For Your Weekend

for your weekend

Some days you have to slow it all down to a halt, spend two hours on the sofa with a book and a couple of companions – be they children, animals, friends, or all three. May today be that kind of day for you, where you remember who you are and who sits with you. May together be a gift. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Here We Are Again by Sarah Bessey – Because she writes on mothering her newest baby, number four. And this is my favorite piece on the Internet this week.

Words and Sharing by Shannan Martin – Because she says writing her book is “like waking up line by line” and I know what she means and nodded my head all the way through.

The Masterpiece Mom Podcast by Anne-Renee Gumley and Amanda Bacon – Because I feel honored to join my two favorite Alaskan moms for their podcast this week. We talked about family, writing, my next book, and crazy road trips.

Brave on the Road by Annie Downs – Because its fun to see behind-the-scenes and she brought a camera along on a speaking event to share what it’s like.

2015 Reader Survey - Because you kind of know me but I want to know you, so this is your last call to weigh in. The survey will close at 9 pm EST tonight. Thank you to those of you who have responded!

For Your Weekend

for your weekend

May we embrace the courage to speak up, hold firm, and move forward without forsaking the wisdom of staying silent, letting go, and walking away.

Enjoy your weekend, friends.


Here are a few things my family and I have been up to lately:

  • We teamed up with some girlfriends to bring you The Hope*ologie Podcast! Because sometimes you need to take your cues from Tom and Donna and treat yo self by giving your future self a gift (Click the direct link to listen to the podcast or you can also listen here on iTunes).
  • My sister launched an online course! Because sometimes creating the space you’ve always wanted with the stuff you have right now feels impossible until you get a little help.

Take the Reader Survey

  • My husband has a job update! Remember when John quit his job 20 months ago? Many of you have asked what he’s up to now and I plan to share that in my March letter from The Bench. It will go out next week and you can sign up here to be sure you’re on the list to get it.
  • Have you taken the Chatting at the Sky reader survey? I’d love to get to know you better and these questions will help. Click here to take the survey and thanks so much.

For Your Weekend

for your weekend

May I learn a to practice holy indifference when it comes to others opinions of me. May I lose my sharp ability to discern disapproval, be it real or perceived, so that I may move toward others without fear or agendas. Keep my heart light like a sacred balloon.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads for along the way:

Cultivate the Deep, Cultivate the Simple by Micha Boyett

Three Things We Need to Stop Saying to Youth Group Kids by Addie Zierman

Anne Lamott on Priorities and How We Keep Ourselves Small by People Pleasing by Maria Popova

How to Stay Alive by Austin Kleon

For Your Sunday

for your Sunday

Today let’s be people of the invisible kingdom. Let’s sink low to the ground, pick up our crosses and our shoes off the floor, eat the bread of life in the morning and serve it up at lunch with peanut butter, jelly and no trace of crust for all the people we love. Let’s practice silence in the pew and also over dinner as we listen before we say so many words. Let’s carry the mystery of God with us into the sanctuary of the church and the sacred corner of the living room. Let’s remember he carries us always in his heart.

Enjoy your Sunday, friends. Here are a few good reads for the afternoon.

Thank You For Not Believing in Me (It Was Just What I Needed) by Kevin Kaiser – Because it’s good to remember how the discouragements, criticisms, disappointments, and failures can become the very gifts we need but never would have asked for.

I Just Made a Fool of Myself by Seth Godin – Because the very thing we all try so hard to avoid may actually be what sets us apart.

The Hope*ologie Podcast Q & A Show! where Dad, The Nester and I answer listener questions about food, gallery walls, and making decisions.

The Home Survey by The Nester – Because everyone loves surveys and this one will help you think differently about your home while also helping my sister know how to better serve you. It’s a win-win all the way.

This coming Friday we’ll share What We Learned in February and I hope you’ll join in. I wrote a post about how I keep track of what I’m learning if you need some tips.

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend - Chatting at the Sky

“There’s something beautiful and clarifying and terrifying all at once in being at the beginning . . . To be a beginner is to be full of hope-filled humility, to be overflowing with eager expectation that is simultaneously held in check by the obvious gap between your aspirations and current abilities. To be a beginner is to be pregnant with dreams but nascent with skill, and then to set about the work of cultivating the life of both.”

Michael Yankoski, The Sacred Year

Many things we could say after reading those words, many things we could fear and fight against and reason ourselves out of. Instead, let’s release our grip today, close our eyes in gratitude, and simply whisper this: May I be willing to be a beginner.


Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads for along the way:

Every Ten Years You Have to Remake Everything by Anne Bogel

Quiet by Caroline Teselle

In the Smallest of Ways by Ellen for The Sweetwater Blog

The February edition of The Bench will go out on Tuesday, a secret letter written especially for you. Join me on The Bench for once a month soul encouragement and you’ll automatically receive a free copy of my ebook Seven Little Ways to Live Art, sharing one way every day to take a soul breath.

For Your Weekend

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May we make time to travel alone along the silent pathway to our soul. May we not talk ourselves out of hope, but may we gather up the faith and love we find along the way and hand it out generously to others. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Here are some good words and good news for along the way:

Surprised by Love by Lisa Leonard – Because sometimes the deepest concepts are best expressed with few words.

I Like to Be With You by Annie Barnett for Grace Table – Because really we need with-ness more than anything else.

Use Your Words by Shauna Niequist – Because we’re all still twelve years old a little bit and don’t even realize how much we need to hear each other say the truest things out loud.

Compassion Bloggers – Last year this very week, I was in Uganda with our Compassion Blogger team. They just announced the next team is headed to the Dominican Republic February 16 – 20.

For Your Weekend

for your weekend - january

May we find a friend who keeps our secrets, do the work placed in our hands, read a book that speaks our language, trusting all into God’s hands. Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads for along the ways

A Complicated Peace by Sarah Bessey – Because sometimes life takes turns you don’t expect and we need to make room for grief and joy to co-exist.

Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong by Sophie Hudson – Because lately I want to read everything there is to read about home, about place, and about gathering with my people, and because Sophie weaves joy, comfort, and faith together so beautifully in this new book of hers.

Waiting for Ourselves by Laura Ortberg Turner – Because sometimes I’m lonely for something but I can’t place what, and then I realize I’m longing to acknowledge the person I’m becoming, to look her in the face and call her friend.

On Breaking by my sister, The Nester – Because it’s important to find time to watch cats sleep and take baths and ignore the email.

We’re nearing the end of the month and that means it’s nearly time to share what we learned in January. This month’s list will go up on Friday, January 30. Hope you’ll join in with a list of your own!

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend in January

May I be willing to see myself as I am and not as I wish I was. When I choose pretense over presence, may it be to me so foul an experience that I give up and give in, bringing every try-hard moment to Christ. Rather than working hard to create my own identity, may I be willing to receive the gift of myself from the hands of God.

Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads (and listens and watches) for along the way:

Finding God in the Ordinary by Ruth Haley Barton – A good reminder as we enter this season of Ordinary Time between Christmas and Easter.

20 Things I Learned in 2014 by Susie Davis – I loved reading through what everyone learned in 2014. This simple list was one of my favorites, I think because Susie is in a different life stage than I am and I want to pay attention to what she’s learning.

The Art of Simple Podcast – Tsh and I chat it up once again on her podcast this week – and Kyle left in what was supposed to be pre-recording chatter. The worst. Still, you can listen in as we talk about writing, favorite artists, and things that make us happy.

And because I couldn’t resist, here are a couple of links for your inner fangirl from two of my favorite things on the Internet this week:

The Top 10 Downton Abbey Boyfriends by Kendra Adachi for The Sugar Box – I mean, it’s just  so much fun to read this.

Jimmy Fallon Blew a Chance to Date Nicole Kidman – You’ve seen it (along with literally 15 million other people – and counting- this week) but it just had to be mentioned here because it’s too good. And for the four of you who haven’t seen it, you’re welcome.

For Your Weekend

For Your Weekend January

As we reflect on the year past and dream about the one to come, may we walk willingly into the great mystery of God. May we learn to accept that there isn’t always a why, a how, or a lesson. But there is always Jesus. And there is always love. Enjoy your weekend, friends.

Here are a few good reads for along the way:

20 Questions for a New Year’s Eve Reflection by Tsh Oxenreider – John and I have gone through these in years past and will do so again this year. Today, in fact. I can’t wait.

Expand Into It by Addie Zierman – For anyone feeling a little underwhelmed after Christmas, read this.

The 2015 Reading Challenge by Anne Bogel – I’ve been waiting for someone to boss me with a creative way to choose books to read and Anne is the perfect person for the job. I’ve already started my list and look forward to this simple 12 month reading challenge.

Reconciled by Shannan Martin – This is why I love Shannan’s writing, because she can write a compelling piece like this one about “the worst thing she’s ever done” and then she writes an equally compelling piece about salsa and lip gloss. I love all the words she puts on the Internet.

For Your Weekend

for your weekend

In the midst of our plans and our people, may we remember to breathe. May we be patient as we consider the colorful mess of joy and grief, understanding our soul may need a little space to sit quietly in the shadows before she’s ready to embrace the light.

May Christ be real to us in small and big ways, and may we be open to the ways he might want to be real to others through us. Enjoy your weekend-before-Christmas, friends. Here are a few good reads for a long the way:

  • Finally, here is a 5 minute clip of Dallas Willard talking about the connection of joy and sorrow, words that I’m sure are a great comfort to many who are grieving this Christmas. He passed away in May 2013 which makes his words even more meaningful here. (subscribers may need to click here to view the video).

At the end of every month I like to share what I learned that month, both the serious and the silly. Since it’s December, I thought it would be fun to broaden it to share what we learned in 2014, sort of a year in review.

If you plan to write a year-end post sharing the things you learned, I’d love to have you link up! The post will go live Tuesday December 30.