• encouragement,  Motherhood

    Tips to Help Kids Through A Move

    By Emily Cook The craziest thing happened today. It was a mini-miracle in my own living room, during our family devotion time.  It almost made my heart stop. My son, with hands folded and head bowed, said in his prayer, “Thank you God for calling us here.” It’s happened with each of us, but I wasn’t sure it would happen with him. It’s been seven months since The Big Move. The changes were huge and sudden, and  the Big Feelings came like waves pushing all of us around at different times, in different ways.  Denial, Anger, Excitement, Fear, Sadness, Bargaining, Pouting, Acceptance. And finally, gratitude. I wrote this to him later…

  • encouragement,  Friendship

    Nine Lessons Learned In Our Recent Move

    By Emily Cook In the fall of 2015, my husband took a call to a new church in another state. We packed up our children and our stuff, said a million tearful goodbyes, and left the place we had called “home” for many years. It is now spring in the new place, and we are on the other side of the upheaval. Here are some things God has been teaching us as He dragged/carried us through these past few months. I hope it will be helpful to others who are unsettled today! It’s OK to be sad A move means saying goodbye to a season of life, a place full…

  • Katie Luther Posts

    The Night Will Soon Be Ending

    By Emily Cook The glitter of Christmas has a way of highlighting the brokenness of the world for me. When Christmas is about the merely material side of things, it is as if the world gathers to string lights on platitudes and empty hopes, or to put frosting on a rotting cookie. I see the emptiness of the platitudes, the rottenness of the gifts the world offers. Mere Christmas lights are not bright enough to truly pierce the darkness of this broken place, of our aching hearts. And yet, we gather with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we sing: The night will soon be ending; the dawn cannot…

  • Katie Luther Posts

    Stuff Some Rolls in your Purse (on bringing the liturgy home)

    By Emily Cook It’s time for the Divine Service! Our Sunday Feast! Here, the gifts of God are poured out in so much abundance that one can hardly take it all in! It’s going to be a party! Oh wait, I have children. Never mind. It’s going to be a battle. If you have children, you know they aren’t exactly interested in taking it all in. They’re not there for the “food,” so to speak. They are their to wave to their friends, to drop the offering with a loud clatter on the floor, to lick the hymnals, and to color on their dress pants. So what’s a mother to…

  • Fall Cemetery
    Katie Luther Posts

    Growing Up: Remembering the Saints

    By Emily Cook “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It is a common question that leads to an entertaining conversation around our dinner table. “I want to be a mommy and have ten babies when I grow up!” “I want to be a car fixer!” “I’m going to give spankings when I grow up.” While we may occasionally get a glimpse into what is important to each child as they answer this question, more often we just get a good laugh. Children really cannot comprehend life that far in the future. As we all know, kids tend to think that life is going to stay just…

  • Motherhood

    Narrator-mothers

    By Emily Cook Sometimes, serving one’s neighbor means doing things out loud. I remember, before children, when I would make dinner in silence. I just did what had to be done, and I didn’t explain myself to anyone. Now, when I make dinner, I prattle on and on: “Move, honey, so mama can get the pot out. Look, I’m filling it up with water. We will wait for it to boil, then we’ll add the yummy pasta. Do you want to watch me cut the carrots?  Maybe you can help me put them on the plate when I’m done. One, two, three, four carrots. Yum, carrots. Should we cut some…

  • Motherhood

    Lutheran Labor Singers–satire

    By Emily Cook   (This post is a lighter and silly one) This week, I was blessed to meet for tea with a special woman: Topanga Lovegood. Topanga is the president of Lutheran Labor Singers, Inc., a brand new Lutheran ministry (official synod endorsement pending.) She was joined by Soliel, the very first mother to make use of this unusual ministry. Soliel, a self-described “natural mother,” spoke to us wearing her baby. “It all started at our women’s Bible study. I was weeks from delivery, and planning my own home birth. I considering how to bring my child into the world in the best, most natural, most peaceful way possible…”…

  • Katie Luther Posts

    A New Song

    By Emily Cook Once, in a college class, we were discussing finding God in nature. I was asked to look outside at a nearby tree, and tell the class what it told me about God. “Um… it’s reaching up to the sky to show us we need God?” Maybe. Or maybe it has outstretched arms to teach us to embrace the whole world? Or perhaps a tree has disorganized branches because God loves wild spiky hair and hairspray is an affront to God? Point made, professor. We can be inspired by nature, but we can’t “read” it.  Without revelation, there is little we can say for certain. But we have…

  • Doctrine,  encouragement,  Justification,  Motherhood

    Welcome Spring

    By Emily Cook  “It’s like this, children,” said pastor-daddy, trying to explain the mysteries of faith one bleary morning, “Imagine little Peter walked across the street to the pond, and he fell through the ice and he died.” “No daddy I didn’t do that!” “Peter, it’s just a story, like a parable, I know it didn’t really happen.” “But I DIDN’T! Don’t laugh at me, Marcus!” “Okay, Peter.  We know. Just listen.” “So, imagine he died. Could he call for help then? If he were dead, could he wave his arms and holler for us to come save him?” Heads shake. No way. That’s ridiculous. “Of course not. This is…

  • encouragement,  Katie Luther Posts

    Fresh Air

    by Emily Cook Sunday morning, people in tight shoes and uncomfortable clothes greet each other: “Hi, how are you?” “Oh, pretty good. Busy of course. You?” “Yep, pretty busy, but we’re hanging in there!” And off we go to sit in the pews. We keep most to ourselves, not wanting to burden every one we see with our problems.  We do this because we are strong, or proud, or afraid, or kind, or just in a hurry.  We control how much of ourselves we expose, and this is not entirely a bad thing. As I sat in church this Sunday in my itchy nylons and tight mask, I wondered what…