• encouragement,  Vocation

    Strength in Weakness?

    By Elizabeth Ahlman While we were living in Leipzig, Germany, my family and I had several opportunities to visit Lutherstadt Wittenberg. In the courtyard of the Black Cloister is one of my favorite statues. It’s Katie Luther, full skirts swishing out, arms pumping, looking as if she was striding purposefully across that courtyard. If anything depicts a womanly strength, it’s that statue. Katie looks all business, as if ready to take on anything — as if ready to go to battle on her own little homefront (or not so little, as the Black Cloister was actually huge). Historians and perhaps lore tell us that Katie was strong and bold –…

  • Vocation

    Katie’s Bookshelf- Review of Scarlet Virgins: When Sex Replaces Salvation

    By Ellie Corrow The sexual revolution brought many challenges and questions to Christians and social conservatives who saw the dangers in seemingly rampant hedonism, but felt unequipped to address it within their families. Stepping in to fill this breach was a bevy of books and programs such as True Love Waits, Silver Ring Thing, and I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which gained widespread largely uncritical acceptance across the breadth of conservative Christian denominations. The sexual purity movement, as it is collectively known, and its accompanying educational materials, have since become something of a roadmap for concerned parents and youth leaders attempting to guide children through the modern wasteland of sexual ethics.…

  • Doctrine,  Vocation

    For Holy Week

    By Bethany Kilcrease If anyone is still looking for some good devotional reading for Holy Week and beyond, let me introduce you to a hidden gem recently written by a Lutheran woman. I have been reading and re-reading Carolyn Brinkley’s Bearing the Cross: Devotions on Albrecht Dürer’s Small Passion (CPH, 2012) for several years now and heartily recommend it to anyone. Deaconess Brinkley uses the artist Albrecht Dürer’s series of woodcut images called the Small Passion (1511) as the basis for thirty-four short devotions. As implied by the title Small Passion, Dürer’s extremely detailed woodcuts portray scenes Christ’s Passion, although Dürer and Brinkley also contextualize the Passion narrative with images…

  • encouragement,  Katie Luther Posts,  Motherhood,  Vocation

    Never Done

    By Vanessa Rasanen It is currently 4:30am. I have been up since 2:45 when our youngest woke up and refused to go back to sleep. To be fair, my husband initially got up with him at 2 (!) and tried to settle him back down, but as he has a 12 hour shift at the ER today, it seemed best that I tag him out and let him head back to bed. For 45 minutes I rocked and cuddled our little man before finally giving up, brewing some coffee, and settling onto the couch to let him play. And in my head I’m replaying the words I said to friends…

  • Katie Luther Posts,  Vocation

    To Compare or Not To Compare

    By Vanessa Rasanen ”You cannot compare your children to each other.” I receive this admonishment at nearly every well-child visit. I hear it so often from our pediatrician that I now anticipate it as much as I do her sweet hellos to the kids. This latest appointment for our youngest’s 18-month check up was no exception. Yet it was. Immediately after reminding me not to compare my kiddos, she asked me if any of our older kids had similar body proportions (ie, bottom of the charts for height and weight but top of the chart for head size). I laughed. Inside, of course. I’m not completely rude. Most of the…

  • Katie Luther Posts,  Vocation

    What If You Hate Your Vocation

    By Vanessa Rasanen Years ago I found myself sitting in a fairly small, basement office contemplating how to answer my manager’s question. I was fresh out of college and grateful to have landed the job (and not have to spend another few years in graduate school). I had loved my major, so it was a bit of a shock to find my first job — one in which my title actually matched the words on my degree — held so little resemblance to my expectations. And there I was, facing my manager and struggling to find the words to explain where I hoped to be in five years. Five years…

  • encouragement,  Katie Luther Posts,  Motherhood,  Vocation

    Some Dreams Have to Wait and That’s Okay

    By Vanessa Rasanen Years ago during my active blogging days I attended a conference for Christian bloggers and writers. It was a disaster for many reasons, none of which are pertinent here, but there’s one piece of advice a fellow writer had offered to me — unsolicited, of course — that has nagged at me since. We had been discussing how to write a novel while being a parent with young kids. Her advice? Don’t put it off for years. Get it done. Make the time. It was really the only piece of advice I heeded from that awful weekend, and I set to work on my manuscript. I worked…

  • encouragement,  Katie Luther Posts,  Motherhood,  Vocation

    I Make Motherhood Look Awful

    By Vanessa Rasanen Tomorrow is Monday. Again. I will get up before the sun — and hope I rise before any of the kids do. I’ll feed the dog, let him out, and groggily reheat coffee that I brewed on Sunday morning, because 1) I only know how to make 12 cups at a time, b) I can’t drink 12 cups in one day (*for shame!*), and finally, meh. Reheated day-old coffee is as home to me as cold eggs on a slice of toast that my three year old has snuck a bite out of while I hear cries of “Mom! I need help wiping my bum!”. After feeding,…

  • encouragement,  Vocation

    You Are Not Enough And Never Will Be

    By Vanessa Rasanen No, that’s not a clickbait title. It’s the truth. I realize it’s not the feel-good message we all crave and then share emphatically to our social media with a bold “THIS!” attached. But I don’t really care, because I’m not here to tell you what you want to hear. I didn’t wake up early and reheat yesterday’s coffee to type out empty words. So, sorry hon, but you are not enough. You never will be enough. If you’re like me, my friends, and pretty much any other human being on the planet, you probably — perhaps not always, but at some point — have felt that prickly…

  • Vocation

    Who Am I Exactly?

    By Vanessa Rasanen Trends come and go, especially in the world of social media. Some are awesome — I did love seeing friends’ “love your spouse” challenge posts. And others? Not so much. The latest one has popped up in both Facebook and instagram, and I rather enjoy it. Friends share the three fictional characters that match their personality. It’s been a lot of fun to get a glimpse of how my friends and acquaintances view themselves. Sometimes I nod and laugh at how spot-on their picks are. And others I’m surprised. But overall it’s been fascinating and entertaining. While I don’t participate in many of these things, I have wanted to with this one. Seems easy enough, I…