December 12, 2018

The sun set long before I put the car in gear, backing out of the garage with my daughter fiddling with a CD in the car. Music is part of our journey to swim practice three nights each week. And yes, we still have CDs. Ancient relics. Taylor Swift came sweeping through the speakers. The Red album, to be specific. My beloved introvert daughter gently moved side to side, already wearing her swim cap and tightly around her ears. Music… Read more

December 10, 2018

One of the most significant issues we will deal with as human beings is the issue of unmet expectations. Disappointment. Things did not go as we thought they would. We walk into a marriage with hopes and dreams and desires, and we find that the other person doesn’t share quite the same vision. Conversations suddenly grow muddy, forced, and guarded. We thought we’d work our whole life in one life-giving stream. Our vocation was clear, the picture in our heads… Read more

December 6, 2018

The part of me that most resists rest and mindfulness is actually my mind, my word-making and scene-shaping mind. It is so hard to shut down the churning and processing. For the last few weeks, we cultivated space as a family for a Sabbath rest. Tyipcally on a Saturday, we surrender our productivity and commit to things that have no outcome. Yes, it is as beautiful as it sounds. Each Saturday so far had unique character and nuances. A few… Read more

December 4, 2018

Faith, specifically Christian faith, is deeply tied to stories both cultural and personal. I grew up in an evangelical church, which meant for many summers I sat around campfires listening to what we’d call “testimony” or “sharing time.” These campfires came late in the week, emotions (and hormones, if we’re being honest) ran high. We would sing provocative songs about Jesus, love, and forgiveness. Then the stories would begin. After a while, you began to see a pattern emerge. Students… Read more

November 28, 2018

I grew up in a church tradition that celebrated Advent, which means many of the customs (lighting the candles of the Advent wreath, the Chrismon tree, etc.) are not foreign. However I know that not everyone has that story in their rear-view mirror. Advent is a period of preparation for Christmas, beginning with the four Sundays leading up to December 25th. Advent has also become a subversive move in our culture. At a time when speed and consumption characterize the… Read more

November 26, 2018

To Walk In a Labyrinth…  The gravel compresses below my feet, the prayer labyrinth yielding to cold compression. My steps were predetermined, laid out in advance, by ancients who came well before. At one of my favorite retreat centers, they have a labyrinth; a Chartres labyrinth, to be specific,  modeled after the flooring of the cathedral in Chartres, France. Walking the labyrinth is a spiritual practice passed down from generation to generation, the beautiful combination of the body (walking) and… Read more

November 21, 2018

Is it possible that our calendar is a cathedral? Our priorities & actions a place to encounter the divine? Our calendar tells a story: it tells a story of priorities, people, and unavoidable expectations. The multicolored boxes or cursive placeholders are, in fact, life. I write this sitting the parking lot of a restaurant, 15 minutes early for a morning meeting. A notification pops up on my screen reminding me that in just a few minutes, I’ll sit down with… Read more

November 19, 2018

The title of this post is misleading, because these books – this reading – is very personal. They aren’t universal touchstones, but they are my touchstones. In various seasons, these readings have sustained and influenced me. Most of the language I use today has a root in one of these 5 books. While we tend to outgrow some writing, these books have retained their resonance for me throughout the years. Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved At a time… Read more

November 16, 2018

When I started writing a blog, I tried to consistently publish a prayer every Friday. The prayer was meant to carry through the weekend, until Monday when I’d post something new. I would love to resurrect that tradition starting today. With Thanksgiving approaching in the U.S., it feels like an appropriate time for a prayer about gratitude. As we prepare for Thanksgiving week, here is a script for you to chew on with God. Blessings friends. O God, We are… Read more

November 15, 2018

This week, my full course around the sun came once again to an end. A birthday. 41 years. Last year, turning 40 was a watershed moment. The decade birthdays, as a good friend told me today, are the most interesting because we are totally different people at those junctures than at the previous 10 year milestone. Aging is one of those elements of being alive that seems defiant to any sort of spirituality. To age is an unstoppable force, raging… Read more

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