• Advent,  Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    Let’s Celebrate like it’s the First Christmas

    We are experiencing grief and lament in this season because we are going without many of our regular traditions. I am continually reminded that Christmas 2020 is probably much closer than we realize, to the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Did you participate in a nationwide census? Look to Mary and Joseph: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:1-3 NIV Did God call you to try something new? Adapt to your surroundings? Learn flexibility and…

  • blog update,  Faith & Life,  Holy Land,  Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    “Welcome Home!”

    I am excited to share with you about my trip to the Holy Land, which I experienced just about a month ago.  This weekend was my first one back with my local community of believers. It’s the best way to explain how I plan to approach what I share with you.  While “Welcome Home” is a sentiment many of you have and will say to me, it’s actually the first thing our tour guide said to us when we got on the bus in Israel.  The Holy Land is where God created humanity, therefore it is our home. It’s the place where Jesus was born, taught and died, therefore it’s…

  • Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    66in52 Bible Challenge: Halfway through the Bible

    The 66in52 Bible challenge that I began in January has been a welcome and needed opportunity for my devotional life. I look forward to my drive time to listen to each reading. And while I haven’t always heard the words, I know that the act of listening is still important. And sometimes I find myself grabbing my Bible after I’ve listened to something and looking at it again. Sometimes I sit in church and my mind wanders off while the Scripture is being read. The same thing happens in the car, but the great thing about audio technology is that I can listen again and again until I hear it…

  • Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    Generation Z

    Last week another tragedy hit our country and shook me. It shook a lot of people. I dove into the news coverage, afraid after 24 hours it would get buried under other less than important stories. But something extraordinary happened. Teens who were experiencing all the emotions that come with such a horrific event, were speaking with confidence, clarity and grace. I remember when Columbine happened. I was in 8th grade. The most significant event I remember prior to that was the Oklahoma City bombing. But now I was a teen and individuals just a few years older than me were dying in their school. It was scary and something…

  • blog update,  Inspired,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    I wasn’t ready for 2018

    When the clock struck midnight on a new day and a new year I thought I was ready. 2017 had been a hard year for me, for us. In fact, I knew many people who were glad it was over. But the thing about time, is that it doesn’t stop. There’s no chance to recover. There’s no chance to pause and take a breath. And when Jan 1, 2018 hit, I wanted to be ready, but I wasn’t. I had picked a theme phrase and Bible passage and I was looking forward. I was waiting for a trip to NYC and the opportunity to attend a conference to start my year. While…

  • Inspired,  One Word,  unexpected blessings

    My Focus for 2018

    I’ve joined in the practice in selecting a word at the beginning of each new year. Most of the time, I have forgotten the word (as we forget or fail at resolutions), but I feel like it’s still an important exercise to end one year and begin another. A few days ago a friend posted a helpful resource, which helped me begin to think ahead for a word for 2018. I thought about this past year and how challenging it has been. Many words came to mind: listen, strength, attitude, etc…As I thought about all the different aspects of life in which I wanted to feel differently or more positively…

  • Inspired,  unexpected blessings

    Home

    Last week I had the privilege to return to my Alma Mater, Concordia University, Nebraska, for a conference put on by the DCE department. I jumped at the chance to return to the place where one the chapters of my story began. What was even more exciting, was that for the first time since we had met, my husband was going to be able to travel with me and experience this special place. I think back about the excitement I had to attend Concordia. I would be 12 hours from home and I knew absolutely no one, which was an unusual route for me to take (in the eyes of many…

  • Inspired

    A Tale of Two Halves

    I was watching football this weekend (and there have been some great playoff games) and began thinking about the correlation between the first half of a football game and the first half of my 2016. The first half of a sporting event is often filled with anticipation and excited energy. Things may start off a little slow, but once a rhythm is established, a team can function on all cylinders and make plays to score points. Eighteen days into the new year and I already feel like I have established a good rhythm. It started off slow, with a few frustrating days, but it’s gotten better with time. I have…

  • Inspired

    Going to the movies on a “school” night

    I wanted to give you an update on my exploration of activities that I planned to enjoy in 2016. There are some perks to being an adult. You can eat ice cream for dinner, stay up as late as you want and… Go to the movies on a “school” night. As an adult you also have to deal with heartburn from eating that ice cream, waking up on time to go to work and all sorts of other responsibilities that I would rather not dwell on. I put it on my calendar to see a movie during the work week. I found a night where I had no evening meetings and…

  • Inspired

    What Would I Like to Explore?

    Question #3: What would I like to explore? Theater. I loved watching the musicals our local high school would put on (from the time I was in elementary school to when I was attending and saw my own friends perform). I have maybe only gone to a handful of plays/musicals in adulthood and would like to go to more. I have heard about great theaters in both Baltimore and DC, so there is no shortage of options. A friend even offered to go with me, so I am out of excuses. Museums/Historical sites. We live in one of the oldest parts of the country, with many places nearby that are rich…