“The Broken Way” Provides a Way Forward

I wasn’t planning to use Ann Voskamp’s latest book as the basis for an Author Note (the closest thing to a book review that you’ll find on this blog). But when I finished reading and started looking at the bits and pieces that struck deep chords with me, I realized I wanted to share these meaningful parts with Ann—and with you. My prayer is that the lines from The Broken Way that are speaking to me also will encourage you today.

Dear Ann,

I first heard about The Broken Way several months before it was released. Having read One Thousand Gifts years earlier, I was curious to observe the natural progression that often occurs in an author’s writing between her first and second books. I was interested to learn more about someone who seems to guard her privacy very carefully. I was intrigued to see how you would approach a topic that resonates so strongly with me—how God redeems our brokenness.

Continue reading



My One Word for 2017

I knew what my OneWord for 2017 was going to be early last fall. I normally wouldn’t even think about such things until December, but when I started hearing a new song on the radio by a group called Jesus Culture, I just knew.

At the time, choosing this particular collection of letters as my word for the year didn’t make sense. It didn’t seem to fit me at all—quite the opposite, in fact. Honestly, I had no idea why it struck me so.

But it did.

Continue reading



What’s Making My “Heart Squeeze” Today

When I’m reading books, I notice words that authors repeat frequently.

Years ago, for example, I read a volume of inspirational romance novellas from the Crossings Book Club. I don’t recall any of the authors, I just remember that a character in one of them “sniffed appreciatively” at least three or four times.

Continue reading



Do You Need to Give Yourself Grace This Christmas?

I’m giving myself grace this Christmas.

I don’t know about you, but it’s been a weird holiday season for me. There have been moments of gentle peace followed by periods of high stress intermingled with extreme busyness and even quiet sadness.

I could point to several things and say, “We could have done that differently, or not at all.” But some lessons are only learned by doing. And now we know.

Grace.

Continue reading



When You Can’t Bear to Wait Another Minute

When I’ve been waiting for something for a really long time, I sometimes reach a point where I don’t think I can wait one more second.

I felt this way near the end of our wait to adopt our older daughter Lilly. We had already experienced three challenging years of infertility, followed by about 20 months of waiting for our international adoption to be completed.

We knew some people who had sent their paperwork to China around the same time we had sent ours, and we were all expecting to get our referrals near the end of July.

Continue reading



What I Learned This Fall

It seems a bit strange to write about fall now that the house is decorated for the holidays and Christmas music is blaring from the living room stereo 24/7. But technically, it is still fall. And, as is always the case when I start evaluating the past three months, it seems I learned more than I thought during this season of brilliant colors and too-high temperatures.

thanksgiving-family2We’ll start off with this family picture, taken by my younger sister on my parents’ back deck. Besides screaming “fall,” it reminds me of Thanksgiving Day—the first in many years that someone else did most of the cooking (thanks, sis) and I got to sit around all morning and finish reading two overdue library books.

Continue reading