Can anything good come from standing in line?

The check-out line at Old Navy gives me hives. Especially when the clock is ticking away seconds until my feet need to be planted at the bus stop. I just need one pair of pants; a pair that will hopefully cover the ankles of the boy whose legs won’t stop stretching. But, the line is endless. Behind me stands a mom with a toddler in full-on meltdown mode. She’s doing all the mom things. But he’s a toddler. And in his fit, he grabs one of the trinkets from the display shelf. Seconds later, the toy is hurled to the ground and shatters into a million pieces. Read More

How to use a compass

Orienteering. I just had to Google that word to make sure I was using it correctly. It involves reading a map and using numbers, in the woods on unknown paths. Yeah. My brain is missing the neurons it needs to do these things.  But when I was a 12 year old Girl Scout, I did not yet know this about myself. I thought I was pretty good at everything. And so did all my friends. We learned the hard way that staying on course isn’t always as easy as it looks. Read More

How to do the things you don’t want to do

I hate lists almost as much as I hate math. Seriously. I will do anything to keep from having to enumerate life. My brain thinks freedom is found in being untethered, in lyric and cadence but never with bullet points or numbers. It also thinks that I can remember and know and keep up with much more than I actually can. Turns out, my old brain is rather forgetful. Read More

Why we have to talk to our kids about Las Vegas

My older boys get most of their news and information from Instagram and the school bus. It is simply the way life is these days. If they begin a sentence with, “Hey mom did you know that …” I brace myself for the barrage of jumbled news that is about to come out of their mouths. Or the random sports fact. It is usually one or the other. Read More

To the lady who gave me peanut butter and grace at Walmart

Peanut butter. I just needed peanut butter. And a few more hours in the day, but Walmart was all out of those. So I settle for peanut butter. Feeling overwhelmed by the never ending race against the ticking clock, I wheel around the corner of the aisle and nearly take her down with my cart. Read More

Finding grace in the storm

The clean-up is continuing around here as storm damage is  assessed and debris removed. We are the lucky ones, though, in our suburb. Not much damage was done. We even kept our power through the worst of the storm. The pictures on the news tell a different story of other places, however. As the sun peeked out yesterday and its light settled on the landscape of many cities, it only illuminated the heartache. Trees, houses, whole city blocks, all destroyed. People’s possessions and ways of life tossed about like toys in a sandbox. And it is all beginning to feel overwhelming. Hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, the pictures of devastation just keep coming.  And what in the world does God think about all of this? Read More

When prayers seem small and the water keeps rising

“The water reaches all the way up there?” my little guy points to the top of the street sign as we stand in early morning light at the bus stop. The sun is cresting orange and pink into the sky all around us, but it’s the street sign that holds his gaze. He has seen the pictures on the news of the devastating  floods in Texas, and he’s doing what we are all doing this week. He’s picturing it happening here. His eyes are as big as saucers as he tips his head skyward,  “Why did God let so much water fall from the sky? Doesn’t he know that we can’t handle it?” Read More

A prayer for the wrong day

I had the wrong day. All day. There are weeks where Wednesday and Thursday are somewhat interchangeable. But this was not one of them. I sent the wrong kid to school with a note to stay after on the wrong day. I took the wrong kid to the dentist appointment, drove the wrong way to basketball practice and even put the wrong dinner in the crock pot, which I also forgot to turn on. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Yeah. One of those days. Read More

On being salt and light and why it matters

I’ve read so many words about the riots in Charlottesville this past weekend. I’ve read words of haters and ones claiming that love wins; sad words and outraged ones. I’ve seen friends’ words unravel years of friendship in comment threads on social media; watched leaders stand and lead well into the face of this tragedy while others falter and ignore the evil staring us all in the eye. And you have too, I am sure. And so on this Tuesday with the world feeling a bit like it is tilted in the wrong direction, what are we to do with it all? Read More

How Yes and No stack up to build our lives

Yes? No? Maybe? Every year I struggle with these words. Every. Year. And it isn’t like I don’t see it coming. As soon as we trade the sand and the sun of summer for the backpacks and pencils of a new school year, I have learned to expect it. Maybe you, too?

Hey, Leigh, I need to ask if you can help with _____? Can we count on you to be a part of ______? Are you still willing to lead _______?

Those emails, calls and texts asking for help, leadership, service.  They stack up in my inbox, my brain, my heart. And man, how I want to get the answers right. Read More