One of the strangest and awesomest parts of suddenly being a Real Life Author is that though you may write a book in your pajamas on the couch, forgetting to brush your teeth before 2 in the afternoon, the process of “selling” that book involves you actually dressing yourself and combing your hair and smiling for cameras. In order to sell your book, you have to show up and appear sweet and normal. This hair-combing and wearing real clothes is… Read more

“All my childhood, I told my parents that I wanted to grow up and live in a big city. And all my childhood, my parents responded with, ‘No you don’t. You’d hate living in a big city because driving is terrible and there are too many people and big cities are too crowded.’ Just once, I wanted them to ask me why? I wanted them to wonder what made me different from them. I wanted to be known.” A friend of mine… Read more

Today I’m over at Deeper Story thinking about the complications of gratefulness: how sometimes beauty exists because something else is broken. And what does it mean to be thankful then? (It’s also interesting to note that I wrote this a couple of weeks ago. Since then, we’ve been coated in five straight days of rain, which doesn’t undo the drought, but has brought relief to a lot of people and creatures, I imagine.) We don’t have curtains up on our… Read more

It’s back! My chalkboard! Hopefully soon I’ll be adding some more interesting tidbits (ie posts and articles I loved this past week + super excited vlogging conversations, etc.) But for today, Good words is going to simply include one lovely quote from a book I love. This is from Dave Harrity’s beautiful and challenging mashup of a devotional meditations and writing exercises, Making Manifest. If you long for creativity in your prayer life, please take a look at this book…. Read more

  Every summer of my childhood, my brothers and I spent two weeks at Deenie and Grandaddy’s house. They lived in a simple suburban ranch style home in Dallas. It had a small backyard set into a steep hill where my grandparents, both children of West Texas farms, found enough time to grow green beans and okra. I remember summer nights in the kitchen, learning how to snap those beans and wash them ready to cook. We always did the… Read more

I woke up yesterday morning, pulled out my husband’s giant commentary of Matthew, and began reading Chapter One. I want to read scripture again. In new ways. Life-giving ways. Bible studies used me up a few years ago. I couldn’t fill out any more blanks. I couldn’t give answers anymore because I was too aware of what the answers were supposed to be. I studied scripture with guilt and an excess amount of (mostly) unhealthy skepticism. My spirit felt cold… Read more

  A prayer we prayed (I don’t know where it’s from) on our church’s Epiphany Retreat this past weekend . . .   Turn your face toward us, O God In love, love us with justice, shape us with fire, renew us Turn your face toward us, O God With longing, call us. With redemption, forgive us. With grace, renew us. Turn your face toward us, O God With zeal, challenge us. With compassion, hold us. With freedom, renew us…. Read more

  On Tuesday, Ann Voskamp posted How to Find Time and Space for the Life You Want (Part 2). It’s lovely and totally worth reading. I feel like its concept is so simple and absolutely relevant to the story I’ve been walking through for the past few years. I came to the Rule of St. Benedict because I was mesmerized by Kathleen Norris’ simple statement in her book, The Cloister Walk. She said this, “The Benedictines have always believed there is… Read more

  There’s a scene in my book where I’m praying with my spiritual director, Debby. She asks me to sit quietly with God, and eventually, after minutes of silence, instructs me to ask God for one word. One word. That day, I sat on her floral loveseat begging my brain and my soul to stop fighting it out for one second so I could listen. But it felt impossible to stop my mind from shouting doubt at the part of… Read more

I know it’s almost February. But, if you don’t mind having a little grace with me and my book-finishing/moving brain, I’m ready to call it a New Year around here. Happy New Year everybody! January has been a blur of packing and unpacking and book promotion stuff. But I’d like to stop for a second and say thank you for being here with me. Thank you for 2013. In 2013, when I told you how my word for the year… Read more

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