Tending the Garden

Growing Through God's Grace

Grace and Consequences

Ugh. Another student message. I missed the homework deadline. I’ve been sick and wasn’t able to take the exam on time. I’m just plain overwhelmed. Can I have an extension? I hate this part of my job. Truly hate it. I’m not good at holding people to deadlines. And I don’t enjoy doing it. That’s [...]

31 Days Later

Do you ever start something and then, for good reasons, you can’t follow through? And you feel okay about it – you really do – because you gave it your all. And you’re even a little proud of yourself for not freaking out, for just taking it as it comes? But then you get nervous [...]

Small Beginnings

The katsura is dropping gold coins on the wet yard. Autumn has officially arrived in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the season for slowing down. For eating hearty soups and breads and pumpkin pies in preparation for hibernation. For bundling up and hunkering down. For adapting to the rhythm of shorter days and colder nights. But [...]

After This, I’ll Be Able to Catch Up

I’m not one who believes God causes illness and suffering. He can, I have no doubt. But I don’t imagine every disease is punishment for wrongdoing. That said, I’m beginning to wonder if my current illness might be just a bit God-breathed. Or at least Savior-sanctioned. What’s causing me to wonder? I keep trying to [...]

On Shutting Down

Ever feel too crummy to do anything, but not crummy enough to be confined to bed? It’s a dangerous in-between zone for me. Because I feel lousy, but I tell myself I’m not that bad. And I’m not. Until I make pancakes for breakfast and then need to recover with a nap. Or until I [...]

Avoiding the Ugly Voice

I didn’t intend for the words to come out. Not in that way, anyhow. I really wasn’t upset about the glass bowls that now lay in pieces throughout the kitchen. But I was tired. And sick. I had worked all day and not gotten enough done and I knew that tomorrow I’d have to summon [...]

The Cure for the Perfect Life – A Book Review

Irony fills the air as I – once again – put fingers to keyboard. I’ve started writing this book review five times on paper, five hundred times in my head. But I just can’t seem to do it. I hate when that happens. It’s not that the words aren’t there. In fact, there are too [...]

Less Weeding, More Relaxing

My husband pulls me aside to take a quick garden tour before dinner. There’s a new dahlia blooming at the back of our third-of-an-acre yard he wants to show me. I grab my shoes and jacket to head out as the kids tease, “See you in two hours!” It’s true. We go out for a [...]

Celebrate Small Victories

Small victories is what we call them in our household. Those little (and sometimes not-so-little) things that don’t mean anything to anyone but us. Not only do we celebrate them, but we share them with each other so that we can celebrate them together. Dealing effectively with a student issue. Not getting rattled during a [...]

Room to Think

It’s a lazy Sunday morning. Before long I’ll open the blinds, signaling to the animals upstairs that it’s breakfast time. But for now it’s quiet. My husband is away for the weekend. It isn’t my preference but it ends up working out well. When you’re together all the time – which we are, living together, [...]