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 … [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 … [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...]

One Word 2014

For several years I have chosen one word on which to focus for an entire year. This word becomes a constant companion in the back of my mind, pressing me to move forward, challenging me to take steps of faith or to grasp hold of a promise of God, and even giving me courage to make hard decisions. In past years my one word has been Satisfied, Reach, and Faithful. As 2013 and my year of seeking to be faithful came to a close I could not ignore the nagging feeling that I never allowed faithfulness to touch one area of my life. It begged for attention, gnawing at the recesses of my mind. I … [Read more...]

The Best Goals Are Ones We Will Never Achieve

The New Year provides a natural opportunity to reflect on the road which we have traveled and to peer ahead to where we are going. We evaluate our priorities and align our goals and make resolutions to direct our steps accordingly. And we are told over and over again that if we want to be happy and make 2014 the best year ever we have to write goals that are S.M.A.R.T. and then know and follow a plan to achieve those goals. Formulas that are big on promises make me squeamish. Yet they easily become the talk of the town so I wonder if I'm missing something that everyone else seems to … [Read more...]