Fall Field Notes

Good morning to you on this fine autumn day! Today I’m doing something just a little different and sharing a few field notes, a gathering of what the landscape of life has been teaching me. If you have a moment to pause and ponder what the landscape of your life is teaching you, I’d love to hear—either in the comments or via email. The phrase “It’s a season” is good, true, helpful, and hopeful. It also, I’m learning, encourages me to expect it to run its course within a certain timeframe. This leads me to focus on the end prematurely. {Continue Reading}

Putting Myself Aside

With winter’s chill rolling off him as he and his siblings came in from the wintry night air, my son asked, “Can we have our friends over to play boot hockey?” Flanking him, his sisters, echoed the question silently with their eyes. We live in Iowa, and of the ten years we’ve lived in a place with a pond nestled in the woods behind our house, three of them have granted us good ice. He’d dedicated himself to keeping the ice clear—shoveling after each snowfall so that it would be open to play with his sisters, with his dad, with {Continue Reading}

Trail Talk

Happy May! Isn’t it wonderful to finally not be cold? If you’ve read around here long, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I am a conflicted outdoorsy type–an avid indoorswoman and a reluctant hiker.  Reluctant or not, time, experience, and maturity have brought me to a love of the places trails take me, the terrain they guide me through, and the way they help me better understand what it means to walk by faith. Even with all of that, one of my favorite things about of life on the trail is the way it fosters wandering conversation. While {Continue Reading}

Winter Gifts and Graces

Regardless of what the thermometer reads today or tomorrow or next week, winter is winding down. I’ll just repeat that, mostly because I need the reassurance. Winter is winding down. I need the reassurance because I believe something that isn’t true: Everything will last forever. Whether it’s the balmy breezes of a green spring that will be taken over by the thousand percent humidity of high summer or the crisp afternoons of a colorful autumn that will fade into the bone-brittling subzero temperatures of deep winter, every season eventually ends. Because I find hope and help in the cycle of the {Continue Reading}

Beginning Again

Oh, I have something special to share with you today: a guest post from one of my favorite writers on the internet: Tresta Payne. I was encouraged and challenged by what she’s offered here, and I hope you will be, as well. All creation groans for a new beginning, and here we have January–the clean slate of new calendars and new planners and new expectations. The two-week period after Christmas, when we take down the tree, pack away the Christmas decor, give everything a good cleaning and prepare for a new year, is my favorite. Often my own groanings are {Continue Reading}

Because Our Moments Matter {Steps Toward Making the Most of Them}

Cue the music. It’s that time of year, when the world falls in love. Every song you hear seems to say… I haven’t noticed the world falling in love, and if we were sitting down together to write that song this morning, the lyrics might play out a little differently. It’s that time of year when the world … Celebrates. Decorates. Bakes and eats. Shops and wraps and delivers. And maybe worships—when they can find a moment. every song you hear seems to say . . .  Do you know how many shopping days there are until Christmas? Have sent {Continue Reading}

Fall Notes

Fall is traditionally my favorite season. Its crisp leaves and cool air combine to make it a time I want to linger on indefinitely. This one is half-gone and I’ve kind of missed it. At least that’s what I thought before I took a look back. I haven’t missed anything. There’s been life and learning, grace and every kind of good gift. I just needed to turn around and open my eyes. A regular recounting of the gifts and graces, the lessons and the stuff of life keeps me a little more light-hearted and grateful than when I move through {Continue Reading}

Summer Notes

Seasons–the days, the weeks, and even the months they are made of–are easy things for me to give away. I saw this tendency when my son and daughters were small and I referred to them as the age they would be on their next birthday rather than the one they were in that moment. I see it more often than I’d like, when I give away bits of a day that had stretched into the distance like our straight gravel road to things that don’t matter. And with a month of summer still left, I struggle not to feel like it’s already {Continue Reading}

Embracing a Big Summer {& a Giveaway}

While the rest of the world waited for February 2 and  Punxsutawney Phil to declare just how many more weeks winter would hold on, I looked to February 1. That was the date I allowed myself to count the days until my kids would be done with school and off on summer break so we could all be home together and do summer things. The key words in that sentence are home and do, because one always seemed to exclude the other and I ended up fragmented and frustrated in my approach to life. The kids are older now and so am I. More {Continue Reading}