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The Full Circle of Letting Go

It is 1995. I board my first international flight to teach elementary school in Paraguay. There, I fall in love. It is NOT with someone tall dark and handsome. I fall in love with the Paraguayan people, international ministry, and myself in a foreign context. I gustily sing Marcos Witt with the worship team, preach once or twice in Spanish,…

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Advent, Food, and Me

I fasted once this week. I don’t say that for a pat on the back. In fact, I’m not a good faster for several reasons. First, I wasn’t fasting primarily for spiritual reasons. Last week was Thanksgiving and, well, I ate. Also, I’m about to quit breastfeeding, and, well, that burns calories. I still have about 10 more pounds of…

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How to Overcome Post-Christmas Blues

The highlight of winter is Christmas, isn’t it? The anticipation of a beautiful holiday, great movies, Christmas lights, Christmas parties and food, Christmas music—everything helps us dream of a white Christmas and make the steadily dipping temperatures bearable. Even Thanksgiving in its turkey-laden glory makes us smile and ignore November’s shorter days, longer nights, naked trees, and frosty ground. Leaves…

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Christmas Anxiety

I’m feeling anxious lately. I can read Advent blogs about joyful waiting, listen to the Christmas-music-only radio station, and truly desire the Peace of the season, but I find myself battling Christmas anxiety. It’s the quickened heartbeat, sweaty palms, itchy scalp variety of anxiety (yes, my scalp gets itchy when I’m anxious). And it’s so unwelcome. At my house, none…

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So You Want to Be Happy?

I’ve had many Christians tell me that happiness and joy are different. They say that joy is something we can always have, but happiness is solely based on circumstances. I get it. Joy is deeper than happiness. But I also think they are totally and completely inked to one another. To think that I could be full of joy and…

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Romantic Comedy Mythology

Dear Movie Producers: You have really messed up my understanding of romantic relationships. I am not a movie buff, but I like movies, and am deeply affected by what I see. Honestly, I have a hard time separating movies (and books, for that matter) from reality. I feel like the actors and characters are my friends, or myself, and that…

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The ART of Marriage

I’m only 3.5 years into my marriage, so really not far, but would you allow me to share some thoughts on what I think helps? I’m sure I have a lot more to learn, but I think we function best when we realize that marriage is an ART. Yes, ART as something beautiful that never feels done (and honestly, doesn’t always feel…

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Weep For It

Today, friends, we ponder our death, we ponder our mortality, we ponder our sin. Perhaps some of you want to jump right to forgiveness, thinking that pondering our sin is legalistic, that thinking about death is depressing, that confessing our sin is hardly necessary. I implore you, this morning, to consider that just as Christ was in the tomb for three days…

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Hope is a VERB

Hope is a verb. It’s not something we have. It’s something we do. And sometimes it’s one of the hardest verbs—it ranks right up there with endure, persevere, suffer. In the midst of long singleness, we hope for a partner. . . Faced with infertility, we hope for a baby. . . In sickness, we hope for healing. . . When unemployed, we…

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