Personal Growth

49 posts
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,...

5 2
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....

6 3
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...

2 1
One of the Most Offensive Things God Asks

Water splatters on my shirt as I scrub the last bits of garlic, tomatillos, and cilantro from the Cuisinart with intensity. The crunching sound of a key pushing into the lock pulls focus from the kitchen sink to the front door. I quickly turn off the flow and before I can dry soapy hands on a dishtowel, she walks into the house. Glowing. My daughter, Murielle, is home for a...

14 6
The Crooked Path Towards Faith

In December 2006, I jumped into the River Cherwell, a river in Oxford, England, that crosses University Parks on the north side of town. It was the end of our study abroad semester and a few friends and I had the wild idea to jump off a low bridge into the water on one of our last days of class. We were twenty years old and had survived a semester...

23 2
Feast + Fallow

Few things bring me sweeter joy than driving from Cincinnati, Ohio to Bargersville, Indiana in the middle of summer after a long day of work. As I leave the Queen City in the passenger seat of Mike’s rattling black Mustang from the mid-2000s, I watch the hills flatten into fields. Rows of corn and soybeans end at the horizon, dotted with homesteads and barns (some of which date back to...

3 0
Parties, Porcelain, and Giving My Best

For years, I strived to host perfect holiday parties, as if they were an exam to pass. Hours before guests arrived, I dressed the table with my porcelain best, each item set precisely in its place. Thin lines of shimmering silver bordered its delicate rose pattern. Folded linen napkins bloomed on the plate. My china, a wedding gift from 1980, held not a single chip or scratch. I’d stand on...

11 0
When You Run on Empty

“No thanks, I got this.” Like a child learning to do things independently, I often push aside the ways of God in preference for my own. Though I may not say these words directly, my actions convey the thought in principle. I want to do it all. I tend to want God’s help only when I want and in the way I want it. Every time I run head long into...

6 0
In Which A Meal Is My Only Goal

Life has been a little weird for me. Maybe weird is a bad description? Maybe unstable is better. Maybe for the first time in my life I am truly grappling with those old words from Paul, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (HCSB). Is the visceral understanding of these...

4 1
Take Time to Savor and Be Filled

Sometimes I think my tastebuds have failed me. That in the midst of the everyday I have failed to savor. That the rush and appetites of my life have more to do with frantic filling than with letting the aroma of the good things settle on my tongue and linger.  I bulge at the seams of this overstuffed pace. The frantic tyranny of what must be done. I have never...

21 5
Load More