Friends are Food, Not Fish

Friends are Food, Not Fish

My girls love the movie Finding Nemo, so I’ve seen it more times than I can count. But, without fail, when Bruce the reformed shark repeats “fish are friends, not food”, my brain grabs the words and rearranges them into “friends are food, not fish”. No, I don’t secretly have cannibalistic leanings. But the idea of friends as food has become an interesting metaphor for me. The people in my life really are like a banquet, spread out and varied and plentiful. Some are warm and hearty, some are spicy and exhilarating, some are sweet and delightful. Some are comfort food, the ones who go best with sweat pants and a good cup of coffee. And some are kale, necessary and good for me, but a little hard to swallow. I need all of them. As much as I enjoy my comfort food...

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Arming Warriors

Arming Warriors

I’m a girl mom, and it really doesn’t look that pink and fluffy. When I found out that my first was a girl, moms of only boys occasionally told me that they wished they could have a girl so they could have at least one calm, mild, clean child. It wasn’t long before I discovered that my beautiful little daughter was a lot more spice than sugar, and my illusions of calm, clean, and mild went right out the window. And then my second came roaring in like a pint-sized hurricane, demolishing all remaining sense of order in our home. Some sisters have tea parties. Mine are much more likely to wrestle and try to sit on each other’s faces. They do love to dress up and be pampered, but they’ll probably be outside a couple minutes later taking their fancy clothes and...

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Why Words Can Be Cancer and “I Don’t Know” is Grace

Why Words Can Be Cancer and “I Don’t Know” is Grace

To be honest, I’ve been putting off writing this. It’s not a pretty one, and it doesn’t feel good, mostly because it dances all over my cringing toes. But here I go. I’m bringing out the big G word… Gossip. Like everything I write, this is coming out of things I’ve been wrestling through. There’s no finger-pointing here, friends. More like hands shaking and knees bending under the weight of a conviction too big to keep to myself. If there’s any sin the Church has made a pet of, it’s gossip. We minimize it and justify it, we dress it up as concerns or prayer requests, we acknowledge that it’s a problem and then talk about who does it most. We tag each other like cheap clothes at a second hand store and then wonder why people outside the Church don’t trust us. I...

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Words and The Word

Words and The Word

Words have stopped me in my tracks recently. Not specific words. Just the fact that humans use words. The ability to wrap sounds around thoughts and feelings and then to communicate complex concepts in a way that creates new thoughts and feelings in others is astonishing. There are few ways we more closely resemble the God who used words as His tools for creating the universe. Jesus, the Word made flesh, used His words to heal, to teach, to uncover truth, to love, to call out evil, to rescue, to comfort… I’m not sure how it works that Jesus is God’s Word with skin on, but I’m pretty sure it means something that should permanently change the way I see words. They are sacred. Which means using them in any way other than what God intended isn’t just unwise. It’s...

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To See and Be Seen

To See and Be Seen

I’ve been going through career counseling recently as we try to make a decision about our next missions assignment, and after all the tests to figure out what jobs would best suit my personality and strengths, we’ve made a discovery: I’m an odd duck. (Friends and family, you may all now say in unison, “Well, duh!”) My unusual combination of personality traits makes me an even odder duck in an organization of odd ducks (because, let’s face it – missionaries aren’t normal). This hasn’t come as a surprise to me. I’ve always felt a little out of step with the world around me, wherever I am. But I think I’m not alone. I’ve been asking around, and I’m finding something I’ve suspected for a while. Most people have a sense of being different. Most of us have facets that...

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The Broken Body

The Broken Body

A few weeks ago I went through some testing for several autoimmune disorders. The tests eventually came back normal, but while I was waiting for the results, I started hearing story after story from people who were living with everything from lupus to rheumatoid arthritis. When a body starts to attack itself, it’s not a pretty thing. Something that’s supposed to function as a unit starts to have all kinds of issues when it turns its weapons inward. We Jesus followers are intimately familiar with the ugliness of internal conflict. We’re all a bunch of humans, with a tendency to act really human-y. We limp ungracefully along, looking more like the Bride of Frankenstein than the Bride of Christ. The Church, the Body of Christ, is a giant, complicated mess, with as...

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