Day-after-Birthday Rite of Passage

To mark turning 45 yesterday, I just changed my profile picture for both this blog and Facebook. I’ve been using the same 6 year old picture Scott snapped of me for everything that needed a photo, so if you Google me at “Images” that’s pretty much the only picture that shows up. When Scott took it, I thought I looked old. Now I look at it and I think wow do I look young. . . and good! This must be why they say youth is wasted on the young. There are many reasons I’ve kept using a picture of m … [Read more...]


(This short article was written for the April edition of InterVarsity "About Women" staff website, therefore only available to InterVarsity staff!)Growing in Self ClarityThe first time I directed a conference, even though it went well, I was left with bitterness, exhaustion and loneliness. Despite enjoying a growing ministry, I felt engulfed by demands and 70-80 hour workweeks. Driving home with my boss Bobby, we talked about how I felt driven by my "life parable," the parable of the talents, … [Read more...]

What’s Worth Doing?

At my spiritual retreat to evaluate my job as Area Director last week, it was St. Ansgar day. The most notable achievement of Ansgar, according to all the readings, was that he completely failed at almost everything he attempted. Although he was eventually credited with the conversion of Scandinavia, I couldn’t tell how his actions even lay the groundwork for mass revival actually. Yet according to everything I heard, what we learn from Ansgar’s life is perseverance, and the hope that our labor, … [Read more...]


I’m a tiny bit famous for my chili. Frankly, you can’t survive 20 years of campus ministry without a chili recipe that feeds the hordes. I’ve made huge pots of chili for Columbia students, staff colleagues, Harvard students, faculty from Boston, not to mention many church, family and friend gatherings. Former students tell me when they reminisce about college fellowship days, they talk about my chili—that’s how good it is. When I cook chili it grows and expands like Jesus multiplying loaves an … [Read more...]

Meeting with our youth pastor

Last Friday, Garry our new youth pastor, came over for dinner and to create a spiritual plan for our daughters. I had planned to make Mama's pork chops in cream of mushroom soup because the pork chops had been defrosting in the fridge for awhile and I was getting a lot of pressure from the kids to cook them. But in the afternoon, I had a little panic attack. It felt dishonoring to feed a new acquaintance a meal seasoned by Campbell’s--like feeding the youth pastor Campbell’s flavored food meant … [Read more...]

The Good Life

The Good Life “Of course you’re miserable!” said my advisor Dan, looking over his spectacles at me, “As a doctoral student in Human Development and Social Policy, you of all people should remember that your timing is all wrong for graduate school.” We sat in Dan’s office, and I was whining about my life—my insecure, powerless and confused life. I felt stressed, discontent and anxious. Now I also felt slightly guilty--he knew I was a follower of Jesus and I wasn’t making Jesus look very good by … [Read more...]

Spiritual Formation for those beset by Plumbing Demons

Isaiah 40:11 He gently leads those who have young. BK (before kids), I was notoriously bad at quiet times. As an ENFP, I both lacked discipline and in the rare periods when I disciplined myself to have a daily quiet time, quickly felt how inauthentic my prayer felt—too often it was about checking the “time with God” box than actually meeting God. So I dreaded what would happen to my already spotty spiritual disciplines when I had kids! But thankfully, forming me into Christ’s image is not my r … [Read more...]