Family Life, Spiritual Formation

6 Steps to Making a Wise Decision

One day over Christmas break, our family had a decision to make. A few months earlier, sometime in September (before Peter’s stroke), I had made a reservation for us to take a little trip down to Branson, Missouri—including a two-day stop in St. Louis to visit the City Museum on the way. The problem was,… Read More 6 Steps to Making a Wise Decision

Spiritual Formation

Waiting for a Burning Bush?

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting around a table with a group of women at a church event, and the subject of homeschooling came up. One woman explained that she had homeschooled all five of her children from kindergarten through high school…to which another woman exclaimed, “I’m so glad that is NOT my… Read More Waiting for a Burning Bush?

Spiritual Formation

A Social Media Manifesto

Welcome to my blogger’s nightmare. A few nights ago, I sat on my bed—recovering from a nasty cold and fiddling with this blog behind the scenes. As I was trying to tweak some SEO elements (which I barely understand and have no business touching), I inadvertently and stupidly adjusted the permalink settings for This Odd… Read More A Social Media Manifesto

Spiritual Formation

Do You Want to Live a More Meaningful Life?

In a 2014 survey, the Barna Group found that three-quarters of American adults (75%) are looking for ways to live a “more meaningful life.” This simple statistic raises so many questions in my mind—the most obvious one being this: What exactly do we mean when we say that we want a “more meaningful life”? Certainly,… Read More Do You Want to Live a More Meaningful Life?

Spiritual Formation

The Most Common Misconception about “Calling”

A quick Google search for “what is my calling?” yields one billion, thirty million websites for your perusal—hopefully enough information to get you pointed in the right direction. Right?! As you might imagine, the content on said websites is as varied as our understanding of the subject itself. Everyone from Forbes to Oprah to Tiny… Read More The Most Common Misconception about “Calling”

Spiritual Formation

Clarify Your Calling: A New Blog Series

Last fall—just before Peter’s stroke—I had started a blog series on the subject of Interpersonal Communication. I haven’t forgotten about that important subject, and I plan to return to that series later this spring. But at the moment, another topic has re-captured my attention—the matter of “calling.” If you’ve ever wondered—“What am I ‘called’ to… Read More Clarify Your Calling: A New Blog Series

Spiritual Formation

This Is Also the Church: How We Do Hesed

If you’ve spent much time at all around the Church, you probably have a bone to pick. Or two. Or ten. Yours might be a collection of smaller bones—the ill-timed word of a fellow congregant, a disagreement with the leadership over certain details, a misunderstanding that really doesn’t matter that much. Or you might be… Read More This Is Also the Church: How We Do Hesed

Spiritual Formation

Overcoming Labels, Dispelling Lies

[photo credit: lucilight at] 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