Category: Encouragement

A Sewer, a Palm Tree, and a Prison Escape

I feel like one of you needs to see beauty come from a hard place today. You need to be reminded that God has a long résumé of making unattractive places fertile and unlikely people fruitful. You need to know He still releases prisoners from darkness, brings beauty from ashes, and causes palm trees to Read More

That Time I Met an Armadillo Half-Naked

It’s a good thing armadillos can’t see because my pants were at my ankles. Five hours earlier, the chilly air and sputtering campfire had enticed me toward the chocolatey liquid warmth of hot cocoa. But as 10 p.m. cups of hot cocoa at campsites do, this one woke me up at 3 a.m. with an Read More

Fake It ‘Til You Make It? That’s Dumb.

My first big break on the road to winning the imaginary Pulitzer that sits on my mantle came the day my Daily Illini editor tapped me to cover a presidential candidate’s wife’s press conference. Her name was Hillary Clinton. I grabbed my notepad, cruised across the University of Illinois campus on my snazzy red Honda Read More

Not Feeling It This Easter? I’ve Got You.

The entirety of the Christian experience hurtles toward this week. And I want to write today to those who feel like you’re missing it. Oh, this Easter Sunday, you’ll put a little extra poof in your hair, wear your Sunday best and smile at everyone you see – because if you’re not smiling on Easter Read More

‘I Can Only Imagine’ Takes Cinematic Seat at Adult Table

I’d like to thank my friends on social media for last weekend’s cinematic reconnaissance. No mascara, check. Tissues, check. Prepare to love Amy Grant more than I already do, check. But Oh. My. Goodness. By the time I saw “I Can Only Imagine” Sunday I was primed, but still unprepared. I paid $9.75 for a Read More

Be Anxious For Nothing? Yeah, Right.

I’m one of those weird breeds who reads four different books at a time. Anxiety came at me this week in three of them And one of them is fiction. Then my pastor touched on it Sunday. So I’m writing under protest this week. Anxiety is not a topic I wanted to explore. Even my Read More

Teenagers Today Need a Good Talking To

The story ends with an alpaca wool sweater, a $50 bribe and a cream pie coming toward my face. But like stories do, this one starts at the beginning. Or maybe in the middle, during the years of exquisite angst when having the right friends means everything and having the wrong clothes means everything. The Read More

Dear February, We’re Finished

Dear February, We’d like to skip right past you, please. Why are you even on our new calendars? All you do is drag us into the past. Last Christmas’s credit card bills linger. Last year’s tax statements arrive. Last month’s New Year’s resolutions break. To be honest, we do a little bit, too. You’re a Read More