Writing & Communication

Lies Writers Believe, and the Truth that Sets Us Free

A couple of Saturdays ago I got to reconnect with a few of my favorite people—the leadership team of my writers’ group here in McHenry, Illinois. We call ourselves Kaleo Creatives—“kaleo” being a Greek verb, meaning “to call, to name, to address.” Our mission? “To encourage, equip, and tangibly support one another in our writing,… Read More Lies Writers Believe, and the Truth that Sets Us Free

Writing & Communication

5 Reasons to Join Us on This Journey

Wow! The This Odd House blog turns 5 this month! Can you believe it? I sure can’t. But here we are—celebrating what-feels-to-me-to-be a significant milestone.   Anniversaries are a perfect time to reflect. So if you’ll indulge me, I’ll do a bit of that… I created this space in July 2013, at the beginning of… Read More 5 Reasons to Join Us on This Journey

Writing & Communication

A War of Words: What the Current MBI Crisis Can Teach Us All

For our most recent date night, Peter and I went to see Darkest Hour, a movie that retells (and reinterprets) the story of the early days of Winston Churchill’s time as the British Prime Minister. (Spoiler alert.) Hitler’s army has defeated Belgium. It has almost brought France to her knees. And Hitler has his sights set on… Read More A War of Words: What the Current MBI Crisis Can Teach Us All

Spiritual Formation, Writing & Communication

Pierced and Embraced Releases Today!

We are a love-thirsty people. We try so many ways to satiate those longings that we live with, but ultimately only one source—the living water—will satisfy.   A couple of years ago my husband Peter and I wrote a little book called 20 Things We’d Tell Our Twentysomething Selves. It started as a blog post,… Read More Pierced and Embraced Releases Today!

Family Life, Good Health, Writing & Communication

In Defense of Pork Chops & Prayer

I must admit. Last week was intense. It was simultaneously a little taste of heaven. Peter and I were still off of work. We gave our homeschooling kids one more week of Christmas break. (Why not?) And my writing deadline was fast approaching. Book manuscript due: January 15. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday—every day… Read More In Defense of Pork Chops & Prayer

Writing & Communication

Conversation Matters

A part of my job every semester is to teach a class called Speech Communication. It’s a required course for all of our undergraduate students, so I’m well aware that some of them arrive in my classroom with apathy, some with nervousness, some even with a measure of dread. After all, “Public Speaking” appears on… Read More Conversation Matters

Writing & Communication

Top Posts of 2014

2014 was my first full year of blogging. A year of finding my feet and figuring it out. And I still have a long way to go. I still write long. I still write slow. And I’m still far from regular. I still haven’t managed to fit blogging into the weekly routine of my life.… Read More Top Posts of 2014

Writing & Communication


While things have been a bit quiet here at thisoddhouse.org for the past few weeks, they have been far from quiet at This Odd House in McHenry. In the midst of some sicknesses and the end-of-semester stress, we have also been celebrating the season in several special ways. We put up our tree. And while… Read More BIG NEWS!

Spiritual Formation, Writing & Communication

For the New School Year

Here’s what happened at our house last week… Daryl started first grade.   Amelia started the 3-year-old program at the same school.   Peter started back to work with faculty meetings.   And so did I. (The blurriness is absolutely apropos.) Thankfully, Grandma came from England last Wednesday and is helping us through the transition.… Read More For the New School Year

Writing & Communication

Six Lessons I Have Learned as a New Blogger

July has been a big birthday month in our house. I turned xx. In the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. And discovered the ideal spot to finish writing my book. (See that cabin back there? Donald Miller would approve.) This little darling turned 3. At the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Where even the sharks seemed to grin… Read More Six Lessons I Have Learned as a New Blogger