One Year Later: Reflections on Life in the Face of Death

One Year Later: Reflections on Life in the Face of Death

Last year, on May 19, we celebrated Seth’s second birthday with a wonderful family day. I made cookies for his birthday dessert (because cookies are his favorite), ate pizza for dinner as a family (another one of his favorites), then packed my bags and headed out to teach at a local women’s retreat—my last speaking engagement before Ben’s birth.

It was a great weekend of rest, fellowship with other like-minded women, and studying God’s word together. I also had a nagging side ache that only intensified as I spoke throughout the day on Saturday. I chalked it up to a pulled muscle or just general third trimester achiness, traveled home that afternoon, and spent the evening resting.

The pain only intensified.

This Mother's Day, Honor The Image Bearer

This Mother's Day, Honor The Image Bearer

When I was weaning my third son two years ago I was suddenly aware of the passages in scripture that talk about a nursing mother (Ps. 22:9, Is. 49:15). It’s not a ton, but the ones that are there are beautiful, compelling, and even jarring to someone who is on the more conservative end of the theological spectrum. We don’t talk much about God being seen in a mom nursing her baby (or even God being seen in motherhood in general).

In the final days of nursing him I was overcome with emotion. I was sad. I was grieving. I was torn between what my heart wanted, but what everything else around me said: “it’s time.”

I was imaging God.

My Kids Teach Me That Worship Isn't About Me

My Kids Teach Me That Worship Isn't About Me

For as long as I’ve been a believer, I have prided myself in the fact that I don’t view the corporate gathering of God’s people as an entertainment service. In college, when many made the distinction between preaching and “worship” (the singing), I stood firm that it was God’s word preached that was the focal point of the worship gathering. We worship through singing. We worship through prayer. We worship through liturgy. We worship through the preached word. I simply didn’t think I had a problem with thinking church was about my preferences—about me.

Until a couple of months ago.

A Single Woman's Place in the Church

A Single Woman's Place in the Church

You’ve probably heard the statistics about single women in our culture. There are now more women on some college campuses than men. In some cities there are more single women than married women. Women outpace men academically and often times professionally. In many churches, the single women outnumber the men. For all of our emphasis on marriage being a good and important institution, singleness is the reality for many people.

Modern Medicine and the Temptation of Babel

Modern Medicine and the Temptation of Babel

Over Thanksgiving last year, I got strep throat. I haven’t had strep since college and it reminded me quickly why I hope to never have it again. It’s awful. But antibiotics are God’s gift to humanity. I only had to endure the effects of strep until the antibiotics kicked in, but every hour the pain lasted, I thanked God I live this side of modern medicine. Within hours, the pain subsided and I could at least drink a smoothie. Within days, I started feeling like a human again. Modern medicine is a privilege I don’t take for granted. It’s a blessing to live on this side of human ingenuity in medicine. In the days following, I started thinking about how in our strongest moments we tend to think very little of these modern medical advances. We can even begin to think they are unnecessary.

Good Friday and My Fear of Death

Good Friday and My Fear of Death

“I don’t want to die,” I said to my friend last summer, hooked up to a baby heart rate monitor and overwhelmed by the constant intrusion that is life in a hospital room.

Not wanting my baby to die was a given. I’ve faced those fears with every pregnancy. My worst fears were realized twice. But never had I also been hit with my own mortality. Pregnancy is safe and routine in America—until it isn’t.

Psalm 23 and The Valley of The Shadow of Death

Psalm 23 and The Valley of The Shadow of Death

I’ve said before that the only thing I could read during our hard days in the hospital this past summer were the psalms (and a few other things). I read them every single day, journaling, thinking, praying. In the psalms I had a language for what I was feeling. I had a language for my fears. But in the psalms, I more importantly had a language for who God is in spite of those fears and feelings. The psalms showed me God, even when everything was uncertain. My hope in spending my days in the psalms was not only that I would be sustained in the moment of waiting for Ben's birth, but that I would also be sustained if (or when) the dark moment came to deliver Ben unexpectedly.

That moment did come, but my mind went blank.

Finding Glory in My Ordinary Year

Finding Glory in My Ordinary Year

One year ago next month my book, Glory in the Ordinary, was released. It feels like an eternity has passed in a way that I didn't with my first book. In large part, I think it’s owing to all that happened the weeks leading up to Ben’s delivery (and the weeks following). Our plans for the book launch didn’t include three weeks of bed rest, a premature delivery, or a hard recovery. But God’s did, and it completely changed how I viewed the book as a result.

Do You Value Paying Your Pastor?

Do You Value Paying Your Pastor?

Money conversations in the church can be awkward, especially when it comes to giving and paying church staff. We don’t want to be perceived as greedy or ungrateful. We value the ministry of the word, so we don’t want to sound like we are in it for the money (and not the fulfillment that comes from preaching the word). The temptations that can arise when money is on the table are legion, and often go unnoticed until money is actually on the table. So I get the concern (and the tendency to move as far away from money as possible).

Raising Sons in a "Boys Will Be Boys" World

Raising Sons in a "Boys Will Be Boys" World

Men who behave badly are all over the news these days. In fact, it’s been so much a part of our national conversation for the last year that I’ve had this post (most of it, anyway) written since we found out that we were having another boy—raising the Reissig boy total to four. I’ve been mulling over these thoughts for the better part of a year and finally got around to editing them. Unfortunately the national conversation about men doing bad things hasn’t changed one bit. It’s only gotten worse, which has only increased my desire to process what it means to raise four sons in a world where men behave badly.