Six photos: soccer, spaghetti, Scoutie, and scenic springtime

Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:5-7

1-IMG_5035-001If it’s Saturday morning then it must be soccer. David and Beks are only 20 months apart, so they get to play on the same “Y” recreational team.

Soccer is fun, with the emphasis on fun. I pray that they can enjoy playing for years and avoid being sucked into the black hole of “elite” travel. The time and money funneled into these teams, along with the verging-on-religious level of commitment required costs more than dollars – there is a profound cost in terms of balanced family time, participation in faith communities, weekend relaxation and restoration, stress on parents, stress on kids….

The promise of college scholarships is often dangled as a carrot, but the statistics tell another story. Feed all that money into a college fund instead and watch it grow, let the kids enjoy (all) recreational sports absent the crazy schedules and the pressure, spend weekends together in your community, and shift the idea of “sacred” back to church.

Birdie, birdie…


Speaking of relaxed, I managed to get in some golf Thursday morning with Ed (that’s Rebekah’s cousin, I’m friends with probably a half dozen Eds all told) and George (there’s only one George!). What a beautiful day! I managed two birdies for an opening 39, then reality set in and my game went off the rails. Regardless, what a fun way to enjoy the North Carolina Piedmont.

Peaceful at home:


I’m not sure if I’ve written much about the privilege of working from home. Sitting with my laptop, looking out onto a rainy day, cranking up my Keurig, taking a break on the deck, watching the trees green out in real time as if God is flicking a giant watercolor brush saturated in a thousand shades of green. This is the perfect situation for writing and reflecting.

Scout Labradoodle is more than cooperative as my sidekick, positioning herself just so to minimize movement while keeping me in line-of-sight.

1-DSC_0285The other benefit of a home office is the time it gives me to cook meals that need a full afternoon of prep. I’ve shared my spaghetti sauce recipe before – but here’s another look at the result after three and a half hours, this time with mushrooms.

Rebekah and I love a good dinner party – good food and great conversation lasting several hours without even the thought of television or emails and other distractions. Sometimes the dinner party is just us.

So enjoy the six Saturday photographs, and I look forward to seeing you in church tomorrow.

Peace – the kind that is beyond our own understanding – DEREK


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derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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