The Guarded Heart

By Megan Westra / February 28, 2020 /

Scripture: Proverbs 4:23 My family moved about a month after I graduated from high school. I spent the first fifteen years of my life in the same house, in the same tiny town my Dad had lived in for his whole life. Then, before my sophomore year of high school, we moved two hours away…

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The Gratitude Journal

By Megan Westra / February 27, 2020 /

Scripture: James 1:17 I bought a gratitude journal for this year. The challenges at the end of 2019 convinced me I would need to be intentional in practicing gratitude in 2020. I placed the journal resolutely on the shelf next to our dining room table and informed my husband and daughter we would be sharing…

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Confetti Wednesday

By Megan Westra / February 26, 2020 /

Scripture: Matthew 6:25-29 We made custom photo confetti for our wedding reception. It was peak-early 2000s cheesiness. Tiny versions of our engagement photos interspersed among yellow and white bits of paper. It was overkill, but I loved it.  At the end of the reception, we swept up food crumbs and dirt tracked in on people’s shoes,…

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By Megan Westra / February 24, 2020 /

If I’m honest, 2020 started off quite difficult for me. In January, I had three wisdom teeth removed–which apparently is a THING for some people. It took me three solid weeks to recover from the procedure. (I’m sure my attempt to preach two days after the extractions did not help my trajectory for recovery, oh hindsight.)…

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Self and Soul

By Megan Westra / September 11, 2019 /

Despite my undying love for summer, I am always grateful for the rhythms and regularity of back-to-school season. As a student myself currently, this means the advent of work-rest rhythms of assignments and exams. As a parent, it means the welcome arrival of imposed structure for my child, and an outlet for her boundless curiosity.…

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Twenty-Third (and a half) Psalm

By Megan Westra / May 16, 2019 /

The Lord is my shepherd but I’ve never raised sheep, so I don’t really know what that means. I am left wanting  something more a way I can relate. The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures  but in this place I am not productive I don’t know how to hold on to worth…

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Walking the beach

By Megan Westra / March 18, 2019 /

I was eight when I first felt like God was silent. Laying in bed at night, restless and haunted by the dramatic altar calls pronounced by volunteers at the Southern Baptist Church I attended on Wednesday nights, I tossed and turned and begged God to find me good enough. And God was silent, so I…

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Embodying Love: A Lenten Reflection

By Megan Westra / March 11, 2019 /

I have an icon that hangs in my office. It depicts the three persons of the Trinity sitting around a table—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of them seems to be regarding the others, and one seat of the table remains open, presumably for the one observing the icon to enter in to their communion.…

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"I Do Not Permit a Man" (Reimagining 1 Timothy 2 in light of #ChurchToo)

By Megan Westra / February 25, 2019 /

1 Timothy 2 has often been cited as prohibitory for women in the role of pastor or teacher. “I do not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man,” writes Paul, and the Southern Baptist Convention echoes his decree in their 1984 resolution on the ordination of women. Yet the word Paul…

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For those who gather reluctantly

By Megan Westra / November 21, 2018 /

It’s seven A.M. and I am bleary-eyed, shuffling around the kitchen, washing out my daughter’s thermos and pulling random things off the shelf to pack in her lunchbox. The familiar sensation of frustration tinged just on the side of anger slithers up my spine and nests itself comfortably in a knot at the base of my…

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