Personal Growth

18 posts
Plants Grow in the Dark

I do not know why Some plants grow In the sun, and some In the shadows, But I do know They still grow. - Morgan Harper Nichols - A long, rectangular patch of dirt runs along the side of the house we share with my in-laws. It’s a garden, but no one would call it that at the moment. Pine needles lay like a blanket on top of the soil,...

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Trusting in the Work of Time

The woods are wild in the late German summer. Grass inches toward the road, creeps over the pavement, reaching for the concrete. Trees grow into each other from opposites sides of the road. Shades of green are everywhere. Deep, dark fir, jade vines, brighter chartreuse on bushes, celery-colored leaves. It looks overrun, like the gardener took a vacation and didn't have anyone to cut back the growth while he was...

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On Pride, Gluttony and Macaroni au Gratin

I am dating myself. Sounds totally weird, huh? I am dating myself because I have just recently walked straight out of the longest, most grueling wilderness of my life and I am not dead. I am, surprisingly, alive and thriving. I am telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so enable me Jesus. I have a keen awareness of just how narrow the narrow road really is. I’m...

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On Peace and Growing Older

I will be forty years old in less than sixty days. This is not sitting well with me.   I remember crying the year I turned thirty because I had four babies, a husband working two jobs and going to seminary, and an address far away from anyone who could show up and rescue me from my exhaustion. Life was not turning out how I had planned and I was...

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Intimacy Through Abiding

“Pruning seems counterintuitive,” my friend points out in her hesitation. “So I cut back this main stem on my zinnias and dahlias? Are you positive?” I reassure her, “By pinching back that lead stem, your plant will branch out and produce more blooms, and they will be luscious.” Sometimes I too forget this truth and that same hesitation seeps in my gut. If I forgo pinching them back, I could...

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Rest and Ratatouille

In summer, metaphors are as plentiful as buzzing bees. Here is one with its nose buried in a hollyhock. Here are half a dozen more darting among the clover. Summer is a gradual unspooling, and I see the picture of it everywhere: rosebuds unfurling, pea vines and morning glories curling and uncurling. Summer is for slowly, but surely, unclenching our fists, letting our hurried shoulders drop, and leaning in toward...

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On Rest And Resistance

We sit on the deck overlooking the mountains, my girls blowing bubbles around me in a swirl of iridescent colors. The air is damp, a breeze shifts the bubbles this direction, then that way. The evening is as close to perfect as I could have imagined, watching the sun slip behind a veil of thick clouds, then beneath the horizon, Still, the knot wedged between my shoulder blades refuses to...

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Praying For My Spouse and a Helpful Resource

It was a beautiful day when we buried her. The sky was blue. The sun was shining and there were a few wispy, white clouds floating in the air. But it was hot under that blue sky. When people find out that I have buried a child they often say, “that must be the most difficult thing ever” or something like that. But I usually tell them something like, “yes,...

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Love and Adore

Lord, I am not high-minded; I have no proud looks. I do not exercise myself in great matters which are too high for me. But I refrain my soul, and keep it low, like as a child that is weaned from his mother; yea, my soul is even as a weaned child. O Israel, trust in the Lord from this time forth forevermore. —Psalm 131   I love this psalm....

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Finding Hope in an Unlikely Place

I started running around the neighborhood to train for my marathon back in November. Over the months I watched Christmas lights get strung up on homes and trees. I noticed as the neighbors dutifully took them down come January, though I still see some hanging lifeless and dull. I smelled the delicious scent of burning wood in the evenings and the welcoming aroma of spicy fish stew one morning. When...

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