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,…

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…

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…

Embracing Every Season of Motherhood (Podcast #17)

Sharing Pitter Patter, a song that I wrote when my first babies were small, as well as thoughts about becoming a woman who embraces motherhood at every stage. This photo is my breathtakingly beautiful mother, age 43, holding me, her ninth child. I learned so much from her example. Talking about finding gratitude, praying for…

I Stand in This Breath of My Life

I am alive. I’m trying to let that sink in. I inherited the unfinished sketchbook of a beloved art professor who passed away last spring. Flipping through the pages this morning, I see how alike we are in our interactions with the blank pages–line drawings, quotation marks surrounding deep theological ideas and questions, to-do lists,…

When Every Choice Is Too Hard (Podcast #16)

“I am just trying to figure out my life, one day at a time.  I am just trying to discern which direction to walk.  I desperately want a clear path to follow.  Someone to hand me a map and say, “Here.  This is your life.  You will maximize it if you take this road, turn…

Standing at the Edge of a World

A woman on the verge of birth Is standing at the edge of a world. She moves through the rhythms Of her normal lifeWhile preparing to travel,Led by the loving voice of God,Somewhere no one else can follow.The hidden path that opens itselfOnly once.The passage she aloneCan pass through. As I have been moving through…