Your “Most Solemn Obligation”

Without question, parents are the primary influence on the faith lives of their children. Study after study shows that when parents are strong spiritual leaders, and when fathers—yes, dads in particular—teach and witness the faith to their children, the kids are far more likely to grow up and live faithful lives themselves. What kind of role do you want the […]

Tips for Praying and Studying the Faith Within the Time Demands of Parenting and Work

I remember one particularly spiritually dry day early on in my second pregnancy. It was late at night and my energy was spent that day keeping a nap-protesting toddler content, doing chores and cooking, and grabbing spare moments to keep up with ministry work before collapsing onto my bed that night. My connection with God that day felt weak and […]

What God Did When I Thought My Crosses Were Too Small

This Lent, I resumed my favorite Lenten prayer tradition, praying for a different person, couple, or family each of the forty days, offering all of my prayers, petitions, frustrations, joys, and sufferings that day for their intentions. It was a particularly amazing experience for me this year. Before the Lenten season, I had become unusually fixated on the fact that the […]

The War Between Doing and Being

Unquestionably, my life is full of continuous, often exasperating battles between doing and being. Culture tells us that we are valuable because of what we do. It speaks to our senses, every moment of every day, telling us we need to do more. Our worth is based on what we accomplish, how we achieve, the number of hours we put […]

The New Year’s Resolution That Will Change Your Spiritual Life

Right now you’re likely inundated with ideas for how to make your new year healthier, more relaxing, more successful, more social…the lists really go on and on. When I sat down to do my own goal setting for the New Year, one rather unusual resolution kept coming up in my thoughts and prayers: Ponder things in your heart. I know […]

How to Be More Grateful

There is a running joke in my family about asking God for help in parking the car. My nana initiated the practice of imploring God when encountering difficulty in finding an open parking space: “Jesus, please help me find a parking spot.” Well, my dad repeats this prayer, adding his own twist at the end. As he drives around a busy […]

“See How They Love One Another”

"The Exhortation to the Apostles" (detail) by James Tissot

“See how they love one another”—this was the observation that the pagans made, to their own bewilderment, about the early Christians. Our earliest brothers and sisters in Christ lived lives of such unprecedented joyful service that it astounded the world around them, a world that had never seen anything like it before. These first Christians lived according to the model […]

The Holy Family: Salvation and Love

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

As Christians, we are very familiar with Advent as a season of waiting, but really, our whole life is, essentially, a long season of waiting. Particularly, we wait for the last Advent—the last coming of Christ at the end of time. Every Advent gives us the opportunity to pause, and very intentionally focus on what we should be doing every […]

The Infant Jesus: The Blessedness of Littleness and Joy

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

As Christians, we are very familiar with Advent as a season of waiting, but really, our whole life is, essentially, a long season of waiting. Particularly, we wait for the last Advent—the last coming of Christ at the end of time. Every Advent gives us the opportunity to pause, and very intentionally focus on what we should be doing every […]

Mary: Trust and Obedience

"The Nativity" (Gerburt Christi detail) by Franz von Rohden

As Christians, we are very familiar with Advent as a season of waiting, but really, our whole life is, essentially, a long season of waiting. Particularly, we wait for the last Advent—the last coming of Christ at the end of time. Every Advent gives us the opportunity to pause, and very intentionally focus on what we should be doing every […]