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National Day of Prayer Activities

It’s the National Day of Prayer. Today, people all over the country are going to be bowing their heads in prayer for the nation. We should always pray, but this year, our need for a Savior is highlighted, and the desire to pray for our world may be amplified. With everything going on, we see how broken our world is. We see that our answer for significance or safety is found in Christ. Today, on the National Day of Prayer, I invite you to participate—and invite others to participate as well—with these activities.

The Altogether Beautiful Mess of Motherhood

I thought motherhood would be different. I thought there would be snuggles and milestones and cheerleading. I thought I would meet new friends and nap when my children napped. I knew there would be sleepless nights, but I could make peace with sleep deprivation for all the wonderful trade-offs that were supposed to happen.

But it was hard—it is hard. And I don’t think we say how hard it is often enough. Motherhood is a complicated thing. I think we are afraid of offending our children, whom we value so highly. I think we all carry some pain around for those who long for children they do not get to hold. And I think we have traded in help and support for what we think is strength.

Maintaining Your Marbles During COVID-19

If you are anything like me, you are starting your days looking for your “marbles”—those elements of clear thinking, emotional steadiness, calm relational clarity, and clear purpose that normally anchor your mental well-being. Yet now we are socially separated with multiple barriers to our normal modes of communication and relationship maintenance.

Weeks ago, we could walk down the hall, respond to questions face-to-face with colleagues, and, importantly, use our social and emotional IQs to read one another’s responses to our communication. We could add a moment of “blowing off steam” or even “taking a breather” along with the actual business of sharing ideas and strategies. We were able to shake a hand, hug our children or grandchildren, share a meal, and worship together under the same shelter. Not now. We’re experiencing isolation.

May 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

Overwhelmed, bored, lonely, stressed, anxious, frustrated, sad, concerned, depleted, stretched … these are all words that you may be feeling right now. This is the list that was generated when I recently asked a group of women (via social media) to share one word for how they were feeling about our current health crisis. I’m guessing you could easily identify with one of their words or you have your own word that would fit right into the list.

Six Reasons to Have Certainty in Jesus’ Resurrection

Ultimately, all of Christianity hinges on the truth of the resurrection. There is compelling evidence for the existence of a good God who has been made known to us in Jesus. But all of our faith—including Jesus proving He is indeed the Christ—is grounded in the truth of the resurrection. As the apostle Paul says, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14). There is nothing to believe about Jesus if He did not rise from the dead. As we round out the reasons for the hope we have in Jesus, it’s most appropriate to examine the resurrection.

The Family that Quarantines Together

Today, I competed in a noon ping-pong tournament in my pajamas while eating leftover pizza. I went on walks with three of my four kids. I ran the dishwasher twice. Our day also included Zoom Wars—the dreaded competitions when more than one kid has an online meeting.

Like you, COVID-19 has brought a weird new normal to our home. It’s also brought lots of idle time—and bored kids are fighting kids. I just broke up an argument that was headed for a Cain and Abel situation over the remote.

Vocation Starts at Home

Note: this article was written for the fall edition of Lutheran Life. It was written before COVID-19 was a worry for the world. As we are now in this new time of social distancing, working from home, and canceled events, consider how you live out your vocations under your own roof.

 

As you consider your vocations, it’s appropriate to start with where you live—right in your very living room. Take a moment to consider whom you live with. Perhaps a spouse, child, parent, or friend. What are practical ways you can love and serve those under the same roof?

Vocational work at home means recognizing the role you play in your family unit. Your very presence in this home holds the potential for you to carry out the good works God has prepared for you to do right here.

April 2020 Everyday Faith Calendar

As a mom of two toddlers, I spend a majority of my days repeating myself over and over. This constant repetition typically happens for one of two reasons: one, my toddlers do not always listen the first time that I say something, and two, my toddlers are constantly learning—and learning comes with lots of repetition. I repeat words that they are learning, I repeat our schedule for the day so they know what to expect, I repeat stories that they want to read over and over again, I repeat expectations when behaviors fall short. You get the idea.

Continuing Community from Afar

Right now, something I’ve been hearing for ages is turning out to be more shallow than I had previously believed. We’ve all probably heard at some point that we live in a time where we are more connected than ever. But now that it’s recommended that we socially distance ourselves from one another to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we can feel how devastating and lonely it is when we are not physically interacting with others in community.

Accepting Your Baggage and Flaws

We are always our own worst critic. When it comes to our job, our roles in life, or our appearance, we always find something to critique.

Imagine you're meeting someone new for the first time. You are having a conversation and getting to know one another. You may say something the other person does not agree with or may find odd. They may be secretly judging you, or worse, they are judging not so silently.