Songs and Stories with My Daughter

When I was twelve, my family moved from the only home I knew, and one of the songs my parents played on repeat during that time was Ron Block’s “In the Palm of Your Hand.” Initially I despised the song because it reminded me that we were moving, and that my parents saw this as God’s leading so I couldn’t be mad about it. But soon I heard the beauty in the lyrics and took comfort in the truth that God held me in the palm of His hand, where “His grace provides for me.”

As I have sheltered in place with my husband and my daughter, I’ve gone back to what has comforted me, and discovered it also comforts my daughter. I don’t want my precious little girl living in fear of the future, and as I’ve seen so many people roar and rage about seemingly everything my own mind has been full with questions and fears. How do I protect my daughter from the scary things of the world? How do my husband and I raise our daughter to be confident in her place as God’s child in the face of a shaky present? My daughter recently started walking, and so even as I ponder these questions I have to chase her down hallways and around chairs. And there are books to read her, songs to sing, diapers to change, and hugs to give. Our little girl is blissfully unaware of all that is going on the world, and as I watch her delight in the taste of watermelon or the sight of our cat, my jumbled thoughts take some order.

Read More

My First Mother’s Day

I remember when my best friend told me her mother didn’t want her kids to observe Mother’s Day. This was a family at my childhood church and, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why a woman so like my own mother disapproved of a day whose purpose was to thank and honor her. My friend said that her mother thought children should honor their mothers every day, not just on a day exploited to sell cards and flowers. I couldn’t disagree with this. But I also couldn’t see a problem with also having a special day to show my own mom honor and gratitude for how wonderful she was.

Since my daughter’s recent birth (a month and a half ago), I see this from a new perspective. Not that I’m ready to cancel Mother’s Day celebrations, but I’m also not so confident in my new role as mom that I’m eager to have a day celebrating my motherhood.

Read More

Shaping the Generations Through Food

When I was growing up in school and youth group, it seemed like the big question we faced was, “What sort of influence will you have over your friends, family, chosen career, classmates, country?” Walking humbly before God or loving one’s neighbor required incredible and sold-out service to the Gospel. One needed to do big, important things for one’s life to matter for God’s Kingdom. To fulfill the Great Commission, God needed radical, on-fire followers who were willing to give up everything to follow Him and be fishers of men. My peers and I were encouraged to leave our homelands and work for God in foreign countries; that was where the darkness needed to be pushed back.

I left many spiritual emphasis weeks and missions conferences wondering if I was missing something. I kept coming back to the needs of my own sphere that seemed big and impossible to ignore.

Read More