Women of Faith

The Space Between Hope and Fear

“Those who sow in tears will reap with cries of joy. Those who go forth weeping, carrying sacks of seed, will return with cries of joy, carrying their bundled sheaves” (Psalm 126:5-6). The words of the Psalmist haunted me for months, yet I couldn’t determine what they meant for me. I had just completed a new manuscript on the topic […]

Give Us Joy

It had been one of “those” weeks. You know the kind: where everything falls apart and even planned family fun crumbles into disaster. I recently gave birth to our third daughter, and her presence in our family, while a sure blessing, has, of course, turned our world topsy turvy. All newborns do this, I know. But it doesn’t make the […]

What We Learn From Darkness

“I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, who even at night directs my heart.” ~ Psalm 16  For decades I’ve called myself a morning person, an early bird. I am drawn to the light for so many reasons. It reveals truth with such clarity. It renews hope. It warms the soul. On the contrary, darkness veils the earth […]

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

Setting Others Free to Love

When I was younger I was overly sensitive in my dealings with others. This hypersensitivity caused me to become offended easily and to refuse to show love to anyone I felt slighted by. Needless to say, this attitude brought about only more pain and it was only once I discovered that I was at fault in these perceived issues that […]

Blessed Virgin Mary with Roses (detail) Artwork © by Jef Murray

Ask for a Sign

I wasn’t looking for anything—not a sign from God, anyway. Long before that moment, I had abandoned asking God for signs. Maybe it was that it seemed superstitious or petulant or…maybe it was my lack of faith. I didn’t really believe God was speaking to me through such simple acts of providence each day—signs. But my oldest, Felicity, so gingerly […]

Scrapbooking Materials

I am His Beloved

I paused before exiting the guest bedroom. It was still new to me, since we had moved only a little over a month prior. But the walk-in closet beckoned me to open it, reminding me that I had thrust every photo album, film negative, loose picture, and scrapbook on the shelves in desperation to get the room uncluttered and somewhat […]

Flourishing and Dying

About two months ago, our family moved to a new city and home. Life was on the cusp of a spring breakthrough, though we couldn’t yet perceive all of its wonder and glory. Our new backyard was riddled with sticks and brown, parched grass. Heavily pruned and unidentifiable bushes adorned the brick pathway through the side yard. Life was dormant, […]

When You Feel Stuck

Right now I feel stuck. I mean good and rooted in some kind of nowhere, a limbo of sorts, a holding pattern. Call it what you want, feeling like nothing is moving forward is a frustrating place to be. Of course, there are all sorts of beautiful and poetic spiritual treatises available to explain the gift of spiritual dryness, but […]

"The Visitation" (detail) by Albertinell

Authentic Friendship—Learning from Mary

God made us for communion, and as women, we have been given an incredible gift. In fact our fundamental value as women is our ability to receive the other, our gift of receptivity that is characterized by our self-gift, giving the gift of presence. It is a special gift that is important in society today—that is to witness to the […]

Carpathian mountain valley

Becoming a New Creation

“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “I can’t do this again,” I sighed to myself as we entered our new home. There had been too much transition, too much unknown, going on in recent days. We had to say goodbye to our friends and […]