The Desires of Your Heart

Desire: The natural longing that is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of any good, and impels to action or effort its continuance or possession; an eager wish to obtain or enjoy. (Source) Our affections, or desires, are perhaps the greatest evidence of whether or not our life is found in Christ. Our pious words can lie. Our noble actions can deceive. But our desires are truth sayers. Though often hidden behind a facade of righteousness, our desires reveal and sometimes betray our heart. Want to expose idols in your life? Take a long, thoughtful look at what you really, really, really … [Read more...]

On Dignity

I’ve heard it said that books do not change us. It’s paragraphs and sentences that have the greatest impact. Golden nuggets of wisdom and truth, small enough to  be remembered, pondered, and digested into our lives. I came across just that sort of sentence two months ago and I am still marveling at the truth and grace in the words. Lisa Leonard shared an exchange with her husband in which she lamented that she will always change diapers. Their oldest son was born with a disability that will likely require that he be diapered his entire life. If you’ve had even one child to diaper for two to … [Read more...]

Adversity as Blessing

Sagging and water-stained drywall. Just days before we uncovered the unthinkable in our bathroom, we discovered the telltale evidence of a roof leak in our hallway upstairs. Clearly we are facing adversity of the homeowner sort. It would be easy to become discouraged knowing we are facing interruptions to our daily routines, time spent with numerous contractors, and our own repair work over the course of several weeks. Even more is the hefty expense the repairs demand. Yet, in the midst of the adversity, there is much for which we are thankful. We are grateful that one leak was discovered … [Read more...]

Hidden Below the Surface: Exposing the Sin Within

My gut wrenched with equal parts dismay and relief. As the layer of tile was peeled away, the blackness continued. When would it end? How much farther did the damage extend? Shocked at the sight, I knew I shouldn’t be surprised. Hadn’t I said for years there was something wrong in our bathroom, even joking that is was possessed? After all, I’m a fairly clean-seeking person and yet even using bleach in the tub couldn’t keep the mold away for long. Isn’t that the reason we had planned this bathroom remodel in the first place? That silly tub with it wall tile a bit too far up for a good seal of … [Read more...]

In Which I Discover My Place in the Kitchen

Boulangerie de Bourque We decided if we ever open a family bakery this will be its name. I think it has a fabulous ring to it and baking for a living doesn’t sound nearly as farfetched as it once did. My husband has always been the cook and a baker. Chocolate chip cookies are his specialty. I, on the other hand, have only specialized in being the cleaner upper in the kitchen. And a mighty fine one at that. He cooks; I clean up the mess. It’s been our thing for over twenty years. Until now. … [Read more...]

Trading Rejoicing and Weeping for Boasting and Complaining

Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep. [Romans 12:15 HCSB] This verse is easier to understand than it is to obey. There is much that can be said about our ability to rejoice and weep with others, and I will address it in future writing; but for now, I want to focus on the latter part of each clause—“with those who rejoice” and “with those who weep.” Life is full of highs and lows, triumphs and failures, moments of joy and despair. What a wonderful privilege it is to have a God who understands our joys and our sorrows. He who became flesh rejoiced and mourned, and in … [Read more...]

Ministry in the Ordinary Everyday

A friend and I sit at either end of the sofa chattering back and forth, sharing our lives with one another. We talk about our children, our latest home projects, aging gracefully (both physically and spiritually), and recipes we want to try. We talk about our struggles with sin, relationships that challenge us, and what God is teaching us in the midst of our circumstances. We encourage one another to live faithfully, and challenge one another to grow in Christlikeness. In the midst of the chatter about our everyday lives, words of Biblical counsel are exchanged. … [Read more...]

Mother-daughter Bonding ~ with Jam and Bread

With the celebration of Mother's Day my thoughts naturally turned to the love I have for my own mom. I not only think of her unconditional love for me and how she has always been my biggest cheerleader, but I also see her as an incredibly kind woman, who is growing in grace and reflecting Christ to those around her. I am truly grateful for the blessing of being her daughter. I have also been thinking a lot this week about being a mother and how my own children have been a gift to me. God has used each one to challenge me and bless me in different ways. Much of my own growth in grace has … [Read more...]

Weekend Renewal

Happy Saturday! What joy it was to behold the glow of sunrise reflecting off ice-laden trees a couple of weeks ago. Now we are awaiting a heavy snowfall with six to twelve inches of snow predicted. It's surely winter in Michigan and I am enjoying the beauty of the season. Yes, it is cold. Bitterly so. But snuggled warm in my home, it is hard to complain. I am so thankful. I am also thankful that this weekend will finally see the end of the holiday treats that have lingered. I am looking forward to returning to healthier eating. I dare not say healthy eating or I would be giving you a … [Read more...]