Something Good and Something Better

Sometimes, we need to set aside something really good to enjoy something better. She lays down her interior design dreams to help him finish his degree. He stays home with the boys so she can pursue her calling. They don’t take a vacation for years to save up for an adopted child. They remain celibate until the wedding vows. As Christians, there are also certain times of the church year set apart to take inventory of our hearts and habits. AreRead more

“What’s stealing your joy?”

At age twenty-six, I was hired, miraculously, as the head women’s volleyball coach at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.  During the interview, the Athletic Director asked repeatedly if I knew what I was getting into (I didn’t).  Would I really be able to handle  the many facets of a head coach position as I had exactly, uh, no experience in high-level Division I coaching? “What, Mr. Athletic Director?! Haven’t I mentioned that I’m a seasoned twenty-six-year-old?  I’ve lived longRead more

You’re sending us where??

Let’s not be so skittish, sheep. No need to huddle up and wring our hands. Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Our Good Shepherd has told us – in terms even a rather slow sheep could understand – that he is sending us straight into a den of wolves. Did I just wet myself, or was that you? And what, exactly, are we given to armRead more

Who really brings it?

This is the first year I have ever really observed Lent. By observed, I mean that I’ve been asking more directly and plainly for God to show me how and where I fail to love. So how’s that going, you might wonder? Be careful what you pray for, friends.  Exactly how many more days until Easter? I’ve been particularly asking that the LORD who loves me would reveal blind-spots; the areas of sin hidden out of plain sight.  Can GodRead more

Lent. It’s not for the sentimental.

What are you giving up? We are about to enter the season of Lent, which is the period of time all of us should be gearing up to abstain from chocolate for forty days, right? You are all planning to do that, I hope? For those of you who might be less spiritually mature, and still plan to eat your 70% dark chocolate with sea salt, I hope you are at the very least making plans to give up some of the slightly lesser sinsRead more

I can totally do what I like.

In your own words, define the word freedom. Wrestle a bit and say out loud what you really mean.  Say it as succinctly and creatively as possible, as if you were trying to explain it to a thirteen-year old with an attention deficit disorder. Can you? This is what much of our world thinks freedom means. Freedom is doing what you like.  Thirteen year old’s everywhere couldn’t agree more. Have you ever paused, and just considered what deceptions weave theirRead more

What’s your first instinct?

When you hear or read the word righteous, what’s your first gut feeling? Holier-than-thou?  Hypocrite?  Fake? It’s amazing how this word has taken on a negative connotation for most of us, isn’t it? None of us wants our friends to think we are acting too righteous or anything. It is true that being self-righteous is horrible, marked by a constant craving to be seen and to be right.  It is my very worst self.  But, the truly righteous desire to always thinkRead more

Are We More Spiritual Than God?

I was asked this week about the Hunger Games. Did I read the book? Did my boys? Would I allow them to see the movie? My friend was wrestling hard. She had been given a verbal smack-down by a peer for allowing her young teens to read the books. How could she? She was feeling irresponsible and low – flailing in a pool of parental guilt. Full of empathy and understanding, I started to laugh. Why is it easier toRead more

Six-inch heels in the sand…?

“Your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did not swell during those forty years.” I read these very words right before hitting Nordstrom’s Rack (my shoe mecca) looking for “some comfortable walking shoes”. I know. I have never bought a pair of shoes because they were comfortable for walking. If it’s not a running shoe, I usually like to buy something like this… Or this… Or this… “Your clothes did not wear out, and your feet did notRead more

You are now free to move around the world and shine…

“What would it look like if all the goodness went away?” This is how I try to explain hell to my kids.   Yes, it’s true, the light-hearted conversation never ceases ’round the Hall family table. What violence and terror would boldly stalk the earth if all good vanished?  How cold it would be, without a shred of kindness.  Who could you trust, with not one righteous?  Could there be any refuge, if compassion was absent?  How long would it takeRead more