jesus

Category

Organized

I am so organized. You don’t even know…My shirts are arranged in my closet by color; each of my upcoming conferences/trips has its own manilla folder complete with checklists and a pocket for receipts; I keep duplicates of all my toiletries and make up at home and work so I am never at either place without something; I catalog my favorite recipes on Pinterest and spend sleepless nights on call choosing what to make for dinner the next night. I...

Joy

When the alarm went off this morning, I tapped the snooze button over and over for an hour. Finally, I made it downstairs for my morning ritual of coffee and devotions. By coincidence, or more likely God’s humor, my personal reading and the church’s automatic email, were both about joy. Soul soothing words, as recently, life has felt a little bitter, a little empty. Jarred by the sudden death of a dear friend’s husband and my welling anger of American...

Confession Is Good for the Soul

I don’t want to write this post. I don’t want to join the game. I much prefer the silence over here in my own corner. But the persistent tug at my heart, the unyielding irritation in my mind that I must say something simply will not go away. I have been wrestling for days over my response to the historic events of this past weekend. And I have finally decided that while my words are likely to go quite unnoticed, I...

Failure

I’m not really one who appreciates failure very much. I’m pretty used to working very hard for the things that I want and generally reaching some degree of success. It may be luck, it may be hard work, but in the end, I usually feel like I am successful in the things I put my mind to. But this time…it was different. Failure smacked me in the face. I was angry and frustrated and disappointed and sad…and very, very thankful....

Be Still

I seem to be struggling with shoes recently. From broken to poorly chosen to missing altogether, I just can’t get myself (or the kids) appropriately prepared to safely navigate the day’s activities. About a week ago, in our usual state of Hartwell Family April Spring Sports Madness, Scott took one kid to practice and I took the other to the grocery. They had been playing at the neighbor’s house, so I drove down the street to grab Ben and whisk...

Weary Soul

Yesterday, I came home from work a little early. I just simply could not. do. it. any. longer. Total exhaustion. I wandered around the house aimlessly, in a fog. While trying to get my younger boys ready for the Cub Scouts Pack meeting, I mumbled my words…or couldn’t find words altogether…they got lost somewhere in my head and I couldn’t get them out of my mouth. “C’mon boys! Put on the…you know…the thing. That…whatever it’s called…” I faded quickly at...

The Sacred Cookie

I’ve been making these chocolate chip cookies for 25 years. These cookies have traveled from my hometown of Troy, Ohio, to my alma mater, Miami University; to Clarksville, Hopkinsville, Villa Park, Chicago, Memphis, New Albany, Columbus, and Indianapolis; they have a connection to Jamaica and Lima, Peru. They have fed hungry tummies, lonely hearts, homeless souls and the sickest of the sick. They show up when the spirit and the stomach need nourishment. When I was in med school, exhausted and...

The Gift We Never Knew We Needed

It’s Christmas Eve in my parents’ house. My brother and I have descended upon their space with our spouses and children; with suitcases, bags, and toys; from baby bottles to teenage ambivalence, we are all hunkered down in the warmth of their home, taking turns in the bathroom and bumping into each other in the kitchen. As per tradition, we have a meal and go to church together on Christmas Eve, at the church where we grew up. And sometime...

Breathe With Me

The elderly woman we had been taking care of in the ICU looked younger than her stated age. But her medical history on paper was more consistent with her 79 years…the heart failure, the diabetes, the chronic lung disease. She managed to fight for three days before the exhaustion from the work of her breathing overcame her and she had to have a breathing tube placed. She spent the first night anxious and breathing rapidly. She sent her heart rate...

Redemption is greater than Prevention

This election cycle is really incredible. I mean, seriously. It’s a wild mix of comedy and tragedy. Everyone hates everyone. Both candidates are so profoundly flawed. And our world is in turmoil. There’s Syria and South Sudan. Closer to home, there’s racial tension and sexual aggression towards women. Republicans and Democrats alike are convinced that we are doomed if our respective candidate doesn’t win on November 8. It’s the train wreck we just can’t look away from. We are so stressed about...