Let’s Have Tea

Maybe you could sit with me here awhile. I'll make you tea in my pretty green pot and set out a tray with chocolates and cookies. There will be a bundle of oleanders and cannas in an old pickle jar, because does anyone actually buy vases any more? I'd like to hold your hand. To…

Hi I’m 30, plus Life Update

My desk is a mess. It's covered in cut out foam letters and stencils and scraps. There's a stack of books and an even huger one behind me. File folders and spreadsheets. Leaning against the wall is a newly framed Rand McNally Map of the World, Classic Edition. I'm wondering how this is all going…

Rollercoaster

We spent the last several days in Mexico City, seeing a couple specialists who could give us some direction on our baby’s hip dysplasia after being told she’d likely need to be in a cast for three months.   I could easily dissect each phrase of that sentence and probably write an entire blog post…

You Asked: Our Identity in Christ

Welcome to a new series here at PA. You Asked will be posted each month and addresses questions or topics you have requested. The first round was sent in through Instagram stories, so make sure we’re friends over there (@penelopra). Otherwise, head to the contact page and email me whenever you’d like! We were enemies.…

We Won’t Remember

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you’ll have quickly noticed a perhaps unintentional yet recurring theme: hope and joy despite grief and pain. More than once, I have heard believers critical of others for being open about their emotional difficulties, citing supposed bitterness or perhaps lack of spiritual toughness (“you…

Special Prayer Request

It’s a tiny village at the very end of the road. Bordering on the Chumpán River and the southern shore of the Laguna de Términos, Santa Rita is much like any other little place in Campeche. There is one difference though. For 23 years, Ernesto and Delfina have faithfully shared God’s Word despite enormous trials.…

Thankful

Two years ago, we were barely surfacing from the deepest depths we have ever plumbed. It had been four years of nonstop trials, trials of the darkest sort. It was American Thanksgiving, just like today. My mental list of thankfulness went something like this: I’m aliveI have three kids still aliveWe haven’t been unrighteously excommunicated…

The Whole World

I stepped outside after washing dishes (that’s a lot of happy birthdays in soapy water) to the back porch. It had been a hot afternoon, the dry mountain air sucking us all into prunes. The cold night breeze was a welcome relief. Habitually and unconsciously, my eyes traveled to the rectangle of black sky beyond…

This Month

Towards the end of her fascinating autobiography An Ordinary Woman´s Extraordinary Faith, Patricia St. John mentions, “one cannot easily write about the present. Those involved are very much alive and close at hand….” In addition to sensitivity to privacy and the dignity of mankind, the present can seem cloudy. There are untied strings, buds are still…