Welcome to Maplehurst, a spacious place.

I’m a writer and gardener endlessly inspired by the shifting seasons and the ground beneath my feet. For the quiet, personal stories behind this website, I invite you to join my monthly newsletter.

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“A thoughtful, grounded work.” -Anne Bogel, creator of Modern Mrs. Darcy

“Is there a special prize for the best books about home? If so, I want to give it to Christie Purifoy.” -Myquillyn Smith, author of Cozy Minimalist Home

“As Purifoy so lyrically illustrates, placemaking isn’t just what we make of our places. It’s the spiritual practice of naming, of knowing, of remembering.” -Jen Pollock Michelaward-winning author of Teach Us to Want

“Carl Rogers said, ‘What is most personal is most universal.’ I kept thinking of that while reading Christie Purifoy’s smart and beautiful book.” -John Blase, author of The Jubilee: Poems

“Christie Purifoy has given the world a deeply beautiful and profound work of art.” -Kris Camealyauthor of Come, Lord Jesus

Socially Speaking

I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m especially fond of Instagram!

The clouds have refused snow and are giving a depressing drizzle instead. It didn’t even seem worth stepping outside for a photo. This foggy image from last January sums up the current situation.
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My brain feels more fogged and my body more tired than it did yesterday. I want to input time + rest and get a guaranteed outcome. But illness is a wilderness experience, and wilderness wandering is usually circular, not linear.
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Years ago, I learned that rest and wilderness go together. The wilderness is restful because we cannot take care of ourselves in that place but must simply receive the care that falls from heaven each day. But this kind of rest is difficult because we are not in control. We don’t know when we’ll be lead out again. How long will we wander? When will we again march forward with purpose and strength?
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Not knowing is hard. Not knowing is also another space where we can simply pause and rest.
News of the pandemic is on the radio, and it’s like they’re talking about me. They mention vaccines, and I feel as if I stumbled just before the finish line, stumbled right onto my belly and stayed there, because it hurts less to breathe like this, though my arm is going to sleep and my neck will pay the price.
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I switch from radio to @prayasyougo_official app and hear @joshgarrels for @theportersgate sing, “Christ has no body now but yours.” It is a familiar idea, one I always associated with service. Oh to be the hands and feet of Christ! But maybe Christ isn’t only the nurse swathed in PPE but the patient prone and ventilated.
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I joined a covid Facebook group because it’s one thing to be sick in the old, familiar ways, it’s another to be sick in “novel” ways. IS this normal? Why is THIS so painful? But now when I open Facebook it is like the scene when Harry  Potter opens a forbidden book and a great scream escapes. My Facebook is now a great scream of suffering and sorrow, and I physically turn away.
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I wonder if the friend complaining about lockdown on Instagram knows about the scream? Perhaps not. I know I couldn’t hear it before.
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Christians have a unique relationship to sickness and death. These are less terrifying because of our hope. But we sometimes minimize them, taking a shortcut toward hope. We forget Christ’s own suffering body. We neglect compassion. We fail, in the end, to recognize how large our hearts have grown: large enough to take in the scream as Christ’s own. Not turning away but breathing in and breathing out. Peace.
I hobbled downstairs today. Found the light shining on the kitty and the African violets.
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I fell sick on Epiphany, packing away Christmas ornaments and trying to grasp what was happening at the US Capitol through a fevered gaze. Two weeks later, I’m getting better but realizing the road to healing will be harder and longer than I’d hoped.  For me. For my country. For all who’ve suffered loss this year.
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Oh, what a year.
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But just look at that light. This kitten. Those flowers. Epiphany isn’t a day; it’s an unfolding, an ongoing revelation. Never darkened, never dimmed.
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Hold on. ✨
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#homeisaplaceofwonder #nothingisordinary #noticepausetreasure #throughtheseoldwindows #sacredordinarydays
A virus story✨We WERE afraid. I admit it. In this house, too many of us are too asthmatic and too familiar with the ways even an ordinary virus can send us to the hospital just like that. Respiratory viruses are the stuff of my nightmares.
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For ten months, we have been so careful. No visiting, no traveling, my youngest doing second grade by my side day after day. It’s true that my first thought when I knew I was sick was, “It’s not fair.”
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 It isn’t fair. For us, it has not been a nightmare, just a long, hard road. For too many others, it has brought great suffering, even death. It isn’t fair. I don’t understand. But in this house, I have seen mercy, and I have seen love, and I know those gifts aren’t given only to me.
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 Day 10. I’m still in bed, but I no longer feel as if I’ll always be here. I am grateful for the Christmas days when we celebrated. And I am—somehow—grateful for these January days of rest.
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From the @prayasyougo_official app today: “It is, as the Irish prayer says, when we are held in the palm of God’s hand, we will find rest.” In my sickness, I have felt myself held, and I have found rest.
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PS We have been very careful for ten months.  I am astonished that the pandemic found us. If you also are motivated to avoid catching this virus or passing it on, I encourage you to be even more careful this winter. 💛
Same sun, new day.
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Remembering hurts but it also heals. Thanks for remembering with me in my Stories today. 💗
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Anniversaries always circle back and find us, but we are not the same. Which is its own kind of grief and also our hope and comfort.
Remembering those not-so-long-ago days of open windows and homegrown flowers ...
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Am I the only one who finds hard things harder to handle in January? I’ve been scrolling through old photos from spring and summer and finding so much comfort. It’s as if I can feel the breeze and the sunshine again (and perhaps not surprisingly there are no mosquitoes or humidity in these memories! Ha!).
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All shall be well, friends. Spring isn’t gone for good. And, the even better news? Spring is something that invites are participation. Even now. Especially now! So plant those good seeds (of every kind).
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#botanicalpickmeup #weareplacemakers #flowersandotherstories #oldhouselove 
#cultivateglory
Some months, and some seasons, are not so easy for me to love. January is like that. But the light in January? ✨ When it shines, it is my favorite. So fresh and bright. If there’s a puddle of light, that’s where you’ll find me (and a houseplant, and the cat).
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PS Check out my stories today for the announcement about our Winter “Tables” in the Black Barn Online. There’s one just for writers!
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#homeisaplaceofwonder #aseasonalyear #thisiswinter #nothingisordinary #blackbarncollective

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