• Engage

    Embracing the Lonely Seasons

    Alone. Most of us cringe just seeing the word by itself on the page. We may welcome alone time for a few hours. We may seek out a solitary retreat. But few of us relish being alone for long periods of time. Even worse, that lonely ache you feel in a crowd. You might be surrounded by others at a gathering. You might put on a smile at the party. You may even lift your hands in worship at church. And yet you feel painfully alone. Like it or not, most of us will go through seasons when we feel alone. The ache of loneliness will tug at our soul…

  • Engage

    Can Christians be afraid?

    Like any good social media user, I recently sat as a fly on the wall of an internet debate regarding how God treats fear.  I “listened” as people passionately argued that fear is simply something we shouldn’t do.  The conversation began because a popular Christian author suggested that it is okay to be afraid, going on to say that God will be with us in our emotions.  The thread continued for quite some time, working to solidify the idea that as believers we simply aren’t supposed to be afraid, and when you are, you are out of line with scripture.   I am sensitive to shame in the Christian culture…

  • Engage

    Beauty in the Waiting

    Gray skies. Still, stiff air. Walking for miles with no end in sight. Waiting.  If you had to describe waiting in your own life, how would it look? Hurried and determined by nature, to me waiting feels like a long walk with no clear direction. I step out the front door on a dreary day and go, uncertain of where I’m going or when I’ll arrive. I know the walk is good for me—strengthening muscles and teaching me to trust. But I struggle to enjoy the journey. And I hesitate to trust the One guiding me throughout the twists and turns. I run ahead. I take a break. I struggle…

  • Engage

    Psalm 56

    A Miktam of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath:1 Be gracious to me, God, for a man is trampling me;he fights and oppresses me all day long.2 My adversaries trample me all day,for many arrogantly fight against me. 3 When I am afraid,I will trust in you.4 In God, whose word I praise,in God I trust; I will not be afraid.What can mere mortals do to me? 5 They twist my words all day long;all their thoughts against me are evil.6 They stir up strife, they lurk,they watch my stepswhile they wait to take my life.7 Will they escape in spite of such sin?God, bring down the nations in wrath. 8 You yourself have recorded my wanderings.Put my tears…

  • Engage

    Lean In. Let Go.

    Lean In. The bold black letters greet me every morning. Sheryl Sandberg’s book has been sitting on my desk for the past two weeks as part of a work project. Whether you love Sandberg’s book or hate it, one thing is true for all of us—we could all stand to lean in a little more. To do this we must ask ourselves the same question Sheryl asked a group of women during a collegiate convocation address, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” The thought isn’t new or novel. But somehow seeing those black letters typed on a rough, creamy page makes it stick. What would I do if I weren’t…

  • Engage

    What Are You Afraid Of?

    While the week of love came and went for many, my husband and I continued our celebration a bit later. After a week of hearts, plush stuffed animals, chocolate and fresh flower scents wafting through the stores, my husband surprised me with a romantic movie I hadn't seen before called The Vow. "You'll like it," he promised. "It's like The Notebook." "Oh great," I muttered. "This is probably one of those dramatic, tear-sapping movies." While it is dramatic, it is also good and ironically, the actor playing the main character also starred in the movie The Notebook. If you haven't seen it, the movie tells the story of a couple…