Prep Time

Prep Time

When I teach writing, I’m amazed at how often students think the writing process is a big waste of time. If I assign a story, they want to sit down and write a story. Many treat brainstorming and planning like obstacles keeping them from finishing their...
Changing Tracks

Changing Tracks

I love those times when I hear a message or find a passages in Scripture that strengthen my faith. The message of hope and courage takes hold. I start dreaming of all God could do in the situations that are close to my heart. I get crazy excited. I feel the...
Relax. Laugh. Enjoy the dance.

Relax. Laugh. Enjoy the dance.

A few weeks back, I tried swing dancing for the first time. Instead of taking lessons, I went for a one-time crash course and then joined a friend at a community dance night. The organizers invited newbies to come early for some instruction. I felt like I was getting...
Nonstandard? Yes. Defective? No. 

Nonstandard? Yes. Defective? No. 

As kids, ideas get planted deep inside us. As grown-ups, we hopefully get better at evaluating and rejecting ideas that are wrong or don’t apply. Ideas that get stuck in our head when we are children become like furniture in our minds. We don’t often evaluate...
Gardening Wisdom for a Nonstandard Learner

Gardening Wisdom for a Nonstandard Learner

I want to be like my neighbor. She is a masterful gardener. This week we plan to make our annual trek to our favorite nursery. Every year I pick out a few new plants. Besides providing inspiration, she tells me when to add plant food and reminds me when I forget to...
Boulder on My Path Up the Mountain

Boulder on My Path Up the Mountain

When I was a camp counselor, I used to draw a simple picture of a hill with a path with switchbacks going back and forth up the side.  As I drew my little hill, I would explain that life is a lot like a path going up a mountain. In the illustration, Jesus is both...
Joseph: Dreamer + Doer

Joseph: Dreamer + Doer

Often at Christmas I marvel at Mary’s response to what the angel told her, but this year I keep pondering Joseph. I like that Joseph was honorable and didn’t want to publicly shame Mary when he found out she was pregnant. But what blows me away is Joseph’s instant...
What’s to Love About Teaching Bible?

What’s to Love About Teaching Bible?

I remember the day in 5th grade when—after weeks of the whole class pleading—our teacher gave in to our wishes. She set aside every other subject and taught Bible class for the entire day. It was fabulous! Why did we beg for that full day of Bible class? Because Mrs....
Mark the Seasons

Mark the Seasons

Growing up in the desert in Southern California was such a gift from God. One way that gift keeps on giving is how deeply I enjoy every season change where I live now. I love the beauty of the desert, but also love variety of the seasons in the south. Since Day 4 of...
Unlikely Rescue

Unlikely Rescue

I rolled down the window to take in the fresh, salty air. The wind tangled my hair until I slowed to turn into the parking area at Moonlight Beach.  There was plenty of parking since it was early and the morning marine layer had not burned off yet.  Beach bag in hand,...

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