For a Christ follower, it’s difficult to make this distinction between selflessness and needlessness. We know we are called to lay down all things, including our needs. After all, didn’t Jesus do this very thing on the cross? But, Sister, laying down our needs doesn’t mean denying they exist. Laying down our needs means humbly confessing that they exist both to God and others, remembering and praising our ultimate Provider, and vulnerably asking for help from God and our community that God has given us. Actually, neediness is a gift in funny packaging.Read More
On a recent chilly night, I put on a pink hat (a…weird decision since my hair is purple), so my four-year-old daughter wanted to wear her pink hat. Our commonalities go deeper than headwear: She sways to music the same way I do, loves The Great British Baking Show the way I do, and on this weekend’s donut run, my husband said she dramatically sighed and said, just like her mother, “My nerves are shot.”
Though parenthood is far from formulaic, it’s still fraught with plenty of this kind of inadvertent copy-pasting. We experience a similar phenomenon as adults when we catch a glimpse of our reflection in the mirror or hear ourselves talk and think, “I am my mother!” Replication happens all the time with parents and their kids, and often the stakes are higher than pink hats and reflections.Read More
Togetherness is one of the most important ingredients for Christmas. After all, it’s the time we celebrate and remember that God sent his son and said he’d be called Emmanuel, God With Us. “With” is the loveliest preposition there is. It’s heaven’s word, and God shouted it through the gift of Jesus Christ: “I want to be with you!”
God designed togetherness—and that’s why our hearts swell when we are near our loved ones decorating a tree, singing hymns in candlelit services, drinking cocoa, or the zillions of other less-picturesque things we do together at the holidays. All of it is a snapshot of the togetherness God extended through his son Jesus and the togetherness we’ll one day experience with him in heaven. But for many believers, these peeks of heaven are not possible at Christmas.Read More
My elementary school music teacher loved strawberry pie. She craved it, she told us, until one fateful day when the last bite of a long-awaited slice was corrupted by a bad strawberry. The rotten taste shifted her life’s pie-eating trajectory, and years of bliss were negated by one wayward berry: She no longer craved strawberry pie. “That’s why the last note of a song is so important,” she said.
I can’t remember a thing about my elementary school music teacher, except that strawberry pie anecdote. I’m as concerned as you are that this story has been tucked away in the crevices of my brain for two decades. Why is it so easy for me to remember? Why am I able to respond so fully to the question, “Caroline, can you explain Mrs. McNatt’s aversion to strawberry pie?” yet the question, “What’s the equation of a line?” leaves me flummoxed and RIDDEN WITH SHAME?
Is this evidence that my high school education completely failed me? No, I think it’s less serious than that.
I think our brains are designed for stories.Read More