I’m Not Interested in Standing on the Fringes of Life

Standing on the Fringes of Life

I live and worship on the fringes of a fishing economy. On the drive to church, I observe nets festooned and floating on the water, and my husband and I ask each other, "What's running right now?" or "Is it time for alewives already?" I've noticed that I need a translator for sorting out conversations… Continue reading I’m Not Interested in Standing on the Fringes of Life

Managing Big Feelings in Little People: 5 Strategies for Emotionally Healthy Kids

Little Kids and Big Emotions

When you’re five years old, baking cookies with your Sunday school teacher at her house on a Saturday morning is just about the best thing in the world. The moment I arrived to pick up my son, I could tell by his beaming face that he had enjoyed every minute of the baking, the snacking,… Continue reading Managing Big Feelings in Little People: 5 Strategies for Emotionally Healthy Kids

What Do You Hope to Gain When You’re Neglecting the Care of Your Soul?

Neglecting the Care of Your Soul

In August, I injured my back--poor timing indeed with canning to do, tomatoes to pick, lawns to mow, and a family beach day on the calendar. Nevertheless, I know the drill: ice, rest, ibuprofen, repeat. I can cheat and be "more productive," but, when I do, I'm just slowing down the healing process. Which makes… Continue reading What Do You Hope to Gain When You’re Neglecting the Care of Your Soul?

What Is Truth and Why Is It Important?

What Is Truth and Why Is It Important?

I'm planning a party for the kids who attend the church I call home. On the first Sunday in September, we will celebrate Promotion Sunday--and we'll do it with Promotion Sundaes! Before we start a new year of classes, we're going to pile ice cream and sticky toppings into bowls and pause to give thanks… Continue reading What Is Truth and Why Is It Important?

3 Parenting Insights for Raising Emotionally Healthy Men, Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

Parenting Insights for Raising Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

Remember when most households consisted of a married couple and their children? Friends my age who grew up in single-parent homes back in the 60s and 70s have confided to me that they felt the weight of their uniqueness in the pit of their stomachs. By contrast, statistics reveal today the proportion of households consisting… Continue reading 3 Parenting Insights for Raising Emotionally Healthy Men, Good Husbands, and Strong Fathers

Why Does Feeding People Make Us Feel So Happy?

Why Does Feeding People Make Us Feel So Happy?

This summer, I am learning to bake, prepare meals, and can our garden produce on a much smaller scale than ever before. A batch of whoopee pies makes about two dozen. That's approximately one picnic's worth in the days of four sons living at home, but an endless (and overwhelming!) supply for this empty nest.… Continue reading Why Does Feeding People Make Us Feel So Happy?

Embrace a Life of Restful Exertion to Counteract a Self-Help Culture

Restful Exertion to Counteract Self-Help

I've noticed myself becoming impatient with some of this year's newly published books, which seem to be running toward Christianity as a self-improvement project. Scanning the lists from publishers, it dawned on me that there's no way I can be or do or fix all the unspoken broken that populates our world, the church, or… Continue reading Embrace a Life of Restful Exertion to Counteract a Self-Help Culture

There’s a Big Purpose Behind Every Small, Unseen Task

Big Purpose Behind Small Tasks

Every year in late spring, we till up an admirable crop of rocks as we prepare the garden soil for planting. Some years I have been diligent about collecting them. Other years . . . not so much. Regardless, there always seems to be a plentiful supply, and after twenty plus years of gardening in… Continue reading There’s a Big Purpose Behind Every Small, Unseen Task

Every Sunday Come Together for the Better and Receive the Story Anew

Come Together for the Better

Weekly we gather — seldom daily as they did in New Testament times, the era of ravenous lions and Nero’s flaming, pitch-dipped Christians, human torches to light his gardens.  Lugging our three pound Bibles and a week’s worth of accumulated angst, we gather, having in common our hearts of flesh and likely the scar tissue… Continue reading Every Sunday Come Together for the Better and Receive the Story Anew

What Number One Priority Controls Your Decision Making Process?

What Number One Priority Controls Your Decision Making Process?

I had brought my walking stick, so with careful navigation and a moderate pace, I managed the nearly mile long trek along the breakwater without incident. It felt like a tiny victory, because even before being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, I had begun to notice some balance issues. The uneven surface, the movement of the… Continue reading What Number One Priority Controls Your Decision Making Process?