Dec 20, 2013

Twas the Eve of My First Job

‘Twas the eve of my first job when all in my thoughts, Not a worry consumed me, except for the cost Of debt now accrued through (five) long years of schooling; Of parental-raised eyebrows on what I's pursuing; And of answers I gave to impress my employer In that second...Read more +
Dec 20, 2013

The Gift of Loving Polly: Parenting a Special Needs Child

We went back to Michigan to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, and then it seemed like I blinked and we were decorating for our first Christmas in Chicago. Our two-story house with slanted, old wooden floors and tall ceilings was ready for the holidays. One day, a couple weeks before...Read more +
Dec 19, 2013


Recall a Christmas when your entire life seemed to wait for one never-to-be-forgotten present. For me it was a tennis racket. My parents had great fun presenting it to me that Christmas morning. I remember it so vividly. But the greatest Christmas gift—for everyone—is Christ himself . As a child...Read more +
Dec 19, 2013

Jesus the Human Being

In the classic Christmas hymn, Away in a Manger , the second stanza reads, “The cattle are lowing / The poor Baby wakes / But little Lord Jesus / No crying He makes.” Wait. What? Why not? The God-child could not cry because he was divine? In our great desire...Read more +
Dec 4, 2013

Leave No Trace: The Joy of Giving Secret Gifts

Jack comes to me as I stir oatmeal on the stove. He tap dances in place, excitement oozing from him. “Do you think Jason knows it was from me?” he asks of the note he secretly slipped into Jason’s backpack at co-op yesterday. I tell him I don’t know. “I...Read more +
Dec 25, 2013

The Joyful Work of Remembering God's Gift

It’s December 25, 2009. My son is just over a month old in his blue booties, the ones I bought this summer in Italy when I went to Lake Como for a writer’s conference. And I feel like Hannah. Aiden is my miracle child, the one we’ve been praying for...Read more +
Dec 18, 2012

Community Post: Bearing

As I peered at the newsfeed crowded by blog posts, this one caught my eye. I'm glad I popped over to read it. It's a litle Christmas treasure: John Blase at The Beautiful Due , with a poem called "Bearing." Image by Christian Jones . Used by permission.
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Dec 17, 2012

The Gift of Christmas

Every family has unique traditions around holidays, but especially when it comes to Christmas. Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve? Attend a worship service? So many times it's the little details that we hold so dear. "It's just not Christmas without Aunt Edna's pecan pie!" Author Mike Slaughter challenges...Read more +
Dec 2, 2012

God's Greatest Gift

In C. S. Lewis' beloved story The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe , the land of Narnia is under an evil curse. It is always winter, but never Christmas. Only Aslan, the great lion who created Narnia, can break the spell. When Aslan finally comes to Narnia, so does...Read more +
Nov 30, 2012

Advent Challenge: Seven Creative Ways to Give Back This Christmas

“At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge… Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.” If you remember Charles Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol , then you remember Ebenezer Scrooge’s response to his solicitors. At the beginning,...Read more +