Creative Family Advent (25 New Traditions for This Christmas Season)

It is almost Christmastime!  I am always looking for ways to savor the season more before it slips away, truly wanting to create lasting memories with my children.  If you feel the same, this post is for you.  Here you will find 25 new family traditions for a creative Christmas season.  These are low stress,…

There Is a Woman in the Mirror

There is a woman in the mirror that shares my face but does not know who I am. She mimics my every move with nuanced attention to detail–the slight raise of brow, the synchronized blink and focus, the parting lips and hint of smile… Her performance is flawless. But she does not know what I…

Choosing a Life of Celebration (Podcast #20)

The choice is always before us: A life of desperation or a life of celebration. In today’s podcast, I invite you to celebrate your life and to celebrate with me as I look back over this incredible last year. I am truly overflowing with gratitude as I remember the love and faithfulness of God in…

A Place of Peace (The Sacred Everyday Retreats)

Dear friends, I have just rounded the corner on my 10th year of blogging. A decade literally flew by in a blur of having babies and raising children, recording albums, making thousands of meals, filling hundreds of journals, waking up at 4 a.m. to write and find my peace in the midst of all the…

Poem at 2 a.m.

Oh the fragility of earthly life,an unrehearsed songachingly sweet,carried on the windsof a broken worldon butterfly wings. Oh my soulwake up, and liveand sing out loud.The song of the spiritis a candle that cannot be put out.It is a poemmade of brilliant light,a recitationto be spokenin the middleof the darkest night.

Looking for God in Everything (Podcast #19)

Halfway through recording, the baby woke to join me. Have a seat with us on our front porch, grab a cup of tea, and let me tell you some stories about how I see God working in our lives. We will also talk about looking for God in the way we perceive the future, in…

It’s Going to Be Okay

Sometimes I travel through time. Usually in the middle of the night, when I am awake with babies on either side of me, not daring to move lest I wake them and lose the few precious moments I have in my life to let my thoughts flow without interruption. During the days, the needs take…

Storm on the Horizon

We spent a glorious four days at the seashore. We walked, we ran, we swam, we splashed. We saw the water tame and the water wild. We saw the sunrise and sunset. We saw the first sliver of moon over the dark waters. I held my newborn baby in the wind and sun and salty…

Hope for a Heavy Heart (Podcast #18)

I have had so much going on in my heart and mind. I find myself waking in the middle of the night feeling shaken by the state of the world in which we are living and raising our children. I have very little quiet in my life to process through this right now, so forgive…

Thoughts on the Pandemic

Hello, my name is Mackenzie Chester. I am the mother of eight young children, and I am humbly asking you to please stop the spread of this virus. For the ones who cannot fight it off on their own, I am asking you to please do whatever you can for the weak. We are in…

Hope on the Inhale

hope on the inhaleafter the gut-punchthe diagnosis, bleak prognosislook into the mirrorbut your eyes can’t focuson any beauty but what’s lost hopeon the inhalein the breaking of headlinesthat beat on the shoreline, the rising of feartidesthat pull you back into despair hopeon the inhaleafter the deep sighafter the long cryafter the fists-raised-why hopeon the inhaleafter…

This Morning I Was Born

This morning I was born. My mother struggled with birth until dawn. I went home in her arms. I cried. I slept. My eyes focused on her beautiful, ephemeral face, familiar somehow though I had never seen it before. While she was getting pancakes on the table, I bounced on my sister’s knee. I listened…