Every Morning I Wake Up in an Ocean

Every morning I wake up in an ocean. Sometimes the waters are calm, sometimes they are tumultuous, raging with storms that seem to never subside. They are always over my head. It is easy to slip under the waters of fear. It is effortless to drown in downpours of sorrow. It is second-nature to be…

Enter Your Year With Vision: An Online Journaling Retreat

Friends, we are about to start a new year, and I want to enter into it with purpose and a clear vision of how I can step into the role that God has designed for my life. I feel a deep need to quiet the noise, take a holy breath, and pray, journal, and reflect…

Buy One, Give One Free Journaling Course

If you have been wanting to try the Innermost Journaling Course, now is the time! Between now and Christmas Eve, I am running a special Buy One, Give One Free promotion on my course. You simply purchase the course, email me at mackenziechester@yahoo.com with the subject: B1G1, and I will reply with a gift certificate…

For Which My Heart Is Yearning

In the busyness of the the day, I forget that I am soul and spirit. I move, like a machine, through the mechanics of my life: Head turning at a sudden cry, arms lifting baby, voice humming softly like a washing machine. Fingers folding laundry, hands scrubbing muffin pans, feet moving through rooms, ears listening,…

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

This December, I am going to say yes. To gathering all of my children around me, to entering into a sacred space of being together, creating new memories, relishing old traditions, and leaning deeply into the beauty and comfort of Christmas. I am going to shift my perspective from getting things done, to being there….

Grief and the Path of Beauty

Let me start by saying I do not pretend to be an expert on grief, and I truly hope I never am an expert on grief. My life has been colored by it just enough for me to know that this is something that’s going to stay with me forever. And that it is worth…

Other People’s Houses

My daughters and I pulled in at Michelle’s house before she arrived. We knew we were welcome to go on in. By the time I wrangled with my couple of bags, the girls had already run inside. I entered the front door, set down my things, and walked into the kitchen. This picture is what…

Life Can Be Full of Surprises

I am going to be painfully honest. There have been so many times over the last nine years of blogging that I have wrestled with the deep desire that I have to share my writing. I have asked myself why I continue to keep showing up, why the blank spaces in my mind always bring…

Early Morning Read Alouds

Have you heard about my newest project? It’s called Early Morning Read Alouds. In these daily Facebook Live videos, I sit at my kitchen table (after just rolling out of bed around 4:30 a.m.) and share my heart and writing. I love doing this! And I am honestly a little surprised that I have been…

Flashback to Sixteen (Through the Lens of My Journal)

Flashback to sixteen. I had almost forgotten this season of great sorrow that I experienced in my childhood and early teen years. My memory has softened, and I tend to look back and summarize my childhood as a happy one. I was loved, cherished by my parents, befriended by my eight older siblings. The hardest…