As unimaginable as it sounds to 21st-century ears, Anna the prophetess made a career of waiting. Widowed after her seventh anniversary, the next eight decades of her life revolved around the temple in Jerusalem. Her patient attendance there embodied the posture of her people, the nation of Israel, for they had long been waiting for… Continue reading How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting
Sunday Scripture One of my earliest Christmas memories is the sadness of learning that for baby Jesus there was "no room in the inn." Adding to my distress was the mistaken idea that they had no source of water either--a simple misunderstanding of the Christmas carol, Noel--interpreted by pre-school ears as "no well." Jesus's earliest… Continue reading Are You Making Room for Jesus in Your Advent Celebration?
This month I have been making a practice of noticing all the regular, ordinary parts of my life that inspire gratitude. If we’re friends on Instagram, maybe you’ve seen that I’ve been posting a gratitude journal (almost) daily in my stories, but I haven’t been calling it a gratitude journal. I’ve been calling it a… Continue reading The November Book Talk and Why I Think Gratitude Is Like a Bouquet
Sunday Scripture I'm about to break one of my own rules.I never talk about Christmas before Thanksgiving.Never!But, I've created a guided journal to lead readers into a focused and uncluttered Advent celebration, and in order for you to get it, print it, or load it onto your device in plenty of time, I'm sharing it… Continue reading In This Darkest Season of the Year, Let’s Pay Attention to the Light
The distance around my elliptical driveway is one-tenth of a mile. I know this because I drove around it, watching the odometer—and then did it again just to be sure. Sometimes in the fall, I take a careful jog-trot around its leaf-strewn gravel, a compromise intended to jump-start a flagging metabolism without putting undue wear… Continue reading The Benefit of Keeping an Open Mind to the Possibility of Gratitude
Sunday Scripture Deer hunting season has arrived here in Maine, and this mum of four sons has heard a lot more about the habits and methods of dispatching whitetail deer than I really want to know. However, truth be told, I've been sharing wooded trails with the deer, bearing witness to deer-ish desire, since we… Continue reading Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Even in this unfamiliar season of the empty nest, I value its uncomplicated requirement of gathering with loved ones, preparing a meal featuring everyone's favorites, and cultivating a spirit of gratitude to carry throughout the year. Of course, that last one can be a little challenging, right? I keep catching… Continue reading Can I Really Persevere in Daily Gratitude as a Matter of Obedience?
Sunday Scripture On Saturday, I filled the bird feeder, and before I had time to close the front door behind me, an enterprising chickadee had already landed for a late breakfast. Soon, the front yard needed air traffic control to regulate all the landings and take offs. And those honking Canada geese that pass overhead… Continue reading What Makes the Birds Seem So Much Smarter than People?
Have you ever gritted your teeth over an annoying behavior in your child--only to connect the dots back to its origin in your own behavior? The power of example is monumental in parenting, and nowhere is it more needful than in the area of gratitude. I'm welcoming the month of November with a guide to… Continue reading 5 Great Resources for Raising Grateful Kids
Scripture Sunday I am of two minds on the topic of spiritual warfare. One is fully aware of the daily struggle to synchronize my life here on the ground with what I believe, to wear the "helmet of salvation" by memorizing "the sword of the Spirit," and to "take every thought captive to the obedience… Continue reading Is Spiritual Warfare Really Too Difficult for Children to Understand?