Finding the Missing Piece to Our Well-Laid Plans

My life-changing phone call wasn’t a diagnosis, and it wasn’t a death. It was a woman who dutifully informed me that my program of study had run out of funding and would be closing immediately. “But…what am I supposed to do now?” I blubbered, only a year away from college graduation. “You can schedule an […]

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Now What? A New Word for a New Year

My word of the year in 2020 was “savor.” It made sense in January, in my rushed and busy-doing-good life to slow down enough to savor the small, good things of my day. And then March happened and the world shut down. All four of us were sick and we lounged around the house, resting, […]

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How to be Faithful in the Christmas Waiting

December is the longest month for kids. The anticipation of Christmas morning, of finally tearing into all those pretty packages under the tree has them wishing they could fast forward the days. Instead, the first thing my boys do when they come downstairs in the morning is to flip the numbered blocks on their homemade […]

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Becoming a Place of Belonging for Others

Out of Place – Jennie’s Story “We really don’t fit in anywhere, do we?” I finally admitted it out loud to my husband. We never quite fit the mold provided for us by society. Looking back over the years we’ve been married, we have tended to run from the mold, which has made it difficult […]

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Finding Belonging When God Takes Away Your Community

Out of Place – Rachel’s Story It was the 5th Starbucks trip that finalized it for me; I was no longer part of the circle and I needed to accept it.  The women who I had spent hours doing life together with the prior three years walked by me in the hallway of the church […]

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Finding Belonging When You Don’t Have a Name

Out of Place – Amy’s Story I never thought about names and labels and how they can affect feelings of belonging until I became a wife. Being “Ron’s wife” was my first label and I was eager to be a part of that club. Of course I’ve always been someone’s daughter, sister, or friend, but […]

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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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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 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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