Blanket Fort Season

When it comes to instant childhood magic, not much can compete with a good blanket fort. Grabbing all your comfy things, some twinkle lights, and a treat or two, you’d transform an ordinary space into a stunning castle as though assisted by a fairy godmother. Sure, bed knobs and broomsticks might be holding it all up, but you didn’t care; you’d conjured a temporary special place (and in my opinion, knowing it would have to come down eventually so normal life could resume made it even better).

Read More »

Restful Lyrics

Remember Baloo’s counsel to young Mowgli in the middle of ‘The Bare Necessities’?

“So just try and relax. Fall apart in my backyard. Cool it. Let me tell you something, little britches, if you act like that bee acts, uh-uh—you’re working too hard. And don’t spend your time looking around for something you want that can’t be found.”

Read More »

Keep the Sabbath

Discipline and diligence will always be prerequisites if we expect to experience the freedom and rest that God intends for us … But as a girl who’s watching this Sabbath principle unshackle the chains from my life more and more every day, I can tell you it’s worth all the effort we expend.

(Priscilla Shirer, Breathe)

Knowing the why of a thing is very different from knowing the how. Great ideas die all the time due to lack of strategy.

On Monday, we laid a groundwork for why sabbath matters. Now I’d like to take a practical turn and look at some ideas on how to begin making this rhythm a regular and vital part of life.

Read More »

Remember the Sabbath

God worked. We are to work. God rested. We are to rest.

(Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality)

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.

Read More »

Hearing Voices

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on January 15, 2020. You can find it here.)

“Who do we become when we stop allowing all the voices in our head to crowd out the one voice we must hear to come to life?”

(Erwin McManus)

I find deep beauty in the hush that falls over my heart and home after the holiday chaos has ebbed. Décor is stowed until next year, surfaces are reordered, and a gentle blanket of silence fills the previously riotous internal and external spaces of life. 

Read More »

In Returning and Rest

She was never alone—the questions kept her constant company.

You know those questions that latch onto you and refuse to let go? The ones that, despite their simplicity, bump around in your brain during the early hours or while you’re in the carpool line? 

For the past year, I’ve been haunted by this ponderance: what does it mean to just sit and be loved by God?

Read More »

Summer Heat Soul Retreat

With the heap of hype about self care currently rumbling around the interwebs, it’s no wonder our culture is dumping such enormous amounts of time, effort, and money into internal investment.

Okay, that’s theoretical. Let’s make it personal. In the last month, how much time have you spent on investing in yourself/your family:

  • physically (grooming, exercise, doctor visits, healthy meal planning/shopping/cooking, etc.)
  • emotionally (formal counseling, playing, visiting with friends, etc.)
  • mentally (reading books/blogs/articles, taking classes, etc.)
Read More »

The Well-Tended Garden

Self-care has been weighing on my mind like a quick-ripening fruit recently. John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping and The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner sit dog-eared nearby. Small pockets of peace wait around my home—a facial mask, some doodling pens, the Bible study I’m loving entirely too much to not be considered a nerd. Bits of beauty scattered throughout my space and schedule. I used to think the whole “me time” thing was for weenies with lame theology and weak wills. (Grace abounds, friends, even for this brand of self-righteousness.) The longer I’m in ministry, though, the more crucial tending my own heart feels to me.

Read More »

(Re)treat Yo Self

“When you work, Jesus rests. When you rest, Jesus works.”

Jack Frost

A clean house. Zero responsibilities. No drama. Remember the part in How the Grinch Stole Christmas where his “small heart grew three sizes that day?” That’s how I felt during my first ever personal retreat earlier this week. I’ll give you a rundown so that you can plan out your own staycation. (If you can’t do it in the next month, maybe soon after the chaos of the holidays has ebbed?) When we begin to see time for personal care as an investment rather than a waste, sabbath can move back into our schedules—and with it, the renewed energy, joy, and peace that result from doing life God’s way.

Read More »