Something Lovely

by Dana Portwood on July 28, 2014

Post image for Something Lovely

There was a time I didn’t much like the book of Job. There are things about it I still don’t like. His “friends,” for instance, I’d like to punt them through a brick wall, most days.  At least they didn’t say Job’s kids died because God needed more angels. But Job, I like Job. I [...]


Nameless… Pharaoh’s Daughter

by Liz Clayton on July 27, 2014

Post image for Nameless… Pharaoh’s Daughter

This is the story of a young woman by a river bank whose compassion, conviction and courage changed the world and we do not even know her name. …and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.  And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the [...]


Staring At Stone

July 26, 2014
Thumbnail image for Staring At Stone

A handful of events and people in my life lately has me thinking a lot about legalism, the law, etc… I stumbled upon a metaphor that helped me express why obsessive adherence to the Law is to my soul what fingernails on a chalkboard is to my ears. To show you what I have learned, [...]

Read more →

Free to be real

July 25, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to be real

Friends, can I be honest with you? I have had a bad night. My stomach has been hurting for days. Sick or the same ole, same ole? Who knows. I had planned to get up at 5:00 but turned off the alarm at 4:58. It was a bad night. I think I mentioned that. I [...]

Read more →

Comfort in the Night

July 24, 2014
Thumbnail image for Comfort in the Night

My little girl woke up at eleven last night crying. As I lifted her from the crib, she curled her tiny frame up against mine, nestling her head in the crook of my neck. She calmed immediately. As I rocked her back to sleep, I was overcome with the realization that my mere presence brings [...]

Read more →

Free to Dance

July 23, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to Dance

They were incredibly beautiful. Eight precious soon-to-be 1st grade girls, from different economic backgrounds and varying shades of skin tones, wearing stick-on mustaches, dancing and singing and swaying their arms until they collapsed into a heap of giggles. My fellow teachers and I just smiled at each-other, snickered a little, shook our heads and threw [...]

Read more →

Free to Consider Questions

July 22, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to Consider Questions

I make pretty things from wine, and from wine corks. It’s become my “stay at home part time job.” Jellies, jewelry, wreaths, and wall ornaments…they are all things I enjoy putting together in my down time and  my “pretties” have been helpful when it comes to paying off debt. I named my little cottage business [...]

Read more →

Free to Be Enough

July 21, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to Be Enough

Last week I read a great book. You know the kind; it resonates true in your guts. We nod our heads in affirmation while reading, wishing we’d been able to string those words together in exactly the same way. Even though the book was written with teenage girls in mind, I believe many of the [...]

Read more →

Nameless…Noah’s Wife

July 20, 2014
Thumbnail image for Nameless…Noah’s Wife

Noah’s wife and children made it onto the boat. I think that speaks volumes into the silence. While she is mentioned five times in Genesis 6-8. Neither her name nor family is mentioned. There are many legends and traditions but the Bible is silent. Noah, like Job, was singled out among men for his righteousness. [...]

Read more →

BOOK GIVEAWAY! Enough: 10 Things We Should Be Telling our Teenage Girls

July 19, 2014
Thumbnail image for BOOK GIVEAWAY!  Enough: 10 Things We Should Be Telling our Teenage Girls

Have you ever had something you needed to get off your chest so badly it burned your guts until you were able to get it all out?  Reading Kate Conner’s new book Enough: 10 Things We Ought to Be Telling Our Teenage Girls is exactly this experience, only instead of venting and leaving the mess [...]

Read more →

Free to have faith

July 18, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to have faith

Her eyes are often unfocused when I visit her. The room is always dark, the curtains closed or the lights turned down to keep out the bright. She tilts her head toward her shoulder in that coy little way she has and she smiles. There is no need for artificial light when Rachel is around. [...]

Read more →

Bathing Suit Shopping

July 17, 2014
Thumbnail image for Bathing Suit Shopping

Summer comes with all sorts of good things. There’s camp for the kiddos, long days with a good book for me, and a handful of roadtrips scattered across the whole family. There’s also bathing suit shopping. This does not count as a good thing. I was optimistic this year. I’ve lost more than thirty pounds [...]

Read more →

In the Middle of Summer

July 16, 2014
Thumbnail image for In the Middle of Summer

There are countless quizzes online that will tell you everything you could possibly need to know about yourself, from what color best represents you to who’s your celebrity BFF. (FYI, Taylor Swift and I are totally kindred spirits.) Whenever they ask “What’s your favorite season?” I pause. My favorite season changes with the seasons. In December, it’s [...]

Read more →

Free to Choose my Labels

July 15, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to Choose my Labels

We were sitting in Cracker Barrel waiting on our meals, when I realized my middle child was becoming seriously upset over that little golf tee game that is at every table. Here is what he was so upset over.   On his fourth attempt, he still had not figured out how to leave fewer than [...]

Read more →

Free to be Salty

July 14, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to be Salty

I haven’t always been the person I am today. Ten years ago while reading and researching about health and foods, I was convinced to become a vegetarian. Four years ago, while investigating organization and simplicity, I encountered the concept of minimalism. Lately, I am drawn more and more to participate in authentic life as community. [...]

Read more →

Nameless… Job’s Wife

July 13, 2014
Thumbnail image for Nameless… Job’s Wife

“Curse God and die” This is what we most often hear about Job’s wife. I have said it myself but perhaps she deserves a second look. It is difficult to remember that neither she nor Job were aware of the supernatural testing that was going on around them. She lost everything he did and yet [...]

Read more →

Family, Community, and a Free Episode of Adventures in Odyssey

July 12, 2014
Thumbnail image for Family, Community, and a Free Episode of Adventures in Odyssey

As a child of the 80′s and 90′s I grew up loving Adventures in Odyssey and it’s something I’m so glad I can share with my kids. Even though they are now almost 11 and 14 they still love listening to it. Right now Middle Places is excited to be a part of the media [...]

Read more →

Free to be Ripped Open

July 12, 2014
Thumbnail image for Free to be Ripped Open

Weighty thoughts have been tumbling in my heart for a few months now. Ever since I wrote about “Removing the Plastic,” I have read and read about the church growing hands and feet, moving into action. I have been soaking up Interrupted by Jen Hatmaker, and Radical by David Platt. I’ve imagined being out among [...]

Read more →

On tips and grace

July 11, 2014
Thumbnail image for On tips and grace

The gentleman hands me the credit card receipt he has just signed and we chat for a moment before he and his wife leave. I glance down and see he has given me a $15 tip. I immediately want to chase him down and ask him why. Why so much? What compels your generosity? It’s [...]

Read more →

I Was Prepared to Be Offended

July 10, 2014
Thumbnail image for I Was Prepared to Be Offended

I finished high school and decided I wasn’t done learning, so off I went to a Christian liberal arts college. I stuffed my head all kinds of knowledge about accounting, business, computer programming, history, grammar, literature and math while I was there. What I didn’t learn was how to be independent. Most of my choices [...]

Read more →