Let’s Share What We Learned in March

joy wilson and scarlet johansson equals shakira

It's the end of the month, and that means it's time to share what we've learned! Remember, this is a place to share all kinds of learning, both the silly and the serious. I lean toward sharing the silly since I tend to share the serious every other day. But any and all learning is welcome. Here are 5 things I learned in March in no particular order: 1. The Wizard of Oz makes everything better. 2. Monopoly. We played for the first time as a family the other day and I realize I've never … [Continue reading]

Survey Results and A Kind Thank You

chatting at the sky

The last time I checked, over 1500 of you have offered your feedback in the survey I sent out last week. And though that number only represents a fraction of you who are reading, your responses to the 8 question survey have come at just the right time. I expected to get an idea of what you'd like to see more of, to see less of, and to get some insight into where my passions and your needs intersected a bit more specifically. What I didn't expect was for your answers to those 8 silly questions … [Continue reading]

When Your Soul Has a Bad Idea

When Your Soul Has a Bad Idea - Chatting at the Sky

One day last week I'm struggling through those old kinds of struggles that never seem to fully go away - self-acceptance, over-thinking, fear. My mind cycles through them as they sit on the Lazy Susan of my soul. Pick one up, turn the wheel, put it back again. So the Susan is spinning at the rate of the world and I pick a book from my desk to read a bit before I began my own writing. Just as I do, some powerfully loud thoughts come rushing into my mind - doubt, quitting, unbelief. In the span … [Continue reading]

for your weekend

chatting at the sky

This weekend, may I not be surprised by my own ability to mess things up. May I refuse to be shocked by my own, jealousy, stubbornness, impatience and indifference. May I stop trying to find my own way out. Instead, may I be surprised by grace, delighted by God's presence, and comforted by his unrelenting acceptance of me. Enjoy your weekend, friends. Have you taken the 8 question Chatting at the Sky survey yet? It takes about 2 minutes. Would love to know your opinion. Also, a reminder that … [Continue reading]

In Which I Ask for Your Opinion

take the survey

If you and I ever go to a movie together, I'm sure we will have a lot of fun. We will share popcorn and I'll forget the napkins so one of us will have to run out during the previews to get some. And by "one of us" I mean you because I love me some previews. Half-way through the movie, I will pull out the king-size bag of peanut M&M's from my purse and you will pull out the family pack of Twizzlers (red not black, obviously) and we will share and share alike as we enjoy our film and gain … [Continue reading]

The Real Job of a Writer

evening - chatting at the sky

As a writer, I sometimes forget what my real job is. When I'm rushed or under a deadline, it's easy to be fooled into thinking my job is to string words together in some creative way resulting in a variety of desired outcomes for me or the reader. Hopefully both. Obviously a writer has to actually write. But my job, even before writing, is to pay attention. Listening with all my senses is my first real job. When I remember nothing begins with me and purpose to stay small in the presence of … [Continue reading]

My Husband the Pastor

steeple

John graduated from seminary and got a job working in youth ministry right before our wedding. For the next twelve years, he took the trips, led the studies, planned the games, taught the lessons, scheduled the concerts, met with the parents, baptized the believers, prayed with the doubters. He celebrated the graduates, grieved with the dying, and sat with those they left behind. A lot of the job was hard. Some of it was life-giving. The best part for John was the people – his fellow … [Continue reading]

One Book I’m Surprised to Enjoy

The Year of Magical Thinking

This weekend I started reading The Year of Magical Thinking, a memoir by Joan Didion. It sounds hopeful and whimsical from the title but one page in you will realize this is a book about grief.  I actually knew this going in and I decided to read it anyway. For me, a woman with a curious blend of sunshine and brood, this is an unlikely choice. On the one hand, I tend to want the books I read to be life-giving in an obvious sort of way (sunshine). But I am also capable of work myself into an … [Continue reading]

for your weekend

chatting at the sky

May this weekend be one of seeing the true state of my silent soul and hearing the words beneath that remain unspoken. May Christ be my security when I care too much about the small things and my salvation when I care too little about the big ones. May I have the insight, discernment, and humility to know the difference. Enjoy your weekend, friends. Here are a few good reads along the way: Why You Should Seek Quiet Every Day by Herbert Lui Simple Living Spotlight: Share Your Story with … [Continue reading]

Why I Want to Know You and Also Avoid You

ash wednesday

"'You have come from dust, and to dust you will return.' In other words, 'You are going to die. And here are some ashes to remind you, just in case you’ve forgotten.'” - Mark Roberts, on Ash Wednesday for Patheos We got our first desktop computer during my senior year of high school. We were living in Detroit and Dad set the computer up on his brown L-shaped desk in his study. I sat at that computer for hours late into the night, but I wasn't surfing the web - no, no. In fact, when a guy at … [Continue reading]