It is OK to Choose the Heart of Gold Instead.

Tis the season for a slew of blog posts about the importance of slowing down and savoring.

It’s that time of year when writers feel compelled to publish essays on what really matters.

Don’t get me wrong; I love these posts. I’ll link to my current favorites throughout this essay. But it’s easy to read beautiful, elegant sentences and then revert to my usual habits.

So this Advent, I’ve clarified what I don’t want: I don’t want to lose sight of beauty. I don’t want to be a moving target, to look up after New Year’s and wonder, incredulously, Where did the time go?!

Continue reading

For the Ones Who Make Us Smile as the Plane Goes Down

To this day, I’m not sure how close that plane was to crashing.

Suffice to say, I certainly believed we weren’t going to make it.

I’m no stranger to flying; in the past 6 weeks alone, I’ve boarded 11 flights for speaking engagements. Ordinary turbulence is no big deal. Yet I’ve never experienced anything like what happened on that flight.

I was 15, flying home from Italy with my parents, brother, and best friends. We’d traveled abroad for a church gathering, and after a week of eating gelato and saying Ciao, bella, we were (somewhat reluctantly) heading back to the States.

Everything was normal until it wasn’t. The plane just … dropped. It felt how I imagined the Tower of Terror would feel if I’d had the nerve to go on it.

Continue reading

Spend It Offering Light: Week 2 & Giveaway

Our current series, “Spend It Offering Light” (#OfferLight) continues today with a beautiful story from Liane Kupferberg Carter and a giveaway too!

In fact, from here on out, each post in the series will include a giveaway. First time reading? Learn the story behind our series here. “Spend It Offering Light” features real people turning their fears into something that helps others, into light. Please welcome Liane!

Continue reading

When is it OK to Put Aside Productivity and Go Hands Free?

Dear friends,

Once upon a December afternoon, I decided to bake cookies for a party. I could have skipped it; in fact, I nearly talked myself out of it. Baking is not the most efficient use of my time. Nevertheless, I chose it because it felt like Christmas, like celebration.

‘Choosing Christmas’ doesn’t come naturally to me. You see, the church I grew up in didn’t believe in celebrating Christmas, supposedly because it was a ‘pagan’ holiday and a consumerist frenzy.

Looking back, though, I wonder if perhaps the church leaders weren’t really afraid of materialism or paganism. I wonder if they were afraid of what might happen if we were to be still. If we were to make the subversive decision to put aside striving and behold beauty instead.

Continue reading