What Can Go Right

Sometimes traffic—the maddeningly unpredictable flow of that greatest annoyance, other cars–can tell important stories. I like to think I’m in control of a great many details regarding my life. Of course I know, in a proper Christ-following way, that God is in control, but lately it’s Seattle traffic that reminds me that sometimes I’m quite…

Ideal World Problems

My phone knows I’m pregnant. Like many moms my age, along with the time-consuming social media and practical tools, my cell phone is currently host to a handful of pregnancy-related apps. My hospital has its own app reminding me about upcoming appointments, and in a moment of uncertainty earlier this week I downloaded a contraction…

Mini Pumpkins and Not-Forever Houses

It was a great day when I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small pumpkins for 69 cents. America and Germany are tied in their veneration of pumpkins. In Germany, I could go to the market and find five kinds of pumpkins suitable for making various types of soup. That’s pretty much what you do with…

Broken Bowl, Beautiful Bread

I knew what had happened before I saw it. The familiar crash, gravity precipitating a collision between ceramic tile and ceramic dish, and then a groan of disappointment from the dropper. Usually, to be honest, it’s me dropping stuff, but this time it was my daughter, a toddler who remarkably has broken only one mug in…

Calling, Passion and Tally Ho

We turn off the road toward the workshop, hearing only the faint clink of hammer on wood from across the field. Past a high fence advertising a “dangerous work site,” we pick our way through a forest of felled and sliced oak to where the ribcage of a boat perches under a roof without walls….

So We’ll See What Happens

“Um… I may have found a house.” The text message from Timmy, detail-sparse but full of possibility, blinks across my phone as soon as I connect the in-flight internet, somewhere just beyond Minneapolis as I fly home from Emily’s wedding. Through the brief exchange that follows, I learn of the couple whose job is taking…

Everything Beautiful

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 After the ceremony, we drift under the pavilion, searching for cold drinks and shade. I suspect this day isn’t terribly hot by midwestern standards, but I’ve been quite literally chilling in the mountains of Washington State for the ten days since our return to Germany, so…

Goodbye, Town.

From our last night in Kandern, Germany. (With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown.)   In the great green room There is a glowing world And a tiny spoon And a picture of kids, pointing up at the moon. There are two goldfish, and a bunny dish. And two paper stars, and a purple car. And…

What You Leave

“What’s it like leaving?” It’s the question of the month, a fair one to ask after eight years in missions, seven at Black Forest Academy. The answer, I mostly reply, is that it’s complicated. Because there are many kinds of leaving, and they all mean different things. Today—with our students graduated as of this morning…

Questions From Under A Table

Each spring, the juniors at BFA end the year by writing college essays, personal statements that answer one or both of two broad questions: “What has made you who you are?” and “What do you care most deeply about?” Every few years, I feel inspired to write an essay of my own to share with…