Thursday, October 27, 2011


I have heard it a couple times lately.
"I am single. And God is silent."
Loneliness is very real-- we cannot ignore it especially the feelings that get jumbled around inside, mixing up our personal doubts with our beliefs of God.

I wanted to write this post to explain a little of what God taught me through my own journey. I will give one caveat--my singleness wasn't an extended period of time. My appeal is that this is what I wished I had known from where I stand now.

Loneliness peaked during the last few months of college for me. Everyone is preparing to move on. Now, at thirty, I have seen this cycle over and over. I can sense the shift and I, myself, am tempted to start moving away, distancing myself from those friends and people who will drift out of my life. When you are in college you see it clearly for the first time as people start marrying and making plans for their futures. And it hurts worst the first time.

Especially for a conservative Christian woman, loneliness can feel like rejection. Even more deeply, it can feel like a profound distance between you and God. In college, you create your first circle of community that is all yours. When you see that first circle change or collapse, it can feel like your world is over (well, not really-- in highschool you would have thought that, but in college, you pretend like you are more mature than that.)

What people fail to tell you is that those college years are the first chapter. In a woman's life, you practice making your own circle of society from a pre-fabricated one in highschool. Then, from eighteen to early twenties, you are building your first, independent circle. Highschool is more about relationships; college becomes more about first choices. College is the age or time frame where you really learn about becoming who are you going to be and identifying your passions and dreams.

I fulfilled my own dreams during those years-- I had figured out what I wanted to be and became it. I went to college, finished my degree and got my dietetics internship. had a boyfriend during the last year or so of my post-graduate internship, so I assumed it was all going according to plan. But as I rounded that corner towards the last few months, it all fell apart. Everything was ending. My plans were finished-- my internship was over. I was moving home. I had no job. My boyfriend and I broke up. Everything was ending.

Where was the next part? I assumed what God wanted me to do next was get married. This is a common, and reasonable assumption as a Christian woman. But if it doesn't happen like that, you feel rejected. I did. In fact, that was the worst summer of my Christian life. I even jumped to the conclusion that the gospel couldn't help me because I didn't get what I thought I deserved.

Instead of assuming, like I did, that God didn't have a good plan for me, I should have assumed that He had a good plan. We assume wrongly that God has the same plan for every woman. When, in fact, He has a uniquely good plan for each individual woman. It has to be unique or He wouldn't be a good Creator.

I should have asked, "What's next, Lord?" instead of "Why?" I am not saying that we shouldn't ask why. I am saying that we should see that God has a plan for us for our whole life, not just the first chapter leading to the second chapter. The next chapter after college is worth just as much to him as marriage. It is all a part of his perfect plan. It is not because you are not worthy of marriage, but because God has seen to make you uniquely fitted for the next chapter. He put some natural gifts/skills/talents in you that He wants to use and He wants you to use, too.

Don't be a drop out. Don't drop out of the story, as Paul Miller says in The Praying Life.
You've only finished one chapter. Don't assume there isn't a developing plot. The story He is fulfilling in you is uniquely yours. Just because you don't follow the college --> marriage --> baby track back to back does not mean that God isn't happy with you. Don't take his silence as a sign of his displeasure.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Meaning in chaos.

It is so easy to let it all slide at night.
As a mom, your life is nothing but work. Life keeps going and you still have more to do.
So I turn on the T.V. and just unplug for just a few minutes.

But there is a subtle problem. Has television become my alternative?  Television can become my subtle educator if I let it. Without discernment and determination, entertainment replaces intellect.

I, too, love relaxing to a good movie, and enjoy laughing at the (some great) new sitcoms these evenings. But if I stop fighting for my brain, it will get lost. Trust me, it will. I mean, what could be more self-insulting than to choosing to become more and more stupid and out-of-touch?

So I read. At least I try. I live in Arizona, where we don't have a good local newspaper, so I have to find other ways to stretch my brain. Some options are:
- I read my husband's books (guaranteed brain stretchers)
- I read my husband's magazine (because The Economist quickly reaches towards a global perspective)
- I read my husband's other magazine, Fast Company (so that I don't look stupid when people talk about the impact of say, Job's death on the business world)
- I try to read well written blogs.

The other night, we had a visitor in our bible study. He is a physicist and told us how much he loves the intersection of math, theology and music. Wow. He argued that as a former atheist, he used to believe life in light of entropy . I thought Oh yeah! I know that word! I know what it means! Yeah! I felt so smart. That feeling quickly faded as he so clearly explained why it can't be true. He reminded us that although science argues that all things tend towards chaos, they fail to say that it only remains true in a closed system. A world without God does fall to chaos.

In my life, I may not understand quantum physics, but I can understand chaos.
And I can understand how things fall to disorder (noted: my newly cleaned chair cushions were clean for exactly two hours while the kids were napping; and then Grant promptly leaned over and imprinted a perfect impression of his chubby little chocolate face on to the white cushion-- why do I have white again?!?)

But things like entropy and math and politics, help me to remember that I have to keep learning. I can love God and know Him better when I think. Entropy reminds me that God is actively inserting himself into creation. He is with us. And life may seem to fall apart, but chaos is not God's final outcome.

Ready for your brain challenge? Do you know what this is? Try this blogger out-- she loves math and theology and she challenges us to really think here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Why I cherish her.

She was supposed to be napping.
I was on the phone getting advice from another girlfriend.
I heard her say, Mommy, I need to go potty and I said okay.
But I forgot to listen for the sound of the door closing indicating her return to her room.
After twenty minutes of quiet, while I was still on the phone, it registered.
Is she in her room, asleep?! Wow! That would be nice for once.
I go upstairs to check.
Nope. Nowhere to be seen, but traces of her everywhere.
Makeup dust on my counter.
File folders strewn across the office floor.

I call her.
And then the smell registers.
Nail polish.
I yell. Tell me where you are RIGHT NOW!
I hear her little voice tell me she right here.
Right behind the white couch in my room.
With the red nail polish bottle.
All over her.
But only one drop on the tan carpet.

Little miracles.
Little mercies in the midst of messes.
Half a bottle on her and the window.
None on the white couch.
None on the new curtains.
Nothing permanent on the walls.
Only one drop of red polish on the carpet.

I couldn't punish her. She was just trying to make her hair red for Halloween (she is going to be a modest mermaid). Not that she has seen the movie Little Mermaid, but she knows her hair is supposed to be red.

I am freshly reminded of how precious she is as a girl.
This was me when she was born. I didn't know what sex she was. But my wish was born. All I had wanted was a girl. I read something so shocking different today. Michael Stokes Paulsen comments on the ethical debate in progress today on sex-selective abortions, stating,
Sex-selection abortion occurs in America, too, and the practice is likely to increase. In August, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a simple blood test seven weeks into pregnancy can reliably identify the sex of the child. Watch for a spike in abortion rates over the next few years as parents find it easier and cheaper to “choose” to have a boy by killing the fetus if—in a bitter reversal of an expression of joy—“it’s a girl.
Under the current laws on abortion, a woman can abort for any reason, even if it is for sex-selection.

For me, I cannot imagine life without Kate.
Even her three year-old wiles do not deter me from saying that I have always been glad she was a girl.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Work at...Nutrition

Who doesn't love food? As a dietitian, I love nutritious foods. But as a caterer and not-so-secret fan of butter, I love good food.

Good foods comes at a price though. As we head into the holidays (Halloween to New Years generally generates a lovely five pound gain), consider how you take thought for nutrition, despite the busy season. Are taking care of your health with some good tasting, but good-for-you foods?

I have been seeing a lot of clients lately in my private practice who are having problems controlling their insulin levels, and thus, their weight. One of the ways you can start doing this is by cutting down on your refined carbohydrate intake (i.e. sugar intake).

Although I advocate for carbohydrates all the time, weight loss is easily achieved by following a modified low-carbohydrate diet (for those of you looking for more specifics, just email me here  for a free handout). Some of the challenges of these kinds of dietary modifications is that you really miss some textures, especially the crunchy one.

Here are three popular crunchy recipes I give clients when they are trying to follow this diet: Two of them use seasonal vegetables for salty crisp additions to your salads or snacks and one of them is a new way to think of chicken fingers.
from all
Baked Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale, washed and thoroughly dried
1 Tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray
1 tsp. pink sea salt (or other rougher texture salts)

Lay kale in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Spray or sprinkle kale with olive oil. Bake at 350 preheated over for 10 to 15 minutes until brown, without edges burning. You may need to turn and shake the pan several time to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.

These add a great crunch to boring salads that are missing their croutons.
Crispy Leek Rings
2 leeks, thinly sliced (only whites and light green parts)
Cooking oil spray
Pink sea salt

Lay out thinly sliced rings on a baking sheet lined with Silpat or parchment paper. Separate rings as much as possible and spread in a single layer. Spray with cooking spray or olive oil. Toss to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, turning frequently, until onions are brown. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt and let cool.

Lastly, an old favorite, that replaces bread crumbs with almond flour

Almond Chicken Fingers
1 lb chicken tenders, tendons removed
Wet mix: Whole milk yogurt, about 1 cup mixed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice
Dry rub: 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Trader Joes-- not too finely ground)
1 tsp pink sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence

Heat oven to 400 degrees F and place oven rack in middle-high position. Dip chicken pieces in yogurt mixture to coat. Then roll individually in dry mix until covered. Shake excess dry rub off before laying each coated piece on a baking sheet covered in non-stick foil or parchment paper. Spray all the coated tenders with a non-stick spray or drizzle with olive oil. Season again with salt. Bake for 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and almonds begin to brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
The yogurt coating keeps the chicken moist and tender and the cornstarch add minimal carbohydrates to the overall meal. The carbohydrates contributed by the yogurt is less than one might think as the proteins cook in the heat similar to the effect of heat on milk as you make cheese.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beholding him loved

As I sat on the floor yesterday afternoon picking up the memorabilia that Kate was exploring, I flipped through old cards. Most of them are from my childhood-- from grandparents now dead. In this past year as we have struggled along under financial and emotional stress, I find myself wishing they were alive still. I want to call and ask them, "How did you get through it?" and "What did you do to survive?" or "What will I wish later that I should have done?"

The words of the elderly are always so comforting, even if just from reading old "Happy Birthday" sentiments. It reminded me that I am so loved. If I look from their perspective, my life wouldn't be just about a dirt backyard, an untended tree and my old, broken van. They would be so proud of me. They would see things the way they really stand.

I find myself crying out to God, yesterday afternoon on the floor of my guest room, weeping silently as my daughter slept above me on the bed. Tears came again this morning when I called my only living grandparent, my 80 year old Grandma. I was so discouraged. Not only was my neighbor renovating away, reminding me of how we haven't gotten to anything new in our house in almost three years, but our van needs repairs (again) for the third time in less than four months. Should I let $150 dollars get to me? No, but it does. We have spent an unlikely amount on our cars this year. In my life it IS all about the money, by not having.

I keep coming back to Oswald Chambers quote from My Utmost For His Highest, September 28th, devotional :
"Then Jesus beholding him loved him." (Luke 14:26) The look of Jesus will mean a heart broken for ever from allegiance to any other person or thing. Has Jesus ever looked at you? The look of Jesus transforms and transfixes.
I can be real with God. I can hate every penny we have spent on our van this year and I can cringe that I spent so much time away from my kids to pay for it. But one look from Jesus reminds me. I am loved. Just like the old birthday cards reminded me of how much all those grandparents loved and rejoiced over me, He still does.

I am loved.
I am looked upon.
I am changed.

It is hardest to say "Hallelujah" when it hurts.I am reposting this great link from my friend, Carolyn.

Work at...Reading

One challenge in my life is to keep reading--and in my busy life it becomes tricky. When? Ususally when the kids are bathing or during their naps (when I need a rest and not to get chores dones) and at night before bed. The other part of the challenge is what books??? My favorite source for less than junk writing is a magazine called Bas Bleu. I love their suggestions.

My new current/favorite reads are:
Tailor, Tinker, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre (takes a long time to get going, but very suspenseful)
all of the books by Kate Morton (great beach read if you want something light)
Unbroken by Laura Hilldebrand
Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (see my sidebar-- long but interesting)
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinback (I know, why did it take me so long to get to it???)

The other challenge is to find good  books for my kids, not the run-of-the-mill books, but interesting stories to engage their minds. Grant is at that age where he doesn't want to sit still but he still wants the experience of holding the books. Count so far-- Grant = 2, Library books = 0; this library experience is not turning out to be cheaper than buying my own books. But Kate is fascinated right now. Especially since we found a new section where they keep the fairy-tales. Nothing like wolves and witches to keep them engaged...

Amos and Boris by William Stieg
Lon Po Po by Ed Young
Once a Mouse by Marcia Brown
Big and Small, Room for All by Jo Ellen Bogart
The Costume Party by Victoria Chase
Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? by Eric Carle
Little Red Riding Hood retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
St Goerge and the Dragon retold by Margaret Hodges
Peter and the Wolf by Vladimir Vagin
Rapunzel by Jacoband Wilhelm Grimm, illustrated by Dorothee Duntze
Cinderella illustrated by Charles Parrault

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life + Church

Within the past three years I have seen a lot more conflict than every before in my life + church. Growing up, I was trained in an atmosphere of incredible enthusiasm for the gospel and raw humility that gave me a deep loyalty to church. I have always felt like an alumni to a famous school, where history and loyalty run equally deep. Church, however, has never been a place to live in spiritual optimism. Conflict is inevitable.

That's when you have to go back to your roots.

I was reading my daughter a book today about trees. It describes the root system as something that grounds you. My church experience, no matter how imperfect, grounds me. As an adult, I can look back and say, "Sure. Not everything was great. Not everything they did was right or perfect." But you know what I can't do? I can't  pull up all those roots. My church experience, all of the good and all of the less-than-perfect, is rooted.

You should know a good church when you go back to God's word in the midst of conflict. I am grateful that all my "spiritual DNA", like my friend Carolyn say, tells me to go back to those roots--right doctrine.

Right doctrine is inescapable when you run in to conflict. Youthful optimism says that all problems can and will be fully resolved. But over time, you know it just takes time. God's word tells us that true wisdom means you can live without complete resolution.

I started living with understanding less when I was 17 and my best friend and her family left our church family. I started living with less friends after my own church went through some difficult changes two years ago. And I am going to grieve but accept the loss of even more stability as the church organization I grew up in struggles.

This is not easy. My best friend suffered. I lost friends. And now I am seeing the pastor and his wife who married my in-laws, my own parents and then me and my husband have to leave the church where we all met. All I can do is sink my roots into God's word. Then I know I can learn to allow winds to blow and droughts to come because I know life + church is adding another ring of growth.

I love what these writers have to say here about church.
The Church is THE plan God has for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the world.  There is no Plan B.  The Church is the Bride of Christ.  There is no second wife. The Church, these sinners we find in pews and chairs next to us on Sundays, they are the Church. These people you cannot stand because of their hypocrisy, their judgment, their rejection, THEY are the Bride of Christ.  Just like you and I in our hypocrisy, judgment, and rejection of them and of others are the Bride of Christ.
It is time we stopped being surprised by what we find inside these buildings.  These buildings ARE full of sinners.  These buildings ARE full of broken people.  These buildings ARE full of people who are just as desperately in need of a Savior as you or I.  It should come as no surprise, and yet we continue to use the brokenness of others as a reason to leave church*, as a reason to say, “I’m a Christ-follower, but I’m not a Christian,” or, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t go to church.”
The Church is not perfect, but it IS God’s perfect plan for sharing the Gospel with the world.  We can choose to enter into that identity as His Bride, aware of its brokenness, aware that Christ shows up in broken places, or we can continue to sow division, trying to separate ourselves from THOSE Christians.  But that does not change who the Church is.  The Church is not perfect, but it IS the Bride of Christ. -Haley

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Title : Home + Work

This blog isn't just a chronicle anymore. After six years, it isn't just the story of my journey from Maryland to Arizona. It is the modern version of a journal. I think we all need to know why we blog, which is what I wrote about here. As I was brewing about this whole idea, this quote surfaced back to me this morning as I lay in bed: We can never live rightly until we think rightly.

We have to get our priorities in order. It helps me to balance the many demands on my life, because I can't live without listening for God's voice to help me choose the most important things. For me, my true life starts with my inner, religious self. Then it grows outward. Where I see God at work is not just the secret and inward, but in the continuous growth that spirals around and outward from there.

I am trying to say that God is all about our real life. As a women, my life calling as a daughter of Christ is first expressed in the relationships closest to me. The avenue for this as a woman is in the home-- not the physical building but the idea of a community. For me, as a married woman, this means my husband first; then, as a mother, it means building relationship with my children. It also has direct application to the relationship around us in our church community, our neighborhoods, our local community.

I believe that our other sphere of influence is work. Women may or may not work in a professional sense. But they are always working. If you think about it, life is work. God intended it this way when he called us to subdue the earth in Genesis. Even if you are not a religious person, you can still see the reality of this in the world around us.

How do you, reader, view your life? Do you see life as home + work? What are the categories you use?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Work at...

This begins a series on things I am passionate to work on.
No particular order. Just a series of topics and hobbies that I love.
It's not to brag. It's to celebrate.

I think we all understand our role in this world to create order-- whether it's cleaning a bathroom or getting ahead at work. However, it can be easy to forget to celebrate the Creator God who has given us each a unique set of natural gifts and skills that He has grown in us throughout our lives in little, creative ways. It can be easy to ignore these as we focus intently on our roles-- as woman, wife, mother, sister, daughter, church member. However, I am a fervent believer in continuing to grow; not just in the function of creating order around us, but in the creative, the risks, the intellect, the spirit, the qualities that God uniquely gives us as humans. If we merely live by order, we mechanize our lives into the mundane, and then I find myself wondering why I feel so depressed.

Do you find yourself giving up on having your own pursuits just trying to keep order?

It doesn't even have to be something that profound. For me, I took out the sewing machine last week.
I have always loved to sew since my Grandmother taught me at eight. However, sewing and children don't really mix quite yet in the toddler phase. It's not like my children were running around with ten inch scissors or anything.

I might not be able to do as much sewing as I want to but I don't have to give it all up. That is a fear and a wrong assumption of parenting. We don't have to give up everything. I can still sew during naps and little times when they are occupied. I've can still do a couple alterations. And a Halloween costume here and there. I just probably am not going to be a couture seamstress while I have toddlers.

It's good to remind myself how fulfilling creativity is and how we were intended to find JOY in the use of our skills, talents, and interests, however small or good (or not so good).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Checks and balances.

A recent radio broadcast caught my attention. A report from NPR spoke of a Saudi woman, where it is illegal for a woman to drive getting behind the wheel, because she believes she had to take a stand for the next generation. She couldn't imagine the next generation of women not being able to drive. This woman was doing something and communicating passionately about the difference she could make.

When I think of passionate women throughout history, many names come to mind. Start with women from the Bible and you get bold Abigail and courageous Mary Magdalene. In American history, we recognize Abigail Adams as a founding mother and Harriet Tubman for her persistent work against slavery. Around the world we have examples of women who are making strides against injustice and social inequality. Even the impoverished woman who is choosing to send her daughter to school is making a bold statement about how she wants to change the world. 

These women are making a difference by choosing carefully what they do and what they say as defined by what they value.

In our comfortable lives in the United States, it can be easy to forget and ignore the privilege we women have of equality and justice. I believe that our privileges allow us to promote our calling as Christian women; but we should steward this gift wisely. We should not be so quick to ignore how we can and should make a difference in the world.

When I say to make a difference in the world, I am actually applauding all the expressions of our passions and natural gifts as well as work. If I am passionate about nutrition, then I should teach it to others. If you have a beautiful eye for photography, then enlighten us! If you are awesome at cutting hair, then come fix mine! There is nothing more inspiring that someone passionate and gifted who shares their gifts.

This is why the internet is such a double edged sword-- there are many gifts to be shared. It is like what the Bible has to say about the tongue-- it can be used for great good and great evil. The internet offers us the possibility to communicate to large amounts of people lots of information. I think it is so easy to get dragged into just the simple problem of comparing what I am good at with others.


We can also change the world. Even if it's just a slight improvement.

All I needed was a cute little picture of a child in a cute outfit while I stare at my grungy one in hand-me-downs and it changed my perspective.

Have you thought about what you spend your time doing and communicating? I am asking myself these questions as well. Is my online presence and participation meaningful? Do I use it for good, or just get dragged into feeling like my life is grungy, boring and meaningless compared to everyone else's world.

How do you, reader, keep your digital presence true with checks and balances?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Underneath it all

I am always asking the "why" questions? As I have been blogging over the past few days, I have gone with my gut on the overall principles of the Bible on communication. This morning as I read Oswald Chambers, I was led to a verse I think really illustrates what I have expressed.

  "  If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.  " 
(John 7:17-18 ESV, emphasis mine)
As we think about both developing and communicating our passions as well as exemplifying a gospel-oriented heart, Jesus gives us words to use.

Blogging isn't wrong. Pintrest isn't bragging. Facebook isn't just voyeurism. Social media and digital communication can be used for good. There are so many ways to use it for good. What I have been speaking about is to develop your own conscience about communication.

Jesus encourages us to differentiate between seeking our own glory and God's glory. He also makes it clear that there is danger in speaking with misplaced self-authority. I think we can avoid falsehood as the trap of digital communication, while still communicating the beauty we find in our lives with the world.

What are your guiding principles for using social media and digital communication as a part of your life? What are the traps of it for you, reader?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Developing a passion

What I said about not boasting in my previous post does not mean I think that women should just blog about spiritual matters. I think it is essential to a Godly woman to develop her sense of calling, and then to communicate passionately about her calling. Therein lies a complete difference between communicating your life and what you are passionate about instead of boasting about what you wish you could be, do or make.

A woman's calling is not primarily defined by relationship-- wife, mother or so forth. It is the calling of woman as a daughter of God. It is having a sense of her Creator and her creation as a woman with natural inclinations and skills. The expression of those, let us call them talents, is natural. If a woman is aware of her source, that God created her with those abilities, then there isn't much room to boast.

How many women do you know that have a sure sense of calling?
Yesterday, I spoke freely on what I sense is a warped sense of calling-- the call of a Christian woman to create and communicate a perfect impression of womanhood. The perfect body, the perfect marriage, the perfect children, the perfect home.

Even secular women have given up on this ideal. It seems like Christian women are still holding out that they can do it all. We think we have to embody the ideal Proverbs 31 woman, who was in fact, not really based on one woman after all but the best idea of a woman King Lemuel should marry.

This is where developing a passionate sense of calling becomes essential.

I can't do it all. But if I keep the priorities of what I am passionate about first (as under God's authority, of course), I am less like to burn out. I am passionate about my husband, my children, cooking, and nutrition. A clean house is very important to me, but I'll be the first one to admit that you work far too hard to keep it that way against insurmountable odds. If I had the money, I would totally pay a cleaning lady. And I did this summer when I had to work 2-3 days a week.

So my floors are dirty. Again. It is impossible to keep up with it all. If dirty floors aren't that important to me, then I can free myself up from irrational guilt and move on to the more important things.

Are you staying passionate about the things you are skilled in? Have you given up because you feel like it is crowded out by the urgent matters of life? I would love to hear how you inspire passionate living in your life and professions...

Thursday, October 06, 2011


When I thought about blogging over the past six months, I must admit, I cringed.

It seemed like just another thing to do.

And the glory seemed to have passed. I mean, let's admit, it's not like there isn't a hundred of avenues of digital media to attend to.We have Pintrest, we have Facebook, we have Twitter, we have photo-sharing, among other things. There are so many ways to share. I mean, I have been doing this for seven years now.

So what's the point? No, absence doesn't just make the heart grow fonder. I have come back to blog because I believe in it.

Why? It is the why that brings me back.  Communication for the Christian is a core value to community. If we stop communicating, we stop connecting.

The reasons I have not blogged have been numerous-- computer problems, crises, travel, children-- but ultimately, I have shied away from blogging is the atmosphere of boasting. In our modern age, communication through digital media can become shameless self-promotion. Especially, I find, among Christian women. We blog about our seemingly wonderful life, we post pictures of our perfect home projects, we share digitally-enhanced photos of our babies, we link to recipes that make us look healthier than we really are, and promote our opinions in fields where we have limited scope of knowledge. It started to disgust me.

I say, yes, let's share. I want to blog. I want to post cute pictures. I love Martha Stewart projects. I want to Tweet pithy statements. I love spying on old friends through Facebook.

But in order for me to do something I must know why. I have to define why I do something. Communication for me must have a purpose-- "building one another up". Also, I have to be honest about myself. I have been draw back to blogging by reading secular blogs by people who don't hide their true selves in the process of writing. Let's not hide our true selves by projecting a perfect image. Christians know, of anyone, that we are not perfect.

I want to blog not because I want to boast about my perfections; I want to draw people into my real life. I want to communicate Who makes my life meaningful and gives me purpose. In the absence of God, digital communication can start to look like a Pintrest of glossy ideals that don't reflect the desperate woman that I am for God to help me get out of my workout clothes and speak kind words to my children.

So, if anyone is still following, I hope you'll read.