Swept Up By the Wonder of Our Great God


The humidity hung on my shirt, sticky and dense. I felt heavy trying to take in a breath as my cab whizzed through Queens and into Manhattan, taking me home after a summer spent in my heart’s home: the beautiful mountains of the Pacific Northwest, full of glacier lakes and lush beauty. Back in the city, all I could see was grime. Trash piled high on sidewalks, crumbling concrete, dull paint. I closed my eyes and cringed as my children called out that they spotted the Chrystler Building, now The Empire State’s tip, and the Freedom Tower beyond.  Even as they celebrated the familiar scene of a city that was home for them, all I could see was grey and bleak.

My life was being overtaken by the mundane, by unpacking and suitcases piled high. In an attempt to brighten my disposition, and take a small break, the next day I suggested a trek to the American Museum of Natural History. We entered the Planetarium and were seated for a show about the expansion of space and the beauty of the stars. The narrator’s deep voice spoke of the vastness of the Universe as we reclined back in our soft chairs and lights swirled above us, simulating virtual travel throughout our solar system and beyond.

It was really quite beautiful. The show was exhilarating and my children’s eyes were wide as they gazed above at the glory of the heavens. But then, the picture slowed and a fuzzy sound echoed. Radio waves had picked up the noise we often hear when the television goes black and white, but it was a sound that was expanding everywhere, in proportion to the growth of the Universe. Astronomers began to explain that they can pin point this sound as being there at the very moment that the Universe began. At the very time the stars came into existence, it seems they were preceded by this noise. This Word. Goosebumps rose on my arms.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. -John 1: 1-5

Stars were formed and worlds were made and are made and sustained by the Word alone. And now, even in the heavens, the sound, the sound that is undeniably present and real has been made known as the source of the Universe, even to those who do not know him, who do not put their trust in him. I sunk low in my seat, frozen; taking in the wonder of the King of my heart as I saw his light twinkling in the stars of the Planetarium. This beauty, this light, this was everywhere and there was the promise that it would never be run through by darkness but rather shine into every crevice as the light of men.

And this Magnificent Maker of the Stars is the one who lays a feast before me. He is the one who welcomes me to his table and begs me to eat. He is the one who longs to nourish my soul with his very self and stretch my life beyond my borders. And here I was, complaining just twenty-four hours before about my circumstances, wanting things my own way. But, what was once bleak and gray before my eyes fades in the glory of his light. Thanksgiving replaced discontent in the presence of Christ. As I gaze and marvel at the beauty of my Creator, my capacity grows, stretches and transforms, and I find myself tucked into His life.

There are days when our children need us to stop and stargaze with them. To lay aside the mundane and sweep them into the glory of the God who hung the stars into place. They need to see us marvel at his works. They need to see our hearts bolstered by his magnificent love and awe of our Great Big God.

Is there something today that is keeping you from truly seeing the majesty of Christ? Is there something bleak that is blinding the true light of the living Word in your life? Would you turn it over to him today and ask that he give you a greater sense of his wonder and majesty?

May the starry nights we take in the rest of this summer point us to the Maker of Heaven and Earth and instill awe and delight in our hearts and in the hearts of our children.



Learning To Parent Together


My husband and I are in a season of learning how to parent together. For awhile, I was doing things my way and he was doing things his way. Every now and then we chimed in and gave each other pointers on how to handle a situation. And of course we … [Continue reading]

How will our children know that God is real?

How will our children know that God is real

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 (NIV) Our family loves the zoo, especially the African safari, aquarium, … [Continue reading]

What Children Really Need From a Father


Fatherless. Perhaps no term better describes the state of mankind across the globe right now than this one. In many nations this description is practically a one-way guaranteed ticket to poverty, homelessness and starvation. In others, multiple … [Continue reading]

God, Not Google

Touch screen mobile phone

My daughter Noelle came home from school and her right eye looked red.  Do you know what I did right away?  I googled “pinkeye” to read about its symptoms and treatment. I have a feeling you’ve done this too.  Having the Internet is like having … [Continue reading]

Passing Notes

In 2006, when my oldest daughter was 8 years old, I bought a small notebook at Walmart and wrote this note to her on the first page, “This will be a little notebook for us to write notes to each other all year.  You can write about anything you … [Continue reading]

Your Heavenly Father in Law

Your Heavenly Father in Law

Three decades ago, my soon-to-be father-in-law stood up to say a few words at my and Lisa’s wedding rehearsal dinner. He broke out in tears halfway through. Bill wasn’t particularly sentimental, and over two decades passed before he explained what … [Continue reading]

6 Benefits of Living in a Smaller Home

benefits of living in a smaller home

For over a year I’ve been asking God for the same thing — a bigger home. I’ve thought of fifteen different ways to rephrase that statement so I don’t sound greedy or discontent, but it’s the truth: I want a bigger home. I’ve struggled with our … [Continue reading]

Finding the Way When Your Marriage is Broken


One summer when I was in college, I spent several weeks doing door-to-door book sales in Tennessee with a friend. One night after heading back home to Michigan, I found myself going around a loop in Indianapolis. I took a wrong turn and exited to get … [Continue reading]

When Sickness Invades Your House


Five hospital visits in less than twelve months. And this was just for one person in our home. It didn’t include the children’s hospital visits for two of my children or the ones for extended memories of my family that crazily all happened around … [Continue reading]