You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?

Learning a second language as an adult is hard. I attempted to learn Spanish at age 30, first in Costa Rica, then in Spain. One thing you find out pretty quickly is that it’s almost impossible to completely lose your accent. As much as I wanted to speak like a native, I just couldn’t. I stuck out a little in Costa Rica – I was taller and paler than most. But I fit in Spain pretty well. I could walk down the street and most people would assume I belonged there. But then I would speak. And they’d know I didn’t belong. I was thinking about that today, and I began to wonder about my “spiritual” accent. I wondered if, when I open my mouth, people around me know right away that I’m not from around here. In Hebrews 11, we...

When Your Plans and God’s Plans Collide

I did a lot of theater growing up. I tried some other stuff — like piano (meh), sports (yikes!), and beauty pageants (don’t EVEN get me started…). But theater was my first and greatest love. I was fortunate to grow up in a town with one of the top community theaters in the country and several amazing theaters in the surrounding cities, so I was ALWAYS in a show. I played everything from a mouse to an orphan to an existential wanderer….over 25 plays in all, from the time I was five until I graduated high school. Everyone – myself included – assumed I’d pursue theater after high school. Not just because I loved it, but because there was nothing else I was good at! Seriously. I was a terrible athlete and an average...

God Wants You to Run

Yes, that’s right. God wants you to run. My sister ran a marathon when she was 19. She trained for months, running her college campus, watching what she ate, learning how to find a rhythm, to push her body past its limits. And then she ran. And ran. 26 miles. Her body hurt. I’m sure, several times throughout that day, she thought about quitting. Limping home and curling up with some Ben and Jerry’s. But she was determined not to listen to her tired body. She pressed on. She called me when it was over, thrilled to say her socks were soaked with blood (only runners understand that is an exciting discovery — I am not a runner, so my response was, “Ewww!”). She did it. She was exhausted, in pain, aching all over. Running a marathon is NOT easy. But,...

In the Middle

I hate being in the middle of things. Beginnings are fun. Or challenging. Maybe even tough. But they are the beginnings. Even when they are the beginning of difficulties, there’s a sense of strength, an “I can do this” attitude. In the beginning of trials, I am clinging to God, preparing for the battle, armed and ready for whatever may come. At the beginning of the good stuff, I am on the mountaintop, dreaming about the amazing things to come. I don’t mind endings, either. When it’s something good — like a book being published or a school year ending — I look back with a contented sense of accomplishment. All that hard work really WAS worth it! When it’s the end of a difficult time…whew. I can see a little...

Live Dangerously

Have you ever had the amazing spiritual “high” after a great week of camp? Or felt like God is so near you could almost reach out and touch Him? Do you ever feel like God is really far away? Or do you sometimes wonder if he’s even there at all? My kids and I were listening to the fabulous Focus on the Family’s Radio Theatre production of CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters in the car a while back. In this book, a “head demon” is writing to his student about how to keep “those awful” humans from knowing God. The whole book is brilliant, but one particular “letter” always sticks out to me: The one where Screwtape tells his student about the “Law of Undulation.” This law is the reality that sometimes Christians can feel very close to God and...