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Grounded in Faith

A word waltz

The old man catches me in the back of the sanctuary, where I’m straightening church bulletins, pencils and childrens’ Quiet Bags. He shuffles his feet, asks how Bible memory is going for the Sunday School children. But perhaps he’s asking if I’m hiding verses in my soul, too? His name is Helmer.…

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A “Cat’s in the Cradle” moment

I stood in the ocean on the coast of California and reflected on my life; where I’ve been and where I’m going. It was a rare moment to connect again with God through his creation and the vastness of the open waters and beautiful sky. I don’t know why but I seem to finally be able to put the pieces of life together when I look out over…

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Where you’ll find holy ground

It was just after dawn on Sunday morning. I was washing raspberries at the kitchen sink, and thinking ahead to Monday. My friend Paula had spent the weekend with us, and when she came into the kitchen, she startled me with her gasp. “Jennifer!” she cried out. “Look. Look outside!” I lifted my eyes to see what Paula saw, while…

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A wood-carved valentine

I ask the world’s most obvious question: “All right, who did this?” I jab a finger at the letters carved into the back of the wooden kitchen chair: A N N A Anna’s older sister chimes in first, rolling her eyes for dramatic effect. “I recognize those backwards Ns anywhere,” she says. Anna’s fork falls with…

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Battling insecurity

Rosie, the matriarch of our little country church, scooted through the crowd and down the center aisle to find me before the postlude even began. “Can you bring a dessert to the church supper Friday night?” she asked, pressing a pen into my hand. She held up a clipboard, and I froze before I looped the first curve on my cursive J.…

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