Family God Moments

Our Family’s Journey to Find God in the Everyday

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Painting with a New Perspective

Long ago, before Covid forced us to find entertainment in our own homes, a friend and I went to a “paint and sip” place. You know – those small shops where you drink wine and attempt to paint a picture with a group of strangers?! I was excited for this outing, but also a bit anxious. Could a boring accountant who spends her day behind a spreadsheet actually find enough creativity to paint – in public??

As we started to paint, I was focused and deliberate in following the instructor. Who needs creativity when I can just replicate a step-by-step process! (Note: the wine had not yet worked it’s magic to loosen up the “who cares” reaction…) After a while, painting felt more comfortable and I felt more confident. We laughed at our mistakes, and I was less afraid to add my own flare to the canvas. Slowly, I became less stressed about the quality of my work. We then began to look around the room, as we had conveniently positioned ourselves in the back. We found that the paintings we had made were actually pretty good compared to a few other disasters in the room. (Obviously we kept these opinions to ourselves!) Continue reading

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With sighs too deep for words…

Think of the times these words have been said to you… “I am praying for you.” Or, “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” Does that sound like a cliché platitude, or a sincere promise for prayer? I suppose it depends on who said it…

I can read a prayer, I can write a prayer, I can pray silently. “Dear God. Please be with so and so, who is sad or sick or grieving. Heal them. Help them know you are near. Amen.” Done, prayer complete. Put on repeat. But there are moments when the need for prayer is so raw; when something feels too big to actually put words around. In those moments, there are no words, and no internal dialogue with God which could fully reflect the depth and sincerity of a petition. Continue reading

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Maneuvering the Storms Ahead

My daughter likes to remind me of our most recent drive to the home of some friends in the northwest Chicago suburbs. She recalls the beautiful sky; vivid, contrasting colors and wide, bright rainbows. It was so pretty, she proclaims!

I remember this quite differently. It was late June, the weather here at home was great. We left at the planned time, with a predictable 7-hour journey through the cornfields of Iowa and Illinois ahead of us. I was pleased with our punctuality and hopeful for limited obstacles on the route. A few hours into our journey, I noticed darker clouds to the north. I began to look at the radar on my phone, noticing a red expanse of storms which seemed to be both building up and simultaneously moving right across the path we were barreling towards along I-80. Continue reading


The Blessings we take for granted

I was searching for an old picture on my phone late this week, and found myself spending hours watching videos of my kids when they were younger. It is surreal – I barely remember being the parent of a toddler. I think some of that is blocked out on purpose, and some we just can’t remember because we were so tired! It was SO much more work, but holy cow were they adorable! Continue reading

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Great Need Requires New Action

As you are well aware, Halloween was yesterday. Now, I’ll confess this is not one of my favorite holidays. Probably my second least favorite, actually – just one step behind Valentine’s Day. (Though both involve chocolate, so I won’t avoid them completely!) I do not enjoy being in crowds with strangers while my kids are trick-or-treating. I despise dressing in costume… I mean, what if I dress up and end up being the only in costume?! How mortifying! Plus, I really, really don’t like to be scared. I carry around enough anxiety – I do not need people jumping out behind corners with fake chainsaws to scare me! Continue reading

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The Art of Critique

Did you know that narwhals are real animals?? They seem like mythical creatures – the unicorn of the sea. (Flashbacks to Buddy the Elf and well-wishes from his narwhal friend don’t help.) But trust me, my 8-year-old daughter and I can assure you – narwhals are very real!

My daughter loves the narwhal. She was recently assigned a science project on an animal of her choosing. (Narwhal, of course.) On the day she was given the assignment, she rushed home from school and sat in our garage working on this project. I had no clue what she was doing or why, and was at first quite perplexed when I found she had made this narwhal shadow-box. She was fueled by a passion for school projects and of course, the narwhal! Continue reading


Thankfully, some things don’t change!

I had an outline started for a writing to share this week. It was headed into a sort of “gloomy reality” direction, and I just did not want to put that out into the world today. (I’ll set it aside for another week. Get excited for that!)

Today, my husband and I are celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary. When we were first married, 17 years felt so, so far away – but these years have gone by so quickly. (A cliché sentiment, I know…) It is surreal to reflect on the many highs and the occasional lows we have experienced within these 17 years. But I can say with certainty that my husband is the perfect partner for me, and I am beyond blessed that we get to go through this life together. I am blessed that we are able to parent together. I am blessed that we get to figure out our call to walk in faith together. It is easy to take these things for granted, so for today I just want to pause and be thankful.

So I am cheating, and sharing again a post I wrote back in 2014:  A Blessed Marriage: When faith is the foundation

Please read it! I shared: “I am thankful – beyond words grateful – for my husband. For how he loves me, loves our children, loves our God.” It is a true reflection – even more today than it was 6 years ago when I wrote it. For that constant in my life, I am sincerely grateful, beyond words!

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A Time of Unknowing

One of my biggest concerns when I started to write again was lack of creative content. I am home. All. The. Time! Fewer interactions in the world, fewer in-person engagement. There are fewer surprises, or unexpected ways I can see God at work in the world. Without them, I fall back on the same questions and the same anxiety. I’m tired – tired of the evil, tired of the division, tired of the powerful forces which seem to push us further apart and feed inequality. Why, God? When and How? What the heck do you have planned for us and when do we get to see some good come from this messy reality? Continue reading

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A Meandering Path

My husband and I had planned a long weekend in Boulder. It wasn’t going to be much: just time outdoors, time for hiking, time together, time away! One kid with a cough, fever and Covid exposure in his classroom quickly derailed our plans. Within an hour everything was cancelled, and suddenly we had a wide-open weekend ahead of us to cope with whatever happened with this sick kid. Continue reading

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Food: Gifts received, gifts given

One of the best things to come out of this Covid world, at least for our family: Food! I wrote about the enjoyment of meal-time in my post back in July (Gathering for food: the sacred becomes the routine), but this will be a little different. I want to focus on the enjoyment of the food itself.

While working from home, I’ve had the time and flexibility in my work day to prepare or help prepare more meals for (and with) my family than ever before. Preparing good food – especially when paired with a good wine – brings me so much pleasure! Continue reading