Way better than the squeaky flap of a vending machine


Last week was part 1 of a family devotional series on the names of God. In case you’re like me—who sometimes doesn’t click the link and just scans—this study isn’t about memorizing the names of God. It’s about understanding the nature of God. SO open the link to start a discussion with your family about who God is as Jehovah-Jireh, our provider with the  kids page. AND listen to Pastor Jim’s sermon!


Peace in Unexpected Places

I love the delicate crinkle I hear when I turn a page in my Bible. With each turn I feel like I’m pulling back a little of the curtain and seeing more of who God is, and I’m humbled and inspired and enthralled and so many more “-ed” words that I don’t have space for. 

In the pages of my Bible, I’ve discovered that God is our comforter. God is our hope. God is our redeemer.

These knock-your-socks-off statements about God are absolutely true, but I’ve also realized there are some not-so-shoutable-from-the-rooftop phrases that follow them. Continue reading

Happy Pi(e) Day?

img_6343.jpgI tend to believe that if I can PICTURE a craft or recipe working in my head, it will work. 

Unfortunately, “picture it working” is not ever in any set of instructions.

So thank you Pi Day, March 14 (3.14), for showing me that my natural lack of talent for all things math is only rivaled by natural lack of talent for making pie crusts. Here’s a snapshot of our celebration of Pi Day, a.k.a. Kill the Food Processor Day in my household. Continue reading

Holy Land Coffee Tour of 2018

[I recently returned from an 11-day experience in Israel. This is the third in a series
about my trip.]


Six completely non-spiritual lessons I discovered as I traveled the Coffee Road to Israel.




1. Turkish coffee. The top 3/4 is dark and thick. The bottom inch is all of the grounds that have been allowing their deliciousness to ooze up. One day I got greedy and took a drink too many. I gagged out loud on the grounds, and everyone at the table turned to me in surprise. Good times. Continue reading

Where’s my buffet?

[I recently returned from an 11-day tour of Israel. This is the second in a series
about my trip. Here’s the first mid-trip update if you’re interested.]

I’m home.

For eleven days I woke up to a sprawling breakfast spread before climbing the steps
to our behemoth of a tour bus.


My first morning home I was thrilled to see my kids’ eyes slowly blinking in the morning light and their hair disheveled and crazy, but I did feel a slight pinch. “Um … where’s the breakfast buffet, people? Oh, that’s right. I’m the person who stands behind the counter and makes the breakfast here. Let me get to work on that.”

Throughout those many days, my eyes lifted from the necessary needs of life (i.e. keeping my children alive, clothed, and educated) and the unnecessary distractions that I allow to creep in. The to-do list that constantly scrolls in the back of my mind like a teleprompter stopped. And even though it’s amazing and healthy to go on any vacation, it was life-changing to allow my spirit to marinate in God’s Word while my mind relaxed. The majority of my hours were spent hearing, seeing, and experiencing truths of the Bible. Continue reading

A land of coffee and Jesus

My tour of the holy land is less than half over, and already my mind feels full to the brim with new experiences and truths to process. I’m going to have to up my coffee game…or maybe I’m just always looking for an excuse to up my coffee game. I know how deeply enjoyable and fulfilling it is to look at someone else’s travel pictures (ahem), so I’ll limit it to just the few that illustrate my favorite experiences of my journey through my version of the land of milk and honey: the land of Jesus and coffee.

This was from the top of Mt Arbel, where you look down and see the Sea of Galilee stretching from one edge of the horizon to the other. At the peak we got caught with a sudden shower of pelting rain and wind–a bonus biblical experience to remind us of Jesus calming the storm that developed so quickly.

And here’s Turkish coffee, where there’s an inch of the darkest sludge of grounds in the bottom. The top 3/4 was dark and delicious.

I’ll keep you updated on my experiences.


Jill the International Traveler (that’s what I’m going to put on my non-existent name plate at my non-existent workplace)