Life’s No Picnic. No, Really, It Isn’t.

by Laura on January 16, 2013

Swain family picnicking near the Colony Beach Club: Longboat Key, Florida

Here in the comfortable West, we tend to think of life as an extravagant beach picnic. Our families are gathered around on red checkered tablecloths, eating fried chicken, those little pickles and chunks of fresh watermelon. We drink our sweet tea while we relax in the sun, and we call to our kids to be […]


The Gospel of the Brothel

by Laura on November 1, 2012

My husband has been into over 300 bars and brothels in SE Asia looking for victims of sexual exploitation, and the strange thing is, he’s  re-learned the Gospel more powerfully in that setting than anything he’s ever experienced in a church building. Funny that he would find Jesus in a strip club.  But he did, […]


When He Gets Steak, and You Get a PB & J

by Laura on October 25, 2012

I admit sometimes my eyes get a little green when it comes to what my husband gets to do and what I have to do (as if it’s not obvious from the verb choices there), but it’s always been like this. I remember when I was a mom with toddlers and babies, staying home most […]


The Person Right in Front of You

by Laura on September 24, 2012

This weekend I got to see a friend who remembers me when I was an overweight middle schooler with braces. In fact, we go back even further. She remembers me when I had spend-the-nights at her house across town as an elementary kid who still had to call my mom before I went to sleep. […]


Jesus and the Buttheads

by Laura on September 12, 2012

So with the shift from homeschooling to public school, family devotions have been challenging to fit in, I’ll admit. We tried getting everyone up early to have some “thoughts for the day” before school, but that would mean waking children up at five-something, which seems just sacrilegious in the first place. We’ve opted, instead, to […]


Scattering Seeds

by Laura on September 6, 2012

Jesus had a new way of being in the world, a new system of success that was upside-down in every way.  It was a different kind of Kingdom he taught about where a person stoops to be taller, where someone serves to be greater. It was a Kingdom where death actually comes first. Before life, […]


The Box God Just Won’t Stay In

by Laura on August 12, 2012

It’s hard to reconcile the two lives I’ve lived in the past two weeks. One overlooking rice fields, the other at the foot of Pike’s Peak. One with Mississippi-summer-heat by 9 am, the other too chilly even for my cutest of skirts. One with scooters flying and orchids climbing, the other with bikes on trails […]


I’ll be honest, this missions gig hasn’t gone like I thought it would.  When I was a teenager, I devoured books on Amy Carmichael, determined to live in some hut rescuing orphans. I wanted to “accomplish great things for God,” and I assumed that meant a dramatic adventure, namely, taking a plane somewhere. When I […]


The List

by Laura on May 26, 2012

“Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will wear. Your heavenly father knows what you need. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you, as well. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Jesus, Matthew 6 I remember […]


An Apology to All Non- “Missionaries”

by Laura on March 24, 2012

rice field

I read a lot of missionary blogs. When someone comments from Peru or Vietnam or Sudan, I click, and I read. Because the world fascinates me. It is a big, beautiful place, and God is doing amazing things on all corners of it. Absolutely. But, as I have read missionary blogs, and as I have […]


Two Missionaries Walked Up To a Coffee Bar . . .

by Laura on February 21, 2012

The following is a typical conversation I have found myself in more times than I can count during my {short} two years on the “mission field.” And, yes, some of it is a tad-exaggerated {emphasis on the words some and tad}. ********************** When Missionaries Meet Setting.  It’s a sweltering-hot day in the tropics. New Missionary and Better Missionary find […]