How Spiritual Practices Help Us Live a Fruitful Life With God

When we lived in the south of France during my junior-high years, we had a cherry tree in our small backyard. Our house shared walls with a row of houses on a busy street near the edge of town. My parents had chosen to rent this house for all the space it afforded us: three […]

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How to Achieve Real Transformation of the Heart

My French is rusty. It pains me to admit this, because I have a lot of pride about growing up bilingual as a missionary kid. My family moved from California to France when I was seven. We attended language school for a year, and then I was dropped into French public school for the rest […]

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A Throne of Lies or Grace: How To Spot the Real God

Maybe you’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve seen it so many times, you have the scene memorized: Buddy the Elf, played by Will Ferrel, is beyond excited that Santa will be coming to the department store. But when Santa arrives and invites a boy onto his lap, Buddy senses that something is amiss. He gets right […]

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The God of Infinite Chances Is Inviting Us To Turn Around

When we lived in Texas, a hail storm passed through our neighborhood leaving behind baseball-sized chunks of ice and a lot of damage in its wake. We watched the hail bounce in our backyard from the safety of our house, grateful we had heeded the weather warning and brought our cars into the garage. When […]

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How To Focus Your Mind To Do the Will of God Even in the Ordinary

It’s becoming a familiar, but unwelcome feeling: my body in one place and my mind in another. Even as I grow aware of it, I struggle to return my attention to the moment—to be wholeheartedly present. Just last month, I met up with a friend for a walk. After an hour or so, we circled […]

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How to Stop Distracting Thoughts with the Prayer of Recollection

One bright morning, I laced up my shoes and went for a walk in the hopes of escaping our noisy household. I meandered up the hill into a neighborhood, past houses with million-dollar views of our San Diego beaches. I passed by fragrant natal plum bushes, clusters of succulents lining the sidewalks, and palm trees […]

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God Wants You to Rest (here’s your official permission slip)

One day a few months ago, I had blocked out a two-hour chunk of time in which to write. My kids were at school and my husband was at work and the house was quiet and interruption-free. I sat at my writing desk with my notebook and favorite pen and waited for the words to […]

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How to Overcome Obstacles to Spiritual Growth

One of my favorite parts of visiting my husband’s family farm is walking our dog along country roads. Deer scamper through the fields, the crickets sing their chorus, and birds swoop overhead. I’m always amazed when I turn the last corner to complete my loop: a bright bunch of wildflowers marks the spot. Purple, blue, […]

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How to Cultivate a Spiritual Mindset of Celebration

It’s summer and the kids are out of school and the sun is shining and the smell of grilled meat is in the air. After these long years of pandemic living, we are all eager for some good ol’ fashioned summer fun: splashing in the water, picnicking with friends, making sticky ‘smores over a shared […]

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How God Meets Us in the Ordinary

While watching a detective show with my husband, it struck me that in order to condense the story to an hour, they had to leave out a lot of parts. The show’s writers couldn’t include the ordinary, mundane scenes between the action: The police paperwork The commute to work Doing the dishes Walking the dog […]

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