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Category: Faith

'The Waves and Wind Still Know His Name'

If you’re not familiar with the Bethel version of “It Is Well With My Soul,” get familiar with it now. This song played in my head all weekend. My little sister chose it as part of the music played in her wedding ceremony, and I melted as I heard the band rehearse it at the church Thursday night and then again when my sister and I played it on repeat (at my request) on the way to the bridal luncheon and finally during the wedding itself as it played and everything else was silent before the moms walked down…

Why Life Is Not a Paint-by-Number

Still, well into adulthood, I find myself just wanting to fit in. It’s not in the same way as it was in high school of course. I’m not hoping to be invited to the right party or pretending to smoke a cigarette or claiming my drink in my plastic cup wasn’t water, when it was. This was how I “fit in” as a teen. Today, I want to fit in with a life that follows the appropriate succession of events. I realized this recently over lunch with a friend. We discussed how each life phase brings its…

You Are More than You Think You Are

I think we often define ourselves by the things we believe we are not just as much as we define ourselves by the things we are. I am a publicist. I am a preacher’s daughter. I am a writer. I am not a musician. I am not a chef. I am not an athlete. It’s funny I’ve always told people I’m not an athlete because I played sports from age 5 to 18 and I played intramural volleyball each year in college. I even tried playing in a couple of leagues after college, and I’ve…

When Joy Seeps In

As Christians, we have access to something that sets us apart from all others: joy. I am not sure how to feel deep joy apart from knowing deep grace, the kind that Jesus made possible. That’s why I feel joy, the real kind, is reserved for believers. I know joy is real, that it’s a thing we have access to through the Holy Spirit, when I’m feeling it at times that I shouldn’t. This hasn’t happened for me often in my life. Even though I’ve been a Christian for a long time, grace and…

What the Imam Taught Me About Prayer

What I will remember most about my brief visit to Istanbul are the minarets. Minarets are tall towers that grow out of enormous mosques below, reaching toward the sky, reaching toward God. Some of these minarets have speakers attached at the top and five times a day you hear from them the call to prayer. It is the imam calling the Muslim people to stop and pray to Allah. The majority of Istanbul’s population is Muslim and the imam’s voice does not startle them like it did me and my sister and brother-in-law—my travel companions…

Lessons for a 13-Year-Old

We are taught a lot of things at age 13 in churches and at our youth groups. I remember nights around the campfire at church camp that were profound and talked about Jesus in a way I hadn’t thought about him before. I remember hearing that who I was was in Christ and not in whether or not boys liked me or what I looked like. Those were the lessons I remember being driven home the most. Because, as I know now, a girl’s worth is one of the hardest fought battles in her lifetime. Our youth leaders…

The Church that Raised Me

Maybe it’s the onset of the holiday season and Thanksgiving rapidly approaching that has brought on this much-needed wave of gratitude. Not sure what it is. Don’t care. I’m keeping it for as long as my selfish, needy flesh will let me. So while it is in me, allow me to express gratitude to the institution that rarely gets it: the church. My church, in particular. My as in the church I grew up in in San Antonio, Texas. My church experience is similar and different from anyone’s who can not…

It's OK to Give Up

I hold onto some things very tightly. Like white-knuckles-gritted-teeth-if-I-let-go-I-die kind of tightly. It’s actually amazing I have the energy to do anything else. Anything but hold onto these things. I don’t believe I am alone in this. I think the majority of us are probably walking down the street, teeth gritted, knuckles white, nails digging into our palms, holding on so painfully tight to things that were never ours to being with. Why do we do it? If it hurts us so badly and causes so much…

My Favorite Word

I like to keep a Bible study going at all times. Not because I am so very holy but because I have scripture ADD and am 100% incapable of not jumping all around the Bible when I don’t have a study  keeping me on task. I finished a study recently (called Gospel Transformation, in case you’re wondering), so I’ve been doing my scripture hopping as expected. But this time I keep hopping back to Isaiah. I’ll flip to John or Psalms or something, but my fingers keep flipping the thin pages back…