Straddling Cultures

“You were homeschooled too?” I had a joined a couple of our discipleship group leader girls in the cafeteria over lunch. It was as if a spark went off. Suddenly, we could share about our experiences taking co-op classes and laugh about fifteen-passenger vans (especially the ones with at least ten mini-people bumper stickers on…

To Be Clean

Growing up, my dad would periodically announce garage cleaning days. Whatever plans we had for the day were dropped, and all four of us siblings would troop out to the garage to start tackling the piles of bikes, sports equipment, and car parts that would inevitably collect. Toward the end of the day, one of us…

Why I Need the Gospel Every Day

It’s so simple, but it’s never struck me as so profound, so connected to life. I’ve been a Christian for twelve years, and too often, the simple message of the gospel has seemed so elementary. “That was great for when I first became a Christian, but how does that impact my life now?” I didn’t…

Downloadable Prayer Guide

Hi friends! It’s been a while since I wrote. Life has been busy with study, work, and helping out with my college’s prayer team—with my family’s move and transitioning into a new place myself thrown into the mix. All good—but sometimes the sheer weight of responsibility, whatever the season you’re in, starts to weigh you…

Looking for God’s Edelweiss

Life at the Dotten house is pretty crazy right now. Not only did we have to pack up and move with about month’s notice, we found that our tenant ruined most of the flooring in our new house, so we’re in the major demolition and remodeling faze now. In the middle of it all, I’m…

The Pen is His

“There is a place where your fears must meet the God you know.”[1] Where is that place? It’s here. Here—as I sit at my desk, books, journals, half-written letters scattered around me, somehow reminiscent of how out-of-control my own life feels. Behind me is difficulty, those haunting memories of trials that only time can work…

Look to the Bulwark!

Imagine being inside a castle during a siege. Outside the thick, stone walls surrounding you, the enemy is shooting flaming arrows and preparing a massive siege engine to ram against your gates. Occasionally, you are jolted awake as huge boulders are catapulted against the stone walls. But despite their ceaseless attacks, you are safe. The…

5 Must-Reads for Young Ladies

My family loves to tease me for being notoriously bad at directions … and for being the family bookworm, which ironically, have a lot to do with each other. The truth is, I never paid any attention to where we were going — that is, until I had to start driving — because I normally…

Encouraging our Siblings Toward Christ

As the oldest daughter in my family, I had many dreams of being the “ideal oldest sister.” My siblings would always feel like they could share anything with me, they’d never feel like I was too busy for them, and I would always be the perfect example. Well, it didn’t take long for me to…

Encouragement in Times of Uncertainty

There’s something about uncertainty that gnaws at you. It’s the thousand “what ifs” that can so easily hijack the mind and spin you into an endless cycle of worry. Sometimes it feels like there’s a storm brewing of confusion and just wish desperately you knew where you were going. But in the midst of the…