Writing & Communication

Why We Need to Watch Our Words

The first in a series of blog posts on Interpersonal Communication and Relationships.   As children, we all learned the little ditty: “Sticks and stones may break my bones But words can never hurt me.” Then we got older, and we realized just how ridiculous that mantra really is. We learn—too often the hard way—that… Read More Why We Need to Watch Our Words

Writing & Communication

Relationships 101: A New Blog Series Begins Now!

Every semester I begin my Moody Bible Institute Speech Class with a unit on Interpersonal Communication. i.e., Relationships. To begin with, I try to impress upon my students the importance of the topic. They may think they know enough about relationships. They’ve had them all their lives, after all. And they’ve been “going all right.”… Read More Relationships 101: A New Blog Series Begins Now!

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

Spiritual Formation

Overcoming Labels, Dispelling Lies

[photo credit: lucilight at creativeworshipsnss.blogspot.com] When we teach babies to talk, we start—of course—by naming things. We point a purposeful finger at the intended object, and we enunciate clearly and deliberately—our eyes wide, our faces expectant. “Mom-ma…Dad-dy…eyes…nose…juice.” Then, when our tiny student responds with a corresponding utterance, we clap and cheer and offer all manner… Read More Overcoming Labels, Dispelling Lies

Spiritual Formation

How to Navigate Change

We are the midst of transition again here—the bi-annual reordering of our lives—from our simple summer selves to the crazy school-year circus. Back and forth we swing, every fall and every spring. It’s always a shock to our system. It always comes with equal measures of irritability and joy, excitement and fear. And—I’ll be honest—I… Read More How to Navigate Change

Spiritual Formation

For All the Freshmen

Today was Freshmen Move-In Day at Moody. It moves me. Every. Single. Year. I first wrote this prayer in 2015. I re-pray it tonight and re-post it here in honor of the class of 2022.  ———- They arrived today. With their baskets of bedding and their neat stacks of notebooks and their brand new jeans.… Read More For All the Freshmen

Spiritual Formation

How Do I Move from Anxiety to Peace?

My anxiety always flares in August. Peter and I are both writing syllabi and course content. We are purchasing and organizing homeschool materials and activities. We are scrambling to finish house and garden projects. Then there is just the emotional anticipation of what is—for us—a HUGE transition back into our school-year lives. Last week—as I was… Read More How Do I Move from Anxiety to Peace?

Spiritual Formation

3 Qualities of a Successful College Student

It’s August, people! How did that happen? I’ve been a college professor for 20 years now, yet somehow this particular month still manages to sneak up on me. Every. Single. Summer. Our family will be cruising along, enjoying the sights and the sun. Then suddenly, as we turn the calendar page, I am once again… Read More 3 Qualities of a Successful College Student

Spiritual Formation

“Do What You Won’t Regret”

This simple piece of advice was given to me at one of the most pivotal moments of my life. Peter and I were trying to decide whether or not to bring baby D into our home—as a Safe Family placement to start with. His case was headed for the foster courts, and perhaps adoption, but… Read More “Do What You Won’t Regret”

Family Life

A Glorious Reunion: Why We Keep Coming Back

We first met in a Beijing hotel—every one of us jet-lagged, but thrilled nonetheless to be making this long-anticipated trip. I remember our first meeting as if it were yesterday. On that morning in March of 2012, Peter and I took our seats in a circle with a dozen-or-so other couples and a few of… Read More A Glorious Reunion: Why We Keep Coming Back