Relational Crops

It was the fall of 1976, and it is likely I was wearing a “wrap skirt” that day when I showed up to help with hot lunch at the small Christian Reformed grade school where my children had recently started attending. In that kitchen, making hot dogs, I met Barb for the first time. Her…

Read More

The Ministry of Proximity

I sit between two tables covered with butcher paper. On my left are my own girls, laughing and playing hangman with a family of 4. The kids are little and they are delightful; well-behaved and contentedly eating dinner. Their mom is shy and preoccupied, but their dad is friendly. He wants to talk. He just…

Read More

Triumph

Against odds spring’s first sign comes winter’s coldest day. Against odds this delicate bloom breaks earth’s strong barrier. Against odds pure, white light shoves the darkness away. Against odds spring cannot come without enduring winter’s cold. Against odds she, like me, was created for this. Marit Krueger has lived in the Seattle area all her…

Read More

Wild Flower

My son was four years old the first time he had an opinion about his hair. His thick blond hair bounced up and down as he ran, and it brought me absolute delight. When he asked to shave it off, my heart sank. I allowed myself to explore the unusually strong feelings I was experiencing,…

Read More

Finding Shalom in the Seasons

Never have I known more clearly that I am a lover of changing seasons than the Christmases we lived in Northern California. Everything I loved about the season seemed intrinsically tied to cold and snow, which makes sense, given my Michigan upbringing. The flocked trees available at the local Christmas tree stand were nothing like…

Read More

Season’s Call

I exit an evening exercise class to daylight. Contrasted with the darkness of prior weeks, the streaks of pink in the sky invite me to hope. I feel a brightening in my spirit. The light always returns!  This season, my soul mirrors the winter weather pattern of the valley where I live. One day all…

Read More

Narrative in the Seasons

I have always viewed each passing season in my life as chapters in my ever changing, ever growing “Book of Me.” Each chapter tells stories of joy, pain, loss, curiosity and progress. Some of these chapters are filled with angst and ennui, some chapters are full of new found passions, others speak of various heartbreak…

Read More

What I Didn’t Expect When I Was Expecting

“It is hard for you, little one,” said Aslan. “But things never happen the same way twice.” —Aslan, the Lion, to Lucy, the child, Prince Caspian, C. S. Lewis   Things never happen the same way twice, dear one. I am a thirty-one year-old woman (Jessie), I have been married to my husband (Mikey) for almost…

Read More

Flooded

In September I began the Certificate Program at the Allender Center, and I took with me one overstuffed suitcase, one tender story, and one eager heart. I quickly discovered that my time in Seattle would include joy and sorrow, frustration and fear, barriers and breakthrough, isolation and community. At times it has felt like the…

Read More