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…

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…

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…

In the Wake of a Miracle (A First Attempt at Words)

*This post is the beginning of an attempt to respond to the Great Miracle that has happened in our lives through The Everyday Good. 2 a.m. In my bed, I wake to words that press in around me and won’t let me sleep. I get up and make my way to the quiet basement with…

Responding to the Love of God (Podcast Episode 10)

You can also listen and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. I want my life to be a response to the love of God. I am recording this podcast from a beautiful camp where we are staying for a couple of weeks while miracles are happening back home. My heart is just overflowing…

Words About You, Creative Family Idea Box #14

This is a sweet and simple way to encourage your children and help them to know they are special and loved.  Get an envelope for each child and print his/her name on it.  Have everyone write words about each person on slips of paper and “deliver” the words to the proper envelopes.  At the end…

Joy and Sorrow (How Does Your Garden Grow)

It still hits me in waves. Not like it did last spring.  When my little garden was blooming and sheets of rain came down steadily day after day.  I drank tea in the music room and looked out over the mint and the marigolds and all the beautiful shimmering living things growing there in the…

This Morning I Sat Down at the Table With My 22-Year Old Self

This morning I sat down at the table with my 22-year old self.  She drank ginger peach black tea with cream and sugar.  I drank darjeeling, black.  We met in a cafe, the kind with classical music and the pleasant hum of conversation in the background.  The people sitting next to us wondered if we…

Brave (or What Strangers Call Me in the Grocery Store)

Sometimes people don’t know what to say. When they see us in the grocery store–three little ones in the buggy, three bigger ones swarming around my waist–I can actually see them doing math in their heads.  Is it possible that all of these children could belong to the same mother? I get a lot of…

On our 12th Anniversary

Today is our anniversary.  We met in the fall of 1999, dated for three and a half long, confusing years, and married on a beautiful spring morning just like this one 12 years ago today.  I hoped I was doing the right thing.  I prayed I was doing the right thing. There is no one…

The Best Years of My Life (Pitter Patter)

Sometimes I miss getting completely absorbed in a good book.  The rush of turning the next page, beginning the next chapter…  The anticipation (and bittersweet-sadness of) reading the final page.  The complete selfishness of it all–closing out the entire world and entering another, alone. Sometimes I miss college, when my mind was alive in a new…