A Letter to Those Who Are Wrestling

A Letter to Those Who Are Wrestling

Dear friend,

Is that you I see in the back row of church? Eyes cast down, mouth hardly moving as everyone else seems to sing joyfully, frown turning the corners of your once happy mouth, tears threatening to spill onto your bulletin. I see your big sigh as you sit down, how you glance around the room as if to size everyone else up to see if anyone could possibly feel like you do—disconnected, disenchanted, confused, heart broken, disappointed. You wonder if the people around you actually are as joyful as they appear.

Kara’s Collection: The Mixed Bag

Kara’s Collection: The Mixed Bag

from an article originally posted on June 12, 2014…

Each day presents us all with a mixed bag to carry, to face, to let go of, and to deal with. We all struggle with our bags. Jesus says a lot about letting him carry it for us, but we all stink at that, don’t we? We may pretend to hand it over, but do we really? My bag is my own idea of how I want each moment to be lived; then these horrible life-stealing events happen and mess up my plans.

Found: A Sally Lloyd Jones Giveaway

Found: A Sally Lloyd Jones Giveaway

Like Kara, I am a huge Jesus Storybook Bible fan. I read it to my children daily, and it’s a given that I will cry every day as we read it. Sally Lloyd Jones is incredibly gifted in drawing out the gospel throughout the entire Bible, starting from the Creation story, and her ability to explain God’s redemptive plan in such simple yet stunning language brings me to tears no matter how many times we read through the book. My children recite with me now: God’s Never Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love! That in and of itself makes me cry! One of my all-time favorite stories in the book is the one based on Psalm 23, so when I found out that Sally (may I please call you Sally?!) and her unbelievably talented illustrator Jago were coming out with a sweet little book just with Psalm 23, called Found, I could hardly wait.

Kara’s Collection: The Keeper

Kara’s Collection: The Keeper

from an article originally posted June 10, 2014...

I am the keeper of the smells, the sweet salty bedtime smells. I have an internal record of fears that need to be gently shepherded and braved. I collect the memories of the small moments and the victories. I know the edges of the relationships that need prayer and kindness. I move through moments collecting, keeping, naming treasuring moments. Not simply the happy moments, but the broken moments. I keep them, and in the quiet just before sleep I retell them.

For Those Who Feel Exhausted

For Those Who Feel Exhausted

Guest post by Rebecca VanDeMark

Yesterday, I walked out of my bedroom, carrying my IV that I was doing an infusion with, to grab some more water to take some additional meds. I was exhausted walking the short distance; I sighed as I filled up my cup at the sink. Looking out the window, I glanced across the street at our neighbors’ house and noticed activity in the front yard. Less than a minute later, it became obvious that in the snow, my neighbors were trying to construct a ramp from their driveway to their stairs. As I stood there watching, it started to rain and I watched these three people struggle to construct a huge ramp.