The Truth of My Shadow Side

adirondack chair

I had to admit I didn’t believe in God before I could begin to believe in God.

I realize that doesn’t even really make sense. But it’s the truth.

I grew up in the church but had “a hard fall from faith.” That’s usually what I tell people, even now, when I need to give a cursory overview of my spiritual journey. The reality, though, is that I didn’t believe in God for most of my adulthood, perhaps even for much of my childhood.

For a long time – decades — I didn’t admit that to anyone, most especially to myself.

I went through the motions of faith: I went to church and confession. I prayed, sort-of. But all the while I was pretending. I’d erected my fake belief as a façade, like one of those false storefronts in a ramshackle Old West town. Behind that façade was the real me, falling apart slowly, brick by brick.

Wild in the Hollow…Today I’m over at Amber Haines’ place. Amber has a new book out, a memoir called Wild in the Hollow, which I highly, highly recommend. It’s raw, truthful and beautifully written, and if you love spiritual memoirs like I do, this one is a definite must-read. Come on over to Amber’s place for the rest of my guest post about truth, and while you’re there, introduce yourself to Amber and learn more about her book. 

Weekend One Word: Growing

Knowledge and Understanding

I tend to be pretty good at learning about God but not so great at knowing God himself. Knowledge is one thing, but understanding is something else entirely – it’s a deeper, fuller knowing, moving from an arm’s length distance into a more authentic, real relationship. To move beyond simple knowledge to true understanding requires opening ourselves up to being vulnerable, available and connected.

So…my prayer for you and me, today and beyond: May we continue to allow ourselves to be transformed. May we invite God into that deep, innermost part of ourselves. May we grow from knowledge to understanding, from distance to real relationship with him. Amen.


Why You Need Time to See the Bigger Picture

When I read the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, I often end up thinking, “Man, he had a good attitude! He must have been a glass half-full for sure!” Think about everything Joseph endured: He ended up crunched into the bottom of a cistern. His brothers planned to murder him but settled for … [Read More...]

car mirror

How the Daily Examen Can Help You See God

My friend Lelia told me a story recently about a time she begged God for compassion as she sped down a highway. It was a dark period in her life, and she yearned for a sign of reassurance. In the middle of her lament, Lelia glanced out the driver’s side window just in time to see a truck speeding … [Read More...]


Living Gutsy for God {and a giveaway!}

A year or so ago, my friend Amy Sullivan had an idea to write a series of picture books for young girls featuring strong Christian women from history. She pitched it to a few publishers, but alas, no bites. So Amy made a gutsy move: she decided to publish the series herself. I am delighted to … [Read More...]


A Look at the Luthers {and a giveaway!}

Let me tell you straight up: I am not typically a reader of Christian fiction. BUT. I have read several of Jody Hedlund's novels, and I've greatly enjoyed every one of them - particularly her latest. Luther and Katharina: A Novel of Love and Rebellion releases October 6, and I was able to get a … [Read More...]


Weekend One Word: Why?

That's God, talking to Jeremiah, asking some hard questions. Later on God asks Jeremiah, "Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back? They cling tightly to their lies and will not turn around." Of course God already knows the answer to his own questions, right, because he's God. But I think … [Read More...]


Grace is Moving Toward

During a class she taught at my church last week, my friend Deidra offered a definition of grace that settled deep into my soul. "Grace is moving toward," Deidra said -- moving toward those we don't necessarily want to move toward or even moving toward someone as they are, not as who we want them … [Read More...]


A Day in the Life of Book Writing

So I thought I'd give you a little update on how the book writing is going with Martin and Katharina. I'm definitely on a first-name basis with them now. In fact, Luther is so often on my mind, a couple of weeks ago I called one of Rowan's friends Luther - his name is actually Leo. But, you … [Read More...]


Weekend One Word: Crossroads

Yeah, so this is what I typically do when I'm at a crossroads in my life: I barrel on through without so much as a pause. This is a good word for me, reminding me to pause, look, listen and above all ASK God for direction and guidance when it's decision time. Every decision doesn't need to be … [Read More...]