4 Truths About Doing the Dishes

A Guest Post by Emily Sue Allen I show up at the sink to an insurmountable pile of dishes. Nothing is scraped. Nothing is sorted. My frustratingly miniscule counter space is overrun with remnants of our previous two meals—room-temp food, wadded up napkins between plates, stray silverware, and pans that need to be soaked. I […]

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Finding Belonging in the Scattered Pieces

Out of Place – Katha’s Story He doesn’t know that he just made a big mistake. For him it might just be a harmless question in casual small talk; for me it’s the beginning of an identity crisis: “So, where are you from?”  Well, I’d like to know that, too.   Ten moves, three countries, countless […]

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It’s Time to Act Like a Village

“So, are these two extra kids mine now?” She gestured to a five year-old splashing water in the shallow end of the pool and his little sister toddling dangerously close to the edge without a swim vest. Meanwhile, her own three year-old played with pool toys on a towel nearby. “I don’t know,” I told […]

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How Creating a Refuge Fosters a Sense of Belonging

Out of Place – Brooke’s Story “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2 (ESV) Refuge.  It’s a word seen throughout the Bible. It’s often used in terms to describe God. He is a shelter from danger. He is a shelter from falsehood. He is a place to put our […]

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Jesus is the Ultimate Unmet Expectation

“I did not sign up for this,” I muttered as I cleaned the puddle and scrubbed the tile under the kitty litter box with bleach. I remember the day, 13 years ago now, when our cat Mowgli came crashing out of the woods and into our arms while we were walking through the Michigan countryside. […]

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How to Find Belonging Around the World

Out of Place – June’s Story When I first met Billy and May, they were in their 30s and had already moved from Australia, and lived in my region of southern China for almost eight years. They had five children under eight at that time, one of which was a local Chinese boy they’d adopted. […]

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How Christians Can Be Wise With Their Time

My six year old son recently stumbled upon a miniature notebook. He was delighted to discover that it was brand new, and even more thrilled when I told him he could keep it. He grabbed a red marker and wrote “Henry” on the front. “What are you going to use it for?” I asked him, […]

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Finding Belonging When You Choose Not to Fit in

Out of Place – April’s Story When Sarah and I first discussed my guest post for her “Out of Place” series back in April, I was excited to share my story because I basically have felt out of place most of my life. I got married relatively young, I live in a home with four […]

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What Every Christian Needs to Soar

One Sunday not too long ago, our family packed up our canopy tent and our beach chairs and headed out to the park on the bay. Loaded down with our picnic and our fishing gear, we set up near the water while our two boys zoomed around on their scooters. After lunch, my six year […]

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Finding Belonging as a Christian Misfit

Out of Place – Joy’s Story All that mega-church money, and none of it had reached this little room. Orange plastic chairs tucked under the chipped veneer table, cold and full of static under buzzing fluorescent tubes.  This, the pastor had promised from stage on Sunday, is where I would experience life-changing community. I had […]

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