• Young boys

    Mothering Little Men From Mars

    This 2011 post still stands up over time. While it’s important to acknowledge that gender differences are painted in broad strokes, with exceptions across the board, for the most part God has created significant biologically- and brain-based differences between male and female that we should acknowledge and respect. Because they DO make a difference! One of the greatest privileges of my life—right after saying “yes” to Jesus and “I do” to my husband—has been mothering my two sons, now 29 and 31. Several years ago, my husband Ray and I started researching gender differences and discovered the truths in John Gray’s mega-bestseller, Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus.…

  • Ray getting his PICC line

    Back Infections and Heart Infections

    My husband Ray knew something was wrong as soon as he got out of bed. His lower back, where he’d had back surgery six weeks before, was wet. His t-shirt was wet. The sheet was wet. His fingers glistening with a strange wetness from reaching back to investigate, he asked me to check what was going on. I saw a rivulet of fluid pouring out of the top of his surgical incision. Something was really, really wrong. As I gently pressed the skin around the incision, pus kept flowing out. He had a serious infection under the incision. It had been hidden, but it literally rose to the surface of…

  • Engage

    The Keys to Emotional Healing: Part 1

    After seeing God bring about major transformation of emotional healing in a number of broken people, I asked Him what was happening when He healed people’s hearts. I wanted to understand the process. His answer was simple and profound, but never easy: “grieving and forgiving.” Both of these emotional disciplines are necessary to move from the place of sustaining a wound to the soul, to the place where that wound no longer controls and diminishes us—because it has been transformed into a healed scar. Grieving means moving pain and anger from the inside to the outside. Tears are God’s lubricant for that process, and what a gift of grace tears…

  • Engage

    Don’t Judge Me?

    The 14-year-old daughter of a friend recently responded to her mother’s correction with, “Don’t judge me, Mom.” The same week, a friend of mine asked my opinion on something, and as I was mentally running it through the grid of “what does God say about this in His word,” she said, “Now, don’t you go judging me!” Tolerance and acceptance—the new tolerance, which says that every value, belief and behavior should be embraced as equally valid—are the highest values of our culture. Which makes judging the most hideous and unacceptable of sins. Now, to be fair, there is a lot of ugly judging in the world. Before a friend became…

  • baby girl

    The Thought Police Are Here

    Recently, in the same week, I watched two strikingly polar opposite events unfold on my Facebook feed. One was the long-awaited, long-prayed-for birth of a precious baby girl whose daddy had left homosexuality and repented of a gay identity as he pursued intimacy with Christ. After several years of sexual sobriety and spiritual growth, he was actually quite surprised to find himself starting to be attracted to girls. I remember him saying, “If you think puberty is rough the first time, you should try it at 28!” I was privileged to watch him weep with gratitude through his wedding to a beautiful lady, and pray for him as he became…

  • Engage

    Swords of Blessing

    10 years ago, I wrote this post about lettering names on wooden swords. And 10 years later, that’s on my agenda for today, for a whole new batch of 5th grade boys who weren’t even born yet when I wrote this post! This Father’s Day weekend, my to-do list included personalizing almost three dozen wooden swords. A dear friend has a wonderful boys’ summer camp called “Warrior Week” where men sow love and truth (along with a fair share of messy fun) into the souls of boys. I am privileged to use my calligraphy experience to letter each boy’s name and a prayed-over character trait that is a blessing for…

  • Engage

    Headed to the Courtroom

    Since I find myself on another jury today, it’s only appropriate to run this 2013 blog post again . . . Yesterday I was selected to serve on a jury for a trial that is anticipated to last three to four weeks.  The jury selection process was an all-day affair, lasting over twelve hours and creating quite a sense of camaraderie in the process. I keep thinking about the three major take-aways from this experience. First, the multiple defense attorneys for the four defendants (thus the long trial) repeatedly reminded us that the American justice system is built on the foundation of “presumed innocent until proven guilty.” And that is…

  • Engage

    What is Art, Anyway?

    When my dear friend Laura Helms told me about integrating her biblical worldview with how she teaches high school art, I was fascinated and asked her to write about her approach. For the last nine years I have had the privilege of teaching visual arts in the public school system here in Texas. Each year I start off with one question on the board: “What is art?” Students give a wide range of answers but they usually land somewhere near the phrase “art can be whatever you want it to be.” This year I laid out an assortment of objects ranging from pottery to paintings to piles of trash that…

  • resurrection

    What Difference Does the Resurrection Make?

    What difference does the resurrection make—in our lives? It’s the most important event in all of human history. Where’s the “so what” for today? I meditated on this question for weeks, eventually creating a list too long for this blog post. So let me share my favorites. All pain and suffering will be redeemed and resolved. I’ve lived in a body with a disability since I got polio at eight months old and was paralyzed from the waist down. I got some use of my left leg and hip back, but I had to wear a steel and leather brace for the first several years of my life. Every step…

  • Engage

    Why Kids Leave the Church After High School

    The Youth Transition Network has released the results of research about why 70% of students in high school youth groups have left the church within a year after high school graduation. One big reason is the unrealistic expectations that our young people sense from parents and church authority figures. When asked, “What does it mean to be a good Christian,” students responded with a long list of do’s and don’ts, always and nevers: No sex No secular music No fun No profanity No bad attitudes Be perfect Be a virgin Be wholly devoted to God Be righteous Be a role model Don’t doubt Have all the spiritual answers Always be…