If You Give This Girl a Cookie

I’m sure you know the children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. It tells the story of a sweet little mouse who is hopelessly trapped in a circular tale of desire. He gets the cookie and realizes he wants milk. The milk makes him need napkin. The napkin reminds him that he wants to color. Coloring reminds him that he’s hungry. And so it goes… A couple of months ago, I re-read this book inside Minneapolis’ Wild Rumpus Bookstore for Children. As a chicken ran around my feet and a cat nuzzled my leg, I was struck by this bedtime story’s similarity to my twenty-something life. Then again, isn’t that often how it goes with things that were meant for little ones? Because, for as far as I’d like to imagine that I’ve come, I’m really no better than the mouse. Except we’ve swapped cookies and coloring for larger circumstances, life-related answers, and more adult-sized longings: If the Lord gives Maddie a cookie, she’ll probably wonder where she’s going to eat the cookie. When the Lord tells her where she can eat the cookie, she’ll probably wonder who she can share the cookie with. When the Lord tells her that the people she will share the cookie with aren’t here yet, she’ll probably wonder when they will show up. In waiting for them to show up, she’ll probably realize she wants some milk to go along with the cookie. So she’ll start praying for milk. When the Lord gives her a glass of milk, she’ll drink it (probably forgetting to say “thank you”) and then ask for a napkin to wipe her face with....

Weekend Wrap•Up

As Advent begins, we hope these devotionals meet you where you are. We hope they encourage your own Advent journey. Trusting God…On the Edge of the Unknown Patricia Holbrook   Just Be With Me Maddie MacMath   Pressure Holes Alisa Hope Wagner   A Lame Christmas Susan...

Just Be With Me

During my time in Asia, I visited this place called the Home of Hope. The name is kind of a misnomer, however, since the atmosphere seemed to suck every breath of hope out of my lungs. I remember my eyes stinging, whether from the equatorial sun radiating off the concrete slab beneath my dusty flip flops or from the literal stench of death, I’m not sure. Either way, I’m not sure anything could have prepared me for the holistic, embodied suffering I was about to come face to face with. I shuffled my eighteen year old body across the cemented field, fighting back tears as I smiled at the very bodies of dehumanization. Women literally left to lay out in the sun, crapping in their pants, and scratching the lice in their hair until they die. If there was anything that was going to strip any “savior mentality” view of service and missions away, this was it. Lotion bottle in hand, I was here to just love these women; there was literally nothing effective or practical that I was equipped to do. That sounded more romantic than it felt as I sat down next to a woman whose sun-leathered body looked older than her eyes told me she was. I motioned that I could rub lotion on her hands, if she wanted. Without hesitating, she pulled down a piece of fabric that could barely be considered basic clothing and patted her arms. Looking into her desperate eyes, I began rubbing lotion on her arms and chest, smiling awkwardly and fighting the urge to find a corner that I could lose it in. Suddenly and without warning, she...

Weekend Wrap•Up

The weekend. Exhale. Enjoy everything you missed, all in one place.   Living in the Tension Stephanie McCandless   Don't Waste the Wait Maria Morgan   Why Am I Doing What I'm Doing Maddie Macmath   Beating the Pains of the Past Kelly Balarie   Harvesting Quietness Aimee...

Why am I Doing What I’m Doing?

At the beginning of the summer, I had a reflection due on Henri Nouwen's book In the Name of Jesus, in preparation for my summer internship (stop reading this and go buy that book right now!). Due to a lack of awareness about the deadline and an overwhelming amount of other work on my plate, I almost tried to write the reflection without having read the book. I read an online review of the main points, gathered the gist that a Christian Ed major would need to fake their way through a reflection, and started writing – ignoring the conviction gnawing at the back of my heart. The reason I knew I could write the reflection in my own words and with seemingly insightful thoughts was because, humiliating and humbling as it is to admit, I'd done it before. I've had four years of Christian high school and three years as a Wheaton College CE major. I know how talk the Jesus talk. You just use words like “journey,” “convicting,” “brokenness,” and “deepening my love for my Savior:” all without actually letting anything penetrate the callouses on my heart. A couple sentences into my reflection paper, I stopped my typing short. I was overcome. It was bigger than  conviction – this was a holy, terrifying fear. What was I doing? And did I realize how dangerous this was, not for my grade or even my integrity, but for my soul? I’m afraid – and I should be afraid – of going through the motions and then coming up with something “profound” for the sake of sharing my experience and having poetic language...

Weekend Wrap•Up

  Are You Tired? Stephanie McCandless   Staying Connected to the Right Source Maria Morgan   Things I’ve Learned from Refugees Maddie Macmath   What is Grace? Jami Amerine   God’s Grace – a stark and rewarding reality Aimee...

Weekend Wrap•Up

Enjoy these last, lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with a devo from this week! You Have Permission Stephanie McCandless   Feeling Left Out? Maria Morgan   A Deeper Kind of Trust Maddie Macmath   Scare Me Up Jesus Jami Amerine   Keeping the Shutters of Our Hearts Open Aimee Serafin...

Weekend Wrap•Up

Listen, we don’t know what kind of week you’ve had. Maybe it’s been the BEST week of your life or maybe, like us, it’s had it’s moments. We pray that these most recent devotionals will meet you where you find yourself today. I’ll Take Instant Maturity, Please.  Susan Aken   Time to Speak Up Maria Morgan   8 Things I’ve Learned About Refugees Maddie Macmath   What If We REALLY Believed? Jami Amerine   Truthful Terrariums Aimee...

Weekend Wrap•Up

In the event that SUMMERTIME took over this week; we’ve put everything you missed in ONE place! Enjoy! The Balance From Helicopter & Hands off Parenting Stephanie McCandless   22 Drafts  Maddie Macmath   Me and MY Stuff  Jami Amerine   Agenda Bruising Aimee...

Weekend wrap•up

EVERYTHING. ALL in on ONE place. Just for you… Wholeness – Stephanie McCandless   Celebrate Every Season – Maria Morgan   It’s Your Basic Identity Issues – Maddie Macmath   Don’t Worry Shoog… – Jami Amerine     Honor and Rebellion – Aimee...