Nevertheless, She Persisted in Christ: Aging with Grace

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Certain family heirlooms draw instant mental images of my grandma: an ornate handheld mirror depicting a Victorian woman twirling in a resplendent red dress; a lamb-shaped refrigerator magnet declaring, “Ewe’s Not Fat; Ewe’s Just Fluffy”; an antique anniversary clock that managed to survive four generations without sustaining injury to its delicate glass dome.

The clock is an elegant, Old World relic. It draws power from a torsion pendulum, a mechanism comprising four chrome balls that oscillate clockwise and counterclockwise, powering the clock’s gears in mesmerizing fashion. I spent many cherished moments nestled in my grandma’s lap, staring transfixed at that clock resting beside her fading plush recliner, not knowing that it could run an entire year on a single winding. I didn’t realize how it represented the perseverance of a devoted daughter of Christ.

Read full article at Morning by Morning.

Ordinary Influence: Advancing the Kingdom Without Being an Evangelical Celebrity

Blank stares. A cleared throat. Some “hmmming” and legs being crossed, then uncrossed. You can always tell when women feel uncomfortable answering a question in a group discussion. In this case, the group was discussing the speeches we’d just heard during a conference video streamed at our church women’s retreat. The conversation had been moving steadily until we reached a stumper: “Who in your sphere of influence could you disciple to follow Christ?”

It’s an intimidating question to pose to a crowd of teachers, office professionals, and stay-at-home moms and grandmas right after listening to powerhouse Christian speakers deliver rousing messages.

Many of us who occupy “ordinary” roles find it difficult to acknowledge our impact on other people. We underestimate the effect we have on others, not necessarily because we’re humble, but because we doubt the actual merit of our oftentimes mundane work.

This is an easy lie to believe, especially in today’s culture. It takes a quick scroll through Instagram and some simple math to compare our number of followers to a peer’s and conclude we’re not as popular, and thus, not all that influential.

Read full post at Morning by Morning.

If I Had a Daughter

Hair bows, leg warmers, ballet flats – things that shimmer, things that tie neatly, things that smell pleasant – sequins, ruffles, and all the shades of pink that could ever be squeezed out of the palette.

This is a world that is foreign to me, a culture I don’t belong in, much less comprehend, because I don’t have a daughter.

I have two sons, the rough and tumble kind, children awaited and prayed for – and I absolutely wouldn’t have it any other way. I embrace the boymom role full on, arms wide open, anticipating the tackle and dogpile to come.

There are times, though, that my mind wanders to that sparkly realm of possibilities, like when I’m venturing into the princess section shopping for a friend’s daughter’s birthday. It makes me wonder, or I guess you could even say, dream:

What would it be like to have a daughter?

Read full post at Her View From Home.

Remembering Emily

Lately I’ve lacked the time and motivation to do much blogging, but today I wanted to write a quick post in remembrance of my first sister-in-law, Emily Soule Hesse, who died in a car accident six years ago on this day.

My sister-in-law Emily reminded me of my own sister Emily in several ways: she was smart, beautiful, funny, and a stylish dresser. She was an extremely passionate person, always eager to talk about her interest in psychology or desire to help those struggling with eating disorders. Most of all, she was passionate about her faith, family, and friends, and when you talked with her over coffee, you could tell she was really listening and truly cared.

Emily also reminded me of myself in a few ways: she was sensitive and wore her heart on her sleeve, she hated to lose at putt-putt golf, and she loved a pretty sarcastic guy who enjoyed teasing his wife. She was my ally and friend, and I was sad when she left this home for her eternal one.

We will always remember Emily and look forward to seeing her along with other loved ones in heaven someday.

Today I have a new sister-in-law, another ally and friend, and I am grateful to have her join our family, to have another woman to talk to and hang out with when the guys are playing Call of Duty or lamenting the latest Seahawks’ loss. I’m also thankful for Emily’s sisters, Bekah and Jess, and my parents-in-law, and on some days, my brother-in-law Gavin. And of course I’m blessed with the greatest parents and siblings and other bro-in-law ever.

It’s good to be part of the Hesse/Brandler family.