• Engage

    Deciding to Stay or Go

    I feel like my time here may be finished? How do I know when it’s time to go? Should I stay or move on? We encounter this tough decision many times in our lives. Should we leave our job? Our church? Is it time to resign from teaching Sunday school? What about the ministry where I volunteer? Which extra activities should I let go of? Can I press through the challenges and stick it out? How do we make an intentional, not reactive, decision to stay or go? Global worker and author, Sue Eenigenburg, invited me to cowrite a workbook* with her in which we offer thirteen reflection questions to…

  • Engage

    3 Promises for Your College Student

    College years often bring challenges to faith and convictions held since childhood. Christian parents, who have worked so hard to prepare their kids for campus life, ask themselves: can my daughter withstand the inevitable temptations? Will my son be faithful to church and/or a campus ministry? Will there be a strong Christian community to encourage him? These questions are not just for students who are headed to college but also for those whose immediate plans don’t include leaving home. These issues frequently surface at young adult age, no matter where they are. The Bible is full of promises for believers. Here are three that are especially relevant to young adults,…

  • Heartprints

    Did You Ask the Right Questions?

    Day after day we have opportunities to ask questions and hear the hearts of our children as they struggle with tough relationships both inside and outside the home. Getting them to share their hearts by asking them specific questions and follow up questions will teach them the importance of debriefing themselves and their feelings.

  • Engage

    Asking God Questions

    In the past, irreverence and disrespect tended to flood my mind when I thought about the rightness of asking God questions. Who am I to ask the sovereign, good, wise, loving God questions? However, I have been reflecting on the idea of asking God questions and now am growing to view it differently. The best place to go when you want God’s perspective on something is to prayerfully look at the Bible. So, I started there. In the New Testament, Zechariah (the father of John the Baptist) after hearing the message from Gabriel (God’s messenger) about bearing a son in his old age, asked “How shall I know this?” Gabriel…

  • Engage

    Guided By an Unseen Hand – Part 2

    Just two months ago, I wrote about trusting God’s hand even when you can’t see his plan. In a short time so much has changed, and yet the challenge to walk by faith remains. After a year and a half of waiting, praying, trusting, my husband was offered a new job. But it didn’t come in the package we expected. The trials of the past year opened our hands. Eventually we told the Lord we’d go anywhere—we just wanted to be used by him to make a difference. And he answered. My husband was offered a job nearly four hours from where we currently live. We’ve both grown up in…

  • Engage

    Guided By an Unseen Hand

    It was a year to remember—but not for the reasons I hoped. Just two weeks after finding out we were expecting our third child, my husband came home with news we always feared. He’d be moving on from the coaching job where he’d served for thirteen years. Our family would be moving on from the community where we’d raised our children. We walked forward into an unseen, unknown, and unexpected future. Where would our soon-to-be kindergartener go to school? Where would we live? How would we make ends meet? The uncertainty continued for months. My husband jumped on a seemingly endless carousel of job interviews before ending up at a…

  • Engage

    When Life Gets Hard, Take a Step

    I think most of us would agree. The past two years haven’t been our best ones. Death and disease flood our newsfeeds. Disaster and destruction shock us far too frequently. Chaos and questions keep us unsettled. Just when we think life is returning to a normal pace, another unwelcomed surprise forces us to change course, adjust, delay. For someone who thrives on consistently, I often wonder where the routine has gone. But as I reflect over the past year, I see one main theme emerge in my life—take a step. For the first part of 2021 a black cloud seemed to hover over my existence. Fear kept me wondering what…

  • Engage

    Sleeping in the Storm

    I toss and turn as the minutes turn to hours. Sleep seems far away. Have you been there?    I’ve struggled with sleep as far back as I can remember. Even with pillows and blankets on a fairly comfortable bed, rest feels so elusive some nights. I find it striking that Jesus could sleep on boat tossed by a violent storm. It’s almost as if you can see storm clouds on the distant horizon as Jesus steps into a boat in Matthew 8. Two men approach him, applying for discipleship, and ask to follow him. Jesus tells them they must leave personal comfort and family obligation behind. Following him requires…

  • Heartprints

    Processing Pain

    If you don't like where you are, keep walking." Pain happens. We don't get to choose the when the where or the how. But we can choose to process it in a healthy The devastation a child feels, from having the wrong answer when asked a question in front of their class, clarifies the importance of a right answer. From childhood we push forward in a pursuit of knowledge as though finding the right answers guarantees success.

  • Sunrise
    Engage

    Better Than Before

    The past few week have changed us. No person, community, or country remains untouched. We’ve stayed inside our home day after day. We’ve grieved over loss—personally and corporately. We’ve feared for our livelihood and wondered how long we can make ends meet. Life won’t be the same following COVID-19. But as we slowly emerge from national and international shutdown, I want to leave better than before, lessons learned, life lived differently. Here are a few things I’m trying to take hold of in this season:   Life’s fragility. If there’s anything COVID-19 has confronted and disbanded within us, it’s our sense of invincibility. As we stare at daily rising death…