unexpected stories

Prevention Isn't Sexy

Everyone responds in a crisis.  When something bad happens, we follow and share and send money and pray and feel compassion.  And we should.  It’s all hands on deck and let’s get in there and help our neighbors, whether they’re on an island around the world or down the street. But what about when there is no crisis, nothing bad happens, and people are thriving?  It’s boring.  We don’t see  (…) READ MORE

Pray for Ferguson - I Don't Know Quite What to Say Except to Say Something

I really suck at talking about hard issues.  I often feel like I don’t know enough or understand enough to weigh in on big topics, and so I sit back and listen to other, smarter, more experienced people talk. Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Another black boy killed.  His body lay in the street for four hours.  Folks are upset, because it’s  (…) READ MORE

Jen Hatmaker INTERRUPTED and Why We're Really BFF

Okay, people, we need to talk about Jen Hatmaker.  We must.  We get to. The first time I ever heard her name I was packing to go pick up my daughter in Ethiopia and someone messaged me, “Do you know my friend Jen Hatmaker?  I think you guys are going to be there at the same time.”  No, no I did not know this anonymous person, but I liked her  (…) READ MORE


Unexpected Welcome Home

My church is big, so we really encourage everybody to get in smaller groups that meet in homes.  In order to show people how these small groups are a great way for people to take care of each other, our pastor filmed Alex and me talking about coming home with Ana and the unexpected welcome home we received. When the video director was at our house filming, I felt completely  (…) READ MORE

School Supply Shopping: It Ain't Just Trapper Keepers Anymore

My kids go back to school this week.  Never mind that it’s the first week of August and we’ve already arrived at Back to School.  My emotions are somewhere between “Please School Take My Kids” and “Dammit, We Didn’t Do All the Things on the Summer Fun List I NEED MORE TIME TO BE THIS AWESOME.” This year I’ve gone from no elementary school kids to two elementary school kids  (…) READ MORE

My Dog Saved My Life

(I wrote this the day before my dog died.) My dog is dying.  I won’t try to put that up there with the pain that some of you have faced losing people, losing children and parents and siblings.  It’s not. But let me tell you about my dog and why I’m devastated. Back in 2005, when I’d been battling infertility for three years and had no idea I still had  (…) READ MORE

I Was in a Car Accident and My Dog Died

Sheesh, that’s a depressing title. Yesterday after crying all afternoon with my dog in the final stages of kidney failure, I got in the car to take a meal to a friend who just had a baby and got hit by an SUV.  Have you ever been in a wreck?  The whole thing happens in slow motion.  I pushed on the horn and then there were airbags slamming around me  (…) READ MORE