How to Find Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

Christmas Joy in a World of Waiting

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

The Benefit of Keeping an Open Mind to the Possibility of Gratitude

The Possibility of Gratitude

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

Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?

Is Desire a Reliable Guide on the Path of Life?

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?

Can I Really Persevere in Daily Gratitude as a Matter of Obedience?

Persevere in Daily Gratitude

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?

Is Spiritual Warfare Really Too Difficult for Children to Understand?

Spiritual Warfare Too Difficult for Children?

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?

For the One Who Feels Lonely and Dreads the Coming Darkness

Dreads the Coming Darkness

Sunday Scripture Maybe it's because we're just two now in a house that still feels made for six.Maybe it's the tiny snatches of news I listen to, ominous pandemic predictions and sadness around the world.Whatever the reason, I've been lighting our window candles in 2021, a practice I have always reserved for Advent, but which… Continue reading For the One Who Feels Lonely and Dreads the Coming Darkness

How to Keep Persevering When the Work Feels Hard and Horrible

Persevering When the Work Feels Hard

The Montauk daisies in my front yard were covered in small white buds, a sight so improbable that I had almost missed seeing them. You see, the plants had been an utter failure in their first location, and I had, initially, had high hopes for the sunny spot near the rock that looks like a… Continue reading How to Keep Persevering When the Work Feels Hard and Horrible

The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope

The Solid Joy of a Better Hope

Hope has become one of those words that might show up on a couch pillow or stenciled onto a wall hanging. We’ve domesticated the word, taming it until it’s become a floating, sentimental abstraction:  "Faith, hope, and love... now you may kiss the bride." The truth is that hope is our lifeline, but we do… Continue reading The Peril of Hoping in Hope and the Solid Joy of a Better Hope

The September Book Talk Plus a FREE Printable to Guide You Into Scripture Meditation

Who would imagine that biblical lists could be a rich source of spiritual insight? It's really tempting to just skip over them, but lately, I've come upon a better plan. Rather than skipping over the lists as if they were somehow “extra,” what if we viewed them as a string of beads to finger and… Continue reading The September Book Talk Plus a FREE Printable to Guide You Into Scripture Meditation

What Does Hope Look Like? (Meditations Over a Stained T-Shirt)

What Does Hope Look Like?

“Hey, do you think you can get this stain out, Mum?” He handed me his T-shirt, still warm from his body, and I assured him that boiling water would make short work of blueberry juice on cotton. As the kettle boiled and the water poured and the steam rose from the kitchen sink, I thought… Continue reading What Does Hope Look Like? (Meditations Over a Stained T-Shirt)