Author: Deidra Riggs

Weeds pulled during gardening.

Stubborn Roots and Overflowing Bounty

I step through the doorway onto the deck, down the stairs, and out onto the driveway, which is concrete, gritty and warm—almost hot—beneath my feet. It is the thick of summer now, and our tomatoes hang heavy on the vine, laughing at our inability to accurately predict how many tomatoes one plant will bear… On lazy days like these, when no deadlines or meetings or other commitments call, I am most assuredly drawn outside—always barefoot, a dog or two sauntering or bouncing at my heels.

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Two runners enjoying a jog.

Runner’s High

In the same way Timothy needed to be reminded that his gift was no less significant because of his youth, we often need to be reminded not to measure our gifts against the standards and expectations set for others. In a world that is stylized and filtered to the max (hello, social media!) and that rarely gives prizes for getting it done, it’s easy to miss out on the experience of simply doing something because it brings us joy and then letting our joy be praise to God.

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A person in motion, dancing before a backdrop that looks as if it is amplifying the movements.

Movement as a Spiritual Practice

I believe our bodies were made to move — whatever we can move, for as long as we can move it. I feel the sun beat down on my shoulders as I tug at the roots of an obstinate dandelion and I cannot help but thank God for shoulders that move, knees that bend, lungs that expand, and thumbs for grabbing and tugging. All of it comes from God: the sunshine, the dandelions, and the bodies we’ve been given as packaging for our soul. We live, move, and have our being in him alone. When my limbs ache after a weekend of shoveling or digging or reaching or bending, I thank God for the ache and its reminder to me of this gift of movement and presence of God in the midst of it all.

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Sparks and trails of light capture in a photo of a dark night.

Surrendering to Mystery

God is mysterious. That sentence is difficult for me to write. Writing that sentence is an act of surrender. It is an admission that I have to let some things be and trust God anyway. I cannot know the answers to all my questions about why God allows some things, yet seems to intervene in others. Apparently, I don’t need to know all the answers if my faith is meant to mean anything at all. The mystery, it would seem, is the habitat in which faith thrives and grows strong.

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A paper flower created out of a music composition held loosely in the palm of a hand.

Bridging the Gap Between Being Right and Abundant Life

Oh, how difficult it is to realize we’ve been wrong about something! For so many of us, it’s quite painful to let go of a long-held understanding of one thing in order to make room for a more expansive perspective or (and this is the worst) an opposing viewpoint on one thing or another.

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Old window with peeling paint.

No Time for Pride

Many mornings, when I leave for work, my husband is high on a ladder, gingerly removing one of the hundred-year-old storm windows from its hinges and then carefully lowering it to the ground so he can work on it in the garage. When I return in the evening, the result of his hard work is evident: yet another freshly painted window, gleaming at me in welcome.

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A garden path.

Building a Walkway

Being a disciple of Christ is a lot like learning to build a walkway except, instead of YouTube, we’ve got the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and people who have more experience to teach us everything we ever wanted to know. In the beginning, we don’t know anything. But then, as we spend more and more time studying and then practicing what we’ve learned, something actually begins to take shape.

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Green beans being picked in a garden.

When Your Work is Boring

Each of us has had a job that failed to challenge us. We’ve found ourselves sitting at a desk, trying hard not to fall asleep. We’ve clocked in at work only to watch the seconds creep by, wondering if we’d ever get to clock out again and be free from our monotonous, mind-numbing labor. If you’ve had this experience, you know what it feels like to dread Monday mornings with passion, and you know how jobs that fail to challenge us can also deflate our confidence and trample on our hope.

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A person scrolling on their mobile phone due to lack of activity.

Making Boredom Work for You

But, what if there’s a better option? There has to be a better option, right? What if, instead of mindlessly scrolling through our phones, we made our boredom work for us, rather than trying to escape it?

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A crowd gathered together in a civil protest

The Spiritual Practice of Disagreeing (Without Being Disagreeable)

Last week, a guy came to our city. He arrived in a gigantic tour bus and he had a police escort and he stood on the steps of our Capital building and drew a great crowd. I knew he was coming. All around town, for weeks, there had been posted fliers and posters and placards announcing his arrival. I saw the announcements, made a mental note of the date, and reminded myself to avoid the area that day.

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A figure curled up in the palm of a hand on a bronze cross

What if Mercy is a Better Option?

In his book, “No Future Without Forgiveness,” Bishop Desmond Tutu writes about the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa. As he establishes the foundation of the book and sets out to walk the reader through the work of the Commission, Bishop Tutu is careful to make the distinction between retributive justice, and restorative justice…

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A shoot beginning to sprout out of an egg shell sybolizing new life and growth.

The Science of Compassion

Jesus knew the power of compassion. He knew that desiring good for those we have named “enemy” retrains our brains and transforms us, through the literal renewing of our minds. Practicing loving-kindness and compassion makes it possible for us to de-escalate divisiveness and point people toward something more.

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Two colleagues sitting down to talk things through.

Four Tips for Facing a Difficult Coworker

Though it’s reassuring to realize that Jesus himself, the Son of God, faced opposition and disagreement, this realization doesn’t always help when we face our own conflicts at work. When it seems as if a coworker is trying to throw you under the proverbial bus, your gut reaction might be to retreat or to lash out. However, as followers of Christ, it’s important to remember that our goal is always to build loving relationships and to live at peace with everyone, as much as it depends on us — even at work.

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An employee sitting confidently.

How to be a Boss People Remember (For All the Right Reasons)

Recently, I asked a group of people to share a few words about their favorite boss. I asked them, “Tell me about your favorite boss ever. What made that person a great boss?”

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A woman, head down in shame or repentance, with a woven crown on her head.

Three Game-Changing Leadership Choices

As leaders — whether in the workplace, in the church, in the community, in the classroom, or in the home—we give a gift to those who trust us to lead, when we follow Jesus’ example.

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