When You Are Called Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Hildegard of Bingen

It was Day One. I sat at my desk, a typed list of 50 women at my side, my laptop open in front of me. I was ready, poised to embark on an eight-month research and writing project for a book about women in Christian history.

I glanced at the first woman on my list – Hildegard of Bingen: 1098-1179 – and paused. The twelfth century. What even happened back in the twelfth century, anyway? I wondered. Wracking my brain, I struggled to unearth deeply buried facts from my high school European history class. Was that when the Vikings lived? Or wait, maybe it was when the Crusades took place? Although I seem to recall something about a Norman invasion, too.

Turns out, I was a century off on all three accounts.

As I sat hunched over my laptop, my hands wrapped around a warm mug, doubts ping-ponged around my head.

Clearly I was not the right person for this job.

Cleary I wasn’t smart enough, historyish enough or researchy enough to write this book well.

Clearly the publisher had made a grave mistake in contracting me, the woman who didn’t know word one about history, to write a history book.

I wanted to quit, even before I’d begun.

…I’m over at Jo Ann Fore’s place today – and she’s giving away a copy of 50 Women Every Christian Should Know. Will you join me over there

Also…it’s not too late to submit your story to the #MyFaithHeroine blog post contest. Entries are due Wednesday – find out how to enter the contest (I’m giving away $25 VISA gift cards and a copy of 50 Women) by clicking here. 

Weekend One Word: New



And a quiet reminder, friends? I’d love to hear the story of the faith heroine who has most impacted your journey. Consider entering the My Faith Heroine contest. The deadline for entries is October 22 — details here. 

When You Mistake Your Work for Your Worth


When I  tell her in an email that it feels like I’ve got a cinder block sitting square on my chest, that it’s felt this way since I heard The Bad News three days before, she answers back in a flash. Cinder-block-chest calls for radical self-care, she says. What are you doing to take good […]

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For When You Fail to Love Well {or, More Accurately, When You Fail to Love At All}


As a kid I was always a little afraid of the Ten Commandments. They seemed so grave, so foreboding, so be-all-and-end-all. In my mind I imagined the Ten Commandments to look a bit like tombstones, carved into great slabs of granite, hanging ominously over my head and haunting me with the threat of eternal damnation […]

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Why You Can Believe the Wilderness is a Place of Wild Possibility


A couple of weeks ago the Nebraska Synod bishop preached at my church, and toward the beginning of his sermon on the Book of Numbers, he said something that immediately caught my attention. In fact, one second after he said it, I grabbed a pen and jotted it onto my bulletin, and then I leaned over and […]

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Weekend One Word: Strength


And a quiet reminder, friends? I’d love to hear your story of the woman who has most influenced your faith journey. Would you consider blogging about her and entering your story into the #MyFaithHeroine contest? Entries must be submitted by October 22 – details here.  Sign up to receive posts by email {and get 3 free […]

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Joy in Brokenness {and a giveaway of Playdates with God}


It’s book release season, can you tell? Of all the books I’ve read this summer and fall (and believe me, I’ve read a lot!), the one featured here today, Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grownup World, is one of my very favorites. I read this book several months ago, when the author, my […]

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When Your Life Feels Small and Ordinary

Therese of Liseux

The sun hangs low, bathing the path and the tall grass golden. A rare stillness drapes the rolling land, interrupted by a single bird call, an unfamiliar one. I crane for a glimpse of feathers amid burnished leaves as my dog strains the leash taut. I am walking the dog, something I’ve done nearly every […]

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What To Do When Your Kids Don’t Believe (Right Now)

Rowan in water

If you are popping in from the lovely Ann Voskamp’s place, welcome! I’m so glad you are visiting, and I hope you find a bit to enjoy around these parts. I am smiling at the opportunity to meet some new friends today, so feel free to say hello in the comments! “I think I’m in […]

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Unlocking the Padlock of Fear {and a Book Giveaway!}


Do you want to know what courage looks like? Meet Jen Ferguson and her husband, Craig. They wrote a book together about the ravaging effect of pornography addiction on their marriage and their subsequent road to recovery. Think about that for a moment. Think about your co-workers or your kids’ elementary school teachers or your […]

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