Spring has finally arrived! That means warm days reading outside and bombarding my friends with book suggestions and bookish gifts. In my bookworm opinion, there’s nothing better than receiving a gift for your bookshelf. Think about all the different spring and summer gift-giving opportunities that are quickly approaching. Graduation is just around the corner, and confirmation is close behind. Baptisms are happening every day, and seminary students have received their vicarage placements or first pastoral calls.
Many of us—especially those of us up here in Minnesota—feel the drain the cold, long, and dark winter months have on our bodies and minds. We lack the vitamin D and the warmth the sun provides. Our bodies are sluggish. Our faces are chilled.
My preschooler has been among the many feeling the lack of the warmth and light of the sun. He has made it a habit of asking me the same question daily: “Mom, spring will come again, right?”
The Japanese kintsugi cultural tradition is a wonderfully pure example of what a life in Christ is like.
The art of kintsugi is practiced by only the most skilled artists in Japan. These artists spend years studying the art of pottery. They give each jar special grooves, designs, and nicks that result in a perfectly crafted piece with an absolutely vulnerable, breakable, lovely form. Each of these jars could run up to $1,000 American dollars—one pretty penny!
This post is adapted from Finding Hope: From Brokenness to Restoration by Heidi Goehmann.
Today at work, I had an incredibly anxious day. Nothing bad or abnormal happened. I woke up, got dressed, clocked in, and already felt on edge. To my co-workers, I most likely appeared normal at my desk. I worked on my assignments, ate lunch, listened to my playlist, and went to my meetings. I doubt many of them that pass by my desk every day know I have about one anxious day a week. If anxiety looks so human though, what else does it look like?
The first few days of Holy Week have a weird in-between quality. We just celebrated Palm Sunday, when we remember the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna!” The drumbeat of Christ’s Passion has begun, far away but insistent, signaling the momentous events to come. We can hear it getting closer, but it’s not upon us yet.
This excerpt is taken from the January–March 2021 edition of Today’s Light.
My grandmother (who we lovingly called Mema) used to say, “There is a time for everything—a season for every stage—an ending for every beginning.” It reminds me of these words from Ecclesiastes 3:
This is an adapted excerpt from Take Heart: God's Comfort for Anxious Thoughts by Lindsay Hausch.
A daily rhythm of time in God’s Word and in prayer is a way to abide in God. As we do these things, He rearranges our hearts and aligns them with His. This is a way to soften and prepare for the storms that test our hearts and our faith. For me, there are days when this happens over coffee at the breakfast table with kids chomping down their bananas, chatting and clambering for my attention. Sometimes, this is all that my season of life can accommodate, and so I take what I can get. I’ve learned that waiting for the “best” time for daily devotions means they don’t happen.
Who is this God who allows suffering, loss, and pain? Why did He let you be tossed into the miry pit of misery anyway? If that is how God works, why would you want to have anything to do with Him? For one important reason: in this hurting and broken world, there is no one else who can lift you out and bring you through.