New Bookshelves, Literary Poser Syndrome and The Therapy Of Unpacking


Who’s excited about IKEA? Just ME!

I found myself at IKEA this weekend with one of my very best friends in the entire world, Joely. It was a whirlwind trip to Chicago, complete with a trip to Millennium Park and Wrigley Field. One of the things I was after at IKEA was a set of Billy bookcases to flank either side of the picture window in the parsonage. They would fit perfectly in the space and I was so beyond thrilled to get them home and play around with them. Continue reading

Clara’s Dedication

This post is late. Months late. But I wanted to post it, because when I looked online for ideas of what to speak to a child at their dedication, I didn’t find much. So I wanted to share the letter we read to sweet Clara in front of our friends and family on the day she was dedicated, March 1, 2015. 


It was a busy, snowy day in March. We woke up in Dowagiac, did church, jumped in the car, stopped home (Grand Rapids Home) to change and then pulled in to the parking lot at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville for Clara’s dedication service.

We were spread thin from the business of the day and the service had been cancelled once before due to weather. We rushed into the room where the service was to be held and met up with family while I quickly changed the tiny lady of the hour into her dedication dress and tights.

Then all of the sudden it was time to get started and the officiant from church stood before us and spoke in to life what it meant to dedicate a child to God, as a community, as a family.

Continue reading

Liberate your Passion, it’s SortaAwesome.

compliments of flickr user zouny, with permission

compliments of flickr user zouny, with permission

My friend Megan has a Podcast called “Sorta Awesome.” It’s completely true to it’s name. Perhaps even more than sorta. Check it out ASAP on tumblr, which will bring you to iTunes, I think.

One the opening four shows she had a brief list of questions that she and her co-hosts answered so that we the listeners could get to know them better.

One of them was (a paraphrase of) this: “What thing do you love to talk about? What thing are you really into, that your friends and family hesitate to bring up because they know you will talk their ear off about it?”

Each time I heard her ask that question, I thought through how I would answer it myself. I couldn’t figure it out. Continue reading

For those of us feeling confused on the Fourth

Wheat field23

image credit to

I’m leading worship in church this weekend, for better or for worse. I did take seven years of voice lessons and have been singing in choirs since I was in third grade so, I’m qualified ….I suppose, but still. I’m nervous.

I was given close to free reign on song selection, but keep in mind our church is fairly traditional and mostly sticks to hymns. We also don’t have a praise team and are only newly starting to have someone lead singing from the stage. So I don’t want to mix things up too much or get too complicated, it’s no fun leading worship when no one can sing along.

So, after some googling and reflection I picked out some familiar hymns that I hope will draw all ages into worship and decided to be brave and teach the congregation a new song that we can hopefully come back to in the coming weeks, “All the poor and powerless.” Total favorite of mine.

When I sent off my list of ideas, Kel wrote me back and said “Looks great, but hey don’t forget, it’s Fourth of July weekend. We need some of worship to be Patriotic.”

That’s when things got confusing for me, because it’s not always easy for me to jive with how the church talks about patriotism and politics.

It tends to make me really uncomfortable and I don’t think I’m the only one, right? Continue reading