Why It’s Important to Read About the Crucifixion

I’ve never been particularly fond of the Crucifixion accounts in the Gospels. I feel sad when I read them. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable when I read them. Why couldn’t the apostles have focused a bit more on the Resurrection and a bit less on Jesus’ suffering-filled death? As Easter … [Read more...]

How to Have a Hospitality-Ready Heart

Last week we looked at some ways to have hospitality-ready homes. I mentioned several practical strategies, but one strategy—preparing to welcome guests with genuine enthusiasm—is not practical. Instead, it relates to the state of our hearts. In trying to prepare my heart for hospitality, … [Read more...]

Christ-Focused Easter Traditions

For many individuals, the term “Easter” conjures up images of candy-filled eggs, gift baskets, and an anthropomorphic bunny. These cultural traditions often overshadow the fact that Easter is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. There is a lot of debate about the origins of these … [Read more...]

6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time

There are a lot of families with young children in my church. These families are generally easy to identify because we’re the ones straggling in after service has begun! Being prompt is important to me, so I decided to take action when I realized we were falling into a pattern of arriving … [Read more...]

He’ll Catch You If You Fall

Do you ever hold back when pursuing the things you feel called to because you’re afraid you’ll stumble or fall? I sometimes do. I’ll become paralyzed by the doubts and concerns that swirl in my mind. What will happen if I fail? Will God be disappointed in me? Will my family and friends be … [Read more...]

Thriving Amid the Messes of Motherhood

Being a mother means facing one mess after another. There are poopy diapers, floors covered in toys, appliances covered in greasy handprints, backseats strewn with snack crumbs, and bedsheets soiled with vomit. When I work to get one of these messes cleaned up, you can be certain my kids are busy … [Read more...]

Sacrificing at the Altar of Getting Things Done

If you’ve read a lot here on Of The Hearth, then you’re likely aware that I value hard work and productivity. Whether I'm battling laziness, identifying the reasons I struggle to get things done, or trying to overcome procrastination, it seems I'm always trying to get more done. Given I spend … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Cultivate Love for People

Sometimes I grow irritated with my fellow human beings after getting stuck in traffic or having to wait for a long time in a public place like the DMV or a doctor’s office. I see people acting rudely and without regard for others (e.g., cutting off other drivers when in a traffic jam, leaving trash … [Read more...]

DIY Jesse Tree Ornaments

As I noted when I wrote last summer about Christ-focused Advent traditions, the Jesse Tree is one of my favorite parts of Christmas. A Jesse Tree helps families reflect on the people, prophesies, and events that preceded Christ’s birth.  There is one Jesse Tree reading for each day of Advent. … [Read more...]

Nipping Discontentedness in the Bud

My mind was swarming with negative thoughts as we drove to church a few weeks ago. I wish I had more time to get things done. I wish my infant would nap for longer stretches. I wish my husband would help out a little more around the house. Though these thoughts were about different things, they were … [Read more...]