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…

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,…

The Birth Story to Come: Impressions of a Life Yet Unseen

I love to have conversations about birth. No matter how many times I find myself here, in the “any day now” space between pregnancy and delivery, I am struck by the sheer power of the experience of bringing a baby into this world. There is nothing routine about it. No matter how many times you…

One Small Garden: Tending the Life I Am Given

How do I keep finding myself here in the middle of the night? I should be sleeping. I tossed and turned an hour before surrendering to the river-rush of words that swept me up in its current and lifted my body out of bed and onto the quiet bank of the 3 a.m. kitchen table….