ESSAYS

light of Advent

Mercy’s Light

By Steph Ebert | December 7, 2023

As Advent approaches and it gets darker in the northern hemisphere, the daylight in South Africa, where I live, stretches longer and longer. I haul out my Advent candles, which in the summer heat often end up slumped over by Christmas Day, and place them on the table.  I need the light.  South Africa is…

READ MORE
mother anger

It’s Fine. Everything’s Fine. (Except I Lit the Fire.)

By Holly Forseth | November 27, 2023

Have you seen the meme of the dog sipping coffee amongst the flames? The one where he says “It’s fine. Everything’s fine”? Most days I am that dog, sitting calmly through the chaos. And yet, I also lit the fire. My anger frightens me. It lies dormant beneath a peaceful exterior, surprising everybody, including me,…

READ MORE
holiday dinner

The Pull of the Holidays

By Julie Walsh | November 20, 2023

When I think about the upcoming holidays, my mind’s eye sees all the magazine-cover images: tables set for six or eight or twelve. They’re laid out with the good china, the crystal, the candlesticks, and table décor. They’re heaped with glistening turkeys, vegetables you’ve never heard of, and pies so beautiful they could be décor,…

READ MORE
lights-on love

Lights-On Love

By Elizabeth Berget | November 13, 2023

I jumped as someone pounded on my front door.  On a sleeting Tuesday morning in November, at the height of Covid isolation, we certainly weren’t expecting anyone. I cautiously opened the door and saw a teenage boy standing on my front steps. He was breathing heavily; I could tell he had been running. It took…

READ MORE
caring for sick infant

The God of Wailing and Rocking

By Ellie Roscher | November 6, 2023

For a few days before and after my youngest child’s sixth birthday, I was very emotional. I couldn’t stop sobbing in the little moments of my day. It was mildly alarming, until, of course, I softened enough for a memory to resurface. “How long has it been since you’ve held your baby?” the nurse asked,…

READ MORE
transformation through caregiving

The Life, Death, and Resurrection of Caregiving

By Katie Cassady | October 30, 2023

I am only beginning to chip away at the mystery of what a profound gift it is to be called in ways big and small, to respond to others as Jesus did.  That is not to say I am particularly good at it. Occasionally though, I catch glimpses of this grace through the bleary eyes…

READ MORE
foster family connection

The Invisible String of Foster Care

By Megan Hogg | October 23, 2023

The call from the social worker came when it usually does, which is to say at a completely random day and time. There was a baby boy getting ready to be discharged from the hospital, but his birth parents were unable to care for him. Would my husband and I be willing to foster him?…

READ MORE
mothering God

Broken for You

By Erin Strybis | October 16, 2023

When his crying woke me, night had already descended. Worn down by seven weeks of sleep deprivation, I’d put myself to bed before sundown. This was how I’d survive the grueling newborn stage again: I’d “sleep when the baby’s sleeping” away my tiredness. I pawed at my phone and checked the time. 2 a.m. I’d…

READ MORE
intergenerational community

The Privilege of Friendship

By Katie Cassady | October 9, 2023

Gathered around the familiar multi-purpose, formica folding tables, I was the youngest of the group by at least ten years. Thursday Bible study had become a treasured time because of the insight, wisdom, and humor that these wiser women shared with me. One day, as a new session began, some younger women invited me to…

READ MORE
uncomfortable conversations with God

Uncomfortable Conversations: Meeting God in the Present Moment

By Hilary Yancey | October 2, 2023

I live with an embered faith. It has burned down low. It has almost gone out. Is it embarrassing to admit this? Perhaps. I no longer know the certainty I once had of who God is or what God wants. I most certainly do not know what God wants. I thought I knew once, and…

READ MORE
passing on the faith

The Greatest Gifts We Can Give Our Teens

By Kathryn Whitaker | September 25, 2023

We all love a good checklist, don’t we?  “Five things you must do this fall!”“Ten ways to tell your kids you love them!”“Three things every parent must do!” Where, pray tell, is the checklist for how to raise young adults who love Jesus and never stray from their faith? I’d argue that we’ve put the…

READ MORE
Korean Mother Martyrs

What the Korean Mother Martyrs Teach Us

By Sarah Hoyoung Ku | September 18, 2023

Reading the stories of the Korean saints to me is like sparks flying when meeting a new mom at the park. There’s the thrill of each shared connection and an eagerness for more. When I learn about the Korean saints, I find threads connecting me to them in our shared Korean heritage. As a mother,…

READ MORE