Thoughtful Thursdays

Musings on faith, family, & fiction

Why Do I Love You?
There's a famous poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning called "How Do I Love Thee?" You've probably read it. But if it's been a while, here's a quick refresher of this beautiful, short poem (which is in the public domain): How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.I love...
Not Inspired
I'll be honest. Though 100% of my income comes from creative endeavors...I don't always feel inspired. I don't always want to write. I don't always want to design book covers. I don't always want to typeset a book. I don't even always want to work on sprayed edges or...
Reach Farther
This week, a new planner arrived in our house, for my husband. It's called the Monk Manual, and it's part planner, part spiritual journal, part training. (Also, just very cool!) One of the reasons we got it for him to try is because it doesn't just have regular...
Complicated, Imperfect Grief
Last Thursday, my grandmother died. I'd just sent out the newsletter with a "Let Me Tell You a Story" segment that reflected on how God's perfect love welcomes us amidst our own, so very imperfect love. That even though we're a mess, He came down from heaven for us,...

Though a novelist by trade, one of the trademarks of my books is the spiritual depth and exploration I includes as my characters work through what it really means to walk out their faith. Faith, in fact, is one of the things I like to ponder most. In these once-a-week articles, I gets thoughtful at the crossroads of faith, family, and fiction.

Not Inspired

Not Inspired

Let me tell you a secret. I’m not always INSPIRED when I sit down to create. But I do it anyway…and the inspiration follows.

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Because You Ask Not

Because You Ask Not

Jesus tells you, “You have not because you ask not.” But it FEELS like we’re asking…so what are we doing wrong?

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A Soft Answer

A Soft Answer

I always thought I knew what the proverb “A soft answer turns away wrath” meant…but there’s more depth there.

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Advent – The Savior Will Come

Advent – The Savior Will Come

Though Christ has already been born in that stable, in this season, we dwell on yearning for Him, longing for Him like the world did leading up to that miracle.

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Sometimes We Forget

Sometimes We Forget

Sometimes we forget things about the people closest to us. Sometimes we forget who we are in the eyes of God.

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A Gratitude Challenge

A Gratitude Challenge

Last year I presented this challenge to you. It's a new year, a new November, and I wanted to challenge you again with this. Original post published 11/3/22. It's November. Every November, as I scroll through social media or blogs, I see people posting about what...

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YOUR Creativity!

YOUR Creativity!

A while back, I asked you all what your hobbies are. As I think about creativity in our lives, I thought it would be fun to share!

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Choosing a Word of the Year

Choosing a Word of the Year

Although we still have 3 months left in 2023. I wanted to re-share this post on HOW to choose a word of the year now. This will hopefully spark ideas and help guide you to choosing a word for 2024. I also wanted to remind you to check in with your word this year. How...

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Professional

Professional

When I was 8 or 9, we went through a bad drought. I still think of those days…and what it taught me about prayer.

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Drought

Drought

When I was 8 or 9, we went through a bad drought. I still think of those days…and what it taught me about prayer.

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41 Things

41 Things

Today I turn 41! So here are 41 things that have proven important to me in the last year.

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Proof

Proof

In Exodus three, God’s proof to Moses of His presence is “that you will worship God on this very mountain.”

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When We’re Seen

When We’re Seen

There’s a power in being seen by someone, in being understood. It doesn’t fix the problem…but it still heals our hearts.

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Onward and Upward

Onward and Upward

It’s easy for us to judge and dismiss younger generations’ hobbies…but when we look, there’s a lot to learn from them too.

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Life-Giving and True

Life-Giving and True

It’s easy for us to judge and dismiss younger generations’ hobbies…but when we look, there’s a lot to learn from them too.

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Do the Work

Do the Work

While we can never discount “lightning strikes,” most success–in life, in our jobs, even in our faith–comes from doing the work.

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Seasons

Seasons

I love watching the seasons roll, one into another. I love the liturgical calendar, living the life of Christ. But there’s more, too.

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Mental Congestion

Mental Congestion

Ever have those nights when you can’t shut off your brain? When your thoughts are so busy, sleep eludes you?

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Judgment Call

Judgment Call

When we think of “judgment” we think of deciding if something is good or bad. But with God, there’s never a question.

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Reproached and Redeemed

Reproached and Redeemed

He gave us the world…we gave Him the cross. Yet by that cross, He gave us Heaven. We treat Him poorly. He loves us forever.

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Forgiving Their Joy

Forgiving Their Joy

We’re told to pray for our enemies, for those who persecute us. Sometimes, that looks like forgiving friends for their joy.

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Suffering United

Suffering United

How can we unite our suffering to Christ’s? And how does doing so serve as a testament to our redemption through Him?

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The Darkness in the Light

The Darkness in the Light

We are the light of the world. We know it's true because Jesus, the true Light, told us so. We know it's true because He gives us His light. Why? To shine it. To scatter the darkness. To light the Way to Him, to the Father. To guide the people stumbling around in the...

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The Beloved Charter

The Beloved Charter

I hope everyone has enjoyed the other Spiritual Formation exercises I've shared, courtesy of Laura Heagy and her insightful direction. The most recent exercise she's shared with the Patrons & Peers group is called "Drafting a 'Beloved Charter.'" She sent us a...

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The Poor in Spirit

The Poor in Spirit

I've always found the Beatitudes--the Sermon on the Mount beginning in Matthew 5--to be a beautiful redefinition of what life should be about. What we should be striving for. There are so many lines in it that make me pause and reflect and ask myself, "Am I doing...

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The God of . . .

The God of . . .

There are some phrases we're all familiar with if we read the Old Testament of the Bible... The God of IsraelThe God of JacobThe God of Jerusalem We're told that Jerusalem is "His holy city," especially in the Psalms. So much of the poetry and songs revolve around...

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Love on Repeat

Love on Repeat

We can never hear "I love you" enough. Right? Well, we may need to add a little more--we can never hear "I love you" enough when the person saying it means it. We can never hear it enough when it's given as a gift, not meant to manipulate. We can never hear it enough...

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God of Eternal Promises

God of Eternal Promises

It's winter in the northern hemisphere. January has turned to February, February will soon be March, and we'll start looking for the first signs of springs. Daffodil greens ... buds on the trees ... the return of birds that migrated south. We'll start looking, but the...

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He Called Me by Name

He Called Me by Name

God knows us. He calls us by name. We know this. We can point to Scriptures that say it, we can recite it to each other. For that matter, I even sign each copy of The Nature of a Lady with "He knows your name." I've printed it on tote bags. I've put it in a pretty...

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Whose Sins You Forgive

Whose Sins You Forgive

Forgiveness. We know it's important. We KNOW that. It's a key line in the Lord's Prayer--forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. It's not only something we're commanded to do, we confess in that prayer that we will only expect forgiveness in the...

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A Year of Patrons and Peers!

A Year of Patrons and Peers!

A year ago, I made an announcement here on my blog in a post called "Introducing Patrons & Peers." I was launching a direct-support, Patreon-style membership group here on my website. In that initial post, I explained the concept--you could join at two main...

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2022 Word of the Year Reflection – Devotion

2022 Word of the Year Reflection – Devotion

As December, and hence 2022, draw to a close, it's that time when I pause to reflect upon the twelve months that have just passed, especially in light of my Word of the Year. In January of 2022, I chose the word "Devotion" to guide me into the year to come. As I...

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