Everyday Grace

Searching for goodness in the ordinary

Our Spirit // Unstuck

Apr
23

photo: Josh Willink

Once, in high school, I was babysitting for a brother/sister toddler duo and their mom had asked that I make the kids pancakes for lunch. Sounds great – except for one thing: I had never made pancakes. And this was not a Bisquick house, y’all – they were the type that had avocados and steel cut oats around the place before it was cool. No easy box mix with a recipe on the back in sight. To complicate matters, this was pre-iPhone, so I could not easily google a recipe and go on with my life. I began silently freaking out and thinking through my options. Okay, pancakes have…flour, right? As I gathered ingredients, I spied the best part of the situation – their mom had set out a CAST IRON skillet for me to use. Y’all. Let’s go over this recipe for disaster:

  1. Never made pancakes before
  2. Cast iron skillet
  3. No idea how to use one of those
  4. No recipe

All aboard the hot mess express. As I tried to figure out what should and should not go into pancakes, the kids of course were beginning to starve. I’m sure their parents had made them breakfast like three hours earlier, but to hear their version, you’d think they had not been fed for approximately 87 years. “In the Arms of the Angels” began to play in the background. I had to figure something out before these kids resorted to eating their plastic play fruit.  (more…)

Away in a Manger // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
10

photo: Trinity Kubassek

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world just makes my heart want to sing! So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. This week, I’m sharing with you my take on “Away in a Manger.” Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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I have never personally given birth, but I can’t imagine the fear and completely crazypants emotions that must come with going into labor in a stable. First of all, that is basically outside. Can you imagine? I would have lost my mind, y’all. In a moment when you really want some privacy and comfort, that’s the last place I’d want to be. Jesus’ mom had no inflatable heated birthing pool, essential oils, or customized birth playlist soothing her soul. There was no epidural, and no doctors or nurses or midwives coaching her and ensuring her safety. Heck, this poor, extremely pregnant lady and her husband couldn’t even get a hotel room for the night. They had just survived a ridiculous road trip, but instead of getting a good night’s sleep, this woman actually brought her child into this world on a dirt floor with sheep and goats hanging around and watching. What a mama. We protestants do not give Mary enough credit. (more…)

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus // Advent: An Invitation to Hope

Dec
03

photo: Igor Ovsyannykov

Advent and the arrival of Hope and Goodness into the world makes my heart sing. So this year, we are taking a closer look at some of my favorite Advent hymns. Each Sunday during Advent 2017, check back on EverydayGrace.net to find a new post and a new song, which I hope will fill you with the joy of Christ’s birth. Press play above while you read, sink into hope and rest awhile. This Advent season, let’s remember Who we wait for and sing Him into our world together. As the season unfolds, you can find all the posts here: Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope.

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Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free…

Oh, Jesus, how badly we need You.

Things are so broken, and we have done so much of the breaking ourselves. Racism. Sexual assault. Injustice. Allowing people into power who brag about assaulting women and children. We buy and sell one another. We turn our eyes away from  oppression of the marginalized and thus we participate in it. We have a general lack of empathy, especially for those who are different from us. (more…)

Advent 2017: An Invitation to Hope

Nov
19

Guys, I am so excited to share this project with you. I’ve been working something really different for Advent this year, and this series is probably the most risky and vulnerable thing I’ve ever put on the big giant internet, but I hope you will love it! Here are the details:

WHO: You and me and Jesus, friends.

WHAT: A two-part series on Advent beginning 12.3.17.

WHEN: The first two Sundays of Advent, the season leading up to Christmas.

WHERE: Right here on EverydayGrace.net. You can also follow along on my Facebook page here!

WHY: Christmas is so full of challenges relating to family, busyness, social anxiety, and big moments. This year, there seems to be even more weighing on us as our country feels more divided than ever, and no one can agree on what the Christian response is to our current political, racial, and socioeconomic tension. I would humbly submit to you that a good place to begin is worship. In the middle of all our brokenness, God’s Christmas gift to us is His very own self. Because of this compassionate God, people have written hymns and praise songs for thousands of years, but some of these have grown so familiar that we lose touch with the meaning of the words. My hope is that by looking at two Advent hymns with fresh eyes together, we can gain insight into the heart of the truly unique God that we serve, and in turn become wiser about how to live out our hope in the world we inhabit, even in the middle of the mess. Our cry this Advent: Fix it, Jesus. Help us learn to love like You.

When the series is done, the posts will appear right here as well! Come back on Sunday, December 3 for the first one. Thanks for being the best readers in the whole wide world.

Part 1: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Part 2: Away in a Manger