Amid construction paper projects and figuring out how subtraction supposedly functioned, my childhood school day was dappled with monkey bars, swing sets, slides, a wide-open field, and huge shady trees. Recess! At some blessed point in educational history, brilliant grownups decided it would be cruel and unusual punishment (for both teachers and students) to not allow children a regular mental and physical break.
Spend enough time on an Australian walkabout, and you might stumble upon Lake Hillier, a shockingly bubblegum-pink body of water. The fourth chapter of John felt a bit like this to me—we’re traveling along, admiring the dirt-colored scenery, and then BAM! Pink! (I never knew how intently Jesus waited at that well in Samaria for the woman or for me, but it’s been a beautiful revelation.) Let’s pause on this tour through the gospel, slip off our sandals, and dip our toes into the water as we encounter the truer and better Source who will never leave us thirsty.
(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on March 9, 2020. You can find it here.)
Days swell with the anticipation of that larger-than-life rhythm that has marked humanity since the garden: death and resurrection. The groans of bringing forth new life hang heavy in the future. As I find myself waiting for our first baby this Lenten season, I’m struck by the phrase ‘expecting mother.’ What am I expecting? Surprisingly, my hopes are an awful lot like those of every other thoughtful heart during Lent, “great with child” or not.
Roughly 20 million women and girls in the U.S. experience an eating disorder.
The rate of children under 12 being admitted to a hospital for eating disorders rose 119 percent in less than a decade.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, with nearly 1 person dying every hour as a direct result of an eating disorder.*
These numbers—these lives—reflect a deeply spiritual issue in our culture: Americans hate our bodies.
How about you? When you look at yourself in a swimsuit, does the tone of your internal commentary ring more like the voice of your kind Father who delights in you, or more like the voice of your accusing enemy who despises you?
It’s the first week of March, and stores have switched from flannels to swimsuits. (Did you hear that? Three out of every four American women just let out a collective groan.) Yep, ladies, it’s time for the crunches, the squats, the manic scale dance, and the rumbling tummies. In short, it’s beach body prep season.
If Nat King Cole could sing about “those lazy-crazy-hazy days of summer,” can the “cozy-dozy-frozy days of March” be a thing, too? It’s our last chance at enjoying winter hygge—all of the furry blankets, hot soups, candle lighting, and cocoa sipping a soul could want—so let’s make the most of it! We shall squeeze out every last drop of goodness the lingering cold has to offer. Who’s with me?
(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on February 7, 2020. You can find it here.)
God, You’re so good.
God, You’re so good.
God, You’re so good,
You’re so good to me.
I choked the simple chorus out on Sunday morning despite a lump rising in my throat. Weeks of waiting for the results of a major medical test numbed my ability to belt out the lyrics with the same gusto as those around me. Instead, a pitiful, broken string of truth fell quietly from my mouth, each word a salty tear.
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”
We looked last week at a few questions that jumpstart the journey to grieving well. Today, we’ll finish up. Before we do, though, let’s establish a reasonable foundation for this exercise. Why make grieving a priority at all?