When we are given more than we could have imagined.

When we are given more than we could have imagined.

Last Thursday evening, my husband and two youngest kids and I met up with 7 other people we didn’t know, climbed into a van with our duffel bags and our good intentions and drove to the border town of Mexicali Mexico to build something. I’d been busy enough in the weeks leading up to our departure that I quietly panicked as we crossed the border at 11pm, realizing that I hadn’t checked Google News for the current drug cartel activity in this particular town. Egad! We had hastily put our precious children into the unknown hands of a young missionary team from our church and for a moment I wondered if I’d properly said goodbye to our elder children, if you know what I mean. The fact that this was my first mission trip was a slight embarrassment that I had to...

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This wasn’t in my plan.

This wasn’t in my plan.

We aren’t ready for these phone calls, ever. She said, “I took the liberty of making you an appointment at one of the country’s top gynecological oncologists and he’s going to come in today to see you and you need to be there at 1:00. Here’s the address.” It was 12:25 and I was pulling into my client’s offices for a 1:00 meeting. My body shook and my heart raced.  She said the levels on my cancer screen went up again and my case has now become complicated. I’m a complicated case. (Some might say that’s not a new condition. 🙂 I pulled over to breathe and write notes. By the time I arrived at scary-doctor’s office I was through the choked up panic, and calmed by my husband’s voice. I’m challenged to activate the Trust in God that I...

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What if we are brave?

What if we are brave?

If we try to hide our children from controversial content, they may not learn to think for themselves about important issues they’ll face throughout their life. If we try to force our own views on them without demonstrating openness to always-new ways of seeing people, we might miss a chance to teach and learn the mightiest of skills ourselves. If we don’t teach them a foundation of love and truth because we’re uneducated or unsure ourselves about the deepest love and truth, we most definitely will miss the chance to escort our children across the thresholds that we ourselves already crossed. May you, together with all God’s people, grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…Eph...

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Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Embarking on new adventures and finding our own old footprints

Sometimes when we forge new paths, we find footprints we ourselves left decades earlier. Our family is moving back to Southern California from the serene and naturally beautiful Western edge of the mitten state. (Hold up your left hand.) I spent my childhood in Michigan, so I have a deep fondness for the lakes and the uniqueness of this state’s magnificent geography and sweet fun-loving people. I left LA 20 years ago when my eldest was less than 2, believing that I wanted to raise my kids in the values-orientation of the Midwest rather than the maniacal superficiality of the Hollywood State. To be true, my point of view was skewed by my own untamed lifestyle in the 80’s and 90’s, and it was impossible for me to imagine any healthy upbringing for my children...

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What will you do in the next ten seconds?

What will you do in the next ten seconds?

If any of us know anything about Jesus of Nazareth, we probably have heard that his reaction to needy people was immediate and scandalous generosity.  Furthermore, Jesus was indisputably clear in how he felt about our modeling this teaching. But in our busy days, we often see strangers with “needy” signs on street corners at the entrance to Target and we make decisions to ignore at least some of them.  We have to look away because we already gave somewhere else. Our practical minds govern our wallet (and our schedule) because we have our own kids’ mouths to feed and our own problems and why isn’t the guy on the street corner answering the “Help Wanted” sign at the dry cleaner? How do we manage this daily inner conflict between our desires to control...

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