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…

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…

The Birth Story of Haven McCabe

Our baby’s due date came and went without the first sign of nearing labor. Each following day could have been the perfect beginning of a birth story. The day Randy discovered the song of the wood thrush and absorbed himself in writing a piece of music using the intervals of the bird’s song. There was…

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…

Beauty in the Midst of Darkness

There is so much darkness in this world. It presses in against us. In the middle of the night, it enters into our minds in the quiet spaces and works to leave a shadow that lingers even when the morning comes. We wake to light, but its brilliance is dimmed by the memory of those…

Such a Short Road to Travel (A Poem About Birth)

I lie awakeCalculating the distance From womb to the world. It is such a short road to travel. You are nearly here, Less than arms-length away There is but the patient openingOf one long-awaited flowerThe quiet mechanicsOf one perfectly-crafted keyTurning in the lock of my bodyAnd moving through Blood and water ring of fireLife and…