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Dear Lord, How can I possibly celebrate Mother’s Day, when it’s a day that reminds me of all that I have lost? And yet, it’s also a reminder of all that I was given. I’ve spent the past few years carefully guarding my heart from You, Lord, because You...... More »

Prayer is no excuse

Periodically, the internet becomes collectively outraged at those offering weak platitudes (“our thoughts and prayers”) in the aftermath of whatever the newest tragedy is, whether it’s the latest shooting or natural disaster or terrorist attack. (I also hate that we have to apply the label “latest;” I hate that...... More »

Last week, I hired movers to haul a ridiculous number of boxes filled with office supplies and art materials. They unloaded them in Ladoga, Indiana, in the building that was my dad’s studio. Some of you know that he was a professional watercolorist, and he worked out of his...... More »

Prayer is no excuse

The internet is collectively outraged at those offering weak platitudes (“our thoughts and prayers”) in the aftermath of the latest school shooting. (I hate that there’s a “latest.” I hate that these are commonplace.) And I get it. I write about prayer, and yet I’m right there with them....... More »

Joyful sorrow

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13, NIV Those weeks before my dad died were a blur, a photo montage, like quick takes from a movie. Hourly care schedules, changing almost daily. Trading nights with my sister, sleeping...... More »

I stood in the sanctuary during church, my heart hurting for all the other hurting hearts in the room. One of our own wasn’t there with us. We’d lost someone way too young, way too soon, a vibrant woman who touched countless lives. And many of us were left...... More »

Lord, Over these last few weeks, I’ve barely been able to pray. My brain can’t seem to form words, but I feel Your love cradling me. I’m tired—so tired that the word “tired” doesn’t seem to touch it. I’m sad—so sad that I’m practically beyond tears. But somehow my...... More »

Missing my dad

Robert Vernon O’Dell stepped into the next life on Sunday, July 9, surrounded by family and dear friends. He was born on June 4, 1938 in Decatur, IL to William and Luella O’Dell. After graduating from Warrensburg-Latham High School, he enlisted in the US Army, where he was a...... More »

His banner over me

Lord Jesus, You are here. Whether I feel You or not, whether I talk to You or not, You permeate the atmosphere. I know this is true. When my pleas begin—and end—with “Lord Jesus…” because I don’t have the capacity to form another syllable, You are here. When I...... More »

I wrote this last year, but it seemed to resonate with a lot of people, so I wanted to share it again. Love to all of you who can relate, and praying that you can find the joy again. xo Dear Lord, Mother’s Day is hard. It’s difficult to...... More »