The Songs I Sing


I sing little songs to myself while I’m waiting.

This fact was made known to me quite recently, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

I teach classes for a non-profit organization. As part of my job, I demonstrate procedures before I have the class follow along with me.

Several months ago, while I was waiting for the computer to process the steps I had just entered, I sang to myself. The class proceeded to sing the little tune with me before they erupted with laughter. Shocked, dismayed, and wholly confused, I asked what had struck the class with amusement. They reported with glee:

“You always sing that song while you wait.”

Volunteer Spotlight

Several years ago, seven college students piled into a 5-seater jalopy and set out to visit a church. The rest is history. Now almost every Sunday during the school year, students from University of Puget Sound fill several rows of chairs for worship at Discovery.

The faces change from year to year, but one of those first students still comes almost every week. Those who have met Lindsey Roberts don’t quickly forget her smiling face and friendly greeting.

Lindsey was a freshman when she started coming to Discovery, and it didn’t take long for her to look around for a place she could serve. Three years ago, she started with the Levite team, helping with set-up, and she continues to serve on that team throughout the school year.

Last year Lindsey started volunteering on Wednesday mornings to mentor middle-school kids at Giaudrone, helping to lead the Homework Club. There weren’t many students, but Lindsey enjoyed building relationships with those who did come and was exciting to watch them grow. She challenged one girl to go for two whole weeks without being sent to the office, and celebrated with her when she reached that goal.

Agree with Grace

I hate buying cell phones.

Well, I hate buying any tech, really, but cell phones especially. I hate spending money on something that will become essentially useless in two years. If I spend over $100 on anything I want to bequeath it to my ancestors. I want the family to gather around the Christmas table and pull out great-great-grandma Erin’s antique Galaxy S7 they usually display in their curio cabinet and reminisce about a simpler time.

At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man, why don’t they make things like they used to? It bothers me that we have built into our lives this rhythm of tossing costly things aside. I notice it most in fashion and tech. There’s an understanding that in a year or two, or as soon as next season, what you have now will be out of style and out of date. We are expected to throw our money at it and then throw it away. This is partly why I have hoarder-like tendencies. I’ll go to toss something out and there’s this tug, “But this cost me something…I gave something up to bring this into my life and now I’m stuffing it into a giant black bag…” It feels wrong, like I should never have bought those things in the first place.

I think this rhythm of cheapening the objects that surround us has led to us cheapening much more important things. Things like grace.

He Has Shown You

I’ll be the first to admit that last Sunday, I almost rolled my eyes at Pastor Jon’s first point in his message. “Get in the pouch,” seriously? But the reality is that it speaks to a heart need in every one of us that in turn has tremendous impact on our sense of identity.

Using a kangaroo pouch as the idea, Jon described our need to get into God’s “pouch.” It’s a place of closeness surrounded by the love and care of God. We all desire to be loved and accepted. And truthfully, we’ll do and be almost anything to gain a sense of being loved and accepted. The crazy, beautiful, and scary reality is that God made us this way. We were made by God to be in relationship with Himself. In that pure relationship there would be no need to strive for acceptance, to prove one’s worthiness of love.

Sadly, due to sin, that purity is not what we experience. So we strive and we struggle, all in the pursuit of unconditional love and acceptance. Some of us adopt personas hoping it will make us more likable. Some focus on appearances and are driven to constantly improve our own image. Some become self-deprecating because we believe it will be easier to handle the disappointments and hurts if we beat others to the punch.

The Paradox of Parenting

I walked out to the car with my son on the way to his swim practice. It was raining a little. Pattering drops fell around us as we exit the garage to get into my 2006 Honda Accord.

I asked him, “Buddy, did you check the mail today?”

He replied loudly, “Yes.”

“You did?” I asked again.


“Good job.”

I opened the door for him and as he got in I asked with a tone of displeasure, “Where’s your jacket?” He never wears a jacket voluntarily. I sometimes think he would go out in the Pacific Northwest rain with just a t-shirt and flip-flops if we didn’t make him wear more.

He answered, “I didn’t bring one,” while he crawled into the car.

I closed the door on his leg before he had completely gotten into the car.

He yelled, “OWWWWW!”

In Defiance of Januaries

He found me curled and weeping, my husband did, as he had found me the night before… and the night before… and the night before… through all that endless winter. House around me, a maelstrom of the unguided activity of two 10-month-olds and two 2½ yr olds — my precious children, yes… but my captors, […]


Four months ago it became clear to me that I will never become famous. This may sound odd to you, but I have been holding out hope for decades that I would end up a household name.

In third grade, my reach for the spotlight began as Alice in our third grade play of Alice in Wonderland. In middle school, I aspired to singing stardom as my two friends joined me in the talent show with our harmonious rendition of a Point of Grace song. You nineties church kids know what’s up. This was in addition to our frequent performances in front of our church body, which broadcast its Sunday morning services on the radio, so we had to be halfway there, right?

In junior high it began to morph into options. My singing dream began to dwindle as another girl from our school nailed a Whitney Houston song and moved to Nashville for a record deal. I knew having pretty good pitch and being able to hear and sing harmony was not going to be enough after hearing her wail on that song over and over. So I thought wider: could I model? I was pretty thin but didn’t really have the face or skin for that. My cheerleader legs would always rule that option out for me. Thanks, gymnastics. I was good at school, so maybe I could be a scientist. Some type of researcher for something that would win me a Nobel Prize. That was still in reach, right?  

I meant to invite him to dinner. I really did…

I meant to invite him to dinner. I really did. My gentle, old neighbor with the ruined long-term memory, who always smiled enthusiastically but never remembered my name. I meant to invite him to Christmas Eve service. I really did. And I knew that if I extended the invitation, he would come. Truth, though? In […]

Overlooked Stories and the Wonder of Christmas

Once upon a time, I used to write Christmas plays. I write plays for Sports Camp, which is easier by comparison. Demonstrating the big ideas of Sports Camp is simpler than explaining the wonder of Christmas. Despite that, I am proud of those Christmas plays. One of my favorite vignettes from those plays was the […]