pastor preached Psalm 127.

And it made me angry because it felt like a snot-nosed sister pushing on that dark blue bruise with her bony little pointer finger.

Ow. And, why would You do that? Why? 

It's not that I don't think the words are true-- I know and I believe deep in my bones that these words are truth and light and life.

I believe that children are a heritage from the Lord. Kids are treasures. I have seven nieces and nephews, I'm surrounded by kids at work, I love kids. I know. I know. I see them, I value them, I love them. Arrows, each one- they each have a purpose and a future that I can't possibly imagine.

I believe it. Yes.

But sometimes, the Bible hurts. 

The psalmist proclaims the power and provision and promises of God, and then goes on to break my heart with the very thing that God hasn't provided.


Blessings this Week: 08.05.2016

I've been whining about this busy summer for months now, I know.

But as the last two weeks of the summer camp season whallop my schedule and any semblance of a personal life, I'm finally learning.

I know, I should have gotten this figured out in June. But here's what I'm leaning into right now

Counting blessings reminds me to stop and breathe. 


S'More Cookies

Nothing says "summer" like s'mores.


And, fortunately for me, working at a summer camp means that I get my fair share of gooey chocolate and graham cracker goodness.

Of course, s'mores are best when they come straight from the campfire, but in a pinch (or, you know, in February)  these cookies will suffice!

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**This post contains affiliate links**

I made this recipe for my parents' camper themed anniversary party recently, and they were a hit! So good.


The Means to a Never Ending End

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When I was in elementary school, we briefly attended a church that I ... well, I don't have very fond memories of this church. One thing they did have going for them, though, was a large children's ministry- a big improvement from the church we attended just previously... in which myself and my sisters were the children's ministry.

I remember that little room reserved for the fifth graders pretty vividly.

All the chairs lined up in a row, sitting near my "church friends" with their long, perfectly blonde hair and dimples. They all had pearl earrings. I really, really wanted pearl earrings.

This was where I first learned about "sword drills."

If you don't know, a sword drill is when the teacher calls out a verse of the Bible, and the first one to find it wins.

I was terrible at sword drills.

I can't remember which New Testament epistle comes when. And I have sort-of-kind-of-undiagnosed dyscalculia and consistently flip numbers around under pressure (fours and nines are the worst... I tell ya).

I was pretty well doomed to lose every sword drill.